A Year In Music – 2018 – Nadine O’Regan (Journalist) – Interview by Killian Laher
What are your favourite albums of 2018?
Tough question, but the albums I’ve returned to again and again come from the following artists: The 1975 (A Brief Inquiry into Online Relationships), Kurt Vile (Bottle It In), Christine and the Queens (Chris), Damien Dempsey (Union), Rejjie Snow (Dear Annie), and Paul Alwright (Human). On the hip-hop spectrum, I loved a few songs each from newish albums by artists such as Nicki Minaj (Barbie Dreams and Chun-Li), Eminem (Fall), Janelle Monae (Dirty Computer) and Kanye West (Yikes). I’ve also been returning a lot to older albums — Leonard Cohen’s Popular Problems has been getting a lot of play in my car, along with Nick Cave’s back catalogue, and I play Beyonce’s Lemonade all the time — I really wish I’d gone to see her live this year.
Any artists you discovered this year that you can’t be without?
Yes, for sure. I’ve been loving new music from Nilufer Yanya, Let’s Eat Grandma, Saint Sister, Maribou State and Billie Eilish. I’m also really interested to see what Dublin artist Sorcha Richardson does next — her songwriting is captivating, and she’s got a brilliant tone in her vocals. Then there’s Limerick band WhenYoung — their singer is an incredible talent.
Are there any personal highlights, musical or otherwise from 2018?
Nick Cave in Kilmainham was a borderline religious experience. I still get a shiver down my spine just thinking about it. And I felt a huge sense of privilege being at the Shane MacGowan’s 60th birthday at the National Concert Hall last January. I dragged myself out that evening having been suffering from a bout of flu, and forgot my woes entirely as I sat there and watched artists from Sinead O’Connor through to Lisa O’Neill, Glen Hansard and Bono deliver startling sets. They scorched the earth that night.
What inspires you these days?
I’m inspired by Irish people being deadly to each other. Recently I’ve started a new interview podcast, My Roots are Showing, and the genuine niceness of people who have given me their time freely to help me out has been incredible — everyone from the Second Captains guys, through to Jarlath Regan, to the brilliant Irish artist Gavin Glass (who did the intro jingle), to my friend and former Phantom FM colleague Cathal Funge. I’m incredibly grateful to them. It reminds you what a supportive climate we live in for the arts — it should never be underestimated.
How about next year, what’s ahead?
Next year, I’ll be pushing myself to try new things — and dip my toes into new areas. I have a radio documentary planned that will hopefully get the go-ahead for funding in early 2019. I’m also hosting a live show, The Art of Anxiety, in the Parlour Bar in Whelans on January 9th as part of the First Fortnight festival — I’ll be joined by some brilliant musicians, broadcasters and writers, including Irish singer-songwriter Cathy Davey and arts journalist Dave Hanratty, to discuss anxiety and how it affects artists in the creation of work — can anxiety be a barrier or a spur to creating good art? We’ll be talking about that and we’ll have live performances as well. I’m also looking forward to developing my podcast, and — who knows — maybe branch out into writing in book form as well. Let’s hope it’s a good year.
Nadine O’Regan is Books and Arts Editor with the Sunday Business Post, and a columnist with the newspaper. Her new podcast, My Roots Are Showing, is available on Acast, Spotify, iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher — find it by searching ‘Nadine O’Regan‘. She’s on Twitter and Instagram: @nadineoregan. For tickets to The Art of Anxiety, go to http://www.firstfortnight.ie