Harry Styles has secured his first Mercury prize nomination on a shortlist featuring a host of other first-time nominees.
Former One Direction star turned solo artist Styles, 28, has been nominated for his third solo studio album Harry’s House, which has just earned its sixth week at number one on the UK album charts and now boasts more weeks atop the chart than all of One Direction’s albums combined.
Ten of the 12 acts in the running for the prestigious award, which recognises the best British album of the year, appear for the first time.
Among them are Leeds-based rock group Yard Act for their debut studio album The Overload and best rock alternative act Brit award winner Sam Fender’s Seventeen Going Under.
Fender told BBC 6 Music the record was a “very personal and important record for me and the boys, and for it to be recognised is insane.
“It is an absolute honour and I am chuffed. Fingers crossed and we’ll see what happens, but just to be nominated is an honour.”
Little Simz, who won best new artist at the Brit awards, secured another Mercury prize nomination this year for Sometimes I Might be Introvert – having featured in the 2019 shortlist for her album Grey Area.
Bafta-nominated actress Jessie Buckley, who recently won an Olivier award for best actress following her role as Sally Bowles in Cabaret, also features on the list for her debut album For All Our Days That Tear The Heart with Bernard Butler.
Guitarist Butler won the second Mercury Prize with his former band Suede in 1993 and told the PA news agency: “I am blessed I am here still doing this. I should be working in Sainsbury’s still but here I am. Life is good.”
Isle of Wight band Wet Leg, who made headlines with their performance at Glastonbury this year, have also been nominated for their self-titled number one album while Scottish pianist Fergus McCreadie was shortlisted for album Forest Floor following the highly acclaimed Cairn released last year.
British pop singer Self Esteem appears in the shortlist for her second studio album, Prioritise Pleasure, which was named the best album of 2021 by a number of outlets including The Guardian and The Sunday Times, while singer-songwriter Joy Crookes’ debut album Skin also features.
Rock duo Nova Twins have been nominated for their album Supernova, and vocalist and guitarist Amy Love said they had celebrated their nomination in a tequila bar in Hastings.
She told PA: “It has been such a dream of ours so we just feel amazing to be even a part of that list, because that list is a good looking list.”
Also featured are rapper Kojey Radical for Reason To Smile and Welsh musician Gwenno with album titled Tresor, which is sung mostly in Cornish.
Albums that missed out on the shortlist including Adele’s chart-topping 30, rapper Dave’s We’re All In This Together and Skinty Fia by Irish post-punks Fontaines DC.
The shortlist for the Mercury Prize was narrowed down by a judging panel which this year included DJ Annie Mac, musician Jamie Cullum, broadcaster Jamz Supernova, songwriter Anna Calvi, broadcaster Danielle Perry and musician Hazel Wilde.
The judges said: “Getting down to 12 albums this year was not easy, simply because there were so many remarkable ones to choose from.
“That serves as proof that British and Irish music thrives during unsettled periods in history, with the albums chosen covering everything from imaginative pop to pioneering rap to Cornish language folk-rock.
“We feel that these 12 amazing albums each have something to say artistically and socially, all in their own unique, enriching ways. Now comes the really hard part… choosing only one overall winner.”
This year’s shortlist was unveiled at a launch event hosted by BBC Music’s Huw Stephens on Tuesday.
It was also announced live at 11am by Nemone on BBC Radio 6 Music as part of their Mercury Prize shortlist special.
The awards show will take place on September 8 at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith.
It will feature live performances from many of the shortlisted artists culminating in the announcement of the 2022 Mercury Prize winner.
Arlo Parks was named the winner in 2021, having scooped the prestigious prize for her debut album Collapsed In Sunbeams.