Jófriður Ákadóttir: “We are close to our nature in Iceland, and you can’t escape it even if you try because the ocean and the mountains and the wind are all around.” Photograph: Timothée Lambrecq

Jófriður Ákadóttir has at least three acts on the go, including JFDR, Samaris and Pascal Pinon

Marian Finucane. Photograph: RTE

The broadcaster's weekend competition provides a surreal moment that proves most lyrics are not exactly poetry

Loyle Carner: “When you’re a teenager, everything is so difficult and weird – and having ADHD adds another dimension of stress to it – so I’d loads to write about.”

The Croydon rapper shunned weed, instead reading the poetry of Benjamin Zephaniah and studying acting. It’s all paid off with his (...)

Look at the vinyl market: between records and turntables, it’s heading to become a billion dollar market

Author David Sax reckons analogue objects can give you back time because of the keep-it-simple-stupid method

Psy’s Gangnam Style: 2.7 billion views and counting

Despite the push of upstarts like Spotify and Apple, nothing comes close to the YouTube as a music platform

SINKANELife & Livin’ It ***City Slang

Prince  was a blast when he was on form:  Last year claimed three other  magnificent communicators with the deaths David Bowie  Leonard Cohen and George Michael. Photograph: Kevork Djansezian/Getty

The music industry today is dominated by bland PR processes and musicians who just don’t have anything to say

En Vogue will be heading to Dublin’s Vicar Street in April

En Vogue are back on the road, and will likely be followed by more classic R&B queenpins

MIGOSCulture ****300 Entertainment

Tkay Maidza: “You always wonder if what you do is good enough, so when someone like Killer Mike comes along, it’s so cool”

Aussie hip-hop star Tkay Maidza has caught the attention of the Run the Jewels rapper and many others with her quick-fire rhymes a(...)

Apple CEO Tim Cook (right) greets Jimmy Iovine during Apple's developer conference in San Francisco, California. Iovine brought record-label smarts to the company, but it hasn't helped them innovate in the streaming market. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The tech giant is shifting digital operations to Cork, but can it regain ground on its rivals?

Sister act: Meegan, Allison and Natalie Closner, aka Joseph. Photograph: Ebru Yildiz

Gigging in bars made Natalie Closner realise "there are people who prey upon people’s dreams". Now, she says, "we need a call to c(...)

Bono shows his appreciation to the Croke Park crowd during U2's 360 Tour performance in July 2009. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

A new book asks music critics and fans that very question, and as you'd expect, the answers vary widely

Frank Sinatra in a recording session in a studio at Capitol Records on New Year’s Day 1953. Photograph: Murray Garrett/Getty Images

Celebrating 75 years in business, the label that reinvented Frank Sinatra, and broke The Beatles and Radiohead in the US, has quit(...)

 Beyonce performs at a Get Out The Vote concert in support of Hillary Clinton in  November. The singer is set to headline this year’s Coachella festival in the US, which is run by Philip Anschutz’s  Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG Live).  (Photo by Duane Prokop/Getty Images)

Promoter Philip Anschutz’s ties to ultra-conservative US politics sit in stark contrast to his counter-cultural music business ven(...)

Turns out the sound snobs had a point: there’s a “pleasing, warm, whole-hearted thump” from the records.

Online music is hard to top in terms of choice and ease of access, but there’s still something unbeatable about a turntable

SABABucket List Project ****Saba Pivot

Reminder of an era when artists swapped Afrobeat roots for a more international sound

Identity and memory loom large in the latest offering from Stephen Cracknell and friends

Ed Sheeran: Could this be his year? Photograph: Phil Walter/Getty Images

We can confidently say that that the gig of the year will not be Phil Collins at the Aviva, but that's where the certainty ends...

Polica stalwart Chris Bierden’s side project is worth tracking

ORCHESTRA OF SYRIAN MUSICIANSAfrica Express Presents the Orchestra of Syrian Musicians and Guests ****Transgressive

Radio ga-ga: Thom Yorke isn’t about to give up giving out, and neither is On The Record

In the current era of sudden releases, saturated coverage and instant access, readers want context and colour and smartness and in(...)

Irish acts that receive the most plays include Walking on Cars, Hozier, Picture This, Gavin James, Kodaline and Brian  Deady. Photograph: Getty

Gavin James and Walking on Cars top the most-played Irish lists on Irish radio stations

Chance the Rapper: his Coloring Book was one of a number of  compelling hip-hop albums released this year

Culture review 2016: Hip-hop and r’n’b had a riot, and some gems from the Irish scene, from Rusangano Family to Tony Mac Mahon

Clockwise from top left: David Bowie, Saint Sister, Thom Yorke from Radiohead, The Gloaming

The year began with Blackstar and ends with a clean sweep for Bowie. Elsewhere, Saint Sister tops the Irish crop. Here are the mus(...)

The Rock’n’Roll County Councillor of the Year award  goes to Pearce Flannery for his proposal that  Bruce Springsteen play  Galway Airport

It’s On The Record Gongs of the Year time - awarded for the most outstanding, pointless, ridiculous and offensive contributions t(...)

 Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine on stage during last year’s  Lollapalooza  festival  in Chicago, one of the biggest festivals on the Live Nation roster. Photograph Josh Brasted/FilmMagic

Live Nation continues to expand worldwide, but its lucrative position in the secondary ticketing market may yet prove contentious (...)

Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses performs at the O2 Arena in London in 2010. the band are to play Slane Castle, Co Meath in 2017. Photograph: Ian West/PA Wire

Jim Carroll: The band are the latest heritage act to make the journey to Slane, a venue they last played in 1992

JOHN LEGENDDarkness and Light ***Columbia

 Anderson .Paak of Anderson onstage at the Voodoo Music + Arts Experience last month  in New Orleans. Photograph: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty

The inclusion of Anderson .Paak on the once influential poll shows up the project’s shortcomings

Christy Moore: Iarla Ó Lionaird cites his version of I Pity the Poor Immigrant by Bob Dylan; Tony Barrett his cover of Jimmy McCarthy’s Missing You. Photograph: Matt Kavanagh

Lisa O’Neill, Conor O’Brien, Iarla Ó Lionaird, Mick Flannery, Adrian Crowley and others discuss what songs move them most

Philip King: “The effect of a great emigration song is to compound the sense of loss and collapse the distance between the place you’re in now and the place you’ve left behind.”  Photograph:  Don MacMonagle

From persecution in 18th century Ulster to the Famine and beyond, there’s a story to tell

SETI THE FIRSTThe Wolves of Summerland ****Paper Palace

Sue Rynhart: “It’s  important to get the opportunity to talk to other musicians from other countries”

Since 1991, IMC has helped promote jazz and bring European musicians together

Kanye West:  would have voted for Trump if he had bothered  voting. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

The times they are a-changin’ and musicians now should reflect the concerns of their fans

 Kirk Hammett, Lars Ulrich, James Hetfield  and Robert Trujillo  from Metallica. Photograph: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Getty Images

Lars Ulrich is still raring to go - after 35 years of up and downs, crises and feuds (remember Napster?), Metallica are getting ha(...)

Leonard Cohen performs on stage at the Musikhalle on 4th May 1970 in Hamburg, Germany. Photograph: Gunter Zint/1970 K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns

If he was a new artist today, the genius of Cohen would surely be lost in the noise of music-journalism clickbait and listicles

Leonard Cohen on stage in Kilmainham on Friday, June 13th, 2008. Photograph: Dave Meehan

Concerts between 2008 and 2013 demonstrated rare bond between artist and audience

VARIOUSLes Punks: The French Connection ***Soul Jazz

ROMARELove Songs: Part Two ***Ninja Tune

SLEIGH BELLSJessica Rabbit ***Torn Clean

Hand to mouth: ‘A lot of people don’t seem to understand that we can’t keep producing records if you keep not paying for them’

Our refusal to pay for music makes it impossible for many bands to keep working

Shirley Collins: “I had been singing songs in my head all the time, but not out loud, and I realised I couldn’t bear to let it go. There were so many songs I wanted to sing”

Collins was a leading light in English folk music and then she stopped releasing music for nearly 40 years. So why did she decide (...)

 Thom Yorke of Radiohead onstage at the Austin City Limits Festival at Zilker Park last month. Photograph: Jim Bennett/FilmMagic

Radiohead are taking action against ticket touts. Why are other acts not joining the fight?

Dozens of acts such as Metallica, Lady Gaga, Michael Bublé, Leonard Cohen, Alicia Keys, The Weeknd have new releases in time for Santa

They all have their sights set on your Christmas stockings - as the music industry gears up for the most lucrative time of the yea(...)

Julia Jacklin: Playing SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, in March “was the first time that I realised I had good songs”.

The classically trained Australian singer-songwriter only picked up a guitar and the songwriting buzz a few years ago

DJ Jeff Mills will be joined by the  RTÉ CO for a performance of his ‘Light from the Outside World’ project at Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre on October 30th

Classical musicians are joining forces with DJs and electronica producers - and are fast becoming the hottest ticket in town

Mega star: Jinx Lennon. “I felt I was becoming a caricature or a big cartoon, like how Donald Trump is a cartoon, and there was a bit of stupidity in that.”

The troublesome troubadour of truth explains why we take certain parts of Ireland for granted and how he is drawn to the energy o(...)

NICOLAS JAARSirens ***Other People

By the and large, record shops have been chased out of town. Photographer: Noriko Hayashi/Bloomberg

Dedicated record stores may be closing, but vinyl lives on - in the décor and pillows section

“You’re Dead by” Flying Lotus and “Malibu” by Anderson .Paak

A new exhibition called ‘Fantasy 12’ looks at the rebirth of creating artwork for records

David Holmes: “There are no rules in this game. People keep producing these imaginary rulebooks or saying ‘you can’t do that’. Why not? Who cares as long as it’s honest and from the heart?”

The Belfast DJ talks about the records he’s made that have led him to greater things

You talkin’ to me, punk? Ibiza-deprived Diarmuid Connolly reds Mayo’s Kevin McLoughlin the riot act at last Saturday’s All-Ireland replay. Photograph: ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

More Ibiza and less Coppers – its time for GAA musical snobs to change their tune

Rusangano Family, who play the Hard Working Class Heroes festival in Dublin from October 6th to 8th: “The institutions doing the most for young people and music are the youth services.” Photograph: Eric Luke

Nocturnes, Bitch Falcon, Talos, Ailbhe Reddy, Rusangano Family and more share their experience of trying to make it in today’s mus(...)

Unless city officials are involved, any talk about making the most of our urban night culture is futile

Rapper Danny Brown: “I’m maturing and my songwriting is getting better and I just wanted to progress what I’m doing”

The rapper’s new album took years to make, but he wonders about the attention span of his audience for it in a time of musical abu(...)

  Pacha founder Ricardo Urgell is said to be heading for the exit after almost 50 years in the business.  Photograph: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images)

Between Fabric in London and Pacha in Ibiza, clubland is once again in one of its periodic states of flux

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