- 27 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.
It probably makes sense that Talos would be the work of an architect, for the art of building tracks has rarely been so impressively mastered. The project of Corkman Eoin French, his sound can effortlessly shift from stripped-back simplicity to cinematic magnificence. The same is true of a live show that is quickly becoming one of the country’s most talked about; what was once a solo effort is now a stunning full-band affair, bringing French’s tunes to new heights. His second EP, O Sanctum, was released this year to universal acclaim, with standout track ‘Your Love Is An Island’ finding a lofty perch at No. 5 in Hot Press’ Tracks of 2016 list. It says a lot that we reckon he’s capable of even greater things in the year to come.
HEAR: The aforementioned sophomore EP O Sanctum, out now on Spotify
SEE: The incredible ‘Your Love Is An Island’ on YouTube
THIS SIDE UP
Last November saw the release of the debut album from this infectiously enthusiastic trio, furthering the theory that – just like in early ’90s USA – the rap game is primed for a West Coast takeover. What started as a vinyl night in Sligo quickly turned into an original hip-hop act made up of MCs Myster E and Shaool, and turntablist and producer DJ Noone. The first full-length effort is Full Fat in both name and nature. An impressive step up from the previous year’s EP 3075, it demonstrates both a keen ear for a beat and a razor-sharp turn of phrase, delivered with a distinctively homegrown flavour. If winter blues begin to bite, a blast of these lads will cure what ails ya…
HEAR: The LP Full Fat, available from thissideup.bandcamp.com
SEE: The video for the title track on YouTube
After years of crossing paths playing in other bands, multi-instrumentalists Steven McCann & Lorcán O’Dwyer decided to join forces… and thank goodness for that! Making gloriously psychedelic pop – with healthy doses of R&B and electronica thrown in for good measure – the two-man band inflates to close to double figures for live performances, which is probably what’s required to do their tunes justice. Spots at Electric Picnic and Body & Soul cemented their place as festival favourites, while recent single ‘Touch’ secured corresponding excitement amongst radio DJs, bloggers and a growing army of followers. An EP should be forthcoming in early 2017, but you feel – and hope – that that’s only the start of it.
HEAR: Their dangerously addictive sounds at soundcloud.com/toofools
SEE: ‘Touch’ get the all-singing all-dancing video treatment on YouTube
The mere mention of touts can be enough to induce ire in music fans – but if it’s in reference to these Derry boys, an exception should most certainly be made. A fresh-faced trio that inspire nostalgic memories of the early Undertones. Their stomping punk-rock is impassioned, energetic and hugely enjoyable. Live turns in support of Blossoms and The Courteeners prompted a flurry of praise, while debut single ‘Marty’ has garnered significant airplay on both sides of the Irish Sea, with Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens both fully-paid members of the fanclub. With a Rocky O’Reilly-produced EP slated for the coming months, the future is looking very bright indeed.
HEAR: ‘Marty’ get the live session treatment on YouTube
SEE: Tour dates and release plans detailed at twitter.com/toutsband
Video Blue is proof that the bedroom can indeed be where the magic happens. Born and raised in Dundalk but now living in London, the man known to the taxman as Jim O’Donaghue Martin makes delightfully lo-fi guitar pop, with frequent flourishes of ambient electronics thrown in for good measure. A busy 2015 saw him unleash a pair of EPs – More Pop Trouble and Simmer – which were followed in style last summer with the superb new single ‘Disco Nap’, released as a split 7” with fellow ex-pat Trick Mist. Occasional returns to Irish soil – notably for HWCH and a cracking Whelan’s show – reminded us of what we’re missing. With a new record now completed and primed for release, hopefully we won’t have to wait long for a homecoming.
HEAR: Plenty of tunage at videoblue.bandcamp.com
SEE: The visual for ‘Disco Nap’on YouTube
WE WERE GIANTS
The past five years have seen the Dublin quartet perfecting their anthemic brand of indie-rock – and 2017 might be the year where they truly take off. Certainly, their activity in the past 12 months bodes well; popping their Reading and Leeds cherry as part of a live itinerary that also included a fair share of gigging both on home shores and in the UK, prior to heading into the studio. There, they were joined by producer Tony Doogan – and a man best known for working with Mogwai is a pretty good match for a band with soaring tunes and sky-high ambitions. The album is ready – the question is whether we’re ready for them.
HEAR: Their eponymous debut release at weweregiants.bandcamp.com
SEE: The video for ‘All I Want’ on YouTube