For a relatively small country, Ireland has a great wealth of talented musicians available, from big stars to those within the underground music scene. I decided to find out a little more about some of the more underground artists from the area – you can find a playlist at the bottom too!
Review by Jane Howkins
Picture by Celsey McFadden
Celsey McFadden – Almost Human
The first track on my list is Almost Human by Celsey McFadden, which has a very innovative sound to it. It’s quite hard to describe the genre of the track, with it being a largely instrumental piece of music, featuring a cinematic theme. The music progresses through several movements, with the percussion helping to drive the rhythm along in style. It’s unique, but it sounds fantastic.
Eoin Devereux – Set My Eyes On You
Set My Eyes On You is an indie pop song from singer-songwriter and musician Eoin Devereux. The track starts off with quite a slow tempo – the music has a lovely, dreamy feel to it, which mixes well with the catchy melodies contained within the music. Eoin’s low vocals suit the dream pop style well and there’s a lot more going on in the background than first appears, meaning it will take several listens to fully appreciate everything going on.
My Twisted Heart – Heartbreaker
The synth melodies that open up Heartbreaker have a lovely, bouncy feel them, reminiscent of a lot of the electro pop music that emerged in the 80s. The tempo is soon ramped up with a drop occurring fairly quickly, as the song descends more into modern day EDM territory. The synths and beats that My Twisted Heart creates here have a really catchy feel to them, with lots of variety across the whole track, meaning that listeners will never find themselves bored!
Cormac Looby – Hard-wiring
Cormac Looby is a singer-songwriter currently based in the Galway area, producing pretty indie folk songs with a heartfelt feel to them. One thing that surprised me about Hard-wiring were the brass instruments on the chorus – it’s quite rare to hear brass music on a poppy song nowadays, so this was a lovely surprise. The breakdown towards the end of the song features a quiet violin melody and sounds really beautiful, so make sure you check the track out now!
The Continentals – Make It Last
Make It Last is one of the heavier songs on this list, with The Continentals’ sound comprising of moments of modern rock, indie, garage rock and an edge of punk. The music has a frantic energy to it and I can just imagine these guys sounding fantastic at a live gig! There’s a slight breakdown in the middle, before the energy ramps right back up again into the catchy chorus. The production is a little raw, but this suits the garage rock stylings of the music well.
Pio Hartnett – Roses
Roses is a gorgeous folk song from Irish native Pio Hartnett, starting off slowly, before the unusual percussion style opens the chorus up. The dynamic changes between the verses and the chorus really makes the song sound unique – the strings and percussion are amazing and Pio has a fantastic singing voice. It’s more of a modern folk song, but the strings and vocal harmonies are simply gorgeous.
Shane Thunder – Big Smile
The main chord sequence of synths that kicks off Big Smile is absolutely lush, having an addictive feeling to it. Shane Thunder specialises in big drum and bass songs, a genre I admittedly haven’t explored too much. The percussion makes the song sound really catchy when mixed with the synths and bass, with the vocals running alongside the main melody – I’ll definitely be checking out more drum and bass in the future!
LW6 – Ra-Ta-Ta
The curiously titled Ra-Ta-Ta is a new song from LW6, an Irish trap and hip-hop artist. The opening of the song has a sinister vibe to it, suiting the trap genre of the music. The strings and piano melody sound great when mixed with the beat, with the vocals having the typical mumble rap style to them. One of the things I loved about this song was the way in which the tension slowly ramped up over time – find out for yourselves below!
Sunburn – Rainy Day
Sunburn are a fantastic rock band with a great indie rock sound to their music – Rainy Day is their latest release, starting instantly with a killer guitar melody and an upbeat rhythm. I really liked the way the vocals are used to create a sense of harmony alongside the instrumentation – the songwriting on Rainy Day really is top notch! The rhythm changes a little on the chorus, making it sound rather anthemic.
Fly The Nest – Say Hello
Say Hello is a catchy pop-rock song from Fly The Nest – the piano and bass on the verses help to entice the listener in, before the chorus kicks in with an emotional clarity. The vocals sound stunning throughout, but they reach new, dramatic heights on the chorus – you can really feel the emotion as they play out alongside the catchy music. The breakdown on the bridge brings things back down again, before elevating the tension once again with a killer guitar solo.
Barry Tierney – Colours On Canvas
Whilst there are several folk songs on this list, Barry Tierney’s Colours On Canvas has the most traditional/Celtic folk sound to it. It’s a fairly slow song, with an accordion melody being the real star here – it’s quite rare to hear such an instrument being played nowadays, so I was pleased to hear Barry putting it to good use! He has a great knack for songwriting, with the lyrics telling a story as the song continues on.
Fintan McKahey – Amber
The first thing that struck me about Fintan McKahey’s song Amber were the vocals – Fintan has a deep, soulful voice – perfect for the beautiful indie folk songs he makes. Amber is quite a slow song, but the rhythm only makes it sound more haunting – the little guitar melodies that play out in the background are gorgeous to listen to.
Craig Cooney – Realise
Realise is one of the more poppy songs on this list, having quite a mainstream pop feel to it. Craig Cooney’s vocals switch between soulful singing and rapping, with the beat underneath the track giving it a trap/hip-hop vibe. He has a very diverse sound to his music, with the track crossing a breadth of different genres, making for a very interesting listen indeed!
pMad – Medicine
pMad is the moniker of solo artist Paul Dillon, a musician and songwriter creating introspective pieces of music, with Medicine being his latest release. I felt the song had a post-punk/gothic vibe to it, with pMad’s low vocal style only enhancing this further. It’s interesting to hear a bass guitar being played so prominently too – Medicine won’t be for everyone, but those into this type of music should lap it up!