It's our favourite time of year again! The Mercury Prize have just confirmed the nominees for this year's award. It's a time when some of the biggest brains in the music industry put hundreds of albums under the microscope in order to find the most outstanding record of the last 12 months.
The Mercury Prize showcases the very best talent across a multitude of genres ranging from post-punk to jazz, rap to indie rock. It's a much coveted badge of honour for both up and comers and well established artists.
So who's in the running in 2020? Check out the full list below, and where you can see them live on tour.
Laura Marling - Song For Our Daughter
Laura Marling sees her fourth appearance on the Mercury Prize shortlist, having previously been nominated in 2008, 2010 and 2013. Criminally overlooked in awards seasons since her debut in 2008, Marling has achieved 15 nominations but only two wins. Could 2020 be her year to finally bag the coveted Mercury Prize?
Laura isn't currently on tour, but keep an eye out here for any announcements!
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Dua Lipa's sophomore album 'Future Nostalgia' was critically heralded across the board, and in recognition sees her very first Mercury Prize nomination. Describing the nomination as "surreal", Dua Lipa can add her Mercury nod to a list of literally hundreds of previous award nominations in her relatively short career.
Dua Lipa will be back out on the road in the UK in January 2021, and there are still tickets available here.
Porridge Radio - Every Bad
The critically acclaimed second album from Porridge Radio comes as no surprise, as 'Every Bad' has already been noted by Paste and Stereogum as one of the best albums of 2020. In 2018, The Guardian revealed Porridge Radio to be one of their top 40 new artists of that year. So, it seems they have continued growing from strength to strength.
Porridge Radio will be heading out on an enormous UK tour early next year - be sure to grab yourself a ticket here.
Sports Team - Deep Down Happy
One of only two debut albums to be nominated for this year's Mercury Prize, 'Deep Down Happy' by Sports Team "romanticise[s] Middle England" (The Guardian). Received favourably by critics, it peaked at number two in the UK Album Charts, missing out to Lady Gaga. While a Mercury nomination might usually be the highlight of a band's year, we'd wager that it comes second to a phone call from Lady Gaga herself.
Kano - Hoodies All Summer
Cashing in his second Mercury Prize nomination (following 2016's nod to 'Made in the Manor') Kano is no stranger to an award nomination. In fact, it has been 16 years since he was voted Best Newcomer in the 2004 Urban Music Awards. His sixth album features the likes of Ghetts and D Double E, and has been met with widespread acclaim. It peaked at number 8 in the UK Album Charts.
No tour dates for Kano just yet, but be sure to check back here for any newly announced shows!
Anna Meredith - FIBS
The Scottish, MBE-awarded composer Anna Meredith has been around the block a few times when it comes to awards. She has even been a judge for BBC Young Musician of the Year. Anna Meredith is the only nominee to have gained an MBE for services to music. The album up for the Mercury Prize, 'FIBS' has been referred to as "genre-bending" (The Guardian). Its universal acclaim means it's no surprise that the Mercury Prize has it in its sights.
Keep an eye out for Anna Meredith live dates here.
Georgia - Seeking Thrills
'Seeking Thrills' is the second album from Georgia, and one that has caught the attention of the industry. Five years since her debut release, Georgia stuns audiences with infectious and joyful celebrations of electropop. With music royalty in her family tree (her father is Neil Barnes, from electronic group Leftfield) it's only natural that her talent is award-worthy. Despite time spent playing professional football, when we spoke to Georgia last year she admitted that music is "all I've ever wanted to do". We're sure this nomination means everything to her.
Catch Georgia on tour in April 2021! Tickets available here.
Lanterns on the Lake - Spook The Herd
Following an extended hiatus - five years since their last release - Newcastle upon Tyne-born indie rock outfit Lanterns on the Lake return with 'Spook The Herd': an "elegant and eloquent" release (The Line of Best Fit). Having taken time away from the band, it seems that Lanterns on the Lake are all the better for it. They returned with their most loved record to date, earning it a Mercury Prize nomination - their first!
You can see the band on tour in February and March 2021 - grab yourself a ticket here.
Moses Boyd - Dark Matter
Amazing critics with his solo album, 'Dark Matter', Moses Boyd becomes one of two artists in 2020 to be nominated for a debut release. While Moses Boyd has won awards for his work on albums with other artists (including his album 'Alive In The East?' with saxophonist Binker Golding which won two MOBO Awards and a Jazz FM Award), this is the first nomination Moses has earned on the merits of his solo work, which was released on his own record label, Exodus.
Keep an eye out for performances from Moses Boyd here.
Charli XCX - how i'm feeling now
Completed in just one month during the lockdown period of 2020, Charli XCX's 'how i'm feeling now' becomes the artist's first Mercury Prize nomination. Will it be her 12th award win? We wouldn't rule it out, considering the record has appeared on six 'Best Albums of 2020' lists so far. It has been heralded as "indisputably cohesive and honest" (The Fader) and a "glorious, experimental collection" (NME).
No sign of a tour for Charli just yet, but keep your eyes peeled here for any sign of a live date in the future!
Stormzy - Heavy Is The Head
Stormzy continues to rise above the competition, redefining grime with every release. 'Heavy Is The Head' is a widespread success, critically acclaimed across the board, and has made the grime superstar two-for-two in terms of Mercury Prize nominations, following his debut album 'Gang Signs & Prayer' being nominated in 2017. Not only this, but in 2019 Stormzy appeared on the Mercury Prize judging panel. He's a strong contender in the running for this year's Prize.
You can find a full list of Stormzy's tour dates right here.
Michael Kiwanuka - Kiwanuka
In 2012, Michael Kiwanuka won the coveted BBC Sound of 2012. Since then, he has been nominated for an enormous amount of awards, including BRITs and BBC Music Awards. His third album, 'Kiwanuka', has already been noted as one of the best albums of 2019 by Rough Trade and BBC Radio 6 Music. This will be his second Mercury nomination. There truly is no stopping Michael Kiwanuka - so, could this be the year he bags the Prize?
See Michael Kiwanuka's full list of tour dates here, including two sold out shows at London's Alexandra Palace.
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