- 26 Mar 21
The countdown is officially on for the new edition of the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series – supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Following the remarkable success of last year's Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series – which featured 120 live acts, and an audience reach of over four million – we're thrilled to announce that the Y&E Series returns next week for a brand new edition!
Although the pandemic has wreaked havoc across almost every aspect of the music industry, the last 12 months have been particularly difficult for the countless emerging acts that were just launching their careers – getting ready to build up their live profiles and fanbases, while venues around the world remain shuttered. Rather than let all that phenomenal talent sit idle, we launched the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions’ Y&E Series.
With the support of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, we've been able to shine a light on some of the best young and emerging talent that Ireland has to offer – with a brilliant selection of acts joining Hot Press on Instagram for special live-streamed performances.
“I am delighted to be able to support Ireland’s young and emerging musicians through the Hot Press Sessions again this year," says Minister Catherine Martin. "The success of last year’s sessions reflected the amazing talent of the young artists in Ireland. In these challenging times, my Department is committed to helping provide opportunities for performers and bringing the best of Irelands’ cultural offerings to audiences at home and abroad.”
“Musicians and performers have been very badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic,” comments Hot Press editor Niall Stokes. “Despite this, there has been an extraordinary upsurge in creativity among Irish musicians over the past two years, and especially among the new generation of young artists, who are chomping at the bit now and eager to get playing.
“Make no mistake: in the spring of 2021, the island of Ireland really is a brilliant melting pot of musicians, rappers, songwriters and bands with an abundance of ideas, energy, ability and ambition. It is an extraordinary moment, with talent coming through in every genre.
"The aim of the Y&E Series is to further encourage that creative explosion – and, in doing so, to provide a platform where the finest of these remarkably impressive emerging stars can hone their performing skills, build their fanbases, reach new audiences all over the world and claim the attention of the music industry globally. And be paid while they are doing it. We’re looking forward to fantastic new musical adventures over the coming 40 days. Here’s to it."
As Irish music continues to punch above its weight on a global scale, you can expect a fantastic selection of dazzlingly diverse artists to join us for the new edition of the Y&E Series – kicking off next week, on Wednesday, March 31.
In the meantime, we're delighted to present our spectacular upcoming line-up for the first 15 days of the new edition of the Y&E Series:
Wednesday, March 31: ORLA GARTLAND
In addition to her stunning contribution to Irish Women In Harmony, Orla Gartland has marked herself as one of Ireland's most exciting solo artists of recent memory, following a string of stellar singles and two acclaimed EPs. In January, she gave another taste of what to expect from her eagerly-anticipated, as-yet-untitled debut album (out later this year) with the release of her latest single, 'More Like You' – which has already clocked up nearly 1.6 million streams on Spotify alone.
Thursday, April 1: ALL THE QUEEN'S HORSES
After a year of unprecedented turmoil, Cork-born, Dublin-based singer-songwriter Sean Murphy (a finalist in multiple categories in this year's International Songwriting Competition) has crafted a captivatingly raw and emotive response to our volatile reality, in the form of his debut album, The Dark Below & The Isle Of Dogs – under the moniker All The Queen's Horses. Bringing together elements of folktronica and rock, the full 14-track album is expected in early autumn.
Friday, April 2: LUCY GAFFNEY
Described as "celestial" by Liam Gallagher, Lucy Gaffney has emerged as one of the country's most promising indie-pop prospects. Formerly one half of the acclaimed alt-rock sibling duo MMODE, the Belfast-raised, Liverpool-based artist has powerfully showcased her lushly textured dream-pop sound across her solo singles 'Can't Escape', 'Send Me Away' and 'Star Sign Lover'.
Saturday, April 3: THE FLORENTINAS
A young alternative band from Bangor, Northern Ireland, The Florentinas recently joined forces with Gary Lightbody’s artist development company, Third Bar. They also signed a major publishing deal with BMG, only 16 months after forming. Now, they’re getting ready to take on the world...
Sunday, April 4: WENDY GODFREY
Following previous excursions into R&B and Afrobeat, Drogheda artist Wendy Godfrey took her first steps towards global pop stardom in 2020, with the release of her debut EP, Purple Emotions, produced by Solow The Astronaut. Drawing inspiration from old school jams, as well as modern pop powerhouses like Beyoncé, 2021 is set to be another landmark year for Wendy.
Monday, April 5: N.O.A.H.
Comprised of three lifelong friends, N.O.A.H. released their irresistible debut single 'Shine' in September, which was met with serious acclaim and nationwide radio play – followed by a live performance on Laura Whitmore's BBC Radio 5 Live show. The trio teamed up with Booka Brass for their latest single, 'Darkest Hour', released earlier this year.
Tuesday, April 6: REUBEN HESTER
Enniscorthy-raised singer-songwriter Rueben Hester is on the cusp of international stardom – after signing to Echoism Records and the release his debut single, 'Sold My Soul' on March 19. Formerly known as China Lane, he was one of the breakout stars of BBC One's Little Mix: The Search, and has already built up a reputation as a spectacular electro-pop talent.
Wednesday, April 7: BROOKE
Initially rising to prominence as a finalist on The Voice UK, Northern Irish singer-songwriter Brooke has been tipped for stardom, following the release of her debut single ‘Attention’ in 2020, a recent remix of the track by London-based DJ and producer Movada. The track debuted on BBC Introducing, as well as being featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday and New Pop UK Playlists.
Thursday, April 8: PASTICHE
One of the most exciting Irish pop acts of recent memory, 22-year-old Pastiche has crafted a sound packed with attitude and empowerment. Combining elements of electronic and dark pop, the Dublin singer-songwriter released her latest single, 'Heaven', earlier this year – establishing her as a serious force to be reckoned with on the Irish scene.
Friday, April 9: CHRISTIAN WETHERED
Drawing influence from the legendary likes of Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed, Dublin-based singer-songwriter Christian Wethered is poised for major success on these shores and beyond, with the release of his debut album, Mon Petit Jardin, later his year. His debut poetry book, I Don't Love You, was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Prize in 2018 – and this passion for poetry continues to inform his stunning singles.
Saturday, April 10: NEWDAD
Galway alt-rock quartet NewDad have already picked up lots of attention in the UK – and it's clear why. The hypnotic likes of ‘Blue’ and ‘Cry’ made for a compelling introduction, while ‘I Don’t Recognise You’ and 'Slowly' cemented their buzz-worthy status. With Jack Saunders and Steve Lamacq as fans, they could well be on their way. Their debut EP, Waves, is out this Friday.
Sunday, April 11: BOBBI ARLO
Arriving on the Irish scene with a powerful, arena-ready pop sound and indisputable star quality, 22-year-old Dubliner Bobbi Arlo is tipped for mega success. Bobbi's 2019 debut single ‘Berries’ was a radio smash hit – and following the release of two equally remarkable singles, 'Signs' and 'Breathe', she returned earlier this year with her acclaimed feel-good anthem, 'Feel It'.
Monday, April 12: BABYLAMB
Specialising in high-energy, dancefloor-friendly bubblegum pop, Babylamb are primed to go supernova over the next 12 months. The quartet of self-described "sad, fresh-faced queers" first announced their arrival as a captivating new presence in Irish music with their debut single 'Bodyright' in 2019 – followed by 2020's 'Icky', and their explosive synth-pop anthem 'Mister Magic' earlier this year.
Tuesday, April 13: THE ZEN ARCADE
Rising from the ashes of The Strypes, three former members of the Cavan crew have joined forces once again – with a new emphasis on doing things their own way. Having launched their own zine and podcast series, The Zen Arcade announced themselves as a very serious, smart new force in Irish music with the release of their debut, ‘Don’t Say A Word’, on their own label, Dental Records.
Wednesday, April 14: FINTAN MCKAHEY
A lo-fi indie singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Cork, Fintan McKahey has been releasing music since 2016, and playing support slots for the likes of The Scratch, Junior Brother and Róisín O. His debut EP God Games was released in 2019 to widespread critical acclaim, followed by his 2020 single 'Platinum' – which has clocked up nearly 135,000 streams on Spotify alone.
The Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' The Y&E Series, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, returns on Wednesday, March 31. Watch the performances live on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) every night at 7.30pm.