This year's Barclaycard Mercury Prize could be one of the greatest lists of nominees in the awards history. 2013's nominees shortlist includes talent old and new, rock, pop, and dance with one thing to unite them all: they represent a selection of Britain and Ireland's strongest mainstream albums released during the last 12 months.

David Bowie
Bowie Looking A Favourite To Win.

It would be almost too easy to say that David Bowie will win: the 66 year-old made a triumphant and unexpected return this year with the critically lauded The Next Day which was recorded in secret over two years. He's also the bookies favourite along with Arctic Monkeys at the moment, with odds that are unlikely to change. Last time Bowie was nominated was in 2002 when he suffered defeat to pop star Ms. Dynamite but this time round there's been such a lot of press surrounding Bowie's come-back that he's been hard to ignore.

Laura Mvula
Will Laura Mvula's Soul Rhythms Of Sing To The Moon Be Crowned Winner?

Mercury Prize chairman Simon Frith spoke of this year's awards with reverence for the twelve nominees. "What is really striking about this year is that we have established artists doing something interesting. It's not just another record," he said, referring to Bowie and Arctic Monkeys, via The Telegraph.

Noting that electronic music has moved more into the mainstream this year, Frith said "There seem to have been more good albums released this year than for a very long time."

Jake Bugg
At Just 19, Jake Bugg Could Be One Of The Youngest Winners.

NomineeJames Blake, who is up for his Overgrown album, spoke of being on the same shortlist as someone who released their first album in 1967: "It's surreal to be on the same shortlist," he said "But it's a testament to how inventive and effortless [he is]."

Could this be Laura Marling's year to win? Though she's still very young at 23, she's already been nominated twice before and has just released her most self-assured and thematically fascinating album yet.

James Blake
Electronic Artist James Blake Is In With A Shot.

Oxford's Foals, who lost out to The xx in 2010 spoke of the Mercury's tension as "a very weird experience," according to BBC News. "Every single person in the room has the same anxiety, so you have thousands of people together who are not relaxed," said drummer Jack Bevan. The band have turned head this year with Holy Fire which set them apart from the mid-noughties indie pack they emerged from.

The winner this year? Anybody's guess really: who do you think should win?

The Full Shortlist Below:

Arctic Monkeys - AM

David Bowie - The Next Day

Disclosure - Settle

Foals - Holy Fire

Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg

James Blake - Overgrow

Jon Hopkins - Immunity

Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle

Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon

Rudimental - Home

Savages - Silence Yourself

Villagers - Awayland

The winner of the Barclaycard Mercury Prize 2013 will be announced at the end of the month.