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The 50 best Irish music videos of all-time

The 50 best Irish music videos of all-time



Idiot Songs – Villages of Ether

Directed by Kevin McGloughlin

A Carrolian visual odyssey, the music video for Idiot Song’s ‘Villages of Ether’ is a dynamic and emotive journey through the recesses of the human mind and the connection with which it shares with nature.


Róisín Murphy – Evil Eyes

Directed by Róisín Murphy

The music video for Róisín Murphy’s ‘Evil Eyes’ is an examination of deteriorating mental health as well as a surrealistic commentary on family dynamics. Styled beautifully with a ’70s retro aesthetic, this video is both visually pleasing and mentally stimulating.


Ilenkus – Over The Fire, Under The Smoke

Directed by Ethan Copage

In a shoot that must have taken a ton of courage, Chris Brennan of Ilenkus takes to the densely populated streets of Galway city, screaming along to the lyrics of dark metal track ‘Over The Fire, Under The Smoke’. It’s a simple idea, bravely executed. For those of you claiming he just lip-synced, watch the reaction of onlookers and passersbys.


James Vincent McMorrow – Cavalier

Directed by Aoife McArdle

For the Post-Tropical album, director Aoife McArdle created a series of short story music videos. For the video to ‘Cavalier’, the main character goes on a seedy night out in an attempt to forget a broken heart, which manifests itself towards the end.


The Ambience Affair – Devil in the Detail

Directed by Souljacker

Up next is the stunning video for ‘Devil In The Detail’ by The Ambience Affair. Comprised of over 15,000 still photos and absolutely no video footage, that premise is the kind of stroke of genius that makes for a great music video. Throw in the fact that the video displays the beautiful forestry surrounding the Wicklow mountains and you’ve got a great shoot.


Girl Band – Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage?

Directed by Bob Gallagher

You know you’ve done something really interesting when you’re video comes with a Youtube-administered warning at the beginning. This Bob Gallagher-directed video is equal parts unnerving and captivating. With its surreal Frankenstein-esque tale of a mortician and his patient, all soundtracked to Girl Band’s aggro take on Blawan’s classic techno track, ‘Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage’ is one of the most unique entries on this list and it won’t be Bob Gallagher’s last.


Jape – Floating

Directed by M&E and D.A.D.D.Y

Most people remember the first time they watched the now iconic video for Jape’s ‘Floating’. Featuring an innovative approach to blending live-action with animation and computer graphics, this depiction of Ritchie Egan literally becoming one with nature is an Irish fan favourite.


Young Wonder – To You

Directed by Ged Murray

The music video for Young Wonder’s ‘To You’ stands out for its stunning cinematography and quirky premise. Seemingly depicting the elaborate funeral of a pet, Fluffy III, for those observant enough to read the name off the box, this music video is equal parts evocative and light-hearted.


We Cut Corners – A Pirate’s Life

Directed by Kijek / Adamski

Stunning animation to a superb song, enough said.


The Rubberbandits – Sonny

Directed by Rubberbandits

The video for The Rubbervandits’ track ‘Sonny’ seems almost at odds with the overt message conveyed in the song that it accompanies. While Blind Boy tells it exactly as it is, the video focuses in on subtly humanising the people the song could potentially be about. With each cut to a new face, in time with the words, the audience is left to ponder the devastating effects of suicide in Ireland. Powerful stuff.


Le Galaxie – Love System

Directed by Mark Duggan

Le Galaxie may not be crooks, but they make excellent Point Break-referencing ex Presidents in the video for ‘Love System’. Coming out when the band were first exploding onto the Irish music scene, this video is as exuberant and fun-filled as the song it accompanies.


Max Cooper & Tom Hodge – Symmetry

Directed by Kevin McGloughlin

Exploring psychedelic audiovisual soundscapes, the video Max Cooper & Tom Hodge’s ‘Symmetry’ is stark and enrapturing. Beginning with basic shapes, the video expands in time with the music to illustrate the delicate balance in visual symmetry, adding a mind-bending layer onto a mind-bending layer.


Wild Promises – Ballymore

Directed by Colm Russell

The video for Wild Promise’s ‘Ballymore’ delves deep into the fond and bitter memories of Suburban Irish life. Images of everyday, familiar to many viewers, cut and fade into one another expertly. This will invoke nostalgia for some and sadness for others. It’s an ideal accompaniment to the song’s evocative mood.


Warlords Of Pez – Padre Pio

Directed by D.A.D.D.Y

Padre Pio by Warlords of Pez from D.A.D.D.Y on Vimeo.

The fast and furious music video for Warlords Of Pez’s ‘Padre Pio’ is full of animated idiosyncrasies and moments of surreal genius. If I remmber correctly, the band members were also animators and directors D.A.D.D.Y. or at least some of them were (as their Chalets video suggests). Whoever decided to include the origin story of the Poolbeg Chimneys gets bonus points. The band’s triangular spectre was spotted on their red t-shirts around Dun Laoghaire IADT back at the turn of the century.


The Academic – Bear Claws (Looped version)

Directed by The Academic

Mullingar band The Academic gave OK Go a run for their money with this video from last year that is built on the Facebook Live’s delay. The band figured they could use the slight delay/ lag in actually going live to create loops in which to build the song into a looped and stacked live version of the song. A brilliant idea.

Here’s how: We rearranged each instrument on “Bear Claws” to fit Facebook Live’s delay, with each loop getting more complex, adding instruments, rhythms, and melodies. Additionally, by projecting the video live from a soundstage we created an infinite tunnel consisting of all the previously recorded loops.

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