Mercury Music Prize winners Alt-J have been given their first BRIT Award nods, after being nominated for three awards: Best British Group, Best British Album and British Breakthrough.. Still, despite earlier success the band have admitted that they were still taken by surprise with the announcement of their recognition.

Speaking to NME, keyboardist Gus Unger-Hamilton described the news as "incredible," but admitted that he and the rest of the band were taken by surprise by the announcement, saying: "thought this this wouldn't be for the likes of us."

Last year the group's debut album, An Awesome Wave, received wide-spread acclaim and was awarded the title of BBC Radio 6's Album of 2012 as well as the Mercury Award and with the BRITs constantly vying to remain relevant and 'cool' it looks like the group might also be in contention to take away at least one gong at February's awards show, regardless of what the modest group members may think of their chances.

In the Breakthrough category the band faces competition from the likes of Jessie Ware, Jake Bugg, Ben Howard and Rita Ora, whilst One Direction, Mumford And Sons, The XX and Muse make up the rest of the Best British Group category. Plan B's Ill Manors, Paloma Faith's Fall To Grace and Mumford and Sons' Babel make up the Best Album category, although BRIT favourite Emeli Sandé's Our Version of Events looks like an early favourite.

The awards ceremony will take place onFebruary 20 at London's O2 Arena with performances from Muse, One Direction, Robbie Williams, Emeli Sandé, Mumford and Sons and Ben Howard taking place on the night.

The full list of nominees are as followed:

Best British Group:

Mumford and Sons


The xx


One Direction


Best British Album: 

Emeli Sande 'Our Version of Events'

Plan B 'Ill Manors'

Alt-J 'An Awesome Wave'

Paloma Faith 'Fall To Grace'

Mumford and Sons 'Babel'


Best British Female: 

Amy Winehouse

Paloma Faith

Bat For Lashes

Jessie Ware

Emeli Sande


British British Male: 

Calvin Harris

Plan B

Richard Hawley

Ben Howard

Olly Murs


British Breakthrough: 

Jake Bugg

Jessie Ware


Ben Howard

Rita Ora


Best Live Act: 

Mumford and Sons



The Vaccines

The Rolling Stones


Best International Group: 

The Black Keys

The Script

Alabama Shakes


The Killers


Best International Male: 

Jack White


Michael Buble

Frank Ocean

Bruce Springsteen


Best International Female: 


Alicia Keys

Cat Power

Lana Del Rey

Taylor Swift