FKA twigs favourite to win the 2014 Mercury prize

Ahead of Wednesday night’s ceremony, the R&B singer leads the way in a field that also includes Damon Albarn, Young Fathers and Kate Tempest

FKA twigs and Kate Tempest are both leading the way as favourites to win the 2014 Mercury prize. According to the latest odds from Ladbrokes, R&B singer FKA twigs is the narrow favourite with odds of 5/2 for her debut album LP1, closely followed by Tempest, whose album Everybody Down is backed to win at 3/1.

The tips come off the back of a great year for the two solo stars. FKA twigs was one of the year’s critical smashes, with reviewers praising the subtle complexity of her featherlight R&B sound. Tempest’s venture into hip-hop was one of several projects she received praise for in 2014, including her selection by the Poetry Book Society as one of 20 next generation poets.

Elsewhere, the race for the prize remains fairly open. Brighton duo Royal Blood are 5/1 to win with their self-titled debut album’s bluesy garage rock. East India Youth, the vehicle for William Doyle’s electronic compositions, follows with odds of 8/1 for his debut album Total Strife Forever. Next up, at 10/1, is the funk-pop of London band Jungle for their self-titled debut, and former Portico Quartet man Nick Mulvey for his folksy solo album First Mind – another debut.

Young Fathers, an eclectic hip-hop trio from Edinburgh, are up at 12/1 for their debut Dead, with albums by jazz band Polar Bear (In Each and Every One), Bombay Bicycle Club (So Long, See You Tomorrow) and Blur man Damon Albarn (Everyday Robots) all receiving odds of 16/1. Anna Calvi’s One Breath is marked down at 20/1, with another jazz nominee, GoGo Penguin, trailing the list with odds of 33/1 for their v2.0. They should take heart in the fact that last year’s winner, James Blake, had similar odds.

“This looks like the most open Mercury race ever and all 12 albums have a shot at winning,” said Matthew Shaddick of Ladbrokes. “Bookies will be hoping for another surprise result following James Blake’s win last year.”

The winner of the £20,000 prize, which in recent times has gone to Alt-j, PJ Harvey and the xx, will be announced live tonight (29 October 2014) at the Roundhouse in London. The Guardian will be running a liveblog of the event, as well as reaction to the winner from our critics.


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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