I’ve called Body&Soul Festival one of the best festivals in Ireland in the past and the allure of the event at Ballinlough Castle is clear. It’s a festival with a considered lineup and offerings in the mediums of food, conversation, installations and site layout. For our festival preview, look out for a ticket competition, our playlist and Irish acts to see in the coming days.



1.

Mix & Fairbanks

Absolut Bar, Friday, June 22nd.


Kildare natives Gary O’Reilly and Rob Smyth or Mix and Fairbanks met at a house party five years ago and have been playing together ever since. Their debut EP Bavarian Nights came out in March this year via 045 Recordings. The EP featured tracks such as the Linndrum machine extravagant ‘Hooly’ and the dancefloor stomper with an Inspector Norse/Daft Punk-esque sound ‘Girls’. These boys know how to party and their set will promise nothing less than a up-tempo and groove fulfilling time.

2.

Mango x Mathman

Woodlands stage, Friday, June 22nd and Absolut Bar Saturday June 23rd


Mango x Mathman are an Irish act that have been marking a solid ground for themselves within the Irish hip-hop scene and beyond over the past few years. Following their performance at Red Bull’s Free Gaff earlier this year which got everyone talking and the release of a impressive twist on ‘Show Me Love’ by Robin S this duo are an unstoppable force who are constantly on the rise. Expect a high energy performance that delivers their own adaptation of raw Irish grime.

3.

Pow Pig

Bulmers Stage, Saturday, June 22nd


Pow Pig are a four piece female alt-rock band from Limerick made up by Anna Marie Rooney, Andrea Mocanu, Laura Drennan and Leah O’Donnell. Their debut EP Denture Adventure came out earlier this year, drawing on a Dream Wife-esque sound that melds a brash punk drawl similar to that of Girlpool. With highlights like ‘Birds of Paradise’ bringing an added funk element to their music, their live show is sure to packed full of rhythm and release. These girls could be your next favourite alt-rock band.

4.

Super Extra Bonus Party

Woodlands stage, Saturday June 23rd


Super Extra Bonus Party released their first new track in eight years ‘Switzerland’ last year, an indie-rock track that features underlying synthesizers and electronic percussion. Their debut album Super Extra Bonus Party LP won The Choice Music Prize album of the year award back in 2008 which was followed on by Nighthorses in 2009. Super Extra Bonus are a band that love what they do and this is something that is reflected in their work and through their passion at live shows. Although the reaction to them band over the years has been mixed, as a whole there is no denying that they strive to deliver an entertaining and highly energetic performance.


5.

Post Punk Podge

Bulmers stage, Sunday June 24th


Limerick group Post-Punk Podge emerged with Post-Punk Election Party two years ago and in the bands own words is ‘A satirical song about an alternative disco in the Dáil bar and what certain politicians would get up to at it and some of the shit we have had to put up with over the last while.’ This was followed on with ‘An Lucht Siúil’ late last year. This band tackle and deal with harsh political realities in Ireland and perhaps draw influence from their fellow Limerick natives The Rubber Bandits as they can be seen wearing Post Office envelopes on their heads in their YouTube videos and live performances. This act will make you think and reflect on issues as they deliver a passionate narrative melded with noisy riffs.


6.

Saint Sister

Body & Soul Stage, Saturday, June 23rd


“Atmosfolk” duo Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre go under the name Saint Sister. Their highly anticipated debut album is set for release later this year which will come as a follow on from their 2015 EP Madrid. Their latest single release titled ‘Twin Peaks’ which takes inspiration from the surreal tones of the David Lynch TV series alongside their own, more personal influences is a reflection of the progressively unique sound that they continue to deliver as a duo. Their new album promises a slightly more pop tone to their previous work whilst becoming darker and more self-aware. For more on the new album and on Saint Sister read this recent interview.


7.

David Keenan

Woodlands Stage, Sunday June 24th


The most promising up and coming voice in the Irish folk scene, Dundalk native David Keenan’s artist growth since going viral singing an early version of single ‘El Paso’ in a taxi has been hugely impressive. Returning to Ireland off the back off a stint touring the United States, Keenan will be performing material off his recent Strip Me Bare EP. Songs like ‘Altar Wine’ highlight just how good a lyricist Keenan is. Continuing in the rich tradition of Irish poetry, the invocation of a “fucked up muse” in his guttural accent is powerful and emotive. Catching some of the wealth of domestic talent at this years Body & Soul is vital and Keenan is among the foremost in that category.


8.

Lankum

Body & Soul stage, Sunday June 24th


Lankum who were formerly known as Lynched is a band who are deeply rooted in traditional Irish and folk music. Currently, under the Rough Trade label, their sound is highly emotive and explicitly Irish with an international appeal. Between The Earth & The Sky came out last year and marked the band’s second album, with tracks like ‘Deanta in Eireann’ solidifying their roots yet still having the ability to move and resonate with relevance in 2018. This live performance will leave you in sheer awe of its beauty and what better place than the majestic fields in Ireland during the summer solstice?


9.

Roe

Body & Soul stage, Sunday June 24th


Róisín Donald is also known as Derry singer-songwriter Roe who labels her music as ‘grumpy electro-pop’. At the age of just 19, she is an artist that has an impressive list of achievements under her belt already. Last year played the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury which was followed by appearances of late such as Eurosonic in Groningen, The Great Escape and Primavera Sound this year. Her performances feature live synths, drum machine beats and guitars alongside vocals that stand out.


10.

Paddy Hanna

Woodlands Stage, Saturday June 23rd


With the release of his second solo album Frankly, I Mutate in March of this year, Paddy Hanna’s weird and wonderful brand of songwriting caught the ears and hearts of critics and music heads alike. The album, which details a prolonged cycle of depression and elation in the artist’s life, is charming and honest. Hanna’s music is fluid. Some tracks, like the single ‘Bad Boys’, sound like The Strokes re-imagined through an Americana lens. Others feel more akin to a surrealistic Baroque show, such as the excellent ‘All I Can Say I Love You’. Whatever genre Hanna is borrowing from at any one given moment, the music and lyrical content never fails to land an emotional punch. Performing in the Woodlands stage on Saturday night, this show is bound to be raucous and absurdly entertaining.



Posted on June 20th, 2018

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

1.

Barq – Earthquakes

Barq continue to build their reputation as the finest soul group in the country with their new double-single release. ‘Earthquakes’, taken from that double single, is an explosive track. Lead Singer Jess Kav’s voice sounds superb, here combined with a touch of overdrive. The song is built upon a tight soul groove in the rhythm section, with distorted guitars and synths added for effect. Full of swagger, the tune finds the group sounding at their very best.

2.

Stuck On Repeat – Áthas

Corkonian outfit Stuck On Repeat have been quietly simmering over the last year, steadily gathering a following through live performance. The excellent video for ‘Áthas’ (which means joy/ happy in Irish), taken from multi-instrumentalist and sole member John Ryan’s debut EP I Will be A Tree is full of the same quirky lo-fi idiosyncrasies as the music it accompanies.


3.

EHCO – Eiclips

EHCO, comprised of former Enemies member Eoin Whitfield and singer Jessica Lord, have recently been releasing a slew of ultra sleek electronica tunes. Combining the polished beat production of producers like Jamie XX with a reverb soaked moody vocal, ‘Eiclips’ is at once energetic and nostalgic. Accompanied by a colorful video, directed by Rosie Barret, the track is the group’s third single release.


4.

Pale Rivers – Montparnasse

‘Montparnasse’ marks the second single release from Pale Rivers’ upcoming debut EP. The video, directed by Lochlainn McKenna, recounts the fateful events of the night before in blurry soft focus. Emotive and evocative, the track draws you in slowly with hypnotic guitar notes and a lilting vocal delivery.


5.

David Keenan – Altar Wine

Irish singer-songwriter David Keenan has just released his second EP, entitled Strip Me Bare. ‘Altar Wine’ is taken from that EP. The attention to lyrical detail here is exquisite, Keenan’s relationship with the written word has only further blossomed since his debut release in 2017. The song is stark and vulnerable, lonely but emboldened by the artists unwavering honesty.


6.

Pursued By Dogs – Talk

Dublin-based four piece Pursued By Dogs released ‘Talk’, the third single from their forthcoming self-titled album, out April 27th, this week. The slow-tempo track feels in many ways like a contemporary Everything But The Girl number, in no small part because of the lead vocals from Suzanne Purcell.


7.

Paul Alwright – Seeds Of Doubt

Paul Alwright is a Dublin-based spoken word and hip hop artist. He recently released ‘Seeds Of Doubt’, the first track from his upcoming album Hungry, out May 11th. The track is an introspective investigation into the necessity and virtue of self belief and determination featuring fine lyrical content from the Dublin MC.


8.

Feuds – Nothing To Happen Next

Four piece Feuds have just put out their self titled debut EP. ‘Nothing To Happen Next’ is the single from that EP. Featuring the kind of earthy guitars you might expect on a The Redneck Manifesto song, ‘Nothing To Happen Next’ is a focused and high energy indie-rock tune.


9.

Dioscó na mBó – Nadra

Hailing from Easkey in county Sligo, Dioscó na mBó are an electronic outfit producing exuberant and catchy electronic tracks. ‘Nadra’, the first of a four track EP to be released on the 4th of May, is a short but sweet psychedelic pop song layered with carefully constructed synth tones. These are ones to keep an eye on.


Posted on March 22nd, 2018

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Eurosonic is the best European showcase for new artists on the continent. It’s a great place for new European acts to be seen and heard by the industry. After its first round of acts shared a few months ago, 31 new acts have been added to January 2018’s lineup for Groningen in the Netherlands. The acts come from 25 countries and include Irish acts Jafaris (see him on Thursday at Future Proof), Ryan McMullan, David Keenan and Rosborough.

  • Agar Agar (fr),
  • Andrea Belfi (de)
  • AV AV AV (dk)
  • Blackwave (be)
  • Canshaker Pi (nl)
  • Cléa Vincent (fr)
  • David Keenan (ie)
  • Dillon (de)
  • Erki Pärnoja : Efterglow (ee)
  • Foé (fr)
  • Freya Ridings (gb)
  • Goss (dk)
  • Hannah Williams & The Affirmations (gb)
  • Hearts Hearts (at)
  • Hior Chronik (gr)
  • Jade Bird (gb)
  • Jafaris (ie)
  • Loïc Nottet (be)
  • Luca D’Alberto (it)
  • Lydmor (dk)
  • Maximillian (dk)
  • Melissa Kassab (ch)
  • MEUTE (de)
  • Miriam Bryant (se)
  • Mueveloreina (es)
  • Nathy Peluso (es)
  • Nilüfer Yanya (gb)
  • Nordmann (be)
  • Odina (es)
  • Omiri (pt)
  • Papooz (fr)
  • Rohey (no)
  • RONE (fr)
  • Rosborough (ie)
  • Ruby Empress (se)
  • Ryan McMullan (ie)
  • Rytmeklubben (no)
  • Sam Fender (gb)
  • Snavs (dk)
  • Stefflon Don (gb)
  • Stereo Honey (gb)
  • SVIN (dk)
  • Tshegue (fr)
  • Tuvaband (no)
  • Warhola (be)
  • Weird Bloom (it)
  • Wildwood Kin (gb)
  • Xinobi (pt)

Posted on November 7th, 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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