Part Three of my countdown of the Best 50 Irish Acts today. The only requirement for entry is that the artist must have played live or released something in the past twelve months.
30. Lisa Hannigan
The former cohort of Damien Rice decided to go it alone, and his music suffers as a result. The lack of her vocals on most of 9 was the reason it wasn’t as good as O. Her debut album was a consistent record, but not amazing. However, we know from experience that she definitely has it in her.
29. John Shelly and the Creatures
John Shelly and the Creatures have been in your head for a while. ‘Long May You Reign’ was used as the soundtrack to the Discover Northern Ireland adverts. The Belfast band have just released their debut album Dinosaur, which is an album full of gorgeous tunes.
28. I Am Not Lefthanded
They’ve taken over 2UIBestow this week, but 66% Irish band I am Not Lefthanded could easily take over the airwaves with their instantly memorable pop tunes. They’ve only released EPs so far, but are due to record their album this year. Their live act is just as fantastic.
27. We Cut Corners
Another act selected in the Irish Sound of 2010, We Cut Corners are a brilliant Dublin duo, who have supported some fine acts as well as appearing on national television. Their appearance on When Under Ether late last year was wonderful.
26. Mumblin’ Deaf Ro
2007′s The Herring and the Brine was one of the albums of the decade, and since then Mumblin’ Deaf Ro has been playing regularly and consistently all around the country. It was his second album, and the follow-up is eagerly awaited – not least by all those people who read his regular comments over at On the Record!
25. Duke Special
Not many artists have the pull or the imagination to release three albums simultaneously. But that’s just what Duke Special did earlier this year. Ever since ‘Freewheel’ launched him into the mainstream, he’s been doing everything possible to combat the natural progression to chart topper. That takes someone either brave or crazy. But perhaps Duke Special is both.
Another artist who has just recently released his debut, Dubliner Fiach is one of Ireland’s unsung musical heroes. A wonderful singer in both English and Irish, the 24 year old is a definite tip for the top. His debut album So I is a great album, but it doesn’t show off the tremendous talent he has performing live.
23. Pearse McLoughlin
Pearse McLoughlin released the wonderful single ‘Ways to Kill a Werewolf’ last year, and since seeing the video, I have had the song on repeat. I’d say a thousand of those youtube views are mine! It’s taken from the album Busy Whisper, which really deserves much more attention.
22. Mark Dignam
Mark Dignam is a popular musician’s musician. At his Whelan’s gig last year, Liam O’Maonlai and Glen Hansard both popped along to join him on stage. He’s also performed with the Frames and Paul Noonan. All those acts know how good Dignam is, and it’s about time that the public knew how good he is too.
21. Two Door Cinema Club
Yet another Irish Sound of 2010 pick, Northern Ireland’s Two Door Cinema Club are gaining a lot of critical acclaim from a variety of sources. They’re a fantastic rock band, and just released debut album Tourist History. The album is decent, but Two Door Cinema Club’s singles so far are insanely catchy. There’s only better to come.