This may well be the strangest St. Patrick's Day most of us have ever lived through, but if there's one thing we know it's that music can be an anchor in the midst of chaos and uncertainty.
With that in mind, we've put together a playlist of contemporary Irish music (i.e. from the past ten years) featuring some of the best acts that hail from our little island. This is a diddly-eye and shillelagh-free zone.
Happy St. Patrick's Day, folks, and mind yourselves.
1. ALL TVVINS – 'Thank You'
Pretty much every song on All Tvvins' 2016 debut was a banger, but if we had to choose one, it'd be this irresistibly bouncy little number: you just can't resist a riff that good.
2. LISA HANNIGAN – 'Knots'
Hannigan's second solo album saw her well and truly shed any of her previous guise as 'Damien Rice's backing singer'. 'Passenger' showed exactly what she was capable of as a songwriter, thanks to glorious, quirky tunes like this one.
3. LANKUM – 'The Young People'
A relatively recent addition to the unofficial Great Irish Songbook. Lankum recently picked up the award for Irish Album of the Year 2019 and this song is 'The Livelong Day's crowning jewel; a sad, tender song about suicide and the importance of being there for your friends.
4. VILLAGERS – 'A Trick of the Light'
One of the best Irish contemporary Irish songwriters released arguably his best album in 2018; a sophisticated and perfectly measured exercise in indie-pop music. We loved this song the first time we heard it, and we still love it now.
5. FONTAINES DC – 'Boys in the Better Land'
The Fontaines DC backlash has well and truly kicked in, but we defy you not to be wowed by bristling rock songs like this one. As guitar bands go, they're one of the best Ireland has seen in years. Fact.
6. LITTLE GREEN CARS – 'My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me'
They may be no more, but Little Green Cars left a hell of a legacy behind. This majestic, sweeping, epic song is thrilling and beautiful and simply hits all the right marks. The harmonies, the feeling, the arrangement. Superb.
7. HOZIER – 'Take Me to Church'
We've had a tumultuous relationship with this song over the years. There's no denying it's a powerful, beautifully-sung and brilliantly-played tune by Andrew Hozier-Byrne, but it was overplayed to death. Still, there's no denying that it's a great song.
8. SOULE – 'Love Tonight'
This song should have been made Dublin musician Soule a huge star. Instead, it felt like Ireland's best kept secret of 2019. Never mind – it still gets us finger-snapping and chair-dancing every time we hear it.
9. BELL X1 – 'The End is Nigh'
We're not having a laugh with this one, honestly – we just think it's one of the Dublin band's best songs. The last track from their 2013 album 'Chop Chop', the build to that epic celebratory conclusion will give you goosebumps.
10. DERMOT KENNEDY – 'Outnumbered'
He's currently Ireland's biggest musical export, and somehow Dermot Kennedy manages to pull off a sound that is influenced by singer-songwriters, hip-hop and pop music without sounding forced or cringey. We can't help having a soft spot for this track.