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Homebeat’s Emmet Condon on his favourite songs of 2023

Homebeat’s Emmet Condon on his favourite songs of 2023

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Best of 2023 | Best albums | Best songs | Irish albums | Best Of Podcasts | Guest lists |


Emmet Condon is the lead booker at independent Irish promoters Homebeat and the Another Love Story Festival.


My listening habits are split between a slew of online radio at home (stand up Charlie Bones, Cian O Ciobhain, Luke Una, the DDR crew et al), work – either trawling through bands as a programmer, or hearing them live at shows, and the oddly enduring quest for collecting tunes for a somewhat sporadic set of DJ appearances throughout the year. 

Each reason to listen results in a different rhythm of consuming, and in truth I probably listened to as much old music as new in 2023 – so the following list is as much a collection tracks that had an impact in a moment at some point of the year, as it is any sort of ranking of fresh new music from 2023. 

Old or new, I continue to be beautifully bewildered by the breadth of amazing music finding my ears constantly, so here in a general order of sitting down to dancing are my favourite tracks of 2023. 


Anna Mieke

Ornament

A late entry deep into the year, but continuing proof of Anna Mieke’s deft touch and outright imagination – her music constantly surprises and delivers in equal measure, the mark of a real artist. 


JFDR

Think Too Fast

A live moment from 2023, with haunting Icelandic songwriter, whose version of ‘Think Too Fast’ at The Sugar Club gently blew my mind, and has stayed with me since. Herself and brilliant (and witty) accompanist Josh Wilkinson kindly repeated the trick all over again on the Sunday of Another Love Story – a double dose of magic in one year. 


Rachael Lavelle

Big Dreams

There are only a handful of artists I can remember clearly hearing sing live for the first time, and Rachael Lavelle is one – one of those rare acts who arrived fully formed, with identity and voice fully intact, ready for the world. 

Rachael has been one of the most exciting Irish acts of the last few years, and I, amongst many, have been waiting for her debut album with baited breath – it arrived in November all soaring vocals and cinematic romance, coupled with razor sharp oddities, and the deft touch of Ryan Hardagon on wind and keys throughout. 

Album of the year for me. 


Holy Tongue

Threshing Floor

In the age of digital over saturation and over supply, it is somehow harder and harder to commit to an album, but this slow burn, shadow-y industrial dub vibe from UK outfit Holy Tongue grabbed me and never let go throughout the year. 


Fever Ray

Kandy

2023 was not the most straightforward festival season in that almost every major music festival was beset by some form of catastrophic monsoon. Deep in the midst of the downpours, Fever Ray produced one of the standout festival performances I have ever seen at Body & Soul 23. 

The gloriously brooding ‘Kandy’ stood out as a highlight of her iconic, shapeshifting art pop performance.


The Bonk

Future 87

It is hard to think of a more pure musician, or musical endeavor, that the magical workings of Phil Christie & co – dexterous, ambitious, musically sophisticated, yet full to the brim of groove, fun and downright old skool jazz cool – from the brilliant album itself, to the signature sunglasses on stage vibe of the live shows – a special mention to an incredibly memorable gig in the also incredible Levis’s in Ballydehob back in May. 

Literally essential Irish listening. 


Zeitgeist Freedom Energy Exchange

Galaxy

Speaking of groove, another live highlight from Another Love Story 2023 was ZFEX – a louche, slick and absolutely locked in liquid jazz troupe from Australia but based in the UK. 

Absolutely killer live. Vibes.


Dudley Moon and Isabel AI

Save Game 

Gorgeous, hazy dreamscape, semi dance track out on Charlie Bones’ own Do You!!! label – perfect for those tender moments on the dance floor, or that drive home after the party. 


System Olympia

Tristessa

Simple, but absolutely devastating, yearning, atmospheric synth goodness from excellent NTS DJ and producer, System Olympia. 


Mountain People

La Colline

In a similar vein, this short but epic, emotional synth chugger is one of those tracks you wish was ten minutes longer.  


Honourable Mentions


Christopher Rau – Abspace

Anyone who has ever heard me dj or checked out This Curved Coast on DDR, has more than likely heard me play something from Hamburg label Smallville. This one from label stalwart Christopher Rau is typically all playful bounce while keeping that trademark Smallville sense of forward motion and depth.

 Early hours house music done perfectly. 

Rheinzland – Strange World (Richard Sen Remix) 

Richard Sen is one of the cornerstones of Do You!!! Radio, a great dj, an equally brilliant Producer, and one of the most refreshingly real and authentic voices I have come across on radio – knowledgeable, passionate, and infectious as a dj in the flesh too. This one’s a bright, chuggy gem. 

International Wafter – Adam Pitts

Slick, cosmic slice of tech-y goodness. Peak time club vibes, which did the business any time it got played out this year.(quite memorably downstairs in Itzakaya with the bould Neil Flynn one summer night). 

Full flight mode!

Pangea – Installation

100% one of the dance tracks of the year. 

Groove, UK bounce and a fair dash of attitude from Pangea – certified dancefloor destroyer. 


See all Guestlist of 2023 choices

Best of 2023 | Best albums | Best songs | Irish albums | Best Of Podcasts | Guest lists |


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