There were only ever four real contenders for this once the voting started. The top four albums below trail-blazed from day one and the others all languished behind. This year almost 200 of you voted for 61 different Irish albums with 354 votes counted in total. That’s three more albums than last year.
This blogs championing of the number one album below has left me in a slightly awkward position but perhaps it was inevitable. No doubt, there will be a few cynics who discount the results as a canard but this was a public poll. To be as transparent as possible, you can look at the resultsheet (Click vote to organise by number) which shows the number of votes each of the 61 albums received. Aside from giving out personal information, I can’t be any clearer than that.
The EP results will be released next week in a Podcast special so stay tuned for that. Thanks to all who voted. The number of votes are displayed after the album. MP3s are included where possible and some of the artists have chosen the track themselves.
20 – 11
- 20. Nina Hynes – Really Really Do (5 votes)
- 19. The Urges – Psych Ward (5)
- 18. Roísín Murphy – Overpowered (5)
- 17. 3epkano – At Land (5)
- 16. Somadrone – Of Pattern and Purpose (5)
- 15. God is an Astronaut – Far from Refuge (5)
- 14. Thinguma*jigsaw – Awake in Whitechapel (7)
- 13. My Brother Woody – It’s a long way from that sort of thing you were reared (7)
- 12. Sarsparilla – Karahee (8)
- 11. Adrian Crowley – Long Distance Swimmer (9)
10. Hybrasil – The Monkey Pole (10 votes)
Road Records / iTunes ]
I caught these Wickla boys in Wexford over the summer and they got everyone in the venue shaking. This is because Hybrasil are Ireland’s leading exponent of dancefloor-friendly indie music. The album has a strong electronic-pop ethos which also helps move spines on dancefloors around the country.
9. Hooray for Humans – Safekeeping (11)
Road Records / iTunes ]
Taking their cue from North American alt-indie bands, Cork’s Hooray for Humans specialise in anthemic, punchy songs with a tinge of emo and a distinctive vocal tag-team. They could easily soundtrack a US teen high school drama with those chops.
8. So Cow – These Truly are End Times (14)
So Cow Website / iTunes ]
So Cow is Brian Kelly a Galway-man living in South Korea. The album was recorded with an 8-track mixer in Seoul, South Korea at night-time while most people were sleeping. The result is a lo-fi gem full of quirky and originally executed pop tunes.
7. Large Mound – My whole life is have to (16)
eMusic / iTunes / Road Records ]
Taking the title of the album from the 1989 Steve Martin film Parenthood, Navan’s Large Mound specialise in angle-grinding rock riffage and songs about hating your friends, their boring vacations, Stephen Malkmus and even mention Thumped along the way.
6. Dry County – Unexpected Falls (18)
CCNow / iTunes ]
Dry County have been showing promise ever since their 2004 EP – Nothing Stays in Place and the release of this debut placed them to the forefront as one of Ireland’s most original bands. A professional live show backed by synced visuals brought them to CMJ in New York this year and I personally am looking forward to seeing what they come up with next.
5. Kill City Defectors – Mutiny Sounds (19)
Road Records / Killcitydefectors.com ]
Kildare’s rock ‘n’ roll troubadours are versed in slinky basslines, funky rhythms and percussive swagger. Mutiny Sounds bursts out of the speakers with non-stop infectious tunes.
4. Delorentos – In Love with Detail (29)
Road Records | iTunes | Amazon ]
You’ve got to admire the Delorentos. In Love with Detail is the culmination of a few years of the hard slog, gigging constantly, putting the majority of Irish bands to shame with their work ethic in the process. This a self-released slab of driving indie-pop with standout song “Stop” one of the best Irish guitar tunes to grace the radio in a long time. As final confirmation of their deserved status, they played their biggest headline show in the Ambassador in Dublin on Friday to a full house of adoring sing-along fans.
3. Mumblin’ Deaf Ro – The Herring and the Brine (33)
Road Records ]
A lo-fi folk release with a distinctly Irish story-telling slant, Ronan Hession’s second album is tale-driven with meditations on drowning, priesthood, presidential regret, murder by two sisters and a German-bound immigrant. The album is heaving with interesting characters told in a unique and crumbling yet endearing voice. The lyricism is a real highlight here and Hession could certainly moonlight as a poet if he desired. A charming record.
2. Cathy Davey – Tales of Silversleeve (38)
Amazon / iTunes ]
An assured creative leap from 2004’s Something Ilk, Tales of Silversleeve has put Cathy Davey into critics and fans hearts alike as well as onto the day-time airwaves. Undeniably catchy single “Reuben” laid the promise for the album and it didn’t disappoint. The album is rich in instrumentation and song-writing knocking a lot of listeners to the floor and propelling the album into many an end of year lists.
1. Super Extra Bonus Party – Super Extra Bonus Party LP (42)
Road Records / iTunes / eMusic ]
The most eclectic Irish album of the year is infused with indie, electronic, dance and hip-hop stylings yet pulls off the mixtape vibe with such aplomb it matters not. Largely recorded in a kitchen, this debut features vocal contributions from members of other Irish bands: Channel One, Nina Hynes, Kill City Defectors, beatboxer White Noise and the Brazilian in-house MC Rodrigo Teles. The music is all Super Extra Bonus Party however. Not for those who like their music without surprises. Watch out for an EP release in the New Year with remixes from Jape and Cadence Weapon.