However, one oft-trotted-out trope each year is the “curse of the Mercury Prize”: a band plucked from the fringes, whose star shines brightly for a few months after winning the award with their debut album, only to spend the next few years languishing, struggling to live up to the early hype.
Back in 2007, Klaxons were Mercury winners thanks to their debut LP Myths of the Near Future and anointed kings of the “nu rave” scene. Remember nu rave? I don’t think it even had 15 minutes of fame. Klaxons’ follow-up record finally arrived in August and was met largely with indifference from critics and fans alike. “There are people who seem to be good, solid, ‘We’re in it for the long haul bands,'” says Simon Halliday, the head of independent music label 4AD, “but then if you look at the Klaxons campaign, you’re like, ‘That’s the classic example of how not to do it.'”