Hal and BellX1 are among the nominees for the inaugural Choice Music Prize, Ireland's answer to Britain's Mercury Prize. The winner will be announced at a ceremony in Dublin's Vicar Street music venue

Hal and BellX1 are among the nominees for the inaugural Choice Music Prize, Ireland's answer to Britain's Mercury Prize.

Hal's eponymous Rough Trade debut and BellX1's sophomore album "Flock" (Island/Universal) will compete against a crop of relatively unheralded acts for the €10,000 ($12,000) prize.

Nominations were unveiled Jan. 10; the winner will be announced at a ceremony in Dublin's Vicar Street music venue on Feb. 28.

The prize is voted for by a panel of 12 industry professionals from the print and broadcast media, and is funded by industry bodies the Irish Music Rights Organization and the Irish Recorded Music Assn.

Other shortlisted albums are: Joe Chester's "A Murder Of Crows" (Barp); the Chalets' "Check In" (Setanta); Turn's "Turn" (Setanta); Nick Kelly's "Running Dog" (Self-Possessed); Emmett Tinley's "Attic Faith" (Independent Records); the Duke Special's "Adventures In Gramophone" (Hag), Cane 141's "Moon Pool" (Exceptional) and Julie Feeney's "13 Songs" (Julie Feeney).

There was place on the shortlist for such established artists as Sinead O'Connor, the Corrs, Enya, Christy Moore or former Mercury Prize nominee Gemma Hayes.