The Belfast duo New Portals, appeared on my radar, as Northern Irish bands often do, through BBC NI’s Across The Line‘s New Tune Disco, which I contribute to about once a month (this week’s New Tune Disco is here). New Portals are a new project from  Michael and Ruth Aicken who make folk/pop music as… Read more »

Posted on July 30th, 2015

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I sometimes think of upcoming singers or musicians in categories and Connie Constance fits into the same category as Denai Moore and Sinead Harnett, a singer comfortable in an traditional setting but likely to push forward to more zeitgeist-magnetising sounds. Moore with SBTRKT and Fantastic Mr Fox, Harnett with Disclosure and Snakehips and 20-year-old Constance,… Read more »

Posted on July 29th, 2015

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A new artist on the rise in the UK, Starling has debuted with a beautiful slow-moving ballad called ‘Take It Down’, a song which brandishes comparisons to Goldfrapp and Birdy in its style. Starling is signed to Communion Music, home to Catfish & The Bottlemen, Bear’s Den, Tennis and Matthew and the Atlas. She’ll play… Read more »

Posted on July 22nd, 2015

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The sweet strains of Transviolet’s unnamed singer recall Lana Del Rey at her most LA-sounding until the words are synthesised by effects. The music concocted by the Los Angeles band around the vocals burn with minimalism: booming beats, growing synth lines and a rush of production towards the song’s conclusion. ‘Girls Your Age’ exudes the… Read more »

Posted on July 16th, 2015

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The crossover between the underground and the mainstream is something which has happened in the UK frequently with the likes of Skepta, Miss Dynamite and Dizzee Rascal being examples of those who have done it. In Ireland, with a smaller scene and less of an interest, that was never really a possibility but the new reality of… Read more »

Posted on July 14th, 2015

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Lakerama is a new project from two musicians with form. On the production end, you have Limerick’s Graeme S, who has made some beats for the first EP for what has now become the best rap group in Ireland, Rusangano Family. In front of the mic, is Senita Appiakarong, South African-born singer based in Cork… Read more »

Posted on July 13th, 2015

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Hailing from Belfast and Derry but based in Dublin, Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre’s project Saint Sister (formerly O Sister) has supported San Fermin, Spies and Will Butler lately and it’s easy to hear why. A folk-rooted duo with a background in the Trinity Orchestra (same as Hozier and others), their harmonic vocal chops feature… Read more »

Posted on July 13th, 2015

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I introduced you to the melodic ambient pop folk New York duo Overcoats recently through their excellent track ‘The Fog’. Just this week, Hana Elion & JJ Mitchell moved to Dublin for the summer, where they will be recording their debut album. New song ‘Smaller Than My Mother’ pushes their sound further into looped vocal… Read more »

Posted on July 1st, 2015

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It’s become increasingly harder for new artists to stand out in the field of R&B, such has the genre become so overwhelmed with a new style that relies on electronic production and the rise and fall dynamics that can be achieved with synth filters and drops. The Los Angeles singer Gallant has been one such… Read more »

Posted on July 1st, 2015

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A criticism I levelled at Jack Garratt’s show at The Great Escape, was one of showboating. The bearded musician was an able multi-tasker playing synth, drums, guitar and singing nearly all at once, which gave his music a scattered and skittery feel. There are no such problems with Garratt’s new single ‘Weathered’, which wisely sticks… Read more »

Posted on July 1st, 2015

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Bear Worship is a new project from the Irish musician Karl Knuttel who quit making music a few years ago. However, inspiration struck once again and Knuttel ended up making an album, with an electronic influence. In his own words? “Bear Worship is a celebration. It’s about positivity and realism, love and friends, passion and… Read more »

Posted on June 11th, 2015

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I’ve been supremely calmed by the music of Newcastle singer-songwriter Jake Houlsby, who formerly called himself Suntrapp. His most recent tracks have had a reflective and harmonic effect that eases you. ‘Yaninna’ with its Graceland-style reverbed-harmonies and plaintive guitar is so at ease, it’s been my wake up song this past week. It features on… Read more »

Posted on June 4th, 2015

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Calling herself Lady Esmerelda Felicity S. Von de Beaks, the singer/musician behind the Northern Irish project called BEAKS prefers to stay anonymous for now. She’s previously covered Tina Turner’s ‘What’s Love Got To Do With It’ with an electro pop version and with ‘Good Friday Agreement’, the masked singer releases an original track that has… Read more »

Posted on June 3rd, 2015

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Niamh Walsh, Niall Cooke, Shawn Brennan and Seán Walsh make up the new Dublin band Silent Interlude who namecheck Daughter, London Grammar and The xx as inspirations. The band’s debut five-track EP Fate or Faith is out this week and has some of those influences in its DNA along with some louder rock sounds. Check… Read more »

Posted on May 25th, 2015

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Overcoats are a New York-based duo who describe their music as “electro-folk-soul”, an accurate descriptor for their melodic ambient pop folk songs so far (that’s mine). The two 21 year olds, Hana Elion & JJ Mitchell, are moving to Dublin next month to write their full-length album, as they came here last year and enjoyed… Read more »

Posted on May 21st, 2015

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