The album reminds me of late night swimming in Lake Geneva, bussing my way through Spain, hot, lazy days in back gardens of Dublin and staying in a cottage on a cliff in Kerry. Photograph: James Corcoran Hodgins

Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anna Mieke on the comfort she gets from Drake’s final album

Plus songs to hear from The Scratch and God Knows

Etta Bond: singular

Plus songs to hear from Elkin and Rosalía

Mick Flannery: ‘Emmylou Harris sings backing vocals on quite a few tracks on Desire and her voice adds a second stamp to the album’s identity’

Scarlet Rivera’s violin on the album informed Mick Flannery’s approach to music

Lafawndah’s Ancestor Boy album isn’t for those who don’t like to be challenged by their listening

Plus songs to hear from Nilufer Yanya and Matmos

Lords of Strut. Photograph: Dara Munnis

Famous Seamus of the Lords of Strut on the album that became ‘set deep in my bones’

Wendy James on The Velvet Underground and Nico: ‘The band taught me how to write a pop song with as much sneering, insouciant naivety as Lou Reed.’

Singer Wendy James on a band that was ‘beautiful, anti-social and incredibly musical’

Plus songs to hear from Elma Orkestra/Ryan Vail and Crome Yellow

Radie Peat with her Lankum bandmates. Photograph: Miguel Ruiz

Radie Peat of Lankum on becoming instantly obsessed with the traditional folk ‘masterpiece’

Franc Moody pull on the Marigolds

Plus songs to hear from Wastefellow and Solange

While in London, Michael O’Shea would perform in Covent Garden and on the tube passageways of the West End. The instrument he is playing, which he called Mo Chara, was made out of a door he found in a skip. Photograph: Edward Graham Lewis

Michael O’Shea, a talented experimental musician who died in 1991, was the definition of enigmatic

Julia Jacklin circumnavigates the cliches in reliving a break-up

Plus songs you have to hear by Soulé and Hammer

Djackulate: plays the Workman’s Club, Dublin, as part of Spectrum Festival

Turntablist and sample artist Djackulate on the record that changed his musical outlook

Girls Rock Dublin. Photograph: Kristy Hal

Women are under-represented in the Irish music industry, but a change is gonna come

Cherym were among the bands that left the biggest live impression at Belfast’s Output festival

Plus songs to hear from Tierra Whack and Arthur Valentine

Lizzo is ready for you now, if you are.

Plus songs to hear from Irish acts Fehdah and Skinner

Morgan MacIntyre (right): “I will always love her for the way she makes the small seem so big and the big seem so small”

Saint Sister’s Morgan MacIntyre on how this album made her love the small things in life

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

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

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

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

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

Soulwax-affiliated electronic pop musician Charlotte Adigéry

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

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

Mount Alaska

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

In Tua Nua

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

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

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

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

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

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