Artist News Awards

Mercury nominations announced. What a shortlist!

By | Published on Thursday 11 September 2014

Mercury Music Prize

It’s easy to knock the Mercury Telecommunications Music Prize these days isn’t it? What a tedious bunch of mediocrity, a sorry excuse of a shortlist. See, I just did it. What is it with the Mercury Prize and its consistent and pathetic rejection of pop music? Metal music? House music? Good music? Easy easy easy. But we don’t do easy here at CMU. So here goes…

Oh my feckin Lord in the sky, what an exciting, exhilarating, exaltedly eclectic list of ground-breaking, awe-inspiring, agenda-setting, magnificent and magical moments of musical glory that truly represent what it means to live in the world in 2014 have been selected by those ultimate music assessors, the intelligent, informed and innovative men and women behind the marvellous Barclaycard Mercury Prize.

I mean, Anna Calvi’s ‘One Breath’. What an album! “Arresting”. And Bombay Bicycle Club’s ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’. What an album! “Radiant”. And Damon Albarn’s ‘Everyday Robots’. What an album! “Resplendent”. Oh, and East India Youth’s ‘Total Strife Forever’. What an album! “Splendid”. Don’t forget FKA twigs and ‘LP1’. What an album! “Grandiose”. Oh, oh, and GoGo Penguin’s ‘v2.0’. What an album! “Sumptuous”.

Then there’s Jungle’s eponymous debut. What an album! “Radiant”. Not forgetting Nick Mulvey’s ‘First Mind’. What an album! “Magnific”. And Polar Bear’s ‘In Each And Every One’. What an album! “Swanky”. And Royal Blood’s eponymous LP. What an album! “Opulent”. And not one, no, not just one, but two records from one of my very favourite indie labels, Ninja Tune/Big Dada, with Kate Tempest’s ‘Everybody Down’ and Young Fathers’ ‘Dead’*. What albums! “Smashing”. “Plush”.

Frankly, any one of those could be crowned the overall victor at London’s most finest Roundhouse on 29 Oct – one of the best dates in the calendar to choose, of course – and I’d be forced to dance a little dance of glee at such musical goodness being properly celebrated by an esteemed panel operating under the name of one of my all time favourite defunct phone networks.

To say I am pleased with this shortlist, and impressed by this award programme’s continued efforts in showcasing the very best in human achievement (not just musical, all achievement), would be one of the biggest understatements of all time, which is, in itself, an understatement. I, for one, will be defaulting on my Barclaycard bill this month, so that I can give those fine financiers some extra money in the form of a defaulting fine, just to say thank you for their continued support of this esteemed event.

Thank you one and all. So yeah, Mercury Prize noms. That’s a thing. Here’s the list with the latest William Hill odds on victory…

Anna Calvi – One Breath – 14:1
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow – 12:1
Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots – 8:1
East India Youth – Total Strife Forever – 8:1
FKA twigs – LP1 – 3:1
GoGo Penguin – v2.0 – 16:1
Jungle – Jungle – 10:1
Kate Tempest – Everybody Down – 4:1
Nick Mulvey – First Mind – 8:1
Polar Bear – In Each and Every One – 16:1
Royal Blood – Royal Blood – 9:2
Young Fathers – Dead – 12:1

*Actually, this sentence isn’t sarcasm. This is genuinely pleasing. Please read in an appropriate tone. Thank you again.

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