Catch the fantastic Irish artists nominated for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Album of the Year 2021
The shortlist for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize Album of the Year 2021, in association with IMRO & IRMA, have been announced, once again showcasing just a fraction of the incredible talent of Irish artists. Taking place in Vicar Street, Dublin, on Thursday 3 March, tickets are on sale now for this socially distant event, featuring live performances from some of the shortlisted acts.
Check out the nominees below and where you can catch many of them live.
Album: ‘Isles’ (Ninja Tune)
Belfast-born, London-based duo Bicep (Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson) released their critically acclaimed second album, ‘Isles’, on Ninja Tune in January 2021. The record reached #2 in the official UK Album Charts, with the duo going on to be nominated for 2 BRIT Awards, an incredible achievement for independent electronic acts.
The duo play Forbidden Fruit on 4 June 2022.
Mick Flannery & Susan O’Neill
Album: ‘In the Game’ (Rosaleen Records / Rosa Productions)
In a first for Mick Flannery, he and Irish newcomer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist Susan O’Neill came together on a collaboration album ‘In the Game’. The album landed at #2 in the Official Irish Album Charts on release, and was hailed as a “seductive, beautiful, crafted album” by The Sunday Times, and “exquisite” by The Sunday Business Post.
Don’t miss Mick Flannery and Special Guest Susan O’Neill at Dublin’s Iveagh Garden’s on 7 July 2022.
For Those I Love
Album: ‘For Those I Love’ (September Recordings)
For Those I Love is the musical project of David Balfe whose 2021 debut album ‘For Those I Love’ was met with widespread critical acclaim. The album deals with the emotions surrounding the passing of a close friend resulting in an incredibly beautiful, raw and uncompromising 9-track project addressing grief and catharsis, an important record that could only emerge from an entirely honest place.
Album: ‘Woman On The Internet’ (New Friends Music)
London based Dubliner Orla Gartland released her long awaited debut album ‘Woman On The Internet’ in August 2021. In her own words, “the ‘woman on the internet isn’t me – she’s an elusive character, like a modern-day wizard-of-oz who appears in a couple of these songs. I turn to her when I can’t turn to anyone in my real life; I turn to her when I feel lost.“
Orla play’s Limerick’s Dolan’s Warehouse and The Academy, Dublin this July.
Album: ‘Dry Goods’ (Bone China Records)
HousePlants is the creative vision of – Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan and innovative atmospheric producer Daithí. The duo released the debut album ‘Dry Goods’ in September 2021. For both artists, the project represents reclamation amidst a significantly difficult era for creative souls across Ireland and beyond.
They’ve an upcoming date at Kasbah Social Club, Limerick.
Album: ‘Town’s Dead’ (Soft Boy Records)
Kojaque is an Irish rapper from Cabra, Dublin. ‘Towns Dead’ is Kojaque’s second debut album released in June 2021 and is a reflection and insight into living in Dublin city in his 20s with a commentary on societal issues such as the current Dublin Housing Crisis.
Kojaque play Saturday 4 June at Forbidden Fruit.
Album: ‘Home’ (Elaine Mai)
Elaine Mai is an electronic artist and producer. Her nominated debut album ‘Home’ was released in October and is rich with lived-in experience. It represents a patiently beautiful, immediately rewarding celebration of an artist that has poured their life into an endlessly compelling craft.
Album: ‘Where I Should End’ (Saint Sister)
Saint Sister are a duo from Northern Ireland who met each other while studying at Trinity College. In June, Saint Sister’s released their second album ‘Where I Should End’. The album is an incredibly hands-on project, with every track written, arranged, and produced by the band – seeing Morgana and Gemma confidently evolving into their distinct roles as songwriter and producer.
Catch them live in Galway and Limerick this March with rescheduled 3Olympia date to be announced.
Album: ‘Small Talk‘ (Velveteen Records)
Soda Blonde emerged from the ashes of the internationally acclaimed band Little Green Cars; whose debut album saw them skyrocket to number one in the Irish album charts. In July they released their debut album ‘Small Talk’, an album that is the Dubliner’s reflecting on their twenty-something experiences.
Catch them nationwide in 2022.
Album: ‘Fever Dreams’ (Domino)
In August, Conor O’Brien fronted Villagers released their fifth studio album ‘Fever Dreams’ reaching #2 on the Irish album charts. ‘Fever Dreams’ is a paean to human connection. The songs on the album were found in many places, from connections at County Meath’s Another Love Story festival and night swimming on a Dutch island to Flann O’Brien, Audre Lorde, David Lynch, L. S. Lowry via the library music of Piero Umiliani and Alessandro Alessandroni and jazz from Duke Ellington and Alice Coltrane.
Villagers play Iveagh Gardens, Dublin on 14 July 2022.
With a fantastic line of of some shortlisted acts set to play, make sure to grab yourself tickets for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize 2021 at Vicar Street here.