By Steven Roberts
We at MTV News are pretty excited about the nominees for the 2008 Mercury Prize — and not just because the award recognizes some of the best albums to come out of the U.K. and Ireland. It’s also because we’ve been on a lot of these artists for ages (that’s the sound of us patting ourselves on the back!).
When James Montgomery isn’t channeling Matt Pinfield on “FNMTV,” one of the artists on his beat is Radiohead: He’s covered just about everything surrounding the release of the Mercury-nominated In Rainbows. From the album’s pay-what-you-want digital release to the innovative video for “House of Cards,” he’s been there. He has even found time to cover their eco-friendly water bottles.
Earlier this year, we highlighted Estelle as one of our “Alternatives in ’08.” The West London R&B songstress is nominated for her album Shine. She made some noise with her single “American Boy,” featuring Kanye West, and appears on the cover of this month’s Fader. She also spoke to us about the “Move Your Lips” campaign, which raises AIDS awareness around the world.
John Norris also found the time to sit down with the Last Shadow Puppets — the side project of Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner and the Rascals’ Miles Kane is nominated for The Age of the Understatement LP. Turner’s Monkeys are pretty much nominated every year (2006 Mercury Prize winner for Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and last year’s runner-up with Favourite Worst Nightmare), so I’m sure John just had a hunch.
Here’s a complete list of the nominees:
Adele – 19
British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial – Untrue
Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Estelle – Shine
Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement
Laura Marling – Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon – Stainless Style
Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
Portico Quartet – Knee-Deep in the North Sea
Radiohead – In Rainbows
Rachel Unthank & the Winterset – The Bairns