Though we won't know the winner of the inaugural New Pantheon award until next month, the list of nominated albums just got a whole lot, uh, shorter.
Organizers for the New Pantheon — a replacement for the on-hiatus Shortlist Music Prize, given to the year's most outstanding under-the-radar album (see "Linkin Park's Bennington, Shinoda Help Do The Honors For Shortlist's Successor") — gave MTV News an exclusive first look at the 10 albums that'll compete for the hardware.
Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine, M.I.A.'s Arular, Sufjan Stevens' Illinois, Antony and the Johnsons' I Am a Bird Now, Death Cab for Cutie's Plans, Bloc Party's Silent Alarm, the Kings of Leon's Aha Shake Heartbreak, Animal Collective's Feels, the Arcade Fire's Funeral and the Decemberists' Picaresque are the 10 finalists for the inaugural New Pantheon award, which will be handed out February 6 in Los Angeles.
That list was culled from an initial slate of more than 90 albums, submitted by the New Pantheon's panel of celebrity judges, which include Beck, ?uestlove of the Roots, country musician Keith Urban and actor Adam Brody ("The O.C.").
Back in November, Tom Sarig — one of the founders of the Shortlist Prize and the man behind the New Pantheon — stated that his goal was to honor "left of center" albums that the mainstream might have missed, and for the most part, it looks like he's succeeded. Only Apple's Machine and Death Cab's Plans could be considered "hit" albums. Antony and the Johnsons' Bird did take home the Mercury Prize — given to the most outstanding British or Irish act — in September.
To be eligible for the award, an album must not have been certified as gold (500,000 copies shipped) by the RIAA in the period of July 1, 2004, to October 30, 2005.