Features, Lists

List: Listen to every Irish Album of 2010

This list is more than just a list of every release of the year in Ireland, like Choice’s list here. This list allows you to listen to, read about, and sample a little bit of every single Irish album released in 2010. I tried to use album reviews from as wide a variety of Irish music websites and music blogs as possible. When you’re done checking them out, head over to Nialler9 to vote for the best Irish albums of 2010. This post also has been added to the pages list at the top of the site, so you can find it more easily.

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A Band Called Wanda
Roses are Still Red

(Self Release)

“Really impressive debut EP of quirky folk pop songs from Galway band with a great name!…A couple of the songs move into singer-songwriter territory and sound similar to the beautiful tunes produced by fellow Galwegian Ultan Conlon. The closing track ‘Where Has The Day Gone’ finds the band flirt with bluegrass and roots for a satisfactory ending. This EP is a quality release by a brilliant band.”
11/12, 2UIBestow

Adebisi Shank
This Is The Second Album From The Band Called Adebisi Shank

(Richter Collective)

“Education is everything and Adebisi Shank sure have learned a few things since the release of their debut album in 2008. It was a drag race of whizzing numbers, a supercharged coupe that clocked up exhilarating pedal-to-the-metal squeals and nerdous sweat instead of burning rubber. Matriculation of album #2 comes as a whole new car game. If the debut was Need For Speed then there’s no better description for #2 than…Mario Kart. Yes I mean colourful worlds, skillful maneovures and solar speedways but eh, Tron zebras instead of green dinosaurs for horsepower.”
9/10, Harmless Noise

First Flight


“Anyone who grew up hooked on the crackle of vinyl, with two lovers in strum and jangle and whose paisley shirt took pride of place in the wardrobe will find that Aero Modeller’s album is a trip down memory lane which also manages to sound fresh and new.”
4.5, RTE Ten

Alien Envoy
Nine Lives

(Self Possessed Records)

“So good were the recordings that Nick concluded it would be impossible to better them or capture the live intimacy of the material in the studio. So what started out as work in progress turned out to be the finished article. And it’s easy to see why – Nine Lives is a warm, brooding and intimate affair that rests comfortably between folk and rock and will appeal to fans of the Lisa Hannigan/Frames school of song writing”
3.5/5, Get Ready to Rock



“Blending deep, minimalistic textures, Cloughley offers a serious sonic experiment, projecting his own twisted vision of techno via dark soundscapes and deeply absorbing basslines. His use of melody, while subtle, provides a solid backdrop for the elements of acid and breakbeat that he blends here with clinical precision. Corrosion’s collision of dark ambience and austere beats will appeal to any future-obsessed raver.”
8/10, AU Magazine

At Last an Atlas
From Which You Were Raised

(Slow Loris)

“It’s an endearing mix of folk and electronica, O’Brien’s almost-spoken vocals are full of melancholy, spread over stark programmed beats reminiscent of the likes of Casiotone for the Painfully Alone (but with added ambiance). At times the meandering narratives and loops get a bit monotonous, but highlights like Separate Rooms and New Year’s Sky help to vary the of pace, full of melody and atmosphere.”
At Last an Atlas – ‘New Year’s Sky’


(Own Label)

“One track that must be mentioned on this album is the Babybeef cover of ‘Thunderstruck’, inspired choice. Thick synth bass sounds galore. I reckon this is what Kate Bush would sound like if she was into electro. Great introduction to Babybeef , A slightly wider pop mix on these tracks might make it more appealing to the masses but definitely a great start.”

The Bahh Band
Worlds Colliding

(Own Label)

“Exceedingly talented and diverse, the Bahh band mix elements of blues, bluegrass, folk and eastern sounds seamlessly”

Garret Baker & The Random Nouns
Songs for Drunks & Losers


“To summarize some songs were very dry old Ireland drunk songs and some songs were catchy and amusing, but all the lyrics were clever and well constructed. I despise ballads in all shape and form. But sometimes during this album I wanted to tap my foot and swing my arms! good on ya boys.”
4/6, Music Review Unsigned

Sarah Bass

(Own Label)

“Something of genuine class featuring a sturdy but flexible vocal style with an instinctive feel for both classical and rock.”
Hot Press

Brendan Begley and Caoimhin O’ Raghallaigh
Le Gealaigh/A Moment of Madnessh


“Freewheeling and head- spinningly audacious, Le Gealaigh is precisely what it says on the tin. Brendan Begley’s and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh’s debut as a duo is characterised by manic energy crossed with a finely tuned sense of the absurd (that seems the sole provenance of the bilingual).”
4/5, Irish Times

Black Soul Strangers

(Squeek Records)

“It would be fair to accuse this band of sounding a little generic, but that doesn’t stop the music being enjoyable and full of catchy little hooks that feel instantly memorable. There are a couple of songs on here that feel a little too like obvious singles and have been purposely written for radio play or for a live venue. This doesn’t mean that they are bad songs, although it does make the album feel like a showcase rather than a cohesive work.”
3.5/5, Skiddle

Luka Bloom
Dreams in America

(Big Sky Records)

“Pressing the pause button is not, by his own admission, something Luka Bloom normally does, and this retrospective, 20 years after his breakthrough ( Riverside ), is no sepia-tinted collection. Its broad sweep offers snapshots of Bloom’s music in all its varied shades.”
4.5, Irish Times

The Blue Choir
Get Ready for War

(Self Release)

“In really simplistic terms if you can imagine a quirky frontman of an alternative rock band, say for example if Adrian Crowley fronted The Frames then you come close to what The Blue Choir offers. Their debut EP entitled ‘Get Ready For War’ contains five well written songs which are full of guile and passion you don’t normally get from a band on their debut release.”
10/12, 2UIBestow

Boa Morte
The Dial Waltz

(Kicking a Can Records)

“Named after a Portuguese footballer of modest talents, Cork’s Boa Morte specialise in understated, languid folk songs not too dissimilar to the captivating tunes delivered by Choice Prize winner Adrian Crowley. Vocalist Paul Ruxton knows his way around a good tune and this second album boasts several of those, not least the touching Priceless Prize which must surely rank among the finest songs released by an Irish act this year.”
3/5, Irish Independent

Botched Fairytale
Botched Fairytale

(Own Label)

“It’s the use of a sheet of industrial metal doubling as a cymbal that allows O’Hara and McCormack to match their lyrics with something unique. This will never be played at dinner parties, or even in the early stages of a gaff party, but this is great still-drinking-the-following-morning music; decrepit, filthy, wrong but somehow still appealing.”

Boy Jump Rope
Paper Scissors Roc

(Self Released)



“Some of the Dubliners’ fourth studio album is actually solid, occasionally even likeable adult-orientated pop. Take That’s own successful ‘man band’ return has undoubtedly provided Ronan Keating and co. with a blueprint they’re intent on following; many of ‘Brother”s songs are sweeping ballads with grandiose, air-punching choruses. And Mika isn’t the only known songwriting name here, either – the quartet have enlisted the likes of Matt Hales (aka Aqualung), and as a result, the calibre is of a higher standard than on previous Boyzone records.”
2.5/5, Entertainment.ie

The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra
Lowering the Tone

(Silly Goose Records)

“The ability of the BPLO to flit between the carefree swing of the undulating December, the smooth, louche lounge-lizard tones of Grace Jones, the haunted, electric-rock groove of The Devil and Me (our favourite track) and epic crescendo of Soon!, is simply remarkable.”
4/5, Limerick Leader

Harry Bradley and Michael Clarkson
The Pleasures of Hope
(Own Label)

“At times their timber flutes are wielded like weapons, battering the reels and jigs into submission: at others they weave their spell like magic wands, trailing stars and turning all they touch to gold. With a handful of solo tracks and a round dozen duets, there’s quantity as well as quality on The Pleasures of Hope: there’s also some excellent accompaniment from Garry O’Briain and Seamus O’Kane on mandocello and bodhrán.”
The Living Tradition

Paul Brady
Hooba Dooba

(Proper Records)
“Hooba Dooba, his first album since 2005’s Say What You Feel, is an ambitious record. It deals in the big themes: love, faith, destiny, money, politics and death. But more than that, perhaps, it is a craftman’s tour de force, a vibrant statement of songwriterly intent from an artist who has achieved a mastery of the grammar of popular music and is capable of marrying that to fine lyric writing and superb musicianship. The result, with Brady’s hand written all over the instrumentation – variously playing acoustic and electric guitars, piano, keyboards, organ, harmonica, mandolin, bouzouki, percussion and loops – is at once deft, fascinating and hugely impressive.”
4/5, Hot Press

Sian Brown
Blue Ruin

(Self Released)

“There’s a lot to be said for the old-school approach of three chords and the truth. If you couple your music with a story we can all relate to, those simply constructed songs can transport you to the stratospheres. Cork’s Sian Brown certainly has a gift for those types of tales. Blue Ruin is an engaging listen; the singer is fearless when it comes to making her thoughts and feelings public (check ‘Brother’ & ‘Inbetween Dreams’). With the right kind of push, there’s no reason why she can’t rival the likes of Wallis Bird. Top stuff.”
Hot Press

Kevin Burke & Cal Scott

(Loftus Music)

“The years and the road have not dulled his creativity or passion; this collaboration with guitarist extraordinaire Cal Scott is among Burke’s finest projects. It also throws us a curveball. It opens ands closes with three crisply rendered sets of reels, jigs, and waltzes, but sandwiched in the middle is “The Irish Session Suite,” four movements that move between traditional music, the tense solemnity of the Russian Romantics, and a mashup of string quartet and a folk ensemble. It forces us to hear well-known session favorites with completely new ears. Burke plays with the spirit of a man possessed. He’s still the standard of excellence in his craft.”
Off-Center Views

Burning Codes
Burning Codes 2

(Own Label)

“It’s the swirling atmosphere of the album which really stands out. The melodies are usually accompanied by indie guitar rifts and pounding drumbeats. I love how the album begins with the track ‘Speaking in Code’ where the listener is as such invited into the album and finishes with the song ‘Codes are Innate’.”
12/12, 2UIBestow
Burning Codes – ‘Speaking in Codes’

Butterfly Explosion
Lost Trails

(Revive Records)

“Ride. Slowdive. Lush. Swervedriver. They all added to the fuzzed out, rock ‘n’ roll glory of shoegaze greats My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus And Mary Chain. Now Ireland’s Butterfly Exposion are about to take their place amongst the elite with their debut album, Lost Trails.”
Irish Examiner
The Butterfly Explosion – ‘Closer’

The Butterfly Graveyard
The Butterfly Graveyard

(Own Label)

“The album contrasts brilliantly: ‘One in a Million’ is a haunting, sensitive tune, whereas ‘Sunburn’ could easily be a radio single. Overall, it’s an enchanting record that yields more with each listen – especially when you take time to investigate the beautiful lyrics. ‘Butterfly Graveyard’ particularly, it’s full of fantastic lines “The sad muse sat like a photograph / Biting her nails with worry / And the lark sang and his song it rang / It was me for you and you for me”.”
Swear I’m Not Paul

The John Byrne Band
After The Wake


“John Byrne’s After The Wake is the sort of album that an artist spends their entire career trying to create. Every once in a while someone actually manages to do it; mix splendid story-telling skills, top-notch musicianship, and a grand creative sense with just the right mix of songs. After The Wake is nothing short of a brilliant collection; either an album that is the benchmark for the rest of Byrne’s creative life or the magical apex that he’ll approach the rest of his life but never quite achieve again.”
5/5, Wildy’s World

The Candidates
If You Got It

(Self Released)

“They are a solid raw funk band, the dancefloor is always wedged by the time they strut off stage.”
Bodytonic Music

Captain Moonlight
On the Lough

(Reflect the Sun Records)

“Captain Moonlight has released the final part of his Agroculture series in the shape of On the Lough and it proudly stands as probably the most complete record of the trilogy. Fans of the Kilkenny rapper will know of his political insight and his anger on the many issues that are rammed down our necks everyday from an apathetic media. They will also know that ‘the Captain has no fear when it comes to pointing a (middle) finger at those in power.”
9/10, Drop-d

Cap Pas Cap
Haunted Light

(Skinny Wolves)

“Listening to the album alone probably doesn’t draw the full picture of the band. With the mystical darkness from Ladytron, entertaining charm of Ladyhawk, geometrical computer graphic infused videos and some haunting hipster-cam artwork, Cap Pas Cap are a potentially great band on the first steps of what will hopefully be a long journey.”
3/5, Heineken Music

Carthage Carroll
The Lost and Found

(Carthage Records)

“Stillborn’s ambling guitar work wouldn’t sound out of place on a driving tunes compilation, and similarly the angular riffs of ‘Lock Up Your Soul’ are hook laden.”

Karan Casey and John Doyle
Exiles Return


“Casey and Doyle clearly get to the heart of each song here, none more than this one. From all this it may sound as though the album is a bit grim. It’s not, far from it. It is, however, a thoughtful recording which repays repeated listening.”
Music Road

The Cast of Cheers

(Self Release)

“There are plenty of great tunes on this album, including the gritty ‘Derp’, the angry outburst of ‘Tigerfox’, and the slow-building ‘Strangers’ injects a surprisingly good change of pace. All the songs are punchy, with only the closer ‘Glitter’ over four minutes, but this is why the album works so well. It’s a fantastic one-two punch of an album which briefly sticks around, but makes enough of a mark to be memorable after the last note rings out. A fine debut from an emerging Irish rock behemoth.”
Swear I’m Not Paul

Consequence of Thoughts

(Self Release)

“Castero have more groove in their little fingers than most bands have in their entire bodies. The demo released last year called “Sounds Like A Plan” hinted very strongly to what this band is capable of and now with their full length about to be unleashed on the world, I am glad to say they have nailed it.”
Full Album Download:

The Chapman Society
Arnold Sideways
(Chapman Society)

“Arnold Sideways isn’t going to rewrite the rulebook for rock -n’ roll, but it has enough decent songs to warrant attention, and there are a couple of genuine nuggets which suggest their future development could be worth watching.”
3/5, State Magazine

The Chieftains feat Ry Cooder
San Patricio

(Hear Music)

“The music blends Irish uilleann pipes, whistle and fiddles with Mexican guitars, banjo and trumpets, and the cast of singers ranges from Lila Downs and Linda Ronstadt to the extraordinary, passionate 90-year-old ranchero star, Chavela Vargas. Then there’s moody guitar instrumental work and a fine, sturdy ballad (in English) from Cooder. Grammy nominations are a certainty.”
4/5, Guardian

Road to the Heart

(Catchy Go Go Records)

“‘Sweet Sunshine’ is a gorgeous ballad, with some beautiful arrangements. All the songs on the album were arranged and performed by Paul himself and Kevin Connolly from Herm – the two musicians working brilliantly together – there is not a hint of embellishment here. Nothing ever outstays its welcome. It’s a lovely, warm album, and a must-listen to anyone who’s a fan of Irish singer-songwriters, or National Prayer Breakfast. Paul Clancy made a gem with this one, it’s just an awful pity he wasn’t around to see its release.”
Swear I’m Not Paul

Dave Clarke
There was a Girl

(DC Records)

“Debut album There Was A Girl produced and written by Dave Clarke , a drummer in his early music day’s and no stranger to the music scene, this is a fantastic album to kick off a solo career, ten tracks of solemn Nick Cave and Lou reed styled vocals, deep but catchy in some tunes, electro folk with a spill of pop music is one way to describe Dave’s Debut album, tunes like “Paintings on the wall” set in a nice even tempo groove with chanting vocals, laid down with an acoustic guitar behind a live audience sounds really good.”
4/6, Music Review Unsigned

Paintings On the Wall


(Own Label)

“For those who like Indie music, this is custom designed to please. Cleere’s outsider origins (Carlow-born, ventures to Finland, touring by busking) are kudos in such a milieu, and it is easy to imagine East/West drifting through student residences or playing in shared houses. For those not enamoured by Indie music, either because that love was never there, or it has been outgrown by Morrissey’s ‘clever swine’, East/West will fall into, and vanish under, that vast sea of identikit guitar pop.”
55/100, High Browse

Clown Parlour
The Sum of Sounds

(Sum Recordings)

“When it comes to brave new sounds and twisted ideas, Clown Parlour do it very well indeed. Debut album ‘The Sum Of Sounds’ and side project for Mojo Fury’s Mike Mormecha seems to be inspired by the surrealism of film director Stanley Kubrick. There’s even a song named after him, and it is an ambitious journey that veers off the beaten track into the weird and wonderful side streets of sonic peculiarities.”
Charlotte’s Web Music

Cathal Clohessy & Eamonn Costello
Bosca Ceoil and Fiddle

(Key Stone Records)

“The Box and fiddle blend perfectly together note for note … Purely unadorned playing with no added extras…If your perception of a good traditional CD is an explosion of fast paced jazzed up music then this CD is not for you, however, if you prefer thoughtful sensitivity then this is right up your street.”
Irish Music Magazine

Oliver Cole
We Albatri


“With the emotional stock take of ‘Too Many People’, the ballad ‘Close Your Eyes’ and ‘Little Bad Dream’s country twang Cole has songs that would up the quality on anyone’s album and you finish this record convinced that there’s better still to come.”
3/5, RTE Ten

Bill Coleman
You Can’t Buy Back Your Life


“This leads me to the most important aspect of Bill Coleman. He writes great songs. Songs of meaning which have a point. These lyrics get delivered with vocals which can be delicate on some tracks and full of passion on others.”
11/12, 2UIBestow

Karen Coleman
No Secret

(Own Label)

“The soulful vocals of Karen Coleman, the skill of her writing, and the honesty of her lyrics, make this a collection of songs for the discerning music lover.”

Niall Connolly
Brother, The Fight is Fixed

(CU Records)

“From the first song, ‘Don’t Go to Canada’, it’s evident that Connolly hasn’t gone for a polished sound, instead what we get is a songwriter who opts for something perhaps a little more pure. While Connolly spends most of his time as a solo acoustic artist, there is quite a bit of collaboration from fellow folk artists on this new record. ‘Jesus is Coming’ and ‘I Can’t Pay the Rent’, an up-tempo bluegrass number, is about the most uplifting song you’re likely to hear all year, while ‘Skin and Bones’, a slow burning acoustic number that descends into what sounds like a gospel choir from the deep South on a Sunday morning, is possibly the finest tune that Connolly has ever recorded.”
3/5, State Magazine

Tiger Cooke
Fingertips of the Silversmith

(Self Released)

“Rather than following down the mournful, woe is me path that many of his peers choose, Tadhg’s sound is upbeat, likable and lively. Fingertips of the Silversmith is delivered in a crisp clean tone with the songs banding together to form an incredibly tight, allusively diverse record.”

Sharon Corr
Dream of You

(Warner Music Ireland)

“Overall, Dream of You demonstrates that a pretty face doesn’t necessarily get you a long way and, for many, opinion on it will rest upon your appreciation of songs best suited for soundtracking adverts for Discover Ireland. But, much like Andrea’s 2007 album Ten Feet High, it will appeal easily to fans of The Corrs.”
BBC Music

Corrugated Tunnel
Minor Obsessions


“Corrugated Tunnel drops his third studio album, Minor Obsessions, in October and it is a showcase of his diverse sounds which cross between house, techno and other styles of electronica. It’s set out somewhat in a true ‘artist album’ manner – i.e. not being a collection of singles but more a showcase listen in itself – and is a really nicely crafted and quirky listen.”
Rob’s House & Techno Updates

The Continuous Battle Of Order
Pttrn Skrs

(Richter Collective)

“Some might say that this whole experience cements the feeling that Pttrn Skrs is not an album, but merely half-an-hour of varied sounds made by a radio transmitter and an erratic disc jockey. Others, would state it’s the work of two individuals who have gone beyond the realms of structure and focused on making music that excites, confuses and inspires.”
Keep It Fast

Donnacha Costello
Before We Say Goodbye

(Own Label)

“With Before We Say Goodbye he has created a near-perfect techno album, a mini-travelogue that finds the correct path to accessibility without watering anything down. It’s elegant, welcoming, and friendly, and probably the closest anyone has gotten to what the term “ambient techno” really should mean, not a small feat by any measure.”
8/10, OneThirtyBpm

Gerry Cott
Urban Soundscapes

(University of Sound)

Cathal Coughlan
Rancho Tetrahedron


“The lyrics are menacing, and match the broody melodies which underpin the album’s twelve tracks. Coughlan’s turn of phrase is as strong as ever, on ‘Rancho Tetrahedron #2′ particularly: “Bought up some tricolours, some stars, some stripes / to give us universal squatters’ rights” The dark themes of opener ‘Shipman Memorial’ are juxtaposed with an enchanting melody, similarly ‘The Examined Life’ is a harsh treatise on the horrific beauty of it all. But when Coughlan sings, it’s hard not to be drawn in.”
3.5/5, Swear I’m Not Paul

Pete Courtney
Karma Biscuits

(Tonal Music)

“Perfect for thoughtful wandering and travelling light.”
Hot Press

Dave Couse

(1969 Records)

“I’m conscious of the absurdity of (A) comparing Dave Couse to Beethoven and (B) writing about the late-life artistic achievement of a man in his mid-forties. But, in reverse order, (B) the point is not actual advancing years as much as it is the recognition that an evolving understanding of the world demands an evolution in expression and (A) I have just spent two weeks with Alonewalk and it is such a thrilling and mysterious and moving record that, for now, the comparison stands.”
5/5, State Magazine

Nadine Coyle

(Black Pen Records)

“Despite Nadine being quoted as saying “”We never did big, massive notes, so it was difficult to fit my style of writing on a Girls Aloud album,” when discussing her work with the four other girls “Insatiable” doesn’t show off her vocal range to its full extent. It’s Mariah Carey third rate warbling at its best in places, with adlibs being thrown in at every possible opportunity. It all feels a little forced.”
3/5, M is for Music

Darragh Cullen
The Finish Line

(Own Label)

“”The Finish Line” is the debut album from Darragh Cullen, late of Pedro For President.
‘Found Out’ lifts off from a delicious chiming guitar figure, leading to Cullen’s voice showing his unerring pop-rock instincts on a melodic track that has storming electric guitars and a grunge tendency for contrasting episodes.”
Hot Press

Lisa Cuthbert

(Music in Stone)

“The greatest strength of the album is Lisa’s wonderful varied vocal range. She holds your attention through the delicate track ‘Second Leaving’ but can really belt out the lyrics during songs like ‘My Material Girl’. My favourite tracks on the album are ‘Won’t Be Long’ and ‘Ready to Unfold’ because they remind me of Sarah McLaughlin early albums.”
8/12, 2UIBestow
<a href="http://lisacuthbert.bandcamp.com/track/storm-coming-on">Storm Coming On by Lisa Cuthbert</a>


Related posts:

  1. List: 50 Best Irish Acts Today – 2010 Edition, 40-31
  2. List: 50 Best Irish Acts Today – 2010 Edition, 50-41
  3. List: Irish Sound of 2010
  4. List: 50 Best Irish Acts Today – 20-11
  5. List: 40 Reasons to Get Excited About Irish Music

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5


  1. Hey Ronan,

    Again well done on this list! It’s immense!

    Just going to offer a wee inclusion to da list ….. I reviewed Sean Kangataran’s album during the year and he’s a Galwegian!


  2. Thanks for the addition. Actually got the album myself based on your recommendation!

  3. Great list ronan!

  4. Tom

    Fantastic list. Can’t believe there was so much awesome music this year!

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