- 09 Mar 23
Here are the four finalists for WLR FM's A New Local Hero talent search – featuring Backroad Smokers Club, Etaoin, Cal Pacino and Raya Mae.
We've already brought you dozens of emerging artists from across the country as part of the A New Local Hero talent search – and now it's time to meet even more, as Waterford's WLR FM announce their four finalists!
As one of the central features of Irish Music Month, A New Local Hero is a major call to arms for Irish musicians and bands – with all 25 participating radio stations having reached out for submissions in recent months.
So, let's meet WLR FM's shortlisted artists...
Backroad Smokers Club:
These gifted mavericks specialise in a potent blend of funky beats, jazzy chords and psychedelic rock.
Signed to Made Records, who have offices in Norway, Germany and the UK, the Irish-raised, London-domiciled act introduced herself with 2021’s Bedroom Walls EP, and has been upping her game ever since, with over 10 million streams.
Formed in 2021, the Waterford band released their 14-track debut album Sowing Seeds in August 2022 – inspired by legendary folk songwriters, its a superlative effort.
Seventeen-year-old Rachel Mae O’Neill Mooney grew up in a small town in Waterford, and learned to perform live before releasing the singles ‘Unexpected Love’, ‘After Midnight’ and ‘What If I Told You?’
Each of the selected artists at this stage in the campaign will get a chance to play live on their station, and all of those artists – thanks to the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, under its Sound & Vision scheme – will be paid for their performance.
From there, the four finalists representing the station will be whittled down to one ‘Local Hero’ from each – a major honour in itself, which will serve as a huge milestone in the careers of the selected 25 artists.
All of this leads to the national stage of the journey. From the 25 artists selected locally, an industry judging panel will choose just five acts to go forward to play at a special showcase event in Dublin.
The A New Local Hero campaign will ultimately see over €100,000 paid directly to Irish artists – and one worthy winning act selected, who will get to record a single at the prestigious Camden Recording Studios in Dublin, and release the single on the famed Irish independent record label Rubyworks.
As announced by Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland (IBI), Irish Music Month will run from Monday, March 12, to Friday, April 13 – and will see significantly increased radio play for Irish music across 25 independent radio stations.
Irish Music Month is supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, under its Sound & Vision scheme.
The event is also supported by IMRO, RAAP, MCD Productions, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Camden Recording Studios and the Rubyworks label.
Read more about Irish Music Month here.
Irish Music Month is supported by MCD Productions, IMRO, RAAP, Live Nation, Ticketmaster, Camdem Recording Studios, Spéir Mix & Master, X-Music and Square1
Irish Music Month is funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the television license fee