A Dublin musician Cillian Foster recently released his debut album with his band G.D.C. The album is simply called Volume I. Don't picture a singer/songwriter like Glen Hansard. These two have played together already but Cillian's music style is closer to another Irish songwriter, Mundy, with whom he also already met on one stage.
Ocean Colour Scene - "Moseley Shoals"
This was the first album I ever purchased with my first ever wage when I was 15. I have had albums before which my parents bought me but this was the first one I worked had for and earned. Ocean Colour Scene have been one of my favourite bands of all time. I own all of their albums, and I have seen them play I'd say must be 13/14 times at this stage. Fowlers song writing has been pretty much flawless in my opinion and then with Craddock's immaculate riffs, they have been a huge band for me.
Aslan - "Made in Dublin".
Aslan are a local band that have had some very influential songs through their career. I have been complimented many times saying my voice is like a young Christy Dignam. You don't get much bigger compliments than that. Made in Dublin is a live album which was recorded in Vicar Street in Dublin. The band absolutely nailed this gig from start to finish. Perfecting a live album is not an easy feat but the lads really got every song right for me from start to finish.
The Stone Roses "The Stone Roses".
I think this is my favourite album of all time. There isn't one song on it I ever skip. The Roses are the ultimate band for me. I grew up listening to Britpop in my teen years and now I am hitting my mod-thirties this album is still as fresh as ever. For the GDC album you can hear the influence The Stone Roses had all over it. I hope if Brown, Squire, Mani or Reni were to ever hear my album they would think I did them proud and could say they are happy to be associated with my music.
Phoenix - "Alphabetical".
Phoenix are a group from Paris, France. I have only seen them twice live but the show I saw in Oslo, Norway would be in the top three live shows I have ever attended. They are electro/rock/pop in sound but they had the most amazing lighting show to accompany that show. This album was one of the first records that was opening my music genre experience and also influenced me to play upbeat acoustic shows.
John Mayer - "Continuum"
Wow, this is one of the best produced albums for me ever. John is probably my favourite guitarist I've ever heard and again saw him live in London, England. This album has it all though. Rock songs, Pop songs, Blues songs. It's like a Long Island Iced Tea cocktail, full of flavour and packs a serious punch. John Mayer for me is one of the only artists who has recorded an album in a different genre on each release and done it justice. His song writing is flawless, his guitar playing is what it needs to be, when it needs to be. He can rock a riff or he can play something very spacey but has just as much an impact as a heavy distorted one.
Relish - "Wild Flowers"
Relish were a three-piece from Northern Ireland who I came across when they were supporting Aslan in Dublin, Ireland. I had never heard of them before but when I saw them I instantly fell in love with them. Ken on vocals had this voice that captivated me from the first note. Here I was watching them and a band from Ireland with this soul voice. I didn't know how blessed I was. I went out the next day purely on this gig and bought this album and it didn't disappoint. In my opinion Relish are one of the most underrated bands to come out of Ireland. They have talent to burn and enthusiasm to blow you away for the live shows.
Tété - "L'Air De Rien"
Right this is a strange album for me to put in the list as I am usually a fan of lyrics and with this album I have no idea what is being said as he sings in French, but I was shown this album at a house party many years ago and it floored me. Not knowing what Tété was singing about I found my mind wandering and coming up with what I thought it was about based on the sound of the songs and how he was singing them. So it had a mysticism about it that was kind of romantic to me. Again Tété was an acoustic artist like me at the time so I took bits of his style and adapted them into my own. I have recently been lucky enough to get to know him and we plan to tour in France in November 2016 so maybe on the road he will let me know what his songs are about. But at the same time, maybe I want to leave it as it is and not know.
Paul Simon - "Graceland".
I have to thank my mother for this one. She loved Paul Simon and we went to see him together when he played in Dublin. That is one show I will never forget. But this album was a game-changer for me. Hearing all those weird and wonderful instruments I never knew existed really opened my eyes to 'world' music. There's more to music than drums, bass and guitar. There's a collection of sounds that brought music to a new level for me. And "You can Call me Al" is probably my favourite song ever.
The Cardigans - "Long Gone Before Daylight"
Nina Persson is easily my favourite female singer I have every had the pleasure hearing. She just convinces you of what she is trying to say in her songs. There's some songs about heartbreak on the album and she delivers this better than most. The Cardigans are one of the bands I regret to have never seen live as I would have loved to hear some of these songs played live in a really small intimate venue and then try sneak backstage after and have a beer with the band and try and steal some of their ideas for my own.