- 01 Nov 23
Limerick, Drogheda, Clare, Belfast and Gweedore are among the stop-offs as we traverse Ireland looking for the hottest new music...
”Nine in the evening, five drinks in Kissing my friends and sending drunk texts” proclaims Ashley Abbedeen on ‘Wrong’, the latest from Hotgirl which starts out in jangly slo-mo before exploding into punk/grunge life.
Formed by Abbedeen and fellow BIMM graduate Sophie Boxwell and hailing from both Dublin and Drogheda, the band’s previous ‘Jam’ and ‘The Cat’ offerings add to the sense of something special starting to take shape.
Shoegaze-y Dublin three-piece The Fae continue to impress with ‘Friend Of A Friend’, the lead track from their debut Bloodrush EP, which is “about watching someone you used to be close to going their own way, and trying to rebuild yourself from that.”
Previously supported by BBC Radios 1 and 6 Music, Radio X, Sirius XM, 2fm, Amazing Radio and, naturally, Hot Press, it’s been produced and mixed by Elise Mollé whose CV also includes The Blizzards, Sam Ryder, George Michael, Leanne Rimes and James Vincent McMorrow.
On a more downbeat note, bass-player and vocalist Emma Hempton took to social media last month to reveal that, as a result of her cystic fibrosis, she has developed liver disease and is on a transplant waiting-list.
Team Hot Press send Emma our best wishes…
The Polish-born, Ennis-based Dora Gola keeps the heavenly harmonies coming with ‘The Last Tear (Ostania Lza)’, which sounds like the missing link between Enya and Shakira. Well, sort of!
Sung in her native tongue, this mantra of love gets a live airing on October 28 when she plays The Racket Space @ Bernard Shaw in Dublin.
Staying in the Midwest and Small Church have released the second taster from their upcoming Fever Dream EP.
It’s called ‘I’m A Fool’ and sounds like a jazzier soft focus version of Hole. Honest!
Fronted by Andrea Mocanu who’s also centre-stage with PowPig, the quartet met while studying at the Limerick School of Art and Design and admit to usually “starting quiet, and then getting loud.”
Their debut Dolan’s headliner in June proved them to be as potent live as they are in the studio.
Those of an Afrobeat persuasion should check out ‘How Are You’, the supremely soulful new single from Bayo whose previous ‘More Fire’ release was a similarly slick autotuned affair.
The Nigerian Artist Also Known As Natural B has been living in Ireland for nearly twenty years, during which time he’s studied at Ballyfermot and released a killer mixtape.
Ahead of his December 1 hometown headliner in the Dublin Academy, Isaac Butler releases ‘Heart Of Gold’, a power ballad of epic proportions which will find favour with Dermot Kennedy, Picture This and Cian Ducrot fans.
With over three million Spotify plays - and rising – you’d expect his independent status to come to an end very shortly.
He’s already spent time songwriting in Los Angeles where he ended up in a spinning class with Justin Bieber - as you do!
Cruel Sister, aka Dublin alt-rocker Faith Nico, impresses with her five-track EP, Turgid – it’s anything but - which mixes her heavenly harmonies with serrated guitar riffs.
Equal parts Sonic Youth, PJ Harvey, Yungblud and Olivia Rodrigo, things get seriously dark on the closing ‘Pull Back’ which is pure primal scream therapy.
Gweedore singer Eve Belle impresses with ‘TV’, the lead track from her Sharp Relief EP, which showcases her wonderfully expressive vocals and has a bit of an old school Breeders/Pixies feel - albeit in their gentler moments.
Signed to Rubyworks, Belle made her TV presenting bow in April with Buille, an Irish language music show filmed in Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick.
Pop of the sassiest kind is how we’d describe ‘Mercury In Retrograde’, the latest earworm from Belfast singer Tabitha Smyth who started off singing Justin Bieber, Kate Bush - she does a very mean ‘Running Up That Hill’ - and Olivia Rodrigo covers on YouTube but is now a fine songwriter in her own right.
With over 1.6 million likes, Smyth is a prime example of an Irish artist using TikTok to build her fanbase.
Cork outfit The Burma make another step up with ‘Holiday’, the lead single from their newly released Crazy Dreams & Cruel Realities album which was reviewed online by Hot Press.
Its throbbing bassline, retro ‘80s keys and dreamy vocals remind us of French pop perfectionists Phoenix with a dash of Luke Haines thrown in for good measure.