Gary Lightbody and Snow Patrol put the indie-pop bands of Ireland on the map in the early 2000s.
First forming in 1993, Snow Patrol didn't actually end up releasing their debut until 1998's 'Songs for Polarbears'. Fast-forward nearly 21 years and the band have become one of Ireland's proudest exports, garnering five number one albums in the Irish charts. Here's a rundown of all seven of their studio albums, ranked.
7 - 'When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up'
Snow Patrol's sophomore release took the indie-pop vibes from their debut and frankly ditched all of the pop in favour of a full-on indie record. The album was quite raw in places, with Lightbody stripping back the big instrumentals for a more chilled almost Radiohead-esque approach. Although probably the least successful of their albums, the band's sound started to become more apparent and was an indication of bigger things to come from the Northern Irish band.
6 - 'Fallen Empires'
The release of 'Fallen Empires' in November 2011 saw Snow Patrol quite rightly earn their fourth number one album in the Irish charts. A more personal and sentimental showcase than anything we'd heard from Lightbody, it was also one of their most stylistic. With an incredible build up, we still to this day wish they'd released 'Fallen Empires' as a single - one of the best songs on the record.
5 - 'Songs for Polarbears'
1998 was the year it all started for Snow Patrol. Their debut album 'Songs for Polarbears', while not setting any albums chart on fire (peaking at 90 in the Irish albums chart, and 143 in the UK), introduced a brand new band to Ireland - a nation who were currently listening to everything B*Witched and Boyzone produced. Little did we know what was to come just a few short years later.
4 - 'Wildness'
A sever year hiatus proved to be just what Gary Lightbody needed to remake a Snow Patrol that we barely recognised - and that's not such a bad thing. After all, artists need to reinject that spark all the time; challenge themselves to create that new sound. Having suffered from demons in between this release and 'Fallen Empires', Lightbody's new sound was received with open arms from fans, while their old sound is still apparent in tracks such as 'Heal Me', 'Soon', and 'Wild Horses'.
3 - 'A Hundred Million Suns'
Following the massive successes of 'Final Straw' and 'Eyes Open' is no easy feat, but 'A Hundred Million Suns' had a fair crack at it. Featuring radio-friendly singles such as 'Take Back the City' and 'Crack the Shutters', the LP was much more optimistic and cheerier than all of their previous efforts - living up to the album's title. Wanting to record the album in "sun-drenched" locations, the band settled for Berlin, and, world-renowned for being the hottest location in Ireland, Westmeath.
2 - 'Eyes Open'
Out of all of the Snow Patrol albums, 'Eyes Open' came the closest to clinching the top spot. Narrowly missing out to its predecessor, the album is still a mighty record that deserved all of the recognition it received upon release 13 years ago. Singles from the album included 'Set Fire to the Third Bar' and 'You're All I Have'. Without a shadow of a doubt, 'Chasing Cars' was the biggest hit from the album and arguably Snow Patrol's biggest ever single.
1 - 'Final Straw'
'Final Straw' placed Snow Patrol front and centre, and we couldn't get enough of their third offering. Stuffed full of absolute tunes from start to finish, from 'How to be Dead', 'Wow', 'Chocolate', and 'Grazed Knees', all the way through to 'Same' - we owe a lot of great '00s memories to this album. Snow Patrol finally started to get the recognition that they had been working for for years, stripping away their indie-vibes and boldly adopting more of a pop approach. Luckily, it payed off.
Snow Patrol are set to play Dublin's Malahide Castle on Friday, June 7th. Tickets are still available from Ticketmaster.ie.