Once again, Swear I’m Not Paul have teamed up with 2UIBestow to give you the ten Irish acts to look out for in the next twelve months. We’ve picked five acts each, and here are all the chosen acts, in alphabetical order. We now present the Irish Sound of 2011…
A Northern Light
Just formed last year, Belfast alt-rockers A Northern Light burst onto the scene with their splendid debut EP Chase the Ghosts Away. The trio describe themselves as makers of melodic space rock, but don’t be put off by the tag, this is easily accessible guitar music, with riffs straight out of the E Street Songbook. Their second EP is due this year, and they’re set to tour extensively.
Mike Smalle experienced minor success in the past decade with pop-rockers Cane 141, and even recorded a John Peel session, but his new project is his best yet. The Galweigan released debut single ‘Triple Trouble’ in 2010, and lists everything from Aphex Twin to Microdisney as an influence. He’s currently working with producer Ian Catt (Saint Etienne, Manic Street Preachers, Kylie Minogue) on his debut album.
Dayo & The Swingfolk
Dayo is a genuine artist who has written a bunch of wonderful Jazzy Pop tunes. He has a pure voice I could listen to endlessly along and we really can’t wait to hear the debut album he has recorded and ready to send out to the world. Dayo is going to need everyone who likes his bunch of tunes to spread the word and to become his ‘street team’ as the album won’t be getting any major PR push. He is part of a new generation of musicians who sees success in terms of ‘friends found’ rather than ‘cd sales’.
Waterford native Joe Harney looks like a folk artist. Sometimes looks can be deceptive, but in Deaf Joe’s case, they’re definitely correct. The owner of a gorgeous voice, the multi-instrumentalist creates beautiful soundscapes and is a fantastic live performer. He wowed crowds at Electric Picnic 2010, and his Winter’s Glow EP was one of the standout releases of last year.
The Making is a four piece Monaghan rock band who write REM inspired alternative songs. They have been playing music together now for the past two years in local pubs/ clubs and finally got the finances together to record their first single ‘Summer’s Gone’ in 2010. They are busy putting the finishing touches to the debut album which will hopefully be released during 2011. The Making’s best asset is the pure vocals of frontman Brendan Mc Cahey.
Arriving on the scene in December 2009 with his Mellow Funk EP, Milan Jay is one of the most experimental acts around. He dabbles in a whole host of genres, but has seemed to found his niche in the fuzzy rock of the To the Sea and Swim EP he released in November. Expect two more likeminded, yet wonderful EPs to follow this year.
The Riot Tapes
The Riot Tapes are an alternative rock band fronted by Elaine Doyle. The demo songs you can hear using the soundcloud link above are well crafted radio friendly rock songs which bring to mind bands like Garbage or No Doubt. The Riot Tapes have major ambitions for 2011 to make a name for themselves in Ireland and beyond. Have a listen to ‘Photograph’ below and watch out for the band in the new year.
Saramai & The Swords
Navan is such a great spot for new talent. Simon Fagan is busy making a name for himself worldwide while The Lost Brothers are hoping to build on their recent successes. Add to that artists like Joy Booth, Ruairi Coogan, Red Queen Contest and our pick of the bunch Saramai & The Sword. Saramai has been busy writing material for a debut album she hopes to release in 2011. Last year she has had some high profile support slots to Declan O’Rourke, Grada and Jack L. Saramai is a wonderful vocalist and writes songs of real depth.
Saramai made a video for her song ‘His & Hers’ and here it is …. make sure you turn the volume up!
It’s going to be hard for Northern Irelanders Seven Summits to top 2010. A set at Glastonbury was followed by the release of debut single ‘Burning Heart’ in December, and are currently working on their second album. Their first was a widely missed cracker, but after their various successes in 2010, they’re set to be one of the breakout stars of this year.
Sive is the moniker of songwriter and musician Sadhbh O’Sullivan. Having spent years playing guitar and bass in various bands, Sadhbh obtained a place at Ballyfermot college where she began to sing and perform her own compositions. I seen the band perform on Arthur’s Day in Boyles, Slane and was massively impressed with the quality of the performance. Check out the track ‘Breath’ from a four track demo recorded last year.