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Nialler9’s Top 100 Irish songs of 2021

Nialler9’s Top 100 Irish songs of 2021


See all best of 2021 coverage.

2021 Best of | Best albums | Best songs | Irish albums | Irish songs | Podcast episodes | Guest selections


MuRli, Gemma Dunleavy, BOKU


MuRli’s Odyssey’, is a collaboration with Gemma Dunleavy with production by Ian Ring aka Boku, and is a sweet mix of MuRli’s booming rap style and Gemma’s garage and R&B vibe.


Bobbi Arlo

Fever Thoughts

‘Fever Thoughts’ has a dark chugging electro beat matched by Bobbi Arlo’s sweeping R&B vocals, with subtle glittering guitar lines and sidechained effects. The song is a big one, and shows an artist adept at bringing in new textures into her confident pop music.


J Smith, NNIC

Blood Orange

Blood Orange’ is a song written about James Smith’s relationship with his wife Ffion and tells of “a couple’s second chance to reignite their passion in love.” Its Radiohead-esque lilt is a bit of a heartbreaker but ultimately, it’s a beautiful rendering of a real relationship in both song and video.




Galway four-piece NewDad are one of the most exciting new prospects in guitar music, not just in Ireland, but generally of late. ‘Slowly’ from the band’s Waves EP, was produced by Chris Ryan of Robocobra Quartet, and takes a throwback indie style , end brings a twist of a 21st century pop melody to proceedings.


Fynch, Willhouse


Drimnah’s finest Fynch was dreaming of better times ahead on the Willhouse-produced ‘Soon’, a song that has the air of am encouraging song you’d put on after a hard day. “I hope one day soon we get to f**kin dance / I’m going to cut shapes, cut loose when I get the chance”, was a line that resonated for most of this year of no gigs or clubs.


Denise Chaila, MuRli


A single from Denise Chaila’s It’s A Mixtape EP, with production and vocals from MuRli is a celebration of strength with a Lord Of The Rings Rohan reference, and uplifting brass offering much fanfare. Chaila dispenses with her rap flow in favour of a sung mantra. ‘Energy’ has a mid-90s Outkast-style R&B lick to it.


Monjola, Aby Coulibaly

Where u at

Two of the breakthrough Dublin-based modern R&B artists and Chamomile Records labelmates Monjola and Aby Coulibaly collaborated on this fresh jam about friendship.


Caleb Kunle

Could Be Good

This is really superior slice of soul from the Irish Nigerian artist Caleb Kunle, a beautifully-arranged song with a rhythm that gently rocks.



The First Day

The lead single from Conor O’Brien’s fifth studio album Fever Dreams starts like a remembered dream, before bursting into kaleidoscopic affirming life. The uplifting song is inspired by a trip to the excellent Another Love Story festival in County Meath.



I’m Fine! I’m Good! I’m Perfect!

I loved the debut single ‘Water Sign’ from London-based Irish artist Spider, and in 2021, ‘I’M FINE, IM GOOD, IM PERFECT!’, Spider brings an off-kilter weirdness to a big pop hook.

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