The Choice Music Prize have unveiled the shortlist for the coveted Album of the Year Award.
The annual award ceremony will take place in Vicar Street on March 9th, when the panel of 12 judges will reveal Ireland’s album of the year for 2018.
For the 14th year running the RTÉ Choice Music Prize states that the organisation was “established to encourage, highlight, showcase and promote Irish music of excellence”.
In 2018 Irish acts lived up to that excellent standard, with many stellar releases over the last 12 months. The shortlist for the coveted award sees six debut albums make the cut, alongside stronghold names in Irish music.
Villagers returned in September, releasing their fourth album The Art of Pretending to Swim, which received glowing reviews. While O Emperor called it a day towards the end of 2018, making Jason their final album. The Waterford psych-rock group’s final release is a funky affair and sees O Emperor go out with a bang, fully deserving their place on the shortlist.
Meanwhile, it was a spectacular year for newcoming talent in Ireland, which is shown on the shortlist, dominated by debut records. Bray trio Wyvern Lingo have been making waves across Europe since the release of their self-titled debut and it hasn’t gone unnoticed. The pop-R&B enfused record made the final cut.
Dundalk natives Just Mustard, unleashed their debut album Wednesday, at the start of the summer. Their first LP is a concoction of brooding melodies and swelling tensions, with a bit of grunge, post-punk and psych all merged together. Released on Independent label Pizza Pizza, it’s a thrilling first-effort, worthy of it’s place on the shortlist.
2015 winners Delorentos, were also placed on the shortlist for their latest effort True Surrender. While The Academic’s first album Tales From the Backseat, got the nod from the Choice Music Prize panel.
Yet the euphoric and beautifully crafted Shape of Silence, by Saint Sister is potentially the favourite to take the award. Duo Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre’s record could easily be compared to the work of Bon Iver. Each track provides stunning moment after stunning moment throughout Shape of Silence.
Tickets for the event are on sale now via Ticketmaster. Each act on the shortlist are set to perform on March 7th. It’s bound to be a stunning night in Vicar Street.
Vote below for who you think should win the Album of the Year on March 7th.