The Mercury Music Prize – now officially called the ‘Mercury Prize ‘Albums of the Year’ in association with BBC Music’ – is an annual music prize awarded to the best album released by a British or Irish act. Here we bring you the lowdown on the 2015 Mercury Prize with details of the nominees and our predictions and betting tips for who we think will win the coveted award. We’ve also got live odds comparison covering all the acts so you can be sure to get the best odds whoever you back.

The Mercury Prize has been running since 1992 and over the years it has been won by such highly rated bands and artists as Primal Scream (1992), Suede (1993), Pulp (1996), Arctic Monkeys (2006) and PJ Harvey (2001 and 2011), while there have been one or two surprises too, including Speech Debelle in 2009. This year’s nominees span the genres and there are seven debut albums amongst them.

Let’s kick things off with ‘Syro’, the first album in 13 years from Aphex Twin (aka Richard D. James), which takes listeners on a warped and energetic mindscape of electronic beats and sound that will surely garner a cult following but which is unlikely to win enough support amongst the judging panel to be in with a real shout at betting odds of 14/1 with Bet365.

Another outsider, though one which is – in our eyes – more likely to get the nod is Gaz Combes’ second solo album, ‘Matador’. With this accomplished and mature album, Coombes has been able to show introspection without self-indulgence, the opening track ‘Buffalo’ setting the tone of a heartfelt piece of work that oozes feeling. Odds of 18/1 with Paddy Power could be worth considering.

The favourite at the time of writing is Jamie XX and his debut album, ‘In Colour’, which is priced at betting odds of just 7/2 with William Hill and others, but that seems remarkably short to us. Okay, the album certainly has some nice touches, ‘Stranger In A Room’, ‘Gosh’ and ‘Sleep Sound’ all showing off the artist’s talents, but we’re not sure there is quite the versatility for it to become the outright winner.

Wolf Alice, meanwhile, have come up with a real gem of a debut with ‘My Love Is Cool’. Ambitious, haunting and beautiful, the songs have enough breathing space to allow the imagination to fly while being held together with enough punchiness to take you along for the ride. ‘You’re A Germ’ and ‘Giant Peach’ ooze sass and the judging panel are sure to get drawn into the Wolf Alice vibe. Odds of 8/1 with BetVictor might be worth a punt here.

Our main betting tip for the outright winner market for the 2015 Mercury Prize, however, is to back Benjamin Clementine’s fabulously rich debut ‘At Least For Now’. Having relocated to Paris when aged 19, Clementine effectively lived as a vagabond for a number of years while busking and playing small gigs to make ends meet. His experiences inform this assured album which is soaked in glorious piano and string arrangements. The songs ‘Adios’ and ‘Nemesis’ are particularly powerful, while ‘Condolence’ adds a poignancy and honesty that some of the other nominees lack. At betting odds of 8/1 with Bet365 we fancy this is the value pick of this year’s fine bunch of albums to win the Mercury Music Prize.


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