I’ve never really being a massive fan of lists and top ten’s of anything to be honest. They usually create arguments and many lead to disagreements.
But I guess that’s what make them all so interesting at the time. It opens conversation and dialogue.
So I decided to do a rundown of some of my favourite independent Irish albums of 2020. These are the albums that I guess I have listened to most over the past twelve
10: Denise Chaila: GO Bravely
This lady has really outdone herself in 2020 releasing probably one of most favourite Hip Hop Irish albums ever. Every single track is a cracker and we can not highly recommend checking out this album if you haven’t already.
Joshua Burnside: Into The Depths of Hell.
Joshua Burnside is probably of the best ‘undiscovered’ folk artists in Ireland. His album ‘Into The Depths of Hell’ is very well written and at times a very dark album. But for most part I felt the entire album was a very warm listening experience.
Bitch Falcon: Staring at Clocks
I have being waiting ages for these guys to drop they’re debut album and boy was it worth the wait? Of course it was. Bitch Falcon have played on numerous occasions at our shows over the years, the band have teased fans with a couple of lead singles but they really upped the ante on debut album ‘Staring at Clocks’
The Scratch: Couldn’t Give A Rats
What can I say about The Scratch that hasn’t being said already, The Scratch took a chance earlier this year by deciding to release they’re album ‘Couldn’t Give A Rats’ a fortnight earlier than expected, and yes it paid off very well for the Dublin band. The band have gained huge critical acclaim for they’re live shows in 2018 and 2019. Unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to see the band perform any of the tracks from album live this year but hopefully that will all change at some point down the line in 2021.
Sons of Southern Ulster: Sinners and Lost Souls
An album that made us feel like we we’re nineteen again. Belfast’s Sons of Northern Ulster burst onto our Radar earlier this year with the cracking album ‘Sinners and Lost Souls’
The album never lets up from opening track ‘Fear My Scorn’ through to ‘They Say I Live in The Past’ to ‘For The Birds’ and ‘Polaris’.
If this album is not already in your collection you are not doing it right.
David Keenan: ‘A Beginners Guide To Bravery’
David Keenan’s debut album was one of the first major album releases of 2020.
Released in early January of this year the album shows a mature side to Keenan’s songwriting. An artist that indulges in Irish poetry on regular occasions and provides us with some of the best songwriting Ireland has to offer. The album has so many great tracks, check out ‘Love in a Snug’ and Subliminal Dublinia and you will understand what we mean. Keenan also performed a magical sold out show at The Olympia in January and we can’t not wait to hear the follow up.
Seamus Fogarty: A Bag of Eyes
Mayo born Seamus Fogarty has being making some magical music over the past decade. Now London based and signed to the legendary Domino Records, Seamus release his third studio ‘A Bag Of Eyes’ in November of this year.The album is a collection of some really great tracks including ‘Jimmy Stewart’ and ‘Nuns’. For instance, check out the lyrics on the track, only a Mayo man could describe the West of Ireland and Mayo in such a manner,
“This is a little story about growing up in Mayo, and the fact that was when I was young, there seemed to be nuns everywhere, nuns in the school, a nun driving a car, a nun down the chipper, a nun behind the bar, nuns playing tennis, nuns down the show, a nun when you least expected one, and then one day, it stopped”
We love Seamus Fogarty.
Fontaines D.C. A Hero’s Death.
Well what can be said about Fontaines D.C. much anticipated second album ‘A Hero’s Death’?
Let’s put it this way, if you we’re expecting ‘Dogrel’ part 2 well then you are barking up the wrong tree.
The second album according to the band sees influences coming from The Beach boys, you know it’s the same band but these are a very different songs, take for example the track ‘Sunny’.
After hearing Dogrel which we loved we never thought the band could deliver such a wide variant tune. The song could be part of David Lynch production, it has that very cool vibe about it. And then there is the punk driven ‘Televised Mind” which will keep fans of Dogrel happy. A Heroes Death has being nominated for a well deserved Grammy at the end of January which will see the band go against The Strokes for they’re recent offering ‘The New Abnormal”
Aoife Nessa Francis
Land of No Junction
We only recently heard of Aoife Nessa Francis through a song that she released from her album ‘Land of No Junction’ titled ‘Geranium’.
The track had me immediately Hooked. Again it was as if the song could have being lifted off the Twin Peaks soundtrack. The album is lovely piece of well written music. This album eventually became my ‘go to’ lockdown album. Tracks that really caught our ears were ‘Here in the Dark’ and ‘In the End’
She is an Irish artist not afraid to take risks. The entire works as some form of lucid dream and has become one of favourite Albums from a female artist this year.
‘Cometh The Softies’
Well, who would have thought that an artist from the West of Ireland would leave it this late in the year to release, what I would call one of the best indie Irish albums in a very long time. Yes, Myles Manley who is originally from Sligo currently based in Dublin (but really should be originally from London, Chicago or Seattle. Why? Because I believe that if Myles was living in either of these cities he would be gaining far more recognition for his recent album ‘Cometh The Softies’, deservedly so.
In fact I wouldn’t even suggest that the album is a indie record but more so a tongue in cheek pop record in all the right ways. And yes the entire record works so well, from opening track ‘Were We Under Attack From England’ to ‘I Heard Your Mom Call, Michael i was left with a massive happy grin on my face.
The album is twenty six minutes but believe me when I say that the album has become longer for me as it has being on repeat ever since I first it. The entire album is a masterpiece and it is exactly what the Irish music needs right now. For this,
I thank you Myles.No actually, the entire Music community of this small island thanks you.