The xx, Biffy Clyro and Dizzee Rascal among favourites for 2010 Mercury Music Prize

X, Y and Z among favourites for 2010 Mercury Music Prize

The xx

Spotify playlist: Mercury Music Prize 2010

Listen to all these albums now as a Spotify playlist (sorry, no Kit Downes Trio yet, and the Dizzee Rascal album is short clips only).

The shortlist of contenders for this year's Mercury Prize was announced today. The £20,000 prize is awarded to the best album of the last 12 months, as chosen by a panel of music industry members.

Among the 12 acts competing for this year's prize are Ayrshire's own Biffy Clyro, for their fifth album 'Only Revolutions'; Foals' second album 'Total Life Forever'; and 'Tongue N' Cheek' by Dizzee Rascal, whose first album, 'Boy in da Corner,' won the prize in 2003.

'This year's Mercury list includes musicians from all stages of their careers and from contrasting parts of the British Isles,' says Simon Frith, chair of judges. 'It features music that is urban and rural, light and dark, joyful and profound. The records have wit, an abundance of musical energy and their own distinct voices.'

The Shortlist

The overall winner of the 2010 Prize will be decided and announced at the Barclaycard Mercury Prize Awards Show, which will be broadcast live on BBC Two on Tuesday 7 September 2010. Lauren Laverne will present the programme, with the Awards Show event itself hosted by Jools Holland.

Spotify playlist: Mercury Music Prize 2010

Biffy Clyro

The award-winning, chart-topping Kilmarnock rockers return with their unique brand of hard alternative rock and post-hardcore. As their fans say, 'Mon the Biff!'

Dizzee Rascal

Squawking young garage MC who combines the sublime and the ridiculous in his progressive music and has scored some huge hits with 'Bonkers', 'Holiday' and 'Dance Wiv Me'.

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