Lankum Scoop 2023 Choice Music Prize

Lankum have just won this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize for False Lankum.

As time has shown us, there is no such thing as a foregone conclusion at the annual awards but Lankum’s fourth full-length taking this year’s Best Album prize is unlikely to be a shock to many. Released via Rough Trade back in March last year, the John “Spud” Murphy-produced triumph firmly cemented the Dublin quartet’s status as a singular force in forward-leaping experimental folk.

Among the plaudits the album has released over the last twelve months include a Mercury Prize nod, five stars from the Guardian and taking the number one spot in the Quietus’ Top 100 Albums of 2023 – no mean feat considering the reliably top-tier records that featured at the top of the list.

Also broadcast via RTÉ 2FM, the announcement at this year’s live event at Vicar Street in Dublin came moments after the band performed a staggering three-song set, including a landmark musical tribute to the Palestinian people. The band’s speech centered on the genocide in the country, culminating in a defiant “Free Palestine!”

Despite being odds-on favourite to win this year’s prize, False Lankum held off stiff competition from the likes of John Francis Flynn (Look Over The Wall, See The Sky), Rachael Lavelle (Big Dreams) and Kojaque (Phantom of the Afters).

The announcement comes exactly eight years after we featured the band as cover stars of our print magazine, and three months before the band headline the inaugural In The Meadows, a brand new, one-day event – co-curated by Lankum – that will take over Royal Hospital Kilmainham on 8th June.

In other awards, Crumlin dance-pop sensation Yasmine Byrne aka Jazzy walked away with the Breakthrough Artist of the Year and Artist of the Year, while Cian Ducrot won the Irish Song of the Year for ‘Heaven’.

Revisit the mercurial feat that is False Lankum below.

Photo by Monika Ruman

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.