We take a look at this year's Mercury Prize nominees and why their albums have been selected.
Last updated: 28th Jul 2022
The Mercury Prize list for 2022 has been announced and you will either love it or hate it but you can't say that it isn't stacked with talent. The only glaring omission is that Fontaines D.C's Skinty Fia was somehow not nominated despite being one of the best albums of the year so far
If you want to know a bit more about the artists from this year's list and what makes their albums so great then you've come to the right place. Here's our rundown of this year's nominees.
Wet Leg- Wet Leg
Wet Leg seemingly came out of nowhere in 2021, with their first two singles Chaise Longue and Wet Dream marking them out as funny outsiders who don't take themselves too seriously. The hype around them quickly kept on growing and their viral moments culminated in the release of their self-titled debut in 2022.
Seen as a refreshing guitar band who have brought some fun to indie music, Wet Leg have an outside chance of scooping the prize.
Little Simz- Sometimes, I Do Be Introvert
Little Simz is at the peak of her powers right now. Sometimes, I Do Be Introvert is her best album to date which is a hard task within itself. Known for her unique flow and ability to mix things up at a moments notice, Little Simz is an artist who will be remembered for a long time.
Yard Act- The Overload
Post-punk has made frequent appearances on the Mercury Prize list in recent years, with many brilliant bands being up for the award. This time, it is the turn of Yorkshire's Yard Act, who have charmed people with their lyrics about all sorts of dodgy blokes and living in Brexit Britain.
Self Esteem- Prioritise Pleasure
Self Esteem couldn't be more deserving of being nominated for this award, by revealing her insecurities on record, she has rallied against sexism and highlighted the pressure put on women every day. Her album Prioritise Pleasure is built upon gorgeous harmonies and a distinctive vocal style.
Sam Fender- Seventeen Going Under
2021 was the year where it felt like Sam Fender truly became massive. He had a huge hit in the title track Seventeen Going Under, which charted the path of lingering anger and teenage chaos amongst anthemic, blaring guitar. Packed wall-to-wall with songs that you can scream at the top of your lungs, Sam has established himself as an outstanding songwriter.
Nova Twins- Supernova
Nova Twins are a duo who have been tearing up the nu-metal/rock scene. They have toured with Bring Me The Horizon and in 2022 released their second album. It doubled down on all the things that made their debut album so great, with heavy riffs, bone-shaking drums and an absolutely face-melting amount of rage.
Kojey Radical- Reason To Smile
This was an album that definitely felt like a long time coming. 10 years in the making, Reason To Smile was definitely worth it. Kojey Radical has a penchant for experimentation, sometimes embracing spoken word and never afraid to put new ideas into his sound. Reason To Smile is the kind of album that is endlessly quotable.
Joy Crookes- Skin
Bengali/Irish artist Joy Crookes has delivered on all the early hype that has come in her career. A nominee for the BRIT's Rising Star award and a slot opening up for Harry Styles culminated in the release of Skin. Here, you'll find the sounds of soul, R&B and pop all weaved into an incredibly satisfying tapestry.
Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler- For All Our Days That Tear The Heart
This was the team-up that not many people were anticipating. Actress Jessie Buckley linked up with the former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler for a folk album. The resulting set of songs highlights the beauty of the actress's voice, with Butler on hand to produce an album that feels deeply rich in its sonic palette.
Harry Styles- Harry's House
Harry Styles is one of the biggest names in pop music right now, he has headlined Coachella and has shaken off his One Direction strings to establish his own artistic identity. Harry's House is his third album and it's stacked with blissful pop songs that can lift spirits at any given moment.
The Welsh representation on the list, Gwenno is a fascinating artist and she sings in Cornish for almost the entirety of Tresor. Written in Cornwall before the pandemic, the album focuses on the themes of home and the self and helps to increase the visibility of the language. Psychedelics work their way into this album which is a truly beautiful experience.
Fergus McCreadie- Forest Floor
Fergus McCreadie is probably the least known name on the Mercury Prize list this year. The Scottish artist blends folk and jazz, with his compositions centred around rhythm. Forest Floor saw him evolve his sound and draw further inspiration from the natural world. It is a meditative experience.
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