Pic: Me/Declan Kelly
When the rush and stress that is the end-of-year best-of lists (all those hyphens is enough to bring me out in a rash) is over, it’s time to start imagining what lies in store for the next 12 months of music.
Being honest, I go through phases with music (and with blogging too, as my haphazard approach proves). Sometimes I’m all about new music, soaking up whatever fresh sounds I can get my ears around; other times I can’t find anything new that excites me, and retreat back to the familiar songs that made me swoon first time around.
There are such distinct emotions associated with those two endeavours that I wonder if each phase maybe reflects how my own life feels during each particular phase. When I’m full of energy and happy to embrace change, I reach for the new stuff; when things are out of sorts and I’m struggling to find balance, I put my hand out and grab the old.
Now that I’m clearly in an introspective mood, it’s this love I have for older music that I sometimes feel is at odds with music blogging. The Irish blogging scene generally tends to be driven by people who have an urge to discover new music and write about it, and that in itself is proof of how hungry we are for new sounds here. That isn’t criticism – and I couldn’t for the life of me imagine how terrible things would be if no one gave a toss about new Irish music – but when I want to write about older music, about old tracks, old albums, old artists, I wonder if doing that is at all appropriate.
If I stopped for a second and thought about it, though, of course it is. Just because this is a ‘new communication platform’ that I’m using, and just because it is often used to share the joy of new music, doesn’t mean we all have to do the same thing. There are blogs dedicated to every single type of music every created scattered around the internet. One little barely-read blog spouting lines about an old Bonnie Prince Billy track isn’t going to put a dent in this charming online world.
So I resolve to, when the mood strikes me (I’m contrary like that), post whatever music I’m listening to that really makes me want to write, to share whatever I’m feeling at the time. I can’t promise that this year I’ll finally ‘crack’ blogging, and I’m not sure if that’s even what I intend to do, but I do know I’ve been slacking of writing about music for the sake of it, and this space is just perfect to scribble in.
So, in the spirit of this, here are some new tracks I’m enjoying right now.
(On a related note, if you’re in an Irish band, you might be interested to hear that I write a monthly column with accompanying podcast for The Ticket in the Irish Times. If you’d like your MP3s considered, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org)
What are you listening to at the moment? All recommendations gratefully received.
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Melody’s Echo Chamber
Caoimhin O Raghallaigh