Mercury music prize shortlist on the way

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The shortlist for the Nationwide Mercury music prize’s 2006 Albums Of The Year is set to be announced tomorrow (July 18) at 11.30am in central London – and NME.COM will be there.

Make sure you click back here tomorrow morning to find out who will be in contention for this year’s prize.

Last year’s winner was Antony & The Johnsons ’I Am A Bird Now’, which beat off stiff competition from the likes of Bloc Party, Kaiser Chiefs and The Magic Numbers.

But who will be contesting the 2006 prize? Based on the eclectic nature of previous shortlists, and with past winners variying from Primal Scream to M People, NME.COM has narrowed down a list of possible contenders.

Those who we think have a chance of catching the judging panel’s eyes include:

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not’

Babyshambles – ‘Down In Albion’

Corinne Bailey Rae – ‘Corinne Bailey Rae’

Editors – ‘In The Back Room’

Girls Aloud – ‘Chemistry’

Hot Chip – ‘The Warning’

Guillemots – ‘Through the Windowpane’

Jim Noir – ‘Tower Of Love’

Kate Bush – ‘Aerial’

Morrissey – ‘Ringleader Of The Tormentors’

Plan B – ‘Who Needs Actions When You Got Words’

Richard Hawley – ‘Coles Corner’

The Kooks – ‘Inside In/Inside Out’

The Longcut – ‘The Longcut’

The Streets – ‘The Hardest Way To Make An Easy Living’

Eligibility for the prize runs from August 2005 to mid July 2006, which means current Number One album Muse’s ’Black Holes & Revelations’ is under consideration, along with Razorlight’s self-titled second album and Lily Allen’s debut, ’Alright Still’, which were both released today (July 17).

So who do you think will make the 2006 shortlist? Tell us what you think on the NME.COM/boards messageboards now!