Independent music or commonly known as indie music is a term that refers to independently produced songs. These types of songs are created without commercial record labels, or their subsidiaries. However, Indie can also be used to describe a genre such as indie pop or indie rock. As a genre term, indie might include music that is not independently produced. Likewise, many independent music artists’ songs do not fall into only one genre.
Several music artists that create indie music in Ireland ranging from indie folk to indie rock. Here are some of my personal favourite songs and brief information about their artists.
1- I’m Not Sorry by The Eskies
2- Jesus Don’t Save Me by The Eskies
Both songs remind me of singing aloud in a pub with friends and having fun. They are highly upbeat and rich in instruments. If you are looking for songs to sing out loud, these might be the perfect fit for you. Here are my favourite lyrics from the song Jesus Don’t Save Me:
Lord, leave me alone,
If I’m not strong enough to do it on my own,
Lord, leave me be, leave me be.
The Eskies are purveyors of music that meanders from sea soaked waltz to Italian tarantella, from Brassy funeral march-esque lament to weep along Klezmer knees up, from a chain gang holler to ragtime finger snap. Skipping through the dark side of anything that makes you want to dance, steeped in melodrama and usually with not a small amount of tongue in cheek.
3- Why Can’t We Be Friends? by The Academic
An upbeat song about getting friend-zoned. You can listen to this song while you work out or go to work. Here are my favourite lyrics:
This world is pointless
If you’re not here
This world is pointless
If we’re not self-destructing love
The group consists of Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin, Matthew, and Stephen Murtagh. Growing up about an hour west of Dublin in the small Irish town of Mullingar, the group members met in school and bonded over the love for toasted sandwiches, Nicholas Cage movies, and of course music.
Early 2k NYC rock revival made a huge impact on the group. Some of the artists from the revival were The Strokes, Interpol, and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah which enriched the post-punk sound.
They started from the local battle of the band competitions and played in half-empty pubs, but now they sell out shows and play at festivals across Ireland, The US, and the UK.
4- Anatomic Major by Frankenstein Bolts
The song has an 80’s pop vibe with a touch of synth-wave genre. Here are my favourite lyrics:
Honestly, I am on your side
Even when I am out of mind
A bedroom recording solo project of Justin Cullen resulted in a debut album Slow Season. Then slowly members Dan Comerford (Guitarist), Tom Bates (Drums), and Paul Jiggins(live sound, studio production) joined the group, respectively. The indie dream pop/jangle pop group from Wexford, Ireland staged in many festivals – Electric Picnic, Vantastival, Castlepalooza, Hard Working Class Heroes – which culminated in two packed shows (one of them a live Eir stream) at Other Voices in Dingle.
5- Secret by Delorentos
The majorly energic song reminds me of what would be if we met our lovers again. Would we prefer making the same mistakes again, to maybe grow and change? Or would we try to make everything right? Here are my favourite lyrics:
There’s truth and lies in what you see,
But I get caught on words and stuck on apologies,
Though you’re crying your eyes out
A subtle sense of beauty grows.
Delorentos are a Dublin-based Irish alternative rock band. They consist of Rónan Yourell (vocals, guitar, piano), Kieran McGuinness (vocals, guitar), Níal Conlan (bass, backing vocals), and Ross McCormick (drums, backing vocals). The group formed in 2005. They all take turns as leading vocals and write songs as well. In 2013 they won the Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year 2012 for Little Sparks.
6- The Great Defector by Bell X1
The song is about a defector who is ready for the future with all of their enthusiasm. It has multiple music styles in one song. A great song to start the day. Here are my favourite lyrics:
Coming into land and
Now I love the colour of it all
Blue lights on the runway
I love the colour of it all
Getting ready to spill my guts and
I love the colour of it all
To the, to the waitress on roller skates
The group consists of Paul Noonan (lead vocals, guitar, percussion, keys), David Geraghty (guitar, vocals, keys, percussion, banjo, piano, harmonica), and Dominic Phillips (bass, vocals) and was created from County Kildare, Ireland. The group is known for their changes in genre from album to album. They made music in indie, hard rock, post-punk, acoustic, lo-fi, folk rock, ballad, pop, synth-pop, new wave and electronic genres.
7- Brand New Day By Kodaline
The song is about hopefully waiting to live a brand new day. It gives a childish joy to the listeners. Here are my favourite lyrics:
Riding on waves, walking on sand
Digging in caves to find the treasures of the land
And if we find gold
Well, we’ll just throw it away
We can write stories about the journeys that we made
(We could be big in Japan)
Kodaline is another versatile group that does mostly indie folk, indie rock, indie pop, and alternative rock. The band was originally named 21 Demands but due to the change in their music, they decided Kodaline was a better option for them. The group comprises Steve Garrigan, Mark Prendergast, Vincent May, and Jason Boland.
8- Tony Was an Ex-Con by The Coronas
This indie rock song is what you need to raise your heartbeat. The song is about being held hostage by an ex-convict. The way the song presents the storyline is joyful which creates a contrast that I admire. Here are my favourite lyrics:
We’ve lost the lights
But we have our chambers
The curtains to one side
To inspect the danger
Stop! I hear them cry,
You know we’ve come so far
Three of the band members – Danny O’Reilly, Graham Knox, and Conor Egan – met at Terenure College and then formed a band called Kiros with a friend. The band split and then Corona was formed. Later, to avoid confusion with the Italian dance outfit, they changed their name to The Coronas. The Irish indie rock band is formed in and in Dublin. They have their own independent record label, 3ú Records, which they release their music.
9- To Each His Own By Talos
This is a slow song that can help you relax. The song is piano-based which creates the emotional layer to the lyrics. Here are my favourite lyrics:
Why’d you spend your time leading the chorus
When the war was just waiting before us?
Eoin French who is known by his stage name Talos was born in 1987 in Cork, Ireland. He has been producing indie electronic music since 2013. His first album Wild Alee was nominated for the Choice Music Prize and his second album came out in 2019.
10- Rollin River by Colm Gavin
The song starts with a beautiful guitar riff which has a blues feeling to it. The singer has a unique voice which makes the song similar to the country genre. Here are my favourite lyrics:
You spoke the words of love like a second language
And left me high and dry
Colm Galvin has been performing since the age of 14 and writing since the age of 10. He has performed across Ireland and further afield. His debut solo EP “Your Endless Slumber” gained massive attention and spent the week of its release at number one on iTunes.