The Paddy’s Cure

It’s been a while now since I’ve last posted on this blog. Hoping to get a second wind into this craic and start posting short some short fiction that I hope you’ll enjoy. Thanks for taking the time to drop by and I hope you might even enjoy it too. The following (unpolished ) piece is about two unlikely companions that find themselves hell bound for a crime only one of them committed. 

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convicts

 

Joxer was no man’s fool. What he lacked in sobriety he made for in guile. ‘Course that same cunning had landed him into this crock of shite. A whiskey stained tunic disguised his bruised body, a hefty beating, even for a thief. He claimed had he an ounce more luck, he’d still be plaguing every pub on the Atlantic seaboard. But that was all hearsay and now he was hell bound on this wretched vessel.

The cabin cells were squalid and damp as an arse after a night on the cider. The scent would knock a gent off his high horse. What little light was on offer did naught but illuminate Joxer’s strawberry nose. They say it matched the contours of a pint glass perfectly, from many a’ night of hard drinking. His wispy white hair flowed across his face as if it were to take flight and he’d often blow spit at it to clear his gaze. That gaze on this fine night…morning…evening, it was hard to tell, wasn’t much. Bunk beds crammed under the deck’s floors, as men filled them like oversized sardines in tins.

 

“If you don’t move your gammy fucking toe out of my face, Joxer, I’ll string you up like an eel, ye thieving bastard,” hissed his bunkmate.

 

Aiden was a fortuitous man of only 25 summers, who had found himself an alleged accomplice to Joxer after he’d broken into his lodgings and taken refuge.

 

“Ah, would ye ever pipe down, ye miserable git? Sure that bottle was crying out to be saved. What good was it in a cabinet, ‘sept fer show? A thief no, a connoisseur, a saviour to all things fermented. A liberator is what I am! Daniel O’Connell you should be calling me! I’d even have saved some for yourself had I succeeded!” he jibed.

 

Having learned better than to rise, Aiden succumbed to sleeping with one black toe up his nostril for the night. There he dreamt of a land. A place he was told, where there were rats the size of donkeys that hopped upright on their hind legs. Where blades of grass were even more scare than desert in Ireland. This place was to be his destination, his prison.

 

The ship lulled from side to side as the rest of its cargo slept soundly. All but Joxer. As cute as a fox, he had just a sup tucked away for his pleasure, nestled within a pocket he’d sown into the inside of his boot. There, he produced a tiny medicine bottle. Fanore’s finest poitín. He dared not open it while men were conscious. They’d sniff out its contents like bloodhounds. Its browned glass glowed like amber in the candle light. A quick pop uncorked its top. Several droplets pursed his lips before a roar ensued.

 

“You sneaky fackin Paddy” screamed a guardsman.

 

Joxer hadn’t time to react and swallowed its contents whole. The guard’s keys rattled between his fingers like sleigh bells as he flung the cell door open. The cabin awoke at the commotion and began growling, more beasts than men.

 

“Skin him, pass it over, get him Tommy!” they chanted.

 

Coughing up a fireball, Joxer was encumbered by the concoction’s potency. He hadn’t time to react before his face was bashed against the iron bars.

 

As the guard raised his arm to strike again, Aiden flopped off the bed like a drunken seal.  Joxer winced while Aiden bounced the man’s head off the floorboards in a fury of violence. The cabin screamed for blood as the Englishman went limp.

 

“Grab the keys you fuckin’ mongrel,” he barked at Joxer, who was still dazed.

 

His apparent drunkenness almost counteracted the blow dealt, and quick as you like, he snatched the keys.

 

“You might have just redeemed yourself, Joxer. Now help me tie this fat oaf up”.

 

Joxer tied the unconscious man to the bunk with his piecemeal belt and locked the door with great urgency. Aiden placed a finger on his lips and ushered the room to quiet down. The mood was palpable. Five weeks holed up in a stagnant boat would drive any man to the edge of lunacy. Blood had never tasted sweeter as Joxer scooped his tongue across his battered jawline. Aiden holstered the claimed pistol into the waistline of his pantaloons and paused for thought.

 

“We need a plan. There must be over four dozen crewmen on this wretched log alone” Aiden reflected.

“Plan?! We’re royally fucked now! I say we slide the man back outside and leave him with me poitín. Fool him into thinking he hit the bottle too hard and go back to our cell” Joxer protested.

 

The other prisoners began hurtling spit and obscenities at the pair, wholly unconcerned by their dilemma.

 

“Your face would be buried into the floor hadn’t I jumped in! This is our chance, but there isn’t a hope we’ll make it top deck with you carrying a mug like that. Pop on his cap and keep your head low. The rest of yis can pipe the fuck down. We’ll come back once we find weapons”.

 

Aiden shouldered Joxer forward down the cramped aisle ‘til they reached the doorway. The two peeked along the corridor to a set of oak stairs which climbed to the floor above. They reckoned there must be cargo holdings and an armoury just beyond, with just one clear pathway dissecting through the ships cavity.

 

Joxer, five stone less and two full feet shorter than his partner, glided up the stairs like a ghost. He watched in sheer amusement as Aiden struggled up the incline, grunting like an ox. Neither had walked so much since their incarceration months ago. Aiden wiped the sweat off his cheeks and onto his ragged beard and began to compose himself.

 

“I’ve seen finer hair on a mountain ram and certainly less mange than that scruff on your face” Joxer whispered, barely able to contain a laugh.

 

Before a reply could even be thrown in, the distinct clop of two boots were heard ahead. A single lantern shone as a large shadow cast itself across the narrow hall. Aiden cocked the pistol and tensed up.

 

“Come off it you bleedin’ eejit. You’ll alert half the empire with that ting! C’mere, lay down on the foot of the steps and pull this plonk down ‘em once I get em close enough”, Joxer snapped.

He scooped the hat on top his head and turned his shoulder away from the light. The figure moved closer. Putting on his best impression he called out to it:

 

“Oi mate, you wadn’t ‘lieve wot I just got! A full bottle o’ shandy this mugger ‘ad on ‘im!”

“Is that you, Charlie? You was only told to check on ‘em and report back. What’s up wiv your voice? Charlie?”

 

The shape bounded closer, picking up pace. Joxer shuffled towards the edge and called on him to follow. As the guard approached inches from Aiden, he rose up and yanked him off his feet. His body thumped off every step and flopped onto the hard timbered floor.

 

“You alright mate?” Joxer jeered as they hurried away.

 

The pair travelled along body of the vessel as the roars from below gently faded out into silence. The murky darkness was soon enveloped into light as shapes began to emerge.

 

“There! Just ahead” Aiden exclaimed.

 

Four doors stood before them, two a side. They deduced one must hold the guns. The first bore nothing but spoiled grain and dust. The second, ambiguous crates of all shapes and sizes. The third bore a reinforced door and an iron cast exterior, rusted to red by many an arduous journey at sea. Aiden snatched the keys and began trying each one, their jingles carrying through the calm night

 

“Watch my back” he barked.

 

Joxer, bored from the wait, turned his attention to the fourth door. Grasping the door handle with great delicateness he cracked it open. The warm, sweet, familiar scent of drink, glorious drink, filled his lungs. He clapped his hands together and let out a little “YAHOO” as he got to work. Bottles of ale, porter and gin lined the walls. He gulped down several bottles like they were air in no time. What a feast this was. As he stretched atop a barrel to pick a plump bottle of gin, a commotion ensued outside. Shouts were followed by gunfire. Aiden charged through the door, knocking him off the barrel, escaping the shower of bullets outside.

 

“Ye degenerate. Should’ve expected no less, Joxer”.

 

Rounds fired through the walls while they took refuge behind the barrel. Below, the bowels of the cell floor ignited in chorus to the commotion.  Splinters danced across the room as Joxer was deafened by the returned pistol fire from Aiden. Joxer hurled glass bottles in response, grimacing at this waste of fine liquor.

 

“Come out and surrender, Taigs. You’re spent” boomed the voice.

 

Knowing these words were not for mincing, Joxer presented a snot stained handkerchief and waved it. Aiden sobbed quietly as he nursed his bloodied shoulder before sliding the pistol away in defeat. Hogtied, the duo were battered and presented top deck. The feverous sun savaged their blackened bodies. Such searing heat they’d never known.  Pulled up by the roots of their hair, the officer pointed to the Martian landscape ahead of them.

 

“That’ll be the last bottle you’ll ever sink Taig. We won’t shoot you. No, you’ll both be worked to death and rot in Van Diemen’s land.”

 

The isle before them looked more parched than an alcoholic on Good Friday. As he gazed upon the horizon, Joxer savoured one last lick and mopped up the residue off his whisker.

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Gamification of the Classroom

While on Erasmus I learned about “gamification” as a concept and how businesses are using it, especially in advertising, to get consumers attention. It’s all about making a process as fun and interactive as possible for a consumer in order to grab their attention.

This concept came up again recently during my linguistic class and it got me wondering how games could be used in mainstream education. Just a few weeks ago, I used kahoot, an interactive quiz, as part of my Gothic presentation.

Kahoot Tutorial

Kahoot allowed me to create a number of questions based on my presentation which students could then answer on their smartphones. Points are awarded for correct answers as well as speed and the computer displays a leader board throughout.

This creates competition as well as interest in the topic and really got the usually quiet twenty-minute content discussion going.

Next week I’m to present on English language teaching and I have chosen “gamification” as my topic as I have seen firsthand how games make learning an altogether richer experience for all those involved.

While games are widely used in early teaching, higher level education has largely been lacking any innovation in this field. This is something which I hope I can highlight to a room of future English teachers, that hopefully could encourage a whole new wave of teachers to a new way of teaching.

 

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Deadlines, Deadlines, Deadlines.

As usual, the first six or so weeks of college glide past almost carefree. Blink and you’d almost miss them, until you find yourself in week 11, neck-deep in deadlines you’d forgotten about in the slumber of the first several weeks.

Trying to allocate time to what and figuring out as to when it must be all submitted is where I find myself as of now. On top of some things more than others, it’s not all total chaos. However, it does little to make the last few weeks the semester any less stressful.

The afterthought of going into my fourth and final year is just that, an afterthought, for now anyway. While personal issues have somewhat distracted me from the get go, I now feel I’m in a better position to muster on.

Thankfully Easter is upon us and the week in it should allow me to get on track. It seems no matter how much time a student is given to complete something, most will wait til the absolute last moment to complete it and I’m by no means an exception to this.

While all this work may squeezed into just a few weeks may seem daunting, to say the least, summer on the horizon is sure to lend the motivation one needs to trudge onward.

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Web Design For Dummies (Like Me)

Another semester another web design assignment, the bane of my existence. On first hearing about this assignment, I was transported back to the nauseating experience of trying to figure out the inner workings of Adobe Muse.

There, the real work involved figuring out how to actually use the software and not the assignment itself. This was something which quickly learned could not be accomplished by fiddling around with it. As quickly as I would have hoped anyway.

Luckily for me, this assignment would focus on building a website using Google Sites. With this, I was reassured that this assignment wouldn’t be quite as traumatic.

Google Sites’ templates really did a lot of the work for me and allowed me to focus instead on the content of my website. Learning in class that less is more in communicating content online, I began to focus most of my efforts towards character length.

However, while content is all well good, poor navigation and a websites overall aesthetic can greatly impact functionality and the length of time a reader spends on your site. The key to any successful website is to make the experience as enjoyable as possible for any would be visitors.

This in mind, I turned my efforts to improving the website’s overall appearance. To do this, I carefully chose a colour scheme which I believed would best reflect my site. As I intended it to be educational, I chose blue as it reflects a sense of competence and quality (or so my sociology lecturer would have me believe).

Colour in check, I now needed to go over some of the picture choices I made and search for better alternatives. Keeping professionalism in mind, photos needed to communicate that and maintain a certain aesthetic in line with the theme and colour scheme in use.

Confident in my choices of content and design, I needed to quickly run through the site as if I was a visitor. Checking links embedded to other sites as well as user friendliness, I navigated my way through each page.

Two weeks of work later and with slightly more hairs on my head than after previous web design experiences, I’m quite pleased with Google Sites, as well as my project.

Just as I tried to mimic with my website, Google Sites’ user friendliness as well as its functionality worked a treat for me. Even learning from scratch, a dummy like me, was able to create my very own website and it didn’t even cost me a penny.

 

 

 

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Under Pressure

Presenting has always come somewhat more naturally to me others, but no less frightening to do. In the past, I’ve been quite good and masking my apprehension and not allowed it to hinder me as badly as it could have.

However, it’s only in the last couple of years that my confidence has grown to the stage where my confidence can now complement my presentation. This wasn’t learned overnight and it’s only through presenting in tutorials that I have slowly, but surely gotten to a stage where the thought of a presentation doesn’t send me looking for cover.

This semester in university has been presentation intensive, with only one of my five modules not containing any. I’m currently preparing for a group presentation for my TESL module, which I spoke about in my last post. This has been made all the more daunting that it will be in front of a full lecture theatre. There’s also the matter of it being worth 60% of our grade, yikes.

That in mind, it comes as no surprise that I, like the majority of my peers, will be feeling the pressure. It only underlines the importance of doing a good presentation and not allowing myself succumb to fear.

One could argue that it’s a handy one, considering it’s a 30 minute presentation and this is the attitude I hope I’ll go into it with.

Afterall, pressure is for tyres.

 

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Broader Horizons

 

passportireland

A year spent abroad has only made me hungrier not just to travel, but live and work abroad in new and exciting places. While difficult at times, especially considering my deep affection for my country and all my loved ones that call it home, it has yet to phase me.

My plan, if you could call it one, was to graduate from UL with a certificate in TESL. This would allow me to travel far afield and work as an English teacher. Sounds simple on paper and as I was soon to find out, much more difficult in theory.

I’ve quickly learned that being a native speaker in a language does not mean one is able to teach it. While aware that TESL certification would be no walk in the park, I was humbled after just one week of lectures and tutorials.

Ask the average person to categorise words and most will reply with something like: “Nouns, adjectives, verbs” or along those lines. This, I’m now well informed, is a gross simplification and each of these have four or so deeper categorisations. Categorisations which can be quite painful to learn… even as a native speaker!

As the old saying goes “nothing worth having comes easy” and I haven’t allowed my initial difficulties put me off my goal.

It’s intensive, time-consuming, frustrating and just damn difficult at times, but it’s the means of attaining the future I want and I’ll be damned if I gave in so easily.

 

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The Anglo Perspective

Irishbighouse

Now in my 3rd year of New Media and English, it’s hard to grasp how the time has slipped away so suddenly. My final year closing in, many of the modules I’m now doing reflect that and the workload has, naturally, increased.

One such module is Irish Literature. Each semester I’ve chosen this module consciously so as to have an adept understanding and study of English literature in Ireland. This has benefited me too in the fact that much of the coursework reflects back on previous works and literary movements covered in past modules.

Last year was the centenary of the 1916 Rising, something I would take great pride and interest in. As this module covers Irish literature from 1930 to 1990, much of the aftermath of the rebellion and the Irish civil war is discussed. It’s fascinating to see how real life events, many of which were experienced first hand by the authors, inspired incredible works of fiction.

Recently, I just finished a close reading assignment on the last September by Elizabeth Bowen. The text explored the extinction of the “Big House” lifestyle that was enjoyed by the Anglo-Irish Aristocracy for centuries up until the turning of the Irish War of Independence in 1919. In the novel, Bowen explores the relationship between the native Irish, the English Crown and the Anglo-Irish juxtaposition between the two, somewhat precariously at that.

Personally what I found the Anglo-Irish perspective most interesting, as much of the previously works we studied was from a native one. The sheer ignorance perpetuated by many Anglo families in Ireland to the rising tensions was startling. An “if we ignore it, it won’t affect us” attitude, which Bowen seems to put to fear more than anything.

The house and its grand estate is described as like an island in the text, cut away from the rest of Ireland. Indeed, while grand, the lifestyle they enjoy seems rather solitary and lonesome.

I found Bowen to be fair in her descriptions to be fair of both sides of the conflict. However, I was shocked to learn that the Irish revolt came as a shock to the Anglo characters, when it was a strikingly clear course of action for the native Irish in the text. This in itself was thought-provoking and only further highlighted the disengagement between the lives of the characters in the text.

Though a work of fiction, I feel it excellently portrayed not just the mood of the time, but the sentiments, humanising the conflict full circle.

Modules like this are why I chose to do my degree in New Media and English and allow me to not only improve my writing and understanding of literature, but of my country and its history too.

 

 

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Fake News – Establishment Media vs. the Alternative?

Earlier this year, as I spoke about in an earlier post, I attended a semester abroad in Dutch university. While there I took an English module and where we were asked to write a speech on a topic of interest to ourselves.

Give the countless headlines that still dominate our social media feeds and newspaper headlines in regards to “fake news” stories, I decided to dedicate my speech to the topic. I’ve decided to leave it as is in its original speech format and I ask of you to make of it what you will and please feel free to open the debate in the comments below.

It goes as follows:

In the fall of the US 2016 Presidential Elections, fake news as a terminology to describe bogus news stories, often shared on social media, has gained traction. Recently Pulitzer Prize winners, Politifact have even named it their ‘Lie of 2016’.

Many have turned their heads and nodded towards this phenomenon as an explanation or even causation as to Hillary Clinton’s downfall in the general election. This belief has been championed by the establishment media and has led to string of articles, daily, bashing a marked rise in “fake news”, lamenting alternative forms of media for producing these stories.

However, I feel as though this recent ‘backlash’ against fake news is, truthfully, an attack on alternative forms of media by the establishment. Just as the printing press gave the people a voice, so too has social media, and people have taken to it in their hundreds of millions. With this came a new platform, connecting innumerable people of innumerable backgrounds together to exchange opinions, stories and feelings across the globe.

New, exciting and strikingly less regulated than other aspects of our modern world, social media has allowed individuals to seek information and viewpoints outside of mainstream media, a prospect which would not have been possible on a similar scale before. This has led to a rise in amateur journalism from countless podcasters, blog writers and even Youtubers sprouting, each with their own unique take on what’s happening in the world.

Outside and unregulated by mainstream media, Alternative media is ripe with a broad range of anti-establishment opinions and beliefs on the political system, many of which do not exist in the mainstream. Views which terrify many in fear of debasing the status quo of Western Media.

As the famous saying goes, if one doesn’t read a newspaper, they’re uninformed, but if they do, they’re simply misinformed and the establishment is attempting to thwart alternative media by debasing its credibility. Daily, for the last fortnight, my Facebook and Twitter feeds have been overflowing with articles, which peculiarly are being posted by all major news outlets which I follow.

Rarely a stance like this is so blatantly perpetuated by all outlets which only highlights the fear that alternative media has struck into their core. The direct link to the masses which they had once enjoyed through our televisions, radios and newspapers continues to dwindle, as more and more people now rely on social media for their news. Unable to adapt and compete with a changing environment and in a last-ditch effort, mainstream media is attempting to bury the movement as a whole by questioning its credibility.

This stance, I admit, has only been made possible through a long list of undeniably fake news stories which have been perpetuated by small or alternative media sources, including bogus allegations against Presidential nominees Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

However, would it not be truly absurd to even… for one moment, consider doing away with alternative media in its entirety by tarring them all with the same brush? Especially in an age where mainstream media puts emphasis on being the first to report something over actually reporting the truth of the manner.

They speak to us as though, we don’t have the intelligence or piece of mind to determine for ourselves what is bogus and what is truthful. Surely it is our choice to form our own opinions, to go where we would like to go for answers and to do away with what we see as non-truths. Some papers have gone as far to say in their attacks that we have entered the “post-truth era”. The exact opposite, ladies and gentlemen, couldn’t be any truer if we tried.

We the people for the first time in recorded human history have now the power, the power to choose what we want to read, when we want to read it. The power to voice our opinions to an audience of millions across the world. To give our five cents and to have our part in a dialogue that is taking place globally, on millions of smarts phones and computer screens every day. It is the fear of our potential, as a people and perhaps someday as a planet, to inform ourselves, to eat the forbidden fruit and hear ideas which have not been tainted or moulded into shape by establishment views and media. It is through our potential which they fear that they will become redundant and it is from this fear that they lead their attack on alternative points of view.

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Hoisting Sails

It’s now March and I finally I’ve returned home for good, or at least for now, after a year abroad in the Netherlands. While most of my fellow students returned home in December, university terms are somewhat different to those we’re used to at home and I was required to stay for an extra month of classes and then, wretched exams.

Life moves at a different pace there and while I gradually adjusted to the flow of the days, something inside yearned more and more for home as the term went on. Classes changed weekly and long bitter cycles in the Dutch cold each morning did little for the soul. The energy and excitement of the beginning of the semester was replaced with a sense of embitterment that while I was lugging in -12 to exam halls some 15km from university, my friends were already back in UL and getting back into the flow of college life in Ireland.

Now home, I’m still somewhat out of mix with things here, struggling with building codes I once knew off by heart and staring blankly at updated university websites I now have to learn to use again.

Despite all this wallowing, I am positive about my experience as a whole and delighted to be home, I just need to give myself more time to get into the ebb of daily life in Limerick. My year abroad has allowed me to grow far more and far quicker than I ever would have abroad and allowed me a sense of independence I never knew I could have at this stage of my life. So for all the vices that co-op and Erasmus brought, it returned tenfold to me in terms of experience and ambition to make my way on my terms.

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Pic n Mix: Turfy’s Top Ten Tracks

As I’ve mentioned before in a previous blog on Damien Rice, music plays an important role in my life and I think most would agree it plays one in their lives too. This post will include ten of my favourite tracks (in no particular order) and what they mean to me. I tried to make the list varied to keep it interesting. By the end of this I hope I’ll have introduce you to a few new tracks that you’ll adore as much as I do!

Let’s open up with a bangin’ tune, here’s “I Sat by the Ocean” from none other than Palm desert rockers Queens of the Stone Age (QOTSA). This a relatively new track, features on their most recent critically acclaimed album …Like Clockwork. It’s a real summer anthem and always puts me into a good mood.

Toning it down a little, we have the ever so smooth and bluesy “I don’t want to Set the World on Fire” by the 1930’s American Quartet, Inkspots. I first came across this track while playing Fallout 3 and instantly fell in love with the slow calming swing of the song. The Inkspots paved the way for future generations of Rockers and Blues, becoming synonymous with all players of Rock n Roll and Rhythm and Blues alike.

Leading on from the Inkspots, 50 years on to be exact, we get Rory Gallagher, Irish Blues Rock legend. Rory honed his sound listening to the likes of Inkspots and his hero Lead Belly. The influences of southern music to young Gallagher were detrimental into his coming as a musician. He manages to combine his southern influences with Irish ones alike and it all ferments into an intoxicatingly alluring mishmash of passion and blues. But don’t let me tell you, check out the track for yourself.

Knocking around during the same time as Rory, was equally enormous Luke Kelly. Kelly is known as the father of Irish music and many would argue is untouchable. This particular song means a great deal to me as it was a favourite of my Grandfather’s, often he’d sing the ballad quietly along as we dug spuds in the garden. It was a reassuring sound to hear his melody and whenever I listen to this song it brings me to those long summer evenings spent in the garden with him.

Next we have Scottish Rock trio Biffy Clyro. Biffy were one of the first bands I ever followed and will always be a favourite of mine. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform in the O2 Arena Dublin a few years ago and their presence on the stage was phenomenal. One song in particular, Machines, hushed the entire crowd into silence and the atmosphere was palpable. It’s one of the most beautifully written songs in the list and I know you’ll adore it. Here it is live in Wembley 5 years ago.

Instrumentals can be equally as powerful or even more soulful than songs and Ocean by John Butler is certainly as good an example as you’ll find. It’s a piece that takes you away from where you are and you feel the waves of emotion flutter with every change of chord and rhythm. My words can’t do it justice so you’re just going to have to listen to it yourself.

Now we have an instrumental with a bit more edge, New York duo Ratatat produce experimental instrumentals with guitar, bass, keyboard and synthesizers with a sound that’s as equally alien as it is incredible. Loup Pipes off their debut album has become a favourite of mine and I often have it chiming along as I write essays or even relax.

Leaving instrumentals beyond we have the British Indie giants Foals. A bit off the wall or quirky to put it lightly, Foals deliver and array of sounds and melodies that set them apart from your typical modern band. Here’s a real festival hit with their track Inhaler

Of course Damien Rice was going to feature on this list and so you have him now. I spent a good deal of time trying to cherry pick my favourite song from him and eventually settled for “Rootless Tree, Live at Abbey Road”. This song details the end of Rice’s turbulent relationship with band member Lisa Hannigan and soon became my heartbreak song as a young teen. While laughable now, the song still does mean a great deal to me and Rice effortlessly turns “FUCK YOU” into an overwhelmingly evocative melody that takes you away.

Finally we have a personal favourite, The Auld Triangle. I can’t tell you why I love this song so much, but it’s a rare day when I haven’t sung it to myself or with others (drunkenly). The song was written by the legendary Irish playwright Brendan Behan and has become synonymous with Irish music, having been covered countless times by the likes of The Dubliners and even Justin Timberlake (*gasp*). Here’s my favourite rendition done by a favourite artist of mine, Glen Hansard, along with an array of other Irish music giants at the Royal Albert Hall. Enjoy!

As ever, thanks for reading and I hope I’ve shown you something new and wonderful!

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