The Barclaycard Mercury Prize shortlist has been revealed with veterans PJ Harvey and Elbow in line to win the gong for their second time around.
“The Mercury win is best thing that's ever happened to us” said Elbow in 2008 when they won for fourth album The Seldom Seen Kid. PJ Harvey meanwhile took out the prestigious prize in 2001 for Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea.
Also in the running is newcomer Anna Calvi whose moody atmospheric dark-pop caught the ear of Nick Cave who hand picked her to support him and his band The Bad Seeds; hip hop sensation Tinie Tempah and chart-storming pop-soul star Adele.
“This year’s Barclaycard Mercury Prize shortlist highlights the remarkable possibilities of what can be achieved with music – the grand gesture and telling detail, albums that are dramatic, ambitious and artful, emotional and affectionate, funny and profound,” says Simon Frith, Chair of Judges.
“Much of the music here evokes a sense of place and time, providing a wonderful snapshot of
Britain’s varied musical life.”
The shortlist, chosen from an entry of over 240 albums, was announced by Lauren Laverne. The event was hosted by
Critics no doubt will be asking why Arctic Monkeys’ Suck It And See or Wild Beasts Smother were not included in the list. But no-one will really be surprised that Radiohead’s abysmal King Of Limbs has been overlooked.
The overall winner of the 2011 Prize will be announced at the Mercury Prize Awards Show on on BBC Two and 6 Music on Tuesday 6 September 2011. Lauren Laverne will present the TV programme, with the Awards Show event itself hosted by Jools Holland.
The winner will pocket £20,000.
The 2011 Albums of the Year are:
Anna Calvi Anna Calvi
Elbow Build a Rocket Boys!
Everything Everything Man Alive
Ghostpoet Peanut Butter Blues & 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