Saturday 13 December 2014

Remy's Favourite Irish Tracks of 2014, Part One

They were either earworms that lasted months on end, or songs that I enjoyed so much that I kept coming back to them after reviewing them, others were special as a result of live shows and others were musically, similar enough to my own wider taste in music that I found them most appealing. In no particular order (well, alphabetical), here's the first 10 of the best tracks from Irish bands that were reviewed on the blog in 2014. Enjoy.

1) Abandcalledboy - 'Cliff Richard'

From: Belfast
Why? Aside from the best video of the year, Abandcalledboy's 'Cliff Richard' is an epic rock song, heavy music meets light humour, we need more bands like this urgently. These guys had a great year with the likes of Hot Press fawning over them, and rightly so.

2) Bold Things - 'Swallows End' (404 Version)

From: Dundalk
Why? One of the tracks I've listened to more than any other for almost 12 months now, Gavin Murray's vocals combined with the guitars and bass are haunting, the spoken interlude and the rising tempo are simply majestical and hair-raising. The fact that frontman Jim dedicated it to yours truly in Whelans during the summer has no bearing on it's inclusion, thanks Jim!

3) Cormac O'Caoimh - 'Maze of Your Heart'

From: Cork
Why? One of the biggest earworms, I've regularly been found spontaneously singing 'You've gotta lot of feelings, and meanings for stealing...' around the homestead. 'Maze of Your Heart' is the definition of happiness in a song and Cormac's guitar playing, as on the rest of his album, The Moon Looses It's Memory, is a joy to listen to, and it's coming on another road trip next week. 

4) The Daily Howl - 'Hang It On A Hook'

From: Wicklow
Why? 'Hang It On A Hook' is the type of song you want bands who claim to be folk pop musicians to write, it's like The Everly Brothers meets The Beach Boys with a modern twist, and it's seriously enjoyable. The Daily Howl should be on everyone's radar for 2015.

5) Danny G & The Major 7th's - 'Believin' In Something'

From: Dublin
Why? There are many great songs on Danny G & The Major 7th's debut album, Love Joints, but I just got bowled over by this video and song when I heard it earlier this year, everything, everything, drums, bass, keyboards, backing vocals, funk, soul, harmonies, and that flute solo, dayum.

6) Donal de Blacam - 'Wake Up Julie'

From: Dublin
Why? A late entry onto the pages of the blog, is the recently reviewed album Hypnagogia from Donal de Blacam. I mentioned in the review that parts of the album got me inside and none moreso than 'Wake Up Julie', an absolutely gorgeous ballad that's so easy on the ear with nice guitar plucking and duet.

7) Earthship - 'The Great Wheel'

From: Galway
Why? I mentioned above music that touched on my own tastes and Earthship's 'The Great Wheel' had an early 90's dance, funk, Portishead mashup washing around my ears in no time, it's like, groovy and mellow man! And how about those bass-lines?

8) Femmepop (& Timecop) - 'Our Time'

From: Cork
Why? Lush 80's synths and fantastic vocals, I thought this track in particular, along with much of the rest of Femmepop's album, From A Girl Who Never Sleeps, completely captured an eighties atmosphere that made me feel very, very nostalgic. This version of her track, 'Our Time', featuring Timecop is particularly satisfying.

9) Go Swim - 'Call Sign'

From: Belfast
Why? I said it in the prelude to a recent interview with Go Swim that 'Call Sign' would feature on any end of year list I did and the passage of time has only strengthened that. The most played track on my SoundCloud playlist and one of the best songs I've heard all year from any band, established, signed, unsigned or otherwise, it's exactly how I like modern guitar music to sound, it can't be compared to much else because it's unique, what a bloody tune.

10) The Journals - 'Part II'

From: Dublin
Why? The Journals' entire debut E.P. was a solid listen from start to finish, unlike a lot of other bands in the indie genre from Ireland, the thing that I liked about their music, best exemplified on the opening track, 'Part II', was how natural and unforced it sounded. 'Part II' is a lovely track, musically it's a real treat, the guitars and vocal harmonies stick in the head and frontman Ollie Moyles' singing is earnest and moving, there's also a nice pace to the track. I hope these fellas release something new soon.