Biffy Clyro, Corinne Bailey Rae, Paul Well and Dizzee Rascal are among the 12 nominees for this year's Mercury Prize. More than 200 acts and their albums were up for the Album of the Year honor, given out to U.K. or Irish bands who have released new sets in the last 12 months.
The winner will be announced at the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Awards Show on Sept. 7.
The xx is estimated to take the £20,000 prize home and, while I may not be a raving fan of the band, I do appreciate awards such as these going to new and breaking artists rather than the standbys (like 2003 winner Dizzee Rascal).
My hope of hopes is to see Laura Marling take it. I've always very much liked her voice and her style, but she truly came into her own with "I Speak Because I Can," which doesn't miss a single note, and every song necessary and surprising. (Jack White agrees.) I do have a soft spot, too, for Mumford & Sons and Foals, and the very nature of Corinne Bailey Rae's intimate "The Sea" cries out for a little more attention (see: sad). Villagers and Kit Downes have the most outside of chances.
The Paul Weller set is an achievement just in a notable guests it roped in: the former The Jam frontman was joined by his former bandmate Bruce Foxton for the first time since 1982. This would be the first time in 16 years he gets the nod.
Other previous winners include Elbow, Klaxons and Arctic Monkeys.
Here are the nominees for the 2010 Mercury Prize:
Biffy Clyro "Only Revolutions"
Corinne Bailey Rae "The Sea"
Dizzee Rascal "Tongue N' Cheek"
Foals "Total Life Forever"
I Am Kloot "Sky At Night"
Kit Downes "Trio Golden"
Laura Marling "I Speak Because I Can"
Mumford & Sons "Sigh No More"
Paul Weller "Wake Up the Nation"
The xx "xx"
Villagers "Becoming a Jackal"
Wild Beasts "Two Dancers"