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The 50 best Irish songs of 2019

The 50 best Irish songs of 2019

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10.

Nealo, Molly Sterling, Innrspace

Just My Luck

Nealo’s first single release following ‘October Year’ heard the Dublin MC headed in far more soulful, jazzy direction arrangement wise. Aided in no small part by guest vocals from Molly Sterling, instrumentation from INNRSPACE and the memorable use of expletives in the call and response hook.

9.

Aoife Nessa Frances

Blow Up

Finding kinship in folk artists like Angel Olsen and Jessica Pratt, Aoife Nessa Frances’ debut single immediately reaches into the depth of the human condition, identity and finding strength in adversity. It’s a song that is more rewarding on repeated listens.

8.

Le Boom x AE MAK

Dancing Bug

A snug fit of a collaboration between electronic duo Le Boom and art-pop act AE MAK results in an infectiously catchy bop.

DOI – Niall manages Le Boom.

7.

Kojaque & Luka Palm

Airbnb

One of the best productions from the Green Diesel Mixtape. The beat, hook and atmosphere carried the tune easily into our top 50.

6.

Just Mustard

Seven

Baleful and intense, ‘Seven’ is an irresistible slice of atmospheric manipulation. Steeped in both claustrophobia guitars and cavernous production, Just Mustard play with dynamics on a seamless and intriguing track that is unquestionably one of their strongest.

5.

Mango x Mathman

Deep Blue (with Lisa Hannigan and Crash Ensemble)

The lead single of MXM’s Casual Work is an ode to the country we inhabit and the people who make it what it is. Heart thumping electronic production augmented by strings from the Crash Ensemble, some of Mango’s best lyrics and a guest feature from none other than Lisa Hannigan make this a rallying cry for identity. Stand up and be counted.

4.

Fontaines D.C.

Boys in the Better Land

The genius of Dogrel is best described in the centrepiece couplet from lead single ‘Boys In The Better Land’: “Driver’s got names to fill two double-barrels / he spits out “Brits out” only smokes Carrolls.” ‘Boys In The Better Land’ is a perfect distillation of the Fontaines D.C’s appeal.

3.

Sim Simma Soundsystem

Man Like Me (feat. Denise Chaila)

Denise Chaila’s contribution to Sim Simma Soundsystem’s Pass The Aux Chord is a dancehall-flavoured message of female empowerment. The energy off this tune could power a small city.

2.

Girl Band

Shoulderblades

A highlight from second album The Talkies, ‘Shoulderblades’ wirrs up from dissonant swirling noise with vocalist Dara Kiely belching the take home line “feel like a chicken / act like a cock,” before bursting into a techno-leaning industrial 4/4 rhythm and degrading whiplash production. Always a thrill.

1.

Lankum

The Wild Rover

It’s an indication of the talent, vision and songcraft of Lankum that they could take one of the most well-known trad songs around and offer something completely original, utterly fresh and deeply emotional. The droning dynamism of the full 10-minute version is one of the most pleasing musical experiences of 2019, as it moves and morphs from a tense intro and familiar lines sung primarily by Radie Peat into a filmic escalating release of sound and air. Stunning every time.


A Spotify playlist of our Irish songs of 2019.


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2019 Best of | Best international albums | Best Songs | Best Irish albums | Best Irish songs | Guest selections


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