Bloody hell, it’s that time of year again. Twelve albums will this morning be given the chance to become the next Benjamin Clementine or Speech Debelle when the nominees for the 2016 Mercury Prize are announced.
There’s some obvious standouts, with David Bowie and Radiohead both releasing albums in 2016. In terms of newer British bands, Savages and Daughter are both in with a shot, with Yak’s debut ‘Alas Salvation’ also undoubtedly in the hit. PJ Harvey’s new’un must be in the running too, with the chance for her second Mercury Prize win after ‘Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea’ took the crown in 2000.
We’ve had our say on what we think there should be more (and less) of in this year’s shortlist, which you can read here, and stay tuned below for live updates as the nominees are announced.
Skepta - ‘Konnichiwa’
This year’s Brit Awards was heavily criticised for its lack of acknowledgement of grime’s resurgence, and the Mercury Prize makes sure it doesn’t fall into this trap - Skepta is up, quite rightly, with his album ‘Konnichiwa’. He’s ruled pretty much every festival already this summer, and would be a more than worthy winner.
Read the DIY review of ‘Konnichiwa’ here.
ANOHNI - ‘Hopelessness’
ANOHNI’s collaborative album ‘Hopelessness’ with Hudson Mohawke and Oneohtrix Point Never was easily one of the most ambitious albums of the year, with ‘4 Degrees’ its crushing first single. A huge statement of an album, largely regarding global warming, and one of the year’s best cries for help.
Read the DIY review of ‘Hopelessness’ here.
The 1975 - ‘i like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’
Everything about The 1975’s second album was big and brash. From its title, to its running length, to the bravado exhibited by Matt Healy in everything he said about it, it was a statement like few others. The pop hits were undoubtedly there, too, and it has to be one of 2016’s most interesting releases.
Read the DIY review of ‘i like it when you sleep…’ here
Savages - ‘Adore Life’
‘Adore Life’ was a step up in every sense from Savages’ debut ‘Silence Yourself’. From the manic first single ‘The Answer’ to ‘Adore’, its monumental centrepiece, Savages have their masterpiece, and have been parading it around festivals worldwide already this summer. Come the Mercury Prize later this year, ‘Adore Life’ might get its just reward.
Read the DIY review of ‘Adore Life’ here.
Radiohead - ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’
The half-decade road that led to ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ was a rocky one, and with enough twists and turns to rival even that of Frank Ocean. When it arrived in May, though, it was a triumph, led by punchy first single ‘Burn The Witch’. Not that Radiohead probably really care, but this could easily scoop the big prize.
Read the DIY review of ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’ here.
Bat For Lashes - ‘The Bride’
When DIY spoke to Natasha Khan around the release of ‘The Bride’, she said: “when it was finished I realised how epic it was,” and epic is a term that can accurately blanket the whole of her latest album, a step up in a career that just keeps getting more interesting.
Read the DIY review of ‘The Bride’ here.
Michael Kiwanuka - ‘Love & Hate’
The world was threatening to forget about Michael Kiwanuka for a little while before the release of ‘Love & Hate’. The resurgence has been stunning, though, with his new album topping the charts and now grabbing a Mercury nod. Don’t say we didn’t predict this in our album review either..
Read the DIY review of ‘Love & Hate’ here.
David Bowie - ‘Blackstar’
Bowie’s final album was going to make the list after it became his last following his death in January, but even without the circumstances that quickly followed its release, ‘Blackstar’ more than deserves its place here, a dark, twisted album that chronicled the things none of us knew were coming.
Read the DIY review of ‘Blackstar’ here.
Jamie Woon - ‘Making Time’
Jamie Woon’s second album is a somewhat surprise inclusion here - an impressive record, sure, but maybe not such a definite step up as the likes of The 1975 and Savages, who also feature with their second LPs. Our review says that “‘Making Time’’s strength is in asserting exactly what Woon specialises in.”
Read the DIY review of ‘Making Time’ here.
The Comet Is Coming - ‘Channel The Spirits’
This year’s wildcard nomination, The Comet Is Coming could benefit from the Mercurys’ penchant for picking the odd choice. ‘Channel The Spirits’ is a thoroughly intense trip through song titles such as ‘Journey Through The Asteroid Belt’. Listen to it in full below.
Kano - ‘Made In The Manor’
Another worthy nod for UK rap’s underground, Kano’s fifth album is his best yet, and looks to take him to bigger places. A headline show at Brixton Academy waits before the end of the year, and if Mercury glory joins it on 15th September, he could be on his way to becoming one of the country’s biggest stars.
Laura Mvula - ‘The Dreaming Room’
Wrapping up the list of Mercury Prize 2016 nominations is Laura Mvula, whose album ‘The Dreaming Room’ was released back in June and has received a world of critical approval. The album serves to try and take Mvula away from simply being an act for mums, and giving a more universal approval.
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture Soundtrack 50th Anniversary Edition 2-Disc CD
David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars: The Motion Picture Soundtrack 50th Anniversary Edition 2CD + Blu-Ray CD/Blu-ray