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Mercury Shortlist

Usually it's a load of rubbish but we think it's not bad this year. Even some of our office favourites have squeezed in. Here are all of the things people will be talking about on the telly on Friday night.... and one of them will win, presumably. 
Please note that this promotion officially ended on Thursday December 3rd 2015. Any discounted items may now have returned to full price, and other items may no longer be available at all. If you missed out on this promotion then sign up for our email alerts so that you stand a better chance of not missing out on the next one.
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Aphex Twin
Syro

Well we'll be blowed. The threats have actually finally come true. Aphex Twin's first proper new studio album for Warp since the divisive confused bulk of 2001's 'Drukqs' is due towards the end of September 2014. The artwork is quasi-cryptic and minimal as you can see. What the material will sound like is the stuff of many an "IDM" fanboy/girl's social networking dreams. What we do know is that this is the most exciting news in electronic music we've heard since the deluge of Analord material for his own Rephlex that seems like many, many moons ago. Yes, he could have written it on his laptop in the bog last month or yes, it could be archive stuff more than a decade old. Will there be a "Windowlicker" on there? Whatever, we can surmise all we like but this is literally amazing news for his countless fanatical devotees around the globe and is bound to hold some surprises. 

C Duncan
Architect

Available on LP or CD on FatCat records. This is the wondrous debut album from sun-dappled Glaswegian C Duncan. 'Architect' is a fantastic album just waiting be be played on your stereo through summer. Will appeal to fans of Django Django, Sufjan Stevens and last years pop master Stephen Steinbrink.   

Florence + The Machine
How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful

The one woman renaissance boombox is back. Florence and the Machine returns with How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful which is their third album. It’s more of what we love most from Florence; grandly orchestral pop with an ethereal transitory feeling as waves of backing vocals drift until Florence’s voice bursts like an energy, waking something from its slumber. It’s got some rockier moments than her previous LPs, but maintains those traits we know and love. CD, Deluxe CD with four additional tracks or double vinyl LP.     

Gaz Coombes
Matador

Gaz Coombes career has gone from surfing the rising wave of Britpop to its zenith, notching up 10 top ten singles and six top 20 albums, to recording a cover of the Kinks classic This Time Tomorrow for a recent John Lewis advert. Now he has an album all of his own, Matador. Coombes, describes the album of having moments of light and dark and says that the “beauty in both of those states” has always intrigued him. Matador is available on vinyl LP and CD.

Ghostpoet
Shedding Skin

In football terms Ghostpoet has gone from mid-table Championship to nailed on Champions League place with this, his third record. In short: he's really upped his game. Where previous records were interesting but a little niche, Ghostpoet has now made a record everyone can enjoy. It's bold, it's bright, it's tuneful. With a background in UK hip hop, this album uses those influences and marries them to the best bits of forward thinking indie (say, Radiohead, TV on the Radio). Looking forward to it.   

Jamie xx
In Colour

In Colour is the debut album by Jamie xx, from the Mercury Music Prize winning band, The xx. Over the past six years Jamie xx has worked with and re-worked the likes of Radiohead, Alicia Keys and Florence & The Machine but his crowning glory must be the reworking of Gil Scott Heron’s I’m New Here album. In Colour will please fans of his collaborative efforts and includes, Girl, Sleep Sound and Loud Places. The latter is the forthcoming single.

Slaves
Are You Satisfied

Debut full-length from Slaves, the Tunbridge Wells band who have been rightly castigated recently for their dodgy name. Thirteen tracks of well-polished sort-of punk with a snarky attitude, packaged in pink with a disco ball of foil. Contains several ‘anthems’, no doubt, including recent single ‘Cheer Up London’.

SOAK
Before We Forgot How To Dream

SOAK is a young Northern Irish singer whose debut album is this right here. Before We Forgot How To Dream melds together her wistful lyrics (just look at that title) with a slinking musical backdrop that channels classic soul crossed with an indie aesthetic. CD or vinyl available, out on Rough Trade.

Wolf Alice
My Love Is Cool

The debut album from London’s Wolf Alice, My Love Is Cool take further leaps into rock territory following their folksy beginnings. Very in tune with the modern strain of motorik krautrock whilst retaining an ear for melody, it’s like a diluted Sonic Youth for the kids. Out on CD and vinyl double LP from Dirty Hit.