top 3 ~ best irish tracks of 2014

Well here it is. Encore NI's top 3 best tracks of 2014. As always, we must stress that this list has been compiled to celebrate the Northern Irish music scene and the amazing acts which make it what it is. After an exhausting month of writing, listening and changing the final positions more times than we care to remember, this is our official top three best tracks of 2014.

Agree? Disagree? Please let us know via our Twitter page (@EncoreNI) and Facebook!

Our aim is always to promote the local scene; If you know any bands which should have made the cut, please get in touch. Here's the list so far...

25. BLOOM - Tropical Edge Of The Storm
24. Malibu Shark Attack - Better Off As Friends
23. Oh Volcano - Oceans
22. Paper Man - Like TV
21. Matthew Duly - Ghost In Your Memory
20. Adebisi Shank - Mazel Tov
19. This Is Me Dead - Vega
18. Treehome - Keep Our Loving Discreet
17. Hot Cops - Origami
16. Autumns - Cold War
15. His New Atlas - His Young
14. Hurdles - France
13. Ciaran Lavery - Shame
12. Moscow Metro - Spirit Of A City
11. Serotonin - Cleanse Me

10. Meb Jon Sol - Everyone Has A Secret Song
9. Wonder Villains - Marshall
8. The Couth - Down By The River
7. Echo Raptors - Feel It In Your Heart Again
6. Aaron Shanley - Real Thing
5. The Late Twos - Lana True
4. Joshua Burnside - Catalina


3. Hot Cops - Kenzie's Farmhouse

The only band on this list to have featured more than once, Hot Cops have came out of nowhere to become one of the best bands in the country. Their explosive debut EP (followed by the erratic, pulsating brilliance of new single 'Origami') made it clear that Hot Cops were a supremely talented band. Three tracks of equal excellence, encased in a tomb of indie-noise rock and a shattered frame of mind. Bursting with angst and genius, 'Kenzie's Farmhouse' is the sort of track that makes you want to thrash against a barrier, forgetting who you are and how you got here.

Occasionally you get the impression that Hot Cops don't quite realise how brilliant they are. Perhaps they do, though it doesn't seem like it. Either way, whether they like it or not, (and you suspect they don't) Hot Cops are writing anthems for the underclass. For those who can't quite put it into words themselves, Hot Cops put it in verse and chorus. A special band.

For fans of: Nirvana, Radiohead
Expect in 2015: Everything & Anything

2. In An Instant - Lovers Apart

At number two, it's another young band and another EP opener. The stunning 'Lovers Apart' encapsulates all that make Bangor's latest prodigies so exciting. A dramatic breakdown, an electronic backdrop and frontman Mark Hegan's entrancing vocals at full strength. The sound made on this first recording is only beaten by the bands live performance, itself a spectacle to behold. Though you could have chosen any of the tracks from 'A Light You Know And Love', it's this dynamic opener which sets the standard. Now off to dream it all up again, In An Instant seem already well on their way.

For fans of: Snow Patrol, U2
Expect in 2015: Their status as headliners fully established

1. A Plastic Rose - Someone's Daughter

The term 'legends' is thrown around a lot in modern life. It's infiltrated our everyday vocabulary, when it was once spared only for the great amongst us, those who have achieved something. For Sligo born (mostly), Belfastian's A Plastic Rose however, no other description will suffice. Through various EP's, 2 albums and countless shows the band that reminded us that all we know and love will die have earned their place in our hearts. Now finally home to give the Belfast music scene the, as one fan put it, "kick up the arse it needs", there is no denying that Belfast never did fill the gap left by the alt-rock heroes. Which brings us to 'Someone's Daughter'. When APR began releasing new singles for album number two (the awesome, Flickering Light Of An Inner War). Encore NI were keen to pronounce it some of the bands best work, and it is. But why Someone's Daughter? Well, for one thing, it see's the bands trademark blend of noise and melody in perfect harmony. From Ian McHugh's overlying riffs, to the songs screaming intro, the enthralling nature of 'Someone's Daughter' is evident from the opening strums of a guitar. Lyrically, front man Gerry Norman touches a raw nerve, though it may not always be evident. 'There's no God in my skies, just your love and protecting eyes'.

Praised by Radio One amongst others and back to the relief of everyone in Northern Ireland. Nothing looks beyond the grasp of A Plastic Rose. Even if we are still waiting to find out what it means when you fall asleep screaming...

For fans of: Biffy Clyro, Million Dead
Expect in 2015: Top billings, for everything 

Taylor Johnson

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