The Final Countdown
Ireland: The Cranberries
In what could be argued as no better time for alternative rock music, the 90s stand out more than any.
One of the most popular bands of the time was the all Irish, female-fronted band; The Cranberries. Dolores O'riordon's voice is unmistakable in hits like "Zombie" and "Linger". O’riordon always delivers on powerful lyrics and enchanting harmonies.
From cycling to the band audition with a broken Casio keyboard to serenading crowds of 20,000+, O’riordon and the band hit their international notoriety in the peak of the 90s.
After a brief hiatus, the band reunited in 2009, releasing more music and touring until 2018 when O'riordon tragically died from alcohol poisoning. Post-mortem, the final Cranberries album titled "In the End" was released, the last the world would hear from them. Their music still echoes a better, simpler era and gives hope to any aspiring artists who take their time to listen.
France: Daft Punk
Daft Punk needs no introduction, but here it is. The duo’s combination of funk, techno, disco, rock and synthpop oozes out a pure fun, dreamy and nostalgic atmosphere. Even their name is a fun adaptation of a scathing critique from a previous project when Dave Jennings dubbed their band Darlin’, "a daft punky thrash."
Their impact on the music business cannot be understated. Their first album, Homework, and more importantly it’s most successful single, Around the world, internationally revived house music. Even more, they are renowned to have created their own sound outside the tight borders of Eurodance. Daft Punk’s success culminated in a very strong cult following, only strengthened by their famous mystique by their mask wearing habits.
Bring back the nostalgia and give Daft’s discography another listen. Have your own private dance party and get ready for post Isolation.
Iceland: Daði Freyr
Set to represent Iceland in the 2020 Eurovision content, tragically postponed; this guy’s songs are certified bops. Funky synths, bass lines of a god, great vocals and super awkward (in a good way) music videos? He is definitely one to pay attention to.
Our president found out about him from looking at this year’s Eurovision videos and, very quickly, fell in love with the music. Their incredible vibe is perfect for dancing alone in your room (because social distancing is important). Make sure that you check him out, he does a lot of covers and live streams which are incredibly entertaining. Most of his songs are in Swedish, but they’re still amazing!
England: The Libertines
The chaotic, yet beautiful songwriting duo of Pete Doherty and Carl Barat ushered in the glorious era of garage rock revival in early 2000s Britain. A self-proclaimed poet, Doherty sings about British life and spits out his lyrics in an English/cockney slang that can be understood as a near-drunken sounding slur. The Libertines are a delightful blend of punchy Clash inspired punk rock and eloquent Smiths inspired melodies.
Unfortunately, Pete got caught up in the tabloids because of his heroin use and famous relationship with model Kate Moss. This often led to critics and the public losing focus on just how great the band were. Their debut album ‘Up the bracket’ will change your life, so do yourself a favour and stream/download/purchase all their stuff, do whatever it takes to listen to it alright!
Aurora’s music falls into the Art-pop genre, with strong folk and electronic influences. Her songs brim with buzzing synths and haunting harmonies, echoing artists such as Enya, Bjork and Grimes. In fact you might recognize her bright vocals from the Disney movie Frozen 2, where she plays the mountain spirit that beckons to Elsa in the absolute banger “Into the Unknown”.
If you’re looking for an artist to inspire and move you, look no further. With lyrics centering on nature and the human experience, Aurora’s music is especially relevant and healing in these strange times we find ourselves in.
Scotland: The Proclaimers
The Scottish rock duo The Proclaimers is fronted by twin brothers Craig and Charlie Reid. The masterminds behind bangers like "500 Miles" and the Shrek classic "I'm On My Way" were only 24 when they released these hits!
Drawing from a variety of influences including country, folk and even the punk rock style of The Clash, their musical efforts have not gone unrewarded. They've sold over 5 million albums worldwide, and you can still catch the on their sold out tours to this day.
Stromae is a well known hip hop and electronic musician with a really unique style. Lots of his music videos are quite mannequin-esque, an interesting take with him featuring throughout the whole video. His songs are sung in French, but are super catchy and have won him international love. Stromae has performed at Coachella, done a song with Coldplay and has even won over 50 accolades. He’s a great artist to listen and dance to - maybe one to add to your isolation playlist!