The Mercury Prize 2017 nominees are revealed on Thursday, Getintothis‘ Peter Guy opens the stock cupboard and spins the trusty Predictometer to see who’s likely to be in the hat this year.
The Mercury Prize is back – not that you’d realise it, though.
If ever there was a year in which a music award has been ushered through the back door such is the lack of interest, build up or intrigue, it’d be this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize 2017.
We’re almost having pangs of sympathy for it, longing for the days when we received press releases insisting upon all coverage containing the sponsor’s name.
A little trawl through Google reveals a mere six posts announcing when it’s back, fewer still concerning the nominees announcement – which is Thursday July 27.
We are however, in timely fashion dusting off the old Getintothis Predictometer and cranking it up to full power to see who’s likely to make the judges shortlist.
Speaking of judges great to see such a diverse line up once again with Shane Ritchie joining the likes of Clare Balding, Dave Benson Phillips, Soulja Boy and Love Island‘s Amber Davies in selecting this year’s winner.
Without further ado, here’s the artists and bands we think will (not should!) make up the final 12 of the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2017.
The Big Indie Two:
As always the indie field is rammed full of runners and riders and you could perhaps throw a dart blind-folded into this pack and pick a winner.
There’s the likes of Dutch Uncles, Glass Animals, Public Service Broadcasting, perma-Mercury favourites Elbow and many more vying for attention.
However, 2017’s big indie two pretty much write themselves into this one because they’re two former winners and The Mercury needs some big names to bolster it’s fading status. We’re pitching in with 2010 winners The xx for their album I See You and the 2012 winners Alt-J for their very good record indeed, Relaxer.
The Old Bastard:
You know we’re struggling when there seems to be a fair few possibilities in this category but we’re finding it hard to separate both Brian Eno (for his seriously good, Reflection) and Wiley – the godfather of grime for his return to form with Godfather.
It certainly seems to be fitting to have the latter. And there’s also comeback pedal pushers, Slowdive for their eponymous album, their first for 22 years. That’d be some story if they were in the hat. Can’t really see it though, as the judges would probably have to have them win it for it to make sense, and there’s about as much chance of Slowdive winning the Mercury as Costa Rica winning Eurovision.
Gonna go for Wiley here.
The Pop Pick:
Harry Styles is right up there on the bookies leader board, and Dua Lipa could sneak in, but we can’t see past Damon Albarn‘s chaotic cartoon heads, Gorillaz.
They knocked back their nomination in 2001, however, push forward to 2014 and Albarn seemed more than content to be on the shortlist. Murdoc, 2-D, Noodle and the other one are well due a nomination and Humanz seems to fit the bill.
The Critical Fave:
It’d make sense for Laura Marling to pick up her 84th Mercury nomination (she’s still yet to win) for her new album Semper Femina – but we just can’t see her winning it either. So perhaps there maybe a curve-ball with the critically acclaimed Richard Dawson receiving the nod for his superlative album Peasant.
He’s always named in the end of year lists, and has yet to receive a Mercury nod, so this seems like opportune time.
The Electronic Corner:
Gotta admit, we’re struggling at this juncture. There’s usually a whole raft of dance/electronica artists who could make up the Mercury field but there’s few who seem to fit the bill this year.
Goldfrapp seem a tad staid, Bonobo likewise and Blanck Mass perhaps too adventurous (would they have even been able to afford to enter?). Pixx is an outside shout with her album The Age of Anxiety but we’re gonna plump for the Ninja Tune released AZD by Actress – a record that’s both undeniably brilliant and also in-keeping with the Mercury’s want for picking up electronic records which have the potential to crossover into the mainstream’s consciousness.
The MASSIVE Chart Sensation:
It’s hard to think of a more painfully drab pop star than Rag’N’Bone Man yet his ubiquity makes him a near shoe-in for a nomination. Let’s hope we’re wrong.
There’s a whole bunch of artists making a noise about the shite state of affairs all over the world and we’re hoping the Mercury judges are empathetic and reflect it in this year’s shortlist.
Kate Tempest surely will receive another nod for her album Let Them Eat Chaos while we’re reckoning Sleaford Mods (English Tapas) will follow suit. Deservedly so too.
The Grime/Hip-Hop/We’re Not All Middle Class Guardian Readers Don’t You Know?
If the Prize is to follow last year’s narrative of finally not just recognising grime’s impact on the UK music landscape but also crowning Skepta the winner, then they should select a couple more strong contenders to shape up this year’s list.
While the don Dizzee Rascal has returned to his roots with Raskit, and Giggs‘ Landlord is another big contender, it’s hard to look any further than Stormzy‘s Gang Signs & Prayer.
We’ve a strong feeling that Loyle Carner will also be in the final reckoning with Yesterday’s Gone our outside pick of winning the prize.
The breakthrough success:
It’s been a long time coming, but no question here – Sampha‘s Process is going to be in it. And such is it’s brilliance – it’s our nailed on winner. Just you watch. Place your bets.
The token Folk, Jazz, World Music Also-Ran:
We’ve really got no idea – and have so little interest in doing our homework on this one, we’re leaving it out altogether. Pretty much like the Mercury judges last year.
So here’s the Getintothis Predictometer Mercury Prize 2016 predictions:
Loyle Carner: Yesterday’s Gone
Richard Dawson: Peasant
Rag’N’Bone Man: Human
Sleaford Mods: English Tapas
Stormzy: Gang Signs & Prayer
Kate Tempest: Let Them Eat Chaos
The xx: I See You