The 10 finalists for the inaugural New Pantheon Awards have been chosen, Billboard.com can exclusively reveal. The award, which continues the mission of the now-defunct Shortlist Prize in recognizing noteworthy albums that have sold less than 500,000 copies in the United States, will be handed out Feb. 6 at a Los Angeles venue to be announced.
Among the titles that will battle for the New Pantheon prize are Animal Collective’s “Feels” (Fatcat), Antony and the Johnsons’ “I Am a Bird Now” (Secretly Canadian), Fiona Apple’s “Extraordinary Machine” (Epic), the Arcade Fire’s “Funeral” (Merge) and Bloc Party’s “Silent Alarm” (Vice/Atlantic). Last fall, “I Am a Bird Now” took the Mercury Music Prize, the U.K. award on which both the Shortlist and the New Pantheon are modeled.
The remaining five finalists are Death Cab For Cutie’s “Plans” (Atlantic), the Decemberists’ “Picaresque” (Kill Rock Stars), Kings Of Leon’s “Aha Shake Heartbreak” (RCA), M.I.A.’s “Arular” (XL/Beggars Banquet) and Sufjan Stevens’ “Illinois” (Asthmatic Kitty).
The albums were selected by a panel of listmakers that includes Elton John, Elijah Wood, Beck, Margaret Cho, John Legend, Death Cab For Cutie’s Ben Gibbard, Keith Urban, Ric Ocasek, Shirley Manson, Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda, Suzanne Vega, Dave Matthews and Keith Urban.
The final Shortlist Prize, handed out in November 2004, was won by TV On The Radio’s “Desperate Youth, Blood Thirsty Babes” (Touch & Go).