Guitars and rap dominate 2019 Mercury Prize shortlist

27 July, 2019 in Competitions, News

Anna Calvi

Anna Calvi: has been nominated for the Mercury Prize for her first three albums. Pic: Wikimedia Commons/Thesupermat

Twelve highly emotive albums have been selected from 200 to make up the shortlist of the 2019 Mercury Prize final


Music often reflects life, and the nominees for the 2019 Mercury Prize have held up big mirrors to what’s going on on this little island of ours. From the impatient pub punk of Dubliners Fontaines DC and their anger over “urban change and loss” on debut album Dogrel, to Anna Calvi, whose self-described “queer, feminist” album Hunter addresses sexuality and gender. Additionally, Calvi has now been nominated for her first three albums, a record held by Coldplay.

Little Simz also has something to say on the subject of gender inequality with her album Grey Area, with gun violence also a reoccurring theme, and then there’s rapper Dave, whose No 1 debut album Psychodrama tackles race with a collection of songs that unapologetically cut straight to the bone.

Earlier this year, The 1975 picked up best album at the Brit Awards for A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships. If they win the Mercury Prize they will be the first band to do the double since Arctic Monkeys in 2007. Foals were beaten to the No 1 spot in the album charts in March by the aforementioned rapper Dave. Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost flips between climate change, mental health and political uncertainty.

The twelve albums were picked from 200 by a panel of musicians, DJs, radio presenters and music industry executives. Former nominees Stormzy, Jorja Smith and Gaz Coombes, DJ Annie Mac and presenter Clara Amfo were all part of this year’s panel.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on 9 September. The full list of Mercury Prize 2019 nominees are:

  • Anna Calvi – Hunter
  • Black Midi – Schlagenheim
  • Cate Le Bon – Reward
  • Dave – Psychodrama
  • Foals – Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1
  • Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel
  • IDLES – Joy as an Act of Resistance
  • Little Simz – Grey Area
  • Nao – Saturn
  • Seed Ensemble – Driftglass
  • slowthai – Nothing Great About Britain
  • The 1975 – A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships


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