The shortlist for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year 2019 was announced on Wednesday afternoon, with the eclectic list of nominees reflecting the rude health of music in this country at the moment.
While last year’s competition produced a somewhat unexpected winner with Jason, from Cork-based O Emperor, the 2019 selection already has a nailed-on favourite in the Fontaines DCs' album.
Among this year’s other talking points will also be two of the names not on the list. Hozier (Wasteland Baby) and Dermot Kennedy (Without Fear) were two of Ireland’s most commercially successful artists of the past year but neither were nominated.
Below are the ten nominees for a prize that will be presented as part of a live event at Vicar Street in Dublin on March 5:
Daithi - L.O.S.S. (Strange Brew)
Electronic music from the Galway producer.
Mick Flannery - Mick Flannery (Rosaleen Records)
The Blarney troubadour has had his career rejuvenated in 2019 by this well-received record, and a stage musical adaptation of his debut.
Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel (Partisan Records)
Easily the favourite on the list, the Dublin post-punkers combine a literary twist with those hard guitars. They’ve also been widely acclaimed by critics in the UK and beyond.
Girl Band - The Talkies (Rough Trade Records)
Arguably the most sonically interesting album on the list, the Dublin innovators have one of three nominees for respected UK label Rough Trade.
Jafaris – Stride (DFL)
Part of the new generation creating quality Irish hip-hop.
Junior Brother - Pull The Right Rope (Strange Brew)
Kerry singer-songwriter Ronan Kealy pushes folk music in an alternative direction.
Lankum - The Livelong Day (Rough Trade Records)
The band formerly known as Lynched came that also pushed boundaries while staying respectful to their traditional roots.
Soak - Grim Town (Rough Trade Records)
Already an industry veteran at the age of 23, the Derry artist's second album took a step towards pop.
Maija Sofia - Bath Time (Trapped Animal Records)
The Co Galway woman is part of a formidable folk/trad contingent on the list.
Sorcha Richardson - First Prize Bravery (Faction Records)
The Dublin singer-songwriter produced a decent debut with folk-rock flourishes.