Nine years. Ninety albums. Seventy artists. If you wanted proof of the depth and breadth of musical talent in Ireland, the Choice Music Prize is a fine place to start. From small beginnings has grown into an annual event that focuses attention on the domestic scene far beyond it’s usual boundaries.
The introduction of Meteor as headline sponsor in 2012 only served to enhance that profile, helping the nominated acts reach an audience as tuned into daytime radio and the mainstream media as any other output. Thrown open to the public vote, as opposed to the album judging panel, the song of the year poll is always bound to throw up a more populist angle than the main prize (Royseven to Jape’s 2012 win, Gavin James to Delorentos last year) but the shortlist still manages to cover all bases.
Read on for a chance to win a pair of tickets to the live event at Vicar St. First though, here’s State’s guide to the 2013 nominees….
Daithí – ‘Chameleon Life’
One of our Faces of 2012, Daithí’s rise has been more gradual than mercurial but he is all the better off for it. Combining a blend of dance and organic music that continues to lean more towards the former, ‘Chameleon Life’ was the first record to suggest that this year’s debut album could be one not to miss.
Hozier – ‘Take Me To Church’
Unavoidable by the end of 2013, few could have predicted such ubiquity for Hozier’s debut single when it premiered on State back in the summer. Brendan Canty’s startling video helped of course, yet ‘Take Me To Church’ was a song that crossed all boundaries.
I Am The Cosmos – ‘Look Me In The Eye’
Overlooked on the album list to the surprise of some, the duo of Cian Murphy and Ross Turner still find themselves in unusual company on this list. ‘Look Me In The Eye’ is a dark, brooding electronic number that could certainly turn a few new heads.
James Vincent McMorrow – ‘Cavalier’
It’s a safe bet that this time next year Post Tropical will be sitting pretty on the albums list. For now, however, it’s ‘Cavalier’ that flies the James Vincent McMorrow flag – a subtly bold statement from an artist who, in his own words, doesn’t give a shit about difficult second albums.
Kodaline – ‘Brand New Day’
Only one of two acts to straddle both lists, Kodaline are perhaps the year’s greatest new Irish music story. From club gigs to arenas, they’ve done what many of their peers have struggled with and gone international. Sure to be one of the favourites to take this prize, if not the albums award.
New Jackson – ‘Sat Around Here Waiting’
David Kitt is no stranger to the Choice, yet it seems as though his solo career will be on hold for a while if this is anything to go by. Flying the flag for the Irish electronic underground alongside I Am The Cosmos, Kitt seems very much at home in this new setting.
The Original Rudeboys – ‘Never Gonna Walk Away’
The second Rubyworks artist on the list, The Original Rudeboys are – despite the name – a very modern phenomenon. Propelled into the mainstream by social media and a clever run of YouTube clips, it’s hard not to see their fanbase reaching for their phones to vote.
The Strypes – ‘You Can’t Judge a Book By The Cover’
Their Snapshot album was one of the year’s more pleasant surprises, proving that sometimes sheer youthful enthusiasm can carry you through. The Strypes stick out like a sore thumb in this company but that’s no bad thing, as there’s always room for some maximum r&b in our book.
Two Door Cinema Club – ‘Changing of The Seasons’
Following up the massive, Choice winning success of Tourist History was a tough task for Two Door Cinema Club and, while their audience didn’t desert them, we’re not sure they quite pulled it off. ‘Changing Of The Seasons’ proves that they do still know their way around a good pop tune though.
Villagers – ‘Nothing Arrived’
Not that we want to influence your vote, but in State’s mind this was one of the finest songs of 2013 from any part of the world. A highlight from an album stuffed full of them, this is the sound of an artist at the top of his game. Not that we want to influence you mind.
Vote & Win Tickets to the Event
You can decide the winner by voting online or by texting ‘SONG’ to 085 711 4444 for a list of nominees. All voters are in with a chance to win one of 20 pairs of tickets to the Meteor Choice Music Prize Live Event on 27th February in Vicar Street and can vote once a day until voting closes on 23rd February.
The winning entry will be announced at the Live Event and awarded the Meteor Choice Music Prize Irish Song of the Year trophy along with a prize fund of €3,000. The Meteor Choice Music Prize will be broadcast live on the night as part of a special four-hour extended programme on Today FM’s Paul McLoone show. In addition, the show will air as part of a special TV broadcast on 2nd March on RTE Two at 10.30pm.
Tickets for the Meteor Choice Music Prize Live Event are on sale from all Ticketmaster outlets priced at €23.50 including booking fee.
Handily, State also has a pair of passes to give away to the gig. To enter, just email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us why you deserve to win. A quick tip – avoid tales of poverty and try to be creative.