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Mercury Music Prize 2008: Marling and Last Shadow Puppets nominated

Laura Marling

Story by Jack Foley

LAURA Marling (pictured) and Adele are among the artists to be nominated for this year’s coveted Mercury Music Prize.

The female singers – both of who have enjoyed successful starts to 2008 – will compete for the best album prize alongside some more established acts for the annual award.

Arctic Monkeys frontman Alex Turner almost inevitably grabbed most of the headlines for securing has third consecutive nomination for his side project, The Last Shadow Puppets.

But there’s likely to be stiff competition from the likes of Radiohead, Robert Plant with Alison Krauss and Elbow, for their acclaimed LPs.

The 12-strong shortlist is completed by Estelle, British Sea Power, electro-pop outfit Neon Neon, dubstep artist Burial, folk group Rachel Unthank and the Winterset, and jazz act Portico Quartet.

Laura Marling gets IndieLondon’s tip for the Mercury Music prize because we rate her debut album, Alas, I Cannot Swim . She has also teamed up this year with Mystery Jets, on their fabulous single Young Love.

But equally worthy winners would be Elbow, whose latest LP The Seldom Seen Kid is already among the albums of the year.

But a lot of attention is focused on The Last Shadow Puppets, who formed in August 2007 and marks a collaborative effort between Turner and Miles Kane, of Liverpool band The Rascals.

Their album The Age Of The Understatement reached No.1 in the album chart, scoring Turner his third top spot.

Don’t write off Radiohead’s album In Rainbows, either, particularly given the publicity surrounding its success. The LP hit the headlines when it was initially made available online, with fans paying what they wanted to download the MP3 file.

But even though it was essentially available for free, it still managed to reach the top spot of the LP charts upon its physical release into stores months later.

Last year’s Mercury Music Prize went to rock band Klaxons for their debut Myths of the Near Future. They confounded expectations by pipping Amy Winehouse and Arctic Monkeys to the £20,000 prize.

This year’s winner will be announced at a live ceremony on September 4, 2008.