Mercury Prize 2013 Nominations

Sean Ward
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The nominations are out for the best albums of the past 12 months. The Barclaycard Mercury Prize award is a celebration of some of the most innovative and celebrated LPs from British and Irish artists and bands. The prestigious list of winners and nominees include Pulp, Blur, Oasis, PJ Harvey, The xx, Biffy Clyro & Florence + the Machine. This year’s picks are a mixed selection, crossing genres and careers; they include intelligent debuts, career defining works and sensational follow ups.

1. Laura Mvula

This Brummy born songstress released a dramatic and tragic debut with Sing to the Moon. It had a wonderful soulful charm with tracks such as ‘Make Me Lovely’. However, as a whole piece it lacked the immediate grasp of her predecessors such as Jessie Ware and Paloma Faith.

2. James Blake

An artist that I have championed for many years released his sophomore album Overgrown to critical acclaim, increasing his fan base even further. An ingenious creator of music with pure, visceral, raw talent.

3. Disclosure

The duo of brothers seem to fill the ‘commercial’ nomination slot this year, after Settle debuted at #1 in the UK album charts and spawned a number of hits including ‘Latch’ and ‘White Noise’. The reason I believe they are worthy to be included in this prestigious list is due to the fact they are the best in their field and are pushing the boundaries of electro and dance music.

4. Jake Bugg

The most laboured choice in my opinion, the self-titled debut is fairly bland and unimaginable, but the tone of Bugg’s voice seems to have thrust him into the limelight. Let’s just pray he doesn’t win as his winner’s speech would be more painful than pulling teeth.

5. Laura Marling

So the youngest folk prodigy is doing rather well for herself. At the tender age of 23 she has now accumulated an impressive three mercury prize nominations after releasing four LPs. Once I Was A Eagle is the most thought provoking and sees Marling experiment within a genre that she appears to have mastered in an incredibly short amount of time. A real contender to finally walk away with the trophy.

6. Savages

The quartet of feisty females released one of the albums of the decade in 2013 with the impossibly perfect Silence Yourself. A post punk regeneration with vicious lyrics, snarling guitars and all the atmosphere of dirty basements and broken glass, translating perfectly onto this LP. My dark horse.

7. Rudimental

Another chart success, Rudimental are an electronic music quartet from London who are synonymous with club anthems such as ‘Feel The Love’ and ‘Waiting All Night’. This band have already achieved a lot of success due to the radio friendly vibes they create, so I don’t believe they will walk away with the trophy, but there have been bigger surprises.

8. Villagers

Irish folk band Villagers released a near perfect follow up to their debut in the form of {Awayland}. It charted at number one in their native land and broke the top 20 in the UK. There is a lot of buzz around this band’s beautiful folk, so keep an eye out for them on the night.

9. David Bowie

Hasn’t 2013 been a year for the comeback of legends? Daft Punk dominated this summer, whilst The Rolling Stones headlined Glasto for the first time ever; all while the most understated and surprising return came from Bowie in the form of sublime The Next Day. Bowie has never won the award, so we could see a little part of musical history being made.

10. Jon Hopkins

This is the artist from the list of nominations I know the least about. He is an established musician and producer and nominated LP Immunity is his fourth album to date, so this shall be a discovery for me. Best of luck to him, yeah.

11. Arctic Monkeys

The Sheffield lads done good. Five studio albums and this is their third nomination. If the critics are anything to go by then AM could be their second trophy win.

12. Foals

This is the Oxford rockers’ second nomination for the prestigious award and my personal nod to win. Anyone who has read my tweets knows I have an undying love for this band; but speaking from an objective perspective, there is no denying that Holy Fire is a matured, progressed coming of age LP that cements Foals’ reputation as innovators of indie rock and one of the hardest working, sensational live acts currently operating in the UK today.


About Sean Ward

Design type pokemon, often found in tall grass at festivals covered in mud and neon paint. A strong obsession with tea, cocktails and Kate Bush. Sharing musical nuggets of goodness each week. @Sean_Ward93

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