Mercury Music Prize 2012: The nominations and odds
Richard Hawley and Plan B are the favourites to bag the music prize
Adam Sherwin is Media Correspondent at The Independent and an award-winning writer who specialises in covering the entertainment, broadcasting, music and popular culture industries. Previously Media writer and diarist at The Times, he was a co-founder of the Beehive City media and entertainment website. As regular contributor to BBC London 94.9 Radio station, he was named Music Business writer of the year at the awards of influential music industry site Record of the Day in 2006.
Wednesday 12 September 2012
Richard Hawley: 'Standing At The Sky's Edge' – 4/1
2006 nominee swops twang-tastic crooning for full-on, guitar-distorted psychedelic epics, reflecting upon his late father and beloved Sheffield. Further out than he’s ever gone, the album was instantly hailed by critics.
Plan B: ‘Ill Manors’ – 4/1
East Londoner Ben Drew topped the charts with his brave, brutal expose of post-riots life in the shadow of the Olympic Park. The uncompromising Ill Manors stands apart in a depoliticised pop world.
Alt-J (∆): 'An Awesome Wave' – Odds 5/1
Precison-tooled to appeal to Mercury judges, the debut album from Leeds quartet combines indie, folk, dance textures, pop sensibility and winsome lyrics to create a perfectly-realised, intelligent alt-pop package.
Django Django: 'Django Django' – 5/1
Edinburgh art-school group mine Krautrock, techno and African influences for colourful psychedelic pop debut which defies genres. A festivals favourite but may be too close to Alt-J in the left-field indie stakes.
The Maccabees: 'Given To The Wild' – 7/1
Midtable Brighton-based indie-pop quintet make a push for Europa League places with third album adding a widescreen sheen to wispy, melodic approach. Anthemic songs wildly received by expanding fan base.
Jessie Ware: 'Devotion' – 7/1
Panorama presenter’s daughter hailed as the “new Sade” with electro-tinged collection of late-night soul, topped by a warm, smoky vocal belying her origins as a dubstep diva for hire. More personality than Emile Sandé who she edged out.
Ben Howard – ‘Every Kingdom’ 8/1
Contemporary update of folk style from Devon 25 year-old, compared to Nick Drake and John Martyn. Poetic lyrics and Howard’s passionate vocals play out over his spartan guitar backdrop.
Michael Kiwanuka: 'Home Again' – 8/1
No dinner party is complete without the Muswell Hill singer’s accomplished folk-soul debut. Kiwanuka’s warm vocals elevated a superbly-arranged set of songs which demonstrate that real emotion needn’t mean over-singing.
Lianne La Havas – ‘Is Your Love Big Enough’ – 8/1
Competing with Kiwanuka and Ware in the “hushed soul” category, south Londoner singer strums and purrs over collection of jazz-inflected tunes which reek of expensive production. A Sound of 2012 tip yet to truly break through.
Field Music: ‘Plum’ – 10/1
None-more quirky Sunderland band wedge time signature-shifting prog rock ambition inside playful two minute songs packed with harmonies and hooks. Fourth studio album for indie band offers a fresh take on guitar-rock
Roller Trio – ‘Roller Trio’ – 10/1
This year’s jazz contenders met at Leeds College of Music and won acclaim for the raucous funk-infused sounds of their self-released debut. Roller Trio are James Mainwaring (tenor sax and electronics), Luke Wynter (guitar) and Luke Reddin-Williams (drums).
Sam Lee – ‘Ground Of Its Own’ – 10/1
English folk singer applies adventurous instrumentation to traditional narrative tales sourced from Gypsy and traveller communities. The grisly album’s themes include infanticide but Lee is himself a worldly Chelsea College of Art graduate.
Odds: William Hill
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