Best of the Best

London Band Xx Wins Mercury Prize

The indie rock trio Xx won the coveted Barclayland Mercury Prize for the best British or Irish album, beating out some more well-known acts such as Paul Weller, Dizzee Rascal, and Corinne Bailey Rae. The prize winner receives more than $30,000, in addition to an expected boost in album sales. “I don’t know what we were expecting but we weren’t expecting this,” said Xx frontman Oliver Sim. The Mercury Prize is often given to either new or non-mainstream artists, which helped explain how Xx beat out some of the more well-known musicians. Veteran songwriter Paul Weller had been cast as the favorite, but his well-established cred as performer could have helped rule him out. Last year’s winner, Speech Debelle, subsequently went on to a series of poor performances that led them to be labeled with the nickname “Speech Debacle.”