Thu 20 Sep 2018

Mercury Prize 2018 – Everything You Need To Know

 

Its that time of year again, the Hyundai Mercury Prize. It is one of the most prestigious awards in British music which most artists dream of getting their hands on. Previous winners include Primal Scream, Pulp, Dizzee Rascal and Skepta to name a few… But what about this year’s prize? Who are the nominees? What are their albums? How likely are they to win? Well sit back, and allow us to take you through the nominations

ARCTIC MONKEYS – Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino 

When was it released? 

Friday 11th May 2018

Main song: 

Four Out Of Five

Chart Position: 

No.1. The album spent 18 weeks on the chart.

What did Alex Turner have to say about the album?

“With the commercial success of the last record,” he says with a pause — briefly tripping over the words “commercial success,” as if it were a foreign phrase — “I don’t think I felt the pressure of that hanging over the creative process. But there was a pressure, in that we step it up and do something different again — try and fly high.” – Alex Turner speaking to Billboard (April, 2018).

Press ratings: 

Guardian 4/5

NME 4/5

Independent 4/5

Pitchford 8.1/10

Bookies odds to win the prize:

9/1 – 5th favourite

EVERYTHING EVERYTHING – A Fever Dream

When was it released? 

Friday 18th August 2017

Main song: 

Can’t Do

Chart position: 

No.5. The album spent 2 weeks on the chart.

What did EE have to say about the album? 

“We wanted to work quicker, be less neurotic and enjoy it a bit more. We didn’t apply the high ideals we had on Get To Heaven, that album we wanted everything to be very hard and fast, very direct, this time we just decided to let things come naturally.” EE talking to HMV (August, 2017).

Press ratings: 

Guardian 4/5

NME 4/5

Pitchfork 7.1/10

Metacritic 4/5

Bookies odds: 

16/1 – Joint 7th favourite

EVERYTHING IS RECORDED – Everything Is Recorded

When was it released? 

Friday 16th February 2018

Main song: 

Close But Not Quite

Chart position: 

No.66. The album spent 1 week on the chart.

What did Richard Russell have to say about the album? 

“You can be a musician of any level and any experience… It doesn’t matter how virtuous they are, how many Grammys they’ve got – actually the right attitude and outlook counts… transcending the ego is a big part of what we’re exploring with this record.” Richard Russell talking to Noisey (July, 2018)

Press ratings: 

Guardian 3/5

Pitchfork 7.2/10

Metacritic 4/5

Clash Magazine 8/10

Bookies odds

16/1 – Joint 7th favourite

FLORENCE + THE MACHINE – High As Hope

When was it released? 

Friday 29th June 2018

Main song:

Hunger

Chart position: 

No.2. The album spent 11 weeks on the chart

What did Florence have to say about the album?

“This one, I had a lot of joy in making it… It was a very physical record… very tactile. Really, the thrill of making a sound has never left me” Florence Welch speaking to the Independent (June, 2018).

Press ratings:

Guardian 3/5

NME 3/5

Pitchford 5.7/10

Rolling Stone 3.5/5

Bookies odds

12/1 – 6th favourite

JORJA SMITH – Lost & Found 

When was it released? 

Friday 8th June 2018

Main song:

Blue Lights

Chart position: 

No.3. The album spent 14 weeks on the chart

What did Jorja have to say about the album? 

“When I write now it’s just like I’m talking. I don’t have to think too much. I’ve matured, but I was pretty sick when I was writing songs when I was 16!” Jorja speaking to the Fader (June. 2018).

Press ratings: 

Guardian 3/5

NME 3/5

Pitchfork 8.1/10

Metacritic 4/5

Bookies odds: 

5/1 – 2nd favourite

KING KRULE – The Ooz 

Release date:

Friday 13th October 2017

Chart position:

No.23. The album spent 1 week on the chart.

What did King Krule have to say about the album? 

“My brother Jack was in a band called Words Backwards, and I was in a band called Zoo Kid. We got together with a guy named Jacob Reid, and we formed Zoo Kid backwards, which became Dik Ooz. It astounded me that it actually came out as Dik Ooz. So The Ooz sort of came out through that.” King Krule speaking to Pigeons and Planes (October, 2017)

Press ratings: 

Guardian 3/5

NME 4/5

Pitchfork 9/10

Drowned in Sound 4.5/10

Bookies odds: 

6/1 – 3rd favourite

LILY ALLEN – No Shame 

When was it released? 

Friday 8th June 2018

Main song: 

Trigger Band

Chart position: 

No.8. The album spent 3 weeks on the chart.

What did Lily Allen have to say about the album? 

“I wanted to write a record for me that felt truthful and honest, but also, I don’t wanna disappoint any people that supported me through the years. I’m self-aware enough to know that what people like about my writing is the directness and the honesty, but I think the difference between this album and previous records is that that honesty has usually been observations of other people and looking outwards.” Lily Allen speaking to Stereogum (May, 2018)

Press ratings: 

Guardian 4/5

NME 4/5

Pitchfork 6.3/10

Independent 4/5

Bookies odds: 

16/1 – Joint 7th

NADINE SHAH – Holiday Destination

When was it released? 

Friday 25th August 2018

Main song: 

Holiday Destination

Chart position: 

No.71. The album spent 1 week on the chart.

What did Nadine have to say about the album? 

“It’s embarrassing to admit,” she says, of the Mercury, “but I’ve been obsessed with it since I was little, which is the opposite of what I teach kids. I always tell them, ‘These things don’t matter, look at me – I’m an idiot but I can pay my bills.’” Nadine Shah speaking to The Guardian (September, 2018)

Press ratings: 

Guardian 4/5

Metacritic 4/5

Pitchfork 7.6/10

Bookies odds:

9/4 – Favourite to win.

NOEL GALLAGHER’S HIGH FLYING BIRDS  – Who Built The Moon?

When was it released? 

Friday 24th November 2014

Main song: 

Holy Mountain

Chart position:

No.1. The album spent 34 weeks in the charts

What did Noel have to say about the album? 

“It’s the only time I’ve ever done it like this. Ever. I mean, I’ve been in situations where producers will say, “Try it in a different key.” But really, once the song is written and you’ve [worked] with it for a year, it’s not gonna change that much.” Noel Gallagher speaking to Billboard (November, 2017)

Press ratings: 

NME 4/5

Pitchfork 7.1/10

Guardian 4/5

Drowned in Sound 3/5

Bookies odds:

20/1 – Least favourite to win

NOVELIST – Novelist Guy

When was it released? 

Friday 13th April 2018

Main song: 

Now Wait Stop Wait

Chart position:

Did not enter

What did Novelist have to say about the album? 

“The old 80s action cop films – I love them,” the 21-year-old south London MC, born Kojo Kankam, explains. “I wanted to emulate the vibe of some of the sounds that I grew up hearing. I repetitively mention Beverly Hills Cop: it’s fun, a little bit cheesy. Very bait noises. But at the same time, it’s a great soundtrack.” Novelist Guy speaking to The Independent (April, 2018)

Press ratings:

NME 4/5

Guardian 4/5

Metacritic 4/5

Crack Magazine 7/10

Bookies odds:

16/1 – Joint 7th favourite

SONS OF KEMET – Your Queen Is A Reptile

When was it released?

Friday 30th March 2018

Main song: 

My Queen Is Ada Eastman

Chart position: 

N/A

What did Sons Of Kemet have to say about the album? 

“WE WERE ALL THINKING ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE PATRIARCHY IN SHAPING OUR REALITY, AND THE FACT THAT WOMEN’S VOICES, BOTH PAST AND PRESENT, HAVE BEEN RELEGATED TO THE PERIPHERIES.​” Shabaka Hutchings speaking to DIY (September, 2018)

Press ratings:

Pitchfork 7.6/10

Metacritic 4/5

Line Of Best Fit 4.5/5

All Out Of jazz 4/5

Bookies odds:

5/1 – Joint 2nd favourite

WOLF ALICE – Visions Of A Life

When was it released? 

Friday 29th September 2017

Main song: 

Don’t Delete The Kisses

Chart position: 

No.2. The album spent 7 weeks on the chart

What did Wolf Alice have to say about the album? 

“hen there’s the album artwork, a picture of a girl in a frock dancing around a podium with a horse’s head on it – she obviously had some vision of a life that she was playing out. It’s my auntie in the picture, and she actually did become a dancer, so that vision came true.” Wolf Alice speaking to NME (August, 2017).

Press ratings:

Guardian 4/5

NME 5/5

Pitchfork 7.0/10

Drowned in Sound 5/5

Bookies odds:

8/1 – 4th Favourite

 

 

 

 

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