LOS ANGELES, CA Monday Jan.23.2006 /netmusiccountdown.com/ -- Death Cab For Cutie, Fiona Apple and the Kings of Leon are among the finalists for the New Pantheon Music Prize.

The inaugural New Pantheon Music Prize replaces the currently on-hiatus Shortlist Music Prize and honors the most creative and artistic records of the year that may have been overlooked by the mainstream. A specially selected panel of respected musical figures and celebrities decides who gets the award, and this year's judges include Death Cab For Cutie's Benjamin Gibbard, Beck, Keith Urban, Dave Matthews, Elton John, and John Legend, among others.

Over 90 albums were nominated for the New Pantheon and have now been narrowed down to 10 finalists. They are: Animal Collective's "Feels," Antony and the Johnsons "I Am A Bird Now," Arcade Fire's "Funeral," Bloc Party's "Silent Alarm," Death Cab For Cutie's "Plans," Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine," the Kings of Leon's "Aha Shake Heartbreak," M.I.A.'s "Arular," Sufjan Stevens' "Illinois," and the Decemberists' "Picaresque."

To qualify for this year's New Pantheon Music Prize, the album must have been released in the U.S. between July 1, 2004 to October 30th, 2005. Additionally, the nominated album must not yet be certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of over 500,000 albums.

The winner of the New Pantheon award will be announced next month in Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.NewPantheon.net.

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