The Mercury, meant to tap emerging artists, is a £20,000 annual music prize awarded for the best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland.
This year’s list skews young, with eight of the artists nominated for debut albums. Only Hawley has made a previous Mercury Prize short list.
Plan B writer, director and actor Ben Drew, is the highest-profile artist, having scored hits such as Stay Too Long and Love Goes Down and been named best British male at last year's Brit Awards.
The full list:
- Art-rockers Alt-J, An Awesome Wave.
- Singer-songwriter Ben Howard, Every Kingdom.
- Pop singer Django Django, Django Django.
- Indie rockers Field Music, Plumb.
- Soul singer Jessie Ware, Devotion.
- Soul singer Lianne La Havas, Is Your Love Big Enough?
- Indie rockers Maccabees, Given to the Wild.
- Singer-songwriter Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again.
- Hip-hop artist Plan B, Ill Manors.
- Alt-pop singer Richard Hawley, Standing at the Sky's Edge.
- Art-rockers Roller Trio, Roller Trio.
- Folk singer Sam Lee, Ground Of Its Own.
Among the surprise omissions from this year's list are Kate Bush's 50 Words For Snow, Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto and Florence + The Machine's Ceremonials.
Last year's winner was singer P.J. Harvey for her album, Let England Shake.
The Mercury Prize winner will be named Nov. 1.