The Mercury Prize, one of the U.K.’s most prestigious music honors, has named its 2018 shortlist of nominees.
The list is topped by four-time nominee (and 2006 winner) Arctic Monkeys, whose sixth album, “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino,” marks an abrupt stylistic shift for the Sheffield band, now tied for second-most nominations received with PJ Harvey after Radiohead with five. Other shortlist nominees include Florence + the Machine’s “High as Hope,” Lily Allen’s “No Shame” and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds’ “Who Built the Moon?”
The winner will be announced at a Sept. 20 ceremony at London’s Eventim Apollo on September 20. Last year’s winner was Samphus’ “Process.”
First time nominees include experimental band King Krule (“The Ooze”, political post-punk Nadine Shah (“Holiday Destination”), grime act Novelist (“Novelist Guy”) and R&B tout Jorja Smith (“Lost and Found”). XL Recordings chief Richard Russell’s all-star “Everything Is Recorded” album, which features last year’s winner Sampha and Gorillaz’ Damon Albairn, previously nominated with Blur and as a solo act, also got a nod.
The shortlist nominees are rounded out by Manchester indie rockers Everything Everything (“A Fever Dream”, veteran British alternative band Wolf Alice (“Visions of a Life”) and London-based Afro-Caribbean jazz outfit Sons of Kemet (“Your Queen is a Reptile”).
The award was established in 1992 by the British Phonographic Industry and the British Association of Record Dealers as an alternative to the Brit Awards. The Mercury Prize is given to the best album released in the U.K. by a British or Irish act. Judges include various critics, radio personalities and musicians, including Jamie Cullum, DJ Mista Jam, Marcus Mumford and Jesse Ware.
For the complete list, go to www.musicprize.com.