The Year. Prelude.

They’re playing Christmas music at your retail job and it’s really cold all of a sudden. What does that mean? For the fifth year running, the blog’s about to embark on its end of year list.

It’s been more difficult to compile the list this year for a variety of reasons. Here they are.

1. I stopped reviewing every live show I went to, making the blog pretty much obsolete relative to its primary function in my head, and this left me with a smaller pool of my previous opinions to draw on.

2. I went to fewer touring bands for various reasons mostly relating to money, a perceived dearth of bands I liked coming to play and a shift in taste away from the kind of indie rock that gets booked in Dublin.

3. For Totally Dublin, which has been the main (and as of recently, because of college, only) theatre for my shots at music criticism, I’ve been doing exclusively rap for almost the whole year, which meant that I was exposed to four fewer indie rock bands per month and four more rappers than would have been the case if you were to presume I was entirely inert about finding new music independent of that. This also changed the pool of previous opinions I had to work with.

4. This is the first full year I’ve been listening to rap seriously and I’m finding it really difficult to actually attempt to compare my favourite rap records of this year to my favourite indie rock records of this year.

5. I’m busier. I’m a subscriber to the execrable and superstitious idea that time literally moves faster as you get older and, combined with finally making it to final year of college with a level of ambition pretty out of sync with reality, that’s made me feel like I have less time.

But fuck it, blog. It was you and me before all that shit, and it’ll be you and me when all that shit’s gone. If you say December means an overarching end of year list where I revisit all the albums I like, then that’s what it means.

The usual rules apply. Irish music fights its own corner and makes it or doesn’t make it according to its own merits, ‘golden age’ notwithstanding. I considered parallel rap and non-rap lists but then I remembered the ruling on Irish music, so they stay in the same list too.

There’ll be guests, as usual. Can’t tell you who they are yet, cos if I told you, they’d find out and if they found out, they’d wonder why I told you were they were doing guest posts for me when they hadn’t heard anything about it yet.

Also, dangerously, I’ve got less context and a bigger vocabulary than ever before.

See you “before Christmas”, the long established blog term for “towards the end of February”.

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