One of the biggest nights in music is finally upon us, celebrating the best albums of the last year: it’s time for the Mercury Prize.
Each year, a panel of esteemed music industry figures whittle down hundreds of albums to create a list of the finest musical achievements from British and Irish artists.
The shortlist was announced in July, unveiling the dozen albums in contention for the 2023 award.
Among the nominees this time include Raye with her debut release My 21st Century Blues, Loyle Carner for hugo and Arctic Monkeys with their seventh studio album, The Car.
The overall winner will be crowned at an awards show tonight (Thursday 7 September), held at the Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith, London.
For those wanting to experience the ceremony from afar, here’s how.
How to watch the Mercury Prize 2023
Fans will be able to stream the action from the Eventim Apollo on BBC Four from 9pm.
The overall winner of the award will be named at 10pm, but the evening will be peppered with performances from some of the nominated stars throughout the evening.
What does the winner receive?
All 12 artists on the shortlist receive a specially commissioned “Album of the Year” trophy as a physical mark of their achievement. The overall winner also walks away with an additional winner trophy and a cash prize of £25,000.
Who is nominated?
This year’s shortlist represents a wildly varied mix of genres and musical styles, from the jazz quintet Ezra Collective, nominated for their 2022 album Where I’m Meant to Be, to afroswing rapper J Hus (for his album Beautiful and Brutal Yard).
For several of the acts named, this marks a repeat consideration for the prestigious award. Speaking to The Independent ahead of this year’s ceremony, Young Fathers’ Kayus Bankole said that being nominated again, following their 2014 win, “feels like an acknowledgement that we’re no longer a flash-in-the-pan band”.
Jessie Ware, who first received a nod for her 2011 album Devotion, also scored a second nomination for her disco-tinged album That! Feels Good!.
“To be up for it a second time eleven years on from the last one feels really amazing,” she said of her nomination, adding: “Apparently I’m the oldest woman in the shortlist this time around – I live to fight another day.”
Arctic Monkeys, The Car
Ezra Collective, Where I’m Meant to Be
Fred again.., Actual Life 3 (January 1 - September 9 2022)
J Hus, Beautiful And Brutal Yard
Jessie Ware, That! Feels Good!
Jockstrap, I Love You Jennifer B
Lankum, False Lankum
Loyle Carner, hugo
Olivia Dean, Messy
RAYE, My 21st Century Blues
Young Fathers, Heavy Heavy