Oh go on then – The Xx’s snoozesome and underwhelming album won the prize, doing precisely zero to dispell the idea that ‘the Mercurys’ are little more than an award for Coffee Table Album Of The Year. The Xx can now look forward to joining Speech DeBelle in the Mercury Prize section of desperate music shops nationwide. The ANBAD Donkey celebrates their crowning M-People style.
NB: The following Mixtape is at least as exciting as anything shortlisted for the prize. TRUEFACT.
FIRST! The Gwladys End are truly confusing, and truly exciting. Their name seems Welsh, but they’re from Berlin, of course. Electronic music has limitless opportunities to be the most thrilling, and yet it is routinely generic. Not The Ones is anything but routine.
In fact, it is wholly left-field – not only in the sounds created, but in approach. This song has the unsettling half-coherence of a love letter that has been translated into Japanese, then back into English. The rest of the EP is equally excellent – a must-listen. Superb.
SECOND! Bridie Jackson – and speaking of translation (tenuous link ahoy…) Bridie Jackson makes music that sounds like folk songs sung by a sparse choir in an empty cathedral. Her songs are slender and caring, and sung by a voice of the sort you’d like to hear if every day was, as Morrissey hypothesised, like a Sunday. An ethereal and entirely beautiful singer.
THIRD! Skibunny were promoters, then remixers, and now they’re making their own music. Or something like that. Mind you, such a description could apply to virtually any start-up band these days, so I could be wrong. Still, their songs are snappy, upbeat and clever in the way that good pop songs tend to be, which therefore makes Aahooh a good pop song. QED and all that.
FOURTH! Diehard are not as good as the movie Die Hard, but then what is? They are easily as good as Die Hard With A Vengeance, and that’s the second best movie in the franchise. Diehard (the band) sling out great, buzzy songs, and couple them with the kind of winsome lyrics that lend credence to the idea that everything’s going to be all right. Brilliant, wide-eyed, punchy.
DONE! And done.