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Listen to all the Mercury Prize nominated albums right here

Ed Sheeran's getting some much-needed exposure

Listen to all the Mercury Prize nominated albums right here

It's that time again guys: take a look at the shortlist for the Hyundai Mercury Prize, complain that you've never heard of half of them, realise that that's kind of the point, and then start investigating some fascinating albums that you might have missed over the past 12 months.

Last year saw Skepta deservedly take home the prize for his Konnichiwa record – and memorably celebrate with his mum on stage – but who will get the nod this year?

The judges have been announced: Phil Alexander - editor-in-chief, Mojo and Q, Clara Amfo - Radio 1 DJ, Jamie Cullum - jazz musician and Radio 2 broadcaster, Ella Eyre - musician and songwriter, Harriet Gibsone - music news editor, The Guardian, Lianne La Havas - musician and songwriter, Will Hodgkinson - chief rock and pop critic, The Times, MistaJam - 1Xtra DJ, Marcus Mumford, Jeff Smith - head of music, 6 Music and Radio 2, Jessie Ware - musician and songwriter, Mike Walsh - head of music, Radio X and Tony Wadsworth - former EMI Records boss.

Take a listen to all of the initial shortlist below - which features a broad range of stuff, and some much-needed exposure for little-know artist Ed Sheeran.

Stormzy – Gang Signs and Prayer

Blossoms – Blossoms

J Hus – Common Sense

Dinosaur – Together, As One

The xx – I See You

Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone

The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension

Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos

Ed Sheeran – Divide

Glass Animals – How To Be a Human Being

alt-J – Relaxer

Sampha – Process