Sam McNicholl is the the proprietor of Connolly’s Of Leap, one of the best little venues in the country. Sam also plays drums with Talos and is a top dude. I interviewed Sam about his venue last year and it’s currently celebrating a year being open.

See all the top 10 tracks of 2016 guest selections.


1.

Bon Iver – 666 

The highlight of my year in 2016 was being with Justin and his crew when they released this record into the world at the Michelberger Hotel in Berlin. 2016 has been one of the best years of my life and this song will always bring me back to 2016 for years to come. This was the year that everything fell into place…


2.

James Vincent McMorrow – Rising Water

James and his band came down to my house in June to rehearse the album before the world tour. Hearing one of my favourite bands literally rehearsing in my house!! A JOKE!! Rising Water was the first single on the record and will forever hold a special place in my heart.


3.

Christine & The Queens – iT 


The first time I heard this song I had to pull the car over and listen to it on repeat, the truth of the lyrics completely blew me away. It’s minimal, it sounds great and deals with gender fluidity. 2016 in a song for me. 


4.

Olafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm – 20:17

This record took up a lot of my time this year. It’s been cathartic. This record has healed me and put me back together when I really needed music to do just that. It really reminds me of two of my favourite things from 2016; Peter Hayes and Iceland.


5.

Talos – Your Love is an island

This really has been to the soundtrack to my year, playing music with my best friends all over the country has been unforgettable. Eoin French in my eyes is a seriously talented and hardworking individual and although i am IN THE BAND i am still a huge huge fan, it feels really good to say that actually.


6.

Matt Corby – Monday

   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPnA-Vs5ATU

Matt is a friend of mine from way back when i lived in Australia and 2016 has been good to him! It saw him release a fantastic by the name of ‘Telluric’. My mate Alex Hendrix co produced. Seeing Matt do his thing to a Sold out Olympia was truly heart melting – 2017 will see him back in Ireland, mark my words.


7.

Vulfpeck – Animal Spirits

Having so many musicans come through my house one of the BEST things is that I get a constant supply of new tunes. The boys from Moxie put me onto this new Vulfpeck record and I have played it to death – its pop perfection punctuated with some serious serious musical chops! In my humble bullshit opinion, Vulfpeck owned the internet this year.


8.

Margaret Glaspy – Emotions and Math

No list is complete without a love song is it? Like an idiot I gone done fell in love with a genius this year. 2016 will forever be know as ‘The year of the Queen of Mullingar’ .


9.

JFDR –  White Sun

In January I had Jófríður Ákadóttir from Iceland come and stay with me. We did a really nice piece for Totally Dublin. She is a gift from god and is one of the most honest and special people I have yet to cross paths with. 


10.

Bon Iver/Francis and the Lights – Friends

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wScYn10D2vo

THIS is my tune of the year. It’s been a fucked up year on a world scale but honestly it has been the best year of my life. I have worked my little ass off all in the name of art and it’s working. This song makes me smile, this song makes me dance and that is my answer the the never ending tidal wave of shit that the ‘Real world’ throws at me/us. See you on the dance floor in 2017! LOVE TO ALL! 


See all the top 10 tracks of 2016 guest selections.

Posted on December 22nd, 2016

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Simon Roche is one-third of Lumo Club along with myself and Gavin Elsted, here are his top 10 picks of the year.

Lumo’s Christmas bash is Thursday night in Tengu. Tickets are here.

See all the top 10 tracks of 2016 guest selections.


1.

Operators – Control

A dancefloor-licking electro rock banger from Dan Boeckner’s Operators, yet to play a gig or officially release anything in Ireland. I got this from Canada after digitally stalking them since I saw them play Iceland Airwaves in 2015. Like Handsome Furs albums before it, some weeks you just need to bathe fully in every tune, but this is my favourite one to play at Lumo.


2.

Adultrock – Push and Pull

Gavin Elsted AKA Adultrock is a guy I only got to know when we all started Lumo together. We thrash out the logistics of running a club on a daily basis and I knew he made music but when I heard this first it was a WTF for me. Though our tastes in the music we DJ with is a little different, this track of his played right into everything I love about fresh dance music, especially the light vocal touch. Hearing Colin Perkins blast it out at the Absolut Art Bar at Body & Soul was great. A total gem from this year and my underground track of the summer.


3.

EMMANUELLE – Italove

This Belgian release on Soulwax’s DeeWee label is so infectious it’s basically a Lumo pandemic and I think we each own a copy of the 12”. I’ll go straight to this at home when I need a mood lift, and it always cheers me to hear it in the club too. Gorgeous, breathy vocals and a deceptively simple beat. The most moreish of this list for sure.


4.

James Vincent McMorrow – Rising Water

JVM could have gone 3Arena at this stage if he chased the money but he just carefully rebuilds himself musically and creatively each album. This year’s ‘We Move’ took all his inherent subtleties and wrapped them in a musical texture that looks across the road at R&B. This track was the first release from it, and it sets the stall out. I’m still holding out for a live version which turns the end into a wild blow-out, instruments thrashed n’ all.


5.

Drive it Like You Stole It – Sing Street

The feel-good film of the summer was Irish and it was about music and set in the 80s. WHAT is not to love about that? And right there in the middle of the film, this shard of pop perfection. It believable as a song written by a schoolboy (though the key change isn’t as bad as Lady Gaga’s this year) and has an awesome everybody-clap-along moment in the middle. Best of all it can be played back-to-back with Stevie Wonder’s ‘Part Time Lover’ with the most minimal of mixing.


6.

Roosevelt – Colours (Prins Thomas Diskomiks)

I love a bit of Roosevelt so was most thrilled that he dropped an album this year. Colours was a standout from it, but this mix took it further and made it deeper and suitable for even later hours. And still, it has such warm post-chorus drops and the simplest of stabbed pianos. Plus a tambourine.


7.

Underworld – If Rah

A band I consider my gateway drug to the techno side of dance and how it could be so warm and human. I haven’t been as happy with an Underworld album since 1996, and this track has an uphill narrative that takes you from Karl Hyde’s freeform lyrics sitting on a repeated beat – slowly more bass, a synth, shafts of light, then stars. Their housiest track ever, I think, and still undiluted Underworld – back on top.


8.

Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker (Paul Kalkbrenner Remix)

Well that was the year that was, both Cohen and Bowie saw the dark rolling in before leaving us with priceless parting gifts. While I was never an avid fan of Cohen, this was my stand-out track from the final album. A poet facing the night, with a world in constant crisis. Kalkbrenner’s twist dropped it right into my path and even fitted in a cheeryish enough piano riff, while at the same time making it even as dark as the LA sky in Blade Runner.


9.

David Bowie – Lazarus

Why I would be surprised that Bowie took his own end of days as inspiration is anyone’s guess, but perhaps the sadness distorted things. Buying ‘Blackstar’ in the weeks after felt like cheating, but David knew it all before we did and had the challenging and the comforting on there for us. This is the track I keep moving the needle back to. I think of all parts, it’s that sax near the end just takes you down a tunnel and there, at the end of it, you can maybe wave off the Thin White Duke.


10.

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – Distant Sky

A part of me never expected to hear a Nick Cave album again. How? I mean, where do you come through what he went through and then go back to music? This, the album’s penultimate, is the binding around the cracked heart. The dark is now getting light and the distant sky is becoming a day. We’ve been through some year and if Nick Cave can point at the horizon and see the sun come up, then we all can.


See all the top 10 tracks of 2016 guest selections.

Posted on December 21st, 2016

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Simon Roche is a resident DJ at Lumo Club, the monthly night we started recently. He’s also DJing in the Odessa tonight alongside myself, Kelly-Anne and more. Here are his top 10 tracks of the year as part of the Best of 2015 series.


Sufjan Stevens – Should Have Known Better

A heartbreaker from a guy I never really listened to before. This one caught me every time I listened to the album, a perfection of chord changes, lyrical majesty and the most delicate sound texture that appears half way through could alone have you in tears.


Major Lazer– Lean On (feat. MØ & DJ Snake)

When me and a much younger millennial friend were youtube duelling, and finding no musical common ground at all he put this on and there it was, 2015’s perfect pop moment that we could both get behind. A song so good that you don’t need to think about it for one second, and so short that you need to just play it again straight away.


Health – Stonefist

When they supported Interpol over three nights in the Olympia, they debuted three new tracks off the forthcoming album and this one was searingly etched into the mind after first hearing it. A small step to a more accessible sound it still carries an industrial pulse, and a refreshingly bleak refrain.


Soft Lit – I Can’t Help It

I’m a sucker for a piano-lead pop track, when I first heard this on the radio one night I was hooked and it went straight on the Lumo playlist. I know nothing about the band but in my day-to-day if anyone in my office sees me bopping around in my chair with my headphones on 9/10 chance it’s to this track.


Operators – True

A chance look at the programme while at Iceland Airwaves and I see that Dan Boeckner – founding member of one of my favourite bands, Wolf Parade – has a new project called Operators. Our travelling crew leave one gig and arrive at the NASA venue to see this fresh band go from a standing start, with barely anyone knowing any of their output, to a sweaty in-the-palm-of-their-hand half-hour of fuzzy, frenzied electro rock. This track, so simple in its refrain, turned the entire room into a sea of people shouting “One, one, one, one… trueeeee love” in seconds.


A-Trak – Push (feat. Andrew Wyatt)

Ah, more piano-lead pop and this time with the unequaled voice of Miike Snow’s Wyatt. Sometimes I imagine A-Trak in his studio finishing up a track and just saying to himself “oh Simon’s gonna love this one”. The guy has a hotline to my dancing gene.


Jon Hopkins – I Remember (Yeasayer cover)

My album of the year was Jon Hopkins’ Late Night Tales compilation, so immensely full of avenues to explore. The only track of his own is this instrumental reinvention of a track from the underrated Yeasayer. Hopkins is a man of such unwaveringly high quality output in all areas that when stuck on anything in life, I find myself thinking “what would Jon do here?”.


Purity Ring – Begin Again

Megan James has the most gorgeous, bad-for-your-teeth voice in grown-up pop and in this song the band have constructed a slow pulse track that’s also a banger. Makes you want to walk through the city at night in slow motion with John Woo directing you.


Jape – Seance of Light

Since the great wave of joy following Italia 90, Richie Egan has been tasked with the job of looking after the endorphins for the entire nation of Ireland. Knowing we could easily overload, once ever few years he floods our system again with the sort of music that makes you believe life is eternal and death defeatable.


Hot Chip – Dancing in the Dark (Springsteen Cover)

I’ve seen this live three times in 2015, and it’s been perfect for each of those occasions so it was a delight to get a studio version released. Little did I know how huge this would be for me however. On the first night of Lumo Club it was always going to be our final track. On that night, as the lifelong dream of creating a club night with friends came true, a packed Bar Tengu danced themselves crazy to this track as myself, Gavin and Nialler fired confetti cannons out over everyone at the peak, and grinned ourselves stupid. As Talking Heads would say – once in a lifetime.

http://nialler9.com/top-10-tracks-of-2015-ruth-kavanagh-mother/

Posted on December 19th, 2015

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