On 22nd July 2021, the shortlist for this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ was released. The Mercury Prize celebrates 12 ‘Albums of the Year’ of varying genres, and of these, one is awarded the prize of overall winner. The shortlist and winner are selected by an independent panel of judges. Rhianna Greensmith takes a look at five of the hopeful nominations.
Arlo Parks – ‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’
‘Collapsed in Sunbeams’ is the debut album from up-and-coming singer-songwriter Arlo Parks. Her gifted writing has a story-telling ability, and the album itself opens with a spoken-word piece. Stand out tracks include: Eugene and Green Eyes. It was released through Transgressive Records.
BERWYN – ‘DEMOTAPE/VEGA’
Another debut album demonstrating its worth and rightful position on the shortlist is BERWYN’s ‘DEMOTAPE/VEGA’. The rising rapper really draws from personal experience in this album – his youth and moving from Trinidad to London when he was nine. Stand out tracks include: TRAP PHONE and HEARTACHE & CHEST PAINS. It was released through Columbia Records.
Black Country, New Road – ‘For the First Time’
London-based group Black Country, New Road have been described as creating “a post-punk haven of unfiltered pretension and paranoia” with this album. Stand out tracks include: Track X and Science Fair. It was released through indie label Ninja Tune.
Celeste – ‘Not Your Muse’
Singer-songwriter Celeste also makes an appearance with her first studio album. Taking home the ‘Rising Star Award’ at the Brits in 2019, she’s established herself as one to watch. Stand out tracks include: Stop This Flame and Lately. It was released through Polydor Records.
Wolf Alice – ‘Blue Weekend’
‘Blue Weekend’, Wolf Alice’s third album, crowns the indie quartet third-time Mercury nominees. Having already taken home a Mercury for their 2018 offering ‘Visions of a Life’, this chart-topping masterpiece seems a strong contender for this year’s winner. Stand out tracks include: The Last Man on Earth and Smile. It was released through Dirty Hit.
This year’s full Mercury Prize shortlist can be found here.
Featured image courtesy of Charlie Brun / Dawbell. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images 1, 2 and 6 courtesy of @mercuryprize via instagram.com. No changes were made to these images.
In-article image 3 courtesy of @berwynberwynberwyn via instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image 4 courtesy of @blackcountrynewroad via instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image 5 courtesy of @celeste via instagram.com. No changes were made to this image.
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