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Mercury Prize 2018: Arctic Monkeys, Noel Gallagher and Jorja Smith on shortlist

Arctic Monkeys

Story by Jack Foley

ARCTIC Monkeys, Noel Gallagher and Jorja Smith are among the 12 nominees for the 2018 Mercury Prize.

The former band released their space lounge concept album, Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino, earlier this year and have now earned their fourth nomination for the award as a result.

But the quartet face stiff competition from the likes of Jorja Smith, Gallagher, Lily Allen and Florence + The Machine, as well as Wolf Alice and jazz act Sons of Kemet.

However, they go into the awards run as triple joint favourites along with Gallagher and Florence (with odds of 4-1 at bookmakers William Hill), while Wolf Alice, Smith and Allen are given odds of 6-1.

Of the other nominees, the likes of Nadine Shah’s Holiday Destination and Everything Everything’s A Fever Dream both address hot button political issues of the moment, including the rise in nationalism and xenophobia, coupled with a decline in empathy.

And London MC Novelist has delivered a strong anti-violence message on his self-produced debut album, Novelist Guy.

Sons Of Kemet’s Your Queen Is A Reptile celebrates powerful black women who have been overlooked by history.

Ironically, some of the bigger names on the shortlist have opted to become more personal in their latest releases.

Lily Allen, who received her first ever nomination for her fourth album, No Shame, has described her LP as an emotional depiction of her marital breakdown and struggles with self-worth.

While Florence + The Machine displays a new level of vulnerability on High As Hope and Jorja Smith chronicles the bumpy road to adulthood on her edgy debut Lost & Found.

The 2018 shortlist was drawn up by a panel of judges including musicians Marcus Mumford, Jamie Cullum and Ella Eyre, alongside broadcasters Clara Amfo and Mistajam, and a selection of music critics and journalists.

They said the nominees held 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”.

This year’s winner will be unveiled at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on September 20, 2018.

The nominees are…

Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino
Everything Everything – A Fever Dream
Everything Is Recorded – Everything Is Recorded
Florence + The Machine – High As Hope
Jorja Smith – Lost & Found
King Krule – The Ooz
Lily Allen – No Shame
Nadine Shah – Holiday Destination
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Who Built The Moon?
Novelist – Novelist Guy
Sons of Kemet – Your Queen Is A Reptile
Wolf Alice – Visions of a Life