The Mercury Prize 2022: Harry Styles, Self Esteem and Sam Fender compete for the album prize

Sam Fender, Little Simz and Harry Styles are among the artists nominated for the 2022 Mercury Prize.

The shortlist was unveiled in July and includes 12 albums – ranging from rap and jazz to indie and Cornish folk rock – which will compete for the coveted award at a ceremony in September.

This year’s contributions are among the most varied of recent years. Little Simz was shortlisted for the second time with her, adored by critics Sometimes I might be an introvertafter her nod in 2019 for Gray Zone.

Rock singer Sam Fender earns his debut nomination for his second LP, seventeen go down as well as pop star Harry Styles, shortlisted for his third studio album, Harry’s house. His album is arguably the “purest pop” album to be shortlisted since Ed Sheeran’s controversial nomination in 2017.

First-time nominees make up the majority of this year’s nominees, following last year’s shortlist, which included 10 debuts. Artist Kojey Radical has been shortlisted for his debut full-length album. reasons to smilewhile rock duo Nova Twins get ready for their second album, supernova, and Joy Crookes is there thanks to her debut, Skin. Debuts by indie bands Wet Leg and Yard Act were also shortlisted.

The third album by singer-songwriter Gwenno Safe, performed almost entirely in Cornish completes the shortlist, along with that of Scottish jazz pianist Fergus McCreadie forest floor, and For all our heartbreaking days a collaborative project between Irish actress and singer Jessie Buckley and Suede musician Bernard Butler.

Check out the full shortlist below:

forest floor – Fergus McCreadie

safe – Gwenno

Harry’s house – Harry Styles

For all our heartbreaking days Jessie Buckley and Bernard Butler

skin – Joy Crookes

reason to smile – Kojey Radical

Sometimes I might be an introvert – Little Simz

supernova – Nova Twins

Seventeen go down – SamFender

Prioritize pleasure – Self-esteem

wet leg – Wet leg

The overload – Shipyard Law

“It wasn’t easy getting to 12 albums this year simply because there were so many remarkable albums to choose from,” the Mercury Prize judges said in a statement.

“This is testament to the fact that British and Irish music thrives in troubled times in history, with the albums selected covering everything from imaginative pop to pioneering rap and Cornish folk-rock.

“We believe that each of these 12 great albums has something to say artistically and socially, all in their own unique, enriching ways. Now comes the really hard part… just picking an overall winner.”

Arlo Parks with her 2021 Mercury Prize trophy


that of the independent Critic Helen Brown gave Little Simz’s Sometimes I might be an introvert five stars upon its September 2021 release, describing it as “the most exciting album of the year”. Seventeen go down by Sam Fender was praised for presenting a more refined sound to his debut while continuing to explore issues such as social inequality and mental health. writing for the independent, Critic Annabel Nugent praised Self Esteem for their “gum-snapping, foot-stomping pop record”.

The Mercury Prize aims to recognize “artistic achievements across a range of contemporary music genres”. The shortlist was compiled by an independent jury that includes: Anna Calvi – musician & songwriter; Annie MacManus – broadcaster and DJ; Danielle Perry – broadcaster and author; Hazel Wilde (of Lanterns on the Lake) – musician and songwriter; Jamie Cullum – musician & broadcaster; Jamz Supernova – broadcaster & DJ; Jeff Smith – Music Director, 6 Music & Radio 2; Lea Stonhill – music programmer, Radio X; Loyle Carner – Musician & Songwriter; Phil Alexander – Creative Director, Kerrang!/Editor, Mojo; Tshepo Mokoena – Music Writer & Author; Will Hodgkinson – Chief Rock and Pop Critic, The Times. The chairman of the jury is Jeff Smith.

Last year’s award went to indie artist Arlo Parks for her debut album sunken in rays, against competition from artists like Wolf Alice, Mogwai and Celeste.

The 2022 Mercury Prize takes place tonight (Thursday 8th September) at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London.

Tickets are available at The Mercury Prize 2022: Harry Styles, Self Esteem and Sam Fender compete for the album prize


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