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John Barker’s top 10 tracks of 2018

John Barker’s top 10 tracks of 2018


The Totally Irish 98FM presenter shares his soundtrack to 2018.

See all the guest selections of 2018 so far.


Parquet Courts – Total Football

Parquet Courts - Total Football

I discovered this song from Parquet Courts while listening to BBC 6 Music over the summer. Taken from one of the best albums of the year -‘Wide Awake!’ – the track leans heavily on the past and combines punk, protest, gang choruses and some neat change of tempo. Its closing line bids farewell to the old guard with “And Fuck Tom Brady”. Total football but with new rules.


Kojaque – White Noise

KOJAQUE - White Noise

“In plain sight an everybody watch me drown out”. One of the most powerful tracks that you’ll hear all year with fingers pointed at the government, society and you the listener. Hard not to feel something when you listen to it. Kojaque manages to voice the thoughts of many living in Dublin through his delivery of cutting lyrics. Hearing a packed Academy on Middle Abbey St this month screaming back each word of the song showed how much it has connected with people.


Kids See Ghosts – Feel The Love

‘Feel The Love’ features on the Kanye West & Kid Cudi collaboration Kids See Ghosts. It’s a song of 3 different vocal representations – the rapping of Pusha-T, a hopeful chorus from Kid Cudi and the effective gun shot sounds of Kanye West. “Brrr-ah-da-da-da”. I love this track because it sounds very Yeezus-like.


Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – An Air Conditioned Man

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever - An Air Conditioned Man [LYRIC VIDEO]

You listen to this track from Melbourne act Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever and you hear everything from The Clash, The Go-Betweens to Ride. I saw them in Whelan’s in August and discovered that the main reason for their melodies was down to them having three singer-songwriters in the band, each one comfortable playing the lead role. One of the best new acts of 2018.


Dream Wife – Let’s Make Out

Dream Wife - Let's Make Out


Jesus these guys rock. I saw them live over the summer and they were relentless from start to finish. This song showcases the raw energy that the trio have (check out the other 10 songs on their self-titled album for confirmation) and is a celebration of female sexuality.


Villagers – Trick Of The Light

Villagers - A Trick of the Light (Official Video)

That this standout track isn’t even a standout track on ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ shows the heights that Conor O’Brien’s songwriting reached on the new album. ‘Trick Of The Light’ is a beautiful song – magical, poetic and dream-like. Bob Gallagher’s video superbly captures all of this, with actor Brian Quinn stealing the show.


Soccer Mommy – Your Dog

Soccer Mommy - Your Dog (Official Video)

“I don’t want to be your fucking dog that you drag around”. I have listened to this song from Soccer Mommy so much this year. It features on her album ‘Clean’, an album full of anger, vulnerability and a sarky ‘go fuck yourself’ attitude which I love.


Anderson .Paak – Til It’s Over

Anderson .Paak - 'Til It's Over

I’ma ride it ‘til it’s over. On repeat since the day of release.


Adrianne Lenker – Symbol

Adrianne Lenker - symbol

Adrianne Lenker, the frontwoman of Big Thief, released her latest solo album in October and if melancholic, sombre music fills you with hope then this is your album. From it ‘Symbol’ is a wonderfully hypnotic, emotive piece which pulls at the heart-strings of the listener (thanks to Louise Barker for introducing me to her).


Marlon Williams – Party Boy

Marlon Williams - Party Boy (Official Video)


Marlon Williams – the crooner of Christchurch. I saw him perform with his band in Brooklyn in March and it was like listening to a modern day Roy Orbison singing about the inevitable end of a relationship. That relationship was with fellow musician Aldous Harding who is the inspiration behind the tracks on Williams’s album Make Way For Love.

See all the guest selections of 2018 so far.

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