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Posted August 10th 2016

Mercury Prize nominees 2016

It’s that time again, and we are super excited with the nominees this year. Melting Vinyl has always been very proud to have worked and have been able to continue working with so many of these artists over the years. Last year’s winner Benjamin Clementine played one of the best shows of 2015 at St. George’s Church, after his Mercury win, to a bristling crowd. We also had the wonderful nominee C Duncan play at the Basement to a wonderfully attentive audience who were lapping up the beautiful songs.

We’re also loving the nominees this year!

‘Hopelessness’ by Anohni (previously Antony of Antony and the Johnsons) is a favourite amongst the nominees. A political album for our times with all the clichés taken out of it. From drone bombs, government surveillance to the destruction of the world’s environment, everything in this album touches upon a harsh truth. Not meant for easy listening.

‘The Bride’ by Bat For Lashes is a concept album which is what Natasha Khan does brilliantly, and this time it soundtracks a film that hasn’t even been made yet. Ambitious to say the least. Khan has a wonderful knack of tapping into a mystical world, and bringing out glorious brimming pop gems in the process. We were lucky enough to have her playing the new album even before its release earlier this year at St. George’s Church. It was a wonderful evening where the audience were also encouraged to come wearing wedding dresses (which I willfully obliged to do).

‘Blackstar’ by David Bowie
This may have been the first time that the death of a musician has been controlled to become its very own work of art (and this year has definitely not been kind to the death of much beloved musical heroes). Blackstar may possibly be Boweie’s magnum opus, it is an album that is beyond any kind of self-conscious editing, it exists in its own universe and invites you to join it. It is dark and mystical, and yet feels very real and close. It encapsulates the free-fall feeling of life and living and harnesses it into a ball of pure energy. There is no album like this.

‘Love & Hate’ by Michael Kiwanuka
Michael Kiwanuka played St. George’s Church earlier this year for The Great Escape, and it couldn’t have been a more fitting venue for his smooth and soulful voice. The album’s nomination is well-deserved, he has created a body of work which shows him as honest, unabashed, and ambitious.

‘Adore Life’ by Savages
We have been massive fans of Savages ever since their formation in 2011. Before that, we had frontwoman Jehnny Beth in a duo called John and Jehn, kind of the bare bones project before Savages came into fruition. They played a show of ours in Brighton a lifetime ago. It’s amazing to see her in Savages now, and whole different beast with such powerful songs.

12 nominees are:

Anohni – ‘Hopelessness’
Bat For Lashes – ‘The Bride’
David Bowie – ‘Blackstar’
Jamie Woon – ‘Making Time’
Kano – ‘Made in the Manor’
Laura Mvula – ‘The Dreaming Room’
Michael Kiwanuka – ‘Love & Hate’
Radiohead – ‘A Moon Shaped Pool’
Savages – ‘Adore Life’
Skepta – ‘Konnichiwa’
The 1975 – ‘I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it’
The Comet Is Coming – ‘Channel the Spirits’