Mercury Prize shortlist : who’s who

NME.COM's guide to the 2007 nominees

This year’s Mercury Music Prize nominees have been announced today (July 17) – and here’s NME.COM‘s guide to who’s up for the gong, plus the current bookies’ odds.

The Young Knives: ‘Voices Of Animals And Men’

The corduroy-wearing provincial indie types released their debut album proper last August. Produced by Gang Of Four legend Andy Gill, it saw them get their angular mitts around songs like ‘She’s Attracted To’ – a catchy-as-crabs ditty about braining your future father-in-law after being invited round for dinner.


Arctic Monkeys: ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’

After bagging last year’s prize, Alex Turner’s Sheffield rockers Arctic Monkeys could be the first band ever to win two Mercury Music Prizes for their second effort ‘Favourite Worst Nightmare’, which hit the top of the British charts in its first week of release.


Bat For Lashes: ‘Fur And Gold’

Bat For Lashes is singer-songwriter Natasha Khan, who released her debut album, ‘Fur And Gold’ in September last year. Khan was brought up in Pakistan, her parents’ homeland, as a youngster, and worked in the UK as a teacher before releasing her album. Spooky and spectral, her music has been compared to that of Bjork and Cat Power.


Basquiat Strings: ‘Basquiat Strings With Seb Rochford’

This year’s ‘curveball’ nominee, Basquiat Strings is a jazz string quintet who perform the songs of band member and cellist Ben Davis with drums from percussionist Seb Rochford, namechecked in the album title.


Amy Winehouse: ‘Back To Black’

The shady lady of jazz-soul‘s platinum selling confessional album ‘Black To Black’, as well as her partying antics, has seen Winehouse become a household name. She won a BRIT award earlier this year as Best Female, thus proving she’s a favourite with the critics already.


New Young Pony Club: ‘Fantastic Playroom’

Despite some radio stations refusing to playlist their breakthrough song, ‘Ice Cream’, the London-based made the shortlist with their new-rave album ‘Fantastic Playroom’. Famous for their kinky lyrics, they could be the raunchiest band to take home the prize. 12/1

Fionn Regan: ‘The End Of History’

Irish singer-songwriter Regan is a classic performer in the Bob Dylan mould, and dresses like Frodo from ‘The Lord Of The Rings’. His tender acoustic songs have won him wide praise and he’s upstaged more famous acts such as Damien Rice with support slots.


Maps: ‘We Can Create’

Main Maps brain James Chapman, from Northampton, makes ambient, dreamy pop music akin to Kraftwerk or Spiritualized, with a touch of My Bloody Valentine-style indieall from the comfort of his bedroom.


Dizzee Rascal: ‘Maths And English’

Dizzee Rascal took home the Prize in 2003 with his debut album, ‘Boy In Da Corner’, and along with his pals Arctic Monkeys has the chance of being the first artist to win it twice.


The View: ‘Hats Off To The Buskers’

Guitar-toting Dundee hell-raisers The View add their Mercury nomination to their list of already impressive achievements this year, including multiple Glastonbury appearances and their album debuting at Number One.


Jamie T: ‘Panic Prevention’

Beating Jarvis Cocker and Thom Yorke to win Best Solo Artist at this year’s Shockwaves NME Awards, Jamie T has quickly shot to promience since with debut album ‘Panic Prevention’.


Klaxons: ‘Myths Of The Near Future’

New rave pioneers Klaxons, not content with single-handedly inventing a new scene, delivered one of the most original albums of the year, mixing 2 Unlimited-style dance music with traditional guitar band instruments. The New Cross troupe’s penchant for fluorescent garbs makes them the most colourful band on the shortlist. 8/1

Keep your eye on NME.COM for all the latest Mercury Music Prize news.