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...