A comparatively commercial list of 12 nominees for the 2018 Mercury Prize was revealed on Thursday.
Arctic Monkeys have become the joint second most-nominated artist in the history of The Mercury Prize, with their sixth studio album Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino landing them their fourth nod as the 2018 shortlist was announced this morning.
Revealed on BBC Radio 6’s mid-morning show on Thursday (July 26th), Arctic Monkeys join PJ Harvey with four career nominations, both behind Radiohead’s five. The Sheffield-based group won in 2006 for their debut Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, while Harvey is the only artist to have ever won the Mercury Prize twice (in 2001 and 2011).
They are joined on the 2018 shortlist by a couple of other second-time nominees. Everything Everything received a nod for their fourth record A Fever Dream, as did Wolf Alice for a second consecutive time with sophomore album Visions of a Life. Florence and the Machine’s fourth record High As Hope was also nominated, giving lead singer Florence Welch the third nomination of her career.
Arctic Monkeys are now the joint second most-nominated Mercury Prize act
It’s also a comparatively strong year for first-time nominees and for female artists. King Krule’s experimental The Ooz and Nadine Shah’s post-punk-influenced Holiday Destination were both highly acclaimed upon their release in 2017.
Despite being ridiculed by many on social media, established star Lily Allen received a first-ever Mercury nomination for her outspoken recent album No Shame. Many have reacted with surprise at the inclusion of former Oasis songwriter Noel Gallagher on the list, for his band High Flying Birds’ latest record Who Built The Moon?
Furthermore, there are two debut albums listed: grime act Novelist’s Novelist Guy, and breakout R&B star Jorja Smith’s Lost and Found. The time-honoured jazz slot went to London band Sons of Kemet with their album Your Queen is a Reptile, while XL label founder Richard Russell also got a nomination for his star-studded record Everything Is Recorded - an album that features 2017's Mercury winner Sampha.
Many on social media have decried the relatively commercial bent of the 2018 shortlist, with independent label acts such as Gwenno, Jon Hopkins and Hookworms missing out. 2014 winners Young Fathers were also fancied by many to make the list for their third album Cocoa Sugar, but they too were overlooked.
The 2018 Mercury Prize ceremony takes place on September 20th at London’s Eventim Apollo.