Mercury Prize nominees share reactions to 2022 shortlist: “It’s a real honour”

Self Esteem, Sam Fender and Nova Twins are among those in the running for this year's award

The nominees for this year’s Mercury Prize have been sharing their excitement over being shortlisted for the prestigious award.

This morning (July 26), the Mercury Prize – in partnership with mobility app FREE NOW – confirmed that Harry Styles‘Harry’s House’, Little Simz‘Sometimes I Might be Introvert’, Sam Fender‘s ‘Seventeen Going Under’, Wet Leg‘s self-titled LP and Yard Act‘s ‘The Overload’ are among the 12 records in the running for the annual Album Of The Year statue.

The rest of the list is made up of Self Esteem (‘Prioritise Pleasure’), Joy Crookes (‘Skin’), Kojey Radical (‘Reason To Smile’), Nova Twins (‘Supernova’), Fergus McCreadie (‘Forest Floor’), Gwenno (‘Tresor’) and Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler (‘For All Our Days That Tear The Heart’).

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The winner will be announced during an event at London’s Eventim Apollo in Hammersmith on September 8.

Reacting to the nod on Twitter, Wet Leg – aka Rhian Teasdale and Hester Chambers – wrote: “We’re so freakin lucky that we got to make the album that we made. These past couple of years have been full of surprises and unexpected adventures.

“Here’s perhaps one of our fave surprises so far…Our debut album has been shortlisted for a @MercuryPrize!?”

Elsewhere, Sam Fender said he was “so chuffed” that ‘Seventeen Going Under’ (NME‘s album of the year 2021) had made the Mercurys list. “It’s a super personal record for me and the boys and for it to be recognised in this way is a real honour,” he tweeted.

Mercury Prize trophy
The coveted 2021 Mercury Prize trophy. Credit: Press

Yard Act posted: “We’re honored that ‘The Overload’ is up for the 2022 @MercuryPrize. There are some incredible albums on that list this year and to even be talked about them in the same breath seems a bit daft.

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“Still, like it or not, ‘The Overload’ has resonated with a lot of people and a whole six months on from its release we remain very proud of the album we made and the story it tells.”

The Leeds band continued: “We fully don’t expect to win, because the prize should only go to @LittleSimz but if it doesn’t I dread to think how fat the stack was that [their label] Island Records had wired into all the judge’s off shore bank accounts. I don’t ever want to know.”

Little Simz gave a shout out to her frequent collaborator Inflo, who also produced ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’, “for always backing it, and pouring love in abundance into the music.”

She added: “And to YOU, the people. Thank you for the continued support on this album.”

Self Esteem, meanwhile, wrote: “This one has always meant a lot. I am so glad i don’t have to think of a cute self aware way to hide my disappointment this time. ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ has been shortlisted for the 2022 @MercuryPrize @FreeNow_UK.”

The Sheffield artist – real name Rebecca Lucy Taylor – also shared a video of her reaction to the Mercury news. You can watch that below.

Nova Twins said: “Words can’t describe how we are feeling right now. When we first started our band we would often discuss our dreams and aspirations and the Mercurys was high up on that list.

“We hold ‘Supernova’ very close to our hearts, so being seen as 1 of the 12 best albums this year is insane. To be the first black women to be shortlisted in Rock & Alt Music is a testament to all the women that pushed the scene forward before us, creating a space for us.”

Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler tweeted to say that they were “delighted” to be included on this year’s shortlist, adding: “Thank you to everyone for the continued support.”

Fergus McCreadie wrote: “Can’t believe it! Forest Floor is shortlisted for 2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW.”

Acts missing from the 2022 shortlist who were eligible include Fontaines D.C. (‘Skinty Fia’), Kae Tempest (‘The Line Is A Curve’), The Smile (‘A Light For Attracting Attention’) and Dave (‘We’re All Alone In This Together’).

This year’s 12 nominated artists will “receive a specially commissioned ‘Album Of The Year’ trophy, with the overall winner also receiving a winner trophy and a cash prize of £25,000”, per the official Mercurys website.

It was announced yesterday (July 25) that a handful of musicians including Anna Calvi, Hazel Wilde of Lanterns On The Lake, Loyle Carner and Jamie Cullum helped judge the 2022 prize, alongside a range of broadcasters and critics.

Last year saw Arlo Parks walk away with the 2021 Mercury Prize for her acclaimed debut album, ‘Collapsed In Sunbeams’.

The shortlist for the 2022 Mercury Prize with FREE NOW Albums Of The Year are:

  • Fergus McCreadie – ‘Forest Floor’
  • Gwenno – ‘Tresor’ 
  • Harry Styles – ‘Harry’s House’
  • Jessie Buckley & Bernard Butler – ‘For All Our Days That Tear The Heart’
  • Joy Crookes – ‘Skin’
  • Kojey Radical – ‘Reason To Smile’
  • Little Simz – ‘Sometimes I Might Be Introvert’
  • Nova Twins – ‘Supernova’ 
  • Sam Fender – ‘Seventeen Going Under’
  • Self Esteem – ‘Prioritise Pleasure’ 
  • Wet Leg – ‘Wet Leg’
  • Yard Act – ‘The Overload’
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