Yesterday the nominees for the annual Barclaycard Mercury Prize, one of the UK's most prestigious music awards, were announced. The prize honors what is deemed the highest quality album released by an artist from the United Kingdom or Ireland in the previous year. For many observers one name stands out among the nominees. That is rapper and soul singer Plan B. Two years ago his album The Defamation Of Strickland Banks was a major commercial breakthrough topping the UK album chart on the way to being certified triple platinum and generating two top 10 pop hit singles. That gave him the industry clout to pursue a more artistically challenging and gritty album ill Manors. It was released earlier this year to strong critical acclaim and now stands as one of the favorites to win the Mercury Prize.
Another album that many see as a possible winner is Standing At the Sky's Edge by singer-songwriter Richard Hawley. He was once a member of the British band Pulp, and this is his seventh solo album. It has received strong critical acclaim and is seen as a possible winner of the Mercury Prize. Many of the other nominees are significantly less well known. Michael Kiwanuka, one of the top new artists to watch in 2012 received a nod as did dance oriented new artist Jessie Ware.
- Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
- Ben Howard - Every Kingdom
- Django Django - Django Django
- Field Music - Plumb
- Richard Hawley - Standing at the Sky's Edge
- Michael Kiwanuka - Home Again
- Lianne La Havas - Is Your Love Big Enough?
- Sam Lee - Ground of its Own
- The Maccabees - Given To The Wild
- Plan B - ill Manors
- Roller Trio - Roller Trio
- Jessie Ware - Devotion