The 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize Albums of the Year were announced last night. Nominated albums must be submitted in advance to the prize so if you’re favourite album isn’t there, that might be the reason.
Mercury Prize shortlist 2014
Anna Calvi – One Breath
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow
Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
East India Youth – Total Strife Forever
FKA twigs – LP1
GoGo Penguin – v2.0
Jungle – Jungle
Kate Tempest – Everybody Down
Nick Mulvey – First Mind
Polar Bear – In Each and Every One
Royal Blood – Royal Blood
Young Fathers – Dead
My thoughts: As most trendy album of the year, it’s no surprise to see FKA Twigs’ impressive debut LP1 gets a nod. Jungle’s self-titled samey but good debut also does. I’d lost interest in Anna Calvi so I’m not sure I’ve even heard it properly. BBC are graaand: indie music for young uns moving away from pop, well-done but hard to get too excited about.
Of course, Albarn got a nom, though I haven’t felt the album much myself. Mulvey represents the Ben Howard, Communion Records, inoffensive nice guy with guitar brigade but his album is more interesting than that characterisation. Royal Blood’s album doesn’t match the singles but there’s an appetite for heavy clean rock at the moment. East India Youth’s Total Strife Forever had too many ideas to connect for me. Not one but two token jazz/avant albums goes to GoGoPenguin and Polar Bear.
The nice surprises are the inclusion of Scottish rap group Young Father’s excellent album Dead and Kate Tempest’s Everybody Down, the poetic young lady’s addition is parallel to Speech Debelle’s nomination (and eventual win) a couple of years ago. I only know one song in which she features – the stunning ‘Our Town’ which isn’t on the album or representative of her sound.
The winner of the 2014 Prize will be announced on Wednesday 29 October 2014.