The Ticket Awards 2016 - and the Music nominees are...

It was a year of RIPs, fresh talent, some significant returns to the field – and in 2016, Irish acts enjoyed a bit of a boom


Radiohead have returned to this kind of thing on the back on their 2016 album A Moon Shaped Pool. James Murphy and LCD Soundystem decided that sitting on their hoop was not a good look and hit the reunion trail with great gusto. Meanwhile, A Tribe Called Quest may have had to deal with the loss of the great Phife Dawg, but they also released a career-best album in We Got It From Here . . . Thank You 4 Your Service. It’s perhaps even more significant that the vast majority of the names in the running here are Irish. The votes received by All Tvvins, Overhead, The Albatross, Rusangano Family, The Gloaming, Bell X1 and Saint Sister from our writers are testament to the fact that homegrown acts are enjoying a boom at present.

- Radiohead
- LCD Soundsystem
- All Tvvins
- The Gloaming
- Rusangano Family
- A Tribe Called Quest
- Saint Sister
- Overhead, The Albatross
- Field Music
- Bell X1


The fact that Christine & The Queens released the world-beating Tilted single and Chaleur Humaine album back in 2014 prevents them from making an appearance in those categories here. However, there’s no stopping Héloïse Letissier herself topping the Best Act category. It was a bumper year for the French artist with a bunch of career-defining TV shows and live appearances as Tilted belatedly took over the world. Letissier is joined in this category by a bevvy of talented souls. From Cathy Davey, Kendrick Lamar and Anderson .Paak to the artists with one name such as Anohni, Beyoncé and Solange, here’s proof that 2016 produced some cracking pop music of every hue.

- Christine and the Queens
- Anohni
- Solange
- Beyoncé
- David Bowie
- Anderson .Paak
- Kanye West
- Nao
- Kendrick Lamar
- Cathy Davey


While you always get a degree of cohesion when it comes to the albums of the year, it’s a much different matter with Best Track. Here, it’s every artist for themselves and fingers crossed for a crossover that makes the job of the auditor that bit easier. There are two from Beyonce, proof that Lemonade produced a lot of sizzle. In this case, we’ve got the game-changing Formation and the Andy Williams, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Soulja Boy-sampling Hold Up. Anohni also makes two appearances in this category, with both the fantastic 4 Degrees and Drone Bomb Me from Hopelessness. Sadly, the rest of The Ticket’s critics did not share this writer’s appreciation for Kaiydo’s Fruit Punch. The fools.

- Daydreaming, Radiohead
- Fade, Kanye West
- 4 Degrees, Anohni
- One Dance, Drake
- Formation, Beyoncé
- Disappointed, Field Music
- Am I Wrong, Anderson .Paak
- Hold Up, Beyoncé
- Drone Bomb Me, Anohni


Looking at the overall votes cast for Best Irish Act, it’s clear that the number of impressive and distinctive Irish acts is growing with every passing year. There’s also a number of acts who were just outside the cut. Still, you can only have 10 acts in a Top 10 unless Donald Trump changes that in January. The 10 in question include the previously mentioned James Vincent McMorrow, All Tvvins, Cathy Davey, Rusangano Family, The Gloaming and Saint Sister. There are also nods for Bantum (whose Move was one of the year’s finest delights), Girl Band (whose gigs continue to be rocket fuel for the soul) and Wallis Bird.

- All Tvvins
- James Vincent McMorrow
- Cathy Dave
- Rusangano Family
- Saint Sister
- The Gloaming
- Bantum
- Wallis Bird
- Girl Band


It’s a good run for Radiohead in the Best Video category with Daydreaming and Burn the Witch showing up alongside Beyoncé (Lemonade), Kanye West (Fade) and David Bowie (Lazarus). While the pedants will point out that Lazarus was released in December 2015, the Johan Renck-directed video dropped in January.

- Lazarus, David Bowie
- Lemonade, Beyoncé
- Daydreaming, Radiohead
- Fade, Kanye West
- Burn the Witch, Radiohead

The Ticket’s writers get out a lot and this can be seen in the shows and festivals that make the respective lists. In terms of gigs of the year, you’ve got two Irish acts, The Gloaming and Róisín Murphy, in the running alongside Grace Jones, Kendrick Lamar and LCD Soundsystem. In terms of festivals, it’s a mix of the big ‘uns and the small ‘uns. Electric Picnic and Longitude are there alongside Body & Soul, Drop Everything and Castlepalooza.

- Grace Jones, Olympia
- Roisin Murphy, Olympia
- Kendrick Lamar, Longitude
- The Gloaming, NCH
- LCD Soundsystem, Electric Picnic

- Body and Soul
- Electric Picnic
- Drop Everything
- Longitude
- Castlepalooza


Bowie also makes a strong showing on the Best Album shortlist with the magnificent Blackstar. News of his death in January was an early sign of a crazy year, yet it’s good to see that his artistic statement stood the test of 12 months of releases. Bowie is joined in the running for Best Album by some of the year’s most adventurous releases. There’s top-drawer hip-hop from Chance the Rapper and Anderson .Paak. There’s next-level wonky pop from Solange, Blood Orange and Beyoncé. There’s also the best album you’ll ever hear about potential ecological disaster and climate change by Anohni in the shape of Hopelessness, as well as one Irish rep, James Vincent McMorrow.

Leonard Cohen’s death last month came a few weeks after the release of You Want It Darker, and that release is one of the albums in the Best Blues/Roots category. It’s there alongside albums from Lucinda Williams, Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones, Margo Price and Todd Snider. For the jazz fans in the audience, the choice is between albums from Fred Hersch, Donny McCaslin, Marius Neset, Michael Formanek and Andrew Cyrille. Trad and Classical have similarly rich pickings.

- David Bowie, Blackstar
- Solange, A Seat at the Table
- Radiohead, A Moon Shaped Pool
- Anderson .Paak, Malibu
- Anohni, Hopelessness
- Blood Orange, Freetown Sound
- Kanye West, The Life of Pablo
- Beyoncé, Lemonade
- Chance the Rapper, Coloring Book
- James Vincent McMorrow, We Move

- Leonard Cohen, You Want It Darker
- Lucinda Williams, The Ghosts of Highway 20
- Teddy Thompson and Kelly Jones, Little Windows
- Margo Price, Midwest Farmer’s Daughter
- Todd Snider, Eastside Bulldog

- Michael Formanek Ensemble, Kolossus, The Distance
- Fred Hersch Trio, Sunday Night at the Village Vanguard
- Marius Neset & London Sinfonietta, Snowmelt
- Andrew Cyrille Quartet, Declaration of Independence
- Donny McCaslin, Beyond Now

- The Gloaming, The Gloaming 2
- Conor Caldwell and Danny Diamond, North
- Ensemble Ériu, Imbas
- Síle Denvir, Caithréim; Music from the plays of Patrick Pearse
- Tús Nua, Gatehouse

- Barry Meets Beethoven, Stephen Richardson, Chamber Choir Ireland, Crash Ensemble/Paul Hillier,
- Concerti Bizarri, Irish Baroque Orchestra/Monica Huggett
- Vivaldi: Teatro alla moda, Gli Incogniti/Amandine Beyer
- Gershwin: An American in Paris; Concerto in F, Lincoln Mayorga (piano), Harmonie Ensemble/New York/Steven Richman
- Tchaikovsky, Symphonies Nos 1, 2, 5 - Royal Liverpool PO/Vasily Petrenko


- The Contributors: Jim Carroll, Lauren Murphy, Tony Clayton-Lea, Una Mullally, Cormac Larkin, Michael Dervan, Niall Byrne, Siobhán Long, Joe Breen, Peter Crawley and Louise Bruton

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