pharm serif;”>Lisa Gorryfor sale serif;”> takes a look at the new award set to honour the public’s wishes


A few weeks ago, the prestigious Meteor Choice Music Prize added an extra award to the prize, the inaugural Irish Song of the Year, which sees 10 of Ireland’s favourite songs from the past year compete. Unlike the Choice Music Prize, the winner of the Irish Song of the Year will be decided by the public through text vote or by online voting on Meteor’s Facebook page, and will be announced at the Meteor Choice Music Prize live event on March 8th.

The shortlist, compiled by a combination of the Meteor Choice Music Prize judging panel and the Irish airplay charts, include Bell X1’s Velcro, The Coronas’ Addicted to Progress, The Kanyu Tree’s Radio and Snow Patrol’s Called Out in the Dark.


The songs were profiled by Tony Fenton on his Today FM show from Monday, the 6th of February, with the songs from the list being played each day to give the voters a chance to weigh the songs against each other. The winner will then be awarded the Meteor Choice Irish Song of the Year Trophy along with a €3,000 prize fund. Listeners can vote online at Meteor’s Facebook page, or text ‘SONG’ to 085 711 4444.

In relation to the mother event, the Choice Music Prize, what began as once a “titchy little maverick event” has now expanded into one of the most highly anticipated Irish music awards to date, and having seen the nominees for this year, it’s easy to understand why. Now sponsored by Meteor, the Choice Music Prize announced their nominees on Wednesday the 11th of January, and included Irish music heavyweights such as Lisa Hannigan and Bell X1.

Established in 2005 by journalist Jim Carroll and manager Dave Reid, the Prize has gained a reputation for picking unpredictable winners. Comparable to the Mercury Prize in Britain, the Choice Music Prize was developed as an alternative to the more industry-driven Meteor Music Awards. It is a music award voted for by a panel of eleven judges based on artistic merit, regardless of genre, sales, or record label. The price includes a €10,000 cheque jointly funded by the Irish Music Rights Organisation and the Irish Recorded Music Association. 


Nominees include And So I Watch You From Afar’s Gangs, Bell X1’s Bloodless Coup, Cashier No 9’s To The Death of Fun, Lisa Hannigan’s Passenger and Tieranniesaur’s self-titled debut.

While critics of the Prize suggest that the award doesn’t mean much in these industry-award-driven times, with a small enough prize fund of €10,000, the founders of the event believe that it’s not all about what the nominees may win. According to the Prize’s website, “the ethos behind the prize is to stimulate debate and interest in Irish artists…The Meteor Choice Music Prize aims to promote and showcase the health and growth of the local industry both within Ireland and overseas.”

Despite criticism of the meager prize, past winners have the highest of praise for the award, crediting it with boosting their careers. 2005 winner Julie Feeney described it as “probably the biggest achievement of my life”, adding “it meant a phenomenal amount to me, it was an enormous validation”. Even nominees have recognised the prestige of a nomination. Duke Special, nominated for the first two awards, said the nomination had helped raise his profile in the Irish media. Cormac Brady of Super Extra Bonus Party, said that their 2007 win “brought us a hell of a lot more recognition overnight and opened a lot of doors”. Nominees sales have doubled or tripled after the award has been announced. 

For those of you interested in listening to event, the event will be broadcast live during the Paul McLoone show on Today FM, while tickets for are on sale from all Ticketmaster outlets, priced €22.50 including booking fee.