It’s time for our alternative to the Mercury Music prize. Who should be on our shortlist? Please make a short case for a record made by an act from the UK or Ireland released between June 2018 and June 2019, that would have been eligible for the Mercury Prize.
Very ntoxicating and sprawling live recorded jazz record. More in line with your Sun Ra’s than your Dave Brubeck’s and undoubtedly my favourite jazz record from last year. Very enthralling and at times quite unrelenting. Feels very distinct but touches on spiritual/devotional jazz and even elements of stuff like James Holden.
D.U.D.S - Immediate
Bit more idiosyncratic than their first album. They’ve managed to actually establish their own niche within the whole ‘‘off kilter post-punk scene’’. Every new guitar band seems to get compared to The Fall at the minute but I reckon musically, D.U.D.S. are one of the ones that evoke The Fall’s spirit the most.
Album of the year for me and contender for top 10 of the decade also. Seen her live 5 times on this current cycle and didn’t think that the second record could beat Welcome Back to Milk, but it completely blows it out the water. Fantastic lyrics, bound with wonderful melodies and great riffs.
Her first two albums sounded like a human trying to become a computer - somehow co-working with an AI has pushed it the other way. Stunning and unexpected harmonies abound, pinned together with sounds that, whilst verging on the side.of experimental, somehow don’t detract from the warmth. I am obsessed with this record at the moment.
Amazed this didn’t get a Mercury nod, should be a cert for the SAY shortlist. Real growth from the debut, with some incredible close-to-the-bone songwriting. Scotland should treat her like a national treasure.
Adore this album - one of my favourites of last year. Would class it as instrumental, post-rock folktronica or some combination of those words and genres. An album of glorious soundscapes that you can really lose yourself in. It works brilliantly as background music but the finer details and instrumentation are superb and you discover more on every listen. Oh, and the live show is spectacular too. Wonderful.
Loved ‘Field Of Reeds’ so was unsure of this at first but it has steadily grown into my most listened to album of the year.
Bit of Talk Talk, 'Dubnobass…'era Underworld and a lot of the massively underrated Grasscut.