Radiohead’s “Amnesiac” and PJ Harvey’s “Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea” have made the shortlist for the U.K.’s Mercury Music Prize, an annual contest that “aims to celebrate the best in British music.” Those titles will be competing against lesser known releases such as folk/pop act Turin Brakes’ “Optimistic LP,” singer/songwriter Ed Harcourt’s eclectic “Here Be Monsters,” and brooding rockers Elbow’s “Asleep in the Back.”
The self-titled release by the Damon Albarn-led cartoon band Gorillaz is also among the finalists in the Technics-sponsored competition, as are the electronic-leaning albums “Rooty” by Basement Jaxx and “Felt Mountain” by Goldfrapp. Rounding out the list is “Salt Rain” by world beat artist Susheela Ramen, Welsh rock group Super Furry Animals’ “Rings Around the World,” ambient techno duo Zero 7’s debut set “Simple Things,” and the self-titled album by singer/songwriter Tom McRae.
The list is determined by an independent panel of judges that considers music from a wide range of genres — pop, rock, dance, folk, jazz, and contemporary classical — to determine the list of finalists. The panel then convenes in September to choose the overall winner, which is announced during a gala celebration. The artist whose album takes the prize receives #20,000 ($28,300).
A 12-track disc featuring one track from each of the nominees will be released next month. The exact release date, as well as the date of the ceremony, has not yet been determined. The contest’s official Web site is being redesigned, and will soon be relaunched with full information on the event.
As previously reported, last year’s Mercury Music Prize winner was Badly Drawn Boy’s “Hour of the Bewilderbeast.”