Girl Band, Villagers and Róisín Murphy are among the main contenders for this year’s Choice Music Prize, which has just announced its shortlist.
The prize picks the best Irish album for the previous year as chosen by a panel of 12 music media professionals and industry experts. Previous winners include Julie Feeney, Two Door Cinema Club and The Divine Comedy.
The shortlist for this year is:
Girl Band for Holding Hands with Jamie (Rough Trade);
HamsandwicH for Stories from the Surface (Route 109A Records);
Gavin James for Bitter Pill (Warner Music Ireland);
Jape for This Chemical Sea (Faction Records);
Le Galaxie for Le Club (Universal Music Ireland);
Colm Mac Con Iomaire for And Now The Weather (Plateau);
Róisín Murphy for Hairless Toys (PIAS);
Soak for Before We Forgot How To Dream (Rough Trade);
Villagers for Darling Arithmetic (Domino);
and Young Wonder for Birth (Feel Good Lost).
The winning album will be selected by the judging panel at the Choice Music Prize live event on March 3rd at Vicar Street. The judges for this year are Emily Brown (Spin Southwest), Roddy Cleere (KCLR), Tom Dunne (Newstalk), Sínead Gleeson (The Irish Times), Joe Harrington (Joe.ie), James Hendicott (Golden Plec), Edwin McFee (Hot Press), Louise McSharry (2FM), Sinéad Ní Mhórdha (Radio Nova), Ed Smith (Today FM), Phil Taggart (BBC Radio 1) and Mike Walsh (Radio X).
The winning act will receive €10,000, provided by the Irish Music Rights Organisation (Imro) and the Irish Recorded Music Association (Irma). Last year's winner was The Gloaming.
The early favourites are Girl Band, whose debut has been a critical hit; Villagers, who have previously won in 2013 for