- 06 Apr 21
Take a look back at the Bangor band's stripped back set on the Y&E Series below – supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Young alternative band The Florentinas joined us on the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series on Sunday (April 4). After recently joining forces with Gary Lightbody’s artist development company, Third Bar, the group also signed a major publishing deal with BMG, only 16 months after forming. From Bangor, Northern Ireland, the band is usually a four-piece outfit, but due to Northern Ireland's Covid restrictions, audiences of the beautiful live set were treated to a rare, stripped-back appearance from singer Paddy.
Paddy opened with 'Downstream,' and moved straight into 'Sandcastles'. The acoustic nature of the two songs allowed for the band's considerable songwriting chops to shine through.
"I wanted to keep this as natural as possible, so I didn't put a lot of thought into the set list", Paddy said, before answering some questions about his guitar and taking requests from the virtual audience. Paddy also played fan-favourite 'Stay', where he highlighted his first-rate voice, before he segued into 'Plastic Love.' Overall, it was a freeing, beautifully unrefined experience.
Watch the show back below, and check out the rest of the exciting acts in the coming weeks.
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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.