Arctic Monkeys became the joint second most-nominated act in the Mercury Prize’s history as the prestigious British album award announced its 2018 shortlist. The band, nominated for its sixth record “Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino”, are joined by Florence and The Machine and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds in the lineup of 12 shortlisted albums. Indie rockers Everything Everything and London ensemble Wolf Alice were both shortlisted for the second time, while first-time nominees included singers Lily Allen and King Krule.
A pair of debut albums also featured: “Novelist Guy” by grime act Novelist and “Lost and Found” by R and B artist Jorja Smith. “This year… celebrates albums by musicians at all stages of their careers, but with a shared belief in the importance of music for navigating life’s challenges-whether personal or political, falling in or out of love, growing up or looking back, angry or ecstatic,” the jury said. “The music here is funny and inspiring, smart and moving,” it added, in a statement unveiling the finalists.
Arctic Monkeys received their fourth-ever nomination for the prize after the Sheffield band’s latest album became its sixth consecutive British number one record in May. It was the fastest selling vinyl record of the last 25 years. The group won the award in 2006 with their acclaimed debut “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”. Only Radiohead have received more career nominations with five. P. J. Harvey, the only artist ever to have won the award twice, also has four career nominations.
Florence and The Machine scored their third Mercury shortlisting with “High as Hope”, while former Oasis guitarist Gallagher’s High Flying Birds project was nominated for “Who Built the Moon?” Lily Allen greeted her nomination for “No Shame” by writing on Twitter she was “so happy” and “on cloud nine”. First-timer Smith also took to the social media platform to celebrate her inclusion. “Wow! Honored to be short listed for this year’s Mercury Prize. Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this journey!” she wrote.
Sons of Kemet bagged the shortlist’s usual spot for a jazz act, while compilation album “Everything Is Recorded”, put together by producer Richard Russell, was also nominated. Featured artists on the record include London singer Sampha, who won last year’s Mercury Prize. English singer-songwriter Nadine Shah also landed on the shortlist for the first time for “Holiday Destination”. The prize will be awarded on September 20 at the Hammersmith Apollo theatre in London.-AFP