As one of Europe’s youngest cities, an estimated fifty percent of the city is under the age of twenty-five, it should come as no surprise that Dublin is a live-music hub. Dublin is layered with pubs, clubs and street corners full of live performances every night of the week. This heritage is on display in this playlist which features the bands and musicians that put Dublin on the global music map.


1. Beautiful Day- U2 – 2000

One of the world’s truly global bands, U2 is easily the biggest band to come out of Ireland. Whether their releasing Grammy nominated albums or investing in global philanthropy, U2 is a cultural icon. Beautiful Day is one of their most recognizable hits and features the textured guitar sounds so prominent in U2’s music.

2. Breakeven – The Script – 2008

Heavily featured in television shows and soundtracks, Breakeven was one of the most played radio singles in 2008 and 2009. The Script were formed in Dublin in 2007 and would release six studio albums.

3. Collar of Fur – Fionn Regan – 2019

Irish folk singer-songwriter Fionn Regan has been called “his generation’s answer to Bob Dylan” as well as one of the world’s most underrated musicians. Regan has received nominations for the Choice Music Prize in Ireland, the Shortlist Music Prize in the US, and the Mercury Prize in the UK. Known for his emotive lyricism and poetry, Regan follows in the footsteps of Ireland’s great folk heritage.

4. Santa Cruz (You’re Not That Far) – The Thrills – 2003

Formed in Dublin in 2001, the Thrills combine classic American pop ambience with 60’s and 70’s rock orchestrations. Their debut album So Much for the City became an Irish number one and is their most popular album to date.

5. The Moon – The Swell Season – 2010

Folk rock duo Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova make up The Swell Season. The group achieved their most widespread success after their critically acclaimed performance in the musical movie Once. Disbanding after two albums, the pair occasionally still perform together under their respective names.

6. Sophie – Eleanor McEvoy – 1999

Irish singer-songwriter Eleanor McEvoy is one of the most successful Irish musicians in the 20th century. Her album A Woman’s Heart is the best-selling album in Irish history. Her music is featured in films, television and is widespread in Irish popular culture.

7. The Touch – Cathy Davey – 2010

A rising star in the Irish alternative scene, Cathy Davey has represented Ireland at the Eurosonic Festival as well as South by Southwest in Austin, Texas. Davey was also nominated for the Choice Music Prize and Meteor Music Award.

8. When You Sleep – My Bloody Valentine – 1991

One of the most critically acclaimed alternative bands of the 80’s, My Bloody Valentine is cited as a major influence on bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins and Courtney love. Their album Loveless is featured on top of the decade lists as well as The Guardian’s “1000 albums to Hear Before You Die”.

9. Don’t Believe a Word – Thin Lizzy – 1976

Hard rock band Thin Lizzy were formed in Dublin in 1969. The band was notable for featuring both protestants and Catholics as well as a multiracial lineup during a time when Ireland was wrought with sectarian violence. Thin Lizzy was also known for having a more sensitive and insightful take on songwriting than many of their hard rock peers.

10. Fall – Lisa Hannigan – 2016

Irish singer-songwriter Lisa Hannigan is a certified star in Ireland’s growing indie folk scene. Her three albums have received critical awards in both Ireland and the US and are staples on indie radio airplay.

11. Say It To Me Now – Glen Hansard – 2007

Actor and singer-songwriter Glen Hansard is a Dublin icon. Dropping out of school at a young age, Hansard first got his start busking on the street corners of Dublin. He reprised this role for the movie Once, which brought him global fame as both an actor and musician. Hansard continues to release albums and perform in his hometown of Dublin.

12. I Was Wrong – Jape – 2019

Originally formed as a side project by Richie Egan, Jape has released five albums and are a common participant at some of Europe’s biggest music festivals. I Was Wrong, from their album Sentinel features the electronic rock vibes that won Jape their Choice Music Prize.

13. Day Is Coming – Katie Kim – 2016

Known for her atmospheric music, Katie Kim uses loops stations, classical and electric guitars to create a deep and lush textured sound. Her three albums have been featured on Irish television programs and soundtracks.

14. Revelate – The Frames – 1996

Formed in Dublin in 1990, The Frames added to the rich folk-rock environment of the city. The Frames toured widely and released seven studio albums. Their music was heavily influential on other Irish bands at the time.

15. No Frontiers – Mary Black – 1989

An interpreter of both modern and traditional folk songs, Mary Black is one of Ireland’s most prominent singers. Her voice is considered so pure that it has been used as a bench mark for high fidelity audio systems. No Frontiers comes from the same titled album that won her critical acclaim in 1989.

16. All That I Need – Boyzone – 1998

Birthed during the global boyband craze of the 90’s, Boyzone had twenty-one singles on the top UK charts as well as twenty-two on Irish charts. Boyzone released four albums and a further seven compilation albums.

17. The Spirit Song – David Hopkins – 2018

Originally from Dublin, David Hopkins has entrenched himself in the center of American alternative rock, performing with Imagine Dragons, The Killers and Kacey Musgraves.

18. Raglan Road – Luke Kelly – 2004

With his distinct voice, resonant lyrics and political courage, Luke Kelly is considered by many to be one of Ireland’s greatest folk singers. In the 1960’s Luke Kelly was a founding member of the Dubliners which would go on to find great commercial and critical success. Later in his career, Kelly continued to make music under his solo direction.

19. Out In The Fields – Gary Moore – 1985

Hailing from Northern Ireland, Gary Moore’s music is impossible to categorize into a single genre. His music has at times been considered hard rock, heavy metal, blues, jazz and other styles.

20. Will Ye Go Lassie Go – Jim McCann – 2008

Another member of The Dubliners, Jim McCann continued to release folk music under his own label. Later in life McCann had moved into other genres, at one time even performing in the Broadway musical Jesus Christ Superstar.


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