Mercury Nominations – Who’s Been Overlooked?

So what do you think of this year’s Mercury nominations? Debating the list has become one of the quirks of British cultural life, along with predicting the Christmas Number One, or discussing whether or not it will piss it down at Glastonbury.

And, like those things, part of the fun is that the nominations (although rarely the ultimate result) are so predictable. Of course Friendly Fires and The Horrors are in there – they were the most critically acclaimed ‘indie’ releases of the past year.


Friendly Fires, by Tom Oxley

And an album as across-the-board worshipped as Bat For Lashes’ Two Suns’ was always going to make the cut (and given that her debut ‘Fur And Gold’ was overlooked in 2007, you’ve got to fancy Natasha Khan’s chances this time).

Meanwhile, Lisa Hannigan is this year’s token folkie – although she’s much more intriguing than that description suggests, as anyone who’s been wooed by her soothing, honeyed vocals would attest.

Led Bib are the obligatory avant-jazz coffee-table act who – in the grand tradition of the Mercury – will dutifully do a series of interviews saying how shocked and grateful they are to be nominated, perform a moderately well-attended gig at Ronnie Scott’s, then disappear without trace. Never has the phrase “this year’s Basquiat Strings” been more apt.

Omissions? Little Boots must be feeling a little put-out. Doves’ ‘Kingdom Of Rust’ and Jack Penate’s ‘Everything Is New’ would both have been solid choices – and you might have tipped Wiley to mop up the ‘urban’ nomination with ‘Grime Wave’.

You can listen to all the nominated acts here. Meanwhile, what do you think of the list? And which albums have been cruelly ignored?

The result of the Mercury Prize 2009 will be announced on September 8.

The nominations in full:

The Horrors – ‘Primary Colours’
Friendly Fires – ‘Friendly Fires’
Florence And The Machine – ‘Lungs’
Bat For Lashes – ‘Two Suns’
Led Bib – ‘Sensible Shoes’
La Roux – ‘La Roux’
Lisa Hannigan – ‘Sea Sew’
The Invisible – ‘The Invisible’
Speech Debelle – ‘Speech Therapy’
Kasabian – ‘West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum’
Sweet Billy Pilgrim – ‘Twice Born Men’
Glasvegas – ‘Glasvegas’