ONE of Ireland's premier alternative acts announces their return, the last big festivals of the summer bolster their lineups and we get a glimpse at the best and brightest new acts performing in Dublin this October in a busy week for Northern Winds.
News broke this week from Dublin-based arts organisation FMC of the performance line-up for this year's Ireland Music Week. Hosted every October, the showcase festival guests a number of speakers from across the music industry. Previous attendees include Universal and Sony reps, as well as various other labels, promoters, PR agents, publishers and artists.
After going virtual over the pandemic, the festival makes a welcome return to live Dublin settings this autumn, with the conference taking place from October 4 to 7. Continuing their partnership with Keychange, the international equality across music network, sees IMW maintain their 50 per cent representation of women and underrepresented gender minorities in its line-up – a real exemplar of the diversity and strength of Irish talent.
FMC CEO Angela Dorgan said: “We are beyond excited to see the line-up of spectacular talent that will fill the rooms of our venues over October 6th and 7th. Year after year Ireland is producing world-beating music talent in incredibly diverse genres and we are honoured to present them to local audiences and international delegates, who will help them develop their professional careers”.
We agree with her. Looking at the lineup, we see the North represented by the likes of Lemonade Shoelace, Lauren Ann, Aoife Wolf and Mount Palomar, joining some of our favourite acts like SPRINTS, Negro Impacto and Bricknasty. It’s as good a set-up as any for a most welcome in-person return.
In festival news, one of Ireland's biggest and another of its cult favourites announced news and changes this week. All Together Now can rival the likes of Electric Picnic for its curated lineup, and is less than two weeks away. This makes their surprise additions of Rufus Wainwright, Claire Beck and Ryan O’Shaughnessy all the more exciting. Promoter Foggy Notions also announced additions to the Dún Laoghaire Folk Festival. Taking place from the end of August to mid-September in Dublin's Pavilion Theatre, an already stacked line-up of Lemoncello, Caoimhín O’Raghallaigh, Christy Moore and Ryley Walker and others is joined by Andy Irvine, Niamh Regan, Maija Sofia and more.
Also in the announcement column, this week there’s news from familiar faces and a new one – although not 'new' like you’d expect. Gilla Band, formerly Girl Band, made huge waves with their Noise Rock records that ultimately helped reshape the modern Irish musical landscape. Now rebranded, the quartet have announced their newest album to be released on Rough Trade Records, ‘Most Normal’. With a retail release date of October 7 (a possible winter tour on the way then?), the band celebrated this news with the release of their newest single ‘Eight Fivers’, an anthem for those that stick out, the unfashionables and undesirables.
Meanwhile, Caoi De Barra, one-third of the now-on-hiatus pop act Wyvern Lingo, announced the first solo music of her career earlier this week. Based in Berlin but singing out of Bray, the singer released two new singles ‘Skirting Board Bonfire’ and ‘Messy Head’.
Lo-fi, spacious and gentle they’re a far cry from the huge arrangement of Wyvern, showcasing a new side to the singer that incorporates the songwriting influences of Jeff Buckley, Elliot Smith and Joni Mitchell. Also announced alongside her new singles was the ‘Scooter Tour of Ireland’, which will see the artist do a whirlwind tour of impromptu shows around the country on a 50cc scooter. Hopefully, a few Northern dates are on the cards.
We end this week's column by shining a spotlight on Laois singer-songwriter Eamon Dunne. His newest track ‘Sunshine Radio’ typifies the sunny months, all spacious vocals and far-out acoustics with a distinct city-pop feel to keep the energy moving. An utterly captivating track that will have you smiling as you listen.