The 10 nominees for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize album of the year will perform at this year ceremony which takes place at Vicar Street on Thursday March 8th.

Nominees and performers include:
  • Come On Live Long
  • Marlene Enright
  • Fangclub
  • Lankum
  • James Vincent McMorrow
  • New Jackson
  • Otherkin
  • Fionn Regan
  • Ships
  • Talos

Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event on March 8th in Vicar Street are available from Ticketmaster and priced €28 plus fees.

Posted on February 7th, 2018

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The RTÉ Choice Music Prize have announced the 10 albums shortlisted for Irish album of the year today as revealed on Tracy Clifford’s 2FM show by Choice chairman Tony Clayton-Lea.

The winning album will be revealed at Vicar Street on March 8th after a judging panel deliberation.

The 10 albums shortlisted by the judges for Irish album of the year are:

Shortlisted albums

Come On Live Long – In The Still (self released)
Marlene Enright – Placemats and Second Cuts (self released)
Fangclub – Fangclub (Universal)
Lankum – Beneath the Earth and the Sky (Rough Trade)
James Vincent McMorrow – True Care (Faction Records)
New Jackson – From Night to Night (All City)
Otherkin – OK (Rubyworks)
Fionn Regan – The Meetings of the Waters (Abbey Records)
Ships – Precession (Ships Music)
Talos – Wild Alee (Feel Good Lost)

A Spotify playlist of nominated album highlights

Reaction?

A very strong list this year. Great to see Ships, Talos, Come On Live Long, Marlene Enright and New Jackson in there – many of which were featured in my Irish albums of the year. We live in a deluge of new music so for those albums to get even to judge’s ears now is no mean feat, not least make an impression. Independently-released albums have to swim upstream and rely on sites like this, word-of-mouth and hard graft to make a lasting impression beyond the week of release in the first place.

Missing from the list? Northern Irish acts didn’t get a look in once again. The NI Album of the Year from Joshua Burnside doesn’t feature, nor does the brilliant debut album from Bicep or And So I Watch You From Afar most notably. It seems the NI / ROI divide remains even if it has certainly improved in recent years.

2017 wasn’t a year that many Irish major label acts released an album save for U2, Van Morrison, Niall Horan, The Coronas and The Script. The Script was pretty much panned across the board and U2’s Songs Of Experience received mixed reviews. It’s December release date may not have helped.

One notable act whose huge success didn’t translate to a Choice Music Prize nomination? Picture This. They may be able to sell out big venues all over the country but this award is for album alone and the critics didn’t pluck for the Kildare boys.

No room for trad acts like Cormac Begley or Martin Hayes and Damien Dempsey fell short of the judges.

About the Choice Music Prize

The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). All of the shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award. RAAP, Culture Ireland & Golden Discs are also official project partners.

RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2017

The shortlist for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2017 will be announced on Wednesday 31st January 2018. A special event featuring exclusive performances from both Album of the Year and Song of the Year nominees will be held in Dublin’s Tramline venue that evening.

Choice Live Event – tickets

Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event on March 8th in Vicar Street are available from Ticketmaster and priced €28 plus fees.

RTÉ 2FM Radio support

RTÉ 2FM will celebrate the announcement of the shortlist across its schedule throughout the day with All Irish Music All Day from 6am to midnight. Louise McSharry will present a two-hour special programme on this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize, Irish Album of the Year 2017 shortlist from 8-10pm this evening. RTÉ 2FM will continue to mark the announcement of the shortlist this week and beyond through a mix of airplay of tracks from the shortlisted albums, interviews with this year’s shortlisted artists and live performances.

Live event broadcast on RTE radio and TV

As part of the partnership with RTÉ, the event will be broadcast live on RTÉ 2FM in a special four-hour extended programme from 7-11pm and on RTÉ2 as part of a special RTÉ Choice Music Prize TV programme, approximately one week later.

Judging Panel

Kate Brennan Harding – Today FM
Martin Byrne – Music Consultant
Stephen Byrne – Golden Plec
Tracy Clifford – 2fm
Alan Donovan – Red FM
Dave Hanratty – Freelance journalist & broadcaster with NO ENCORE podcast
Hugh Linehan – Irish Times Culture/Arts/Ticket Editor
Ann Marie Shields – BIMM
Lilian Smith – RTE Radio 1
Danny Wilson – Totally Dublin

Previous winners of the Choice Music Prize

2016: Rusangano Family
2015: Soak
2014: The Gloaming
2013: Villagers
2012: Jape
2011: Delorentos
2010: Two Door Cinema Club
2009: Adrian Crowley
2008: Jape
2007: Super Extra Bonus Party
2006: The Divine Comedy
2005: Julie Feeney

Posted on January 10th, 2018

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2017 Best of | Best songs | Best albums | Irish albums | Irish songs | Club tracks | Guest selections


Here are my 25 favourite Irish albums from 2017 whittled down from a shortlist of 40 or so. Number 1 was a surefire since I heard it earlier this year but there were a few late addition entries released in the last few months that made it near the top.


Tower Records

25.

Otherkin – OK

It’s increasingly hard to stand out in rock music in 2017 beyond genre die-hards and Otherkin are the pick of the Irish bunch when it comes to old-fashioned guitar music (though Fangclub and Gypsies On The Autobahn came close). There’s not much radical at play here – these are catchy very well-produced rock’n’roll songs you’d imagine could soundtrack an ad with ease.


24.

Fionn Regan

Five years since his last full-length and it sounds like time away has left Fionn Regan with a renewed sense of purpose. The Meetings Of The Waters feels like a stepping stone to a new path for Regan. Ditching the Dylan-influence completely, the album largely features meditative spacious folk music that sustains quietly like smouldering embers and a centrepiece of three tracks with more layered rock music-style songs.


23.

Having moved from pensive singer-songwriter to elegiac composer/songwriter a few albums ago, the Galway artist Crowley has transitioned once again, with the help of The Gloaming’s Thomas Bartlett who produced Dark Eyed Messenger. Barlett counselled Crowley to make the album without his trusted guitar. He obliged and the results sound utterly beguiling.


22.

The Gloaming fiddle player’s latest project saw him convene in an 18th century house in Bantry with frequent collaborator Dennis Cahill (guitars) and New Yorkers Doug Wieselman (bass clarinet, Anthony & The Johnsons and Laurie Anderson) and Liz Knowles (hardanger d’amore), with a fire going at both sides of The Blue Room (the album is called after it) and the quartet’s recording process involved playing each traditional piece repeatedly and allowing something different to emerge in the process. Another worthy inclusion from a master.


21.

Keith Mannion’s SPLH project has morphed from bedroom electronic solo endeavour to a full live band in recent years and this year’s album When I See You…Ice Cream! on Strange Brew Rekkids is an affirmation of his new inclusive ethos. It may have still been recorded in his Donegal bedroom but appearances from Whipping Boy’s Fearghal McKee, Gaze Is Ghost offers contrast to Mannion’s own wobblyevoice on a playful and lo-fi-leaning album.


20.

Dublin experimental veterans’ sixth studio long-player takes them deeper,darker and longer. Written in 2015 as a single longform piece for a once-off performance in Dublin’s now-defunct Joinery venue, Tough Love is a diptych of 20 plus minute tracks of dense krautrock dystopian synth-dirge dramatics.


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Posted on December 12th, 2017

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After their debut tribute band to American punk-leaning ’80s rock band The Replacements sold out last year, Seen Your Video a band featuring Peter Toomey (The Immediate), James Vincent McMorrow, Conor O’Brien (Villagers), Danny Snow (Villagers), Thomas McLaughlin (SOAK) and James Byrne (SOAK) will do it all again for Womens Aid.

The show takes place in Whelan’s next Tuesday December 19th with Pillow Queens and Young Hearts Run Free DJs. Tickets are €15 from Whelan’s.

Posted on December 11th, 2017

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Turning Pirate’s annual New Year’s Eve gig returns to Vicar Street on December 31st and this year’s line-up features

Featuring:

  • Lisa Hannigan
  • James Vincent McMorrow
  • Booka Brass
  • Mick Flannery
  • Gavin Glass
  • Jess Kav
  • Niamh Farrell
  • Planet Parade
  • Joe Hearns
  • Michael Hopkins
  • Turning Pirate House Band
  • MC Brian Quinn
  • Music Director: Joe Furlong

Tickets priced at €36+ are available from Ticketmaster.ie.


Posted on December 6th, 2017

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All Tvvins have followed up their debut album IIVV with a special collaborative single with James Vincent McMorrow on duet with Conor Adams.

The song ‘Alone Together’ holds intact those stadium-rock dynamics that Adams and Lar Kaye do so well but the song definitely falls in a more electronic pop vein than before.

The two artists are playing Trinity College on Friday July 7th.

McMorrow just released a surprise album True Care also.

Posted on June 9th, 2017

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James Vincent McMorrow launched his new album True Care last night with a live streamed gig from D-Light Studios in Dublin.

You can now listen to the album in full now on Spotify and all streaming and download services. On first listen, the album feels like a looser more exploratory version of We Move, a companion piece of sorts. Early highlights are ‘Constellations’ and ‘Holding On’. James says he wanted to break out of the 18 month album cycle for once…

True Care comes closely on the heels of James’ critically acclaimed September 2016 album We Move (available HERE) and was recorded in December of that same year.

James says:

“Life is long. But then, it isn’t really. Since I’ve been making records it’s been about following a cycle. Make a record. Wait. Release a record. Play for 18 months. Take a break. I don’t really understand that cycle any more. I want to make records when I’m compelled to, and I want to release them when they’re still as fresh to me as they are to whomever is hearing them for the first time. The idea of sitting around waiting doesn’t make sense to me.

I had an idea fixed in my head since the second I stopped making We Move. This idea of a very real now, and a very vague future. I had this date, December 2914, which I was writing towards. Not in a specific, ‘what will it be like in the future’ kind of way. I just wanted to fix a point way out there, so far away that I’ll never see it, and use it as an anchor point to start writing about my life now, remembering my life before now, and the complete abstraction that is my life in the future.”

Posted on May 26th, 2017

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As confirmed last week, James Vincent McMorrow will release a new album True Care, this Friday.

‘True Care’ is the title track from the album and is about a time when he was younger when he didn’t accept help.

“I was pretty unwell when i was 17, a lot of emotional issues manifested themselves quite physically. I was also an incredibly private person, i still am, (which is why writing all this out is so terrifying/exciting), so O didn’t really open myself up at that point to the possibility of someone taking care of me. I’m not saying ‘why didn’t someone show me care’, i’m saying that i didn’t allow for that to ever happen by closing myself off.”

Check out the annotated lyrics:

Tracklist

1.December 2914
2.True Care
3.National
4.Thank You
5.Interlude 1
6.Constellations
7.Holding On
8.Bears
9.Pink Salt Lake
10.Interlude 2
11.Bend Your Knees
12.Change of Heart
13.I’m Glad It’s Raining
14.Don’t Wait Forever
15.End

Posted on May 22nd, 2017

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As confirmed by his Genius page and recent fishy goings on, James Vincent McMorrow will a release a new album True Care next Friday.

The album’s lyrics are all up on Genius now annotated by McMorrow himself and he’s shared a note about the album which was recorded at the same time as We Move:

“5 months it took, itʼs the best thing iʼve ever created… is it weird to say that?? fuck it.

Could i have made it sound slicker? Yes. Spent more time finding the best mic positions on drums and guitar amps?…

Thereʼs parts where youʼll listen and think ‘did that go out of time for a second?ʼ.. the answer is most probably yes, it did. Lot of one takes with no click tracks, in a room moving from sound to sound, idea to idea. I wasnʼt doing any of that because i was trying to reconnect with some mystical romantic notion of making music though. Fuck that. A) Itʼs 2017, and b) for my entire career iʼve made music on my laptop. Iʼve never understood that musical desire for nostalgia. The people you love from the past, they were looking forward…”

One song ‘National’ references the band:

We'd spend our nights listening to The National<br> That was special<br> Even though your car was small<br> You said your favourite song<br> Was the one about death<br> I said every single one's like that<br> In fact there's literally nothing left
― James Vincent McMorrow – National

Tracklist

1.December 2914
2.True Care
3.National
4.Thank You
5.Interlude 1
6.Constellations
7.Holding On
8.Bears
9.Pink Salt Lake
10.Interlude 2
11.Bend Your Knees
12.Change of Heart
13.I’m Glad It’s Raining
14.Don’t Wait Forever
15.End

James Vincent McMorrow True Care Europe Tour

June 24 | Luxembourg | Siren’s Call Festival
July 1 | Gloucester | Barn on the Farm Festival
July 5 | Paris | Philharmonie de Paris
July 7 | Dublin | Trinity College
July 14 | Benicassim | FIB Benicassim
July 15 | Lisbon | Super Block Festival
July 24 | London | Village Underground
July 25 | London | Village Underground
July 26 | London | Village Underground
August 18 | Cologne | C/o Pop
August 19 | Hamburg | Dockville
September 9 | Wales | Festival Number 6

Posted on May 18th, 2017

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James Vincent McMorrow looks set to be releasing some new music if recent signs on his socials and his site are any indication.

Yesterday, he changed his avatar to a jellyfish in the dark and today, his website followed suit and comes with the tagline ‘Pay Close Attention’ and a Spotify playlist.

It’s unlikely that directive is a hint for a cover of ‘Out Of Space’ but the morse code translates to 26.5.17 so it seems like something will be coming on Friday May 26th.

The source code also links to the video below and the Spotify playlist contains three untitled sketch tracks with the same jellyfish avatar profile among songs from SZA, The National, Doobie Brothers, Vince Staples and more.

District points out the metadata has the words ‘True Care 2’ which could be a clue to what’s coming.

Something fishy is going on.

Posted on May 16th, 2017

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Update: the gig has moved to Whelan’s main room due to demand.

There’s a load of Irish musicians getting together to play songs from the American punk-leaning ’80s rock band The Replacements next week.

The band called Seen Your Video include:

Peter Toomey (The Immediate)
James Vincent McMorrow
Conor O’Brien (Villagers)
Conor Lumsden (The No.1s)
James Byrne (SOAK)

The band play Whelans on April 19th with proceeds go to Women’s Aid.

Buy tickets

Posted on April 10th, 2017

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The Pixies just announced they are to play a new series of Dublin gigs called Trinity College Park Summer Series on July 9th this year, alongside a load of other acts in early July.

Also playing in Trinity will be Gregory Porter (Thursday July 6), James Vincent McMorrow (Friday July 7), Bell X1 (Saturday July 8), Two Door Cinema Club with Circa Waves, (Monday July 10) and Alt-J (Tuesday July 11),

Tickets

Tickets for Gregory Porter, James Vincent McMorrow, Bell X1 & Two Door Cinema Club are priced €44.05 incl. booking fee on sale at 9am this Friday, February 10th from Ticketmaster.

Tickets for Pixies & alt-J: €54.65 incl. booking fee also on sale Friday and from
Ticketmaster http://pixiesmusic.com/shows.

Posted on February 6th, 2017

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The Choice Music Prize is this year the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for the first time and the announcement of the 10 Irish albums were revealed a short time ago on 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show by Tony Clayton Lea, chairman of the judging panel.

The 10 albums shortlisted by the judges for Irish album of the year are:

Shortlisted albums

All Tvvins – IIVV (Warner Music)
Bantum – Move (Self Released)
Wallis Bird – Home (Mount Silver / Caroline International)
The Divine Comedy – Foreverland (Divine Comedy Records)
Lisa Hannigan – At Swim (Hoop Recordings)
Katie Kim – Salt (Art For Blind Records)
James Vincent McMorrow – We Move (Faction Records)
Overhead, The Albatross – Learning to Growl (Self Released)
Rusangano Family – Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Self Released)
We Cut Corners – The Cadences Of Others (Delphi)

A Spotify playlist of all albums

The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). All of the shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award. RAAP, Culture Ireland & Golden Discs are also official project partners.

2FM has promised to play Irish music all day from 6am to midnight today to mark the announcement along with live cessions from SOAK and Delorentos and a two-hour special on this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize, Irish Album of the Year 2016 shortlist, presented by Conor Behan from 8-10pm.

Live event

Shortlisted albums will also be featured throughout in the lead up to the live choice prize event on Thursday March 9th in Vicar Street.
Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at http://www.ticketmaster.ie priced €26.50 including booking fee.

Judging Panel

Louise Bruton – Freelance & Irish Times
Brian Coney – Editor, The Thin Air
Maire Dineen – Súgradh Productions (Imeall TG4/Body & Soul)
Suzanne Doyle – Music, Film & Television Consultant
Dan Hegarty – 2FM
Paddy McKenna – Editor, Joe.ie
Cathal Murray – RTE Radio 1
Barbara Nic D – Classic Hits 4FM
Colm O’Regan – Hot Press
Niall Power – Head of Music Beat FM
Eva Short – Deputy Editor, Trinity News

Irish Song of The Year 2016

The shortlist for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2016 will be announced on Wednesday 1st February, 2017. A Special event featuring exclusive performances from both Album of the Year and Song of the Year nominees will be held in Dublin that evening in the Workman’s Club.

Previous winners of the Choice Music Prize

2015: Soak
2014: The Gloaming
2013: Villagers
2012: Jape
2011: Delorentos
2010: Two Door Cinema Club
2009: Adrian Crowley
2008: Jape
2007: Super Extra Bonus Party
2006: The Divine Comedy
2005: Julie Feeney

Posted on January 11th, 2017

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James Vincent McMorrow just released a deluxe version of We Move, which featured alternative and demo versions of the album’s songs.

For his performance on Jimmy Kimmel on US TV last night, he stuck to the original version of ‘Get Low’ but gave it a bit more bite with his band for the cameras.

Tour dates

Thursday January 26th – Opera House, Cork
Saturday January 28th – Ulster Hall, Belfast

Posted on December 7th, 2016

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