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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 July 2007, 14:44 GMT 15:44 UK
Arctics make Mercury list again
The Arctic Monkeys
The Arctic Monkeys have been headlining summer festivals

Sheffield band the Arctic Monkeys have been nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, a year after picking up the prestigious award.

Their album, Favourite Worst Nightmare, is up against Amy Winehouse's Back to Black and Jamie T's Panic Prevention.

Rapper Dizzee Rascal, who won the prize in 2003, has once again been nominated.

A shortlist of 12 albums from eclectic genres has been picked by a panel of experts. The winner will be announced on 4 September.

The winner of the award, which is open to British and Irish acts which have released an album in the past year, will collect 20,000.

Arctic Monkeys - Favourite Worst Nightmare
Dizzee Rascal - Maths and English
The View - Hats Off to the Buskers
Maps - We Can Create
Bat For Lashes - Fur and Gold
Klaxons - Myths of the Near Future
Jamie T - Panic Prevention
The Young Knives - Voices of Animals and Men
Fionn Regan - The End of History
Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford - Basquiat Strings
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black
New Young Pony Club - Fantastic Playroom
Dizzee Rascal, whose real name is Dylan Mills, says he was surprised to learn he had been nominated for his third album, Maths + English.

The 21-year-old won the Mercury Music Prize in 2003 for his debut album Boy In Da Corner and he believes it really helped him break the mainstream market.

"I think it gave a me a lot of recognition and made a lot of people know my name who might never have heard of me otherwise," he said.

William Hill bookmakers immediately installed Arctic Monkeys and Winehouse as joint favourites to pick up the prize with odds of 4/1.

Klaxons, The View and The Young Knives have also made the shortlist with their critically-acclaimed albums, along with New Young Pony Club.

"We've always believed that we crafted an album that is new and innovative," said New Young Pony Club singer Tahita Bulmer.

"We've done something we're really proud of and we think in future this can only help us get the recognition we deserve," she added.

Dizzee Rascal
Dizzee Rascal scooped the award with his debut album in 2003
Bat for Lashes, otherwise known as Natasha Khan made it onto the list for her album Fur and Gold.

"It's very surreal and exciting," she said.

"My album has been out for a year now and I've just been touring so it's a nice validation really at the end of a lot of hard work. I just hope that people get to hear and buy the album," she added.

Other nominees include Maps - musician James Chapman - for We can Create, his debut album which he produced in his bedroom in Northampton, and Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan for The End of History.

When asked what he thought of his chances of winning, Regan said: "I've never viewed music as a competition, It's just great to be here."

Classically-trained quintet Basquiat Strings have also been nominated for their eponymous album which saw them team up with Seb Rochford of the band Polar Bear, who were in line for the Mercury in 2005.

The shortlist was a celebration of "a remarkable range of artists" whose albums had been able to "tell stories, shape moods, explore emotions and lift the spirits", said Simon Frith, chairman of the judges.

"Some use songs to make observations - Arctic Monkeys, The View and Jamie T - or to deal with various emotional themes, such as Amy Winehouse," he added.

"There is a strong sense of individual personalities coming through."

Some of the shortlisted artists give their reactions

Can the Arctic Monkeys pull off a second Mercury Prize victory?
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