With St Patrick’s Day upon us, our Irish member of the family, Aiden Brady, takes us on a musical tour of the island he calls home; starting decades ago and ending in the present with some contemporary groundbreaking artists…
St Patrick’s Day and Irish whiskey have much in common, beyond both being Irish, they also improve with age. At a young age my festivities comprised of a mandatory trip to mass, ice cream and a parade more repetitive than groundhog day. Now older and arguably more mature, the celebrations have much more to offer. Although alcohol was probably the first thing the previous sentence brought to mind, it extends beyond that somewhat. It’s an opportunity for those who are Irish to surround themselves with a little bit of home.
In the spirit of that, we’ve whipped up a wee playlist for you to get in the mood. The selections range from Irish rock to some of the hottest dance tracks to come off the island. Normally pleasing both the rockers and ravers is no small feat but we’ve made a deft stab at it here.
In the past, Ireland has had its share of conflict. Throughout the decades however, artists have used their expressions as means to overcome this and find unification across communities. Thin Lizzy were perhaps the best example of this. Lead-man, Phil Lynott was the first black Irishman to achieve musical success and the band’s members hailed from both side of the border and community.
Orbital’s track ‘Belfast’, was named after the English duo DJ’d in the city, which at the time was stricken with mistrust and strife. Amidst the conflict, people came together at the Art College to see the pair play. Leaving the issues at the door, those who came down were present solely for their love of music and left quite an impression on the Hartnoll brothers.
Sinéad O’Connor and The Undertones, helped generations of Irish youths vent the frustrations and angst exacerbated by severe social strains. Effectively achieving this in an identifiable style without heavy handed rhetoric. However rhetoric has worked well for others in making their points. The Boomtown Rats’ ‘Banana Republic’ was a cutting retort to the Irish government’s ban on them performing in the Irish Republic.
Indulge yourself with a bit of nostalgia and let Van Morrison and Aslan provide some staple Sunday listening. The Pogues will evoke every family party where ‘Fiesta’ was played without fail. While styles and sounds have evolved, the celtic origins of Irish music have bled through time. Enya’s calming Celtic folk should wind you down perfectly from a rowdy day. In a similar vein, Chicane and Daithí both expertly unify traditional Irish style with that of modern electronic music.
Ireland at present is a hotbed of music talent. Jafaris’ jazz infused hip-hop makes for a fresh take on social issues in the country. On both sides of the border, dance music’s representation is rising with force among a generation of hedonists. A few essential dance tracks from the island’s finest have been included. Bobby Analog, Bicep and Mano Le Tough’s tracks will transfuse the groove to your day, while Fish Go Deep, Ejeca, Hystereo, Space Dimension Controller and The Cyclist should keep you kickin’.
Listen to 21 tracks that encompass Irish music culture from the present, going back through the past few decades. Select an image to play a track…