Áine Cahill: the pop queen Ireland is waiting for

Our new Very Best Friend: the ink is still dry on the Irish singer-songwriter’s recording and 2018 is shaping up to be a big year

It's safe to say that since the days of Samantha Mumba dominating the charts, the Irish music scene has been lacking some serious pop queens. That is until Áine Cahill came along.

The 23-year-old from Cavan has been dominating the airwaves lately with her single Blood Diamonds, a sinister song that criticises the bombastic and greedy nature of materialism. Her singing voice is deep, lustrous and knowing – well beyond her years – but when she speaks, she's an absolute sass pot, throwing in colourful anecdotes to inject more life into her music. She's blunt – and she's very funny.

The landscape of pop has changed since Mumba, going from bright and brashey to dark and moody. With the likes of Lorde, Adele and even Beyoncé exchanging carefree and upbeat love songs in for crushing and challenging songs, Cahill slots in beside those big names easily. Her scathing lyrics cast a side-eye over the bad habits that have developed in society, craving attention and money. In The 27 Club, she dramatically dives into the live fast, die young mentality. "Reached the top, then I hit the ground", she sings on Black Dahlia, reiterating the true cost of fame.

With Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey and Marina and the Diamonds listed as her biggest influences, like them, she absorbs the darkness that we all experience in life and finds a melody that finds a place in your head for hours in end. When if we sing mindlessly along to lyrics like "And I don't care once I get what I want/ I don't have no guilt, I have diamonds to flaunt/Greed is a sin and I'm a sinner/ Giving is for losers, taking is for winners", we're creating something even darker.

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Like Del Rey and even Father John Misty, there’s a deep cynicism to Cahill’s songwriting style and it toys with idea of the listener being the butt of the joke , but it’s up to us how much we can admit to seeing ourselves in her songs. With that kind of attitude, she would endlessly make us question ourselves and aspire to be a better person. What a saint.

The ink is probably still wet from her newly signed contact with Warner Music UK. Her debut EP, Paper Crown, was released in 2014 so we've been living off a small supply of singles since then, absolutely gasping for more. In 2018, our thirst shall be quenched and, hopefully, we will be flush with new music from Cahill. Artists like this don't come around too often and the fact that she's one of our own makes it even more special.

This week we are unfriending . . . grinches who hate Christmas music

In these very special weeks of the year, when things get a little bit silly around last orders, look around you and see how your comrades act. Take note of those who participate in the joy of the Christmas song and create a separate list for those who don't. If you see anyone you know rolling their eyes when the first notes of Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You kick into action, you need to reassess the value they hold in your life. If they're total grinches, cut those bad eggs loose.