Irish band Inhaler make history today as the first recipients of a prestigious new award for Number 1s on the Official Irish Charts.
Introduced by the Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA), from today the new trophy is set to be presented to chart-topping singles and albums artists in Ireland, to amplify their musical achievements in the Emerald Isle.
Dublin four-piece Inhaler claim the first albums honour as debut record It Won’t Always Be Like This hits Number 1 on this week’s Official Irish Albums Chart after shifting more physical copies of their record than the rest of this week’s Top 50 combined.
Celebrating, the band told IRMA & OfficialCharts.com/Ireland, “It’s hard to express how grateful we are that our debut record has gone to Number 1 on home turf. There’s no better feeling than seeing our music resonate with people on this island we love so much.
"We owe more thanks than we can possibly express to everyone who has supported us on the journey so far. Love Inhaler x”
In addition to scoring this week’s Number 1 album, Inhaler’s It Won’t Always Be Like This claims the fastest-selling album of 2021 so far, surpassing Picture This’ Life in Colour. The album, which finishes 650 units ahead of Olivia Rodrigo’s SOUR at 2, is also the first debut by an Irish group to top the chart since The Academic’s Tales From The Backseat in January 2018. Inhaler are the second homegrown act to reach Number in 2021 following Imelda May in April.
Elsewhere on the Official Irish Albums Chart, formerly known as Little Green Cars, Dublin alt-pop group Soda Blonde’s debut album Small Talk makes a Top 50 debut at 27, ahead of Tom Odell’s Monsters, his fourth Top 50 album (35).
An initiative rooted at the heart of its local community, the new IRMA Number 1 Award has been designed by students at Dublin’s National College of Art and Design (NCAD) who ran a competition earlier this year judged by an industry panel including Blathnaid Treacy, presenter of The Official Chart on RTE 2FM.
The winning treatment was designed by students Kate McKenna and Katie O'Brien and is cast from brushed aluminium with black recycled acrylic.
The trophy will be handed out to chart-topping acts in Ireland on both the overall Official Irish Singles and Albums Chart Top 50, and the more recently launched Irish Homegrown Chart which showcases the most popular releases by Irish artists.
All three charts are compiled by the Official Charts Company on behalf of IRMA to track the Irish recorded music market, where a resilient singles market last year enjoyed annual growth of 19% with 71.8m singles either streamed, downloaded or physically purchased, while the albums market also rose 3% year-on-year.
IRMA Chairman Willie Kavanagh comments, “We are absolutely delighted with the new trophy design and we were blown away with the quality of the designs that the NCAD students developed.
"This is a really important new award for music artists and its open to Irish and international artists alike – this fabulous new award will recognise their huge achievement in getting to the top of the Irish Singles, Albums and Homegrown Charts. I’d like to extend a huge thank you to the NCAD project team and students who worked on this fantastic project.”
Aoife McInerney of the National College of Art and Design added, "We are very proud of the quality designs that NCAD students came up with in the competition. The standard of design work and presentation was at a very high level from all those involved in this competition. We’d also like to recognise IRMA for choosing to partner with us on this project.
"Initiatives like this are a great way to showcase the really strong design ability among NCAD students, as well as recognising exceptional flair, talent and execution.”