Arlo Parks wins 2021 Mercury Prize

The Collapsed in Sunbeams artist has won this year’s Mercury Prize.

Arlo Parks was awarded the prize last night (9 September) for her debut album Collapsed in Sunbeams. In her acceptance speech, Parks said: “I am completely speechless. I don’t have the words. I just want to say a big thank you to my family. My mum and my dad are somewhere in the room today.”

The London singer-songwriter was shortlisted for this year’s prize alongside Black Country, New Road, Celeste, Mogwai, Ghetts, Nubya Garcia, and BERWYN. Wolf Alice, Sault, Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders and The London Symphony Orchestra were also in contention. 

The 2021 shortlist was selected by the award’s judges. This year’s panel included Annie Mac, Gemma Cairney, Michael Kiwanuka, Jamie Cullen and Vice‘s Tshepo Mokoena. Speaking on this year’s winner, the panel said: “It was extremely difficult to choose a winner of the 2021 Hyundai Mercury Prize. There were so many strong albums, of such diversity and character. But in the end we decided that Arlo Parks was an extremely worthy winner.”

“Addressing such complex issues as mental health and sexuality with real empathy, displaying a lyrical wisdom that belied her 21 years, with Collapsed In Sunbeams Arlo Parks has created an album that has captured the spirit of the year in a positive, forward thinking fashion,” added the panel, “It has the ability to reach out and remind a wider audience of the timeless art of the album. Arlo is an artist who connects deeply with her generation and reflects the plurality of contemporary British life.

Revisit our Collapsed in Sunbeams review and listen to the album below.

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