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Second time Lucky....

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ATL | 11:52 UK time, Friday, 16 September 2011

We're all about the second albums at the moment. It's not long until Lafaro launch 'Easy Meat' with a show in Belfast and we've already had notable sophomore efforts this year from ASIWYFA and The Japanese Popstars. In 2012 we can look forward to second records from Two Door Cinema Club and General Fiasco - the former debuting new songs at Vital, the later blowing us away with a new track last month.

It feels like the 'tricky second album' is something us Nordies actually do very well. As you can see from this list, Rigsy's top five second albums from Northern Irish bands (catchy, eh?)...


Astral Weeks


1. Van Morrison - Astral Weeks
Arguably the greatest album this island has spawned (voted exactly that in a recent Hot Press poll) and very much a product of Belfast, sprinkled as it is with references to the city. Sounding like nothing else from the era (or anything created since) it's one of those genuinely special collections of songs, when everything somehow aligned to create a one-off. His debut may have had 'Brown Eyed Girl' but a then broke and hungry Van Morrison nailed it with the follow up, released when he was only 23.

Listen to: Cyprus Avenue



2. Snow Patrol - When It's All Over We Still Have to Clear Up
 Many fans claim they've still to top this album, which is strange as it brought them to the brink of oblivion. After a scrappy, raw debut, it didn't make sense that a 'Final Straw' prototype didn't really sell. Greeted with a shrug, 'When It's All Over…', despite it's subtle greatness, almost forced it's creators to call it a day but, encouraged by his parents, Gary decided to have one more craic, finally releasing a third album arguably no better than it's predecessor. It included a real standout though - 'Run' - and suddenly they were superstars. So, while 'When It's All Over..' did them no favours, it remains an album to be cherished.

Listen to: An Olive Grove Facing the Sea

David Holmes Album



3. David Holmes - Let's Get Killed
His debut was interesting, if a little messy and unsettled. The follow up soundtracked an adventure in New York, a focused yet trippy collection very much of it's time yet still sounding fresh today. He redefined who he was and made Hollywood take notice.

Listen to: Rodney Yates

Divine Comedy Album


4. Divine Comedy - Promenade
Technically his third album, but just like Neil Hannon himself, we don't count 'Fanfare'. Not only did Hannon find form with 'Promenade', he found a signature sound which would define his career. Despite the big, kitchen-sink production, Promenade remains quirky and outrageously geeky. Silly in parts, heart-breaking at times and consistently lush, it's a concept album about two lovers visiting the seaside. But of course!

Listen to: Tonight We Fly


Desert hearts album


5. Desert Hearts - Hotsy Totsy Nagasaki
With confidence high after a well received debut, Desert Hearts embraced a little ambition. The only thing missing from their equally superb debut was a big pop hook and, with 'Ocean', Desert Hearts put that right. One of many stand out moments, it sums up what makes this arty, interesting, dark and ballsy album more than a little remarkable.

Listen to: Ocean


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