This morning, the 2017 Mercury Prize shortlist came out. The annual prize, which celebrates the best British album released each year, spans every genre, from indie and grime to pop and jazz. The prize is judged by a panel of 12 judges, the same number as albums nominated. They are all movers and shakers from all facets of the UK’s music industry.

Including radio presenters, music news editors, and, of course, some of the country’s most respected musicians. This year’s panel of judges includes Marcus Mumford, Lianne La Havas, Jessie Ware, and BBC Radio 1’s MistaJam. Previous panels have included the likes of Annie Mac and Naughty Boy.

The Nominations Are…

Alt-J: Relaxer
The Big Moon: Love in the 4th Dimension
Blossoms: Blossoms
Loyle Carner: Yesterday’s Gone
Dinosaur: Together, As One
Glass Animals: How to Be a Human Being
J Hus: Common Sense
Sampha: Process
Ed Sheeran: ÷
Stormzy: Gang Signs & Prayer
Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos
The xx: I See You

What Can We Expect from This Years Awards

The prize is certainly a coveted one. The winner will be walking away with £25,000.00, as well as an increased hype around their album. Previous winners alt-J and The xx (both nominated once again this year) saw their careers skyrocket thanks to their wins. If one of them wins again, this may only cement their success even more. It would also make one of them the second artist to win twice, after PJ Harvey.

She took home the prize in 2001 and 2011, for her albums Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, and Let England Shake. If Stormzy, an apparent favourite for the prize, wins, this will be the second consecutive year that the UK’s grime scene gets a nod. Skepta won last year for his album Konnichiwa.
England’s latest indie darlings, some emerging and others more established, made their usual appearance on the shortlist. Amongst the more fresh-faced on the list are The Big Moon, who have only really emerged in this past year or so. It will be interesting to see how this nomination (and potential award) plays out for them.

Now that the list is out, it’s time to begin the painfully long wait until awards night. See you all on
the 14th of September.

Sofia Loporcaro
Sofia Loporcaro
George Millington