From what I can work out, there are, in total, 31 people in contention for this year’s Mercury Music prize.
And here’s my main observation on that: that’s 31 heads and 31 haircuts and, apart from five people, they’ve all got a massive fringe slapped over the front of their face.
To illustrate this, I have created the visual aid below. On this, I’ve graphically struck out the face of every single nominee with a fashionable fringe stuck on the front their hair. (Due to a technical hitch, three of the artists involved in this year’s competition – one from the XX, one from Wild Beasts and the other from I Am Kloot – have dropped off the diagram. No one knows what kind of hair they’re sporting, so, for the purposes of this, we’ll just assume it’s some sort of fringe.)
That’s 26 fashion-hugging fringes. Wild Beasts, the XX and Mumford & Sons win some points for at least having some swept-away-from-the-eyes hair. But they’re basically cancelled out by their bandmates’ follicle farting around.
So that just leaves Dizzee Rascal and Corinne Bailey Rae. One of those may as well win for originality of hair, then, because, as we all know, the Mercury Music prize has never really been a prize about original music anyway.