Welsh Music Prize 2018 shortlist announced
The twelve strong album shortlist for the 2018 Welsh Music Prize has today (Monday 15 October) been revealed. This is the eighth year of the Prize as it continues to champion the diverse production of music in Wales.
The winner will be chosen by a panel of industry experts and announced on Wednesday 7 November at an invite only ceremony in Cardiff’s Coal Exchange. New for this year, an additional Welsh Music Inspiration Award / Gwobr Ysbrydoliaeth Gerddoriaeth Gymreig will be presented on the night.
Previous Welsh Music Prize winners are Gruff Rhys (2011), Future of the Left (2012), Georgia Ruth (2013), Joanna Gruesome (2014), Gwenno (2015), Meilyr Jones (2016) and the Gentle Good (2017). Many of these have gone on to achieve subsequent success due to the Prize’s industry recognition, not only in Wales but on a UK and international platform.
This year’s shortlisted albums are…
Alex Dingley ‘Beat the Babble’
Released in June 2018 on Libertino Records, Alex Dingley travelled from Llansteffan, West Wales to California’s West Coast to make this, his third album with the help of Tim Presley, Cate Le Bon and Samur Khouja.
Described by Presley as ‘a melodic book on tape, a journal put to song, a soundtrack to film starring real people, real script’ this is Alex’s first nomination for a WMP.
Astroid Boys ‘Broke’
Hailing from Cardiff, this hardcore, punk rock, grime band have been touring hard since forming in 2012. Broke – their debut album – brings together their high performance energy, attacking vocals and crushing guitars into one home for the voice of the youth. Released on Music for Nations in September 2017.
Boy Azooga ‘1,2, Kung Fu’
Boy Azooga’s debut album, 1,2, Kung Fu is piloted by Davey Newington who is joined by friends Daf Davies, Dylan Morgan and Sam Barnes to form the Boy Azooga quartet when playing live.
Released on Heavenly records in June 2018, it has put this Cardiff outfit firmly on radio playlists and on one to watch lists up and down the UK.
Bryde ‘Like an Island’
Like an Island is track to track intimate, bitter sweet symphonies from Pembrokeshire-born, London-based Bryde, aka Sarah Howells.
With influences of Radiohead, Warpaint and Jeff Buckley, her debut album was released in April 2018 via Seahorse Music.
Eugene Capper & Rhodri Brooks ‘Pontvane’
After two years of ongoing collaboration and development, Pontvane is Eugene Capper & Rhodri Brooks’ first release as a duo.
A patchwork of their back catalogues of diverse musicality and influence, it was released on Cardiif Based label Bubblewrap Collective a firm feature on the WMP album lists in September 2017.
Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita ‘SOAR’
SOAR is the unique marriage of cultures from the critically acclaimed and multi award-winning collaborative, Welsh harpist Catrin Finch and Senegalese kora player Seckou Keita.
It is the much-anticipated follow-up to their successful 2013 debut album ‘Clychau Dibon’ and was released on Bendigedig in April 2018.
Gwenno ‘Le Kov’
Le Kov is the second studio album from previous WMP winner, Gwenno. Picking up where ‘Y Dydd Olaf’ left off, the album, which was released in March 2018 on Heavenly Records, is written entirely in Cornish in ode to minority languages.
Gruff Rhys ‘Babelsberg’
Another WMP past winner, Babelsberg is Gruff Rhys’ fifth solo album and first record released on Rough Trade since Candylion in 2007.
Featuring the 72-piece BBC National Orchestra of Wales, it has been dubbed his best yet – imaginative, melodic and politically relevant.
Manic Street Preachers ‘Resistance Is Futile’
Resistance Is Futile is the thirteenth album by Manic Street Preachers. Recorded in the band’s new Door to the River studio and released on Columbia in April 2018, it reached number 2 on the UK Albums Chart.
MELLT ‘Mae’n Hawdd Pan Ti’n Ifanc’
This year has already seen a win for the Aberystwyth trio, with their debut earning Welsh Language Album of the year at the National Eisteddfod 2018.
Released on Jigcal Records, it references Ceredigion and growing up in west Wales.
Self-recorded in bedrooms and a bunker in Wrexham, Trunks is the debut album from this infectious, DIY, psych-pop five piece.
Released in January 2018, it has received plenty of radio love over at BBC Radio 6 and BBC Radio 1.
Toby Hay ‘The Longest Day’
The second album and the second WMP nomination for twelve-string guitarist Toby Hay. Released in June 2018, The Longest Day builds on his atmospheric first release and recounts travels to America via Cornwall.
Huw Stephens, who cofounded Welsh Music Prize with former promoter, John Rostron said: “It’s another eclectic and electrifying nominations list that the jurors have put forward. The judges will now listen to the twelve excellent albums, and decide on a winner.
“These albums have found audiences worldwide, the musicians are incredible talented ambassadors for Wales and this year’s Welsh Music Prize proves that creativity in music from Wales is at an all time high.”
This year’s event is sponsored by Welsh Government Creative Industries, PPL, PRS for Music with support from Cowshed and the Exchange Hotel.
Peter Leathem, Chief Executive Officer at PPL said: “Wales has an exceptional musical heritage that is recognised around the world. We are proud to support the Welsh Music Prize which shines a light on those artists who have put their time and effort into creating music for us all to enjoy.
“Our congratulations go to all those who have been shortlisted – the Prize continues to grow in stature and we look forward to finding out who will win this respected accolade in 2018.”
John Morris, PRS for Music Senior Membership Relations Manager, Wales, said: “I am delighted PRS for Music is supporting the prestigious Welsh Music Prize, championing the best music and artists of Wales. There were many great Welsh albums released this year and the list of nominees selected paint a rich picture of the Welsh music landscape, with a myriad of genres and styles. Congratulations to all those nominated – we look forward to celebrating with you all next month.”
For more information about the Welsh Music Prize go to welshmusicprize.com or follow @welshmusicprize