Wednesday, 25 September, 2013 - 10:07

Mercury Prize 2013

by JonnyH

On the 11th of September, this year's annual Mercury Prize nominations were released with the aim of showcasing the best musical talent in the UK and Ireland. Along with this aim, the award tries to open up the world to a vast majority of different styles ranging from pop to rock to jazz to electronic music. It is one award that tends to have a lot of credibility within music circles and one award that can easily take the winner to new heights that could not have been reached previously, like number 1 albums and headlining festivals. Previous winners of the Mercury Music Prize include Pulp, Dizzee Rascal, PJ Harvey and last year's winners, Alt-J.
This year's nominations are:

Arctic Monkeys - AM
James Blake - Overgrown
David Bowie - The Next Day
Jake Bugg - Jake Bugg
Disclosure - Settle
Foals - Holy Fire
Jon Hopkins - Immunity
Laura Marling - Once I Was an Eagle
Laura Mvula - Sing to the Moon
Rudimental - Home
Savages - Silence Yourself
Villagers - {Awayland}

One change from the previous nominations is that this year's list tends to leave the smaller acts out of the running with nine out of the twelve nominations charting in the top 10 of the album charts and five of the albums (Arctic Monkeys, David Bowie, Jake Bugg, Disclosure and Rudimental) all hitting the top spot in the charts for at least a week. The only album without any major chart success is Jon Hopkins' Immunity which charted in at 63.

Discussions on who will be the favourite to win this year's award have already started. At the minute, early favourites are David Bowie, Arctic Monkeys and Disclosure yet considering the history of the award this doesn't always mean that the favourite will always win. Back in 2009, rapper Speech Debelle won the prize for her album Speech Therapy after being an outsider and beating the favourites; The Horrors. The year before too, Elbow beat the favourites Radiohead and Burial to take the prize which ultimately sent them to the very top of festival bills after years of playing small venues.

However, in recent times the Mercury panel has generally handed the prize out to the favourite and this seems set to continue, so I wouldn't be surprised to see either Disclosure, David Bowie or Arctic Monkeys standing on the stage in November collecting the award. Despite this, if I was handing out the award I would give it to Jon Hopkins' beautiful Immunity.


Are there any important music awards in your country? Which singers or bands do you think deserve a prize?  

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