The Mercury Prize shortlist has been announced, which we'll get to a moment. But first, to celebrate the now-defunct communications company who give the name to the prize, here's a lovely video showing how they cared for their customers until they flogged them to Deutsche Telekom for about seven million quid:
So, here's the shortlist in the year that is already being called "sorry, Wolf Alice, we think it's time for one of those years the outsiders win in order to keep it exciting":
Aphex Twin: SyroThe Vaccines haven't been nominated, you'll note, but they're not bothered at all, oh no. No. Not. Remotely. Bothered. In fact, they're so not bothered, they're making sure everyone knows how unbothered they are:
Wolf Alice: My Love Is Cool
Roisin Murphy: Hairless Toys
C Duncan: Architect
Florence + the Machine: How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Ghostpoet: Shedding Skin
Benjamin Clementine: At Least for Now
Jamie xx: In Colour
Soak: Before We Forgot How to Dream
Gaz Coombes: Matador
Slaves: Are You Satisfied?
Speaking to NME, [Justin Hayward] Young said: "We've never been nominated so we never expect to be."To be frank, I'm not sure there's anything more Kentish Town/Pizza East than describing your fans as "our demographic", but let's set that aside.
He added: "The cafetiere-drinking, Kentish Town-dwelling, Pizza East, 6 Music listener; that's not our demographic."
I'm more curious about "cafetiere-drinking" - as opposed to what? Is it better to use a Nespresso machine? Do Vaccine fans only drink instant? It's a surprising insult.
Perhaps "pushing 30s, Kings College history graduate, mates-with-Mumford, relocating to a loft in New York Chinatown" might have been a more succinct way of summing up a typical Mercury Music Award target, although that may be a little close to home for Young.
What's really confusing, though, is why - if the 6Music listener isn't their demographic - why the band played live on 6Music to launch the album, and providing the network with exclusive first plats of other tracks. Perhaps they had yet to discover the delights of Aeropress at that point.