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THE HOT SPROCKETS
These stylish bluesy rockers have proven themselves immensely popular over the last few years. And quite right too. Former Hot Press cover stars, The Hot Sprockets' latest single, 'Soul Brother', has taken the roaring success of their debut album Honey Skippin' to another level. Their second LP is now in the bag. Widely acknowledged as fantastic showmen, the five lads have been extremely busy playing over 200 gigs and supported the likes of The Divine Comedy and The View along the way. They're also festival favourites – real dab hands when it comes to creating a fantastic live atmosphere.
LEADERS OF MEN
Hailing from Tallaght, this formidable five-piece are one of the finest groups to emerge from Dublin's South Side in some time. Led by charismatic frontman Brian Ashe, their driving, expansive sound and twin guitar attack knocks stripes off the competition in the live arena, whether it's being blasted out in a packed Workman's Club or on the Main Stage at Indiependence. Having released The Debut Collection in 2011, they've spent time amassing plenty of new material and evolving as a group. Now in a self-confessed 'purple patch', they recently signed a worldwide publishing deal and unveiled the very fine 'Fear' this summer.
The fact this Dublin quartet were the first signing for Whelan's record label says it all – Raglans are a fiery live prospect bidding for the big time. Only three years on the go, their stage escapades are already getting the people talking. Fitting, seeing as they formed in a festival tent in 2010. Their inventive Long Live EP arrived last year to much acclaim. This summer, they played Sea Sessions and Life Festival, and also found time to launch new single 'NATIVES' and sign a UK deal with Cuckoo Records. 'Digging Holes', reworked by award-winning producer Cenzo Townshend, was their first UK single.
CARRIED BY WAVES
It has been an immensely busy time for Ronan McCann, the Cork-based artist behind electronic audio-visual project Carried By Waves. Following his widely praised 2012 debut studio album Softly Held Together, McCann's ethereal songs have frequently cruised our airwaves, appearing on the Jenny Huston show (2FM), I-Con (Phantom), and Dublin's 98fm – it was also named Dan Hegarty's 'Album Of The Week' on 2FM. Audiences have utterly been blissed out by McCann's serene and haunting songs, and he's recently signed a deal with New York's MuseIQ. Carried By Waves' latest single, 'The Sea Between', is a complex and exquisitely crafted daydream.