The Mercury Prize (sorry, Barclaycard Mercury Prize) nominations are out. Here is the shortlist for this year’s prize:Richard Hawley: Standing At The Sky’s Edge Plan B: Ill Manors Alt-J: An Awesome Wave Django Django: Django Django The Maccabees: Given To The Wild Jessie Ware: Devotion Ben Howard: Every Kingdom Michael Kiwanuka: Home Again Lianne La Havas: Is Your Love Big Enough? Field Music: Plumb Roller Trio: Roller Trio Sam Lee: Ground Of Its Own
Interestingly, my predictions were not entirely wrong for once! I correctly guessed that Richard Hawley, Alt-J, Django Django and Jessie Ware would be on the shortlist. Not only that, but they are all artists who I believe really deserve to be nominated for the Prize. I was also pleased to see Field Music getting some long overdue recognition although I prefer their double album ‘Field Music (Measure)’ to ‘Plumb’ which I think is unlikely to win the Prize. I would have liked to have seen Hot Chip there too with their fifth album ‘In Our Heads’ and I was surprised that Kate Bush didn’t get a nomination for ‘Fifty Words for Snow’. Overall, it’s a pretty good list although it is not as eclectic as it has been in previous years. I do sometimes wonder if the token jazz record – this year it’s Roller Trio – will ever win it and if so, will the award bring them widespread success or see them fall into further obscurity? After all, the Mercury Prize is notorious for producing a mixed bag of winners.
I would really like to see Django Django win the Mercury Prize this year. Not only is their self-titled debut album a truly original mix of electronica and psychedelia, it is also highly listenable. That said, I think it is more likely to go to Richard Hawley who was famously ‘robbed’ of the Prize by the Arctic Monkeys in 2006. The winner will be announced on 1st November. Who do you think will win and who do you want to win?