Claire Beck is a DJ and radio presenter (Today FM / TXFM).

See all the guest selections of 2017 so far.


1.

The Black Madonna – He Is The Voice I Hear

I spent the first five months of this year in East Africa, with little to no Internet access. When I got home to Ireland, I would stay up late every night, headphones on, digging through music I’d missed out on. I almost cried when I heard this first, it felt like a warm hug for my soul. I love everything about it. The melodrama of the piano intro, the sneaky creep of the unexpected synth, the ascension into full blown disco euphoria. It sounds like a tribute to all the greatest historic elements of Disco. On a more personal note, this has also become my ‘oh yes you bloody will’ tune. After music, my second big love is circus. When I’m covered in bruises and feeling like I can’t possibly train any more, this is the tune I throw on to get me back up on the trapeze. The near constant black and blue state of my legs will attest that it works every time.


Taken from one of my albums of the year, Love What Survives. Objectively speaking, maybe it isn’t the ‘best’ track on the album because ‘Blue Train Lines’ feat. King Krule is. However, it is the one that as a stand-alone will make me look fondly back on 2017. I loved playing it on Today FM (album version on Lost In Music, Palms Trax remix on Lost In Music) and having people get in touch to ask for the name. I loved scream-singing along to it at their set at Metropolis. I loved playing it in the car on road trips with friends. I love that when I put it on, I smile and instantly think of specific people, places and happy memories.


3.

Bjork – The Gate

I listened to a lot of Bjork this year, in preparation for Utopia coming out. I had Debut on repeat for a lot of September, it’s still one of my favourite albums of all time. Apart from her creative genius, the main thing I admire about Bjork is the utter honesty and openness of her lyrics, particularly when it comes to relationships. My heart broke more than a little for her after hearing Vulnicura and began to repair itself when I heard her newfound hope on ‘The Gate’. Lyrical themes aside, as on all of Utopia, the production on this track is breathtaking and her voice sounds stronger than ever. The video, as per usual for Bjork, is incredible too.


From the man behind one of the best albums and one of the best memes of the year. I listen to a lot of different styles of music, but I have a particular grá for electronic music that evokes a strong emotional response. If I had to give it a bullshit genre name, I’d call it ‘Machines With Feelings’. This little stunner is a classic of the genre. It seems so simple but the more you listen to it, the more you get out of it. When I listen to this track, I get a lump in my throat and can feel a physical squeeze around my ribcage. I always feel a little breathless after it, even if I’m just sitting around not doing anything.


5.

Clark – Peak Magnetic

This is an entirely selfish pick, but it’s also an unrepentant banger of a tune, so we’re all winners here. On the Saturday evening of Electric Picnic, I had just about decompressed from my set at the Heineken stage. The realisation that I was off work for the rest of the weekend was kicking in when it was time to go see Clark. He was just starting when that most magical of festival moments happened. All the separate groups of mates we’d been trying to chase all weekend converged in the same spot within minutes of each other. We hugged, danced our asses off, and went on to have one of the funnest and funniest nights ever. Peak Magnetic will forever bring me back to that one sweaty hour in Stradbally when I felt like I couldn’t be happier.


6.

Mac DeMarco – Still Beating

Aah Mac, you old softie. Classic Mac story behind this one – he wrote it after listening to The La’s – ‘There She Goes’ and wanting to write something similar. Don’t worry, his hearing is fine – he admits that ‘Still Beating’ sounds absolutely nothing like it. This is such a sweet little love song, I was hooked on first listen. I think everyone has someone that they can relate this sentiment fondly back to. The version on the album is great, but the song really sparkles when he plays it acoustically, like on this Colours show.


How much Irish talent can you fit onto one record? Loads, apparently. This song will always remind me of summer 2017, reconnecting with old friends, making new ones, lazy sunny days on the roofs of the boats, dancing till dawn at festivals, and noise complaints from the downstairs reception of Today FM for playing this track too loud.

8.

Purple Disco Machine – Body Funk

Look. Different types of music serve different purposes. Sometimes you want to feel things deeply, overthink, and cry a lot. Sometimes you just want to go shake your ass on a dance floor and have a good ol’ time. This is a definite arse shaker of a tune. Is it Sylvester? Is it Body Work? Is it Funky Town? So many questions. Did I over play this this year? It’s possible, I probably played it every single time I DJed this year. But, nobody complained, and I had a great time.


A sassy finger wagger of a tune from Melbourne’s hottest new band. Over a shoulder-shimmying baseline, they berate a man for the heinous crime of trying to do thoughtful things, like make breakfast and talk about his feelings. Sadly for him, all the conversation or bacon and eggs in the world don’t make up for the fact that ‘he won’t reciprocate’. By all accounts, Confidence Man are incredible live. They’re planning an Irish show for 2018.


I adore Radie Peat’s voice. This arrangement of a traditional Traveller ballad showcases it beautifully, and serves as a pretty perfect opener to set the tone for the album, Between The Earth And The Sky.


See all the guest selections of 2017 so far.

Posted on December 14th, 2017

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Loose Joints is a podcast where we talk to a guest and play music they like new and old. True to the name, the podcast features a loose collection of tunes, tied together by very little logic, just like our chats. Nialler9 and Sally Cinnamon are your hosts.

For our return to our regular studio after a summer of live recordings (and 1 lost one featuring Enda Walsh – if a live podcast isn’t recorded, then it’s just a conversation right?), we are joined by radio presenter (Today FM / TXFM) and DJ Claire Beck to discuss angry swans, shushing at gigs, scaldy tunes, dressing for Halloween, how everyone loves Ed Sheeran and Claire tells us about a song that follows her around the place.

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Also available in Stitcher, PocketCasts and TuneIn.

Download: Loose Joints Podcast: Claire Beck (1hr 20 mins)

Songs played

  1. Grandbrothers – Long Forgotten future
  2. Zombie Zombie – Hippocampe
  3. Kano – Another Life [Claire’s favourite Italo Disco song]
  4. Mind Enterprises – Idol
  5. Sebastien Tellier – La Ritournelle [Claire’s homesick song while travelling]
  6. King Krule – Dum Surfer
  7. Otis Redding – Dock of the Bay [Claire’s song for a hopeful future]
  8. New Jackson feat. Margie Lewis – There Will Always Be This Love
  9. Baxter Dury – miami (baxter and Cocker too remix)
  10. Bjork – The Anchor Song [Claire’s exit music]

Previous Loose Joints Episodes and tracklists

#10: Live at Another Love Story with Richie Jape and Conor O’Brien
#9: Live at Science Gallery – Sample special
#8: Cian Murphy ( I Am The Cosmos)
#7:Greg Spring
#6: Gib Cassidy.
#5: Best of 2016 with May Kay.
#4: Aisling Rogerson
#3: Emmet Kirwan.
#2: Oisin Davis.
#1: Aidan Kelly.

Posted on October 26th, 2017

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TXFM is going off air for good on Wednesday (tomorrow) this week.

Back in March, it was announced that the station’s owners did not renew the licence for the station and it would cease at the end of October. Wednesday the 26th to be precise I finished my show in June.

One of TXFM’s remaining daytime presenters Claire Beck is a huge John Grant fan, so much so she played Queen Of Denmark, live in full as her album pick this week as part of the station’s closing programming.

Today though, she was surprised live on air when JG walked in to the studio unannounced and wished her well with some flowers. The pair then had a lovely chat (after the initial shock).

The best quality version:

Here’s the Facebook live video:

You can listen to the interview in full about here at about 15 minutes in (after the Sultans Of Ping).

Posted on October 25th, 2016

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Claire Beck presents TXFM Daytime from 11am – 2pm every weekday, as well as Planet Hits on Today Fm from 6-9pm on Saturdays. She writes for Goldenplec and The Irish Sun and DJs in The Workman’s Club every Thursday.Here are her top 10 tracks of 2015 as part of the Best of 2015 series.

10. Jape – Séance Of Light

I remember playing this a lot on the radio, eagerly waiting for the rest of the album to arrive in my inbox. Amazing production, an absolute joy to watch performed live, always works a treat in a DJ set, and a lyrical subject matter I can totally get on board with (put your damn phones away, people.) The video is a work of art also… ‘she was sunny afternoons at the Pav and selection boxes at Christmas’.


9. Sufjan Stevens – Eugene

Tower Records hosted a listening party for Carrie & Lowell on the eve of its release, which I attended with one of my oldest and dearest friends. Sufjan is ‘our thing’ and we just couldn’t wait to hear the album in full for the first time together. The event consisted of a bunch of Sufjan super-fans (you got a wristband when you pre-ordered the album) sitting on the floor of the Douglas Hyde gallery with headphones on, watching old footage projected onto the walls and crying silently into our beers. That looks really lame written down but it was actually really special in real life – promise. ‘Eugene’ is the only somewhat upbeat on a deeply personal album full of difficult (but totally rewarding) listens. I love its childlike simplicity and honesty and played it on the radio a lot.


8. Bicep – Just

So simple but OH so effective, I’m mad about this tune and have been playing it DJing at every opportunity all year. The first time I heard it played by someone other than myself was by Fish Go Deep at Indiependence and I danced my ass off. I love when my records have stories behind them also, so the fact that my vinyl copy of the Just EP was a birthday present from a special person makes taking it off the shelf and playing it extra lovely.


7. Girl Band – Pears For Lunch

This song is TERRIFYING live, in the best way possible. Seriously by the time Adam says ‘bananas’ I’m in full fight or flight mode, but obviously I’m not going to run out of the pit at a Girl Band show so instead I just stay there feeling like I’m on a really scary rollercoaster, simultaneously feeling like I *might* die while enjoying every second. Incidentally, this also makes it a great choice for running and doing annoying housework at speed. My favourite track from Holding Hands With Jamie.


6. New Order – Tutti Frutti

This tune embodies everything that made me fall in love with electronic music aged 13 and decide that music was all I wanted to work with/in for the rest of my life. The old school production and piano riff, the unapologetic hands in the air chorus, the fact that it could easily be a 15 year-old New Order track that still sounds fresh. It’s designed for getting totally lost on the dancefloor to, without seeming contrived, and when done well that’s just irresistible.


5. Jamie XX feat. Romy – Loud Places

Sometimes if I’m really into the production on a record, and how it makes me feel, I notice the lyrics last. I got quite a land when I realised that the beautiful, sublimely happy Idris Muhammud sample was juxtaposed with some of the SADDEST break up lyrics ever. This tune will always remind me of piling my little car full to the brim with camping gear, cans and pals to head to weekend after weekend of summer music festivals, as well as finishing a few special DJ sets over the summer with it too.


4. Tame Impala – Let It Happen

WHAT a tune. I was toying with whether to go for the Soulwax remix or not, but decided on the album version as one of the reasons I enjoy it so much is hearing it work in so many different contexts. It really seemed like no matter who played it or in what kind of set, it was the highlight.


3. Villagers – Dawning On Me

I will never forget the Villagers show at The Olympia on the eve of the Marriage Equality referendum. When Conor O’Brien came on at the end and held up the Yes Equality t-shirt, it really hit home how badly people wanted the vote to pass. My pal Anna and I were pretty teary throughout the set, but this was the song we lost it to. Also, the lyrics are just so beautiful (even by Villagers standards) I had to include it.


2. Shamir – On The Regular

I fell in love with this tune on first listen and it’s probably my most played track of the year, on radio and DJ sets alike. The TXFM stage at Longitude and the first time I played it in Mother are two stand outs, I can still see the faces of the people in the crowd just absolutely losing it. Shamir’s debut album Ratchet is stunning and while his live set up needs tweaking, I have high hopes for that side of things in the (hopefully very near) future.


1. Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4 (In C For Two Virgins)

Taken from ‘I Love You, Honeybear‘, my hands down album of the year, this song is just perfection. The whole album is perfection to be honest. I almost went with the title track as it was what he opened his live set with/what I completely lost my shit to all three times I saw him this year, or ‘I Went To The Store One Day’ because its just one of the most bluntly honest love songs ever written. However, Chateau.. is the one that fills my heart with joy the most. I mean, come on… just when you think it can’t get any better, POW! it’s Mariachi time. Perfection.

Posted on December 16th, 2015

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