As the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012 draws near, we have a look at the shortlist and the likelihood of each act actually walking away with the prize. There’s no such thing as a done deal when it comes to the Mercury Music Prize; the ones that you think are the favourites never seem to walk away the title, the judging panel is very hard to second guess. But hey, that’s not going to stop us giving it a try!
Alt-J: An Awesome Wave
These quirky popsters have crept up on the public throughout 2012, and with their debut album garnering critical acclaim in all corners of the press, they’ve been pegged by many as the favourites to win. A recent survey conducted by Spotify showed that Alt-J’s tracks had been streamed more times that any other nominated artist. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to walk home with the prize though.
Continue reading: Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize 2012: Our Predictions
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.
Continue reading: A Brief Run Down Of The Mercury Prize Favourites
This Thursday (November 1, 2012), the winner of the Mercury Music will be announced. As a precursor to the official event, Spotify have taken a look at the streaming figures for all of the nominees, on their online streaming service and Alt-J have attracted more listeners than any of the other Mercury Music Prize nominees.
Of course, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the Mercury judging panel will have the same taste as Spotify’s listeners and Alt-J face fierce competition, even if they have pretty much been tipped as likely winners since the list was announced. Jessie Ware’s another newcomer with a strong chance, as is Lianne La Havas. Plan B and Richard Hawley are among the more experienced artists in there that also stand a strong chance. You should never count on the obvious choice when it comes to the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize, after all. Remember the year that Dizzee Rascal won? How many of you saw that one coming?
Even Alt-J aren’t counting their chickens just yet. The band’s drummer Thom Green placed his expectations of the band winning the prize at a lowly 8.3% and admitted “We’d been tipped to win before we’d even been nominated, so the pressure was on.” A spokesperson for Spotify, Will Hope, said “We can't predict who the judges will pick to win this Thursday's Mercury Prize, but if it were up to music fans on Spotify, Alt-J would be the band picking up the award. Ben Howard is a close second based on recent streaming habits we've seen. We wish all nominees the best of luck!”
Having already been nominated for the 2012 Mercury Prize for Ill Manors, Plan B’s hugely successful album, which shares its name with the film in which he starred and directed, is making waves on the MOBO scene. Nominations include Best Male, Best Hip-hop/Grime act, Best Video, Best Song and Best Album: a successful haul for Ben Drew, who has enjoyed a successful renaissance of sorts, since he reinvented his style from U.K grime to retro-chic. Sande, who performed at both the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics, is nominated for Best R&B/Soul Act, Best Video for My Kind Of Love, Best Song for Next To Me, and Best Album for her debut Our Version of Events – which was snubbed by the Mercury Prize judging panel.
Elsewhere, Rita Ora and Labrinth are both nominated for four awards each, while Mercury Prize nominees Jessie Ware, Lianne La Havas and Michael Kiwanuka are also all nominated. Last year Jessie J dominated the event, which will take place at the Echo Arena in Liverpool on November 3. She won four MOBO awards, while US R&B act Boyz II Men were recognised with a special award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.