We gaze into our crystal ball...

It's almost time.

The shortlist for this year's Hyundai Mercury Prize will be announced tomorrow - July 25th - at 11am, ending weeks of speculation.

The prize intends to showcase the very best in new music from Great Britain and Ireland, with recent winners including Wolf Alice, Skepta, Young Fathers, PJ Harvey, and Sampha.

We've picked out 12 albums who we think could be in with a chance when the announcement is made, and it's a diverse bunch - we don't envy this year's judges at all.

One thing to note: Self Esteem appeared to rule herself out of the running, so she didn't make the pick; also, Nilufer Yanya fell agonisingly short of making our list.

Will either - or indeed both - appear on the final list? Time will tell...

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Dave – 'Psychodrama'

"The rapper has taken his time over the release, building a vivid, unique voice across a flurry of releases that have gained more than 600 million streams..." - Clash

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slowthai – 'Nothing Great About Britain'

"This compelling and provocative record is a haunting echo of a seemingly hopeless vignette of Britain today, where slowthai offers the slightest glimmer of optimism for a potentially brighter future. slowthai is the unexpected hero for the people we didn’t know we needed, but so many, justly deserve." - Clash

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Little Simz – 'Grey Area'

"This newly three dimensional Little Simz – vulnerable and reflective, while spiky and hard – has produced a crafted project, and it’s one of her best to date..." - Clash

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Skepta – 'Ignorance Is Bliss'

"Skepta is at his lyrical best with quotables for days, but whether it be embarrassing or regrettable, he doesn’t shy away from his past. While this dose of nostalgia adds personality to the album, he still manages to consistently let us into his mind-state as a now 36-year-old man in 2019. One thing you can’t help but admire and are sure to keep coming back to, is the sparse, yet remarkably layered production, almost all of which was handled by the man himself..." - Clash

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James Blake – 'Assume Form'

"In a somewhat unexpected move James Blake has become the go-to man among the US hip-hop glitterati seeking to add a little indie gravitas to their output. Arguably, he’s at his best when bouncing off others, and the guest spots provide colour and counterpoints without overstaying their welcome. ‘Tell Them’ (featuring Moses Sumney and Metro Boomin) is an early highlight, skipping along on a light trap beat." - Clash

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Fontaines DC - 'Dogrel'

"Dublin in the rain belongs to Fontaines D.C., and rather than being too real this album is just right, it is a ragged delivery. The trick lies in the seemingly un-filtered rawness combined with its stark poetic reality. The three components help secure this album’s position as an example of authenticity; authenticity in its most concentrated and truest form and expression." - Clash

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Fat White Family – 'Serf’s Up'

"Whether the Fat Whites are cavaleering through a disco dystopia or spinning together tramadol-dub ditties, their music remains an essential and completely unstoppable force." - Clash

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Ezra Collective – 'You Can’t Steal My Joy'

"Their first studio release, ‘You Can’t Steal My Joy’, injects the feeling and motion of live music, a lovingly assembled debut LP and a natural continuation of their 2017 EP ‘Juan Pablo: The Philosopher’. With a tenor-trumpet core, Ezra Collective skilfully blend traditional tropes with a genre-fluid plurality, symbolic of their upbringing in the metropolis." - Clash

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The Comet Is Coming – 'Trust In The Lifeforce Of The Deep Mystery'

"This is space tourism, flying first class. How much for a return ticket?" - Clash

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Swindle - 'No More Normal'

"There is so much right about this album that it’s hard to criticise: Swindle’s vision to blend different worlds of underground music, together with his choice of features - as well as intriguing changes in pace - are what makes this album great." - Clash

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black midi – 'Schlagenheim'

"An arresting, astonishing experience, ‘Schlagenheim’ is a vital, stunning, puzzling album, one that demands to be heard." - Clash

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Anna Calvi - 'Hunter'

"This is the album we've been waiting for, whether we knew it or not." - Clash

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The full shortlist for this year's Hyundai Mercury Prize is announced at 11am tomorrow (July 25th).

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