The shortlist of twelve 2016 Hyundai Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ has been revealed and features three artists from the Polydor Records stable – The 1975 (released in collaboration with Dirty Hit), Michael Kiwanuka and Jamie Woon. In no previous year since the Mercury Prize launched in 1992 has any one label had three acts on the shortlist.
The three acts embody the diverse range of talent being developed at Polydor, each innovating and breaking new ground across different genres.
Polydor’s co-president Ben Mortimer says, "The success of all these artists, both here and internationally, shows that British music continues to excite and thrive. The accolades should obviously lie with the artists and the special music they have created but if there's one thing we can be proud of as a label, it’s that all of these are second albums. Polydor, and our partner labels such as Dirty Hit, are committed to taking time when needed, and truly allowing our artists to develop."
The 1975 (Dirty Hit/Polydor) released their critically lauded album I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It in February this year. It shot straight to number one in both the UK and the US in its first week and has already reached sales approaching 750,000. The Mercury judges summed it up as “vital and splendidly-titled”. The band play their first UK arena tour this year, including two shows at London’s O2.
Following near faultless critical praise on both sides of the Atlantic, twice Mercury Prize shortlisted Michael Kiwanuka’s, Love & Hate, produced alongside Danger Mouse and Inflo, gave Michael his first number one record in the UK last month and was Top 10 in six other countries. The Mercury judges have now added to the plaudits, calling Love & Hate “sumptuous”.
Jamie Woon made a triumphant return last year with his album Making Time, an extraordinary body of work which is “meticulously-crafted” according to the Mercury judges.