The shortlist for the the 2016 RTÉ Choice Music Prize has been announced, and the line-up is unquestionably one of the strongest in Choice Music Prize history - we've compiled a playlist of choice (pun fully intended) tracks from the contenders. 

The shortlisted albums can be enjoyed in full on the RTÉ Choice Music Prize website, and the overall winner will be announced at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize live event, held in Vicar Street, Dublin on March 9th. In the meantime, familiarize yourself with the cream of the 2016 Choice crop:

All Tvvins - End of the Day (from IIVV)

All killer, no filler Irish indie pop at its finest - here are All Tvvins giving it loads in RTÉ's Studio 8:

Bantum - Take it (from Move)

Fact: Corkonian polymath Ruairí Lynch is the most exciting thing in Irish electronic music right now:

Wallis Bird - Control (from Home)

She's been nominated before - this set of heartfelt love songs is officially her finest hour to date: 

The Divine Comedy - Catherine The Great (from Foreverland)

He won the Choice Prize back in 2006 - a decade later, Neil Hannon is still on top of his game:

Lisa Hannigan - Fall (from At Swim)

She's been Choice nominated for both of her previous albums - they do say third time's the charm...

Katie Kim - Salt (from Salt)

Waterford's ambient folk-queen Katie Sullivan has been the best-kept secret in Irish music for way too long: 

James Vincent McMorrow - Get Low (from We Move)

With his most polished album to date, JVMcM stakes his claim as the High King Of Irish Hip-Hop Soul:

Overhead, The Albatross - Big River Man (from Learning to Growl)

The instrumental post-rock sextet from Dublin made a big splash with their epic self-released debut:

Rusangano Family - Lights On (from Let The Dead Bury The Dead)

Whisper it - this inspired hip-hop trio from Togo, Zimbabwe and Co Clare are our early tip for the prize:

We Cut Corners - Of Whatever (from The Cadences Of Others)

Power duo John Duignan and Conall Breachain roped in Villager Conor O'Brien on bass, and smashed it: