Once again, 2UIBestow and Swear I’m Not Paul have teamed up to predict ten acts from the island of Ireland that we think should be big this year. Without further ado, here is the Irish Sound of 2013…
Bairbre Anne is the new stage name for Bairbre Munnis. Having released her debut EP Helium Hearts in 2010, it looks as though Bairbre is nearly ready to release a debut album which showcases her wonderful vocals and radio-friendly pop songs.
Having released debut EP Sunshine/Moonlight and played his first ever gigs in summer 2012, Benny Smiles is just starting out what could be a huge career. His warm electronica has already produced the funktastic ‘Sunday Morning’, while 2013 promises a follow-up EP and maybe even a full album’s worth of tunes.
The Blue Choir
Kildare band The Blue Choir are going to have a great 2013 with the release of their debut album. With one EP and a few free downloads released, The Blue Choir have a sound which fuses the delicacy of mature lyrics with an abrasive dark edge when the guitarist Stevie Darragh is in full flow. Check out the current free download ‘Human Heart’.
Cash is King
Imminent debut single ‘City Lights’ shows that indie rockers Cash is King were much more than a clever covers band, with the rough acoustic version posted on Soundcloud last summer containing a warmth absent from most Irish rock thes days. A nomination for the MRU Awards came before the band even set foot in the recording studio, proving there’s many people rightly following the progress of the Dublin-based foursome.
Cry Monster Cry
May single ‘The Fallen’ announced Dublin brothers Richie and Jamie Martin’s arrival on the Irish folk scene. The title track of their debut EP, it recalled those two legendary Nicks – Garrie and Drake. In a world where Mumford, Lumineers, and Of Monsters are all becoming big stars, there’s no reason why the brothers Martin can’t follow suit.
While there’s a band from North Co. Dublin on the verge of going global [Kodaline], up pops out of nowhere this five piece from Howth with incredible heartfelt songs such as this one featuring Navan singer Shannon on vocals.
Let’s Set Sail
Dublin five piece Let’s Set Sail write quirky folk pop songs which really excites me. This writer has heard a new song ‘Too Far to See a Whale’ and it’s a great tune that hints at a really great debut album to be released later in the year.
Gabrielle Aplin topped the UK Charts in December with her cover of ‘The Power of Love’ despite pedalling her own gorgeous originals for the last couple of years. West of Ireland singer-songwriter Lydia Ford released her Hearts on Sleeves EP back in 2010, while her collection of radio pop covers posted online in January last year could well see her following Aplin’s lead. However, she shines brightest when belting out her own acoustic-pop tunes as on August’s impressive Taking Shortcuts EP.
North Side Drive
Jonathan Pearson is perhaps best known for his work on drums and vocals with Former Monarchs, but he turns his attention to piano arrangements for his new project North Side Drive. Showcasing his talents as a composer, July’s ‘One’ was one of the best instrumental songs of the year, and easily could have been used to soundtrack this month’s Oscar contenders.
The Unusual History of Ether
The Unusual History of Ether is the Copenhagen-based collaboration between Irish singer-songwriter Rebecca Collins and Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug. Their sound is folk-pop with a real European influence. The 2012 debut EP entitled ‘Part One’ contained a few great tunes which hints at a very successful year when the band plan to release their debut album this Spring.