The Mercury Prize is set to be awarded tomorrow (1st Nov. 2012), and true to form and tradition, many of the artists in the nomination lists are ones that you may never have heard, or even heard of. As such, we thought it'd be useful to give you a brief breakdown of three acts topping the list of favourites, Alt-J, Richard Hawley and Jessie Ware.
Jessie Ware's album 'Devotion' is nominated and 3rd in the favourites. Ware used to be a vocalist with drum and base act SBTRKT. Some of that synthy influence can be heard in this album, but the vocals hark back to the '80s and early '90s, though with her own twee stamp.
Richard Hawley comes in second. He was originally in the Britpop band Longpigs and also played with Pulp for a few years before launching his solo career. He's nominated for his whimsically titled album 'Standing at the Sky's Edge'. Despite that whimsy, he has described this album as 'angry', to the Guardian. The guitars and vocals are verging on gritty, but angry? Not quite.
Finally, competition favourites are Alt-J, from Scotland, and their album 'An Awesome Wave'. The album is undeniably beautiful and genuinely teetering over into the realms of true originality. They've been compared to Everything Everything and Hot Chip, but there's also something of School of Seven Bells, and even Vampire Weekend. But still, Alt-J are like none of these.
According to Digital Spy and book makers, Paddy Power, the odds for all nominees looks a little something like this;
1/1 Alt-J (An Awesome 4/1
Richard Hawley (Standing At The Sky's Edge)
6/1 Jessie Ware (Devotion)
6/1 Plan B (Ill Manors)
7/1 Django Django (Django Django)
14/1 The Maccabees (Given To The Wild)
14/1 Ben Howard (Every Kingdom)
16/1 Field Music (Plumb)
20/1 Lianne La Havas (Is Your Love Big Enough)
20/1 Michael Kiwanuka (Home Again)
25/1 Sam Lee (Ground Of Its Own)
33/1 Roller Trio (Roller Trio)
Past winners of the Mercury Prize include PJ Harvey (twice), The xx, Dizzee Rascal and Anton and the Johnsons.