Irish artists are in demand

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INTERNATIONAL bands are bringing Irish talent to shine this week, and some of the country’s best bands are releasing their first new music in years.

As the world continues to open up, global tours are making a welcome return for workers and bettors alike. Ireland continues to be a popular stopover for these acts, but a few have gone further and chosen to take some of our acts with them. News broke this week that country-pop singer CMAT would be opening for alt-country songwriter BECK at his Trinity show in Dublin this summer. Further announcements came from Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth, Body/Head), who will be taking Cork punk trio Pretty Happy on their European tour. The trio will perform in eight countries across Europe alongside the alternative 90s legend and we wish them all the best for that.

News continues to roll out of Cork, with songwriter and composer Eoin French aka Talos returning with his first new music since 2019. An ethereal performer in the vein of Bon Iver and The National, Talos has released new track ‘ Dance Against The Calm’, the first of a trio of titles to be released this year. A fine blend of expansive, cinematic electronica and intimate, raw singer-songwriter roots, it’s a welcome return for one of the country’s singular talents.

The Derry artist SOAK also returns this week with a new album “If I Never Know You Like This Again”. Singles released earlier this year “Last July” and “Purgatory” see the singer drawing inspiration from peers like Pillow Queens, but they’re undeniably themselves on the new project. Inspired by ’90s college rock and contemporary alternative pop, this is an exceptionally strong collection of tracks that showcases an artist at the peak of his powers.

An ethereal performer in the vein of Bon Iver and The National, Talos has released new track 'Dance Against The Calm', the first of a trio of tracks due out this year
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An ethereal performer in the vein of Bon Iver and The National, Talos has released new track ‘Dance Against The Calm’, the first of a trio of tracks due out this year

In other live news, applications for Irish Music Week may have closed this week, but not before the announcement of the first wave of delegates for this year’s festival. With recurring partners from Warner Music Ireland, Universal Music Ireland and Sony Music Ireland planned for this year, an international delegation is also present. Representatives from recruiting agencies CAA and Live Nation, publishing house Domino, and record labels Royal Mountain and Kobalt also spoke at this year’s festival. Ireland Music Week offers a unique opportunity for artists and punters to see some of the country’s top artists and meet industry experts. Attendance is advised.

News also emerged this week about When Next We Meet, a new festival taking place at the Raheen House Hotel in Clonmel. A boutique festival with a curated lineup of folk, electronic, pop and indie music kicking off the 10-day Clonmel Junction Arts Festival.

And the spotlight this week falls, as always, on some of the best releases by independent artists over the past seven days. For starters, we have Kevin Morrow’s new EP, ‘The Northern Girl’. A lovely mix of soul, folk and blues, Morrow’s titular single is a throwback to a timeless era that feels as relevant now as it did then. Derry’s Clodagh May offers a more contemporary cut, with her new single ‘Say So’. A slice of fuzzy pop-rock (a specialty of the Walled City it seems), his beginnings are remarkably successful, revealing a respect for the profession that goes beyond performance. A truly impressive debut for the songwriter. And finally, we have the Warriors of the Dystotheque’s latest album, ‘Anthropause’. A four-piece band that has never been in the same room together, the new album is hard to put your finger on the genre. Elements of trip-hop, stoner rock, indie, jazz and electronica all blend together in a miasmic sensory experience. One of the best and most idiosyncratic albums of the year, it was released on May 27, and we urge you to have your say.

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