Florence and the Machine, Aphex Twin, Jamie xx Lead Mercury Prize Shortlist
UPDATE: British poet-pianist Benjamin Clementine was awarded the 2015 Mercury Prize for his debut studio LP At Least for Now, the BBC reports. Clementine, who spent three years busking in the streets of Paris, dedicated the award to the victims of the November 13th terror attack in the French capital.
Florence and the Machine‘s How Big How Blue How Beautiful, Aphex Twin‘s comeback LP Syro and Jamie xx’s In Colour are among the dozen albums shortlisted for this year’s prestigious Mercury Prize, which honors the best album recorded by a U.K. artist. The Mercury Prize ceremony will take place November 20th in London.
Other nominees on the shortlist include Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes’ solo LP Matador, Slaves’ Are You Satisfied, Zimbabwe-born singer Eska’s self-titled album, Ghostpoet’s Shedding Skin, Irish singer-songwriter Soak’s Before We Forgot How to Dream and garage rockers Wolf Alice’s My Love Is Cool. The Mercury Prize was established in 1992; recent winners include James Blake’s Overgrown, Alt-J’s An Awesome Wave and P.J. Harvey’s Let England Shake.
However, according to The Independent, the albums left off the shortlist are even more surprising: Blur‘s reunion album The Magic Whip did not make the Mercury cut, nor did Laura Marling’s Short Movie, which ends a streak of three straight Mercury-nominated albums for the singer. Everything Everything’s Get to Heaven, the bookmakers’ favorite to win the prize, didn’t even make the list of 12 finalists. With Everything Everything out of the running, Jamie xx is now the favorite to take home the prize, NME writes; the xx’s self-titled debut won the Mercury Prize in 2010.
The Independent adds that Mercury Prize organizers are hopeful that Aphex Twin will make an increasingly rare appearance onstage to perform at the Mercury Prize event. When Syro won the Best Dance/Electronic Album Grammy in February, Aphex Twin did not attend that ceremony.
Check out the Mercury Prize shortlist below:
Slaves – Are You Satisfied
Gaz Coombes – Matador
Soak – Before We Forgot How to Dream
Jamie xx – In Colour
Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now
Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin
Florence + the Machine – How Big How Blue How Beautiful
Eska – Eska
C Duncan – Architect
Róisín Murphy – Hairless Toy
Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
Aphex Twin – Syro