This week the Meteor Choice Award shortlist was announced in association with IMRO and IRMA. The results of the 10th meteor Choice Award will be announced March 5th, 2015. The list itself called into question why some people made the list and not others. But right now I’m going to talk about the first time I came across the artists nominated for 2014 album of the year.
Aphex Twin – Syro (Warp)
Aphex Twin AKA Richard David James was born in Limerick (there ya go) but grew up in Cornwall, UK. His album “Selected Ambient Works 85-92” has been much lauded as one of the albums of the 90s. I came very late to the game here only learning of Aphex Twin on the release of 2014’s “Syro”. It says something when something you hear today makes you go back to where it all started.

Delorentos – Night Becomes Light (Universal Ireland)
I have a college friend to thank for making me a CD of Delorentos’ 2007 “In Love with Detail” when ‘Basis for everything’ just came out. In fact I think I was more enamoured with Director at the time but soon came round and the CD never came out of the car stereo after that. Then I caught them live in the early days of Indiependence and waited for them to get huge. It’s taken a few years longer than expected but the band have released three albums including an acoustic album to critical acclaim since and signed to Universal Ireland in 2013.

The Gloaming – The Gloaming (Real World)
The Gloaming, this is a very special group. Anyone who can revive Irish Traditional music to the extent of having every Irish and some International Music Bloggers talking about them, as well as sold out shows in London, Amsterdam, Paris and New York must be doing something very exciting!

Hozier – Hozier (Rubyworks/Universal)
I first came across Hozier in September 2013 when a Cork friend of mine told me to check out his video for ‘Take Me To Church’. And wow, what a strong debut from an artist little known at that point. Well that didn’t last long. After appearing at almost all the festivals, on all the television shows and producing a cracking debut album it isn’t a stretch to say he’s taken over the world. Just goes to show what time spent in artist development and finding the right producer can do for a guy.

James Vincent McMurrow – Post Tropical (Faction)
I had been hearing and reading things about a James Vincent McMurrow long before I remembered he was someone I should check out. His reworking of ‘Higher Love’ for his charity album “Silver Lining” in 2011 sold me and the rest they say…..Comes with the tag-line “Should be Bigger”.

Sinead O’Connor – I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss (Nettwerk)
The only female on this list but Sinead O’Connor is Ireland’s favourite daughter. I was brought up with a not so healthy dose of irish Country music but even my pop-avoiding parents couldn’t hide this one from me. What Irish child of a certain vintage does not remember when this song came out? How cool was Sinead with her shaved head strolling along abandoned houses? The song written by Prince launched Sinead into the international spotlight and she has kept us riveted ever since with her personal life, photo ripping antics, constantly evolving musical tastes and saying absolutely whatever she feels like.
Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy (Warner)
Anyone in their early 30’s onwards had “O” when it came out. But I had come across a band called Juniper many moons before that, in 1998, and a track called “Weatherman”. The band then split, Damien went his way, the rest formed Bell X 1 and Irish music was all the richer for it.

The Riptide Movement – Getting Through (Universal Ireland)
I remember seeing The Riptide Movement when I was working in Cyprus Avenue back 2010/11 and thinking I was seeing a really great and energetic band. Little could I have known that within three years they would have a top album with “Getting Through” and the single ‘All Works Out’ receiving national airplay consistently throughout the summer of 2014 after featuring on a Discover Ireland advert. I still have the signed debut from that first night.

U2 – Songs of Innocence (Island)
U2, the living legends, the Irish post-punk band who took over the world and then we hated them for it. I still cherish my “Joshua Tree” and “Boy” albums and they will always hold a place in my heart, even if they do rely a bit too heavily on reverb.

We Cut Corners – Think Nothing (Delphi)
I came across the duo about four years ago with the track ‘Go easy’ which is definitely not suitable for work, or your mother is you’re the shy type. I have since seen them perform in Cyprus Avenue, Indiependence and Electric Picnic. What will always strike you is the level and fullness of sound produced by two musicians. And in my time they have been constantly evolving, developing and refining. From graphic visuals the first time I saw them to clever covers at this year’s Electric Picnic. And they’re not done yet.