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So who'll win the Choice Music Prize?

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Damien Rice

Damien Rice

Damien Rice

The shortlist for the Meteor Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year 2014 was announced this afternoon and, as usual, it’s already got people talking.

Established in 2005 by journalist Jim Carroll and music manager David Reid “to encourage, highlight, showcase and promote Irish music of excellence,” the award now celebrates its tenth anniversary, and the eclectic shortlist serves as a reminder of just how good a year 2014 was for domestic album releases.

Voted for by a gang of media and music industry professionals, there’s a shiny trophy up for grabs, along with a cheque for €10,000 courtesy of the Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). This year’s ceremony, featuring live performances and interviews, takes place at Vicar Street on Thursday, March 5 with tickets priced €24 going on sale this Friday. But that’s enough background for now. The nominees are…

 

Aphex Twin (Syro): We’ll hold up our hands and admit we had no idea that electronic musician Richard James was actually born in Limerick (you learn something new every day). 2014’s Syro was the chap’s first studio album in 13 years under the Aphex Twin moniker. Incidentally, James is one of three Grammy Award-nominated artists on the shortlist…

Delorentos (Night Becomes Light): The Dublin band’s finest album to date, and (in our humble opinion, at least) the best Irish album of 2014. Might the fact that Delorentos already won the award two years ago hold them back on the night? Stranger things have happened…

The Gloaming (The Gloaming): A bit of contemporary trad never hurt anyone. Critics loved this one upon release, but we’re not so sure. A second listen is required…

Hozier (Hozier): The most obvious inclusion on the list, we’re big fans of Mr. Andrew Hozier-Byrne (as is everyone else in the country), and you might say that the award is his to lose. But what would mean more to the bloke whose album debuted at number two stateside – a Grammy Award win for the ubiquitous Take Me to Church, or a fancy Choice gong and a cheque for ten grand? Time will tell.

James Vincent McMorrow (Post Tropical): Great album, great voice, great guy. Indeed, McMorrow is an Irish singer songwriter we can definitely get on side with. Well deserved.

Sinead O’Connor (I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss):  How is it that there is only one female included in this year’s shortlist? A travesty, for sure, but we’ll leave that argument for another day. A cracking collection of songs from an artist who gets better with every release.

Damien Rice (My Favourite Faded Fantasy): Disappearing for, oh, about eight years paid off – Damo’s third album proved a phenomenal return to form. Maybe stick a cheeky fiver on this one…

The Riptide Movement (Getting Through): Everyone’s favourite local buskers-turned-major label heroes had a cracking 2014. “It all works out,” they sang, on one of the most played tracks of the year. It does indeed, boys.

U2 (Songs of Innocence): Well, I’ll be damned. Let’s face it - Songs of Innocence was the most talked about album of 2014. And it’s a damn fine record, too. Might the lads show up at Vicar Street in March? We’ll have to wait and see what kind of shape poor Bono is in…

We Cut Corners (Think Nothing): Raucous, melodic rock combo from Dublin, with a knack for bringing the noise. And, there are only two of them – sure to blow the roof off the place come March 5…

And that’s that. Who will win on the night? Again, we won’t be surprised if Hozier emerges victorious, but we wouldn’t put it past the Ricer fella walking home €10,000 richer, either. Be sure to keep an eye on the bookies odds in the coming days. Oh, and a separate shortlist for Irish Song of the Year will be announced on Wednesday, January 28. Let the games begin…

 

Previous Choice Winners

2013: Villagers (Awayland)

2012: Delorentos (Little Sparks)

2011: Jape (Ocean of Frequency)

2010: Two Door Cinema Club (Tourist History)

2009: Adrian Crowley (Season of the Sparks)

2008: Jape (Ritual)

2007: Super Extra Bonus Party (Super Extra Bonus Party)

2006: The Divine Comedy (Victory for the Comic Muse)

2005: Julie Feeney (13 Songs)


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