The Mercury Prize 2018 shortlist is revealed tomorrow, Getintothis’ Peter Guy offers his annual predictions.
Another year, another Mercury Prize. And just like last year it’s crept up behind you like a 1970’s television presenter without you even realising.
Once again, only the BBC seem arsed about the accolade – and even they appear to have reined in their characteristic joie de vivre reserving tokenistic nods from presenters rattling off their favourite past winners as Steve Lamacq bleats on about Dodgy. Or something.
Similarly to last year, if you Google ‘Mercury Prize‘ you’ll spot a grand total of three media publications devoting bandwidth to covering it.
Well, make that four – as Getintothis staff have this morning published their favourite albums they’d like to see win the prize – feel free to add to the debate here.
Having said all that, last year’s Prize did pick a suitable winner in Sampha which for the second year running appeared the judges were pretty much on the nose.
Can the 2018 judges of Ross Kemp, Belinda Carlisle, John Craven, Jeffrey Dahmer and Diane Abbott do the same?
As is customary, and down to the sheer fact we’ve barely anything else on this afternoon (off to buy some toothpaste and bin bags soon), here’s the annual Getintothis Mercury Prize Predictometer with a list of the artists and bands we think will – not should! – make up the final 12 of the Hyundai Mercury Prize 2018.
Once again, join in the customary fun by selecting your 12 picks on our Facebook page.
The Big Indie Two:
It’s hard to see Arctic Monkeys not getting their fourth nod – they’ve dominated everything from the album chart to the festivals and much of the narrative in between with Alex Turner‘s ‘departure’ record, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino.
There’s a whole landfill of beige also-rans who could join them with lack lustre efforts from The Manics, Franz Ferdinand and the batshit awful Vaccines plus both Gallagher brothers’ albums, however, we’re gonna play it safe and suggest the equally dismal yet rather more Mercury inclined Wolf Alice will sneak in with their album Visions Of A Life. Oh, how dull is rock and roll in the UK right now.
The Old Bastard:
Did Sting release an album? I’m pretty sure he did. Either way, since neither Seal nor Dave Stewart released an album we’re suggesting for the first time in history, the Mercury won’t name an Old Bastard on the list. Shocking stuff.
The Pop Pick:
There’s rather a lot of good pop around at present – CHVRCHES, Charli Xcx, Lily Allen and Gorillaz (who notably jibbed their nomination off in 2001) but Jorja Smith is the obvious candidate – not just because of her songs but because she’s forward-looking.
The Critical Fave:
There seems to be a strong developing undercard in UK music. Bands and artists who aren’t given the main stages at festivals, nor likely to make mainstream radio – yet are typically what we call 6 Music darlings. They’re almost ubiquitous on ‘the other stage’ in fields around the country, have albums which charted at number 9 and regularly pop in for sessions with Marc Riley.
These bands, are very often, our kinda bands. And as such the Mercury is probably going to plump for a fair few of these this year as it reflects not just what the critics like – but more often than not, the public too. And the prize likes to be seen to pushing these albums and seeing a trend in nominees having album spikes.
Anyways, this could all be a load of balony – here’s four bands we think will be selected: Goat Girl, Hookworms, Let’s Eat Grandma and Shame.
The Electronic Corner:
Quite simply, the album of 2018 so far – Singularity by Jon Hopkins. He should win. We said so here.
The MASSIVE Chart Sensation:
With no Adele or Rag N Bone bozo – and we’re not picking George Ezra – we’re stuck this year of a chart success story. So swerving this one altogether.
There’s all manner of artists and bands in the hunt for whatever the zeitgeist is right now. SOPHIE‘s Oil Of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides is perhaps a little too whacked out and IDLES‘ politically charged punk maybe a little too raw. Superorganism appear to fit the bill perfectly (despite many of them not from the UK) with a self-titled debut blending otherworldly, boundary-blending supersonics.
Our guess is that King Krule will join them for his album The Ooz which did indeed ooze swagger, nonchalant dexterity and super-hip vibes which makes him almost impossible to ignore. Just watch as they totally ignore him.
The Grime/Hip-Hop/We’re Not All Middle Class Guardian Readers Don’t You Know?
Once again Wiley is in with a shout, as is the mighty fine debut by Novelist but the previous winners Young Fathers have only gone from strength to strength and their album Cocoa Sugar tops everything they’ve done previously so it’s hard to see anything other than this Glaswegian trio making the cut.
The Token Folk, Jazz, World Music Also-Ran:
They’ve kinda jibbed this category off in the last few years which must have led to upper class village hall meeting kick offs and Jools Holland penning angry letters to Hynudai bosses. So with that in mind, Sons Of Kemet are gonna be this year’s token jazz offering for their album Your Queen Is A Reptile.
So here’s the Getintothis Predictometer Mercury Prize 2018 predictions:
Arctic Monkeys: Tranquillity Base Hotel & Casino
Goat Girl: Goat Girl
John Hopkins: Singularity
King Krule: The Ooz
Let’s Eat Grandma: I’m All Ears
Shame: Songs of Praise
Jorja Smith: Lost & Found
Sons Of Kemet: Your Queen Is A Reptile
Young Fathers: Cocoa Sugar
Wolf Alice: Visions Of A Life