The last few years have seen me spend St Patrick’s Day afternoon at my friend Sue’s house watching England play Ireland in the Six Nations rugby championship. Her extended Irish family are always there as well as other local friends. It’s not traditionally Irish in any way; Guinness is substituted with Prosecco, Mojitos or Espresso Martinis served with tartiflette, an unctious French potato bake. It’s a beautifully warm, friendly, gorgeous time spent with people I love being around. Today will see a repeat of this gathering.
The Welsh Beauties post seemed to go down ok the other week (although, tbh, I’ve had no feedback from the person I originally made the little list for, so, meh to that) hence I’ve decided to do one for St Patrick’s Day, for Sue.
There are some heavyweight acts and artist hailing from the Emerald isle, here though I’m focussing on acts that aren’t of the world and chart dominating variety. I’d like to hear your suggestions too. Here goes:
Fionn Regan – The Meeting of the Waters
Originally from the coastal town of Bray, Fionn Regan has been around a while and I think there are some fans of his here. There’s a gentle, confessional feel to his music and I’m struck by the similarities with Sufjan Stevens, especially Regan’s earlier work. The 2007 album, The End of History, has a sense of Carrie and Lowell about it.
This track, The Meeting of the Waters, is from his 2017 album of the same name (video features the ever gorgeous Cillian Murphy), also check out the very beautiful Cormorant Bird.
Ships – Where We Are
This Dublin based duo won the Irish Choice music prize for their album Precession last year. Their music is synth led and rhythmically dreamy. This track is also beautifully heavy on the bass and features some lovely vocal harmonies. There’s a bit of a Jan Hammer feel about the whole thing – it makes me want to dig out some shoulder pads.
Pillow Queens – Favourite
I’ve literally stumbled upon Pillow Queens in the last 2 weeks. They fit in quite nicely with my current infatuation with all things girls and guitars. Their latest EP, State of the State, came out only yesterday and it’s a cracking listen. I love the riff in this track, the vocal overlay and harmonies makes it such an earworm. And I just love the fact that I can hear their accents in the vocals (check out their track Rats for more of that). So, my mission now is to persuade the aforementioned Sue to come with me to see them in April at our local sweat box.
Hozier – Take Me to the Church
I’ve chosen this one because when it came out my ballet-loving daughter was obsessed with the video featuring Sergei Polunin – this isn’t the official video for this song btw. We watched it together over and over. The grace, power and beauty of the movements is mesmerising and inspired her to make up her own moves (in fact she’s out in the garden right now, behind me as I type, dancing her own steps). The song itself is also full of emotion – the visuals and the music make for a powerful combo.
Two Door Cinema Club – What You Know
My almost 15 year old son pays no attention to the music I try to introduce him to – turning away with disdain in most cases. Not so when his girlfriend suggests something he’s never come across – oh no, then it’s the best thing he’s ever heard. That’s how we came to have the whole “Have you heard of Two Door Cinema Club, Mum?” conversation. This track is not at all the sort of thing he listens to usually (he’s into rap, hip hop, trap, grime etc), but this song has ended up on constant repeat, blaring from his bedroom or from the stereo in the kitchen when he’s on washing up duty. And that is cool by me – it’s infectious, harmless and the lyrics aren’t nearly as vile as some of the stuff he listens to. These boys are from Northern Ireland, so I’m not sure how that fits with the St Patrick’s Day thing; here’s hoping I’ve not offended anyone.
Let me hear your suggestions for music from the Emerald Isle. Also, let me know if you think this could be a regular feature and perhaps I’ll start gathering info about national days etc.