Claire Beck’s Saturday SoundSystem is on the radio every Saturday 9pm – Midnight on Today FM . Check out her socials, shows and playlists.
Here are her top tracks of the year.
What a year 2020 has been. Like the rest of the music industry, my March was filled with an onslaught of gig cancellations and I spent the first fallow summer of my adult life reminiscing about my usual weekly diet of clubs and festivals, vowing never to take them for granted again. My weekly radio show was my lifeline. Driving alone every Saturday night from the extreme isolation of the countryside into a deserted Dublin City, to a lonely studio to play tunes that I thought (hoped) would hit the right notes with the people listening at home, even though they were untested on a dancefloor. This year has made me truly grateful for the unique connection and sense of togetherness that live DJing, communal dancing and watching live music gives us. Sending all of my love to the community and I’m looking forward to raving together again soon.
Róisín Murphy – Róisín Machine
You could say choosing an album for the number 1 spot is cheating. Or, you could accept that Queen Roisin said that she designed the album to be listened through as one continuous track, so who am I to split them up? Roisin is a national treasure, a true artist, a blessing to us all. This album was one of the greatest gifts of 2020 and I’m so grateful for Queen Roisin and everything she does for us.
Alan Dixon – Acid Drop
Another 2020 casualty that should have been one of the highlights of the year. A relentless 303 bassline lubing up to a monstrous piano build and break – top of my list to play for a sweaty dancefloor as soon as I can.
Bicep – Atlas
Even though I didn’t get to play this out or dance to it in a crowd this year, I’ve retroactively attached it to a montage of former dancefloor and festival memories. I know when I finally do get to hear it over a big system with my pals, it’ll be just as sweet in real life as it is in my head.
CMAT – I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!
My introduction to CMAT was through the Nialler9 livestream during Lockdown 1.0 so thanks for that. I love everything about CMAT – her music, her message, her incredible songwriting, her hair… I wish I’d had a CMAT to look up to when I was a teenager. Also, ‘always the cowboy, never the cow’ is the lyric of the year if not the decade.
Horse Meat Disco & The Phenomenal Handclap Band – Sanctuary
Love & Dancing is one of my favourite albums this year. While a lot of the genre relies on samples and re edits, Horse Meat Disco set out to create a totally original, modern disco record and they nailed it. The Amy Douglas and Kathy Sledge collaborations on the album are favourites but there’s something about the understated groove in ‘Sanctuary’ that I keep going back to.
Eats Everything – Honey
One of the most requested tunes on my radio show this summer. It’s such a ridiculously over the top, silly, fun, banger of a track. I wish I’d witnessed people injuring themselves deathdropping to it in person.
Fiona Apple – Cosmonauts
Fetch The Bolt Cutters might be her best album so far and ‘Cosmonauts’ is the highlight of it for me. Layers and layers of her genius summed up and laid neatly over each other in one track. I locked myself out of the gaffboat during the summer and pals were shouting FETCH THE BOLT CUTTERS at me as I tried (and failed miserably) to cut the lock off. ‘Cosmonauts’ for some reason is the tune that reminds me of that day. An angle grinder is your only man for breaking a boat quality padlock, FYI.
Pillow Queens – Holy Show
All hail the Queens. It’s been a joy to follow their journey and their debut album In Waiting was every bit as great as I expected. I’ve chosen the album opener as every time I put the record on and Holy Show starts, I’m excited to hear the whole thing, and then usually play it again right away.
For Those I Love – I Have A Love
A phenomenal piece from a gifted and important artist with so much to say, and the grace and talent to say it so eloquently.
Caribou – Never Come Back
I’m surprised not to see this on more lists. I think it’s a combination of the January release date seeming like about five years ago, and the fact that it should have been one of the big summer bangers but sadly we didn’t get to rave to it in mucky fields so maybe it got forgotten?