A very exciting announcement. The RTÉ Choice Music Prize have announced their shortlist for 2018’s Irish album of the year award.
Let’s not waste any time. Here’s the list.
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)
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)
It’s an incredibly competitive list. At first glance, acts like Wyvern Lingo, Koajaque and Saint Sister seem like favourites but there’s such a wealth of quality on offer that’s it’s near impossible to decide. Especially considering the Choice Prize only takes the music its self into consideration, not airplay or popularity.
Running the award this year is, as always, Tony Clayton-Lea.
Here’s the list of this year’s judges, featuring our own Mike McGrath-Brian.
Louise Cantillion -4FM
Zara Hedderman -Thin Air / Head Stuff / Freelance
Conor McCaffrey -Daily Star / mookidmusic.com
Mike McGrath-Brian – Freelance / nialler9.com (Cork)
Danny McIlheny – Irish Daily Mail
Cathy Moorehead – Across The Line/NI
Ed Smith – Today FM
Tara Stewart – 2FM
Dean Van Nguyen – Freelance/Irish Times
Stephen White – thelastmixedtape.com
Plenty of these acts were featured on our own end of year lists. Our top 20 Irish albums featured Lisa O’Neill, Just Mustard, Rejjie Snow, Wyvern Lingo, Villagers, O Emperor, Saint Sister and Kojaque.
It’s a shame that Paddy Hanna and Spies weren’t included on the list, but I suppose there were bound to be disappointments with the competition being as close as it is.
The award, plus live performances from acts on the shortlist, will be presented at a live event in Vicar Street on the 7th of March. Tickets at €28+ are on sale now for the event from the Ticketmaster website.