After a year in which artists saw their ability to perform live restricted, the list of finalists for the Welsh Music Prize has been announced.
In all, 15 albums were shortlisted for the tenth year of the award. Nominees include Ani Glass, Gruff Rhys, Georgia Ruth, Don Leisure and Yr Ods.
Last year’s winner was Welsh-speaking post-punk trio Adwaith with their album Melyn.
The 2020 winner will be announced on November 19.
The Welsh Music Prize was co-founded in 2011 by BBC presenter Huw Stephens and music consultant John Rostron, with the winning album selected by a panel of expert music industry judges.
Mr Rostron said: “The entire live music industry has been decimated this year, and for artists that means their opportunity to perform live, earn income and grow their fan base has been cut short. .
“But Covid-19 hasn’t quenched our appetite for listening and discovering new music.
“Streaming and buying new records has been a lifeline for performers in reaching audiences, and for all of us to stay healthy with a daily dose of great new songs.”
Others to triumph in the past include Boy Azooga in 2018 and Gwenno in 2015, both of whom have toured the world.
Ani Glass – Mirores
Ani Glass (Cardiff-based electronic pop musician Ani Saunders) hopes to follow in her sister Gwenno’s footsteps by winning the award. She sings in Welsh, Cornish and English and won the album of the year award at the National Eisteddfod.
Colorama – Wonderland of Chaos
Their seventh studio album reflects the beauty and chaos of the world leader Carwyn Ellis saw while touring with The Pretenders.
Cotton wolf – Ofni
Super producer Llion Robertson and classically trained composer Seb Goldfinch team up to present a bolder production with faster tempos and purer electronic sounds.
Deyha – Care City
A fluid hybrid of speech, rap and soul, Deyah covers topics ranging from isolation to addiction and healing in this powerful self-produced album.
Don Leisure – Steel Zakuski
Don Leisure is a household name in the beat-based, post-hip hop electronic music world. Steel Zakuski uses samples from a discovery series of rare rock, pop, groove and disco records from the USSR, mainly recorded in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Georgia Ruth – May
Everything about this former Welsh Music Prize winner’s latest album May is magical. From where it was recorded in Aberystwyth’s iconic Joseph Parry Hall, to the themes of the new motherhood.
Gruff Rhys – Pang!
Registered for 18 months, Pang! features musicians from around the world, with lyrics by Gruff in Welsh, bass by South African electronic artist Muzi and drums by Welsh American Kliph Scurlock.
Island – Carnation
With themes of death and rebirth featured in pop pysch, Eyelet is a glimpse into the colorful world of Islet.
Keys – Bring Me Jerry Garcia’s Head
The band’s first outing from Cardiff in five years, and a perfect blend of psychedelic garage goodness.
Kidsmoke – A Vision in the Dark
Wrexham’s scintillating indie-pop quartet’s debut album Kidsmoke sums up the feeling of summer, but with a distinctive new twist.
Los Blancos – Sbwriel Gwyn
The much talked about debut album is a proudly Welsh album that conveys the band’s recent experiences of heartache, rural isolation, friendship, alcohol and love song to a dog. Sbwriel Gwyn is Welsh for “white trash”, which is how the band affectionately refers to each other.
Luke’s music deals with everything from mental health to drug use. He burst onto the local underground scene in Cardiff with his debut single ‘Lost’ in 2018 which garnered over 14,000 views on YouTube.
Right Left – Red Zone
The album tells the story of humanity’s contempt for land, air and people, each of its 11 tracks referencing a place on Earth where something bad happened.
Silent forum – Everything is solved at once
Silent Forum’s long-awaited debut album is a black comedy concept album about life on the fringes of the Welsh music industry. Frontman Richard Wiggins writes with a self-deprecating sense of humor and a keen eye for eye-catching one-liners.
Yr Ods – Iaith y Nefoedd
Yr Ods’ third album, five tracks from Cardiff, is a Welsh-language multi-medium concept album created in partnership with Welsh author Llwyd Owen. Iaith y Nefoedd means ‘Language of Heaven’ and the album creates a Welsh world inspired by real cults such as Heaven’s Gate and Jonestown.
The group stays true to their pop melodies, but with a darker sound than their previous work.