Alt-J Wins the Mercury Prize. Good Call.

The Mercury Music Prize (or, more correctly, the Barclaycard Mercury Music Prize because a bank credit card sponsors it), is the equivalent to our Polaris Music Prize.  This year’s winner is Alt-J (or, more correctly, ∆, which is pronounced “Alt-J.”  Who knew?)

They pick up £20,000 for their debut record, An Awesome Wave, surprising almost no one, given that the bookies had made them favourites going into the event.  

I quite like this record.  Had I been a voter, this is the one I’d have picked.  Their sound may be something of acquired taste, but it’s certainly different and creative.

Also-rans this year included rapper Plan B, The Maccabees, Richard Hawley, Ben Howard, Django Django, Jessie Ware, Richard Hawley, Roller Trio, Sam Lee, Lianna La Havas, Michael Kiwanuka and Field Music.  

A round-up at BBC News.  And if you want to see what all the fuss is about, try this video called “Breezeblocks.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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