What’s on our playlist

Pick trends at your peril from this di­verse, glit­ter­ing list of mu­si­cal high­lights, writes Jim Car­roll, although there are a clear cou­ple of favourites, par­tic­u­larly when it comes to home-grown mu­sic

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY -

Ir­ish show­ing

That three of the five over­all top-scor­ing acts turned out to be Ir­ish says a lot about the rude health of home­grown fare in the Over the past few weeks, The

Ticket’s grand col­lec­tive of mu­sic writ­ers have been mak­ing lists, cross­ing stuff off and adding stuff on to come up with their in­di­vid­ual top 10s.

All th­ese re­sults were then in­putted into The Ticket’s be­spoke data man­age­ment de­vice and, hey presto, we ar­rived at the short­lists you see on th­ese pages. Sim­ple.

While the process of ar­riv­ing at the short­lists is rel­a­tively straight­for­ward, it can some­times be a much more dif­fi­cult task to find a steer or a trend amid all th­ese lists. On num­bers alone, it’s clear that 2014 was a very good year for James Vincent McMor­row (men­tions for al­bum, track, Ir­ish act and solo act) and The Gloam­ing (nom­i­nated in the Best Band, Best Al­bum, Best Trad Al­bum and Best Ir­ish Act cat­e­gories, with band mem­ber Caoimhín Ó Raghal­laigh also get­ting a Best Ir­ish Act men­tion). Cari­bou, Jun­gle and Hozier also all did well, with three men­tions apiece.

But the crit­ics are noth­ing if not eclec­tic. There was a very de­cent show­ing for hip-hop acts, with the Mer­cury Mu­sic Prize-win­ning Young Fa­thers, Killer Mike and El-P’s Run the Jew­els and Clip­ping all fea­tur­ing. Two Ir­ish hip-hop acts also made the cut, in the shape of Lethal Di­alect and dy­namic Clare duo God­knows + My­nameisjohn. past 12 months.

While Hozier and McMor­row had de­cent runs in pre­vi­ous polls, thanks to a great de­but

al­bum and Take Me To Church re­spec­tively, the strong show­ing for The Gloam­ing is proof pos­i­tive of what they’ve pro­duced and achieved in 2014. There may have been only four Ir­ish shows in all this year to go with that fan­tas­tic de­but al­bum, but it’s clear that the cal­i­bre of their work was some­thing not to be ig­nored.

It may be worth not­ing that our writ­ers also paid lit­tle heed to the cal­en­dar. The Gloam­ing’s self-ti­tled de­but al­bum was a Jan­uary re­lease, as was McMor­row’s sec­ond re­lease Post Trop­i­cal.

The common per­cep­tion may be that early year re­leases largely go ig­nored and are over­looked in the long run, but both def­i­nitely held their own. Moral of the story? It’s about qual­ity, not re­lease date.

Cari­bou’s ap­pear­ance in th­ese short­lists is some­thing to be applauded. The lat­est al­bum from Dan Snaith, Our Love, packs a punch with its mix of hy­per-emo­tional, soul­ful moods and heady, eu­phoric elec­tronic grooves. We didn’t have a best live gig cat­e­gory but you could be sure the Cana­dian would have fea­tured in the mix thanks to his show at Body & Soul over the sum­mer and Dublin’s Vicar Street more re­cently.

Un­less LeBron James starts re­leas­ing tunes in the near fu­ture, it’s safe to say that Hozier will re­main the tallest short­listed act in The Ticket’s his­tory. The Wick­low singer- song­writer had a bumper year as the shows got big­ger and big­ger, prob­a­bly topped by the ex­tra­or­di­nary crowd who went to see him at the Elec­tric Pic­nic, a feat cap­tured in its full glory by The Ticket’s drone cam­era (which gets a men­tion in the Best Video cat­e­gory). Hozier will con­tinue to grow in 2015.

The best tune

The cat­e­gory that is al­ways fas­ci­nat­ing to look at each year is the one that rounds up the crit­ics’ selections for Track of the Year. It would make a great Spo­tify playlist with berths for pop (Charli XCX, Kiesza, Sia), in­die (Fu­ture Is­lands, Per­fume Ge­nius), dance (Jamie XX’s won­der­fully evoca­tive All Un­der

One Roof Rav­ing and ear­worms that cross all the tracks (Cari­bou’s Can’t Do With­out You, Grimes Go and Jun­gle’s funked out Busy Earnin’).

It’s now all over to you, dear read­ers, and here’s where a whole bunch of ques­tions will be an­swered. Will you also give a high five to The Gloam­ing for their bumper year? Is Damon Al­barn the man with the best al­bum thanks to Every­day

Robots or will Ticket favourites St Vincent or FKA twigs take the gong?

Will your choice for best Ir­ish act be a rel­a­tive new­bie such as Girl Band or God­knows and My­nameisjohn or will you go for the old re­li­ables like Le Galaxie or Sinead O’Con­nor? Or, in­deed, will it be none of the above?

There is, of course, a space on the vot­ing pa­per where you can snub the crit­ics and have your own say. We await the tally of your bal­lots with in­ter­est.

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