Ruth Medjber is a photographer who has snapped the likes of Hozier, Glastonbury, Electric Picnic and many others – you can buy a print here. Ruth hosts a weekly radio show called Spotlight on Dublin City FM103.2.
Gruff Rhys & Imarhan – Adar Newlan
This was my feelgood hit of the summer. It’s Gruff (Super Furries) and this incredible Algerian Toureg band, Imarhan. You’ve got 2 intense cultures, and two very different languages coming together and for the whole song you’re just amazed at how perfectly they intertwine. The lyric you hear on repeat in the chorus is “Strong Tea” and who doesn’t like a banging tune about a cup of tea?
Seanie Bermingham – Call the Coroner
I discovered this beautiful track while doing my radio show and trawling through Irish music submissions. This was a like a glittering diamond in the rough. It’s sweet, comforting, folk gem.
Ailbhe Reddy and The Theodora Byrne Ensemble – Shoulder Blades (Choir Version)
I had to pick at least one Ailbhe tune because she absolutely annihilated this year and she’s got so much more planned for 2023. The lyrics in this one gives me goosebumps and reminds me what it’s like to be in love. What more could you ever want from a song? Picking this version gave me the opportunity to also plug the amazing work that Theo has been doing of late with her star studded ensembles.
Katie Kim – Eraser
Haunting, powerful and somewhat Portishead-y vibes at times. I think Katie Kim has really come into her own with this album, and it’s a style that I’m 100% behind.
Clare Sands and Susan O’Neill – Carry My Song
Two powerful women writing big songs. You can just feel the spiritual rawness that they poured into this recording. What I’d give to see this on a massive stage somewhere with full orchestra and light show! Also, it’s got this perfect balance of Irish and Béarla that doesn’t make me feel too much of a thick for not understanding it.
Sinead White – Insert Coin
This woman can’t put a foot wrong in my biased opinion. Not only has she been the busiest woman on stages (she’s in live line ups with Houseplants, Elaine Mai, Daithi, Pa Sheehy and loads more) but she wrote and produced her debut EP Bye Chicken. This wee banger always gets me bopping when rollerskating.
1000 Beasts – Naruda (Fall in Your Arms Again)
A little pop tune to bounce you into a good mood. Another Irish track, found on my radio show hunt. Ireland really is full of such varied music these days.
The Cope – True Romance
Listen, I was going to pick something by The Cope, it could have been ANY of their tracks because they’re all 10/10. I’m so excited to see what David and Joe do with this project. Not only do they write huge tunes, but they also put so much thought, effort (and money) into the visual production and live experience. Big things are coming for The Cope.
George Fitzgerald & SOAK – Rainbows and Dreams
Admittedly this is a weird one, the vocal sample is what got me in because I was certain it was familiar. Low and behold, it’s SOAK. Apparently the story goes, George was recording in a studio with a mutual friend of SOAK’s and came across this vocal track on the computer and just started to work with it. Just proves that SOAK is so good that they don’t even have to be in the room to send inspiration flying around. This is how beautifully magic music is these days. Cosmic little encounters resulting in gold.
ODESZA – Light of Day (feat Olafur Arnalds)
It’s got Olafur’s haunting signature thuds of felted piano to lead us into this building banger.
The lyric is a complete 4am mantra that I’m desperate to chant along to in a sweaty club or field some day soon. Feels like a genuine spiritual awakening.