After being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize last year this year Anna Calvi is on the judging panel. I spoke to her about the process for BBC 6 Music and what she thinks of this year's list. Listen down below.
MERCURY SHORTLIST 2020
Anna Meredith - FIBS
Charli XCX - How I’m Feeling Now
Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
Georgia - Seeking Thrills
Lanterns on the Lake - Spook the Herd
Laura Marling - Song For Our Daughter
Kano - Hoodies All Summer
Michael Kiwanuka - KIWANUKA
Moses Boyd - Dark Matter
Porridge Radio - Every Bad
Sports Team - Deep Down Happy
Stormzy - Heavy Is The Head
I do think it's a strong list. It’s such a great representation of women. Five solo females, two female-fronted bands. It's the first time ever female acts have outnumbered male. It's a variety of women with such strong artistic identifies that really excel in their various fields. I think musicality and the art of songwriting is really shining on this list; albums to get immersed in. However, I do think it's more pop than ever. Personally I prefer a list which isn't so mainstream. Dua Lipa, Charlie XCX and Stormzy don't really need the love let's be honest. I am surprised Nadine Shah and Sault didn't make it on the list - glaring omissions IMHO - and where is one of the great progressive electronic albums? Say a Floating Points, Daniel Avery, Four Tet, Maya Jane Coles Nocturnal Sunshine. Big fan of the albums from Laura Marling, Moses Boyd, Anna Meredith, Michael Kiwanuka and Lanterns on the Lake, so I'd hope for one of those to take it home on the night. My money would be on Laura Marling as she delivered Song For Our Daughter at a very important time and the album is some of her best work.
Listen to Anna Calvi, one of the 2020 judges...
Nick Cave did a stunning pay-per-view live concert film of him performing alone at the piano in Alexandra Palace. It was filmed by Director of Photography on major films The Favourite, American Honey and I, Daniel Blake - the brilliant Robbie Ryan. You could only watch it at that time it was streamed and he covered his whole back catalogue. I spoke to Robbie Ryan for BBC 6 Music about how he came to be asked to make it, the process and about Nick Cave's art of making cavernous spaces feel intimate. Listen here.
Mike Skinner is back with a new album from The Streets. It's titled None of Us Are Getting Out of This Life Alive and is the first Streets record in YONKS. Due to no live gigs happening at the moment (Covid19) he's doing a live stream gig at Earth in Hackeny on August 8th. I spoke to him about that when we had a catch up for BBC 6 Music. Listen here.
Big YAY. The dreamiest pair Sylvan Esso are back with new album Free Love landing later this year. They've shared its first single Ferris Wheel and I spoke to them for BBC 6 Music about life in lockdown, the new single and working on new music in their brand new studio in the middle of the woods. Sounds idyllic. Listen here:
Pleased to share with you our interview with the incredible BBC Radio 1 Xtra and Selector Radio DJ Jamz Supernova - the next in our Super Women sessions out on our YouTube channel (video above). It was such a privilege chatting to Jamz about her rise in radio to become one of music’s most influential voices. We also hear how she unearths new sounds across the RnB, hip-hop, jazz and electronic spectrum, her journey to finding her voice as a broadcaster and her work curating music for her record label Future Bounce Her passion for music and broadcasting is simply infectious. She’s just an inspiring, brilliant human Any budding Djs/music tastemakers/presenters/artists hoping to get played out there we hope you’ll find this super helpful.
Jade Bird performed a live online gig in lockdown and the production on it was EPIC. We broke down via a workshop panel with Jade and the team behind it how they did it and how bands/artists/performers might be able to re-create it at home. I had the pleasure of presenting the programme. Watch it here.
Here's my latest Soho Radio Music Discovery show, Joining me over Zoom is Westerman to talk about and play tracks of his BRILLIANT debut album Your Hero Is Not Dead, easily one of my favourite records of the year so far.
Romare - Gone
Yuksek- Gorgeous (Extended Disco Mix)
Nadine Shah - Club Cougar
Grand Pax - Blur
Fontaines D.C - Televised Mind
Teem Dream - Light Touch
NZCA Lines - Prisoner Of Love
Max Cooper - Swarm
Nubya Garcia - Pace
Jayda G - Both Of Us
INTERVIEW - Westerman
Westerman - The Line
Westerman - Your Hero Is Not Dead
Westerman - Blue Commanche
Westerman - Float Over
PlanningtoRock - Jam Fam
Koko - Chantal feat. Quelle Rox
Genevieve Artadi - Living Like I Know I’m Going To Die
Baba Ali - All These Wires
Pavan - Row Boat
Sault - Pray Up Stay Up
Otik - Clairvoyant
Sufjan Stevens - America
Hayden Thorpe from Wild Beasts and Joe Goddard of Hot Chip have collaborated on a new track titled 'Unknown Song'. I spoke to both of them for BBC 6 Music from lockdown to see how they have been doing, what they are working on and the new track. Hear both packages that went out in Shaun Keaveny's show in the Music News.