The shortlist for this year's Mercury Prize has been announced, which you can check out below. The Mercury Prize is awarded each year to the best album released by an artist from the UK or Ireland, as selected by a panel of British musicians, music journalists, festival organizers, producers, and composers, and music presenters.
Here are the nominees for this year's Mercury Prize:
Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
Bombay Bicycle Club - So Long, See You Tomorrow
Anna Calvi - One Breath
East India Youth - Total Strife Forever
FKA twigs - LP1
GoGo Penguin - v2.0
Jungle - Jungle
Nick Mulvey - First Mind
Polar Bear - Each and Every One
Royal Blood - Royal Blood
Kate Tempest - Everybody Down
Young Fathers - Dead
The Mercury Prize website points out that out of this year's 12 nominees, seven are debut albums (East India Youth, FKA twigs, Jungle, Nick Mulvey, Royal Blood, Kate Tempest, Young Fathers), which is pretty impressive. Last year's winner was James Blake for his sophomore album Overgrown. Other prominent winners in the past include PJ Harvey (who is the only artist to have won twice), Alt-J, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Pulp, Portishead, Suede, and Primal Scream.
Seeing Damon Albarn on the list is pretty surprising, considering that he's famously denounced the prize in the past. When his band Gorillaz was nominated back in 2002 for its self-titled debut album, he requested that their name be withdrawn, saying that winning the prize would be "like carrying a dead albatross round your neck for eternity."
The winner of this year's Mercury Prize will be announced on Oct. 29