A Year in Music 2018 – Patrick M Barrett (Hedge Schools) – by Killian Laher
What are your favourite albums of 2018?
Kathryn Joseph – From When I Wake The Want Is. Stopped me in my tracks, still does. Album of the year for me.
Amen Dunes – Freedom. Loved this, dipped in and out throughout the year.
Innocence Mission – Sun on the Square. Long time follower of the wonderful records they make, signing to the Bella Union label simply raised the profile.
Any artists you discovered this year that you can’t be without?
I think the Fontaines DC are the real deal, ones to watch. I’d only see their star rising in the next few years. Authentic old school punk attitude to them.
Are there any personal highlights, musical or otherwise from 2018?
I think the way radio received Magnificent Birds was just very affirming. There are some incredible folks working in radio these days. They care. To be nominated in the Top 10 Irish Folk Albums Of the Year by a panel of RTE Radio 1 folks was a massive achievement for an independent record with no PR budget, just the songs holding it up.
You’ve had quite the year really: Magnificent Birds was very well-received. On the other hand, yourself and Joe Chester have decided to bring your songwriting partnership to an end. Can you tell us about this?
Hedge Schools goes on, in a changed format maybe, but it goes on. We’ve made 3 great records together, 3 pieces of art we are both immensely proud of. We’ve left the mark in that regard. That was always the goal. We move on. In my eyes Joe is the best producer in the country. He reissues his wonderful She Darks Me on January 19 and I’d hope there’ll be a new A Lazarus Soul record released in 2019.
What inspires you these days?
Dogged independent labels, people like Simon Raymonde (Bella Union), never comprising his label quality output. People like Davy Holland and Gary Kehoe who’ve taken over Rollercoaster Records in Kilkenny since Willie’s passing. He had a vision, they’ve taken the baton. It’s often a thankless task but still, they do it. His veins run through it still. People, great people inspire me.
How about next year, what’s ahead?
I’ve started writing again recently, I like the hibernation element through the winter months, I find it inspiring, and I’d hope to release a 10“ vinyl EP maybe late in the year. I’ve a few ideas burning.