Best of 2013 w/ Ciaran Dwyer of Knoxville Morning

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It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to Ciaran Dwyer from Knoxville Morning and his picks from 2013.

Irish Song of the Year: Lethal Dialect (Feat. Jacknife J) – ’13 til Infinity’

My love of lyric writing came from being an obsessive Hip Hop Fan in secondary school and it was this that led me to folk music and to the poets that are my heroes today. I’m quite new to Lethal Dialect and when I heard this song it blew my mind on first listen, the easy going production and flow is perfect and the song couldn’t have come at a better time, slap bang in the middle of our best summer in years but its the subjects that Lethal raps about that really bring me in. Like all great writers he writes about his own environment and what he sees around him turning the often banal into things of beauty. The last verse (especially the last two lines) give me shivers on the scruff of my neck every time I hear it, one of the best tributes to a woman I’ve ever heard in a song. Pure Poetry, Pure Genius.

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Album of the Year: The National – ‘Trouble Will Find Me’

This was a toss up between this and Push the Sky Away by Nick Cave which also blew my mind this year. Trouble edges it for me as The National have been my favourite band for many years now and every album is a step up the ladder of greatness, this one being probably my personal favourite alongside Boxer. The highlight tunes on this for me are ‘I Should Live in Salt’, ‘Demons’, ‘Humiliation’ and ‘Pink Rabbits’ (one of the finest songs they’ve ever written). Matt Berninger is the man of the match on this album, outdoing himself with his Vocals and pushing himself to new heights with his lyrics. I was lucky to see them tour twice this year and the second time ranks as one of my favourite shows that I’ve ever seen.

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Song of 2013: The Mighty Stef – ‘The Hardship’

I can remember loving this song the first time I ever heard it being played in a sound check in Detroit. It hadn’t yet become the absolute Monster of a song it is today but had all the hallmarks of a Mighty Stef classic even back then. The word Hardship has been thrown around our bands in jest for a couple of years now, often in the middle of real hardship where some comic relief is needed to keep the train on the tracks. If there’s one thing I know about Stef and his operation is that he has had to work incredibly hard through all manners of Hardship to get any little thing he gets in Music. The singing on this is perfect, a master-class in how to deliver a song, full of emotion and passion and going right to the end of his range as a singer. ‘The Hardship’ is an anthem to all of us who are in this game for the long run.

Best of 2013 w/ Stephen Connelly of Sea Area Forecast & Knoxville Morning

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It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to Stephen Connelly from Knoxville Morning and Sea Area Forecast, and of course an intrinsic part of the BarryGruff shows, to share his picks from 2013.

Favourite Album of 2013: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Push The Sky Away’

Cave saved ‘Body & Soul’ festival for me this year. More laptops than people. In the midst of a heavily electronic based festival, Cave storms the stage and knocks everyone on their arses. Reminding those that might have forgotten that live rock ‘n roll doesn’t fuck around. Great hearing the classics but it’s his new songs that stood out for me. A beautiful spacious sound that hasn’t appeared on any their previous albums. My love for The Bad Seeds stems from the darkness of Caves lyrics mirrored in their music. ‘Push the Sky Away’ does this but on the opposite scale using minimalistic approach. The loss of guitarist Mick Harvey has left a huge gap, in turn though allowing Warren Ellis to run a muck with his soundscapes which I’m all for. As far as the lyrics go, Cave has never been so on the ball. Stand out tracks for me -‘Higgs Boson Blues’, ‘Mermaids’ and ‘We Real Cool’.

Other albums you might learn something from. I haven’t, but you might: Waxahatchee – ‘Cerulean Salts’, The Depravations – ‘ Onwards, Westwards’, Death Grips – ‘Government Plates’, The National – ‘Trouble Will Find Me’, Bill Callahan – ‘Dream River’, Perfume Genius – ‘Put Your Back N 2 It’.

 

Favourite Song of 2013: Mogwai – ‘The Lord Is Out of Control’.

Surprised myself with this one but it was a toss up between this and a couple of King Krule jams. I’ve been watching a French show called ‘Les Revenants’ that has an incredible eerie soundtrack by Mogwai. This is the only other song I’ve heard by them and it’s amazing. Even the video alone is stunning.

 

Favourite Irish Song of 2013: There’s too much good shit happening to pick just one…

Oisin McCole – ‘Not For Your Heart’

I should be sick of listening to this song by now but it still sounds fresh even after a bazillion plays.

Oh Boland – ‘Mouthpiece’

Seen these guys play a fair bit over the last year and their live shows always deliver. Energetic garage pop rock from Tuam of all fucking places. Their onstage enthusiasm is everything I love about live music.

Rory Hughes – ‘Woe Is Me’

Just listen to that voice. Incredible!

 

Best of 2013 w/ Cormac Brady

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It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to Cormac Brady and his rule breaking picks from 2013. 

Favourite album of 2013:

Thanks to Barry for asking me to write this piece again this year. Also I hope he accepts my back hander and lets me bend the rules a bit. It’s hard to pick one record, so here are twelve. Rules? RULES MEAN NOTHING TO ME

Savages – Silence Yourself
Steve Mason – Monkey Minds in the Devils Time
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels
Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork
Danny Brown – Old
Death Grips – Government Plates
Juana Molina – Wed 21
Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
Arctic Monkeys – AM
Moderat – II
Halves – Boa Howl
Dancing Suns – Goldmine

If I had to pick one over the rest, it would be Run the Jewels because I’ve listened to it the most. It’s a quality rap album. Killer Mike and El-P have all the charisma of an old school rap duo like PE, and they keep it original too.

Favourite Song of 2013:

I’m torn apart picking one tune, so I’ve had to pick three. Rules? FUCK YOU AND YOUR RULES

One: Savages – City’s Full. This band tore Electric Picnic a new arsehole back in September. I regularly stick the earphones in and play this tune over and over again at deafening volumes.

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Two: Mount Kimbie – Made to Stray. I think I’ve listened to this tune eight hundred million times.

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Three: Danny Brown – Lonely. I love this lad’s ability to balance honesty and insanity in his records. He’s a true artist. This track a little glimpse of the emotional depth his music can carry.

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Favourite Irish song of 2013: Mmoths – ‘All These Things (feat. Holly Miranda)’

This tune is a perfect collaboration. Mmoths – All These Things (feat. Holly Miranda)

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Best of 2013 w/ Robbie Dunne of The Cedar Sound

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It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough from me, over to Robbie Dunne from The Cedar Sound for his picks from 2013.

Favourite album of 2013: Jason Isbell – ‘Southeastern’

I was awaiting Dawes’ album Stories Don’t End with abated breath and when it was released, I wasn’t disappointed but then Jason Isbell came along with Southeastern and put into an album every emotion you can possibly feel while telling stories that I wanted to listen to. For me, Southeastern was the best of 2013 and will by this time next year, I can see myself still listening to it like I have been since it was released!

Favorite song of 2013: Dawes – ‘Most People’

It is off the Dawes album and it’s called ‘Most People’. I was sold once I heard the chorus that goes “she says most people don’t talk enough about how lucky they are, most people don’t talk enough about the love in their hearts” which is what runs through my head every day! Plus, it sounds like something off a Tom Petty record so that also helps

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Favorite Irish song of 2013: Christy Moore – ‘Where I Come From’

The guilt of not knowing enough Irish music and needing to listen to more. Christy Moore’s ‘Where I Come From’ because he mentions Johnny Doyle and the fact that I am a bog man surrounded by bog men is fitting also!

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Best of 2013 w/ Daragh from The Statics

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It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough from me, over to Daragh from The Statics and his picks from 2013.

Favourite album of 2013: Queens of the Stone Age – ‘…Like Clockwork’

Q.O.T.S.A. are a long-time favourite of mine. For me they didn’t put a foot wrong with this album. The dirty riffs, melancholy piano and great melodies combine in a more experimental way than before. It’s entirely different from my personal favourite ‘Songs for the Deaf’; it’s quieter and more composed, with perhaps the exception of ‘My God is the Sun’. I’ve seen people physically sit up and pay attention to ‘I Sat By The Ocean’ too. It’s a feather in their bow that I don’t think a lot of people thought them capable of, until now. It’s far and away my pick of the year.

Favourite Song of 2013: Arctic Monkeys – ‘R U Mine?’

So, its not really a 2013 song but its on a 2013 album, apologies to the pedants, but its Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine? Which despite the spelling is actually a really good tune. Its the biggest nod to their early sound on their latest album and so it doesn’t tread to much new ground, but its exactly what I want when I put an Arctic Monkeys song on. No time is wasted getting into it and while it was out on Record Store Day in 2012, I’m still not tired of hearing it. Its was a belter in the Electric Picnic set. People went crazy to this one.

For an official 2013 tune I’d have to say Pulp’s ‘After You (James Murphy Remix)’. Just scraping in at the beginning of 2013 (available for download in December 2012, but officially released on January 28th) this is probably my favourite of the year. It has that classic ‘Common People’ Pulp sound made just that little bit better with a little help from Mr LCD Soundsystem.

Favourite Irish Song: Little Green Cars – ‘Harper Lee’

If it has to be one, and it does, then its Little Green Cars’ ‘Harper Lee’. Great harmonies, great driving drums, great band. Just one of the myriad of excellent songs I could’ve chosen from a tonne of great Irish bands making great music this year.

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Best of 2013 w/ DJ Robbie Coffey

It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough from me, over to DJ Robbie Coffey and his picks from 2013.

Favourite song of 2013: Busta Rhymes feat. Q-Tip – ‘Thank You’

This song probably had an advantage over the others on my shortlist as it only dropped in early November, so it’s fresh in my mind and I haven’t completely worn it out yet! That said, I don’t see myself tiring of this anytime soon. Q-Tip and Busta are legends in my mind and they’re on top form here. Kanye West and Lil Wayne bring fuck all to the party and the video is shit but don’t let that put you off, this track is monumental!  Taken from the Q-Tip/Busta mixtape ‘The Abstract and the Dragon’ which should be available any day now..

Favourite album of 2013: Mount Kimbie – ‘Cold Spring Fault Less Youth’

I’ve been listening to a lot of Mount Kimbie this year. I finally got around to their 2010 debut Crooks & Lovers, which is fantastic. I found Cold Spring Fault Less Youth to be a bit more accessible than their debut. This is probably partially down to the addition of vocals to the setup. For the most part these are handled in house however two tracks feature King Krule (‘You Took Your Time’ & ‘Meter Pale Tonne’). Both of these collaborations work really well, in a haunting kind of way! Anyway, if you have 40 minutes to spare I’d recommend that you let this album into your ear followed by Q-Tip (& Busta).

Favourite Remix of 2013: Justin Timberlake – Suit & Tie (Four Tet Remix)

I’m surprised how much I like this!

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Best of 2013 w/ Keith from The Dead Heavys

It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough from me, over to Keith from of The Dead Heavys and his picks from the year that was 2013.

Favourite album of 2013: Of Montreal – ‘Lousy With Sylvianbriar’

This album’s only been out since October but has already clocked up more listens than any other new release this year. Its quite a simple record (especially for Of Montreal) with a small band cutting it live to tape  but the songwriting is just fantastic. Great melodies paired with some seriously dark lyrics (a- la ‘Forever Changes’), makes for a great listen.

Favourite song of 2013: Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘Faded In The Morning’

Great tune from a great record. It somehow manages to be lo-fi, funky, psychedelic & rocking at the same time. Also has a great hook running through it.

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Favourite Remix of 2013: Jagwar Ma – ‘Come Save Me’ (Andrew Weatherall Remix)

Love the original track which has got a Phil Spector meets acid house vibe on it. The Weatherall mix drops the spector type beat and turns up the acid!

Favourite Irish song of 2013: O Emperor – ‘Contact’

Amazing band who really let loose on their new album. Great attitude & vibe to this track with so many different riffs going on throughout but never a not wasted.