I mentioned last week that as an Irish blog, I'd like this to have an Irish focus every so often, thus this entry is going to focus on my favourite Irish musicians.
Lately I find myself exploring blogs, youtube and last.fm in the aim of getting my hands on more and more Irish music. It started with my purchase of the magnificent "Fitzcarraldo" by the Frames just before Christmas, and so far has led me to discover a plethore of stunning artists.
1. Fionn Regan. I've already discussed Fionn's upcoming release in a previous post, but I'm so impressed with what I've heard that I'm going to plug it again! A must have, as was his debut.
2. Villagers. This is the stunning second coming of Conor O'Brian, the onetime frontman of the Immediate. I first heard him doing a live session on Dave Fanning's evening show (a goldmine for discovering Irish music!) Now it has been quite a while since I was gripped as much by a musician as I was by this. A four-track EP ('Hollow Kind') was issued on limited release and it's all I've managed to get my hands on. Intimate folk music with real depth... I cannot wait for the next offering!
3. Adrian Crowley. How this guy fell under my radar for so long is beyond me! Check him out. Reminds me a little of Tom Waits, or the ballad-side of Nick Cave - "The Wishing Seat" has gone on to be one of the most played tracks in my itunes!
4. The Duckworth Lewis Method. This is a collaboration between Neil Hannon (of the Divine Comedy) and James Walsh (of Pugwash). Oddly the duo opted to record a concept album dealing entirely with cricket. A strange choice for sure, though it is a tremendous success! From start to finish we are treated to glorious pop songs, evoking memories of the tender moments from the Beatles. Pugwash and the Divine Comedy are two of the finest acts to emerge from Ireland in the last 20 years (Actually how long have the Divine Comedy been around!? Answers on a postcard please!) and the combination of the two has launched one of the most memorable records I've heard in a long, long time!!!
Check out 'Meeting Mr. Miandad' here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I9Bs0MUXa2g
5. Jape. Finally we come to Jape who, like many people, I encountered through 'Floating' (Well actually I came to it in a roundabout way! The Raconteurs did a cover of the track when I saw them live and after weeks of scouring the net I found the original! Still looking for that cover...) For quite a while I was content with this track, though in 2008 Jape were awarded the Choice Music Prize for their album "Ritual" and I had to broaden my horizons, a fantastic choice I must say. Check out 'Christopher and Anthony' & 'Phil Lynott' for a little look at this album.
There are so many treasures to unearth in Ireland, a fact that is only becoming clear to me now! I look forward to what I can find when I begin my explorations once more!
March 3rd for the Choice Music Prize (that'd be the Irish equivalent to the Mercury Music Prize in essence!!) Shortlisted this year are:
And So I Watch You From Afar
Dark Room Notes
The Duckworth Lewis Method
The Swell Season
We'll find out on March 3rd, but for me it's gotta be either Adrian Crowley or the Duckworth Lewis Method!
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.