DUBLIN BAND VILLAGERS have made the shortlist for this year’s Mercury Prize, completing a remarkable year for the outfit.
The group – essentially a one-man show, fronted by Conor J O’Brien – appear in the twelve-strong shortlist just a month after seeing debut album Becoming A Jackal hit number 1.
The album’s success came on the back of an astonishing performance on Later With Jools Holland, and having become the first Irish band to join the prestigious Domino Records label in 2009.
The award, established in 1992, is seen as one of the world’s most influential and respected prizes, and is awarded to the best album of the year to be released in the UK or Ireland.
Irish entrants on the shortlist are rare; previously the only the likes of U2, Van Morrison and Lisa Hannigan have made the cut.
The overall prizewinner will be announced in September.
The Mercury Prize shortlist in full:
- Biffy Clyro, Only Revolutions (14th Floor)
- Corinne Bailey Rae, The Sea (EMI)
- Dizzee Rascal, Tongue N’ Cheek (Dirtee Stank)
- Kit Downes Trio, Golden (Basho)
- Foals, Total Life Forever (Transgressive)
- I Am Kloot, Sky At Night (Shepherd Moon/EMI)
- Laura Marling, I Speak Because I Can (Virgin)
- Mumford And Sons, Sigh No More (Island)
- Paul Weller, Wake Up The Nation (Island)
- Villagers, Becoming A Jackal (Domino)
- Wild Beasts, Two Dancers (Domino)
- The XX, xx (XL)
Bookmakers William Hill consider the band rank outsiders to win the prize, however, with the longest odds of 14/1. The XX are 2/1 favourites.
It is widely speculated that the prize will be awarded to a slightly more mainstream act this year, given criticism that more prominent albums have been overlooked in recent years.