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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Plus songs you have to hear from Tirzah and Aretha Franklin

Spies

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

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

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

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

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

Plus songs you have to hear from Teyana Taylor and Lizzo

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

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

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

Nakhane

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

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

Plus songs you have to hear from 1000 Beasts and Young Fathers

Ruairi Lynch of Bantum: “The Sunshine Underground is one of my favourite songs to this day, an eight-minute exercise in surround-sound techno psychedelia.” Photograph: Bríd O’Donovan

Ruairi Lynch of Bantum on an album that ‘sounded like nothing I’d ever heard before’

Roe: her songs are anchored by a voice suitable for pop hooks

Plus songs you have to hear from Marcus Marr and Soccer Mommy

Deborah Byrne of Hvmmingbyrd: “from the first thump of the toms in Lost Ones, my Walkman and I were inseparable.”

Hvmmingbyrd’s Deborah Byrne on ‘a truly fearless female voice’

IAMDDB: rap with attitude

Plus songs you have to hear from David Byrne and Bruno Mars

Jess Kav, pictured with her BARQ bandmates: “Stevie Wonder’s love songs are incomparable.”

BARQ’s Jess Kav on music that a thousand weddings wouldn’t make her sick of

Capital sounds: Fontaines D.C. Photograph: Grayce Leonard

Rock’n’roll garage music with a Dublin twist. Plus: Francis & the Lights; The Streets

Amazing artwork: Homogenic by Björk

Bad Bones, aka Sal Stapleton, on an album with ‘some of the best pieces of music ever created’

Parcels

Synth pop group with Daft Punk’s seal of approval become ‘Overnight’ success

“The first haunting strains of the organ in the intro of Independence Day brought a new perspective to my musical world.”

The album accompanied Homebeat’s Emmet Condon on many train journeys as a student

Norwegian singer Sigrid: Youthful magnetism. Photograph: Berit Roald/EPA

Fans are flocking to the sound of this 21-year-old Norwegian. Plus: Sheer Mag; Davy Kehoe

Anna-Mieke Bishop and Brían Mac Gloinn from Ye Vagabonds at Trabolgan

How Music Works: Joe Kelly is organising a festival in Trabolgan holiday village in Co Cork in April, aimed at veteran festivalgoe(...)

Generic People Ant O’Brien and Ronan McGrath: “Something that’s packaged well and looks the part you instinctively go to that first, it’s just human nature.”

How Cork’s Generic People went from being DJs to a multimedia company

Whenyoung: taking part in Shane MacGowan’s 60th Birthday Celebration gig, at the NCH in Dublin

And you have to hear Mango and Mathman, and Sufjan Stevens

Brian Deady

This Album Changed My Life: Musician Brian Deady on The Prodigy’s Experience (1992)

K-club sounds: Yaeji

New Artist of the Week: The Korean-American house-pop producer is one of the BBC Sound of 2018 list

Lar Kaye with All Tvvins bandmate Conor Adams. For Kaye, the 'Thirtysixstrings' album  showed him what an Irish band could achieve when he was a teenager.

This album changed my life: Lar Kaye of All Tvvins on The Redneck Manifesto's 'Thirtysixstrings' (2001)

Stevie G has been a DJ for 25 years: ‘I’m just happy to be doing what I’m doing’

In the How Music Works series, Niall Byrne talks to people about their life’s work in music. This week, Cork DJ Stevie G

Billie Eilish Pirate Baird O’Connell was always likely to feature on the one-to-watch list but notably, she is only 15-years-old.

And you have to hear . . . Sjowgren – Stubborn Forces and All Tvvins – Crash

Maria Doyle Kennedy: Joni Mitchell planted the first seed for me that artists made whatever art they were feeling

This Album Changed My Life: Joni Mitchell’s Court and Spark (1974)

Molly King has grown up in and around Other Voices since the age of 10. She now works as head of development for the festival.

Molly King is head of development for the Other Voices festival in Dingle and has been involved with it since her childhood

Ticket reseller Stubhub was recently raided by the competition authority as part of ticket-touting investigation

Jens Kuross: a former jazz student at Berklee college in Boston

Piano-led electronic balladry from Los Angeles

The Cyclist on the album that ‘takes him right back to a feeling of timeless creation’

Seriously solid crew: Brockhampton

Rap boy band crew with members from the US, Grenada and Ireland

The Hangman’s Beautiful Daughter (1968) by The Incredible String Band

Daragh Lynch of Lankum on the album that changed his life and songs you have to hear

The late Willie Meighan of Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny

Willie Meighan of Rollercoaster Records on dealing with a terminal illness and the `'happiest little record shop in the world'

IDER: pastoral and pop

London duo Megan Markwick and Lily Somerville twin lilting chords with vocal harmonies

Elephant’s Shane Clarke on David Bowie’s 'Low': 'There seemed to be no rulebook.'

This Album Changed My Life: Elephant’s Shane Clarke on Bowie’s 1977 album

Willis Earl Beal at the Sugar Club, Dublin.

How Music Works: Mark Murphy of Choice Cuts on how he reinvented the Leeson Street venue as a musical mecca for a new generation o(...)

DJ Seinfeld: king of lo-fi house.

Lo-fi house has irked the dance establishment, and DJ Seinfeld is at the vanguard of the genre

'The single 1979 was electronic, which was a signpost of where my head would go.'

This Album Changed My Life: James Heather on Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness

Donal Scannell (left) with Jimmy Chamberlin and Matthew Luhn.

In the How Music Works series, Niall Byrne talks to people about their work in music – this week, Donal Scannell

Superorganism: Eight strangers are drawn together from different corners of the world to  make music together under one roof

This band have an origin story that’s hard to believe

Musician Seamus Fogarty on the album he first ignored and later owed a debt to

Julie Cooper: “As an independent promoter, you have to as you do everything, you book the show, you run it, you’re the production person on the day, you might drive them from the hotel, or they might stay in your house, so you’ve got to love it.”

Julie Cooper persevered in the tough industry and now runs her own promotions firm

Julien Baker plays Whelan’s, Dublin on November 9th  

And the best tracks tracks of the moment come from Alex Cameron, Angel Olsen and Sylk

Ailbhe Reddy plays Whelan’s in Dublin tonight

Ailbhe Reddy: The 1999 release was groundbreaking to me – it’s so honest and self-aware

More articles