Yesterday saw the announcement of the nominees for the 2010 Mercury Music Prize. It's an interesting list, though there's a notable lack of small artists. While last year had Sweet Billy Pilgrim and the eventual winner Speech Debelle, this year is a collection of well established acts including Biffy Clyro, Dizzee Rascal, Wild Beasts, the xx, Mumford & Sons and Paul Weller.
Biffy Clyro: Only Revolutions. Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro receive their first Mercury nomination for arguably their worst album. Since they moved from the Nirvana-esque sound of their first few albums, their popularity has soared. This album includes the singles That Golden Rule, The Captain, Many of Horror, Mountains, Bubbles and God & Satan.
Corinne Bailey Rae: The Sea. Corinne's second album was inspired by tragic circumstances and sees a soulful collection of songs.
Dizzee Rascal: Tongue n' Cheek. This is Dizzee's third nomination (of his four albums) and is a more pop affair than any of his previous work. The singles Holiday, Dance Wiv Me, Bonkers and Dirtee Disco were all taken from this album.
Kit Downes Trio: Golden. Kit Downes is a jazz musician. I'm not familiar with this album.
Foals: Total Life Forever. The follow up to Antidotes sees Foals get their first Mercury nomination. A pretty good album, it is more of the same really.
I Am Kloot: Sky At Night. Produced by Guy Garvey from Elbow, I Am Kloot reach new heights with this album that has received almost universally positive reviews, including a glowing one from Garvey himself. He claimed it to be better than anything ever put out by Elbow, including their own Mercury winning The Seldom Seen Kid.
Laura Marling: I Speak Because I Can. The fantastic sophomore album from Laura Marling sees her receive her second nomination. Stripped back, rustic and folk driven, this one could be set for glory I think.
Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More. The bluegrass, folk and indie styling of Marcus Mumford and co. have swarmed the airwaves and the festivals this summer and it is no surprise that they wound up on this list. The album peters out by the last few tracks, though singles like Little Lion Man, The Cave and Roll Away Your Stone are fantastic.
Paul Weller: Wake Up The Nation. I'm not a fan of Weller's solo work - it simply doesn't reach the standards of his work with the Jam or the Style Council. Saying that, this album is probably the best work he has released under his own name.
Villagers: Becoming A Jackal. A shock contender, Conor O'Brien's album has wowed critics and music fans in this country already and this is likely to increase his popularity in the UK. A gorgeous album, I would love to see Conor win this but will be surprised if it happens. Some real gems on the album and it's well worth checking out if you haven't, though I will repeat what I've said in the past - the live setting is where Villagers really come into their own.
Wild Beasts: Two Dancers. The stunning album from Leeds band Wild Beasts sees them pick up a deserved nomination. Hayden Thorpe is known for his voice - it ranges from falsetto highs to baritone lows in the same track. Wild Beasts really stand out from the crowd and will be among the contenders at the end of this I believe.
The xx: xx. The debut from Londoners the xx caught the attentions of many the world over and is a genuine contender.
For me it's between the xx, Laura Marling and Wild Beasts. The winner will be announced on September 7th.
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- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.