Fresh off last year’s coronation of the Klaxons as the best band in Britain, this year’s Mercury Prize nominations feature quite a range of popular music, from summer jam tournament runner-up Estelle to a few acts that will send you scurrying to Google.
Here is the shortlist:
Adele – 19
British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial – Untrue
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle – Shine
Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon – Stainless Style
Portico Quartet – Knee-Deep in the North Sea
Rachel Unthank & The Winterset – The Bairns
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement
Radiohead is the likely favorite, especially considering the idea of giving an award to Elbow or British Sea Power instead is too difficult to imagine. However, the Mercury Prize does throw its share of curveballs; the Klaxons beating Amy Winehouse last year, Antony & the Johnsons beating out Coldplay, Bloc Party and M.I.A. in 2005. If nothing else, looking through shortlists of the past is an amusing flashback to my poorly chosen music purchases of previous years. MJ Cole! Gemma Hayes! Artists for War Child! What do these artists have in common? Their CDs are all stored in my garage. Forget the prize, who from this year’s nominees will join that prestigious group?