Guitar-driven bands are making a strong showing at the Mercury Prize once again, with rock and indie groups taking up more than half of 2019’s nominees, which were announced yesterday.
Black Midi (Schlagenheim), Foals (Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1), The 1975 (A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships) and IDLES (Joy As An Act Of Resistance) are among the seven of the 12 artists that have been shortlisted for the £25,000 prize, accorded to the best UK-released album of the year by a British or Irish act. See the full shortlist below.
London-based alt-rock band Wolf Alice picked up the 2018 award for their album, Visions Of A Life – the first guitar-centric band to win the prize since alt-J in 2012 for An Awesome Wave. Previous winners include PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys and The xx.
Grime artist Stormzy, R&B star Jorja Smith and jazz pianist Jamie Cullum are in this year’s judging panel, which also comprises journalists, broadcasters and DJs. “This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize celebrates both the striking diversity of British and Irish music-makers and their shared purpose in exploring issues of identity and belonging at a time of division and disagreement. And all this is done with music of passion, wit, insight, ambition and heart-stirring optimism!” the judges said in a collective statement.
Here’s the full shortlist:
- Anna Calvi – Hunter
- Black Midi – Schlagenheim
- Cate Le Bon – Reward
- Dave – Psychodrama
- Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1
- Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
- IDLES – Joy As An Act Of Resistance
- Little Simz – Grey Area
- Nao – Saturn
- Seed Ensemble – Driftglass
- slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
- The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships