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Mercury Music Prize 2012 nominations - our thoughts

The Mercury Prize 2012 nominations are out: Richard Hawley, Jessie Ware, Field Music, Roller Trio, Plan B, Django Django, Alt-J, Ben Howard, The Maccabees, Field Music, Michael Kiwanuka and Sam Lee all made the shortlist.

Why not take a listen to our Mercury Prize Spotify playlisthere and read what a few members of Team THSH had to say on this year’s choices:

“I tend to look on the Mercury Prize nominations as a kind of measure of how good (or indeed bad), my listening choices have been that year, so I’m glad that I have already listened to a lot of the albums on this list. I have two favourites, Lianne La Havas and Jessie Ware – I don’t think I could pick one as being better than the other. Both ladies have beautiful, soulful voices and have produced albums that would be perfect sunny day listening – not that we’ve had many of them this year!”

Abi – Press Assistant

“I’m a big fan of Django Django’sDjango Django. Not only is it quite fun to say that out loud, but it’s also a cracking record. For me, it’s somewhere between Radiator-era Super Furry Animals and The Beta Band with elements of Fleetwood Mac – which is alright by me. Sing-along melodies and harmonies over catchy riffs and layers of sound- simple parts structured so well it grabs you immediately but also rewards you on repeat listen. Also, it’s great to drive to – yes I know that statement lacks punk spirit, but if I’m heading south out of Birmingham on the M5 it’s the second album I stick on after Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours. And that is high praise indeed.”

Andy – Senior Marketing Officer

“The majority of the artists on the shortlist this year are a decent bunch (though is anyone else sick of Plan B yet?) however it was disaappointing that Kate Bush’s50 Words for Snow and the magnificent One Day I’m Going To Soar by Dexys didnt make the cut. I’d also like to see Django Django take the award this year, for their fantastically unique sound. But as Andy has already picked them, my second choice is Richard Hawley’s phenomenal Standing At The Sky’s Edge. It’s an epic work from the Sheffield songwriter and guitarist, riddled throughout with superb pyschedelic lead guitar runs, dark and brooding arrangements and terrific lyrics. Hawley’s love of raw, reverb-filled rootsy sound can be found in abundance on the record, and his voice has never sounded better. A true contender for the Mercury Prize.

Lyle – Assistant Press & PR Manager

“We always look forward to the announcement of the nominees for the Mercury Prize as there is always one nominee from the jazz world. This year that slot has gone to The Roller Trio. There is a tendency in the jazz world to sneer at the Mercury Prize and complain that the nomination is always a token gesture and that serious consideration is never given to it in the actual decision about the eventual winner. I had that confirmed a few years ago when I met a panel member of the year that Soweto Kinch was nominated; apparently his excellent album was barely discussed.”

“Nonetheless, I strongly believe that there is considerable merit in the Mercury Prize. Firstly, the criteria for nomination and for the selection of the overall winner are based on artistic rather than commercial considerations. Secondly, the choice of the jazz nominee is invariably a good choice. In recent years Kit Downes, Zoe Rahman, Portico Quartet, Polar Bear have been nominated and are good representatives of the young UK scene and all have benefited hugely from the extra publicity they receive from the nomination.The Roller Trio is a great young band that has come out of the Leeds scene that has also produced Trio VD. These are bands that draw on other genres, notably rock and electronica, to produce a funky, upbeat style that goes down with a wide range of audiences. They are a good choice and certainly fit the Mercury Prize. Who knows… they could just win it in a year where many of the other nominees seem to be conservative choices.”

Jazzlines is proud to be presenting The Roller Trio at the Hare & Hounds next year, details to follow. In the meantime we are also presenting Trio VD on 28 November 2012, also at the Hare & Hounds.”

Tony – Jazzlines Artistic Adviser