Jonathan Pearson: Come on Feel the Illinoise has the full spectrum of human emotion

Islander’s Jonathan Pearson on how this musical triumph changed his perception of pop

Zaska has committed to the band leader approach on his debut album It Takes a Village. Photograph: Dara Munnis

Plus songs to hear from Bibio and Sim Simma Soundsystem

Percy Chamburuka aka Jafaris will release his debut album Stride on March 78th

Plus songs to hear from Micheal O’Shea and Billie Eilish

Inni-K: “What I love most about The Reminder is that you hear the house where it was recorded, you hear the air”

Inni-K on how the Canadian inspired the organic approach of her new album

Boy Azooga

Plus songs to hear from Foals and Denise Chaila

Soulwax-affiliated electronic pop musician Charlotte Adigéry

Plus music from James Blake and documentary, ‘Somewhere In Ireland’

Baxter Robot (centre) pictured with his Happyalone bandmates, Slee and Paperclip Photograph: Zach Cronin.

Baxter Robot of Cork band, Happyalone, on the grunge benchmark

New artist of the week: Maynooth-based boys Matt O’Baoill and Max Zanga AKA Tebi Rex

Plus songs and videos to catch from Charlotte Gainsbourg and Myles O’Reilly

Jimothy Lacoste: his appeal  is his deadpan vocal delivery that is at once amateurish and endearing

Plus songs you have to hear from Chaka Khan and David Keenan

Nightmare on Wax: ’Motown records were afraid to release [‘What’s Going On’] as it was controversial. Then it became their best-selling album’

George Evelyn AKA Nightmares On Wax shares a songwriting influence

Plus songs you have to hear from Maria Somerville and Matt Berninger with Julien Baker

In Tua Nua

In Tua Nua’s Paul Byrne on an album that influenced his band’s songwriting.

Mount Alaska

Irish electronic music that shares DNA with Kiasmos, Jon Hopkins and Moderat

Tierra Whack’s new album Whack World comprises 15 tracks, all one minute each

Plus songs you have to hear from Helena Hauff and Sharon Van Etten

Kiran Leonard: Parents of the world: do not bore your poor children with Mozart! This is the real stuff. Photograph: Manox

Manchester musician Kiran Leonard on how the new wave classic is great music for kids

Gael gáire: Kneecap

Plus: songs you have to hear from Silverbacks and Laurie Shaw

Éna Brennan: “This album interested me in particular as it is revered more than Sufjan Stevens’s original electronic album.” Photograph: Aaron Corr

Éna Brennan aka Dowry on a reworking of Sufjan Stevens’s 2001 album ‘Enjoy Your Rabbit’

Fia Moon

Plus songs you have to hear from The Redneck Manifesto and Anderson .Paak

Arvo Party: I didn’t understand David Bowie – "Low" when I first heard it

Belfast artist Arvo Party on the album that led to his love of electronic music

Daithí: “Take Care is an incredible collection from an artist at the height of his powers.” Photograph: Christian Tierney

Clare musician Daithí on the soundtrack to the first time he felt comfortable with himself

Bad boy of alt-grime with a ‘There’s nothing great about Britain’ tattoo? What’s not to love?

Sam Fender’s music has retained its own sense of identity and has avoided the pitfalls of regurgitation

Plus songs you have to hear from Fontaines D.C. and Rosalia

Laurie Shaw: “I vividly remember pressing play and being struck by the galloping first few seconds of The View From The Afternoon.”

Cork-based artist Laurie Shaw on a teenage inspiration

Marc Rebillet: not for everyone

His absurd bedroom jams are an oddball mix of music, comedy and performance art

Matthew Crossan, flanked by his Touts bandmates: “Exile and The Stones in general have taught me more than I could put into words.”

Matthew Crossan, singer of Derry punk rock band Touts, on a rock’n’roll classic

Tank and the Bangas

A playful and exuberant kaleidoscope of spoken word, soul and R&B

Harpist Mary Lattimore on becoming a Curehead and the joys of melancholia

New York band Barrie

Plus songs you have to hear from Róisín Murphy and Maria Somerville

Rosalía has increased her scope and vision

Young Catalan merges flamenco and R&B to become one of the planet’s most vital pop stars

Aislinn Logan: Music Complete, by New Order, levelled with me and it kept me going when I needed it to

Northern Irish musician Aislinn Logan on an album that helped her through hard times

Hobo Johnson & The Lovemakers

Frank Lopes jnr’s conversational stories of life as a youngster in LA are one of a kind

Sanae Yamada: “Listening to Journey In Satchidananda gives me a sensation that is closest in texture to that of looking at the ocean or staring into the structure of a leaf.”

Sanae Yamada, of Vive la Void and Moon Duo, on the album that opened doors for her

Peter Broderick: will release a new EP, Two Balloons, on November 9th

Peter Broderick on ‘music that penetrates deeply into the heart’

Diolmhain Ingram Roche

Ingram Roche works his tracks in ways that give them a supernatural quality

The Lost Brothers are an Irish musical duo comprising Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech.

The Lost Brothers’ Oisín Leech on his transition to folk music

Yves Tumor has shown a gift for world-building experimental productions that could go on to influence others.

Tumor’s output is augmented by social media clips that echo work of Kenneth Anger

Daniel O’Kelly (C) and Silverbacks

Silverbacks’ Daniel O’Kelly on a seminal album in his band’s formation

Noname, the poet-turned rapper made her reputation with 2016’s mixtape Telefone, a release of thought-provoking hip-hop

Plus songs you have to hear from Anna Mieke and Natalie Prass

Give Up by The Postal Service

Ryan McGroarty of Belfast band Beauty Sleep on the album that blew him away

Just Mustard: their new album was released independently and quietly enough but has picked enough online plaudits to turn heads

Plus: songs you have to hear from Anna Mullarkey and Rosie Carney

A. Smyth: Afghan Whigs – Gentlemen taught me that life and the choices you make won’t be straightforward, but the most important thing to do, is to tell the truth

Dublin singer-songwriter A. Smyth on an iconic American rock band

Versatile’s crude and catchy songs are accompanied with millions-viewed music videos on YouTube

Plus, songs you have to hear from Thom Yorke and Join Me In The Pines

Clairo aka Claire Cottrill: Playing the Academy, Dublin on September 16th

Plus: Songs you have to hear from Mountain Man and Young Marco

Nandi Rose Plunkett: “I was in awe of Joni’s masterpiece, an aching journey through mood, built upon cascading melodies.”

Nandi Rose Plunkett, aka the Massachusetts musician Half Waif, on a folk classic

Three girl rhumba: Boygenius

Plus songs you have to hear from Empress Of and Jade Bird

Æ MAK’s Aoife McCann on an album that brings back emotions from her childhood


Conor Cusack of Spies on the album that made him fall in love with music

Nilüfer Yanya: From London via Turkey, the Bahamas and Ireland

Plus songs you have to hear from Tirzah and Aretha Franklin

Conor Clancy: “If there’s one album I aspire to when writing the music for TOUCAN, it’s Som Livre.”

Conor Clancy of Funk-pop band TOUCAN on a Brazilian inspiration

Danielle Balbuena aka 070 Shake: snapped up by Kanye West’s label in 2016

Plus: songs you have to hear from Gabe Gurnsey and Spies

Reinen. Photograph: Luke Archer

Plus songs you have to hear from Anna Calvi and Robyn

Orla Gartland: “Before I sunk my teeth into this album the pop music I knew was devoid of much depth or character.”

Dublin pop singer-songwriter Orla Gartland on her first real album

Keith Kenniff aka Goldmund

Keith Kenniff’s serene, minimal sounds chime with a growing market for tranquil tunes

Lucius, with Pete Lalish far right: “The pianos were all out of tune and sounded like someone had tossed a handful of forks into the inner workings.”

Pete Lalish of Lucius on the intoxicating majesty of Howie Gelb

Best tracks of the month: John Grant, Bllood Orange, Phoebe Bridgers, Teyana Taylor and Big Red Machine featuring The National’s Aaron Dessner and Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon

Tracks from John Grant, Teyana Taylor, Phoebe Bridgers, Daithí and more

Bryce and Aaron Dessner performs at The Everyman in Cork, Ireland, 2017. Photograph: Kieran Frost/Redferns

The National’s guitarists are part of People, a community of musicians creating new spaces and platforms

Kildare rap duo Tebi Rex

Max Zanga of Kildare’s Tebi Rex: ‘This is what it feels like to go through puberty’

The Murder Capital: could make a killing. Photograph: Grayce Leonard

Plus songs you have to hear from Phoebe Bridgers and Big Red Machine

J Colleran: “I wanted it to sound like the American artist James Turrell, with different colours and spaces that aren’t real.” Photograph: Philip White 

The producer – formerly Mmoths – on why he deleted an entire album on the road to ‘Gardenia’

A U2 fan with tickets for a Dublin gig. The Government has announced plans to tackle price gouging by online ticket touts. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Planned crackdown is welcome and will hit companies where it hurts – their bottom line

Derry singer-songwriter Roe: “Jack Garratt’s ‘Phase’ inspired me so much because I couldn’t comprehend how one person could create these amazing songs and perform them live alone.”

Derry grumpy electro-pop singer-songwriter Roe on a key influence

Athlone-based artist Sequence, whose music draws less inspiration from American counterparts than Nigerian Afrobeat and dancehall music.

Plus songs you have to hear from John Grant and Marquis Hawkes featuring Jamie Lidell

Aidan Moffat: “I love the spoken, cryptic storytelling and the gently sung heartache.”

Scottish songwriter Aidan Moffat on an influential American guitar record that helped start post-rock

Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever: a future vision of rock’s past

Plus songs you have to hear from Teyana Taylor and Lizzo

Niamh Farrell, with her Ham Sandwich band-mates: “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness blew my mind.”

Niamh Farrell of Ham Sandwich on Billy Corgan’s masterwork

Roosevelt: music that is refreshingly open in its synth-pop style

Plus songs you have to hear from Chaka Khan and Jealous Of The Birds


Plus songs you have to hear from O Emperor and Brame & Hamo

Kitt Philippa: admires the experimentation and creative risk in Jeff Buckley’s album Grace

Kitt Philippa on why this album makes for such powerful and intimate listening

Pow Pig: they have enough of a sense of humour to call themselves a 14-piece boy band from Sligo in their bio

Plus songs you have to hear from White Denim and Spiritualized

Phantastic Ferniture: Julia Jacklin, Ryan K Brennan and Elizabeth Hughes

Plus songs you have to hear from Prince and Evvol

One for the books: Joshua Burnside

Northern Irish album of the year 2017 winner Joshua Burnside shares his life-changing listen

Body talk: HappyAlone. Photograph: Nicholas O’Donnell

Plus: songs you have to hear from Krystal Klear and Shookrah

Solid Air: “It was almost uncomfortable to listen to as it felt so personal,” says Cathy McGuiness (left) of Pillow Queens

Cathy McGuinness of Dublin four-piece Pillow Queens on a revelatory record

Jorja Smith releases her debut long-player Lost & Found next week

Plus, songs you have to hear from James Blake and Mutual Benefit

Bodega  proved a hit at the recent Great Escape Festival in Brighton

Plus, songs you have to hear from Christine And The Queens, and Hookworms

Cannonball Adderley: Recorded Somethin’ Else in 1958 with Miles Davis, Hank Jones, Sam Jones and Art Blakey

Musician and composer Seán Mac Erlaine on his jazz awakening

Rosie Carney: lifting the fog

Plus songs you have to hear from Arctic Monkeys and Saint Sister

Serpentwithfeet: artist Josiah Wise draws his musical tones from the world of experimental, classical and R&B

Plus songs you have to hear from The Murder Capital and Róisín Murphy

Snail Mail: turning teen dreams into reality

Teen singer and classical guitar prodigy Lindsey Jordan is fast-tracking to indie-pop success with her debut album ‘Lush’. Plus: m(...)

Kelsey Lu: “Shades of Blue was a glimpse of hopefulness and peace from within that depression.”

Plus, songs you have to hear from DJ Koze and Arvo Party

Rhob Cunningham: “I don’t listen to it so often nowadays, I just cherish the world it opened up for me.”

Singer-songwriter Rhob Cunningham on an album of musical poems

Reykjavi?kurdætur: the sisterhood has developed as a force to be reckoned with

Plus songs you have to hear from Ross From Friends and Mick Pyro

Plus songs you have to hear from Anderson .Paak and Friendly Fires

Let’s Eat Grandma: kindred spirits to the twins from The Shining

Rosa Walton and Jenny Hollingworth are childhood friends making eerie nursery-rhyme freak-folk. Plus: new songs from Unknown Morta(...)

Paddy Hanna: “My record shops became places like Forbidden Planet in London.” Photograph: Stephen White

Irish singer-songwriter Paddy Hanna on the 1980 Italian schlock-horror movie soundtrack that bled into his current album ‘Frankly,(...)

It is simply the sound of Tom Waits, a true artist creating new rules & pushing boundaries

This albun changed my life: The singer on the frightening and otherworldly Tom Waits

Charlotte Day Wilson’s voice is a soulful gentle thing, able to let you in and let you down easy

Plus, songs you have to hear from Seinabo Sey and ZHU featuring Tame Impala

Rakel Mjöll (centre) with her Dream Wife bandmembers. Mjöll says listening to The Strokes provided  a jolt of excitement, energy and pure emotion.

Rakel Mjöll of Dream Wife on the album that made her want to express herself loudly

Denis Sulta: techno-leaning beats and high-tempo disco-soul vocals

Plus songs you have to hear from Leon Bridges and David Byrne

The Blaze: their impassioned video for Territory is set in Algiers and follows a recently returned alpha-male  reconnect with his family

Plus songs you have to hear from Serpentwithfeet and David Kitt

Karl Blau:  ‘Van Halen 1 was the tape that made me realise I needed to play the electric guitar’

Van Halen – ‘Van Halen I’ (1978)

Plus tracks you have to hear from Chvrches and DJ Koze

Plus songs you have to hear from Janelle Monáe and Kojaque

Whenyoung’s latest single Pretty Pure is out now on Yala! Records

Aoife Power of Whenyoung on honest lyrics and ragged guitars with the power to hurt

Dermot Kennedy: transposes heartbreak and longing into songs that burn with mainstream pop flavour. Photograph by Nicole Nodland

Plus songs you have to hear from Beach House and Paddy Hanna

Half Waif: she wants her album to be a “totem for healing and a nudge of encouragement to be alive”

Plus songs you have to hear from Fever Ray and AE Mak

Karma mechanic: Will Toledo aka Car Seat Headrest

Sit back and let this indie wunderkind from Leesburg, Virginia do the driving. Plus: Tracks you have to hear from The Gloaming and(...)

Come On Live Long: Daithí O’Connor (far left)

Daithí O’Connor of Come on Live Long discovered Burial’s second album during the downturn

Peggy Gou: the Korean-born, Berlin-based artist has spent much of her time DJing in clubs around the world, quietly growing her reputation in the flesh and through a series of mixes

Plus songs you have to hear from Geowulf and Pillow Queens

Khruangbin play Whelan’s on March 4th. Band member Mark Speer says The Skatalites meet King Tubby – Heroes of Reggae in Dub album  has “truly shaped the way I approach arrangement as well as sonic presentation”. Photograph: Mary Kang  

Mark Speer of Khruangbin says the album has been influential to the way he writes music

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