Hannigan favourite on Choice music prize shortlist

Thu, Jan 12, 2012, 00:00

THE 10 nominations for this year’s Meteor Choice Music Prize have been announced, with singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan already the strong favourite to win the overall prize.

The award, which is judged by a panel of Irish music media, is for the Irish album considered to be the best of the year (2011) irrespective of commercial sales.

Joining Hannigan on this year’s shortlist are three acts from Northern Ireland – And So I Watch You From Afar, The Japanese Popstars and Cashier No 9. A previous winner of the award, Jape, is also on the shortlist, as are Bell X1, Patrick Kelleher and His Cold Dead Hands, Pugwash, Tieranniesaur and We Cut Corners.

This year’s shortlist is considered one of the strongest in the eight-year history of the award.

The overall winner will be decided at a live music event at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin, on March 8th. Tickets for the show, which will see most of the nominated acts performing, go on sale tomorrow.

Hannigan’s Passenger album has already received positive critical acclaim and she has previously been nominated for a Mercury Music Prize.

She faces strong competition for the prize though from Belfast’s Cashier No 9, with their To The Death Of Funalbum, which was one of last year’s Irish musical highlights.

Previous winners of the award include Divine Comedy and Two Door Cinema Club. All this year’s nominated acts can expect increased attention on their work in the run-up to the prize night in March.

Meadhbh Quinn, Meteor’s head of brand and marketing communications, said: “This year’s shortlist is representative of the vast wealth of musical talent we have in Ireland today.

“The Meteor Choice Music Prize is unique in that judging focuses simply and solely on the music, as opposed to sales or airplay. It was established to highlight, promote and showcase the work of Irish artists and we’re very much looking forward to the award show in March.”