It's finally here! The moment we've all been waiting for. Music fans can finally get their sights on The Mercury Prize shortlist for 2022 and see whether their favourite albums of the last year are in the running for one of the most prestigious awards in the music biz.
Over the last several months, some of the biggest brains in the industry have been working away, putting all the latest albums under the microscope in order to find the most outstanding and trailblazing record of the last year.
And so, they've whittled it down to the final 12: the shortlist of the most outstanding talent of 2021/22. The best of the best 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 2022? Check out the full list below, and where you can see them live on tour:
Sam Fender - Seventeen Going Under
Sam Fender is on course for legendary status, having fast tracked his way through the music industry to become one of the biggest selling acts of the moment. He's just performed to a sold out crowd at Finsbury Park and has appeared at the likes of Glastonbury Festival this year to tens of thousands of adoring fans. In his sophomore release, 'Seventeen Going Under', Sam Fender has become more esteemed than ever, having bagged the top spot on end of year lists from the NME and PopMatters. His NME accolades didn't end there, as he also won awards for Best Album by a UK Artist and Best Album in the World at the 2022 NME Awards. Now, he can add his first Mercury Prize nomination to his list of achievements.
Sam Fender is finishing up a summer of huge outdoor shows and festival appearances, so there are no tour dates currently on sale. But be sure to keep a look out on seetickets.com for any that might go on sale soon.
Yard Act - The Overload
Yard Act have become one of the privileged few to have their debut record nominated for the Mercury Prize. What an honour! We're not surprised though, as 'The Overload' is an absolute masterpiece in modern British guitar music and for its efforts managed to hit the number two spot on the Official UK Album Charts on release. While it's their first release as Yard Act, the band have been making music in some capacity as part of different bands for the better part of a decade. So, it's no wonder that through their combined experience and undeniable talent that they've produced an album so impactful that they've earned themselves a nomination for the Mercury Prize. Will it take the crown later this year? We'll have to wait and see.
Want to see the band live? You're in luck! Yard Act are touring the UK in November and December, and you can grab a ticket right here.
Self Esteem - Prioritise Pleasure
We're big fans of Self Esteem over here at See Tickets HQ so we were thrilled to learn that the Rotherham-born pop artist has bagged a nomination for this year's Mercury Prize with her second outstanding LP 'Prioritise Pleasure'. It's been a banner year for Self Esteem, who has so far claimed six award nominations and two wins since 2021. The Guardian, The Sunday Times and Gigwise all gave 'Prioritise Pleasure' the top spot in their end of year lists for best album, while the NME ranked it at number four. Meanwhile, The Guardian named 'I Do This All The Time' as the best song of 2021. It's really no surprise that this album also makes the shortlist for the Mercury too. It would be a well-deserved win!
Following on from her ground-shaking performance on the John Peel Stage at Glastonbury this year, and her lauded hometown set at Sheffield's Tramlines last weekend, you can catch the icon at Forwards Bristol and on her own tour in February and March 2023. Book now!
Kojey Radical - Reason to Smile
Another artist to successfully make the coveted shortlist with their debut album is Kojey Radical, this year with his record 'Reason to Smile'. It's an obvious choice for this year's Mercury Prize. The artist, who sublimely blends influence from rap, hip-hop, grime and spoken word, has been releasing music since his 2014 EP 'Dear Daisy: Opium', and has since progressed into one of the most exciting modern artists of his genre. Kojey has been nominated at the MOBO Awards three times in the last four years - for Best Newcomer and Best Video in 2018, and again for Best Video in 2020. It would be criminal not to see his name in the Mercury shortlist in 2022.
Kojey Radical will be performing in the UK in November 2022, at Manchester's Albert Hall and London's O2 Academy Brixton. Grab a ticket today, we promise you won't regret it.
We've been singing the praises of Little Simz for so long. With her most recent release 'Sometimes I Might Be Introvert' we were more sure than ever that this artist was going to be a huge star. Now nominated for the most desirable of prizes, the Mercury Prize, the album has joined an esteemed list of sublime albums throughout history. Already, the album has received universal acclaim from the music press and other awarding bodies, and was even given the title of best album of 2021 by Exclaim! and BBC Radio 6 Music. Not only this, it's already an award-winner having won the Libera Award for Best Hip-Hop/Rap Record. It was nominated for the BRIT Award for British Album of the Year too, but was sadly beaten by Adele's '30'.
Little Simz isn't touring the UK again so soon after her sell-out tour late last year. But, you can catch her at Forwards Festival in Bristol alongside an absolutely monumental line-up. Check it out!
Wet Leg - Wet Leg
Here at See Tickets HQ, we have more than a couple of Wet Leg fans willing to talk your ear off about their debut, self-titled album and how much we love it. Their rise to popularity has been stratospheric. It's something that few bands will ever see quite so rapidly. In the last year they've performed at countless festivals all over the world including Glastonbury, where they packed out The Park Stage. They've supported the likes of Declan McKenna and Inhaler, and scored a UK number one album. It's hard to see how their year could get any better... And yet, it just did! Another debut album in the running to take home the Mercury Prize, we think it would be well deserved if the Isle of Wight indie duo managed to beat out the very stiff competition this year.
Wet Leg are touring this November all over the country. Sadly, it is sold out but you can join the waiting list for any date you like right here in case any additional tickets get released!
Joy Crookes - Skin
Joy Crookes debut release 'Skin' makes the list of the most outstanding releases from the last 12 months. We aren't at all surprised, as this is a record that is intensely personal, remarkably vibrant and utterly captivating. It received widespread acclaim upon its release. DIY offered the record a five star review, describing it as "a rich, varied and considered body of work [...] worthy of elevating the singer into the realm of Britain's classiest chart-bothering talents". While we adored Joy Crookes' three EPs released between 2017 and 2019, in her debut full-length LP 'Skin', she made us incredibly excited to see what the London-born singer-songwriter has in store for us next. It was a well crafted amalgam of everything she's released to date, and a taste of what more is to come.
There are no UK shows currently on sale for Joy Crookes. But, head back here in the future as we're sure there's plenty more shows on the way!
Harry Styles - Harry's House
In the year of 2022, it really is Harry Styles' world, and we're just living in it. The former One Direction member, turned global pop superstar in his own right, has had a monumental few years that's ranged from a sell-out UK stadium tour, to headlining Coachella, and achieving three chart-topping albums both in the UK and across the pond in the US. With his latest release, 'Harry's House', the press were in awe of the range and charm that flowed throughout the record. As a result it has already charted in at least 13 Albums of the Year So Far lists. There's no stopping Harry Styles it seems. Perhaps this year's Mercury Prize will be the 44th award win for him as a solo artist, out of a total of 124 nominations.
Harry will be playing in Lisbon this weekend to round off his European 'Love On Tour' stint. Sadly tickets are sold out. But, keep an eye out here to see if any further dates are added in the future.
Fergus McCreadie - Forest Floor
Pianist and composer Fergus McCreadie is one of the most inspiring jazz musicians of this generation. He's often heralded for his unique ability to compose the most elegant, captivating and wholly original songs. After he made waves in 2018 as the BBC Jazz Musician of the Year Finalist and with his debut album 'Turas', McCreadie has been safely in the eyeline of the music industry. With his debut, he collected Album of the Year at the Parliamentary and Scottish Jazz Awards and was shortlisted for the cross-genre Scottish Album of the Year Award 2019. With his latest release 'Forest Floor', Fergus McCreadie has proven that he still has so much more to offer us, and it's incredibly exciting to witness. Will he take home the Mercury this year, to add to his ever-growing list of accolades? Time will tell!
We don't have any live dates on sale for Fergus McCreadie just yet. But, you'll be the first to find out if you sign up to our newsletter!
Gwenno Saunders - Tresor
Welsh electropop musician Gwenno Saunders has been releasing music for two decades, since her first solo EP 'Môr Hud' back in 2002. In this time, she's honed her craft as both one part of The Pipettes, as a solo musician, and also a touring musician. She even toured with Elton John in 2012 as a synth player! As a multilingual singer and advocate for minority languages, Gwenno has released many of her records in multiple languages - English, Welsh and Cornish. Her most recent 'Tresor', now nominated for the Mercury Prize was released in Welsh and Cornish. It's incredible to see her commitment to music in minority languages being recognised by music industry bodies such as the Mercury Prize.
This September and October, you can see Gwenno Saunders as she performs in venues across the UK. Tickets are on sale now. We'd recommend you snap one up now before they're gone!
Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler - For All Our Days that Tear the Heart
Actor Jessie Buckley and Suede guitarist Bernard Butler have teamed up this year to release their debut record as a duo. It's a pairing that once heard, makes all the sense in the world. Buckley's tantalising and ethereal vocals are complemented so delicately and with such precision in Butler's acoustic guitar playing over the course of 12 truly enchanting songs. It's a world away from what you'd expect from Suede. But don't get us wrong, that's nothing but a good and exciting thing. In The Guardian's four star review, they note that the duo "deliver a beautifully produced folk-inflected set that showcases Buckley’s magical voice" and we couldn't think of a more apt way to describe it. This is a standout record of 2022 and worthy of its nod from the Mercury Prize this year.
You can catch this wonderful pair as they perform as part of At Home Farm with Communion Presents. They'll be bringing the album to the Woodland Stage in Hertfordshire this August. Tickets on sale now!
Nova Twins - Supernova
Bringing something a little heavier to the shortlist, Nova Twins' sophomore album 'Supernova' is sharp, biting and a most welcome return from the British rock duo. Never letting up for even a second, 'Supernova' is a breath of fresh air in the UK punk scene in 2022. We are obsessed with the politically charged, full-throttle energy that they bring. It's one which earned them praise from the likes of the legendary Tom Morello, of Rage Against The Machine, who named them "the best band you've never heard of". Having shared the stage with Wolf Alice, Little Simz and Prophets of Rage in their relatively short careers so far, we know that Nova Twins are just at the beginning of their rise to superstardom and we are 100% here for the ride.
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