Merry Listmas children!
You down the back, settle down...what do you think this is, Hogwarts? This is serious business, this is everything Father John Misty despises. This is Listmas.
Here we go then, the best Irish albums of 2017 as voted for by the writers and photographers of GoldenPlec.
In in time when guitar music feels about as relevant as a Paulie Shore movie, Otherkin have managed to revive rock'n'roll with a verve akin to a jolt from a defibrillator: Sweaty, raw, loud and most importantly, believable. As the old adage goes, it ain’t what you do it’s the way that you do it. Otherkin are by no means reinventing the wheel, but what they are doing is walking the walk and talking the talk and sometimes that’s the hardest thing in the world to do.
akin to a jolt from a defibrillator
‘The Meetings of the Waters’ is an entrancing, luscious stream of ethereal folktronica, considered ballads, curious instrumentals and almost rock'n’roll.
Meetings of the Waters opens the ephemeral dam with a flutter of keys before a hypnotic rhythm figure sets the scene for Regan’s poetic lyricism to thrive.
The yin and yang of Louise Gaffney and Robert Ardiff’s vocals narrate the plaintive electronic flourishes of ‘In The Still’, a juxtaposition of tone and delivery which allows Come On Live Long to traverse sonic norms and expectations without fear. ‘In The Still’ is the type of album that quietly pins itself to your heart without fanfare.
‘In The Still’ is the type of album that quietly pins itself to your heart
Eoin French's mixture of parched, hazy atmospherics, acrobatic vocals, and a wonderful melodic ear have rightly placed him at the forefront of the current crop of Irish artists.
In the search for ‘Wild Alee’ Talos are merely raising anchor and preparing to set sail.
A thumping, evocative and dynamic piece of work that's as good as the Belfast act has ever produced, 'The Endless Shimmering' shows an instrumental middle finger to convention. Instead it riffs on extended, swirling melodies, nods to the band's heavier early years, and evokes genuine emotion in saying it without words. It's the kind of album that vibrates right through you when it's playing, and echoes on when it isn't.
The kind of album that vibrates right through you when it's playing, and echoes on when it isn't.
Production isn’t exactly the first thing that springs to mind when you think about traditional Irish music recordings, but Lankum’s major label debut on Rough Trade Records, ‘Beneath the Earth and Sky’, delivers a distinctly warmer, full-bodied portrait of the old sound. Along with bands such as Ye Vagabonds, Lankum are re-imagining and revitalising traditional Irish music without selling its soul.
Lankum are reimagining and revitalising traditional Irish music without selling its soul.
In many ways ‘True Care’ was the surprise package of 2017, not because it signalled a major departure in sound for James Vincent McMorrow but because it was a wholly unexpected release; recorded in secret and released less than a year after the critically acclaimed ‘We Move’. ‘True Care’ also showcased the internet’s ability to allow artists strike while the iron is hot and the heart is broken, bypassing the old release structures and releasing music at their own pace, be it quick or slow.
‘True Care’ strikes while the Iron is hot and the heart is broken
True, they may not be the most original act to come out of Ireland, but who really cares when the songs are this good? With big riffs, bigger hooks and a real ear for a melody, Fangclub's debut effort is 30 minutes of grungey goodness.
Fangclub's debut effort is 30 minutes of grungey goodness.
‘Ye Vagabonds’ sews together stark, thoughtful and charming lyrics into melodies and musicality that cloaks its audience in seldom heard ethereal bliss.
Beguiling, thought-provoking and sincere lyrics.
'Precession' is a collection of sedate electro bangers and Nile Rodgers era-esque Madonna bangers, which in a just world would put Ships on music fans' radars around the world. In the hands of Chvrches, Lorde or Arianna Grande many of the tracks assembled here would be potential worldwide smashes. Until the world takes notice, Sorca McGrath and Simon Cullen will have to be content with being one of Ireland’s best kept secrets.
one of Ireland’s best kept secrets.