Friday, September 13th, 2013
The Stars Are Out Tonight
The 2013 Mercury Prize shortlist includes David Bowie and nine acts who are not David Bowie
Jimmy KingSo the shortlist for the 2013 Mercury Prize – awarded to the best British or Irish album of the year – was announced the other day, and contrary to the odds reported by NME earlier this week, London Grammar – favoured to win – was nowhere to be found. Nor, out of their top ten, were Steve Mason, Daughter, Primal Scream, or CHVRCHES. Not that I have any idea how bookmakers come up with their odds, nor how accurate they’ve been in the past. But to list an album at 15:8 to win and not even have it make the shortlist, well that’s some questionable prognostication.
The ten records that did make the list are as follows, and I’m mildly surprised that I’ve heard more of these than I usually have – a fact which kind of supports those who complain that the Mercury has gotten safe or predictable. I’m personally pulling for Bowie, if you hadn’t guessed; the release of The Next Day instigated a year of Bowie discovery, which included a deeper appreciation for has last two records Heathen and Reality along with the more classic material and a pilgrimage to his old digs in Berlin (though that wasn’t the main reason for the trip, that would be ridiculous). Plus there’s the David Bowie Is exhibit opening at the Art Gallery of Ontario later this month – let’s face it, this is the year of Bowie. The Mercury should just accept it and fall in line. The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on October 30.
Arctic Monkeys / AM / Video: “Do I Wanna Know?”
David Bowie / The Next Day / Video: “The Next Day”
Disclosure / Settle / Video: “When A Fire Starts To Burn”
Foals / Holy Fire / Video: “Late Night”
Jake Bugg / Jake Bugg / Video: “Lightning Bolt”
James Blake / Overgrown / Video: “Retrograde”
Jon Hopkins / Immunity / Video: “Open Eye Signal”
Laura Marling / Once I Was An Eagle / Video: “Master Hunter”
Laura Mvula / Sing To The Moon / Video: “Green Garden”
Rudimental / Home / Video: “Waiting All Night”
Savages / Silence Yourself / Video: “Shut Up”
Villagers / Awayland / Video: “Nothing Arrived”
Video: Icona Pop – “All Night”
Dev Hynes is a dancing machine in the new Blood Orange video, which also serves as the first taste of his new record Cupid Deluxe. It should be out this year.
Video: Blood Orange – “Chamakay”
Video: Junip – “Walking Lightly”