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Irish Releases of 2020

2020 has been a stellar year for Irish music releases. In a year tainted with uncertainty, artists from within these shores have channeled their creativity to produce some inspiring and much needed, feel-good content.

Aimée – Confession EP

Singer songwriter Aimée released her debut EP, Confession, back in March. Featuring the 90s inspired power pop anthem What My Mamma Gave Me and the reflective electro pop track Naked, Confession is a strikingly honest debut which sets Aimée up wonderfully for 2021. 


Ovie – One More Time

One More Time is a R&B and dance single full of upbeat afrobeat influences from Naas’ Ovie. Released in November, Ovie produced and directed the video and the track itself was co-written with producer Jay Pizzle.

Dermot Kennedy – Without Fear (Complete Edition)

Dermot Kennedy has continued to take the world by storm in 2020. With the release of the Complete Edition of his stunning debut album Without Fear, Kennedy has broken records here at home as he has become the first Irish artist to have a number one in both the singles and albums chart at the same time for three consecutive weeks. Featuring the hit singles Giants, Moments Passed and Outnumbered, this record, packed full of moments of reflection and hope, has helped carry us through this year.

Lyra – New Day / The Magic Of Christmas EP

In September, the Cork artist Lyra released her breathtaking re-imagined version of Jackie Lomax’s 1969 track New Day. While the original is an organ fuelled rock and roll ballad, Lyra stripped the number down to its core and reinterpretted it as an epic orchestral anthem. Lyra’s vocals are passionately powerful and the result is a strong, optimistic vision for a more positive future. Just in time for Christmas, Lyra also released The Magic Of Christmas EP at the end of November. Featuring one live and three studio tracks, the EP is a striking blend of Lyra’s sublime vocals, grand piano and delicate string arrangements

Shane Codd – Get Out of My Head

Shane Codd, the Dublin born and now Cavan based producer, provided us all with a much needed uplifting deep house banger back in May. The track contains a euphoric vocal chop and piano line which could be right out of a 90’s house classic and Codd’s first major effort has been featured on BBC Radio 1’s Party Anthems show.

The Academic – Acting My Age EP

In June 2020, indie rockers The Academic released their first EP consisting of new material since their debut in 2018. Acting My Age features six blissful tracks produced by Kaiser Chiefs’ drummer Nick Hodgson. Blending pop rock vocals and guitars with catchy choruses that won’t be out of place in any arena, The Academic have gone from strength to strength this year and we can’t wait to see what’s next in store for the boys from Westmeath. 

Inhaler – When It Breaks / Falling In / We Have To Move On

Hailing from Dublin, the quartet Inhaler have released three singles packed full of energy throughout 2020. The lads have been busy writing, recording and releasing When It Breaks, Falling In and We Have To Move On  and the tracks combine indie rock with dance pop synth lines seamlessly.

Picture This – Troublemaker / Unconditional / If I Build a Home On The Moon / Winona Ryder

The Kildare pop rock group Picture This have enjoyed a solid streak of confident singles throughout the year. If I Build A Home On The Moon and Winona Ryder are both stunningly reflective and heartwarming and are balanced perfectly by the more upbeat and joyous singles Troublemaker and Unconditional.

Irish Women in Harmony

One of the most inspiring projects of the year has to have been the formation of Irish Women in Harmony, a group of some of Ireland’s most talented and accomplished female artists who came together remotely in June to record a version of The Cranberries iconic hit Dreams. The project saw the likes of Lisa Hannigan, Imelda May, RuthAnne, Aimée, Erica Cody, Pillow Queens and Caroline Corr (to name just a few!) collaborate in aid of Safe Ireland. The project then returned with an original Christmas song, Together At Christmas in support of Childline. A truly inspiring project to see so many incredible homegrown artists come together for such important causes!

Imelda May – You Don’t Get to be Irish and Racist

Hailing from the Liberties, Imelda May shot to fame for her high energy rockabilly, but these past few years we’ve seen more jazz and soul influences in her work. One thing that hasn’t changed is May’s sensational way with words and this year, we saw the Dubliner release a series of poetry oriented works on her EP Slip of the Tongue as well as her incredibly powerful home performance of You Don’t Get to be Irish and Racist.

Niall Horan – Heartbreak Weather

Back in March, Mullingar native Niall Horan released his second studio album, Heartbreak Weather. The album is an uplifting collection of lush pop numbers and features the feel good hits Black and White, Nice To Meet Ya, Put a Little Love On Me and No Judgement. With an appearance on this years return of The Den, Horan has done a stellar job of bringing a bit of feel good into the homes of his Irish fans!

J090 – Music Is The Answer

Another feel good powerhouse of a track this year came in the form of J090’s Music Is The Answer. The Dublin producer has reimagined the 1998 Celeda house track Music Is The Answer (Dancin’ and Prancin’) to create an updated deep house version with a rolling bassline, a driving beat and euphoric synth lines. 

Wild Youth – Next to You / Through the Phone

Dublin four-piece Wild Youth returned in 2020 to produce two synth pop gems. Next to You is based around a solid bass groove with floaty synth lines and a super catchy hook of a chorus. Through the Phone starts with a softer intro and verse and then builds to an equally epic chorus section. 


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