The shortlist for the 2015 Mercury Prize “Albums of the Year” has been announced today on Lauren Laverne’s radio Show, ahead of the overall winner announcement on Friday 20th November. Among the twelve nominees are Aphex Twin, Jamie xx, Glastonbury headliners Florence and the Machine and Gaz Coombes, the former frontman with Britpop band Supergrass. BBC Music are looking to showcase this year’s event with both BBC Four and BBC Radio 6 Music playing a prominent part in both the announcement and the build up to the big day itself.

The full list of albums still in the running for the award is as eclectic as ever and includes:

  • Aphex Twin - 'Syro'
  • Florence and the Machine - 'How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful'
  • Gaz Coombes - 'Matador'
  • Jamie xx - 'In Colour'
  • Benjamin Clementine - 'At Least For Now'
  • C Duncan - 'Architect'
  • Eska - 'Eska'
  • Ghostpoet - 'Shedding Skin'
  • Róisín Murphy - 'Hairless Toys'
  • Slaves - 'Are You Satisfied?'
  • SOAK - 'Before We Forgot How To Dream'
  • Wolf Alice - 'My Love Is Cool'

Long journey for Coombes

Coombes seems to have come full circle since Supergrass’ debut albumI Should Coco” also made the shortlist 20 years ago, when he was still a teenager and sported those wonderfully large sideburns.

Sadly they lost out on that occasion to “Dummy” by Portishead. His second album as a solo artist “Matador offers fans a rather different and slightly experimental sound, drawing on some of his own feelings for musical inspiration.

Jamie xx among the favourites

Florence Welch and her indie rock band compatriots will no doubt be among the favourites with the bookies, although many are tipping 26-year-old Jamie xx (Jamie Smith) to repeat his 2010 success when with The xx. His debut album as a soloist released on the Young Turks’ label in June this year, includes the singles ‘Gosh’ and ‘I Know There’s Gonna Be (Good Times).

Surprise omissions

Two albums that were perhaps slightly surprisingly left off the final dozen list were Blur’s comeback album “The Magic Whip” and Everything Everything'sGet to Heaven.

Prior to the shortlist confirmation, “Get to Heaven” had been heavily backed to win overall, proving that there are few certainties in the music business.

Broad spectrum of musical backgrounds

Chairman of the judges Simon Frith believes that the final list incorporates artists in different stages of their careers and reflects a “variety of musical places, cultures and histories.” In his opinion what they do all share are the “ideas and the imagination to make great music!" as they represent the cream of this year’s albums recorded by UK and Irish artists.

This year’s shortlisted artists are to be showcased by the BBC prior to the Awards Show itself, with a busy schedule guaranteed as they utilise their extensive radio and digital platforms. The winning act will be revealed by Miss Laverne, as BBC Radio 6 Music cross live to the Radio Theatre at Broadcasting House in London on the day itself.

History of the award

Launched in 1992 as an alternative to the Brit Awards, the Mercury Prize has previously been awarded to such music luminaries as Primal Scream, Pulp and Badly Drawn Boy.

Whoever scoops the top prize will walk away £20,000 richer as they succeed last year’s winner Young Fathers and their album “Dead”.