2017 Best of | Best songs | Best albums | Irish albums | Irish songs | Club tracks | Guest selections


The long-overdue decond single from Aimie Mallom annd Christy Leech ‘Don’t Need It Now’ is a song that has that same melodic playfulness as their debut single ‘What We Do’ with an added rhythmic toughness and swerve. The band have many more like this on the way in 2018. DOI – I manage Le Boom.


12.

New Jackson feat. Margie Lewis – ‘There Will Always Be This Love’

It was a prolific year for David Kitt’s New Jackson project with 2 EPs and a full-length album. I’m not sure why this song didn’t make it onto any of those releases but it did appear on Permanent Vacation’s 10 year compilation.


Percy Chamburuka aka Jafaris and yet another Diffusion Lab artist. ‘Love Dies’ is a mightily impressive vocal-lead cut of hazy R&B.


The Dublin singer-songwriter Ailbhe Reddy had an expansive 2017 filled with touring and surprise releases. On ‘Disconnect’ Reddy’s voice remains the magnetic force at the centre of her craft and the song sinks its teeth with the chorus ‘don’t disconnect not yet, not yet.” Too late.


Dublin singer Soulé’s ‘Good Life’ is a song inspired by ’90s house, 2step and garage and produced once again, by Diffusion Lab.


‘Aura’, B the last track on Bicep’s debut album, deftly mixes the Belfast’s duo’s love of classic house, techno, electro and Italo disco into a modern template. They do it so well.


Kojaque is a Dublin rapper who has been making music for several years via Youtube videos and Soundcloud posts. His style is downbeat, jazzy and suited to late-night lounging. Now cosying up with theSoft Boy Records family, ‘Wifi Code’ is a song that feels like a transition. “The only man with a label still on Dublin bus,” he raps on an urgent piano beat on a song that’s too short. “B***h keep asking about Tame Impala / I could show you loner, but my inner speaker don’t let shit in.”


‘Odyssey’ from Cork man Eoin French’s debut album Wild Alee, is a beautiful and brittle modern electronic ballad.


5.

Dermot Kennedy stepped up to the bigtime in 2017 and it started with this song. ‘Glory’ grows from a dark folk tone, from a hush to a howl as the track grows in stature and sound, subtly bringing in electronic-tinged touches and vocal effects as the song builds to the chorus and crescendo. ‘Glory’ is glorious.


The atmosfolk duo of Morgan Macintyre and Gemma Doherty’s ‘Causing Trouble’ expands the duo’s core sound with more instrumentation than before, while keeping their melodious intent intact. “The song is about transitioning, from Belfast to Dublin, from an old love to a new, and the gaps that can be found between you and another person or place when people transition at different paces and in different directions,” says Morgan. There’s such a lilting beauty to this song, a textured sway that Saint Sister have mastered in their relative infancy.


Their second appearance on this list, Mix & Fairbanks first original track is an absolute dancefloor stomper, a synth-rush tune that melds the bouncing pinging synth of ‘Inspector Norse’ with a Daft Punk style vocoder robot vocal. This has been on constant play at home and during DJ sets since it came out.


Tower Records

Ships’ established sound that engulfs synth-pop, disco, cosmic disco and vintage electronica in its DNA. There’s groove, space, funk and glittering disco balls in its fabric. There’s a reason it’s my favourite Irish album of the year.. ‘All Will Be’ is the song that I’ve settled on from the album as my favourite – I called it in March. There’s just such detail in the production, such magic in its gleaming disco-funk and Sorca McGrath’s vocals were on my mind all year.


Karen Cowley, Caoimhe Barry, Saoirse Duane are a Wicklow trio whose sound has exapanded exponentially in 2017. It wouldn’t have been obvious from their previous output that they would have conjured up such a soulful R&B pop song, not least one that lyrically embraces the soft edges of masculinity and the hard edges of feminity at once. Wyvern Lingo’s debut album is released in February.

2017 Best of | Best songs | Best albums | Irish albums | Irish songs | Club tracks | Guest selections