Mercury Prize – 9 September 2021 – 9/9/2021 – Thursday – BBC Four

Hyundai Mercury Prize 2021 Live: Album of the Year

Lauren Laverne hosts coverage of this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize Album of the Year, which returns to its home at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith, London.

2021’s shortlist reflects the current eclectic music scene in both the UK and Ireland, and this show will recognise all of the shortlisted albums through special performances and VTs, culminating in the live announcement of this year’s winner. The judges making the selection are a panel of artists, broadcasters and music industry heavyweights that includes last year’s winner Michael Kiwanuka.

Performing on the night will be the likes of Arlo Parks, Celeste, Ghetts, Mogwai, BERWYN and previous Mercury Prize winners Wolf Alice.

This year’s 12 shortlisted albums are:

Arlo Park’s Collapsed in Sunbeams, the debut record from the west London singer-songwriter dubbed as the voice of generation who uses her poetic and personal lyrics to cover subjects from unrequited love to mental health issues.

Another debut, Demotape/Vega, comes from Trinidadian-born and Romford-raised BERWYN. Inspired by the trials and adversity of his life, the singer produced and recorded the record at home in just two weeks.

Seven-piece genre-traversing rock group Black Country, New Road released their inventive debut For the First Time in February, capturing the ferocity and energy of their sound by recording the songs live in only six days.

New star of British soul Celeste topped the charts with her shortlisted debut Not Your Muse on its January release. Each of the songs pinpoint a specific moment in her life, delivered in her unique enrapturing voice.

Promises is the unique collaborative album that brings together British electronic musician Sam Shepherd aka Floating Points, American jazz saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and the legendary LSO to create a sweeping and beautiful nine-movement record

The sixth shortlisted album is Ghett’s Conflict of Interest, which sees the pioneer of grime make his major label debut, demonstrating his growth over almost two decades of making music with an earnest and honest offering, featuring collaborations with the likes of Stormzy and Ed Sheeran.

Northern Irish composer, producer and broadcaster, Hannah Peel, gets her first Mercury nod for her album Fir Wave, which reflects the natural world through electronic music.

Previously shortlisted artist Laura Mvula’s third album Pink Noise gains her a third nod and sees her draw heavily on sounds from the 80s, reconnecting with the music she was raised on and loves.

Glasgow based post-rock band Mogwai’s tenth studio album As the Love Continues was released on their own label Rock Action Records and scored them a number one, their first top spot in a career that has spanned a quarter of a century.

Nubya Garcia’s Source is the debut by the much-revered contemporary jazz saxophonist. It’s a deeply personal offering in which Garcia maps cartographies around the coordinate points of her identity: her family histories, grief, Afro-diasporic connections and collectivism.

The penultimate of this year’s set comes from the mysterious and elusive collective Sault, whose fourth critically acclaimed studio album Untitled (Rise) was released in September last year with little more being known about the group, aside from the involvement of producer Inflo.

Completing the 12 is Blue Weekend, the third album from 2018 Mercury Prize-winning rockers Wolf Alice, which sees the London four-piece deliver a confident progression from their previous two, scoring them a number one and undoubtedly cementing them in the next generation of festival headliners.


About Mercury Prize

Coverage of the prestigious Mercury Prize awards for the best UK album of the year.

This show is broadcast on BBC Four, also known as the British Broadcasting Corporation.

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