Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Here’s the Choice Music Prize shortlist for y’all…

If OTR was compiling it, that is

Mon, Jan 4, 2016, 12:32


There are 48 hours to go until the Choice Music Prize shortlist for 2015 is announced. Regular readers will know that DOIs apply left, right and centre when this particular event comes up as I co-founded this thing back in 2005. I’ve not been involved since 2010 so that’s probably enough time and distance to form a robust and fairly objective view on how the project has progressed or regressed in that time.

There seems to be an awful lot less fuss and hubbub around the event now than used to be the case. Certainly, the ridiculous spasms of moaning and groaning about who makes and doesn’t make the list has thankfully subsided. Younger readers may be amazed to learn that this used to go on for aaaages with acts who didn’t make the list and their street teams taking time out of their hectic schedules to give out on blogs like this. See, we didn’t have Facebook or Snapchat back then so we had to make our own fun.

There’s no sponsor this year for the first time in a while so it’s back to basics, which is probably a good thing as corporate involvement always means compromises of some sort. Unfortunately, the ridiculous song of the year category remains tacked onto what used to be a fairly simple, straightforward, sturdy and streamlined affair, thus diluting the impact of the overall proposition. Put it like this, can you name any song of the year winners from previous years without resorting to Google? Thought so. It’s an add-on which has zilch appeal and no traction with the general public.

But it’s clear that the notion of the Choice Music Prize as an event to highlight a number of Irish albums released in the previous 12 months does still resonate with Irish musicians. Those who get shortlisted enjoy a bump in profile at a time of the year when there’s not really a lot happening. Whether it has any effect in terms of cash in the back pocket as a result of sales and streams is another thing entirely in 2016.

So, who’s going to make the cut when the list is announced on Wednesday afternoon? As always, it all depends on who the judges are but, regardless of who is on jury duty this year and how many “repeat” judges are called up (another thing which should be nipped in the bud as there’s more than enough new media types to come up with a new set of judges every year), there are a couple of albums you’d expect to see there. Girl Band are a shoe-in – they should win the 10 grand on the night too – and Soak will also feature, as should Choice regulars and past winners Villagers and Jape, both of whom released fine albums in 2015.

It would be hugely surprising if the likes of Glen Hansard, HamsandwicH, Le Galaxie, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and Roisin Murphy did not feature. Then, there are the releases
which earned a decent amount of media attention which is where Anderson should get the nod. There’s usually room for at least one album which stands out from the pack and I’d love to see one of Slow Moving Clouds or The Expert make the cut for their superb “Os” and “Dynamic Drift” respectively. I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the judges went for Enya for the lolz and hopefully the selectors will have the wit and wisdom to pass over such utter nonsense as Gavin James and Kodaline.

Here, then, is the Choice Music Prize shortlist if I was doing the picking. Bearing in mind that I don’t know who the judges are, come back on Wednesday to see if there’s a possible market for Old Carroll’s Almanac – and let me know your 10 selections in the comments below

Girl Band “Holding Hands With Jamie”
Soak “Before We Forgot How To Dream”
Villagers “Darling Arithmetic”
Jape “This Chemical Sea”
Anderson “Patterns”
Slow Moving Clouds “Os”
HamsandwicH “Stories From The Surface”
Le Galaxie “Le Club”
Colm Mac Con Iomaire “And Now The Weather”
Roisin Murphy “Hairless Toys”