It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling end of year lists. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to the bands and artist’s who’ve played a ‘BarryGruff Presents’ show this year and ask them for their ‘favourite album of 2012’, ‘favourite song of 2012’ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’.
Without further ado, here’s Aoife from The Annulments and her picks from the year that was 2012.
Favourite Album of 2012: Nathan Conway and The River Valley Band – ‘Sonny Boy’
This year saw the release of Sonny Boy by Nathan Conway and The River Valley Band. We’ve been big fans since his debut, Run on Diesel with the T-Town Bottlestoppers a couple of years back. Conway has a serious gift for writing witty, salient songs – whether they’re about doing the dirt on your missus in a cheap motel, vampire bats, Jesus, or what’s in the making of a man – they always seem to be put across in the most direct, thought-provoking and fun ways. His singing voice is striking, to say the least – a south-eastern drawl hiding nothing. It’s one of those albums that every time you listen to it, you hear a different lick, a different nuance, a different theme. The River Valley Band are multi-faceted, talented musicians and for the breadth of moods and influences on Sonny Boy, it’s testament to their ability that each song is put across so well. To The Annulments, Nathan is one of the most underrated songwriters in Ireland at the moment – which seems positively criminal – so grab the opportunity to wrap your ears around this album, it’s bloody marvelous!
Favourite song of 2012: Tame Impala – ‘Elephant’
Recently enough a friend said “here, have you heard that Tame Impala song?” Cue the last month of listening to this almost on repeat. What a tune! If John Lennon had to soundtrack an episode of Buck Rogers I’d imagine it would sound a little like this. I believe the lads are from Perth, Australia and their music seems to be the type that could only have come out of permanently sunny climes. Looking forward to hearing more from them in 2013.
Favourite Irish song 0f 2012: Nathan Conway and The River Valley Band – ‘Troublemaker’
Should we have branched out here and thought about a different artist for our favourite song? Probably. But you would be very, very hard pushed to find a better song all year than Troublemaker. This song stopped me dead in my tracks the first time I heard it. I suppose in a weird way, the song asks ‘what would Jesus do?’ and paints him as a regular guy, “a married man too”. Again, Conway’s strength of writing shines through in something that is so simple, yet so direct. I guess a song like this makes you realise how much religion has stripped the humanity out of spiritual figures and when you get a glimpse of that again, it’s pretty stunning.
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