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Ed Sheeran, The xx, Sampha Lead Mercury Prize 2017 Nominees

Every year since 1992 the Mercury Prize has presented several nominees for the best albums from the U.K., and every year several of those nominees have even the more attentive music fans from outside the U.K. saying, “Who?”

This year is no exception, as well-known nominees like Ed Sheeran, The xx, Sampha and Stormzy are joined by the comparatively obscure J Hus, Loyle Carner and Dinosaur (not to be confused with the long-running indie-rock band Dinosaur Jr.). Alt-J, The Big Moon, Blossoms, Glass Animals and Kate Tempest round out the list, which appears in full below. The competition is sponsored by Hyundai and the digital music partner is Apple Music.

The shortlist was chosen by an independent judging panel, which said collectively in a statement: “This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist celebrates the remarkable power of British music. What these artists have in common is an infectious pleasure in music making and an arresting sense of urgency about the music they make. They delight in exploring musical possibilities and refusing to be pinned down by genre conventions.”

The 2017 Awards Show will take place on Thursday 14 September at the Eventim Apollo in London. The event will feature live performances from many of the shortlisted artists and the evening will culminate in the announcement of the overall winner of the 2017 Hyundai Mercury Prize for Album of the Year. (Visit the Mercury site for further details.)

Last year, Skepta’s “Konnichiwa” album beat out David Bowie, Radiohead, Anohni and others. Previous winners include Arctic Monkeys, James Blake, Dizzee Rascal, Franz Ferdinand, two-time winner PJ Harvey, Primal Scream, Portishead, Pulp and The xx — and who can forget M People, Ms. Dynamite and Speech Debelle?

2017 Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist:

  • Alt-J – Relaxer
  • Blossoms – Blossoms
  • Dinosaur – Together
  • Ed Sheeran – ÷
  • Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being
  • J Hus – Common Sense
  • Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
  • Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
  • Sampha – Process
  • Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
  • The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
  • The xx – I See You


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