We live in an era where pretty much any genre of music is readily available in all its forms at the click of a button.
Where podcasts rule the roost, and you can pick and choose when and how to consume music, rather than having to tune in to a radio station to hear the movers and shakers on the music scene. In other words, the days of taping the top ten directly from The Hotline with Tony Fenton (RIP) are long gone (ask your parents, kids.)
Yet even so, there's a lot to be said for having music curated for you by a person with good taste, rather than an algorithm on Spotify or Apple Music.
With that in mind, we've put together a (by no means definitive) list of great radio shows to tune into if you're serious about your music. Most, if not all of these are also available in podcast form, too. Which is ironic, but hey.
Cillian Murphy's Limited Edition | BBC 6 Music, Sundays midnight – 2am
Not only is he one of our finest actors, but he has damned good taste in music, too. This is the Corkman's second (regular) stint on 6 Music, having previously stood in for Guy Garvey with 'Cillian Murphy's Music Mixtape'. His latest late night 12-part series is worth staying up for, with a mix of both old and new spread across all genres. This is serious muso territory; his latest show featured everything from The Supremes to Talking Heads to Aphex Twin and Belgian-Caribbean musician Charlotte Adigéry.
Guy Garvey's Finest Hour | BBC 6 Music, Sundays 2pm – 4pm
As you may be able to tell, we're big fans of BBC 6 Music (and really wish there was an alternative radio station equivalent in Ireland. RIP, Phantom/TXFM.) Guy Garvey's soothing Mancunian brogue has soundtracked many a contented Sunday afternoon in our house, with the Elbow frontman delivering laidback (mostly older) but seriously diverse tunes; Prince, Talk Talk, Arcade Fire and Paul McCartney have all been recent features, and he often has some lovely guests, too.
An Taobh Tuathail – Raidio na Gaeltachta, weekdays 10pm – 12am
This show is perhaps the closest thing to a cutting edge alternative music programme on Irish radio – and you don't need to be a Gaelgeoir to enjoy it, either. Running for over twenty years, ATT ('the other side') presenter Cian Ó Cíobháin plays a carefully-curated mix of songs from the underground and electronic genres that sweep you through the week; by the time Friday rolls around, you're raring to go.
Lauren Laverne | BBC 6 Music, weekdays 10am - 1pm
Alright, this is the last 6 Music show we'll recommend – this is the perfect show to segue from morning to lunchtime, with the one-time Kenickie frontwoman (and current Desert Island Discs host) bringing a mix of music chat, interviews and brilliant tunes.
The Paul McLoone Show | Today FM, weekdays 10pm – 12am (and until 1am Sundays)
This is one of the few radio programmes that we've stuck with over the years; no matter how many times it's been shunted around the schedule, you can always rely upon Paul McLoone to bring the goods. The Undertones frontman's taste in music is bang-on, he always has interesting guests and the playlist is a solid mix of old and new. If you're an alternative/indie kid at heart, this show won't let you down.
Totally Irish with John Barker | 98FM, Sundays 9pm - 11pm
There are few (if any) other shows on Irish radio that celebrate Irish music as wholeheartedly and with as much enthusiasm as Totally Irish. Presenter John Barker keeps his finger on the pulse in terms of what's happening on the national scene, giving a platform to both big names and independent artists, with a focus on new music. There are also regular interviews with up-and-coming names and established artists alike. G'wan Ireland.
Claire Beck's Saturday Soundsystem | Today FM, Saturdays 9pm - 12am
We haven't been doing much socialising, partying or going-out this year, but that doesn't mean that you can't get into the groove at home. In normal circumstances, Claire Beck's Saturday Soundsystem would be the perfect set-up for a big night on the tiles – but it turns out that this three-hour-long disco and dance soundtrack is just as enjoyable in your jammies.
The Alternative with Dan Hegarty | 2FM, Sunday – Thursdays 10pm - 12am
Much like the aforementioned Paul McLoone, Dan Hegarty is a stalwart of Irish radio – and his nightly show 'The Alternative' is similarly reliable in terms of quality and diversity of music. Hegarty plays a healthy mix of Irish and international acts; you're as likely to hear Fontaines DC as you are Beastie Boys, Bicep or Beck on any given night.
Annie Mac's Future Sounds | BBC Radio 1, weekdays 6pm - 8pm
Last, but certainly not least – yes, it's another BBC Radio show, but it's presented by our very own Annie Mac, so we get a pass on this one. The Dubliner actually has two shows on the station; her Friday 'Dance Party' does what it says on the tin and kicks off your weekend in style. Her weekday show is one of our favourites to dip in and out of, though, and focuses mainly on electronica, r'n'b, hip-hop and the odd quirky indie or rock track. Whether she's dropping exclusive first-plays of the latest 'Hottest Record in the World', inviting big-name guest hosts in, or simply playing the latest cutting-edge tracks, this is the go-to show for new music.