- 24 Jan 17
Each day this week, we'll be bringing you six rising artists from Ireland who are tipped to make an impact in 2017.
A Galwegian now at home in the capital, the singer-songwriter is perfectly poised to make waves having just unveiled her debut LP Paperscapes, which impressively exhibits her gifts as both musician and storyteller. A little more adventurous than your average folk musician, touches of alt-country, blues, jazz, and indie-pop also play their part in an engaging tapestry – though there’s an undeniably distinctive voice holding it all together. While comparisons to Laura Marling and Suzanne Vega have been made by the bucketload, anyone who caught her at Electric Picnic, Castlepalooza, or any of her other stops during the festival season will know we have a fresh new star on our hands. Donohue is also a professional costume designer who’s worked on TV’s Vikings, so if the stage outfits are as remarkable as the tunes, you’ll know why!
HEAR: The terrific single ‘Bookmarks’ on YouTube
SEE: facebook.com/miriamdonohuemusic for the latest goings on, including gig announcements
ROISIN EL CHERIF
Part Irish, part Palestinian, the Galway girl has turned in stunning live performances across the country, solidifying her claims as one of the singer-songwriters to watch. A background in TV and film production – she worked on the Oscar-winning Brooklyn and the international smash Vikings – came in handy when it was time to put together a video for debut single ‘Kerosene’, but it’s her warm voice and carefully calibrated songwriting that really capture the imagination. A debut EP has been a while in coming, but acclaimed performances throughout the festival season suggest it’s not been time wasted. The stage is set for an almighty charge ahead in the next 12 months.
HEAR: A soulful take on ‘Summerfly’ on YouTube
SEE: The spellbinding video for ‘Kerosene’, also on YouTube
Born in Libya, Farah El Neihum moved to Dublin when she was two. Now, with a distinct flavour of her background sprinkled into her songwriting style, she looks ready to ascend to the top table of Ireland’s most exciting and recognisable talents. BIMM educated, the vocalist and pianist has won legions of fans throughout a busy year of touring, which included a slew of festival dates. Meanwhile, her single ‘Silk’, along with a guest slot on Bantum’s ‘Feel It Out’, found her idiosyncratic style reaching new ears. Take piano-driven anthems, add a dash of hip-hop and a pinch of Arabian flair, and you’re heading in the right direction. A debut album is currently under construction; fingers crossed we won’t have to wait too long.
HEAR: The outstanding single ‘Silk’ on soundcloud.com/farahelle
SEE: A wealth of videos on her Facebook page – facebook.com/farahellemusic
Comprising Dublin’s own Julie Chance and Australian Jane Arnison, Evvol now call Berlin home – though in truth, the world may soon be their oyster. Peddling what might best be described as dark synth pop, the pair wear influences from ’80s noir and art-school electronica on their well-tailored sleeves, as droning guitars, pounding beats and haunting, ethereal vocals combine in mesmerising fashion. Atmospheric though it may be, hints of good ol’ pop sensibilities poke through on occasion too, so it’s not just mean mugging the whole way through – bittersweet is a word that springs to mind. Having opened for the likes of Grimes and Peaches in the past, the name-in-lights treatment can’t be too far away.
HEAR: Their highly impressive Physical L.U.V. EP at soundcloud.com/evvol
SEE: The epic video for the title track on YouTube
As retro as leg warmers and shoulder pads, the south east act came into being in 2015 when a love of all things ’80s brought Darragh O’Connor, Johnny Smee and Jack O’Flaherty together. And while they’ve thankfully resisted rolling up the sleeves of a white sports coat (thus far, at least), they’ve left little else from the era behind in their exceptionally immersive collection of throwback tunes. Their first EP Red Light debuted in September and left no doubt as to where their hearts lie, as scintillating synths conjure up their own little world of bright lights and drop tops. It’s just as well they do a natty line in merch, including some cracking varsity jackets – because everyone might want a piece of these guys soon.
HEAR: The Red Light EP at weareexiles.bandcamp.com
SEE: The video for ‘Holding You’ on YouTube
Watching his old mucker Gavin James become a bonafide superstar over the past two years clearly lit a fire within the Dublin singer-songwriter, who’s set about following in the footsteps of his schoolmate with some haste. His 2016 account opened with a trip to Eurosonic – where he clearly made an impression, as he’s bound for The Netherlands again this March – and was bookmarked by a pair of releases; his debut EP Home, showcasing his delicate take on the craft of songwriting and a voice that can float upon high, arrived in January, with December seeing the release of single ‘Stay’. 2017 is already shaping up to be a busy year – who’d bet against Gallagher being the next guitar-toting troubadour to hit the big-time?
HEAR: December’s single ‘Stay’, streaming on Spotify
SEE: Gallagher headline Whelan’s on February 17