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Mercury Prize: NI singer Hannah Peel nominated

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Hannah Peel

Hannah Peel

Hannah Peel

Northern Ireland musician Hannah Peel has been shortlisted for this year’s Mercury Prize. 

The artist, who lives in Bangor, has been nominated for her album Fir Wave.

The work has won widespread acclaim with copies sold out and Ebay offering the piece for upwards of £50.

Her soundtrack work has resulted in an Emmy nomination for Game of Thrones: the Last Watch and she also achieved a weird excellence on her score to the TV series The Deceived.

The multi-instrumentalist and singer also hosts a BBC Radio 3 show. Born in Craigavon –her dad is from Armagh, her mum Fermanagh – the family moved to Yorkshire when she was seven and she later moved to London in her 20s.

Speaking to Stuart Bailie for his Weekend column in the Belfast Telegraph the 35-year-old expressed her surprise at the success of Fir Wave. 

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She said: "You put out a record - the one record that doesn't have an orchestra or a colliery brass band. It's just me and a bass player. And that's it. And it's the one record that has probably done the best out of everything. The irony!”

Nominations for the Mercury Prize were announced on Thursday.

Wolf Alice secured their third Mercury Prize nomination.

The London indie band's chart-topping third album Blue Weekend features among the 12-strong shortlist for the prestigious award.

Fronted by singer Ellie Rowsell, the quartet won the 2018 Mercury Prize with their second album Visions Of A Life, while their 2015 debut My Love Is Cool was also tapped.

Singer-songwriter PJ Harvey remains the only act to have won the Mercury Prize twice for 2001's Stories From The City, Stories From The Sea and 2011's Let England Shake.

The 12 records in the running for the award, which recognises the best British album of the year, were revealed at a launch hosted by BBC Music's Huw Stephens and on BBC Radio 6 Music.

Brit Award-winning soul singer Celeste, 27, earned her first Mercury Prize nomination for her debut album Not Your Muse, which reached number one in January.

Twenty-year-old Arlo Parks, meanwhile, is also nominated for her debut album, Collapsed In Sunbeams, which attracted widespread critical praise.

Laura Mvula also secures her third nomination with Pink Noise, for which she eschewed her classical influences in favour of 1980s soul and pop.

All three of her studio albums have been shortlisted for the Mercury Prize but she is yet to win.

The shortlist also sees Scottish post-rock group Mogwai score their first nomination, more than 25 years after they were founded in Glasgow.

As The Love Continues, their 10th record, also earned them their first number one in February this year.

Their previous chart peak had come in 2017 when they reached number six with Every Country's Sun.

Prior to that only one of their records had cracked the top 10.

Both post-rock band Black Country, New Road and jazz saxophonist Nubya Garcia both also earn nominations for their debut albums.

Trinidad-born singer and rapper Berwyn's Demotape/Vega also features among the nominees, after he claimed third place in the BBC Music Sound of 2021 poll.

The shortlist for the Hyundai Mercury Prize was narrowed down by a judging panel which this year included DJ Annie Mac, musician Jamie Cullum, songwriter Anna Calvi, broadcaster Danielle Perry, DJ Gemma Cairney and musician Hazel Wilde.

The judges said: "It is testament to the strength of British music that, during a year which saw musicians face the toughest challenges of their lives, so many remarkable albums came out nonetheless.
"There was an embarrassment of riches for this year's Hyundai Mercury Prize judges to choose from, but the final 12 show how diverse, vibrant and far-reaching British music continues to be.

"Choosing one winner out of 12 albums that bring so much hope for the future will be a challenge indeed."

Last year's Mercury Prize was won by Michael Kiwanuka with his third album Kiwanuka, fending off competition from Stormzy, Laura Marling and Dua Lipa.

He is also a new addition to the judging panel.

The ceremony will take place on September 9 at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.
It will feature live performances from many of the shortlisted artists.

Albums by British artists with a UK release date between July 18 2020 and July 16 2021 are eligible for the prize.

The Mercury Prize nominations in full:
Arlo Parks - Collapsed In Sunbeams
Berwyn - Demotape/Vega
Black Country, New Road - For The First Time
Celeste - Not Your Muse
Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - Promises
Ghetts - Conflict of Interest
Hannah Peel - Fir Wave
Laura Mvula - Pink Noise
Mogwai - As The Love Continues
Nubya Garcia - Source
Sault - Untitled (Rise)
Wolf Alice - Blue Weekend


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