Irish band Hermitage Green have just issued their new single, "Lions Share", and are about to head into a busy few months with a run of UK and Irish dates, plus a trip to Australia. Ahead of all of this, we had the band give us their TOP 10 favourite albums of all time (in no particular order).
01.Nirvana - Unplugged in New York Barry: As a massive fan of every Nirvana studio album, I can remember being completely blown away by this as a 12 year old. From the stripped back versions of my favorite songs, the incredible choice of obscure covers, the angst and imperfections throughout to the short but all revealing quirky comments in between songs, I knew and still know every second of this off by heart.
02.Bon Iver - 22, A million Barry: This is my most listened to and revered album of the last 10 years. It’s an experimental, explorative masterpiece in my eyes. Justin Vernon has produced a ground breaking album of what would be folk songs but when drenched in synth, auto-tune, harmonizers and samples they take on a whole new form. What’s more his ability to produce its flawlessly live is all the more impressive.
03.Flook - Flatfish Dermy: First heard this album when I was 12. John Joe Kelly's bodhran playing throughout this album inspired a generation of players to explore the drum taking it to new heights. This album was influential to a lot of young Trad musicians encouraging them to further push the boundaries of the tradition.
04.Anderson .Paak - Malibu Dermy: Found this album last year through a recommendation by a friend. Definitely my most listened to albums of recent years. I absolutely love the way .Paak presented this album, his ability to drum and sing/rap is something to behold.
05.Paul Simon - Graceland Darragh: The first album that really grabbed my attention. I didn't hear it until I was 19 and at that time the album was over 20yrs old. Then... I was just after getting into playing Djembe but wasn't really into listening to music, rather just playing tribal African percussion. Hearing such a different sounding album to everything else out there was so refreshing for me. The fusion of African influenced sounds such as the percussion, and also the featuring of Ladysmith Black Mambazo with the lyrical and songwriting genius of Paul Simon ticked every box for me. At the time of its release, I imagine it was a ground breaking album however 20yrs later it had the same effect on me.
06.Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More Darragh: This album was released just before Hermitage Green became a band. Since playing the banjo myself, the idea of a banjo featuring heavily in such popular folk/rock feeling music was an eye opener to me. Since we were once also placed in a similar sounding category, the success of this album gave me a lot of belief that our own style could go somewhere. It's somewhat tricky naming an album from a band we were once compared to, but it can't be denied that their early songs and sound was really interesting and really appealed to me. This album had one of the freshest sounds within a number of years of its release and it broke a lot of genre categorizing within popular music. At the root of it though, the album contained some seriously strong songs which I really like.
07.System of a Down - Toxicity Dan: The soundtrack to my teens. In a lot of ways this album is a metaphor for teenage angst - bursting with energy and drama, it's very pissed off but not entirely sure what it's pissed off about, and at times it's prone to the occasional identity crisis. I love how SOAD blended their Armenian heritage into the rhythms of their rock songs. This album is a fantastic example of pure no holds barred, unadulterated creativity.
08.John Grant - Pale Green Ghosts Dan: A brilliant marriage of wistful singer-songwriter ballads and gay-culture inspired electronic tunes. Never has one man's heartache meant pleasure for so many, as this album was wrought from the particularly painful demise of a relationship. There's a real sense of "I don't really give a sh*t anymore" off this album which seems to have resonated with people across the globe. His finest work by far.
09.Red Hot Chilli Peppers - Californication Griff: This was maybe the first album that really gripped me from start to finish. There is a huge variety of songs with these deadly guitar hooks - add those to Chad's drumming, Flea's bass lines and Kiedis' vocals and it created something special for me. One of those albums that will always take me straight back. It also taught me a valuable lesson which is never ever bypass a final track of an album - "Road Trippin", an absolute gem!
10.John Martin - Solid Air Griff: This I think was my most defining album in terms of the direction I ended up going in. I was first shown "May You Never", quite predictably, and loved everything about the song. When I delved deeper into the album I began to recognise that each track in itself was like an individual journey. I can still turn on the title track "Solid Air" and get completely lost in this before getting launched into "Over the Hill" and "I Don't Want to Know" and all the other classics. No doubt, it has stood the test of time and will continue to do so such is the quality of music on Solid Air.
Hermitage Green Tour Dates:
11/30 - Liverpool - Academy
12/01 - London - Islington Academy
12/02 - Birmingham - O2 Academy
12/03 - Glasgow - O2
12/05 - Manchester - Academy
Check out the band's song and newest single, "Lions Share"