Nominees for this year's Mercury Prize have been announced. If you're not familiar with the Mercury Prize, it's an award handed out in Britain for the best British album of the past year. Unlike the more commercial Brit Awards, the Mercury Prize is decided by a panel of music critics and industry figures, and awards the winner with a prize of about $32,000. What's most interesting, though, is that the list of nominees and winners is so wildly unpredictable. Last year, for example, Elbow's Seldom Seen Kid (a great album) beat out Radiohead's In Rainbows (a far superior album) to win the prize. Regardless, you can count on the Mercury Prize to draw attention to a lot of bands the mainstream press has largely missed.
Here are the nominees for this year:
Bat For Lashes: Two Suns
Florence and the Machine: Lungs
Friendly Fires: Friendly Fires
Glasvegas - "Flowers & Football Tops"
Kasabian: West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
La Roux: La Roux
\\\ LA ROUX /// IN FOR THE KILL
Led Bib: Sensible Shoes
Lisa Hannigan: Sea Sew
Speech Debelle: Speech Therapy
Sweet Billy Pilgrim: Twice Born Men
The Horrors: Primary Colours
The Invisible: The Invisible