Bláthnaid Treacy’s Spotify playlist: ‘Harvest Moon would remind my now husband that he was still in love with me’

The TV and radio presenter on her wedding songs and discovering bands at festivals

‘I absolutely love Róisín Murphy anyway, but I just can’t get enough of her most recent album.’ Photograph: Kristian Dowling/Getty

I grew up in a musical household – my parents had music on all the time, and my brothers play music. We recently got my dad’s old records out of the attic, dusted them off and gave them a bit of a spin, which got us quite nostalgic.

Specifically, Joan Armatrading’s Down to Zero reminds me of my childhood. I feel it’s ingrained in my soul at this point. I also love I Drove All Night as well – my dad was a huge fan of Roy Orbison and he would have introduced me to him.

Bláthnaid Treacy. Photograph: Frank McKenna

That’s the kind of music that would have laid the foundations for my love of music. So when it comes to the soundtrack of my life, I gravitate towards old-school music like blues and soul, with a little bit of rock and indie as well.

Working on different TV shows and projects has also opened me up to newer music. I’ve hosted the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for the last seven years or so, and that highlights amazing Irish artists. Because I’m interviewing these bands, I have to dig deep into their catalogue and listen and research. I absolutely love Róisín Murphy anyway, but I just can’t get enough of her most recent album. It’s the same with Fontaines DC.


I used to discover new music from going to festivals too. A lot of my friends are musicians, so they’d suggest checking out new bands, and then you see them and they’d be brilliant. That’s where I saw Foals and LCD Soundsystem for the first time, and I was blown away by both.

Caribou and Little Dragon remind me of Castlepalooza festival. They remind me of that time in my 20s. Back then you'd be camping and you'd be wet all weekend, you wouldn't have washed and you'd have greasy hair and you'd feel gross, but you didn't care.

Nowadays, rather than going to festivals, I’d seek out the Malahide Castle gigs or city shows like that. Don’t get me wrong, I love festivals, but I’m more specific about the bands I want to see. A lot of the line-ups at festivals now cater to a bigger audience and are more mainstream. They used to be a little bit off-kilter. I remember seeing festival line-ups and thinking, ooh, who are these bands? And then you spend a few weeks leading up to the festival listening to them and discovering new music that way. Maybe I’m just getting old.

FKA Twigs. Photograph: Daniel Boczarski/Getty

Bombay Bicycle Club were the last live act I saw before lockdown with Charlie, my husband, and a few of our friends. We would have gone to see them at all the festivals – if they were playing, we’d have to go. So to watch the lads perform on stage transported us back to those wet and miserable fields… or sunny days, if we were lucky.

I love FKA Twigs, but I’m a bigger fan of her older work. Two Weeks, from her 2014 album, LP1, is one of those songs that when I heard it, I wanted to know everything about her. I remember googling her and looking at her videos and thinking she was amazing.

I was recently listening to a lot of Ray LaMontagne. His music has such a sorrowful tone to it and I was feeling in that mood. It’s important to lean in to those moods and let yourself feel your emotions. Sometimes listening to music is a good therapy, and a nice way to let emotions out.

Neil Young. Photograph: Justin Sullivan/Getty

Neil Young’s Harvest Moon was the song that my brothers sang as I walked down the aisle at my wedding. We chose it because Charlie and I broke up for two years when we were in our 20s and he went to live in Canada. That song would come on all the time and it would remind him that he was still in love with me. It’s also a very beautiful song, so we felt it was a romantic choice.

We actually got married in a register office before we had our wedding, and I walked down the aisle at the register office to You Send Me by Sam Cooke, which is such a beautiful song. Then, at our wedding, Charlie sang that to me, which was lovely. He’s very romantic.

In fact all of the song choices in the playlist hold dear memories for me, and transport me back to some of the happiest times I've had. – As told to Shilpa Ganatra

Bláthnaid Treacy presents Tracks and Trails on RTÉ One on Friday, June 11th, at 7.30pm