Damon Albarn, Royal Blood favourites for Barclaycard Mercury Prize as 2014 shortlist is revealed

Albarn nominated for the first time since withdrawing himself from the 2001 shortlist

Damon Albarn and Royal Blood have been named joint bookmakers’ favourites to win the Barclaycard Mercury Prize after this year’s nomines were announced today (September 10).

Seven of the 12 shortlisted albums are debut releases, with Albarn, Anna Calvi and Polar Bear the only artists to have been nominated for the prize before.

Albarn is included despite withdrawing Gorillaz from the shortlist when they were nominated in 2001 for their self-titled debut album. At the time, a statement from Albarn’s cartoon alter-ego Murdoc said being nominated was “like carrying an albatross around your neck for all eternity”. The nomination for his debut solo album ‘Everyday Robots’ is the first time he’s been shortlisted since the snub.

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Bookmakers William Hill, official betting partners of the prize, make Royal Blood’s self-titled debut the joint 4/1 favourite alongside Albarn, with Bombay Bicycle Club‘s ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ and Kate Tempest’s ‘Everybody Down’ the joint 6/1 second favourites. East India Youth is an 8/1 contender for his debut ‘Total Strife Forever’.

The list largely corresponds to recent predictions by bookmakers, with Wild Beasts, Sam Smith and Chvrches the artists missing out who had been most heavily-tipped to be included. Bookmakers make Calvi, Polar Bear and Manchester jazz trio GoGo Penguin joint 10/1 outsiders.

Cambridge-based singer-songwriter Nick Mulvey is nominated for his debut album ‘First Mind’, having previously played drums for his former band Portico Quartet when they were nominated in 2008 for their debut album ‘Knee Deep In The North Sea’.

Also on the shortlist are Edinburgh hip-hop trio Young Fathers for their debut ‘Dead’ and XL Recordings artists FKA Twigs, for her debut ‘LP1’ and Jungle, for their self-titled debut.

Alice Levine made the official announcement of the shortlist at London’s Hospital Club, with TV coverage of the launch airing on Channel 4 tomorrow, hosted by Nick Grimshaw. The winner will be announced at London’s Roundhouse on October 29. James Blake won last year for his second album ‘Overgrown’, with Alt-J the winners in 2012 for their debut ‘An Awesome Wave’.

Barclaycard Mercury Prize nominees, with odds from William Hill, are:

Damon Albarn – ‘Everyday Robots’ (4/1)
Royal Blood – ‘Royal Blood’ (4/1)
Kate Tempest – ‘Everybody Down’ (6/1)
Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’ (6/1)
Nick Mulvey – ‘First Mind’ (7/1)
FKA Twigs – ‘LP1’ (7/1)
Jungle – ‘Jungle’ (8/1)
East India Youth – ‘Total Strife Forever’ (8/1)
Young Fathers – ‘Dead’ (8/1)
Polar Bear – ‘In Each And Every One’ (10/1)
Anna Calvi – ‘One Breath’ (10/1)
GoGo Penguin – ‘v2.0’ (10/1)