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Rachael Lavelle’s favourite songs of 2023

Rachael Lavelle’s favourite songs of 2023


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

Rachael Lavelle is the artist behind one of the best albums of the year in Big Dreams. Here are her 10 tracks of the year.

Anohni and the Johnsons

Sliver of Ice

Listening to Anohni’s voice is a reason to exist. I was so happy when she announced this album. This song is inspired by the death of her friend, Lou Reed. In the last months of his life he spoke about how a carer placed a shard of ice on his tongue and the taste was the most beautiful thing. This song always moves me to tears. “I love you so much more, I never knew it before / The taste of water on my tongue, on my way towards oblivion.”

Caroline Polachek

Welcome to My Island

‘Welcome To My Island’ is the perfect opening album song. Her voice – magnificent, free, athletic and precise. I want to live in the melodies and the production. She makes the most exciting music of our time. Adventurous, inspiring, inviting and addictive pop. Also the song ‘Billions’ (came out in 2022) is astonishingly good.



It’s so hard to pick a CMAT song. Her new album is so brilliant, her lyrics, voice, humour and performance. I was so fortunate to open for her in the UK for some dates and witnessing her and the band perform was so special. I am attracted to the deep sadness in her music. ‘Nashville’ was my favourite song of 2022.

‘Rent’, there are so many extremely good lyrics but it’s the first verse that does it for me. “Found lashes on the DVD case, you said they were mine. Never my style, but I didn’t wanna get on your wrong side” and the lyric about Spirited Away!…

Pink Pantheress


This song is addictive. A short two minute song I had on loop this year. I heard it on the Barbie Soundtrack and instantly loved Pink Pantheress. I can’t quite put my finger on what it is but I have her on repeat. What is with the outro, I fully support it.

Katie Gately


I came across Katie Gately’s music through the artist serpentwithfeet, she co-produced his album Soil. Katie is so strange, I love her. If you watch YouTube videos on how she makes her beats it’s super playful and fun. I love how she plays with structure. This song is about 8 songs in on her brilliant album Fawn/Brute and it’s a journey. 

Anna Mieke


There’s a beautiful longingness and nostalgia for a time in Anna Mieke’s music. ‘Ornament’, which didn’t make it onto her album (Theatre, one of the greatest albums ever imo), continues the sentiment – a hot day in Spain: sun, sea, sand, dusty heat. It’s so tactile and visual. I want to live in it.



The project of Henry Earnest and Jenn of Dreamcycles. I love this one so much! When I heard it, I just fell in love immediately. It’s so fun, and addictive and there are so many parts to latch on to. A dance floor classic. And so quotable .. “I’m bored, I’m so bored .. I want love, show me more.”


When U Land

I love the way this song makes me feel. Flying through the town, like a superhero. A perfect combination of melodic hooks, dreamy but ominous synths, the driving rhythm – I love the structure of the track and that bass…One of my favourite gigs of the year was when they played in Sugar Club, amazing live band.

Carlos Niño & Friends

Love Dedication (for Annalise)

I came across this album (I’m just) Chillin, On Fire in no other place than Plugd in Cork. Jim always knows the best. The album has all of my favourite things: chimes, shells, vocals, found sounds, beautiful warm enveloping synths. I listened straight through on a plane journey and it’s a like a massage for the ears. This track is a taste. Listen to the album in full. 

Elaine Howley

Live as I saw it

Got to hear this track as the soundtrack to Charlie Doherty’s amazing film as part of the Dream Baby Dream project. I loved everything about it and was so happy that she released it as a track after the film. Elaine released one of the best records ever last year, The Distance Between Heart and Mouth, and this track has all of the things I love about Elaine’s music. Amazing melodies and production.

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

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