The shortlist for 2017’s Hyundai Mercury Prize has been announced, positioning 12 British artists/albums to get the prestigious recognition from music critics and industry folk and, surely as they’ve always dreamed…Hyundai.
The Mercury Prize often bears some repeat nominees over the years (though P.J. Harvey is the only artist to have ever won twice, for 2001’s Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea and 2011’s Let England Shake), and this year sees both The xx (I See You) and Alt-J (Relaxer) getting recognized after wins in 2010 and 2012, respectively.
Meanwhile, Sampha has scored his first nomination with his exquisite debut album Process… and Ed Sheeran’s also there, for some reason, for the apparent album that accompanies the ubiquitous “Shape of You.” Grime artist Stormzy (who, notably, has sited last year’s winner, Skepta, as an influence/big brother/favorite rapper) was also nominated for a debut album — Gang Signs & Prayer.
According to NME, bookmaker William Hill has placed Sampha and Stormzy as most likely to win, giving them 4/1 odds, while The xx, Sheeran, Alt-J and Blossoms come in next with 6/1 odds. The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Eventim Apollo on Sept. 14.
Here’s the full list of nominees:
Alt-J — Relaxer
The Big Moon — Love in the 4th Dimension
Blossoms — Blossoms
Loyle Carner — Yesterday’s Gone
Dinosaur — Together, As One
Glass Animals — How to Be a Human Being
J Hus — Common Sense
Sampha — Process
Ed Sheeran — ÷
Stormzy — Gang Signs & Prayer
Kate Tempest — Let Them Eat Chaos
The xx — I See You
Many nominees took the opportunity to tweet their excitement, with The xx going the extra mile: