, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Thanks to everyone who voted this past week. In total we had 198 votes with 58 different Irish albums chosen. Sinéad has reliably informed me that there was 170 Irish albums released this year. The results are a little bit surprising due to the lack of mainstream and high profile acts. Where’s U2’s Singles Collection? Snow Patrol? Humanzi? Republic of Loose? Are people finally sick of Outspan and co? There’s a nice range of genres represented here – 2 hip-hop albums, breakcore, post-rock instrumentals, singer-songwriter types, indie, electronic and of course, the Warlords of Pez.

Oh also, a lot of people couldn’t come up with 3 albums to vote for, let alone 5. Is this because you don’t buy Irish or is Irish music just largely crap?

Click the album cover art to buy a copy if you like what you hear.

Anyhow without further ado, this is what you voted for:

20 – 11

Top 10

10. Herv – Customer

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who: Dublin-based Ewan Hennelly.
What:Second album proper from Herv, who garnered attention over the last 3 or 4 years due mainly to his usage of a Gameboy in his live sets. Listen to “Food Ghost” for an example. Customer takes in breakcore and electronics throughout and is probably the closest Ireland has to a Venetian Snares. Despite his one man laptop live show, still manages to look like he’s enjoying himself while playing some quality tunes.
Where: Myspace / Go Away Recordings
Next Gig: Alphabet Set Xmas Party, 23rd December in Voodoo Lounge, Dublin alongside Lakker, Thalamus, Super Extra Bonus Party, Prince Kong , Blue Food and others.
MP3s:

Konnektquartet

Food Ghost

9. Director – We Thrive on Big Cities

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who:4 piece indie band from Malahide, Co. Dublin
What:Signed to Atlantic records in London, the band have been supporting Hard-Fi and the Goo Goo Dolls (I never thought those words would appear on this blog) on their UK tour. They seem to be very standard indie pop so I don’t see the appeal myself (anyone?). Single “Reconnect” raised their profile in Ireland and the album went to No.2 in the album charts when it was released in October.
Where: Myspace / Official Site
Next Gig: The Point – 22nd December – Supporting Snow Patrol
MP3s:

Reconnect

8. Fionn Regan – The End of History

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who: Dublin singer-songwriter getting noticed world-wide.
What:Despite been cited as the Irish Dylan by every lazy journalist, The End of History has gotten extremely positive reviews leading to 2 nominations for Meteor Awards. A songwriter who tells fascinating stories, his live reputation meant people were turned away at the door at a recent gig in Crawdaddy. The album was recorded with analogue equipment, in houses, sheds and a barn and has been picked up by a glowing review by popular music blog Said the Gramaphone in recent months.
Where: Myspace / Official Site
Next Gig:The Village – 4th Feb 2007.
MP3s:

Put a Penny in the Slot

7. Deep Burial – Black Music

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who: Dublin hip hop instrumentalists George Brennan and Richie Howard
What:Taking samples of old horror and zombie music, these guys have been making instrumental hip-hop for the last 10 years. On Black Music the album is brooding, menacing and engaging full of dark stabbing synths, 80’s samples and funky breaks. You can see my review of the album here.
Where: Myspace / Official Site
Next Gig:Couldn’t tell ya
MP3s:

Maggot Confetti

Snuff Rock

6. Crayon Smith – Stay Loose

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who:The pop/rock/alternative music of Ciaran Smith from Dublin
What:I haven’t heard much of this myself to comment on it, but from the songs on his MySpace, it seems to be rich, fuzzy indie-pop songs with a hint of invention throughout. Citing Brian Wilson, Elliott Smith, Grandaddy, The Notwist, Max Tundra and Manitoba as influences probably explains more than I could.
Where: Myspace
Next Gig:Crawdaddy – 13th December with Patrick Freyne and his Bad Intentions.
MP3s:

Scarytale

5. David Kitt – Not Fade Away

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who:Dublin singer songwriter released his 5th album this year.
What:The Kittser’s latest album title states his intentions and with Not Fade Away we get a rockier set of songs than previous releases. There is still some of the old folksy sound on the album but by and large the album is rich in instrumentation. “Up to You” is one of the best Irish songs this year, while with “Don’t Fuck with me” sounds like Kitt has been influenced by crunk and R ‘n’ B.
Where: Myspace | Official Site
Next Gig:7th December – Razzmatazz, Barcelona
MP3s:

Up to You

Say No More

4. Messiah J and the Expert – Now This I have to Hear

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who:Ireland’s best hip-hop act
What:An accomplished second album from Ireland’s best hip-hop duo is far more than just a hip-hop album. With original instrumentation and distinct lyrics, these boys are clearly influenced by other genres of music and it makes for an exciting unique listen. The album has guests appearances from American rapper C Rayz Walz, Leda Egri and Nina Hynes. They are great live too which helps.
Where: Myspace | Official Site
Next Gig:Jan 27th 2007 – Whelans
MP3s:

No Bagsies, No Keepsies

Something outta Nothing

3. The Immediate – In Towers and Clouds

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who:Indie rock multi-instrumentalists debut album
What:Proving you don’t need a big promo budget to get an album noticed, The popularity of The Immediate has spread via word of mouth and their strong live sets. Their set at Hard Working Class Heroes was testament to this with many of the crowd wilting as the first chords of their favourite songs were played. This is inventive, melodic indie-pop with plenty of ambition from four young guys willing to wear their heart on their sleeves.
Where: Myspace | Official Site
Next Gig:16th December – Whelans – All Ages Show
MP3s:

Stop and Remember

2. The Redneck Manifesto – Seven Stabs

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who:Ireland’s post-rock kings
What: The Rednecks do it again with the release of Seven Stabs. Brimming with great riffs and tight, talented interplay between the musicians, there’s also the addition of some subtle electronics which progress the Rednecks sound further. This year they played a triumphant set to a packed Vicar Street as well as the Electric Picnic, so their popularity seems to be increasing. I’m still waiting for them to capture the energy of their live performances but this will do nicely for now.
Where: Myspace | Official Site
Next Gig:N/A
MP3s:

Turn on Silent

Uno Dos Capos

1. Si Schroeder – Coping Mechanisms

, Top Irish albums of 2006 – The Results

Who:Si Schroeder (previously Schroeder’s cat and Schroedersound)
What: This debut album has been a long time in the making and it sounds like Si put his heart into it. Coping Mechanisms is a fragile, soft, lush album with restrained guitars, ghostly electronics informed by the old archive recordings of ethnic, folk, trad, jazz and classical music which Si has a penchant for. The vocals are whispered and touch on subjects like living in a claustrophic 21st century city, love and machines. It’s a unique and otherworldly listen which is goes a long way to explaining why you guys voted him to the top spot.
Where: Myspace | TMIAMF site
Next Gig:14th December – Whelans
MP3s:

Lavendermist

A Little More

Thanks to all who voted!

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