However, the original 4/1 joint favourites – established acts the Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, have all dropped substantially in the running. Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino by Sheffield’s Arctic Monkeys has maintained its position at 6/1, while Gallagher and Florence and the Machine have dropped to a distant 10/1.
All three have been nominated on previous occasions, in Gallagher’s case when he was part of Oasis. However, the Mercury Music Prize has something of a reputation for avoiding the big names when it comes to awarding the prize, and punters seem to be assuming that this year will be no exception.
Time for a Jazz Winner?
At 9/2 the current favourites are Nadine Shah for her Holiday Destination album, and Sons of Kemet, for Your Queen Is a Reptile.
The buzz around Sons of Kemet is particularly surprising as, though there is often a jazz album in the shortlist, perhaps most notably in 1996 with Courtney Pine’s Modern Day Jazz Stories, it is never awarded the main prize, the jury almost always preferring an upcoming indie act or, in recent years, a grime artist.
In terms of critical response there is very little to choose between the three favourites, all of whose albums have scored 80% on Metacritic. A 5/1 King Krule placement seems good value, however, for a young, critically lauded and original act – ticking all the panel’s traditional boxes.
The prize will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 20th September.