2017
SHORTLIST

Relaxer

Alt J

Alt-J are Joe Newman (vocals/guitar), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums). ‘Relaxer’ is the band’s third studio album and was produced by Charlie Andrew. Their first album, ‘An Awesome Wave’ - also produced by Andrew - won the Mercury Prize in 2012. Released in June 2017 by Infectious / BMG, ‘Relaxer’ includes the singles ‘3WW’, ‘In Cold Blood’, ‘Adeline’ and ‘Deadcrush’. ‘Enthralling sonic concept album – poignant, ominous and magical’

Blossoms

Blossoms

Blossoms are Tom Ogden (vocals), Joe Donovan (drums), Charlie Salt (bass), Josh Dewhurst (guitar) and Myles Kellock (synths). Released on Virgin EMI in August 2016, the Stockport band’s eponymous debut contains the singles ‘At Most a Kiss’, ‘Honey Sweet’, ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘Blown Rose’. The number one album was produced by James Skelly and Rich Turvey. ‘An exciting new take on indie guitar pop – catchy swagger and swirling romance’

Together, As One

Dinosaur

Jazz ensemble Dinosaur – Laura Jurd (trumpet, composition), Elliot Galvin (keyboards), Conor Chaplin (bass) and Corrie Dick (drums and percussion) – released their debut album ‘Together, As One’ in September 2016 on Edition Records. The album was recorded by Sonny at Livingston Studios, London. ‘Graceful, inventive, electric and gleeful – a masterful jazz album’

Divide

Ed Sheeran

‘Divide’ is the third album from Ed Sheeran, released on Asylum Records / Atlantic Records in March 2017. With producers including Sheeran, Benny Blanco, Labrinth and Johnny McDaid, the record-breaking album includes the singles ‘Castle on the Hill’, ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Galway Girl’. ‘The master of the modern pop song shows the world how it is done’

How to be a Human Being

Glass Animals

Glass Animals are Dave Bayley (vocals, guitar), Drew MacFarlane (guitar, keyboards), Edmund Irwin-Singer (bass, keyboards) and Joe Seaward (drums). ‘How to be a Human Being’ is the Oxford band’s second album, and was released by Wolf Tone / Caroline International in August 2016. Produced by Bayley, the album includes the singles ‘Pork Soda’, ‘Season 2 Episode 3’, ‘Youth’ and ‘Life Itself’. ‘A euphoric celebration of the eccentricity of being human – subtly textured, richly imaginative, pulsing with life’

Common Sense

J Hus

J Hus is a rapper and MC from Stratford, London. ‘Common Sense’ is his debut album and was released by Black Butter / Sony Music in May 2017. It includes the singles ‘Did You See’ and ‘Common Sense’. The album features contributions from Jae5 (who produced the album) Tiggs Da Author, Burna Boy, MoStack and Mist. ‘Far-reaching British rap music – exuberant, engaging, witty and exciting’

Let Them Eat Chaos

Kate Tempest

‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ is the second solo album from the Lewisham-born lyricist, playwright, musician and novelist Kate Tempest. The album was released in October 2016 on Fiction Records, and produced by long term collaborator Dan Carey. Kate’s first album, ‘Everybody Down’, was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2014. ‘Consummate storytelling, dramatic music – a brilliant poetic reflection on our troubled times’

Yesterday's Gone

Loyle Carner

Loyle Carner is a hip hop artist from South London. His debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ was released in January 2017 on AMF Records / Virgin EMI and was produced and engineered by Kwes at Studiobokkle and Metropolis Studios. Featured artists on the album include Tom Misch and Rebel Kleff. ‘A uniquely intimate and tender rap album – tight funny rhymes, laid-back seductive beats’

Process

Sampha

‘Process’ is the debut album from South London musician Sampha Sisay, released in February 2017 on Young Turks. The album features the singles ‘Timmy’s Prayer’, ‘Blood On Me’ and ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’. It was co-produced by Rodaidh McDonald, and recorded at Zelig Studios in London. ‘Sampha is an exceptional singer-songwriter – compelling, yearning and inspirational’

Gang Signs & Prayer

Stormzy

Croydon-raised rapper and MC Michael Omari, aka Stormzy, released his debut album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ through his own #Merky Records in February 2017. It includes the singles ‘Shut Up’, ‘Cold’ and ‘Big For Your Boots’. The album features contributions from Ghetts, J Hus, Kehlani, Wretch 32, Raleigh Ritchie and MNEK. ‘A brilliantly programmed grime album – adventurous, rueful, outraged and soulful’

Love in the 4th Dimension

The Big Moon

‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ is the debut album from London four-piece The Big Moon, released on Fiction Records in April 2017. The all-female band comprises Juliette Jackson (vocals/guitar), Soph Nathan (guitar), Celia Archer (bass) and Fern Ford (drums). The album features the singles ‘Cupid’, ‘Sucker’, ‘Pull the Other One’ and ‘Silent Movie Susie’, and was produced by Catherine Marks. ‘An exhilarating celebration of the fun of being in a guitar band’

I See You

The xx

The xx are Romy Madley Croft (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) and Jamie Smith (synths, drums). ‘I See You’ is the trio’s third album, released in January 2017 on Young Turks. Their first album, ‘xx’, won the Mercury Prize in 2010. The album was produced and engineered by Smith and the band’s long-term collaborator Rodaidh McDonald. It includes the singles ‘On Hold’, ‘Say Something Loving’ and ‘I Dare You’. ‘An ever more intriguing conversation between three fascinating musicians – tentative, moving and enchanting’

Alt J - Relaxer

Relaxer

Alt J

Alt-J are Joe Newman (vocals/guitar), Gus Unger-Hamilton (keyboards) and Thom Green (drums). ‘Relaxer’ is the band’s third studio album and was produced by Charlie Andrew. Their first album, ‘An Awesome Wave’ - also produced by Andrew - won the Mercury Prize in 2012. Released in June 2017 by Infectious / BMG, ‘Relaxer’ includes the singles ‘3WW’, ‘In Cold Blood’, ‘Adeline’ and ‘Deadcrush’. ‘Enthralling sonic concept album – poignant, ominous and magical’

Blossoms

Blossoms

Blossoms

Blossoms are Tom Ogden (vocals), Joe Donovan (drums), Charlie Salt (bass), Josh Dewhurst (guitar) and Myles Kellock (synths). Released on Virgin EMI in August 2016, the Stockport band’s eponymous debut contains the singles ‘At Most a Kiss’, ‘Honey Sweet’, ‘Charlemagne’ and ‘Blown Rose’. The number one album was produced by James Skelly and Rich Turvey. ‘An exciting new take on indie guitar pop – catchy swagger and swirling romance’

Dinosaur Together, As One

Together, As One

Dinosaur

Jazz ensemble Dinosaur – Laura Jurd (trumpet, composition), Elliot Galvin (keyboards), Conor Chaplin (bass) and Corrie Dick (drums and percussion) – released their debut album ‘Together, As One’ in September 2016 on Edition Records. The album was recorded by Sonny at Livingston Studios, London. ‘Graceful, inventive, electric and gleeful – a masterful jazz album’

Ed Sheeran Divide

Divide

Ed Sheeran

‘Divide’ is the third album from Ed Sheeran, released on Asylum Records / Atlantic Records in March 2017. With producers including Sheeran, Benny Blanco, Labrinth and Johnny McDaid, the record-breaking album includes the singles ‘Castle on the Hill’, ‘Shape of You’ and ‘Galway Girl’. ‘The master of the modern pop song shows the world how it is done’

Glass Animals

How to be a Human Being

Glass Animals

Glass Animals are Dave Bayley (vocals, guitar), Drew MacFarlane (guitar, keyboards), Edmund Irwin-Singer (bass, keyboards) and Joe Seaward (drums). ‘How to be a Human Being’ is the Oxford band’s second album, and was released by Wolf Tone / Caroline International in August 2016. Produced by Bayley, the album includes the singles ‘Pork Soda’, ‘Season 2 Episode 3’, ‘Youth’ and ‘Life Itself’. ‘A euphoric celebration of the eccentricity of being human – subtly textured, richly imaginative, pulsing with life’

J Hus

Common Sense

J Hus

J Hus is a rapper and MC from Stratford, London. ‘Common Sense’ is his debut album and was released by Black Butter / Sony Music in May 2017. It includes the singles ‘Did You See’ and ‘Common Sense’. The album features contributions from Jae5 (who produced the album) Tiggs Da Author, Burna Boy, MoStack and Mist. ‘Far-reaching British rap music – exuberant, engaging, witty and exciting’

Kate Tempest Let Them Eat Chaos

Let Them Eat Chaos

Kate Tempest

‘Let Them Eat Chaos’ is the second solo album from the Lewisham-born lyricist, playwright, musician and novelist Kate Tempest. The album was released in October 2016 on Fiction Records, and produced by long term collaborator Dan Carey. Kate’s first album, ‘Everybody Down’, was shortlisted for the Mercury Prize in 2014. ‘Consummate storytelling, dramatic music – a brilliant poetic reflection on our troubled times’

Loyle Carner Yesterday's Gone

Yesterday's Gone

Loyle Carner

Loyle Carner is a hip hop artist from South London. His debut album ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ was released in January 2017 on AMF Records / Virgin EMI and was produced and engineered by Kwes at Studiobokkle and Metropolis Studios. Featured artists on the album include Tom Misch and Rebel Kleff. ‘A uniquely intimate and tender rap album – tight funny rhymes, laid-back seductive beats’

Sampha Process

Process

Sampha

‘Process’ is the debut album from South London musician Sampha Sisay, released in February 2017 on Young Turks. The album features the singles ‘Timmy’s Prayer’, ‘Blood On Me’ and ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’. It was co-produced by Rodaidh McDonald, and recorded at Zelig Studios in London. ‘Sampha is an exceptional singer-songwriter – compelling, yearning and inspirational’

Stormzy Gang Signs & Prayer

Gang Signs & Prayer

Stormzy

Croydon-raised rapper and MC Michael Omari, aka Stormzy, released his debut album ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’ through his own #Merky Records in February 2017. It includes the singles ‘Shut Up’, ‘Cold’ and ‘Big For Your Boots’. The album features contributions from Ghetts, J Hus, Kehlani, Wretch 32, Raleigh Ritchie and MNEK. ‘A brilliantly programmed grime album – adventurous, rueful, outraged and soulful’

The Big Moon Love in the 4th Dimension

Love in the 4th Dimension

The Big Moon

‘Love in the 4th Dimension’ is the debut album from London four-piece The Big Moon, released on Fiction Records in April 2017. The all-female band comprises Juliette Jackson (vocals/guitar), Soph Nathan (guitar), Celia Archer (bass) and Fern Ford (drums). The album features the singles ‘Cupid’, ‘Sucker’, ‘Pull the Other One’ and ‘Silent Movie Susie’, and was produced by Catherine Marks. ‘An exhilarating celebration of the fun of being in a guitar band’

The xx I See You

I See You

The xx

The xx are Romy Madley Croft (guitar, vocals, keyboards), Oliver Sim (bass, vocals) and Jamie Smith (synths, drums). ‘I See You’ is the trio’s third album, released in January 2017 on Young Turks. Their first album, ‘xx’, won the Mercury Prize in 2010. The album was produced and engineered by Smith and the band’s long-term collaborator Rodaidh McDonald. It includes the singles ‘On Hold’, ‘Say Something Loving’ and ‘I Dare You’. ‘An ever more intriguing conversation between three fascinating musicians – tentative, moving and enchanting’