Mercury Music Prize shortlist announced – Young Fathers denied

Edinburgh’s Young Fathers have been denied a chance of making history after they failed to make the shortlist for this year’s Mercury Music Prize.

Having scooped the prestigious award in 2014 with second album Dead, the Capital trio looked like they could become the first act to win the award in two consecutive years when latest offering White Men Are Black Men Too was included on a longlist of 290 eligible albums earlier this year.

Sadly, Young Fathers were not among the final list of nominees announced on BBC Radio 6 Music by Lauren Laverne today, despite critical consensus that the genre-defying White Men Are Black Men Too is a better album than their last.

Former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, 20 years after his band's debut album made the shortlist.
Former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes has been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, 20 years after his band’s debut album made the shortlist.

The shortlist of 12 albums for this year’s Mercury Music Prize – whittled down by a panel of judges, this year including the likes of singers Corinne Bailey Rae and Anna Calvi, NME Editor Greg Cochrane, DJ and broadcaster MistaJam, and XFM presenter John Kennedy – includes former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, Florence + The Machine, Jamie xx and Wolf Alice.

Surprisingly, there are only two bands in the shortlist, which leans heavily towards singer-songwriters.

“Surprisingly, there

are only two bands

in the shortlist”

Bookies’ favourites Everything Everything failed to secure a nomination, with other notable absentees including Blur, Laura Marling, Foals and New Order.

Previous winners of the prize include Arctic Monkeys for their debut album Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, Elbow for The Seldom Seen Kid, and Dizzee Rascal for Boy In Da Corner.

Plans for this year’s Awards Show have also been announced. Prior to the awards, an eclectic series of broadcasts are scheduled across the BBC’s radio and digital platforms, which will include the 2015 Mercury Prize Albums of the Year being showcased through a series of studio sessions featuring this year’s shortlisted artists.

The event is to be held in the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in London on Friday 20 November and will be hosted by Lauren Laverne. Broadcast live on BBC Four and 6Music, the evening will culminate in the announcement of the overall winner of the 2015 Mercury Prize in association with BBC Music.

AAA Edinburgh will reflect the awards during the evening, bringing you the big announcement as soon as the winner is known.

Words: Gary Flockhart


The full list of nominees:

  • Aphex Twin – Syro

  • Benjamin Clementine – At Least For Now

  • Gaz Coombes – Matador

  • C Duncan – Architect

  • Florence + The Machine – How Big How Blue How Beautiful

  • Ghost Poet – Shedding Skin

  • Jamie xx – In Colour

  • Roisin Murphy – Hairless Toys

  • Slaves – Are You Satisfied

  • Soak – Before We Forgot How To Dream

  • Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool

  • Eska – Eska