2019
SHORTLIST

Hunter

Anna Calvi

‘Hunter’ was released in August 2018 on Domino Recordings and is Calvi’s third album. It was produced by Nick Launay and features Portishead’s Adrian Utley on keys and The Bad Seeds’ Martyn Casey on bass. The album includes the single ‘Don’t Beat the Girl Out of My Boy’. ‘A wildly adventurous musical exploration of sexual identities and desires. Brilliantly arranged songs of passion, eloquence and joy’

Schlagenheim

Black Midi

South London’s Black Midi are Geordie Greep, Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin, Cameron Picton and Morgan Simpson. Their debut album ‘Schlagenheim’ was released in June 2019 on Rough Trade Records and was produced by Dan Carey. ‘A guitar band with a difference. Black Midi are so wilfully resistant to following any obvious musical path that it is impossible not to enjoy the ride. A remarkable debut’

Reward

Cate Le Bon

Welsh artist Cate Le Bon’s fifth album ‘Reward’ was released in May 2019 on Mexican Summer. The album was co-produced by Le Bon, Samur Khouja and Josiah Steinbrick and features musicians Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Stephen Black, Josh Klinghoffer and Kurt Vile. ‘A breathtaking pop-inflected meditation on the sounds of solitude. Elegant, urgent and shimmeringly romantic’

Psychodrama

Dave

‘Psychodrama’ by British rapper Dave was released in March 2019 on Neighbourhood Recordings. His debut album went straight to number 1 in the UK Album Chart and became the most-streamed first-week British rap album in the UK. The album includes the singles ‘Black’, ‘Streatham’, ‘Location’ and ‘Disaster’. ‘A powerful and astutely crafted memoir of Dave’s life and our times. Unflinching, graceful and deeply moving’

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

Foals

‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1’, by Oxford four-piece Foals, was released in March 2019 by Warner Music/Transgressive Records. The band’s fifth album was self-produced and reached number 2 in the UK Album Chart. Foals are: Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith and Edwin Congreave. ‘A musical soundtrack to the drama of climate change. Ominous, defiant and gloriously atmospheric rock’

Dogrel

Fontaines D.C.

Dublin band Fontaines D.C. are: Grian Chatten, Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, Tom Coll and Conor Deegan. Their debut album ‘Dogrel’ was released in April 2019 on Partisan Recordings and reached number 9 in the UK Album Chart. It was produced and mixed by Dan Carey. The album includes singles ‘Big’, ‘Hurricane Laughter’ and ‘Too Real’. ‘Punk as performance art. Smartly written, impatiently driven. Irresistible reflections on urban change and loss’

Joy as an Act of Resistance

IDLES

Comprising Joe Talbot, Adam Devonshire, Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan and Jon Beavis, the five-piece Bristol band IDLES released their second album ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ in August 2018 on Partisan Records. Charting at number 5 in the UK Album Chart. ‘Everything the title promises. A bruising, uplifting guitar-charged defiance of austerity and hatred. A passionate and exultant album’

Grey

Little Simz

Little Simz is a North London rapper. Released on AGE 101 Music in March 2019, ‘Grey Area’ is her third album. The album features the singles ‘Offence’, ‘Boss’, ‘101 FM’ and ‘Selfish’ and was produced by Inflo, Sigurd and Astronote. It includes guest appearances by Cleo Sol, Chronixx, Little Dragon and Michael Kiwanuka. ‘Rap as self-reflection, vulnerability as power. Expert wordplay and sinuous flow set against subtle use of live accompaniment. Poignant and implacable’

Saturn

NAO

‘Saturn’ is the second album by Nottingham born, East London raised NAO. The album was released in October 2018 by RCA Records/Little Tokyo Recordings and includes the singles ‘If You Ever’, ‘Another Lifetime’ and ‘Make It Out Alive’. SiR and Kwabs both feature on the album. ‘The excitement and dismay of romantic upheaval are elegantly captured by NAO’s beautifully crafted songs and buoyant vocals. An impeccable soul album’

Driftglass

SEED Ensemble

London-based collective SEED Ensemble released ‘Driftglass’ in February 2019 on jazz re:freshed. The debut album from the ten-piece project led by composer, arranger and saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi was produced by Jason Yarde and mixed by Eric Lau. ‘Cassie Kinoshi and her exuberant ten-piece band effortlessly combine homage to jazz history and celebration of today’s London’s jazz scene. Rousing and inspiring’

Nothing Great About Britain

Slowthai

slowthai, aka Tyron Frampton, is a rapper from Northampton. His debut album ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ was released in May 2019 on Method Records and went to number 9 in the UK Album Chart. The album features guest appearances by Jaykae and Skepta as well as production credits for Kwes Darko and JD. Reid. ‘Absorbing, vivid stories of lives lived at the cultural margins, told with tenderness, rage and humour. An urgent and profound debut’

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

The 1975

‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships’ was the third consecutive UK number 1 album from Matthew Healy, George Daniel, Adam Hann and Ross Macdonald when released in November 2018 by Dirty Hit/Polydor Records. The album features the singles ‘Give Yourself A Try’, ‘Love It If We Made It’, ‘TooTimeTooTimeTooTime’, and ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’. ‘Thrilling and thoughtful, eccentric and electric. Everything we expect from The 1975 and more. Magnificent!’

Hunter

Anna Calvi

‘Hunter’ was released in August 2018 on Domino Recordings and is Calvi’s third album. It was produced by Nick Launay and features Portishead’s Adrian Utley on keys and The Bad Seeds’ Martyn Casey on bass. The album includes the single ‘Don’t Beat the Girl Out of My Boy’. ‘A wildly adventurous musical exploration of sexual identities and desires. Brilliantly arranged songs of passion, eloquence and joy’

Schlagenheim

Black Midi

South London’s Black Midi are Geordie Greep, Matt Kwasniewski-Kelvin, Cameron Picton and Morgan Simpson. Their debut album ‘Schlagenheim’ was released in June 2019 on Rough Trade Records and was produced by Dan Carey. ‘A guitar band with a difference. Black Midi are so wilfully resistant to following any obvious musical path that it is impossible not to enjoy the ride. A remarkable debut’

Reward

Cate Le Bon

Welsh artist Cate Le Bon’s fifth album ‘Reward’ was released in May 2019 on Mexican Summer. The album was co-produced by Le Bon, Samur Khouja and Josiah Steinbrick and features musicians Stella Mozgawa (Warpaint), Stephen Black, Josh Klinghoffer and Kurt Vile. ‘A breathtaking pop-inflected meditation on the sounds of solitude. Elegant, urgent and shimmeringly romantic’

Psychodrama

Dave

‘Psychodrama’ by British rapper Dave was released in March 2019 on Neighbourhood Recordings. His debut album went straight to number 1 in the UK Album Chart and became the most-streamed first-week British rap album in the UK. The album includes the singles ‘Black’, ‘Streatham’, ‘Location’ and ‘Disaster’. ‘A powerful and astutely crafted memoir of Dave’s life and our times. Unflinching, graceful and deeply moving’

Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost Part 1

Foals

‘Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1’, by Oxford four-piece Foals, was released in March 2019 by Warner Music/Transgressive Records. The band’s fifth album was self-produced and reached number 2 in the UK Album Chart. Foals are: Yannis Philippakis, Jack Bevan, Jimmy Smith and Edwin Congreave. ‘A musical soundtrack to the drama of climate change. Ominous, defiant and gloriously atmospheric rock’

Dogrel

Fontaines D.C.

Dublin band Fontaines D.C. are: Grian Chatten, Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley, Tom Coll and Conor Deegan. Their debut album ‘Dogrel’ was released in April 2019 on Partisan Recordings and reached number 9 in the UK Album Chart. It was produced and mixed by Dan Carey. The album includes singles ‘Big’, ‘Hurricane Laughter’ and ‘Too Real’. ‘Punk as performance art. Smartly written, impatiently driven. Irresistible reflections on urban change and loss’

Joy as an Act of Resistance

IDLES

Comprising Joe Talbot, Adam Devonshire, Mark Bowen, Lee Kiernan and Jon Beavis, the five-piece Bristol band IDLES released their second album ‘Joy as an Act of Resistance’ in August 2018 on Partisan Records. Charting at number 5 in the UK Album Chart. ‘Everything the title promises. A bruising, uplifting guitar-charged defiance of austerity and hatred. A passionate and exultant album’

Grey

Little Simz

Little Simz is a North London rapper. Released on AGE 101 Music in March 2019, ‘Grey Area’ is her third album. The album features the singles ‘Offence’, ‘Boss’, ‘101 FM’ and ‘Selfish’ and was produced by Inflo, Sigurd and Astronote. It includes guest appearances by Cleo Sol, Chronixx, Little Dragon and Michael Kiwanuka. ‘Rap as self-reflection, vulnerability as power. Expert wordplay and sinuous flow set against subtle use of live accompaniment. Poignant and implacable’

Saturn

NAO

‘Saturn’ is the second album by Nottingham born, East London raised NAO. The album was released in October 2018 by RCA Records/Little Tokyo Recordings and includes the singles ‘If You Ever’, ‘Another Lifetime’ and ‘Make It Out Alive’. SiR and Kwabs both feature on the album. ‘The excitement and dismay of romantic upheaval are elegantly captured by NAO’s beautifully crafted songs and buoyant vocals. An impeccable soul album’

Driftglass

SEED Ensemble

London-based collective SEED Ensemble released ‘Driftglass’ in February 2019 on jazz re:freshed. The debut album from the ten-piece project led by composer, arranger and saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi was produced by Jason Yarde and mixed by Eric Lau. ‘Cassie Kinoshi and her exuberant ten-piece band effortlessly combine homage to jazz history and celebration of today’s London’s jazz scene. Rousing and inspiring’

Nothing Great About Britain

Slowthai

slowthai, aka Tyron Frampton, is a rapper from Northampton. His debut album ‘Nothing Great About Britain’ was released in May 2019 on Method Records and went to number 9 in the UK Album Chart. The album features guest appearances by Jaykae and Skepta as well as production credits for Kwes Darko and JD. Reid. ‘Absorbing, vivid stories of lives lived at the cultural margins, told with tenderness, rage and humour. An urgent and profound debut’

A Brief Inquiry Into Online Relationships

The 1975

‘A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships’ was the third consecutive UK number 1 album from Matthew Healy, George Daniel, Adam Hann and Ross Macdonald when released in November 2018 by Dirty Hit/Polydor Records. The album features the singles ‘Give Yourself A Try’, ‘Love It If We Made It’, ‘TooTimeTooTimeTooTime’, and ‘It’s Not Living (If It’s Not With You)’. ‘Thrilling and thoughtful, eccentric and electric. Everything we expect from The 1975 and more. Magnificent!’