- 25 Oct 19
Crossing five decades of classic records, a selection of Ireland’s most exciting young artists discuss their favourite albums since the dawn of Hot Press.
I discovered Bon Iver by pure chance when I was 15. I had just played my first paid gig, and I went to HMV in Derry, where they had For Emma, Forever Ago on some type of shiny ‘We Recommend’ stand. It was winter, so when I got home to listen to it, although it was only 5pm, it was dark outside. At the time, I was going through the emotions of being a teenager and feeling sorry for myself most of the time, so I was immediately swept into the melancholic world of the horn sections and acoustic guitars. It was the first record I’d heard that made me feel so much.
I didn’t even really know what he was on about initially, and I hadn’t heard the triumphant story of Justin Vernon isolating himself in that cabin in the woods to write the record. But still – the soothing nature of his voice and the directness of the lyrics made me feel sad and excited at the same time. It was as though I knew him. Music that mirrors your own emotions can be addictive, and sometimes an album can be your own personal support group. I played For Emma, Forever Ago to death over that next year, leaning on it through all my tough times. To this day, I hold so much appreciation for the vulnerability – and the honesty – that album taught me.