Following on from the release of an extensive longlist at the end of last year, the final 12-entry shortlist for the first ever Nordic Music Prize has been revealed. Hooray. The award - much like our very own Mercury Prize - aims to recognise the finest record of each calendar year from the Nordic countries of Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.
The final list of 12 candidates for the inaugural Nordic Music Prize are as follows.
Dungen - Skit i Allt (S)
Paleface Helsinki – Shangri-La (FL)
Frisk Frugt - Dansktoppen møder Burkina Faso i det himmelblå rum hvor solen bor, suite (DK)
Susanne Sundfør - The Brothel (NO)
Robyn - Body Talk (S)
Jónsi - Go Do (IS)
Efterklang - Magic Chairs (DK)
Serena Maneesh - _S-M 2: Abyss in B Minor) (NO)
The Radio Dept. - Clinging to a Scheme (S)
Ólöf Arnalds - Innundir Skinni (IS)
Kvelertak - Kvelertak (NO)
First Aid Kit - The Big Black & the Blue (S)
That's one from Finland, two from Denmark, two from Iceland, three from Norway and four from Sweden. A fairly representative spread, I think you'll agree. Jan Gradvall, committee member for the NMP says:
"Musical life in the five Nordic countries is more vital than ever before! The United States and England are looking towards Scandinavia, and the nominees really reflect international quality.
"When we made the final decision we laid all our national interests aside and only talked about the best music. It was great that everyone had that attitude, and it has to be that way if the prize is going to be credible."
Which of these has the best chance of winning? Who knows. Obviously there are some internationally recognised names in there already, but that Dungen record is pretty neat, as is Sundfør's. In short, we just don't know, but stay tuned for further updates. The award will be announced at Oslo's by:Larm festival on February 19 2011. We may or may not be there for that.