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


Maria Kelly – Small Talk

Maria Kelly tackles the issue of mental health in her new song ‘Small Talk’. The song is full of subdued beauty. From the earthy quality of the acoustic guitars to the warm vocal delivery, this song is personal and intimate. The track is Kelly’s second release of 2018, the first being her excellent collaboration with Ailbhe Reddy on ‘Threads’.



THUMPER seem to have found their feet recently, sonically speaking. Following a stint touring with The Strypes, the group sound tight and their new track ‘AFL’ is testament to that fact. The song shows more signs of maturity and a more cohesive approach to songwriting. Coming in at just under four minutes, ‘AFL’ is a thrilling noise-pop number.


XO-MO – Sweat

XO-MO have gathered considerable media following recently, due in no small part to their affiliation with producer Mike Dean. Hype aside, ‘Sweat’ is an excellent debut single. Praise must be given to the layered production on the track, reverb soaked percussion hit add depth and character to the mix. XO-MO sound like a group who know exactly what sound they’re aspiring toward and, for the most part, succeed in reaching it on ‘Sweat’.


T.E.D – Shawty

T.E.D are the newest addition to the burgeoning trap scene in Dublin. The trio recently released ‘Shawty’, an undeniably superb trap track. Half-time drum beats with analog sub bass underneath make up the relatively simple, but effective, instrumental track. The auto-tuned hook repeats with the trio taking turns rapping over 16 bars. With a gorgeous video shot in Dublin city to accompany the track, ‘Shawty’ is a vibrant and exciting new Irish release.


Sleep Thieves – Aching Bones

Electronic trio Sleep Thieves seriously impress with their new track ‘Aching Bones’. The song is moody and atmospheric. The group seem to have drawn influence from the surrealistic lyricism of artists like Bjork and the pop idiom of the early Bat For Lashes material. The song is founded upon a throbbing synth bass, over which the vocal and synth hooks are added. The finished product is a thoughtful and nuanced electro-indie track.


Reuben James – Shoelace

BIMM graduate Reuben James has been gigging and releasing music since 2012. His new track ‘Shoelace’ is a summery hip hop track perfect for the sunny days. The track blends elements of hip-hop and R&B with its West Coast inspired flow and flamboyant backing vocals. With a reggae-inspired instrumental track, ‘Shoelace’ is an excellent song to soundtrack the oncoming summer.


Deaf Joe – And He Opened His Eyes And Looked Skyward

Waterford-based composer and producer Deaf Joe released the most unique piece of new Irish music this week with ‘And He Opened His Eyes And Looked Skyward’. The 14 minute track is an evolving ambient piece concerned with the experience of war, specifically the composer’s Grandfather’s own experience of the first World War. The track pulls elements from post modernist composers like Philip Glass as well as contemporary musicians like Nils Frahm with its mix of grand piano and analog synth textures. Emotional and evocative, ‘And He Opened His Eyes And Looked Skyward’ is a stunning piece of art music.


Fia Moon – The Fall

Fia Moon, an independent singer from Dublin, has just released her debut single ‘The Fall’. The song seems inspired by the current wave of R&B artists, with the organic instrumentation being overdubbed over a synth bass line. The beauty of the track lies in the excellent vocal delivery, with Moon’s warm voice glistening over the mix.


Melts – Skyward

Melts are a brand new group from Dublin comprised of members from Ghost Estates, The Things, The Mighty Stef and The North Sea. The psych rock group have drawn from their collective experience to deliver their excellent debut single ‘Skyward’. The song seems to fall somewhere between The Brain Jonestown Massacre and Interpol, a driving bass guitar keeps the intensity high while the vocal line verges on the surreal with it’s echo chamber quality. Having played their first few gigs supporting Fontaines D.C. , Melts are a welcome addition to the already rich Dublin rock scene.

Posted on March 29th, 2018


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


Majia Sofia – Flowers

Galway singer-songwriter Majia Sofia’s new track bears a more joyous and poppy tone to her previous releases, despite dealing with issues such as trauma and violence. This is also the first track that hears her being joined by a full band.

“The lyrics of Flowers came to me on a four hour train journey through Wales after reading Angela Carter’s ‘The Bloody Chamber’. I wanted to disguise the darkness of the lyrics under a sort of Phil Spector girl-group style wall of sound, it was engineered and mastered by the brilliant Joseph Reddin.”

Waterford musician and songwriter Deaf Joe’s returns with a preview from his third album Stuck which gets a release on Valentine’s Day. The song’s are interlocking and hypnotic piano and drum beats is nicely augmented by Joe’s voice and gives it a Radiohead-esque feel.


All the Luck in the World – Landmarks

All the Luck in the World’s latest release is nostalgic in ambience sticking to the sound on their previous releases, soothing and comforting with an underlining sense reflection. Their album A Blind Arcade is out on February 23rd.


Happyalone – Colours

Cork electronic trio Happyalone’s debut track is a layered and atmospheric largely instrumental build-up of emotion, ‘pondering on topics of life, death and the in-betweens of the journey.’


Arms That Fit Like Legs – You Will Go On My First Whistle

Dublin-based instrumental rock band Arms That Fit Like Legs’ new track from their forthcoming album Legwork is fused with a soothing and synthesized energy throughout.


Conor Furlong – “Alien”

Dublin native Conor Furlong has a voice that nourishes the soul. The video for ‘Alien’ showing drone footage of snowy streets is also very appealing to the eye.


Sal Dulu – Tyko

Dublin producer and instrumentalist Sal Dulu has created 5 minutes and 41 seconds of pure bliss with this track. The collective mix of calming vocals, electronic flavours, Japanese samples and brass is truly satisfying.


Gareth Quinn Redmond – Laistigh den Ghleo

23-year-old Dublin-based composer and musician Gareth Quinn Redmond conceptually derived his album Laistigh den Ghleo from the work of composter Satoshi Ashikawa, focusing on compositions that engage, enrich and reflect the surrounding environment of the listener.

He plays in The Smock Alley Theatre, Dublin on February 14th and 15th as part of the Scene and Heard Festival.

Posted on January 25th, 2018


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Hard Working Class Heroes today unveiled 100+ artists who will play the festival’s 12th year in Dublin from Thursday October 2nd – Sunday October 4th. This year the festival is sponsored by HMV Ireland and as is now established will feature a conference taking in mentoring, panels, advice and involvement from the tech space.

500 bands applied for the festival this year and they were judged by music people at home and abroad (including me).

Here is the list of bands that will play this year. Deeper delving into the lineup will commence here in September.

The bands

A Lazarus Soul
Benny smiles
Brian Casey
Buffalo Sunn
Buffalo Woman
Carried By Waves
Ciaran Lavery
Cloud Castle Lake
Color Sound
Columbia Mills
Conor Walsh
Deaf Joe
Dear Desert
Death In The Sickroom
DVO Marvell
Eamon bode
Elaine Mai
Elastic Sleep
Eoin Dolan
Fallen Rule
Floor Staff
Florence Olivier
Frankenstein Bolts
Ghost Estates
God Knows + mynameisjOhn
Hare Squead
His New Atlas
Hugh Hick
I have a tribe
I’m Your Vinyl
Imploded View
Jet Setter
little xs for eyes
Liza Flume
Low Sea
Maija Sofia
Maud in Cahoots
Me & My Dog
Me Auld Flower
Mere Moths
Myles Manley
Neon Atlas
Old Hannah
Paddy Hanna
Planet Parade
Red Queen Contest
Satori Je
Sleep Mc Evox
Tell No Foxx
The Academic
The Bedroom
The Black Sea Fleet
The Boxing Plot
The Clameens
The Debutantes
The Hard Ground
The Late David Turpin
The Loafing Heroes
The Magpies
The Pale
The Run Ons
The Shaker Hymn
The Statics
The Vincent(s)
Tino Ras
Val Normal
Vann Music
Walpurgis Family
Wild Promises
Yes Cadets


The Button Factory, The Workmans Club, The Mercantile, The Twisted Pepper, Bad Bobs, The Grand Social, Meeting House Square.


Weekend Tickets €45 + fees, Nightly Tickets €20

HWCH is also supported by The Arts Council, Failte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the NDRC.

Posted on August 13th, 2014


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Details of the Wonderlust Stage at Body & Soul festival have been revealed. Curated by Kathy Scott, Aoife Flynn and Ciara Kavanagh, the stage, dedicated to the exchange of wonder and idea in the walled garden will feature talks and performances throughout the weekend.

The music night lineup includes:

Colm Mac Con Iomaire & Friends, Come on Live Long, Sacred Animals, Deaf Joe, Ryan Vail, Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, Hidden Highways, Selk
Valerie Francis, SORNE, Conor Walsh, Old Hannah, DJ Sally Cinnamon, Idiot Songs, Bairbre Anne, BQ Trio, Mike Smalle (DJ set), Kuv′ən, Laura Sheeran, Kate Ellis & Linda Buckley.

By day, there are talks planned including:

The Unbearable Lightness of Being and other stories:
Author Michael Harding in conversation with filmmaker Ruth Meehan on life, loss, love and Leitrim. Michael will also read from his bestselling memoir

Digital Age Activism – win or lose?
‘Merely sitting, connecting or sharing something may provide a momentary burst of satisfaction but it may not be enough to actually change something on Irish online activism won’t win the 2015 marriage equality referendum unless we take discussion and peaceful protest from Facebook & Twitter to the home and the hearth. Andrew Hyland Equality & Social Justice Campaigner hosts this conversation offline with Ailbhe Smyth (Feminist and Activist), Una Mullally (Journalist & Activist) and Max Krzyzanowski (Activist and former the ground.’ Laeeq Khan. Mister Gay World)

State of the Music Nation:
A conversation exploring the business of music making in Ireland right now & the global models of an emerging future. Hosted by Angela Dorgan (First Music Contact) & featuring Jim Carroll (On the Record), Nialler9 , Brendan Canty (Feel Good Lost) & Aoife Flynn ( asquared)

TheatreCLUB present The Holy Show – LOVE IS THE ANSWER
This is a live chat show hosted by performance dynamo, modern day spiritual guru and recovering sex addict Neil Watkins (Year of Magical Wanking) with Rachael Keogh (Dying to Survive), Veronica Dyas plus a live set from Buffalo Woman

Food – The ties that bind.
A conversation exploring relationships and food by talking to two brothers, a husband and wife and close friends who work in three of Ireland’s most innovative food businesses. Hosted by Aoife Mc (Forkful), Kevin and Seamus Sheridan (Sheridan’s Cheese mongers), John and Sandy Wyer (Forrest Avenue) and Aisling Rogerson and Luca D’Alfonso (Fumbally)

Journey to the Labyrinth
“The Feminine journey is about going down deep into the soul, healing and reclaiming, while the masculine journey is up and out to spirit”
Maureen Murdock The Heroines JourneyThree women, one labyrinth. Ellen O’Malley Dunlop ( The Bard Summer School) and Noeline Kavanagh ( Macnas)  in conversation with Mari Kennedy (Wisdom seeker). Expect myth making, spirals, symbols, shapeshifting and ancient ritual.

BINGO with Victor Romanos and Stevie G.
The Love God and friend of the stars is back at Wonderlust due to popular demand and a gap in his world domination tour. Expect bad gags, big hair and tight pants.

Posted on June 4th, 2014


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Waterford musician and songwriter Deaf Joe’s debut Burrowings showcased an abstracted folk sound.

For the followup, From The Heights Of A Dream, out now on Delphi, Deaf Joe moves further into abstraction. Across 35-minutes and 9 tracks, the songs are exploratory with many leaving the impression of an artist trying out new ideas with almost-neoclassical soundscapes, inspired by Alva Noto, Vatican Shadow and Tim Hecker, rather than traditional songwriting.

The album has informed by work in sound design and composition for theatre and contemporary arts in Ireland and as such, there’s lots of atmosphere, a lot of quiet passages, a lot of colour and mood. It was written and demoed in 2010 during the big freeze while the artist was housebound during his residency at The Model Theatre, Sligo and as such there’s a close distress to proceedings.

“I was reading a lot about the history of the Troubles in the North, and found myself referencing what I was reading with current news stories online. Journalism today has this way of telling very sad stories that, if you let them affect you, leave you sitting there feeling powerless against the mindless evil that’s apparently everywhere in the world. It’s a very scary place to get stuck.”

I did feel isolated and alienated, and I ended up spiraling into these imagined hallucinatory soundworlds. I constructed a narrative around the idea of someone trying to make that negative thought spiral stop, and used these soundscapes to colour and shade the moods of the story. The whole thing ends up sounding like a waking dream, an hallucination. Because I had no one to spend time with each day, I was left to drift unmoored in my own head.”

‘For Each and Every One Of Them’ features ambient piano stylings and deliberately uneasy pounding textures, swirling piano and treated eerie vocals lead ‘For The Men Who Put Them There’, rickety train track-style percussion almost derails the confrontational ‘For The Stick and Stones’ until acoustic guitar and big piano chords bring some much-needed light. The title track is perhaps the most effective song, using the best of Joe’s songwriting and sonic explorations tightly.

From The Heights Of A Dream uses folk textures processed to make something more challenging and at times, uneasy listening.

The album is out now on the Delphi label on 28th February 2014 as a limited edition CD and hardbound book in collaboration with artist Paul Hallahan and also a download.

Posted on March 6th, 2014



All this week, we’re having guest posts from various people involved in different strands of Irish music – record shop owners, writers, bloggers, promoters, radio presenters, bands and more, telling us what Irish bands or artists they are really into right now.

Darragh Nolan is the creator of all things visual and online at First Music Contact (, HWCH and the Music From Ireland projects.)

1. At Last An Atlas

Melding drone synths, found sounds & subtle vocal melodies Greg O’ Briens solo electronic project comes across like a bedroom Postal Service at times. Spoken whispered vocals blend with the fragile beats & sounds to create an album that feels euphoric in it’s understatement.
At Last An Atlas – New Years Sky

Posted on April 23rd, 2010


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donal_dineen All this week, we’re having guest posts from various people involved in different strands of Irish music – record shop owners, writers, bloggers, promoters, radio presenters, bands and more, telling us what Irish bands or artists they are really into right now.

Donal Dineen is a Radio DJ, music curator, filmmaker and photographer. Currently presenting The Small Hours on Today FM from midnight – 2am, he also has a monthly DJ residency for Twisted Pepper. His curated irish music series Fresh Air returns in May with four live shows around the country and a month of live on-air interviews and music sessions from some of Ireland’s freshest soundmakers. Donal publishes mixes as Fresh Air on Soundcloud.

1. Patrick Kelleher

Paints from a different palette, the results so far have been staggering.


Posted on April 21st, 2010


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