Hannigan makes Mercury prize shortlist


Meath singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan is among the artists to be nominated for this year's Mercury Prize for the best British and Irish album of the past 12 months.

Hannigan, who rose to fame after recording two successful albums with Kildare singer-songwriter Damien Rice, has been nominated for her debut Sea-Sew.

The album, which was released last September, has also received best album nominations at the Meteors and the Choice Music Prize, and has attracted favourable reviews around the world .

Nonetheless, the singer faces tough competition for the prize with Florence and the Machine, Kasabian, Glasvegas and Friendly Fires among those favoured by the bookies.

The annual music award was established in 1992 as an alternative to the industry-dominated Brit Awards, and previous winners have included Primal Scream, PJ Harvey, Antony and the Johnsons and Elbow.

Other Irish acts to have been nominated for the Mercury Prize have been Van Morrison, U2, Therapy, and Fionn Regan.

Although it is considered to be a prestigious award, the Mercury Prize has come in for criticism on a number of occasions.

In 1994 there was widespread dismay when the pop act M People was awarded the prize for Elegant Slummingover Blur's Parklife, Paul Weller's Wildwood, Pulp's His 'n' Hersand The Prodigy's Music for the Jilted Generationalbums, all of which were considered to be stronger candidates.

More recently, eyebrows were raised in 2005 when Antony and the Johnsons were awarded the prize ahead of the Kaiser Chiefs, despite being based primarily in the United States.

There's also been criticism of the prize panel's tendency to favour outsider acts over more mainstream ones, with some previous winners such as Talvin Singh and Roni Size, failing to capitalise after winning the prize.

The award ceremony for the 2009 Mercury Prize will be held on September 8th.

Mercury Prize 2009 shortlist

1. Bat For Lashes – Two Suns

2. Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires

3. Florence and The Machine – Lungs

4. Glasvegas – Glasvegas

5. The Invisible – The Invisible

6. Lisa Hannigan – Sea-Sew

7. The Horrors – Primary Colours

8. Kasabian – West Rider Lunatic Pauper Asylum

9. La Roux – La Roux

10. Led Bib – Sensible Shoes

11. Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy

12. Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Men