Homegrown Friday Five: For Those I Love, Orla Gartland, Villagers, Fears & Soda Blonde

Homegrown Friday Five: For Those I Love, Orla Gartland, Villagers, Fears & Soda Blonde

As we approach the end of the year, let’s remember some of the best releases from Irish acts in 2021. To keep up to date with the latest and greatest in Irish music, check out Irish Beats with Rob O'Connor every Sunday at 8pm on Beat 102-103.

For Those I Love

I Have A Love

Taken from the eponymous debut album, For Those I Love (aka David Balfe) released a powerful collection of songs that recounts his life growing up in Coolock. The stark honesty of Balfe’s lyrics sit above thumping beats and lush orchestral swells.

Orla Gartland

You’re Not Special Babe


Orla Gartland’s debut album ‘Woman On The Internet’ is 39 minutes of totally efficient indie bliss. All the lyrics and music are perfectly placed and there isn’t an ounce of fat on the record. It’s just magic.


So Simpatico

Conor O’Brien’s Villagers have been once of the most consistent Irish music makers of the 21st century. Fever Dreams (released in August) is their fifth long player, a collection of  songs that range from the sublime to the ridiculous and make huge leaps sonically when you least expect it. Much like a fever dream I suppose …




Imagine a collection of autobiographical electronic bops and you’re halfway to imaging Fears’ album Oíche. Pieced together over five years, Oíche chronicles growth through challenges, instability, and relationship changes, both with one’s self and others. Oíche was recorded and produced in three bedrooms, hospital and in the Domino Recordings studio in Brixton.

Soda Blonde

In The Heat Of The Night

Rising from the ashes of Little Green Cars, Soda Blonde are walking a new path, mixing classic rock influences with tender, vulnerable lyrics to produce something beautiful. Their debut album Small Talk is one of the standout records of 2021