Happy St Patrick’s Day! The biggest day in the Irish cultural calendar is here but before you all go out and drink your body weight in Guinness, we’ve compiled the perfect soundtrack to get you ready.
The pubs around Australia will be filled with the classic sounds of The Pogues and The Dubliners today – with lots of other wonderful traditional folk thrown in for good measure – but we’ve focused on modern artists.
For the future of Irish music is extremely bright: from a world-beating post-punk band to profoundly poetic rappers, the future is green. Éire go Brách.
Dunleavy deserves inclusion in this list for the name of her 2020 EP alone – UP DE FLATS – but she’s got the artistry to back it up. Hailing from Sheriff Street right in the heart of Dublin, she’s incredibly proud of where she comes from and imbues her songs with an excellent sense of place and community. She also bringing more awareness to Ireland of R&B, not a genre historically associated with the country.
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For Those I Love
David Balfe is a forceful presence. Performing in a distinctly Dublin drawl, his songs are an invigorating combination of twinkling electronica and poetic rap. His titular debut album was borne out of pain – the untimely suicide of his dear friend Paul Curran – but it’s brought Balfe to wide acclaim; he even received a mention in The New York Times.
Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra
Akin to the overnight success of their English counterparts Wet Leg, this indie rock trio are gaining renown after just a handful of releases. It’s not difficult to see why: there are clear notes of The Cranberries in what Pixie Cut Rhythm Orchestra do, from the wistful tone of singer Sarah Deegan to the crunching yet sweet guitar lines. It’s melancholic indie rock of the highest order.
A truly modern artist, Grace has made wise use of TikTok and Instagram, amassing over two million followers on the former. The strategy has paid off, with his recent single ‘Fake Fine’ garnering over 12 million streams on Spotify. His style of alternative pop is supremely catchy but there’s substance under the surface, with Grace being unafraid to openly discuss his mental health in his songs.
Fontaines D.C. is an obvious inclusion but their current power and presence cannot be ignored. Amidst the current post-punk revival in Britain and Ireland, they tower above the rest. In frontman Grian Chatten, they have one of the most formidable leading men in recent years, and their distinctly Irish intellectualism – the members all bonded over a shared passion for the work of W.B. Yeats – has produced some of the most thoughtful post-punk in a long while. Their third album in just four years, Skinty Fia, is just one month away; expect it to be as massive as Dogrel and A Hero’s Death.