Noel Gallagher and Arctic Monkeys among Mercury Prize contenders

FILE PHOTO: Musical group The Arctic Monkeys arrive at the 57th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California February 8, 2015. 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, organizers of the British music award said on Thursday.

The annual 25,000 pounds ($33,000) prize, seen as less mainstream than the BRIT Awards, honors music by British and Irish acts. Organizers 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.

($1 = 0.7588 pounds)

Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Robin Pomeroy