After last week’s in-service day on the #TopTenSunday front, we stay on the subject of the 2014 Mercury Prize. Now don’t get us wrong, the shortlist that was announced earlier this month is naturally very good, showcasing the best of British music’s many limbs, with FKA twigs, Royal Blood and Mr. Albarn the early front runners for the award. There is however, a handful of British records that have dropped over the last 12 months that weren’t acknowledged in the shortlist, that certainly deserve to share their company. We’ve put together what we think are the best 10 British records eligible for this year’s award, and ranked them accordingly. Let us know how very wrong we are!
10. Jungle – Jungle (Did make shortlist)
Laced with a cavaliering brand of electro-funk and throwback dance-pop, Jungle’s debut LP brings its swaggering grooves to this weeks top 10.
9. Happyness – Weird Little Birthday
Happyness equip a highbrow adaptation of the slacker-rock motif with an exquisite wit and a sardonic smirk. Quietly intelligent, and hugely uplifting.
8. Metronomy – Love Letters
Metronomy’s 4th LP proved itself to be a brilliant record, but hasn’t followed 2012’s The English Riviera onto this year’s Mercury shortlist.
7. Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots (Did make shortlist)
A controversial nomination this year, given Damon’s views on the Prize in the past. Regardless, his first solo LP is a compelling musing, and features Mr. Tembo.
6. Cheatahs – Cheatahs
Cheatahs nod to the likes of MBV and Dinosaur Jr. with their excellent debut LP, boasting a heavy, distortion-drenched brand of shoegaze.
5. Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow (Did make shortlist)
This London quartet have hopped from limb to limb of the indie paradigm, and have proved themselves sublimely adept across all aspects of it thus far.
4. East India Youth – Total Strife Forever (Did make shortlist)
William Doyle’s sonic architecture has created an encapsulating LP with an omnipotent ability to inundate you in its mesmerizing soundscapes.
3. FKA twigs – LP1 (Did make shortlist)
Argue about its ‘Britishness’ all you like. Its influences might have been plumbed from across the pond, but LP1 is an entrancing, dynamic concoction.
2. Glass Animals – ZABA
Perhaps the least lauded sublime debut that’s dropped this year, but it hasn’t escaped us. Its noiR&B slithers along with a provocative, invigorating poise.
1. Wild Beasts – Present Tense
Their 4th best-of-the-year calibre LP cemented Wild Beasts’ place as one of the most accomplished and important British bands currently at work, and the fact this record hasn’t been acknowledged in the Mercury shortlist this year is cardinal. The best British record of the last 12 months, hands down.