The Mercury Prize has in fact returned for its 30th year running, and this year’s shortlist is seriously impressive. The annual prize is typically awarded for the best album released in the United Kingdom by a British or Irish act, and has seen some incredible names on the list in previous years, including Dave, Michael Kiwanuka, Sampha, and Skepta.
This year’s shortlist features a number of first-time nominees, with 10 out of the 12 artists having albums that are nominated for the first time. The list includes soul-wrenching songstress Arlo Parks, a saxophonist called Nubya Garcia, and R&B newcomer Berwyn who was nominated with a debut mixtape alone. Berwyn’s also one of the few artists on the list that doesn’t yet hold a British passport, which was something that previously made artists ineligible for the award.
Read on to find out more about this year’s Mercury Prize shortlist.