The shortlist for the Hyundai Mercury Prize for Album Of The Year was announced on BBC Radio 6 Music on Thursday.
And Celeste, Arlo Parks and Wolf Alice lead the musicians in the battle for the prestigious accolade promoting the best of British and Irish music, with a total of 12 albums.
In addition to the trio, Berwyn, Black Country, New Road, Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra, Ghetts, Hannah Peel, Laura Mvula, Mogwai, Nubya Garcia and SAULT’s latest releases have also been nominated.
Nominees: Celeste (pictured in April) and Arlo Parks topped the shortlisted stars for Hyundai Mercury Prize’s Album Of The Year award, announced Thursday
Celeste’s debut album Not Your Muse and Arlo’s debut Collapsed in Sunbeams are among the nominees, with Wolf Alice’s Blue Weekend also shortlisted.
Laura Mvula also earns her third nomination with Pink Noise, for which she eschewed her classical influences in favor of 80s soul and pop.
All three of her studio albums have been nominated for the Mercury Prize, but she has yet to win.
Also shortlisted is Scottish post-rock group Mogwai who scored their first nomination, more than 25 years after they formed in Glasgow.
Exciting: Celeste’s debut album Not Your Muse and Arlo’s debut Collapsed in Sunbeams are among the nominees, with Wolf Alice’s Blue Weekend also shortlisted (Arlo pictured in May)
Shortlisted Mercury Prize 2021
Arlo Parks – Collapsed in sunbeams
BERWYN – DEMO TAPE / VEGA
Black Country, New Road – for the first time
Celeste – Not your muse
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra – Promises
Getts – Conflict of Interest
Hannah Peel – Fir Wave
Laura Mvula – Pink noise
Mogwai – While Love Lasts
Nubya Garcia – SOURCE
SAULT – Untitled (Rise)
Wolf Alice – Blue weekend
As The Love Continues, their 10th album, also gave them their first number one in February of this year.
Their previous peak on the charts came in 2017 when they reached number six with Every Country’s Sun.
Before that, only one of their records had broken the top 10.
Both post-rock band Black Country, New Road and jazz saxophonist Nubya Garcia both also earn nominations for their debut albums.
Trinidadian-born singer and rapper Berwyn’s Demotape/Vega is also one of the nominees, having placed third in the BBC Music Sound of 2021 poll.
Wolf Alice won the 2018 Mercury Prize with their second album Visions Of A Life, while their 2015 debut My Love Is Cool was also tapped.
Singer-songwriter PJ Harvey remains the only act to have won the Mercury Prize twice for 2001’s Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea and 2011’s Let England Shake.
The shortlist recognizes artistic achievements in all musical genres and was selected by an independent jury.
The judges include Anna Calvi, Annie Mac, Danielle Perry, Gemma Cairney, Hazel Wilde, Jamie Cullum, Jeff Smith, Michael Kiwanuka, Mike Walsh, Phil Alexander, Tshepo Mokoena, Will Hodgkinson and Jeff Smith.
Following the nominations, the judges said in a statement: “It’s a testament to the power of British music that in a year when musicians faced the toughest challenges of their lives, so many remarkable albums came out.
“There was an embarrassment of wealth for this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize judges to choose from, but the final 12 show just how diverse, vibrant and far-reaching British music remains.
“Choosing a winner from 12 albums that offer so much hope for the future is indeed going to be a challenge.”
Michael Kiwanuka won the Mercury Prize last year with his third album Kiwanuka, fending off competition from Stormzy, Laura Marling and Dua Lipa, and is now a new addition to the jury.
The ceremony will take place on September 9 at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.