The shortlist for this year's coveted Hyundai Mercury Prize has been announced. Among those who made the cut are Manchester's adored festival headliners The 1975; Northampton rapper slowthai; Bristol punks IDLES; Dublin newcomers Fontaines D.C.; south London's enigmatic Black Midi; north London rapper Little Simz; and Foals, who made a dramatic return earlier this year with Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost – Part 1. Also included were Anna Calvi, Dave, Cate Le Bon, NAO, and SEED Ensemble.
The Mercury Prize, formally called The Mercury Music Prize, began in 1992 as a way of recognising UK talent and awarding the best album made by a British artist each year. It was created as an alternative to the BRIT awards, honing in on more underground and alternative names in the UK scene.
Previous winners have included PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, Skepta, James Blake, Primal Scream, and Wolf Alice, who won the award last year with Visions of a Life. The 1975 were nominated for the award back in 2016 for I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It, but lost the title to Skepta's Konichiwa.