2014 saw London hiphop outfit Young Fathers take the title for the prestigious Barclaycard Mercury Prize for ‘Album of the Year’. Nominated were FKA twigs, Jungle, Nick Mulvey, Kate Tempest, and favourites to win: Royal Blood.
First to be announced for this year’s prize was Aphex Twin for Syro, praised for its innovation. Wolf Alice’s debut My Love Is Cool (to no one’s surprise) followed suit, with nominee No.3 being Róisín Murphy’s offering of Hairless Toys. Next to be added to the nominations is C Duncan’s Architect, for his combination of English folk and a psychedelic shimmer.
The fifth nomination is Eska’s self-titled debut, for her psychedelic soul. Then comes Florence and the Machine with their booming third album How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful. Shedding Skin by Ghostpoet is the next to be nominated, which heads into alt-rock territory. Benjamin Clementine’s At Least For Now takes the eighth spot on the list, the fourth studio album from him.
The genre bending debut from Jamie xx, In Colour, takes the next spot, before 19 year old SOAK’s heartfelt Before We Forgot How To Dream. The remaining two nominations for this year are Gaz Coombes’ Matador and Kent born duo Slaves with Are You Satisfied?.
The bookmakers’ favourites to win before the 12 nominees were announced featured Everything Everything’s Get To Heaven, alt-J’s This Is All Yours and last year’s winners Young Fathers with their follow up, White Men Are Black Men Too.
The judging panel this year includes Corinne Bailey-Rae, Nick Mulvey, Mistajam, and a stream of music journalists, too. The award ceremony will be hosted by Lauren Laverne in November.
Watch Young Fathers’ performance at last year’s Mercury Prize Awards, below.