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Mercury Prize: Celebrities to attend Award Ceremony

The presentation for the Mercury Music Prize will be held in London on Tuesday, just over a month after being postponed due to the death of the Queen.

Rapper Little Simz and art-pop singer Self Esteem are the favorites to win the prized honor given to the year’s best album.

In addition to Harry Styles, Sam Fender, and Wet Leg, other nominees include jazz performer Fergus McCreadie and rock duo Nova Twins.

Mercury Prize: Celebrities to attend Award Ceremony

Several of the performers had already arrived and rehearsed for the 8 September performance when the news of the Queen’s death emerged last month.

Listed here are all of the nominated albums.

Fergus McCreadie – Forest Floor

The approach is jazz, yet the music is folk, Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie explains in his third album Forest Floor. As with its predecessor’s Cairn (Gaelic meaning a stone mound) and Turas (pilgrimage), this album is anchored in the natural environment, with songs like Morning Moon and The Unfurrowed Field exploring how the shifting seasons affect the ecology.

McCreadie, a two-time Young Scottish Jazz Musician of the Year award recipient, is capable of tremendous, complicated piano runs. The majority of the time, though, he plays with lyrical restraint, evoking the splendor of the Caledonian forest through the creation of beautiful, singable melodies.

Fergus McCreadie

The critics stated, “His music may be steeped in the Scottish environment, but he is a world-class performer.” (The Jazzman)

Gwenno – Tresor

Welsh singer-songwriter Gwenno Saunders has had a varied career, performing in Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance and with retro girl group The Pipettes before settling into a gratifying psych-folk rhythm as a solo artist.

Mercury Prize: Celebrities to attend Award Ceremony

Tresor, her third album, is nearly entirely performed in Cornish, a language she acquired from her poet father as a youngster. Its dreamy, peaceful tunes are mostly a celebration of motherhood, with rich harmonies and languid instrumentals reminiscent of the French pop movement of the 1960s.

“A spectacular psych-pop excursion well worth the four-year wait,” wrote the critics. [The Lowdown]

Harry’s House by Harry Styles

Harry Styles’s third album is the first in which he seems genuinely at ease as a solo artist; it is a bright, sunny compilation of breezy pop. Music For A Sushi Restaurant’s scat singing and synth horns encapsulate his eccentric appeal, while Boyfriends’ indictment of toxic masculinity is the tune every girl dreams Harry would sing to her while he painted her toenails.

Unusually for a major pop album, Styles’ vocal is soft and subdued, drawing stylistic inspiration from his love of Fleetwood Mac and Ram-era Paul McCartney rather than Adele-style belting. It makes the record less immediately accessible than you might imagine, but repeated listens are rewarding.

Harrys House by Harry Styles

The critics stated, “He has pulled off the impressive feat of making his music both exquisite and refined, as well as warmer and more personal.” [Rolling Stone]

For All Our Days That Tear The Heart, by Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler

Oscar-nominated actress Jessie Buckley and former Suede guitarist Bernard Butler were strangers two years ago. But Buckley’s manager suspected they would get along and arranged a meeting. The result is a dark, foreboding record that encompasses everything from Celtic folk to Americana, with Buckley’s enchanting vocals as its foundation.

She is capable of being smokey, intimate, yearning, and softly distraught, with a nuanced, exquisite tone reminiscent of Joni Mitchell and Laura Marling.

The Eagle and the Dove, a gorgeous flamenco-flavored song whose lyrics reference the changing seasons, surging tides, untamed beasts, love, faith, and lust, are among the album’s highlights.

Critics stated: “Buckley is not a romantic on vacation. This record is brilliant at times.” [Telegraph]

Joy Crookes – Skin

“It’s a true expression of what it means to be human,” Joy Crookes says of her debut album, Skin, which combines coming-of-age tales with social commentary and old-school soul tunes.

Mercury Prize: Celebrities to attend Award Ceremony

In 19th Floor, she celebrates her Irish-Bengali heritage; in Kingdom, she confronts an anti-immigration attitude; in When You Were Mine, she celebrates an ex-partner; and in Unlearn You, she unravels an experience of sexual assault.

Crookes’ jazz-tinged, the smoky tone has been compared to Amy Winehouse, and for once, the connection is appropriate. However, due to her self-aware lyricism and experimental sound design, she deserves to be regarded as a legitimate artist.

Joy Crookes Skin.

The critics stated, “If the purpose of a first album is to familiarise oneself with an artist, then Skin is a masterwork.” [The Independent]

Reason To Smirk by Kojey Radical

His mother’s voice is the first one heard on Kojey Radical’s debut album. She offers the east London rapper some fatherhood advice in the Ghanaian tongue Twi “Maintain concentration and perform well; this is what your son will observe. He will be guided by it.”

Reason To Smirk by Kojey Radical

The 29-year-old contemplates the people, experiences, and songs that shaped him into the person he is now, as well as the lessons he wishes to impart to his son, Zach. With the help of Ella May, Wretch 32, and Kelis, he concocts a captivating celebration of blackness, family, love, and hard work, set to an infectiously upbeat blend of psychedelic funk and soul.

Little Simz – Occasionally I Could Be Introverted

Contrary to the album’s name, Little Simz is brimming with self-assurance on her fourth release, which takes you on a journey through her family history and artistic tribulations over a groovy, orchestral hip-hop sound.

She raps on Little Q from the perspective of her cousin, who was stabbed in south London. I Love You / I Hate You is written to the father who abandoned her when she was 11 years old. She observes, “I never imagined my parents would cause me my first heartbreak.”

Mercury Prize: Celebrities to attend Award Ceremony

The star’s unhurried speech balances the grief with empathy and comprehension, and the music pulses with irresistible life force.

The critics stated, “This is the type of work that firmly establishes her as one of the most accomplished painters of her time.” [Beneath The Radar]

Nova Twins – Supernova

Amy Love and Georgia South, two London-based musicians, once defined their band as “two girls of mixed ethnicity who shout through distorted microphones and play gnarly bass riffs.” In other words, anticipate a great deal of noise.

Their second album is appropriately confrontational, particularly in its lyrics, which fire through racist and sexist detractors who have questioned their position in rock music. Cleopatra is darker than the leather that holds our boots together, Amy raps. Even though you wear a different color, we share the same umbrella.

Nova Twins Supernova

Puzzles is an electro-punk song to lust, whereas KMB is a cartoonishly gruesome tale of a boyfriend’s murder. And when everything threatens to get too serious, the band lightens the mood with a sequence of addictively charming pop melodies.

The critics wrote, “Supernova is aptly titled, as Nova Twins shine brighter than ever with their brilliantly original sound.” [Kerrang]

Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under

Sam Fender, like his hero Bruce Springsteen, empathizes with the working men and women who struggle to make a living in the face of what he describes as a callous government.

His second album entails focusing on his hometown, North Shields, and the damage that poverty wreaks, from shattered households to drug deals via bar fights and political alienation.

Sam Fender 1

Nevertheless, there is a glimmer of promise in his dogged singing and the relentless saxophone that punctuates the album’s more anthemic passages. The final product is an album that is both socially engaging and ideal for stadium singalongs.

Self-Esteem – Prioritise Pleasure

Rebecca Lucy Taylor’s second album as Self Esteem is an unapologetic battle cry for dissatisfied women. She criticizes sexism and praises femininity, challenges her own and others’ destructive behavior, and refuses to conform to others’ notions of gender.

All of it is delivered with a mixture of righteous wrath and astute wit. She deadpans on the self-help hymn, “When I’m buried I won’t be able to prepare your birthday cocktails, but I’ll still feel guilty.” I Do This Frequently.

Self Esteem

The soundtrack, meantime, matches the magnitude of her emotions: drums pound, choirs cry, and synths erupt. As seen by her sold-out live performances, it’s all incredibly therapeutic and intensely physical.

Prioritize Pleasure, with its hilarious sincerity and powerful rhythms, is a gloriously passionate treatise on female self-worth, according to the reviewers. These are the Forty-Five

Wet Leg – Wet Leg

Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers created the Isle Of Wight-based band Wet Leg after their solo careers failed to take off.

They quickly discovered a rich vein of strange but melodic indie rock. Their first single, an innuendo-laden homage to the Chaise Longue, became an instant viral sensation in the middle of 2021, amassing millions of streams.

Mercury Prize: Celebrities to attend Award Ceremony

It’s the type of tune that triggers the “one-hit-wonder” alarm, but Wet Leg disproved the naysayers with their debut album, a compilation of indie dance songs infused with a sarcastic sense of humor.

The Overload by Yard Act

Yard Act’s skittering post-punk anthems are laced with sardonic remarks on post-Brexit Britain; they are acerbic and naughty.

James Smith populates his songs with white-collar crooks and red-faced bigots who declare, “If you don’t dispute me on anything, you’ll find I’m quite pleasant,” therefore portraying an image of a nation split by money and suspicion.

The Overload by Yard Act

However, there is an underlying sense of compassion, especially in Tall Poppies, which tells the tale of a handsome football prodigy who never pursued his passion. In the album’s final song, 100% Endurance, Smith observes that “the path to peace rests within ourselves.” Maybe the situation doesn’t have to be so dismal after all.

Critics proclaimed, “A tremendously excellent debut brimming with sardonic humor, wisdom, rage, and compassion.” [Beneath The Radar]


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