- 26 Jan 21
Whether you’re of the sonic cathedral building, neo soul or kicking out the jams persuasion, there’s a new Irish act to obsess over!
Making a major New Year splash are NewDad, a fresh-faced Galwegian quartet who played a virtual blinder last week at Eurosonic.
Their latest, ‘I Don’t Recognise You’, spent Christmas nestling among the likes of The Avalanches, Foo Fighters, Greentea Peng and Sleaford Mods on the BBC6Music playlist, which is a guarantee of record label interest.
Weaned, one suspects, on a healthy diet of 4AD and shoegaze, their previous ‘Blue’ release has amassed over 300,000 Spotify plays.
They do what they do, though, with such enthusiasm that it all sounds shiny and new.
We’ll be checking in with the band, none of who are actually parents, shortly.
While the rest of them have reconvened as The Zen Arcade – if you haven’t already, check out their new wave-y ‘Don’t Say A Word’ debut – former Strypes guitar-player Josh McClorey exhibits his funkier side on Puffin’
Clovers, a three-tracker that has a Dermot Kennedy vibe at times.
In addition to making his own music in his garden shed, Josh has featured on the last three Paul Weller albums. With that and The Strypes’ previous chart exploits, you wouldn’t be surprised if a major label came a calling.
Sticking with matters Cavan and The Yellowhead Project makes a glorious Brian Wilson-esque noise on ‘A Million Minds In Tune’.
A widescreen epic that also channels Messrs. Lynne, Mercury and McFerrin, it bodes extremely well for its parent Master The Monster album, which is due shortly.
When not making epic ’60s sounding music, the Artist Also Known As PJ Gargan is a psychotherapist, choir director, GAA fan and farmer.
Armed with “one guitar, a drum-kit, a few drum machines and a couple of synths”, Galway/Dublin duo Gorgeous Wrecks make a noise that’s halfway between The Blue Nile and New Order.
Yeah, we thought that would pique your interest! Their Gentle Art Of Persuasion debut therefore promises much.
James Blake, Wild Beasts, Moderat and Anohni fans are going to go nuts for Christian Cohle, a Dublin singer, songwriter and producer who releases his Holy Trouble debut on February 19.
The title-track is accompanied by a stunning video starring two of Ireland’s hottest young acting talents, Olwen Fouéré and Caoimhe O’Malley.
He’s part of the same Jawdropper management stable that also looks after Columbia Mills, Blake’s Fortune, crybabyamy who’s just signed a worldwide deal with BMG Publishing and Sick Love whose recent ‘I’m So (Fucked With You)’ single also marks them out as ’21 ones to watch.
Rachel Barror and spoken word artist Donnie Dublin come together beautifully on ‘Dublin City Lights’, a love letter to the Old Town (we even get a glimpse of Philo next to Bruxelles), which is accompanied by a video that’s guaranteed to bring a lump to the throat.
Currently based in London, Barror is a classically trained pianist who’s worked in the past with such heavyweights as Ed Sheeran and The Chemical Brothers and earned a Meteor Music Prize nomination for co-authoring the top 10 ‘Chameleon Life’ single.
With her songs and vocals making it on to Desperate Housewives, The Hills and Dance Academy she has the pedigree and now just needs the record company deal!
Check out her brilliant Hot Press Lockdown Session online.
Another essential spoken word piece is ‘Untitled’, a brilliant polemic on Irishness and identity from Adam Mohamed, AKA the Northside Nubian who’s been causing quite the stir in his Ballymun backyard and is deserving of a wider audience.
The track was produced by DJ and activist Dean Scurry whose ear remains as keen as ever.
A former member of the Choice-nominated Come On Live Long, Robert John Ardiff has swapped serrated guitar rock for delicately textured soundscapes – check out the likes of ‘Quarantine’, ‘Go With Grace’ and ‘The 13th Lock’ – which have earned him over eight million Spotify plays.
Based in Meath where he’s been in receipt of a County Council Artist Development Grant, his second album, The Corridors Of Love, drops in the spring and is produced by Ed Sheeran, Mumford And Sons and Tom Walker man Ruadhri Cushnan.
Richey McCourt, who had a spell in the Hot Press trenches, is making quite the name for himself in pop writing and production circles. In addition to his work at home with Aimeé, The Coronas and LAOISE, his songs have featured on respective UK no. 1 and no. 10 albums from Will Young and Rebecca Ferguson and a collection that’s gone gold in Austria and Poland for Argentine actress Tini.
He’s done a lot of co-writes with Nick Jarl, a Swedish tunesmith who supplied Westlife with several of their biggest hits and is a pal of Max Martin’s.
If you’re of the dreamy pop persuasion, look no further than A Ritual Sea whose ‘Seasons (Like You)’ single is a masterclass in sonic cathedral building.
After four years of gradually building their fanbase, the Dublin/Paris combo are readying their debut album, which will offer a modern take on the ‘90s shoegaze vibe.
Waterford songstress Carrie Baxter, who’s spent the past twelve months exiled in London, comes up jazzy/neo souly trumps again with ‘Pray’, which drops on February 15.
Justifiably compared to the likes of Amy Winehouse and Erykah Badu, her debut Placebo EP got an enthusiastic reception from Hot Press, BBC Radio 1 Introducing, BBC6 Music, 2fm and such key local and regional stations as Beat 102-103 and Red FM. Carrie’s also graced the cover of Spotify’s The New Éire playlist, and had two of her songs included on its coveted end-of-year round-up.