The 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist in full:
Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino
Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
Everything Is Recorded – Everything Is Recorded
Florence & The Machine – High As Hope
Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
King Krule – The Ooz
Lily Allen – No Shame
Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?
Novelist – Novelist Guy
Sons Of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile
Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life
The Mercury Prize is a prestigious award given to the album of the year as decided by a panel of judges. This year’s judges included the likes of Radio One DJ Clara Amfo, musician and songwriter Ella Eyre, jazz musician Jamie Cullum and Marcus Mumford from Mumford and Sons.
On the Mercury Prize website, the judges say: “This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize celebrates albums by musicians at all stages of their careers, but with a shared belief in the importance of music for navigating life’s challenges – whether personal or political, falling in or out of love, growing up or looking back angry or ecstatic. The music here is funny and inspiring, smart and moving. Twelve amazing albums!”
The awards show took place on the 20th September at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith. Displaying some of the finest musical talent at the moment, there were live performances from Wolf Alice, Lily Allen, King Krule, Novelist, Everything Everything, Jorja Smith, Everything Is Recorded and Florence + The Machine.
With a shortlist full of such high-quality artists, the competition this year was particularly tough. It is to huge credit that Wolf Alice won the prize for their album Visions of a Life. Ellie Rowsell received the award saying, “This means so much to pick this up with my three best friends!” Her bandmate Theo Ellis took over, reminiscing about how a record company exec knocked them back saying: “’You lot don’t look like a band at all – all your songs sound different, you don’t look like each other.’ But here we are – so fuck you!” He asked for a Jägerbomb before heading back to the stage for another rendition of Don’t Delete the Kisses.
The band told Huw Stephens after the show, “We don’t really say this kind of stuff but it feels like a dream. It felt like walking out into Glastonbury, just a dream. We’re happy just to get out of the house, forget winning the damn thing!”
Wolf Alice’s album, along with all the other nominated albums, are available to stream and there is a Mercury Prize playlist on Spotify if you want to hear the best picks.
Image: Raya Sharbain