The Mercury Prize 2015 shortlist is revealed on Friday, and as is customary, Peter Guy wheels out the old Getintothis Predictometer to see which names it throws up.
Roll up, roll up, roll up for the Mercury Prize!
Yes, everybody it’s that time of year again – we’re all suffering from chest infections, unsure of whether to take a coat to work and sick of international football qualifiers. It can only mean one thing – Autumn. Oh, and of course, the ushering in of Lauren Laverne and UK Music’s most coveted album bong, The Mercury.
As per usual the judges – this year consisting of Mary Berry, Ian Beale, Terry Wogan and the cast of Rentaghost – will be rifling through all 74,362 UK albums released in the last 12 months before whittling it down to a final 12 to make up the shortlist – which is this year revealed live on 6 Music on Friday October 16, 10am. Take note diary-owning folk.
The winner, following in the footsteps of last year’s deserved yet slightly surprising victors Young Fathers, will be revealed at Broadcasting House in London on Friday November 20.
As is customary (what did we get ourselves into?!) here at Getintothis HQ we’ve studied the odds, poured over the music and visited a few fortune tellers in Norris Green and have come back with our annual Predictometer of how we think the shortlist will be resolved. This is a list not of what we would like to see nominated – but what we think will.
Last year we managed six of the 12; a slight cock-up compared to 2013’s record high of eight. Having sat in a log cabin writing with Bon Iver for much of 2015, we’re not predicting great things this year – so possibly best to ignore all this and go and have a pint. Anyways, let’s crack on, here’s our predictions…
The Big Indie Two
It’s been a big 12 months for ‘indie’ – whatever that means. And there’s a whole host of relatively okay bands that could make up this particular nondescript pigeonholing element of our game (which is just as well as we can therefore squeeze others in elsewhere – while also adding another one so it becomes THE BIG INDIE THREE. I quite like the freedom of the word ‘indie’ as it means absolutely nothing these days; ‘their coffee’s indie’, ‘my coat’s indie’, ‘his hair’s indie’, ‘your ma’s indie’…) Anyway, for the purpose of this exercise bores and previous winners Alt-J, boss dancing rhythmic lunatics Dutch Uncles, post-punk hard-case LoneLady, geography-teaching deviants Hot Chip, can’t-believe-they’re-still-going The Maccabees, absolute shitehawks The Vaccines and sub-standard Beta Band copyists Django Django are all pipped to the Big Indie
Two Three crown by Foals and Everything Everything – who have just announced an Arena Tour together which seems quite fitting – and maybe a little suspicious. And joining the indie pack (soz) are Wolf Alice. Because literally *everyone* likes them.
The Old Bastard
*CURVE BALL KLAXON!* It’s commonplace at this juncture to rifle through the obvious candidates of Albarn, Bowie, Weller and Gandhi – all the previous winners or nominees of the Mercury bong – but no, not in 2015 – for the old bastards this year, are the new bastards. Sleaford Mods have shaken up the collective conscious doing what all young bands should do – stir it up a bit. Their political lyrical bent, ferocious bedside manner and penchant for winding up the Gallaghers (plus some boss tunes) should see them a shoe-in. If not, someone should get a shoe-ing themselves.
The Pop Pick
For the last few years the Mercury Judges (Jimmy Bullard, Debbie McGee, Right Said Fred and Gloria Hunniford) have softened their approach to pop – and that’s been a good thing in the main (we’ll forget about Rudimental). However, this year we’re really struggling for a credible pop pick and can’t see past anyone but James flipping Bay. In fact, we can’t see James flipping Bay. All we can see is a big flipping black hat. And for some reason people in hats seem to do quite well. Except Jay Kay.
The Critical Darling
Laura Marling has released 48 albums and been nominated every single time for the Mercury – and yet never won it. This can only mean one thing. Yes, she’s released another album, will get nominated – and won’t win. Let’s hope she absolutely rips the shit out of Broadcasting House.
The Electronic Dude
For all his wobbly obliqueness, we’d like to see LA Priest being given this one while the Public Service Broadcasting geeks fit the Mercury mould perfectly, but it’s pretty certain Jamie xx has provided much jibber jabber with his hugely marmite musical offering In Colour.
The Massive Chart Sensation
It’s pretty hard to see (or hear) anything other than the wind turbine that is Florence + The Machine filling the chart sensation void. Topping the charts in eight countries, as well as the US Billboard 200 (quite a feat to be fair) and going Gold in the UK in double-fast time while factoring in that last minute Glastonbury headliner slot and you can hardly ignore Welch and her howling juggernaut.
The Breakthrough Success
The blogs united in their love for Years & Years (not this one), All We Are, Slaves and Kwabs however there seems to be a rippling wave of sustained love for Derry youngster Bridie Monds-Watson aka SOAK. Any one of those listed there could be in with a shout but with SOAK‘s debut registering particularly highly on everyone’s radar we’re going with her.
There’s an array of strong female artists making hugely distinctive, very singular records and we’re thinking a couple of them could make the cut this year. Namely, (and definitely) Jane Weaver for her mesmeric Silver Globe album – and we can also see one of Gwenno and Nadine Shah also sneaking in there. We’re gonna go with Nadine. No idea why. This is worse than picking a Grand National winner.
The Grime/Hip-Hop/We’re Not All Middle Class Guardian Readers Don’t You Know?
There’s a couple of genuine contenders to fill this one box – the likes of Krept and Konan have smashed it with their album The Long Way Home, while Ghostpoet is a steady, safer choice and then there’s the emergence force (and critical heavyweight) JME – and while we’re thinking several could make the cut, we’d still be very surprised if there’s more than one. With that in mind, we’ve closed our eyes and thrown a dart in the card marked ‘Krept and Konan‘.
Here’s Getintothis‘ Predictometer for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2015:
James Bay: Chaos and the Calm
Everything Everything: Get To Heaven
Foals: What Went Down
Florence + The Machine: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Jamie xx: In Colour
Krept and Konan: The Long Way Home
Laura Marling: Short Movie
Nadine Shah: Fast Food
Sleaford Mods: Key Markets
SOAK: Before We Forgot How to Dream
Jane Weaver: Silver Globe
Wolf Alice: My Love Is Cool