1. Little Green Cars
Sounds like/ influences: They sound a bit like Arcade Fire, mixed with a pinch of George Harrison, with a tiny bit of Fleetwood Mac.
Why you should listen to them: Dublin band Little Green Cars’ first album “Absolute Zero” is an absolute cracker, and with heavy play on UK and Irish radio they’re quickly becoming well-known Europe-wide. They took ages to write their first album, but it was worth it, as it’s already one of the best of the year so far.
Check out the brilliant, slow-burning “The John Wayne”:
Sounds like/ influences: A bit of yearning Jackson Browne, the piano-y bits of the Beatles, mixed with the anthemic Coldplay, all in a good way.
Why you should listen to them: The success of their first single - All I want - (with a brilliant video by young Irish director Stevie Russell) catapulted the Stephen Garrigan fronted four-piece into the mainstream, featured them on the YouTube “best of 2012” video and prompted a chart battle for number 1 in the UK with Kanye West! They are also a handsome bunch, which probably doesn’t hurt, to be fair.
Watch the excellent video to “All I want”:
3. The Strypes
Sounds like/ influences: They sound like they just stepped out of smokey ‘blues club in sixties London, mixed with a bit of Arctic Monkeys.
Why you should listen to them: These four incredibly young teenagers from Cavan have been collecting laminates from some of the best festivals around Europe, Japan and South America while stealing the show from the established acts and with their 60’s garage-influenced Rock ‘n Roll. Fresh from a celebrated set at Glastonbury, and an album on the way, The Strypes have the potential for a long and amazing career.
Have a listen to “Blue Collar Jane”:
4. Rejjie Snow
Sounds like / influences: MF Doom, Tyler the Creator, Nas.
Why you should listen to him: Ireland isn’t known for hip-hop, so it’s great when someone this truly talented and creative emerges. He’s been in London and Florida, working with King Krule and battling Kanye West and J.Cole in the itunes hip hop charts. He’s also very, very good.
Check out the video for ‘Snow”
Sounds like/ influences: All the best bits of Dylan and Radiohead in a thoughtful, lyrical 10-legged extravaganza.
Why you should listen to them: Conor O’Brien and his effortlessly talented band appeared a few years ago and (pretty much) instantly became one of Ireland’s best and most loved acts. Their new album is as exciting as their first and they’ve also managed to become effortlessly brilliant live. Seriously, go now and listen.
If you don’t know these songs, start with this year’s “Nothing arrived” and take it from there.
Sounds like/ influences: Gentle, Beautiful songs
Why you should listen to her: At a recent radio show, we met 15 year-old Bridie, AKA Soak (“a mix of Soul and Folk”) and she performed “Sea Creatures” acoustically and silenced the room. An incredible talent, the Derry-born singer has huge huge potential.
7. The Lost Brothers
Sounds like/ influences: Like two Southern-influenced Van Morrisons working with Phil Spector.
Why you should listen to them: Mark and Oisin are a two piece kinda-blues/folk band who sing together like pitch-perfect Nashville twins. They’ve recorded harmonies with Arctic Monkeys and in Brendan Benson’s Studio in Tennessee, but hearing them live is special, as they can weave a spell in a room and make you feel like you’re listening to something classic.
Check out “Blue moon in September” (with a whale doing backing vocals)
8. Young Wonder
Sounds like/ influences: hip hop, dubstep, and a bit of Bjork.
Why you should listen to them: Young Wonder are a brilliant electro-pop group we were lucky enough to play with recently in Cork. Their sound is built around synths and beats and the impressive vocals of Rachel Koeman. They recently had big success in Japan with their tune “Show your teeth”, and there is huge anticipation for their debut album…
Check out “Time”:
9. James Vincent McMorrow
Sounds like/ influences: a lot of heart, and lot of soul, bookish and a bit of Bon Iver..
Why you should listen to him: James’ is simply a brilliant singer and songwriter who has the rare ability to sound like the best of lots of people, while also sounding unique. He released his first album in 2010, “Early in the morning”, and if his next album, due this year, is as good, it’ll be something special. As well as an inspired cover of “Higher Love” he produces gems like “We don’t eat”.
We Don’t Eat:
Sounds like/ influences: Chemical Brothers, M83 and a tiny bit of Daft Punk.
Why you should listen to them: LeGalaxie are Ireland’s foremost creative-electro-dance-legends. After a few years of honing their sound they’ve become the leaders of anthemic dance tunes at every festival…. With a new album due this year, early promise shows it’s going to be pretty awesome. They always look like they LOVE being in a band as well, which is something that people forget sometimes; being in a band is mostly great.
Check out Love System:
11. Ham Sandwich
Sounds like/ influences: The fun part of the Flaming lips mixed with the odd part of the Pixies… mixed with some balloons and confetti.
Why you should listen to them: The ‘Sandwich have developed into one of Ireland’s best live bands and every song released has been better than the last. Their new tunes are due in the next few months, and it promises to be one of the albums of the year. If you get a chance to see one of their mad, fun, exciting live shows, take it!
Listen to “Ants”:
Sounds like/ influences: Rich, sentimental, orchestral emotional music for getting lost in.
Why you should listen to them The new album “Boa Howl” has just been released and already its being touted as one of the Irish albums of the year. Live, the four-piece bring their music to ethereal, hypnotic highs and swells, masters of dynamics and shifting atmospheres. Their sometimes upbeat, sometimes gloomy songs are always melodic and enveloping… quite different to some of the poppier stuff on this list!
Check out the gorgeous “Tanager Peak”
13. We Cut Corners
Sounds like/ influences: Belle and Sebastian songs played by the Black Keys. Two guys that draw you in with melodies, harmonies, and broken hearts. There’s an angry darkness lurking there too….
Why you should listen to them: We Cut Corners released an amazing 1st album in 2011. They’re verge of releasing their 2nd which they recorded in Dublin between gigs in Russia and the UK. They also do a fine line in quirky videos.
Check out the fantastic ‘Toll Free’
There are far too many brilliant acts to talk about them all, but Honourable mentions to other brilliant Irish acts in 2013: Solar Bears, SertOne, Fight like Apes, Maud in Cahoots, Cars love Girls, Elaine Mai, Daithi, the awesome ASIWYFA and erm, U2. Hope something from this list catches your ear….
Article written by Kieran and Níal.
Delorentos are 2013’s Meteor Choice Album of the Year winners for their third album, “Little Sparks”. They are currently writing their 4th album.
Have a listen to “Did we ever really try?”: