If anybody ever asks you to explain the Irish music scene in three words you could do much worse than use ‘Choice’, ‘Music’ and ‘Prize. Preferably in that order. Leaving the winners aside for now, the extensive list of nominees is possibly the best snapshot of how diverse the musical landscape here has been since Bono invented the bodhrán. From the fleeting-but-brilliant Hal to the remarkable We Cut Corners, featuring U2 themselves, Hozier, Super Extra Bonus Party, Wallis Bird, Fight Like Apes, Messiah J & The Expert, we could sit here for days discussing the varying trajectories each of these artists’ careers have taken. Some fared well, some unfortunately were victims of an unforgiving and unsecured career selection, but they were all recognised for their innovation and their contribution to the canon. If nothing else they can be proud of the mark they left this island no matter how significant.
So each year the people behind the prize provide us with a new list of hopefuls that entice, surprise, delight and confuse us and this year is no different. It is by no means definitive, that much is clear – feel free to comment and tell us who you deem to be a glaring omission or an erroneous inclusion. But here at State.ie we know all about killing your darlings, our own list of Faces takes months of work and deliberation and we, like the Choice panel, cannot suit everybody. But no matter how much you agree or disagree with the list, or even care for that matter, you cannot ignore the sheer diversity and depth of talent on display.
Here are the nominees for Album of the Year so keep an eye out for more on each plus the nominees for Song of the Year over the coming weeks.
All Tvvins IIVV (Warner Music)
Bantum Move (Self released)
Wallis Bird Home (Caroline)
The Divine Comedy Foreverland (Divine Comedy Records)
Lisa Hannigan At Swim (Hoop)
Katie Kim Salt (Self released)
James Vincent McMorrow We Move (Believe)
Overhead the Albatross Learning To Growl (Self release)
Rusangano Family Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Self release)
We Cut Corners The Cadence Of Others (Delphi)
RTÉ Choice Music Prize live event takes place at Vicar Street, Dublin on Thursday 9th March, tickets are on sale now