Other nominees for the £25,000 ($31,700) prize include Anna Meredith, Charli XCX, Georgia, Kano, Lanterns on the Lake, Moses Boyd, Porridge Radio and Sports Team. There are five nominations for women artists, one of the highest representations in the prize’s history.
The prize is organized by record labels association British Phonographic Industry (BPI). “As all events are currently subject to government guidelines, it is likely that a live awards show will not be happening in September as planned,” BPI said. The overall winner will be announced Sept. 24.
The judges this year include musicians Anna Calvi, Gaz Coombes, Jorja Smith and DJs Annie Mac and Gemma Cairney, with Jeff Smith, head of music for BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6, chairing the judging panel.
The judges said: “In these difficult and uncertain times the Mercury Prize is proud to celebrate the remarkable power of music to inspire and exhilarate. The albums on the 2020 shortlist showcase a great diversity of sounds, styles, ambitions and experience. What these albums share is an irresistible urgency — a belief that their music matters more than ever.”
“Extraordinary music for extraordinary times,” said BPI chief executive Geoff Taylor. “The Mercury Prize is back, reminding us that the creative brilliance of our artists is a constant, even when the world is turned upside down. We believe it’s all the more important this year for the Mercury Prize to shine a spotlight on 12 exceptional Albums of the Year, spanning an eclectic gamut of genres and uniting the biggest names in music with the most exciting new talent. These records tell stories, dig deep into the personal experiences of their creators and represent the best in contemporary music.”
Mercury Prize Nominees
Anna Meredith – “Fibs”
Charli XCX – “How I’m Feeling Now”
Dua Lipa – “Future Nostalgia”
Georgia – “Seeking Thrills”
Kano – “Hoodies All Summer”
Lanterns on the Lake – “Spook the Herd”
Laura Marling – “Song for Our Daughter”
Michael Kiwanuka – “Kiwanuka”
Moses Boyd – “Dark Matter”
Porridge Radio – “Every Bad”
Sports Team – “Deep Down Happy”
Stormzy – “Heavy is the Head”