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Controlled, rich and yet beautifully fluent, O Emperor's new album Vitreous was released in June and is a work to be truly proud of. And the press readily agree. Like their acclaimed, Choice Prize-nominated 2010 debut, Hither Thither, the latest and perhaps most daring creation from the close-knit quintet has been hailed in all quarters. Live, they make their sound soar even higher. The Waterford act have toured alongside Villagers and Mumford & Sons, and with a huge amount of European festival slots now under their belts, expect them to have a few new tricks up their collective sleeve when they perform this winter.
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.
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.
Swampy, rhythmic rock delivered with strong vocals and some real sweet guitar work, Preachers Son's gorgeous sound is pampering the ears of an ever-growing fan base. The brainchild of Dubliner Brian Hogan, Preachers Son's debut album Love Life & Limb was recorded with Dave Bascombe (Placebo, Depeche Mode, Korn) and three-time Grammy winner Marc Urselli (Les Paul, Lou Reed). The recently-completed 10 Stories Tall finds Warren Huart (Aerosmith) twiddling the knobs. Passionate and energetic on the stage, Preachers Son have spread their rumbling rock gospel throughout Ireland, the UK, Italy, Canada and the US.