And So I Watch You From Afar – Gangs (Richter Collective) Bell X1 – Bloodless Coup (Belly Up Records) Cashier No 9 – To The Death of Fun (Bella Union) Lisa Hannigan - Passenger (Hoop) The Japanese Popstars – Controlling Your Allegiance (EMI) Jape – Ocean of Frequency (Music Is For Losers) Patrick Kelleher & His Cold Dead Hands – Golden Syrup (Osaka Records) Pugwash – The Olympus Sounds (EMI/1969 Records) Tieranniesaur – Tieranniesaur (Popical Island) We Cut Corners – Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards (Delphi)
I wasn't going to reflect on this here but as it's the major Music Prize in Ireland it would be rude of me not to share my thoughts.
Isn't this a generally safe list! The hipsters would be up in arms if Patrick Kelleher, Tieranniesaur or ASIWYFA didn't get the nod. Add in the established acts like Bell X1, Jape and Pugwash with the debut acts We Cut Corners and Cashier No.9 and you have a very safe list. At the time of writing there's only a few comments and few negative views over on Jim's blog! Is this due to a lack of passion or a resignation that it's the same old business from the people who are supposed to be in the know? The 11 judges bring their own politics to the table and have through the selection process picked their own favourites from 2011. However it's impossible to have heard all the albums on the shortlist. So the bands getting the attention and appearing on the shortlist are the well resourced bands [Bell X1, Lisa Hannigan, Cashier No.9] the popular bands with the establishment [Pugwash, Jape, The Japanese Popstars] and the bloggers [hipsters?] favourites [ASIWYFA, Patrick Kelleher, Tieranniesaur, We Cut Corners]. The Olympia on March 8th will be so cosy!
Why was there no Traditional act in the shortlist?
Why was there no self-released albums either? [Bell X1 doesn't count!]
Why is there no folk act on the shortlist?
To any independent Irish artist who reads this blog and are a tad disappointed they never made the shortlist don't despair as some of the ten acts above will go the same way as Cane 141, The Chalets , Messiah J & the Expert , Dry Country, Super Stanley 800 , Oppenheimer  ....etc! Even winning the thing doesn't help you with longevity and/or give you a large fanbase!
We Cut Corners to win for great songs, amazing musicianship and Conall's spectacular vocals!