Other... - September 3, 2014

hmv.com presents: Our Mercury Music Prize Shortlist
by Tom
by Tom hmv London, Bio hmv.com Editor. Peanut butter, punk rock and pillows.

hmv.com presents: Our Mercury Music Prize Shortlist

In one week’s time the shortlist for this year’s Mercury Music Prize will be revealed and the arguments will commence. Is there enough rock in the list? Is it too middle class? And who the else is this random jazz person they seem to have found in a dingy bar somewhere in Camden?

To settle/start lots more arguments, hmv.com editor Tom Goodwyn has put together his own personal Mercury Music Prize shortlist, let’s see what you make of it…

(you can preview and download each of the album in our digital store by clicking on the title). 


Jungle – Jungle

The mysterious (though not that mysterious anymore really...) duo have produced one of the year's best albums, with a heedy brew that combines the best of early 1990s trip-hop, soul grooves and devilishly catchy choruses. 


Will It Make It?

Almost certainly. This album has won universal critical acclaim and, with its mix of hip-hop, soul, funk and dance, ticks a whole load of boxes.


Will It Win?

It’ll be right up there. The Mercury panel love rewarding debut albums (the award’s been given out 22 times, 13 of those times it’s been awarded to a debut).




Slow Club – Complete Surrender

The Sheffield duo have stepped away from shuffling folk and twee lyrics and embraced bombastic production, Dusty Springfield and big choruses, it makes for a glorious record. 


Will It Make It?

Touch and go. Some critics have loved the album, other’s have been less keen. It also doesn’t feel like there’s much hype around it, which is always a decent indicator of whether something will get a nod.


Will It Win?

The album is such a grower that if it gets to the final 12, it's got every chance. 





Chvrches – The Bones Of What You Believe

Scottish electro trio Chvrches have made the year's outstanding debut album, with not a flawless moment on their debut album The Bones Of What You Believe, icy synths collide with skyscraper sized atmospherics, with Lauren Mayberry's gorgeous voice over the top of it. An exceptional record. 


Will It Make It?

It should do, it was one of the exceptional albums of 2013, with not a weak moment on there. The only thing holding it back is it was released almost a year ago, right after the last Mercury shortlist.


Will It Win?

The amount of time it’s been on the shelves will undoubtedly count against it, but if it makes a shortlist, they’ll be a lot of support for it.




Metronomy – Love Letters

Joe Mount followed his love letter to Cornwall with Love Letters, a record steeping in 60s soul and analogue electronics, with glorious melodies and lush harmonics. A brilliant album. 


Will It Make It?

It certainly should do. And Mount has got form, with his last album The English Riviera scoring a nomination last time round. 


Will It Win?

If it makes the list, it'd be a good outside bet. Critics loved this album and Mount's a Mercury panel favourite.





Katy B – Little Red

The South London singer took her dubstep flecked poppy R'N'B up a notch on Little Red with plenty of dancefloors bangers and some tear-jerking ballads. 


Will It Make It?

Outside chance, but looking unlikely. The singer has already been nominated once for her debut album On A Mission and Little Red doesn't seem to have a tide of hype behind it. 


Will It Win?

If it does make the shortlist, it’s even less likely it’ll take home the gong. It’s a damn good record though.




Ed Sheeran – x

The dimunitive singer-songwriter has moved from unlikely success story to the kind of artist that people mention in annual reports. His new album is a real step up from his first, it's bolder, brasher and a lot more inventine. 


Will It Make It?

It’s possible. It’s certainly sold well enough and it’s a real step up from Sheeran’s debut, with the singer trying out a few different things, all characteristics than the Mercury judges tend to like.


Will It Win?, 

Nope, but he’ll probably clean up at next year’s Brits.




Twin Atlantic – Great Divide

The Scottish rockers took their time over the follow-up to breakthrough album Free, but it was well worth the wait. Great Divide is a stonking great rock record, an album that, if there's any justice in the world, will take the band all the way to arenas. 


Will It Make It?

If any rock album gets the Mercury nod, it'll be this or Royal Blood, but both deserve to. 


Will It Win?

Seems unlikely. 




Lonely The Brave – The Day’s War

After a long, long wait, the Cambridge rockers released their debut album earlier this year. Packed to the gills with heartswelling rock songs, it's one of the year's best. 


Will It Make It?

Probably not, which is a damn shame. 


Will It Win?

Sadly no. 




Architects – Lost Together /// Lost Forever

The Brighton metallers returned in March with an incredible new album, full of firebrand riffs and colossal melodies. It's their best work to date. 


Will It Make It?

It's not got a snowball's chance in hell. The Mercury panel have yet to nominate a metal artist of any kind, the closest they've come is probably is either The Darkness or Muse, and Architects are a few steps on from that...


Will It Win?





Foxes – Glorious

The songstress moved away from being the voice on EDM party bangers and branched out on her own, making an etheareal, life-affirming pop record. 


Will It Make It?

It may well do. 


Will It Win?

There seems to be critical weight behind other albums, so it'd be a curveball, but we wouldn't rule it out. 




Imogen Heap – Sparks

After endless delays, Imogen Heap finally returned this year with Sparks, an eccentric, vaudeville pop record with some incredible tracks. 


Will It Make It?

Seems unlikely, Heap's time probably came with the release of Sparks, but you couldn't rule it out completely. 


Will It Win?

See above. Shame. 




Royal Blood – Royal Blood

The Brighton duo made a huge dent in the album chart last week with their debut LP and have got everybody talking about their powerhouse brand of rock and roll. 


Will It Make It?

We'll stick our necks out and say yes, it will. 


Will It Win?

You know what, it just might...



The Mercury Music Prize shortlist will be announced on Wednesday (September 10th). Check back then for the full list. 

Agree or disagree with our selection? Vote for your favourite in our poll here. 

Complete Surrender
Complete Surrender Slow Club

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