Last week we had a look at the first six nominees for the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize, so now it’s time to turn the spotlight on the remaining six acts up for the prestigious award: Young Fathers, Jungle, Kate Tempest, Polar Bear, Nick Mulvey and Royal Blood.
Since the last post, which you can re-read here, famous fans of the acts have banded together to champion their personal winner in videos on the Mercury Prize YouTube channel. You can find out exactly what it is about these musicians that their celebrity backers find so enthralling below, but, in case you’re still undecided about who you want to take home the prize, let our resident Ticketmaster music experts help with their picks for the win.
Flick Heath, our music blogmaster, is rooting for Bombay Bicycle Club
“I am still fascinated by their ability to encapsulate such a diverse range of sounds throughout this album. The contrast between their last album and this shows us their ability to develop and adapt as a band.”
Alex Towers, Ticketmaster’s Client Marketing Manager for Music was backing Los Campesinos! for their studio album, No Blues, and was sad not to see them nominated:
“Los Campesinos! have yet to release a bad album.
Arguably their most critically praised record to date, ‘No Blues’ cemented the band’s status as the best ‘bad day’ act in Britain. They’re ready to pick you up with the big the chorus (What Death Leaves Behind Me), sympathise with the unrequited (Cememtery Gaits) and embrace the self-pitying (As Lucerne / The Low ). Put simply, the Welsh band are there for any emotional crisis you might have in your life and it’s a wonder that they don’t advertise their services in the personal columns of newspapers.”
Young Fathers – Dead
The Guardian gave Dead by Young Fathers four stars and Ade Adepitan agreed with the high score saying: “This album is just so free, it goes in so many directions and you have to listen to it with open arms and embrace the different styles. They just come at you from every direction.”
Jungle – Jungle
NME gave Jungle’s début 8/10 and British band Rudimental went one step further, saying that the album made them feel good about British music: “Swagger. Swagger. Swagger. Swagger. Not only is it full of swagger, it’s stylish, it’s unique and it beams individuality.”
Kate Tempest – Everybody Down
NME gave Kate Tempest’s Everybody Down 8/10 but, given the choice, DJ and broadcaster MistaJam would have probably given it full marks, saying: “Everybody Down isn’t just an album, it’s an immersive literary experience; it’s a film; it’s a novel; it’s a play. At the very core of it is pure, unadulterated lyricism.”
Nick Mulvey – First Mind
The Telegraph gave First Mind a full five stars and Radio 1 presenter Gemma Cairney agreed, calling it “an ethereal, dreamscape listen” and saying: “It’s really sophisticated and subtle and you can feel different cultural influences from around the world in one listen but it’s not in your face.”
Polar Bear – In Each and Every One
The Guardian gave Polar Bear’s In Each and Every One five stars, which sits well with jazz singer Jamie Cullum, who called the album edgy, alive and human, saying: “Polar Bear really make a case for jazz truly being port and force in the 21st century.”
Royal Blood – Royal Blood
NME gave Royal Blood’s first release 8/10, which should please DJ Zane Lowe who has dubbed it a classic rock and roll début album, saying: “From the minute it starts with Out of the Black you know you’re in for an incredible ride and it doesn’t stop until ten, perfectly constructed songs later.”