Steven Sharpe & The Broke Straight Boys
Steven Sharpe & The Broke Straight Boys are undoubtedly one of Galway’s best kept secrets. The band have been performing their own brand of ou’n’proud music around Ireland for the past 5 years and have made quite a name for themselves with their electric live shows. Steven has a veracious, witty, and soulful style which blends music, humour and storytelling.
Listen if you’re into Led Zeppelin, Oh Boland, Nirvana, Freddy Mercury
Ailbhe has been making huge waves in her native Ireland after releasing her debut EP ‘Hollowed Out Sea’, which included her break out single ‘Distrust’ that garnered critical acclaim and over 1.5 million streams on Spotify. She went on to feature on almost every major Irish festival line up in 2016 including Electric Picnic, Body & Soul, Hard Working Class Heroes and Other Voices.
Listen if you’re into Saint Sister, Lorde, Wyvern Lingo
St. Bishop is an Irish Pop RnB artist. His music fuses ekementsof soul, experiemental and alternative pop. After learning piano at the age of 19, the RnB singer illustrates a sense of coming-of-age after struggling with self-acceptance issues and reiterating them into his new smooth and sleek sound.
Listen if you’re into NAO, James Blake, Will Heard
Fast rising Northern Irish Indie-rocker Susie Blue returns with the second single from her highly anticipated, forthcoming debut LP.
She’s a Keeper is an unapologetic declaration of love, from a Woman to a Woman. The celebratory gushes of Blue’s vocal on She’s a Keeper echo an early era Angel Olsen and see ‘Blue sharing her experiences of the coming of age/coming out process with unflinching honesty.
“Its a song about the coolest woman you’ve ever met, she is so effortless and there doesn’t seem to be anything she can’t do. In the words of Peaches “the boys wanna be her, the girls wanna be her; but also you just fall in love with her like I did”
Listen if you’re into ROE, Angel Olsen, Peaches
Gadget and the Cloud
Gadget and the Cloud is a donwtempo electronic act hailing from Cork. Combining simple ambient vibes with subdued, atmospheric beats, she makes songs to sadly dance to. Over the last two years, her music has travelled between ambient soundscapes to experimental beats from her early EP October 31st to recent singles off her upcoming debut album, Songs For Sad People To Dance To.
Listen if you’re into Four Tet, Bonobo, Home
Nile St. James
An artist that delves into realms of the heart and comes forth bearing brutally-honest lyrics and an emotionally fuelled performance of soaring, soulful vocals and captivating arrangements that tether audience and artist together on a journey of heart, Nile St. James is quickly establishing a reputation in Ireland as an emerging soul artist to pay heed to.
A native to Limerick City, 23 year old Nile St. James found solace in the arts at a young age, taking to the records of Aretha Franklin and Stevie Wonder to escape from the everyday, spiriting away in the world of 1950’s soul music.
Listen if you’re into Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Bon Iver
Jealous of the Birds
Jealous of the Birds is the solo project of hotly tipped Irish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Naomi Hamilton. Her debut album Parma Violets, due out in April, matches introspective indie-folk with fiery post-punk. Beautifully crafted songs have been given contrasting arrangements, veering from stripped-down acoustic guitar to full-band indie-rock anthems, all overlaid by Naomi’s compelling layered vocals. Equal parts light and shade, the songs are poignant and vulnerable, bursting with honesty and raw passion.
Listen if you’re into Girlpool, Karen Dalton, The Moldy Peaches
The lone figure of Jack O’Rourke hunched over piano keys and moody synths, is one that Irish gig goers are becoming more accustomed to seeing. Whether performing his startlingly honest ballads solo or driving Spectorish rock with his band, Jack’s plaintive baritone, ethereal falsetto and piano are core. His songs speak of the human conditional with poetic flair – ( “a nifty lyricist”, Tony Clayton Lea ), melodic flair and inventive arrangements. Flattering comparisons have been made to Bowie, Kate Bush, John Grant, Emmylou Harris and The National in his eclectic style – yet Jack has carved his own musical landscape and songwriting voice., more distinctive, with each release.
Listen if you’re into Bon Iver, Delerentos, Kodaline
Although they only released their debut EP ‘Calm Girls‘ in December, self-described “baby band” Pillow Queens are fast growing into one of the most talked about new groups in Ireland. Having first come together in Autumn of 2016 on a basketball court in a Dublin city park, the four members of Pillow Queens, soon realised that making music together would be an equally productive group activity. Cathy plays guitar and sings. Rachel plays drums and sings. Pam and Sarah swap guitar, bass and lead vocal duties.
Listen if you’re into Wyvern Lingo, Le Galaxie, Chewing on Tinfoil
Big shoutout to the wonderful Dwayne Woods for his expert help in curating this list! Catch him on DDR’s The Co-Present
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