July 26, 2018 / 1:26 PM / a year ago

Noel Gallagher and Arctic Monkeys among Mercury Prize contenders

FILE PHOTO: Musician Noel Gallagher poses for a portrait while promoting his upcoming album "Who Built The Moon?" in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 29, 2017. Picture taken September 29, 2017. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - Albums by Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, the Arctic Monkeys and Florence + The Machine are among the 12 contenders for the Mercury Prize, organisers of the British music award said on Thursday.

The annual 25,000 pounds prize, seen as less maintsream than the BRIT Awards, honours music by British and Irish acts. Organisers said this year’s selection celebrated musicians “at all stages of their careers”.

The shortlist also includes singers Lily Allen, Jorga Smith, Nadine Shah and King Krule, jazz group Sons of Kemet, MC Novelist, bands Wolf Alice and Everything Everything as well as collaborative album “Everything is Recorded”, spearheaded by XL Recordings founder Richard Russell.

“This year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize celebrates albums by musicians at all stages of their careers, but with a shared belief in the importance of music for navigating life’s challenges – whether personal or political, falling in or out of love, growing up or looking back, angry or ecstatic,” the judges said.

“The music here is funny and inspiring, smart and moving.”

Past winners include singers Sampha and Benjamin Clementine and grime artist Skepta.

This year’s prize will be awarded on Sept. 20 in London.

Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Robin Pomeroy

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