Hello again, it’s been a while.

I can only apologise for my absence, as I’m sure there’s been an empty space left in the usual music opinion based harassment you receive, but I’ve been on a bit of a big transitional period – I’ve moved far away and become a scumbag student again.

It’s been longer still though since I last forced multiple musicians on you with one of my ‘Things You Should Be Listening To’ features – an End of The Road festival special being the last. So, to mark my return to your lives I’ll be starting off with, as you’ve guessed from the title having clicked it open to read this, a ‘Things You Should Be Listening To’ feature. Better yet though, I’m being a lazy gobshite again and making it a special feature.

To mark the second ever Welsh Music Prize, I’ll be running through the nominees to get you introduced and help you get to know their nominated albums. Before that though, for those not in the know the Welsh Music Prize is a Welsh music prize (cough) created in 2011 by Radio 1 DJ, and independent-music-national-treasure, Huw Stephens in partnership with festival promoter and general music industry expert John Rostron.

The general idea behind it being to celebrate all the best music made in Wales or by Welsh musicians all around the globe. More than that though it hopes to champion the finest up and coming Welsh music acts, that might not normally get credit where their credit is due.

The WMP was launched last year to coincide with one of the UK’s largest independent festivals; SWN Festival. Though SWN put on events throughout the year and all around the UK, the actual festival itself (this year being the 18th of October through to the 21st) is essentially a city wide takeover of Cardiff by all the best independent or up and coming musicians, as they ram themselves into all Cardiff’s best venues. This year’s line up being a fine example.

Last year’s winner was Gruffy Rhys (of Super Furry Animals and solo fame), who was nominated alongside Manic Street Preachers and Joy Formidable among others, which goes some way to show the calibre of acts Wales does have to offer. So give Wales a chance, have a nose through this list of 12 nominees and find something you like, maybe even something you love.

The winner will be announced on the 18th(today) as SWN starts, but this feature isn’t about winners and losers, it’s about good music and there’s something for everyone in these 12 nominees.


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This article was first posted on October 18, 2012