In Theme: Feeling Lucky, Ir-ish

Do you ever find yourself obsessed with (or inspired by) something so comprehensively that it consumes your tastes and turns them on their head? I remember that after I saw Almost Famous, I became convinced I should have been born in the 70s, and as a result began reading, dressing, watching, and listening to anything that reminded me of my spirit decade. Lately, it’s been about Ireland for me, which is where Mood of the Week — an edited list of media to consume, clothes to buy or foods to eat inspired by something, be it a place, decade, situation, feeling — comes in. Here we go.

Listen to this: “Hozier,” Hozier

Hozier is the stage name and first album by Irish-born Andrew Hozier-Byrne, and I dare you not to fall in love while listening to this album (and also Google image search this attractive man). It’s the blues-meets-R&B you didn’t know you needed. His songs are, as expected from a man with such luscious ready-to-brood locks, beautifully dark: including “Take Me to Church,” a criticism of the toxic relationship between Catholocism and government, and “In a Week,” a lover’s tryst that ends with the pleasant image of corpses being devoured by nature in a field.

Read this:  Nora Webster: A Novel by Colm Tóibín

Nora Webster follows a recently widowed woman named, uh, Nora Webster. Set in 1960s Ireland, the book explores Nora’s stages of grief as she moves through them with the help of her children and music. Tóibín is one of the few contemporary fiction writers who’s as critically acclaimed as he is commercially successful. He books are fully-realized-can’t-put town-character studies, and whether he’s writing from the perspective of Henry James, a housewife, or the Virgin Mary, you’ll be right there with him.

Bonus: His name’s doppelganger, also Irish, @colmtobin, is hilarious. See:

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Watch This: Once 

If I said things like “ripe with aural wonders,” that is exactly how I would describe this movie, a musical without corsets or jazz ensembles. Once follows an Irish street performer who meets a Czech flower seller when she asks him to fix her vacuum, and their attempt to turn their love story into a musical. It’s also a Broadway play, too.

Wear This: Oversized knits

Pull on one of these sweaters—in subdued colors that match the landscape— and cozy up next to your carpenter boyfriend (stuffed or human, you decide) in front of the fire while he sings folksongs that his grandmother taught him… or you know, just keep warm on the way to the drugstore.

Pin This: “Wild Irish Rose” from Vogue September 2013.


You know how Adam Driver is always shirtless? Well he’s not always shirtless while holding a sheep. If you were curious what that looks like, you have Annie Leibovitz to thank because she photographed him with Daria Werbowy in southern Ireland (where the model has a home) for the September 2013 issue of Vogue. Obviously, Daria slays it in oversized outwear while Adam is brooding in an overcoat in the shots where he’s allowed to wear a top. Farm animals abound.

So, should we get a drink? Or a chocolate bar?

Feature image: Image on the Left shot by Maiken Staak, image on the right shot by Emma Summerton for I-D

Get more Pop Culture ?
  • It happens to me all the time. I am obsessed with the late 60s/early 70s.

  • CT

    really like this “in theme” idea! can’t wait to see next week’s

  • Esther Levy

    Love Hozier, love an excuse to wear a bland oversize knit, love this – almost enough to create a Pintrest account.

  • Charlene

    love this post idea (more?) + colm tobin is such a good recommendation.

  • This theme is pure gold.

    GET IT?! ;D

    • Wait, that was so good.

    • Kayla Tanenbaum

      Thank you for this contribution. You rock.

  • Kayla you could be anything you wanted to be, and I strongly believe that if you set your mind on assimilating to Irish culture, you can become and achieve that person in all the right ways.
    To answer your first question, yes. For me it’s with Scandinavian culture, but I’ve said that over and over.

    Listen to this: (Denmark)

    Read this: “Roseanna” by Maj Sjöwall and Per Wahlöö (Sweden)

    Wear this: Itchy, Norwegian sweater — (Norway)
    (Have about 10 c/o my mum)

    WATCH THIS: Bron//Broen (SE-DK partnership)

    • Kayla Tanenbaum

      Emma, are you not obsessed with Norweigan crime? Specifically, Headhunters (book & film)

      • I SO AM; Oh, Mr. Nesbø. But mainly Danish and Swedish crime.

        You know what I find so ironic? The countries with some of the lowest crime rates DO THE BEST CRIME SHOWS/BOOKS/MOVIES.

        America, on the other hand, is relatively rampant with crime and yet we just.can’

        • parkzark

          I really should watch Forbrydelsen then.

          • Girl, you won’t regret it. Bedste

          • Jep, Forbrydelsen is unbelievably good.

        • amalieilund

          It is actually quite interesting, something we ourselves are wondering about in Scandinavia – the fact that the crime genre is so widespread and evolved when we live in such safe societies. This article debates the issue in an interesting way (maybe the Danish is too difficult, but you should give it a try!).

          • The Danish will certainly be too difficult for my level, but I will pick up every 20th word and work on being able to read it in full.

            You’re my Danish spirit guide.

          • amalieilund

            Well it just kind of states that it’s a way of questioning our safety and peace in Scandinavia, a way of making our countries more exotic and perhaps also to characterize a more “fair” society (as a lot of the authors are left-wingers).
            I agree on the first two statements but the last one is too far-fetched, I think.

            And I’m truly honored Emma!
            Your California-living is something I envy quite a lot too (even though you are not there now) so it goes both ways.

  • Amelia Diamond

    I’m Irish can I be on the list

    • Kayla Tanenbaum

      What are you going to give me for it? Instagram followers? That would be a fair trade

    • Under what?

      Pursue This:

    • Charlotte Fassler


  • Will I be kicked off Man Repeller forever if I bring up One Direction again? Niall Horan is my favorite piece of Ireland besides, like, my grandma and half of my family. I totally get where you’re coming from, though. After my first Zumba class I only listened to Pitbull and made everyone call me Mami.

    • Charlotte Fassler

      No because Harry Styles is still trying to date Amelia and it’s getting awkward cause we try not to let things like boys come between us, y’know?

      • UGH, not what he told me.

    • you beat me to it hahaha

    • Amelia Diamond

      you will never be kicked off for loving one direction as long as i’m around

      • never leave! That’s good because I almost got kicked out of a party this weekend for *accidentally* playing “Steal My Girl” 6 times in a row. The trick is to start the song over before it ends and hope everyone is too drunk to realize it’s been playing for a consecutive 25 minutes. LYLAS, A$.

  • ALL my friends and I want in life is that Almost Famous shearling coat and bell bottems! Ughhh


  • Quinn Halman

    I mean my name is Quinn which means Queen in Gaelic but in my heart I’m more of a Malka

    • Kayla Tanenbaum

      I was gonna say, I really feel more Malka on you, which is, coincidentally, the second half of my Yiddish name. No joke.

      • Quinn Halman

        It’s the first half of my hebrew name! The second half is Yael so translated I am Queen Mountain Goat.

    • Fionnúala

      It actually doesn’t. Quinn is a very old Irish surname, but is an Anglicisation of Ó Cuinn, which translates roughly to ‘descendent of Conn’. The Irish for ‘queen’ is banríon.

      • Quinn Halman

        My parents lied to me!!!

        • Fionnúala

          That’s alright, mine did as well. Still absolutely gutted about Santa.

  • Lyric

    If you’re into Ireland, you have to check out their mythology on Wikipedia. I started on this article about Cu Chulainn and ended up clicking different links for around three hours. It’s so cool.

  • andrea raymer

    I’m kind of really obsessed with Once right now. I’ve seen the Broadway show three times this year. Irish has started to infiltrate my near-perfect fake english accent because I have been watching it too much.

    Also, Tom Branson on Downtown Abbey. He’s my favorite Irish. He and Sybil were my OTP. I’ll never get over it.

  • AlexaJuno

    Adam Driver. Want.

  • GapToothedGirl

    I’m into green too..

    XOX, Gap.

  • Jenny

    Once is my favorite film of all time. The unconventional love story, the sweaters, the accents, and the muuuusic. Both Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova are beyond amazing. It seriously doesn’t get any better than that.

  • Emily
  • Dre

    Hozier is amazing!
    Saw him in august during a festival in paris: small stage in the middle of trees with light garlands in them, we were up close, his music had such a soul, it was magical. My friends never heard of him before but we were so mesmerized we stayed the whole time there missing Blondie who was playing at the same time… (it was worth it 🙂 )