“O Emperor’s Jason probably won’t win. It is a weird and wonderful garage rock/ jazz record from a band that split up upon release, it’s hard to argue to the bitter end for such a curio.”
Every year, the Choice Music Prize finds a way to remind us that we can’t predict who can win.
And 2019 conforms to that idea. O Emperor’s Jason was the winner of the Choice Music Prize for Irish album of the year, winning out in a ballot vote that included albums from Saint Sister and Kojaque.
It’s a curiously weird, nothing-to-lose garage-rock/ jazzy rock release that surprisingly won out over a favourite Villagers record or Saint Sister’s ambient folk or Kojaque’s thematic deli-rap record.
Chairman of the judging panel Tony Clayton-Lea commented “Once again 2018 was a terrific year for the quality of Irish albums released, and the judging process reflected this. Of all the years that I have been chairman of the judging panel, this year was the closest in terms of winner and runner up, with Kojaque’s album Deli Daydreams pipped at the post by O Emperor.”
O Emperor received a cheque for €10,000, a prize which has been provided by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA) – as well as a specially-commissioned award.
The winner of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Song of the Year was also announced and Picture This won the prize for their song “One Drink”. Decided by the public via the RTÉ and Choice Music Prize websites, fans were given the chance to get behind their favourite song.
The sold-out event in Vicar Street was hosted by RTÉ 2FM’s Eoghan McDermott and was broadcast live on the station on a specially-extended Louise McSharry show.
RTÉ2 will broadcast a one-hour TV highlights programme of the RTÉ Choice Music Prize featuring performances from the acts and interviews by Bláthnaid Treacy on Sunday March 17th at 11.15pm.
RTE Choice Music Prize – Irish Album of the Year 2018 Shortlist
The Academic – Tales From The Backseat (ROOM6 Records)
Delorentos – True Surrender (Delo Records)
Just Mustard – Wednesday (Pizza Pizza Records)
Kojaque – Deli Daydreams (Soft Boy Records)
Winner: O Emperor – Jason (Big Skin Records)
Lisa O’Neill – Heard A Long Gone Song (River Lea Recordings)
Saint Sister – Shape Of Silence (self released)
Rejjie Snow – Dear Annie (BMG)
Villagers – The Art Of Pretending To Swim (Domino Recording Co)
Wyvern Lingo – Wyvern Lingo (Ruby Works)