Mercury Music Prize nominations 2013: David Bowie leads the day as award goes mainstream
After last year's 'obscure' shortlist, this year's nominees include Laura Marling, Arctic Monkeys and Disclosure
Nick Clark is the arts correspondent of The Independent. He joined the newspaper in June 2007, initially reporting on the stock markets. He has covered beats including the City, and technology, media and telecoms and made the switch to arts in December 2011. He has also contributed articles to the sports section.
Thursday 12 September 2013
David Bowie’s first new album for a decade is leading the field for this year’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize, which has returned to the mainstream after 2012’s shortlist was dubbed the “most obscure” in recent history.
The 12-strong shortlist for the album of the year in 2013 includes Bowie’s The Next Day, which the bookies installed as favourite alongside the new Arctic Monkeys album AM.
Simon Frith, chair of the judges for the £20,000 prize, said it was a “fascinating year” for British and Irish music, adding it was “marked by a wonderful range of musical voices”.
Among the surprises was the omission of London Grammar, who had been tipped to win the award ahead of the shortlist announcement, King Krule and Primal Scream.
The judges, made up of journalists, DJs, radio programmers and musicians, said The Next Day, Bowie’s 24th studio album, “celebrates his songwriting ability with panache and a remarkable sense of urgency”.
The shortlist was chosen from an entry of over 220 albums, and was announced last night by radio DJ Lauren Laverne at an event in central London. The winner will be named at an awards ceremony at the Roundhouse on October 30.
The Arctic Monkeys released their fifth album this week it has been received well. Recorded in Los Angeles it was described as a “bold new chapter” in their development, the judges added it was “sonically gripping, lyrically involving and brilliantly performed”.
Last year, the judges overlooked Coldplay, Kate Bush and Florence & the Machine, and was dubbed “arguably the most obscure in the history of the prize” by one critic.
The biggest-selling name on the shortlist was Plan B but the prize went to Alt-J for their debut album An Awesome Wave.
Serial nominee Laura Marling has made the shortlist for Once I Was An Eagle. It is the 23-year-old’s fourth album, and reached number three in the charts.
She was last nominated in 2010, the same year as two fellow nominees on this year’s list. The Foals' third album Holy Fire is also up for the award, following the nomination in 2010, the same year as the Villagers, this year up for the album Awayland.
Described as “late night music for the digital age,” James Blake was nominated for a second time with his self-produced album Overgrown.
Teenage indie sensation Jake Bugg was nominated for his eponymous album. The Nottingham singer-songwriter went in at number one when it was released in October. The record comprised “fluent, restless, acutely observed songs of teenage life in contemporary Britain”.
Laura Mvula has been heavily feted for her debut album Sing to the Moon. Also up for first albums are Rudimental for Home, Savages for Silence Yourself and Disclosure – who are made up of brothers Howard and Guy Lawrence – for Settle.
Jon Hopkins, who has done production work with Brian Eno and Coldplay is up for his fourth solo album Immunity.
Normally all of the artists perform one-off gigs in the run up to the awards, but it is unclear whether David Bowie will play or even be present to pick up the award, should he be named the winner.
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
- 2 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 3 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 4 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 5 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
This little boy loves books so much that he cries when his mother stops reading to him
Prog rock finally comes of age with launch of the first Official Progressive Chart
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up