When we wrote recently about the nominees for England’s prestigious Mercury Prize (previous winners include Portishead, PJ Harvey and Franz Ferdinand), we put odds on art-school Ophelias Florence and the Machine or Bat for Lashes, with perhaps a sneaky steal by electro jam duo La Roux or old-school Brit-rockers Kasabian; maybe even newly-relevant noir-shoegazers The Horrors.
And … we lose! (Hi, bookies). The prize went to the short list’s most distant long shot, rapper Speech Debelle, a.k.a. 26-year-old Corynne Elliot — whose debut, Speech Therapy, landed Stateside in August with nary a peep, and made only a pebble-splash impact in her native U.K.
Frankly, it seems like a strange, if not overtly contrarian choice (though not on the level of, say, house muzak outfit M People beating out the likes of Blur and Pulp in 1994).
But watch the clip for “Better Days” featuring (the unnominated!) Micachu of Micachu and the Shapes, below, and judge for yourselves; would Debelle have been your pick?
More from EW’s Music Mix: