This morning, the 2011 Mercury Prize shortlist was unveiled in London. It includes former Mercury Prize winner PJ Harvey, Ghostpoet, teen angel Katy B and recent FADER cover star James Blake. SBTRKT and Gold Panda were snubbed. At a ceremony on September 6th, one winner will take home £20,000 in prize money and a substantial increase in album sales (when Elbow—nominated this year for their album Build a Rocket Boys!—won in 2008, their album The Seldom Seen Kid experienced a 700% sales jump).
Adele's break up/fuck you album 21 was nominated, but it doesn't need the sales bump. 21's already sold almost three million copies in the UK. Another two million discs were moved in America, where 21 also became the best-selling digital album (one million sold) ever. The figures in Australia, Brazil, China and Russia are equally impressive. Does that—plus her impeccable singing, funny jokes and place in the hearts of moms everywhere—make her the obvious winner? Or is the prize still meant for the little(r) guys, or more perturbing albums?
Check out the full list of nominees and get familiar with some of their current work, below.
Anna Calvi, Anna Calvi
Elbow, Build a Rocket Boys!
Everything Everything, Man Alive
Ghostpoet, Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam
Gwilym Simcock, Good Days at Schloss Elmau
James Blake, James Blake
Katy B, On a Mission
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins, Diamond Mine
Metronomy, The English Riviera
PJ Harvey, Let England Shake
Tinie Tempah, Disc-Overy