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Mirel Wagner wins Nordic Music Prize

05 March 2015, 19:02 | Written by Laurence Day

Mirel Wagner has become the first Finnish musician to win the Phonophile Nordic Music Prize.

The Finnish jazz-folk artist, signed to Sub Pop, released When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day last August to widespread acclaim - we said, in our 8/10 review, that "When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day is in many ways an astounding album; unflinching in its tales of abuse, murder and death it marks Mirel Wagner out not just as a musician of immense talent, but also as a story teller and poet who’s able to weave gripping tales from bleak reality. She’s carrying on an old folk tradition; if it be murder ballads you want, then there’s no-one better to sing to you."

The jury panel, comprising Laurence Bell (Domino), Jeannette Lee (Rough Trade), Jonathan Galkin (DFA), Jude Rogers (The Guardian) and Andres Lokko (SVD) said of the record:

“This album showcases a strong, intense new voice that feels like it's coming from somewhere deep and true. As a set of restrained and alluring short stories, gorgeously sung and played, this record keeps pulling you back into its world. and, please, don't be scared by the title!"

The runners up were Selvhenter's Motions of Large Bodies and Iceage's Plowing Into The Field Of Love.

The full nominated shortlist can be found below:

Emilie Nicolas (NO) - Like I'm a Warrior
Gracias (FI) - Elengi
Iceage (DK) - Plowing Into the Field of Love
Lorentz (SE) - Kärlekslåtar
Lykke Li (SE) - I Never Learn
Neneh Cherry (SE) - Blank Project
Mirel Wagner (FI) - When the Cellar Children See the Light of Day
MØ (DK) - No Mythologies to Follow
Pink Street Boys (ICE) - Trash From the Boys
Prinspóló (ICE) - Sorrí
Selvhenter (DK) - Motions of Large Bodies
Todd Terje (NO) - It's Album Time

In winning, Wagner takes home 30,000NOK (about £2500) in prize money, sponsored by GramArt.

For more information about the Phonophile Nordic Music Prize, head here.

Watch her video for "Oak Tree" below.

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