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Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2014

September 11, 2014

Music | by Sophia Miles


Tonight saw the announcement of the nominations for 2014’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize for Album of the Year, a prestigious accolade which has been running since 1992. The winner will be chosen by a panel of twelve judges which this year includes DJ Annie Mac, Xfm’s X-Posure presenter John Kennedy, musician Lianne La Havas and online NME editor Greg Cochrane. There will be an awards show held on 29th October where the winner will be announced, joining the ranks of predecessors such as Pulp (1996), Franz Ferdinand (2004), Elbow (2008), The xx (2010) and last year’s victor James Blake.

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The nominees this year are a diverse mix of debut albums and some more distinguished performers, and for the first year a poet is amongst the competitors. They are all listed below to be perused at leisure, so your own decision can be made.

Anna Calvi (One Breath) – This album, Anna’s second, was recorded in France and then mixed in Texas. It features the singles ‘Eliza’ and ‘Suddenly’ and was released in October 2013.

Jungle

Bombay Bicycle Club (So Long, See You Tomorrow) – Released on Island Records in February, indie kings BBC’s fourth album has collaborations with Rae Morris on ‘Luna’ and Lucy Rose on ‘It’s Alright Now’.

Damon Albarn (Everyday Robots) – This is Blur frontman Albarn’s first solo album and features collaborations with Brian Eno and Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes). It was released on Parlophone in April, and includes singles ‘Lonely Press Play’ and the album title track.

Gogo+Penguin

East India Youth (Total Strife Forever) – The stage name of solo artist William Doyle, his self-made album was released on Stolen Recordings in January. Including tracks ‘Dripping Down’ and ‘Hinterland’, his chilled vocals are added edge with synthesised backing tracks.

FKA Twigs (LP1) – Dancer turned singer/songwriter Tahliah Barnett released her debut album on label Young Turks in August. It features critically praised single ‘Two Weeks’, which raised comparisons between herself and R’n’B songbirds such as Aaliyah and Mariah Carey.

Kate+Tempest

Go Go Penguin (v2.0) – This is the second album from the Mancunian trio. Recorded between their hometown and Powys in Wales, it was released in March by Gondwana Records, and features lively piano based single ‘Garden Dog Barbecue’.

Jungle (Jungle) – This London duo wrote, recorded and produced their debut album entirely themselves; and it was released on XL Recordings in July. It showcases their modern soul vibe on tracks such as ‘The Heat’ and ‘Platoon’.Royal+Blood

Kate Tempest (Everybody Down) – This is the rapper, poet, playwright and novelist’s first album, released on Big Dada records in May. Interestingly each track on the album is correlated with a chapter from Tempest’s new novel ‘Bricks That Built The Houses’ which will be published in April next year.

Nick Mulvey (First Mind) – The ‘Cucurucu’ singer studied music in Havana, Cuba, and released this, his debut album, on Fiction Records in May.Anna+Calvi

Polar Bear (In Each And Every One) – This is the fifth album by this London based six piece experimental jazz band. It is on The Leaf Label and was released in March.

Royal Blood (Royal Blood) – This rock duo hail from Brighton, and have already hit the number one spot in the album chart a couple of weeks ago. Their self-titled debut was released in August on Warner Bros/ Black Mammoth and features singles ‘Come On Over’ and ‘Figure It Out’.Polar+Bear

Young Fathers (Dead) – Released on Anticon/ Big Dada in February, this indie/hip hop (if ever the two could be combined) trio are based in Edinburgh. The album contains singles ‘Get Up’ and ‘Low’.

Sophia Miles