This is only a selection of new music – dig into more or follow the Spotify playlists.


Lilla Vargen – Downtown

Northern Irish artist Lilla Vargen has this past few months, burst into life with her live performances and a debut single. It has been a most welcome activity as the song and shows have resonated and she’s not ready to stop there.

Majical Cloudz’s ‘Downtown’ is already a devastatingly effective song in the hand’s of the now defunct Canadian duo. Lilla Vargen’s version doesn’t change much of the original’s as it doesn’t need much work. Instead, she heightens the song’s backing arrangements and sings the song in her own way. She plays for us next Thursday evening in Bello Bar alongside Jafaris and Sleep Thieves at Future Proof.


Molly Sterling – Plain Static

Tipperary singer Molly Sterling, is a 19 year-old who has been trekking her own creative path for a number of years and it feels like it’s now finding a place of resonance.

Her latest single is a piano-lead ballad based wholly in reality and all its flaws, that has intimacy in its construction and one that Sterling sings of her body “is not just feast for eyes / it’s a home / a prison / a craft / all at the same time ” and explores how her mind and body are interlinked in reaction to external forces.


The Lost Brothers – Echoes In The Wind

The finest harmonic folk singers in the style of The Everly Brothers in the country, Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland return to calm our nerves with thee first single from their forthcoming fifth album Halfway Towards A Healing out 26th January next year.


And So I Watch You From Afar – Dying Giants

A highlight from the Belfast band’s fifth album The Endless Shimmering is the sound of them doing what they do best, bludgeoning the competition with big rock moves counteracted with pretty little riffs.


Autre Monde – Leuctra

Autre Monde’s debut EP, which is released today on Popical Island, digs deeper than their first ’80s rock and post-punk references for a “murkier” sound, darker in tone with bands such as Can, Total Control and John Foxx namecheckd. ‘Leuctra’ has that John Maus-esque synth ambience for sure.


Autumns – You’re A Right Useless Cunt Aren’t You

It’s been a number of years since we heard from Derry artist Christian Donaghey and last time, that was more in the vein of jangly noise rock. Now, Autumns sounds like industrial techno a la Factory Floor and has a great title to boot. His Dyslexia Tracks EP is out on Touch Sensitive Friday.


Áine Cahill – Blood Diamonds

The Cavan singer celebrates signing to Warner Music with a track produced by Courage (who has produced Ray Blk). This is the most modern sound that Aine has displayed thus far.


Elephant – Time Will Tell

Dundalk man Shane Clarke has been embracing a more layered sound of late moving away from his debut of finger-plucked music and his new music has more of a starry-eyed celestial vibe in the vein of Bowie at times. The video for new song ‘Time Will Tell’ asked 28 local artists to take one word from each line of the song and represent it how they wished.


Leigh Michael – Cosmic Couch’

From Leigh Michael’s new Cosmic Couch EP produced by Staz comes this tongue-twisting rap track highlight. Leigh has a Youtube channel with rap tutorials.


The Academic – Permanent Vacation

After their looped music video took on a large viral lift (more on that here), the Mullingar indie popper announced their debut album Tales From The Backseat for January 12th 2018 with new single ‘Permanent Vacation’. The album was recorded in LA with producer Tim Pagnotta (Dreamcar, Walk The Moon, Saint Motel). Their gig in Vicar Street this Saturday is a sellout.

New Irish Music Spotify Playlist

Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.

Posted on November 3rd, 2017

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Other Voices returns to Dingle’s St. James Church from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd December and the first names have been announced for the TV show / mini-festival.

Perfume Genius (Seattle, USA), Songhoy Blues (Timbuktu, Mali) & Aine Cahill (Cavan, Ireland) and the IMRO Other Room artist Katie Laffan has been announced to play in Kerry in December.

It’ll be OV’s 16th year in Dingle, where all their activity began.

The show have also launched the eir Other Voices Open Call 2017, which gives one Irish artist a slot at IMRO Other Room during the Festival in December and for the subsequent broadcast. This year, the prize is augmented with all travel to and accommodation in Dingle for the duration of the Festival, three days in a recording studio with a top engineer, the production company and budget to create a music performance video, along with practical music industry mentoring from the eir Other Voices team.

The eir Other Voices Open Call, supported by RTE 2FM, is an invitation to artists across Ireland, who produce all genres of music, to submit one track to the eir Other Voices team for consideration. Entries are now open at and will close at 6pm on September 22nd, 2017. Last year, more than 900 acts applied for one performance slot at the IMRO Other Room.

Posted on September 13th, 2017


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If you’re flying Aer Lingus in July look out for my profiles piece in the Cara in-flight magazine on six new Irish music acts doing the business and likely to continue doing so on planes all month.

Featured are profiles of Loah, Rusangano Family, David Keenan, Áine Cahill, Le Boom and Saint Sister.

The photos are by Tristan Hutchinson. Special thanks to Lucy White in Cara.

Read it on Issuu from page 46.

Posted on July 4th, 2017


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As featured here last year, Melbourne former busking singer-songwriter Tash Sultana is planning to play a big show at Vicar Street on 29 June 2017. Tickets go on sale priced at €20 + fees this Friday 27th January at 9am through Ticketmaster & usual outlets.

Repeal ‘A Night in Key of 8’ is a fundraiser for the Repeal the 8th campaign to take place in Olympia Theatre on April 23rd. It’ll feature performances from, among others, David Gray, Mary Black, Neil Hannon, Camille O’Sullivan, Loah, Lisa O’Neill, Printer Clips featuring Paul Noonan & Guests, Roisin O, Wyvern Lingo

Along with Panti, Activist Ailbhe Smyth, Writer Roisin Ingle, Comedian Tara Flynn, Writer Una Mullally and more.

Tickets from €28.50+ fees.

After announcing the closure of their café space ThirtyFour, Homebeat have some gigs and things coming up:

February 9th @ Fumbally Stables: Goodnight Brooklyn – The Story of Death By Audio
The story of the closure of a DIY space in Brooklyn as they battle with gentrification and get screwed by Vice magazine who first championed them, and then stole their space from them.

February 24th @ D Light Studios: Ryan Vail (A/V show), Wastefellow, Hvmmingbyrd

April 21st @ D Light Studios: Zehr Guht: Christian Loffler & Margie LewisThe final installment of the Zehr Gut collaboration with The Goethe Instut Irland.

Aine Cahill is to play The Sugar Club on April 20th with other dates nationwide

Australian artist Carla dal Forno (pictured) makes her Irish debut playing at The Grand Social on Valentine’s Day, February 14th. Support is from Somerville. Tickets are €12.50 + fees.

Italian film composer Ennio Morricone announced that he will perform a farewell concert at Dublin’s 3Arena on Saturday 23 September. Tickets from €87 + fees.

Little Hours play a matinée and evening show in Smock Alley Theatre on April 2nd.

Spike, The Alternative Cello Festival was just announced and features cellists performing in various capacities from February 10th to 12th in the Workman’s Club. See the schedule.

Also announced:

Future Islands
Belle & Sebastian

Posted on January 23rd, 2017

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Eurosonic Noorderslag is Europe’s best new music industry festival and it takes placefrom January 11 – 14th in Groningen, Netherlands, a quiet time perfect for catching the bands ahead for the year.

2017’s first 84 bands have been announced and among them are:

Anna Meredith, Chinah, Klangstof, Weval, Albert af Ekenstam, Ekkah, Mahalia, The Amazons and Irish acts Áine Cahill, Lisa O’Neill, Picture This, Bry and Saint Sister.

Full list with country.

AdHd (is), Áine Cahill (ie), Albert af Ekenstam (se), Albin Lee Meldau (se), Anna Meredith (gb), Baloji (be), Basheskia & Edward EQ (ba), Baywaves (es), Bazart (be), Beissoul & Einius (lt), Bernays Propaganda (mk), Best Youth (pt), Birthh (it), Black Dylan (dk), Black Foxxes (gb), Blaudzun (nl), Brass Rave Unit (nl), Bry (ie), Buslav (pl), Camp Claude (fr), Carpenter Brut (fr), CHINAH (dk), Christian Löffler (de), Chui (hr), Cocaine Piss (be), Death Alley (nl), Delv!s (be), Donnerwetter (nl), EKKAH (gb), Elle Exxe (gb), Eskei83 (de), Faber (ch), Fil Bo Riva (it), First Breath After Coma (pt), First Hate (dk), Fran Palermo (hu), Jonna Fraser (nl), Gallowstreet (nl), Good Harvest (se), Gurr (de), HAUS (gb), Holy Nothing (pt), IDLES (gb), Jadu Heart (gb), JOHN GRVY (es), JP Cooper (gb), Kel Assouf (be), Klangstof (nl), Kuenta i Tambu (nl), Lisa O’Neill (ie), Lookapony (nl), Mahalia (gb), Matt Maltese (gb), Nils Bech (no), Noiserv (pt), Novo Amor (gb), Octa Push (pt), Onuka (ua), Paceshifters (nl), Palace Winter (dk), Paul Sinha (nl), Picture This (ie), Pink Oculus (nl), Rodrigo Leão (pt), Ronnie Flex (+band) (nl), Sailor & I (se), Saint Sister (ie), Seramic (gb), St. Grandson (be), Sturla Atlas (is), Swedish Death Candy (gb), The Amazons (gb), The Dubbeez (nl), The Ills (sk), The Kik (nl), The Mysterons (nl), The Wacky Blues Professors (si), Throes + The Shine (pt), Txarango (es), Vera Jonas Experiment (hu), View (fi), Weval live (nl) and WILDES (gb).

Festival tickets are on sale now from €70 for the weekend passes up to €137.50 for all dates.

Other bands already announced include Hare Squead, Palace Winter, Roosevelt, Wyvern Lingo, Ward Thomas, Bonzai and Anna Of The North.

My piece from earlier this year.

Posted on November 8th, 2016


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Canalaphonic Festival returns on September 23rd and 24th and in May, the organisers teased some first names in May but we’ve got some more for the Rathmines based festival today.


  • Sample Answer
  • Mick Pyro
  • Maud in Cahoots
  • Gavin Glass
  • Nick Kelly
  • The Sour Seeds
  • Flecks
  • CC Brez
  • Aine Cahill
  • New Valley Wolves
  • Fox Jaw
  • Youth Mass

In addition, the festival’s media partner will be Radio Nova who will be broadcasting from the festival. Canalaphonic takes place in 29 venues Rathmines, Portobello, National Concert Hall Quarter and Camden Quarter.

Entry is free and made possible by Dublin City Council’s South East Area Office and Abner Browns Barbershop, supported by Fáilte Ireland, Clancourt Group, Waterways Ireland, Dublin City Council Arts Office, IMRO, Heineken, McGarrell Reilly Group and Rohan Holdings.

Posted on July 14th, 2016


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Youbloom, a conference and music festival taking place in Dublin next month from June 1st to 3rd. The aim of the event is to impart knowledge of how the music industry works onto upcoming artists through experienced music industry types and to give bands the opportunity to play for these professionals and new audiences.

CEO Phil Harrington told me all about it for my Irish Times How Music Works series last week.

To that end, here are the bands, local and international lined up to play the festival:

The festival will see over 70 acts perform at several venues across the city, including Kidd Kidd (USA), Mo Kenney (Can), Austinn (Lu), BJ Smith (USA), Tokyo Taboo (Eng), Buffalo Sunn (Irl), Áine Cahill (Irl), and Silent Noise Parade (Irl), with more listed in the poster below.

The gigs will happen at The Grand Social, Workman’s Club, Avenue, The Wiley Fox, KC Peaches (Dame Street), Bloom Phoenix Park (June 2-6), and Dublin Airport Terminals 1&2 (June 2-3).

Gig tickets are 20 euro and conference tickets are 100 euro for the weekend.

Conference lineup and timetable.

Full info.

YB Dublin 2016 Gig Poster Final (1)

Posted on May 12th, 2016


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Whelan’s annual Ones To Watch festival takes place from Thursday to Sunday this week featuring a huge list of promising upcoming Irish bands. will be presenting their Faces of 2016 bands as part of the lineup (as denoted by an [s] below).

Tickets for it are €5 per day or €10 for all 4 days with a free drink included. More bands are to be announced but here’s the lineup thus far.

– THUR 14th

Naoise Roo
Travis Oaks [S]
Third Smoke [S]
Ports [S]
M(H)Aol [S]
Tuath [S]
The Shaker Hymn

– FRI 15th

Monster Monster
Bitch Falcon
Le Boom [S]
Contour [S]
Joni [S]
Young Phantom [S]
Aik.J [S]
The Wood Burning Savages

– SAT 16th

Loop Culture
Shrug Life
Rosa Nutty
Ivy Nation
The Witch Trials

– SUN 17th

In The Willows
Aine Cahill
Orchid Collective
Maria Kelly
Fox Owl Crow
Wake America
Junior Brother
David Keenan

[s] Faces of 2016



Posted on January 11th, 2016


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