This year’s Mercury Prize awards were released earlier this morning, containing 12 British or Irish albums of the year as judged by the independent panel of judges, and attempting to encase the year’s best sounds. In case you don’t know: the Mercury Prize is among the most prestigious awards a band can receive, giving them 20,000£, as well as a typically dramatic rise in album sales and rotation. Usually eclectic, the list includes up and coming bands as well as established acts. PJ Harvey is the only act so far to have received the award twice - it’s difficult enough to be on the list once.
Here are some of our favorites we are excited about:
Django Django - Django Django (Because Music)
This pop noise dance outfit from East London met in art school have an infectious experimental pop sound that’s both danceable and listenable...
Alt-J - An Awesome Wave (Infectious Music UK / Canvasback Music US)
Alt-J’s specific brand of “folk-step” has won over our airwaves and has been in constant rotation for months. Their debut album comes out in the U.S. next week.
Jessie Ware - Devotion (PMR/Island)
With her inventive and soaring sound, this lady went from independent coverage to full blown star, and rightly so.
Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again (Polydor)
Michael Kiwanuka’s bluesy lush sound reminds the listener why we ever liked acoustic bluesy music in the first place. He will also be playing here in Seattle at Showbox on October 5th.
Richard Hawley - Standing At The Sky’s Edge (Mute)
Compared to his competition here, this UK crooner is a veteran, and his seventh solo album, Standing At The Sky’s Edge, is his most powerful yet. Considering other vets like PJ Harvey and Paul Weller have won in the past, Hawley could be a shoe in.
One nominee that probably should have gotten on the list: The xx. Seriously? No one else sounds like them, and Coexist was a revelation in our book.