- 11 Jul 23
Orla Gartland’s high-flying career is about to become even more stratospheric, plus the other Irish artists you absolutely have to hear this month. Collage by Rachael McGinty.
Not content with scoring top 20 UK hits in her own right, Orla Gartland has joined forces with pals dodie, Greta Isaac and Martin Luke Brown under the FIZZ banner.
The first taster from September 15’s The Secret To Life album, ‘High In Brighton’ - they insist it’s about paragliding rather than drugs, but we don’t believe them – is alt. pop of the most effervescent variety and likely to lead to some serious double-jobbing.
Also looking and sounding like a star in the making is Sophie Doyle Ryder who follows her ‘Happier’ banger up with the equally high-octane ‘Insecure’.
“We both know I love the distance so that you can’t keep on coming back / I know it’s bad / I’m irrational and I’ll admit it,” the Malahide native intones over a thumping bassline, which strays into Avril Lavigne/Olivia Rodrigo territory.
If mainstream radio gets behind Doyle Ryder like it has those two, an extremely successful future awaits.
The song’s supporters include 2fm’s Beta Da Silva who’s also picked up on Chubby Cat’s excellent ‘21st Century Panic Attack’, which has a woofer-rattling 808 bassline of its own.
It’s single number five from the BIMM graduate who has a stunning vocal range to go with her razor-sharp image.
She’s also been played on BBC Radios 1 and 6 and graced Spotify New Music Friday, Fresh Finds and New Pop UK playlists, which is a bloody cheek seeing as Ms. Cat comes from Cork.
Tomike ups the ante with ‘High Grade’, which is clearly aimed at the dancefloor and wouldn’t sound out of place on the new Janelle Monae record.
From Dublin but based in London, her previous ‘Some Fries’ single was more radio-friendly but equally jiggle-worthy and underlines her breadth as an artist.
Tomike also features alongside Chi-Chi on Bricknasty’s genre-bending ‘guilt2001’ single, which fuses R&B, neo-soul, jazz and psych. You can read all about them on hotpress.com.
Following on from their excellent Feeling Something Someday EP, Dublin’s catchiest indie kids, Big Sleep, gift us the jangle-tastic ‘Shivering’.
With trace elements of Arctic Monkeys, The Maccabees and Dermot Kennedy, they did a bang up job earlier in the year of supporting Somebody’s Child but probably need to address the existence of a Brooklyn band who are also called The Big Sleep and have been gigging since 2003.
Dubliners Zeztra celebrate Pride month with ‘Dancing Freely’, a discofied empowerment anthem, which is co-produced by Damien Dempsey and Sinéad O’Connor man John Reynolds.
In addition to their own shows, sisters Avril and Lorna Meade have very ably supported HamSandwich, A Lazarus Soul, Saint Sister and the aforementioned Mr. Dempsey who appears to have adopted them.
Also flying the LGBTQ flag – but in far punkier fashion – are Belfast feminist queer combo Problem Patterns whose ‘Letter Of Resignation’ takes aim at the bigot brigade.
Out on the road recently with the likes of Le Tigre, Bob Vylan and Crawlers, the quartet are signed to the same Oxford independent, Alcopop! Records, as Derry’s like-minded Cherym and release their debut Blouse Club album in the autumn. Billing themselves as “50% gay, 50% rage”, Beverley Boal, Bethany Crooks, Ciara King and Alanah Smith routinely switch roles and instruments so that there’s no band hierarchy.
Having caught many an ear – including Lindsey Buckingham’s – with his recent Windmill Lane cover of Fleetwood Mac’s ‘The Chain’, Mark Caplice has released a new EP, Brighter Side Of Sorrow, which highlights his own songwriting prowess. Our current fave is ‘I Hope You Find Happiness’, an emotion-tugger of epic proportions.
The Wicklow singer’s CV also includes his and Megan O’Neill’s cover of Jim Croce’s ‘Time In A Bottle’ which helped soundtrack Netflix’s Firefly Lane; co-authoring 2018’s ‘Together’, which was the last Irish Eurovision entry to make it to the final; and being part of Ryan Sheridan, Róisín O, Pa Sheehy, Stephanie Rainey and Jack O’Rourke’s touring entourages. Busy boy!
IB Rebel opens his account in considerable style with ‘Words’, a zero punches pulled slice of gangsta-ish hip hop.
Clocking in at just 1min 551secs, it’s definitely left us wanting more from the extremely dapper Dubliner.
You may remember us heaping praise last year on Sarah Crean’s ’02.00AM’.
Well, lightning has struck again with her latest ‘What Do I Know?’ single - a satirical take on toxic relationships breaking down.
Splitting her time between Dublin and London where she’s starting to make an impact on the indie circuit, she reminds us of a young Aimee Mann, which is high praise indeed!
Read the full A&R Department in the new issue of Hot Press, out now.