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Morgana’s favourite songs of 2023

Morgana’s favourite songs of 2023

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


Morgana MacIntyre is the Belfast-born, Dublin-based singer-songwriter and one half of Saint Sister. Striking out as a solo artist under the name Morgana, we can expect some new recorded music in 2024, and a gig at Whelan’s on March 29th.

Her solo music is an invitation: “prepared to party, ready to cry”.


In no particular order. And with great appreciation for each of the artists who gave us these glorious songs. X 


Rachael Lavelle

Big Dreams

I first heard this track live in the Pepper Canister Church years ago and it floored me. I was properly stunned, looking around with wide eyes at the people next to me, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I love every line but I feel like I’ll probably have the openers as my epitaph; “I came for the comedy / I left for the bus / That was nothing new to me / I have a lot of feelings.”


Lana Del Rey

A&W

I could have listed any number of songs by Lana but this is the one that lives rent free in my head. At 7 mins 14 seconds, it’s a real journey from the subtle keys and guitar to the thick, pulsing, electronic soundscape that grows from the halfway point. I love the sharpness of her humour, particularly in the latter half. “Your mom called, I told her, you’re fucking up big time.” 


Nealo

Only Human

This song opens with some of the most sensitive players in the country; Gemma Doherty, Susan O’Neil and Mark O’Brien create an ocean as a bed, a most appropriate foundation for what’s to come – a deep, highly experienced and finely tuned voice. The delivery of his first line “I’m with you” is, for me, a stand out moment of 2023. His lyrics are searingly honest and while he gives so much of himself he is never over indulgent – A very difficult line to toe, but easily done by Nealo who is at the heart of it all a hugely gifted storyteller with impeccable timing and tone. 


Feist

Borrow Trouble

‘Borrow Trouble’ dragged me out of a songwriting rut. First I fell in love with the song, then I examined it very closely for weeks. In particular the rhythmic chorus (or is it a second chorus? So many catchy parts!) mesmerised me. I am fascinated by how she gets from the very still and unbearably close vocals at the beginning to the shouting and screaming towards the end. Never mind this song is home to what is probably my lyric of the year; “So good at picturing the life that I was gonna be left out of rather than the one I’d made.” The whole album is a masterpiece and her live show was the crowning cherry on top, full of layers and of course, ‘Multitudes’. 


Mitski

Bug Like An Angel

A simple song done very well. No airs and graces, just killer lyrics, beautiful vocals and a lovely chugging guitar. “As I got older, I learned I’m a drinker / Sometimes a drink feels like family”.


Tandem Felix

Message of the Afternoon

I’ll never forgive David for only having one round of the chorus in this song. I can just imagine him writing what might be one of the catchiest choruses I’ve ever heard and then sitting back and deciding we only deserved to hear it once. Bravo Maestro, please play it again. 


John Francis Flynn

Mole In The Ground

Every time John Francis Flynn creates a new version of an already existing song he is transforming gloriously and creating anew while somehow honouring every version that came before – wrapping them up in his voice so it seems you can hear a thousand lives in each phrase. His growl and sensitivity give so much to each song, that through his touch they might live for another 200 years and go on becoming new again and again. A beautiful artist and creator.


Big Thief

Vampire Empire

I love how nostalgic this one feels, so grungy and emotive – the melody on ‘Falling’ makes you wanna very softly mosh for the length of the word. Meanwhile, the lyrics hit hard. Adrianne is a ferocious writer, one of our best. “I see you as you see yourself through all the books you read, Overwhelmed with guilt and realising the disease”.


Two Shell

Mum is Calling

This is a song for little freaks, of which I count myself one. If you just wanna dance and be a bit silly, stick this on and act out the conversation between mother and child. 


The Scratch

Shoes

The Scratch are funny and talented men who make funny and bold tunes that could inspire a riot in any crowd – but also –  they write songs like ‘Shoes’, that will break your heart. It’s a pleasure to hear the variance in their tracks, they move from ‘sharp slagging’ to ‘fuck my heart up in one line’ seamlessly. And I’m here for that oscillation, let them bounce us from one extreme to another for as long as they want.


See all Guestlist of 2023 choices

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


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