Today the shortlist for the Welsh Music Prize 2014-2015 has been announced. Now in its fifth year, the Welsh Music Prize champions the best original music from Wales.
This year the shortlist comprises 15 albums, which celebrate the breadth of music emerging from Wales over the past year. In previous years the shortlist has been made up of 12 albums.
Among the shortlist are last year’s Welsh Music Prize winners Joanna Gruesome, established acts such as Catfish and the Bottlemen and Paper Aeroplanes and debut albums from artists such as Zefur Wolves and Tender Prey.
The shortlist also contains more Welsh language releases than ever before - from Geraint Jarman, Calan and Gwenno. The fifteen shortlisted albums are:
Calan – Dinas (Sain)
Catfish and the Bottlemen – The Balcony (Island / Communion Records)
Geraint Jarman – Dwyn yr Hogyn Nol (AnkstMusic)
Gwenno – Y Dydd Olaf (Peski / Heavenly Recordings)
H Hawkline – In the Pink Condition (Heavenly Recordings)
Hippies vs Ghosts – Droogs
Houdini Dax – Naughty Nation (Houdini Dax / Listen to This)
Joanna Gruesome – Peanut Butter (Fortuna POP!)
Keys – Ring the Changes (See Monkey Do Monkey)
Paper Aeroplanes – Joy (My First Records)
Richard James – All the New Highways
Tender Prey – Organ Calzone (Bird)
Trwbador – Several Wolves (Owlet)
Zarelli – Soft Rains (Bronze Rat)
Zefur Wolves – Zefur Wolves (Strangetown)
The Welsh Music Prize was created in 2011 by BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and music promoter John Rostron, with whom he founded Cardiff’s NME award-winning Sŵn Festival.
Huw Stephens added: “It's been another great year for Welsh music, with a diverse and strong list of albums making the shortlist. There’s great songwriting, Welsh language records, folk, electronica and world conquering rock on the list. I think the judges have a tough job ahead of them, as these albums are all worthy of their place on the shortlist. We look forward to celebrating all of them in Cardiff in November”.
The Welsh Music Prize 2014-2015 ceremony will be held on Thursday 26th November 2015 at Sherman Cymru, Cardiff.
The panel who will decide on the winner includes Helen Weatherhead (BBC 6Music); Noel Gardner (Buzz Magazine); Kieran Evans (Film Director); David Wrench (Producer); Neal Thompson (Focus Wales); Owain Schiavone (Golwg / Y Selar); Iain Richards (Velvet Coalmine); Griff Lynch Jones (Ochr 1, S4C); Nici Beech (Gwyl Arall, Noson 4a6); Andy Bibey (One Little Indian); Ben Coleman (GreenMan Festival) and Laura Snapes (Pitchfork / NME).
Last year’s prize was awarded to Joanna Gruesome for their debut album Weird Sister. Other previous winners are Georgia Ruth for Week of Pines (2012–2013), Future of the Left for The Plot Against Common Sense (2011-2012) and Gruff Rhys for Hotel Shampoo (2010-2011).