It's been a huge year for Irish music, as many of our young bands and artists have shaken off Covid and achieved great success further afield.

There has also been a bumper crop of fantastic Irish albums released, and after much deliberating, wailing and gnashing of teeth, we've chosen our Top 10.

Check back later in the week for our Top 10 Irish Songs of 2022, Top 10 International Albums of 2022 and Top 10 International Songs of 2022.

For now... *drumroll*

1. SOAK - If I Never Know You Like This Again

Bridie Monds-Watson proved their worth over the course of two excellent albums, but it was the Derry native’s third record that really wowed. Taking in elements of indie, slacker-pop and the folk and soul that were their building blocks as a teenager, the now twentysomething’s world was prised open with this superb set of songs, laced with a newfound vulnerability, self-deprecation and a healthy dose of wry humour. Tracks like ‘Purgatory’, ‘Guts’ and ‘Neptune’ are amongst the finest that they’ve written to date, but the album flows beautifully from beginning to end. 


2. Gilla Band - 'Most Normal'

One of the weirdest, most perplexing and undeniably original Irish bands on the music scene, Gilla Band (formerly Girl Band) made it a three-album-streak with their follow-up to 2019’s ‘The Talkies’ and their heralded debut ‘Holding Hands with Jamie’ (2015). Recorded mostly in the midst of lockdown in their windowless rehearsal space, the sense of claustrophobia and intensity amidst these songs is contrasted by Dara Kiely’s lyric sheet, which runs the gamut from eccentric to sensitive to downright absurd- but always keenly perceptive. A superb record that was all killa, no filla (sorry sorry sorry.


3. CMAT - If My Wife New I’d Be Dead

2022 certainly proved to be CMAT’s year as the Dublin-born artist brought her travelling musical sideshow out foreign, winning friends and influencing people at festivals like Primavera Sound, Sziget and Roskilde. Luckily, she had a hell of an album in her back pocket in order to do so. Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson proved she was no two-hit wonder with ‘If My Wife New I’d Be Dead’, a record with oodles of melody, bags of charm and a voice that sounds like it’s been waiting several lifetimes to sing these songs. The fact that this her debut album sounds so damned accomplished is both flabbergasting and exciting.


4. Paddy Hanna - 'Imagine I’m Hoping'

File under: albums that should have been appreciated a hell of a lot more. But then again, Paddy Hanna is probably used to his ‘outsider’ status by now, considering that ‘Imagine I’m Hoping’ is his fourth solo album and he’s still not a global superstar. Never mind. The Dubliner exhibited both his skill as a songwriter and his penchant for quirky pop experimentalism on this brilliant album, particularly on songs like ‘New York Sidewalk’ and ‘Yoko Ono’.


5. Fontaines DC - 'Skinty Fia'

They’re arguably the most celebrated Irish rock band out there right now (step aside, U2 and other pretenders), so surely Fontaines D.C. are due a fall from grace sometime soon? It won’t come in the wake of ‘Skinty Fia’, anyway; the Dublin band’s third record is as ferociously essential as anything they’ve done in the past, from the swoonsome ‘Roman Holiday’ to the agitated romance of ‘I Love You’ and and the drony reflection of ‘Big Shot’. In Grian Chatten, they have a once-in-a-generation frontman and lyricist, but the whole band proved their mettle on album #3.


  1. Silverbacks - 'Archive Material'
  2. Anna Mieke - 'Theatre'
  3. Just Mustard - 'Heart Under'
  4. Sinead O’Brien - 'Time Bend and Break the Bower'
  5. David Keenan - 'Crude'