Radiohead, the Last Shadow Puppets and Elbow are among acts waiting to discover if they have won the 2008 Mercury Music Prize.
The winner of the prestigious award will be unveiled at around 22:00 BST on Tuesday.
Established acts such as Radiohead, Elbow and British Sea Power sit alongside rising talent such as Adele and Laura Marling.
However, there was no place in the shortlist - announced in July - for high-selling acts such as Coldplay or Duffy.
Simon Frith, the chair of judges, said 2007/08 had been a "remarkably rich year for British music"
"What is most striking is the continued resilience and flexibility of the album as a way of organising music-making.
"It remains an unrivalled source of musical invention and imagination, a way of linking songs, exploring themes and developing sounds that is endlessly thrilling, surprising and worth celebration."
The current favourite to follow in the footsteps of Portishead, Gomez and Antony and the Johnsons is dubstep producer Burial, with his album 4/7 on to win, according to bookmakers William Hill.
The Mercury Music Prize 2008 shortlist is as follows:
British Sea Power: Do You Like Rock Music?
Elbow: The Seldom Seen Kid
Laura Marling: Alas I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon: Stainless Style
Portico Quartet: Knee-Deep In The North Sea
Rachel Unthank & the Winterset: The Bairns
Radiohead: In Rainbows
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss: Raising Sand
Last Shadow Puppets: The Age Of The Understatement