2014 was a glorious year for new Irish music and it looks like 2015 will be even more triumphant with offerings from established artists like Kodaline together with a flurry of first releases from another new wave of talent.
However, kick starting the year, will be the announcement of the 2014/15 Shortlist for Double Choice Music Prize on Wednesday. Likely contenders this time around are Sinead O’Connor, Hozier (natch) and The Riptide Movement. Watch this space.
First significant release of the year will be from Jape. “This Chemical Sea” has a release date of Jan 23rd and word on the street is that it’s a Caribouesque piece of guitar free electronic excellence.
Here is a sample in the form of “Heart’s Desire” a swaggering synth groove hugging dance toon, psychedelic underwater video included!
Kodaline are next out of the blocks with the Jacknife Lee produced “Coming up for Air” due for release on February 6th.
We’ve already had a taster, in the form of the single “Honest” which had its UK debut on the Fearne Cotton BBC radio show. “Honest” is a track heavy on the guitar and lashings of vocal harmonic layers. If the rest of the album follows suit, it will be another sure fire chart hit for the boys from Dublin.
Walking on Cars and Rainy Boy Sleep are due to release their first offerings later in ’15.
Will this be the year to see WoC make the transition Hozier made in the year gone by? The Dingle band definitely deserve to move up to the next level having already established a large core following in Ireland on the back of such strong tracks as “Two Stones” and “Don’t mind me” from the “Hand in Hand” EP released to critical acclaim. It hasn’t all gone to plan but with an Irish tour kicking off in March, and an album due on its heels, one gets the feelings this could be their year!
Now signed to Universal, Rainy Boy Sleep has been busily promoting his “Ambulance” EP.
What can I say – what needs to be said.
The Reuben Keen remix of “Ambulance” gives the track a new, bouncier toe tapping vibe, but if you want to know what Stevie Martin is all about, take 4 minutes to listen to the biting “Manchester Post”. Decide for yourself but the boy from Derry is destined for greatness.
Also in the mix for 2015 are Wyvern Lingo. Not only did they support Hozier on his end of ’14 live tour but member Karen Crowley performed vocals on his debut album. The Hozier link has raised their profile in time for their tour which kicks off tomorrow, see http://www.wyvernlingo.com
Two Rough Trade signings are due to make releases this year in the form of the wonderful Soak, whose album should hit the decks in Summer and Girl Band, a late 2014 signing but with an already established fan base across Europe. 2015 should see them enter higher ground in the UK and Irish markets.
Ryan Sheridan will also have a new offering this year, a track from which the poignant “2 Back to 1”, has already been warmly received by both music press and fans alike. This should be the year to see him progress from pub gigs to decent sized venues!
And then there’s The Strypes! What next from the super gifted teen band from Cavan so beloved by the likes of Elton John and Dave Grohl. Supporting the Arctic Monkeys last year lifted their profile in Europe, so now is the time to make good – their last album was released in 2013, which was followed by a 4-track EP in February 2014.
The time as they say, is ripe.
And what’s the new from the UK for 2015. Two words. James Bay.
No-one else will come close!
If you enjoy music as much as I do, 2015 is going to be a cracker.