On the record


JIM CARROLLon music. It's time for some predictions. Here are five stories  you will be reading a lot about in 2013.

HMV’s woes

This story will be watched with interest (and dread) by those who’ve taken a decision to help the beleagured retailer by providing favourable trading terms.

Suppliers know that HMV’s disappearance as a bricks-and-mortar chain would have disastrous consequences and the retailer has also copped that record labels need HMV as much as they need them. Perhaps it’s time for the suppliers to acquire HMV?


It’s not going away, you know. If 2012 was the year when the industry began to realise streaming was here to stay, 2013 will be when acts and labels view services such as Spotify, Deezer, Pandore et al as friends rather than enemies. After all, the public have already said yes to them.

Live industry disruption

Too many bands, not enough punters: it can only be a matter of time before the live industry faces a crisis due to over-supply and underdemand. Expect established promoters to become increasingly risk-averse, which can only be good news for those who do want to get involved and take chances.

Fund it yourself

2013 will be when acts probably kill this golden goose by overdoing the hard sell. Hands up anyone who has had enough of getting hassled and pestered on a daily basis by acts on Fund It or Kickstarter drives. Man, it’s like having an infestation of out-of-tune chuggers in your Twitter timeline or in-box.

The kids are alright

In 2012, it seemed as if every other Irish act we were tipping were still in their teens. From Soak and The Strypes to the Bleeding Heart Pigeons and Rosie Carney, the kids were making much better music than anyone else. Hopefully, this will continue in 2013.

# Now Playing

Dutch UnclesOut Of Touch In the Wild (Memphis Industries)

Sublime leftfield pop with arty peaks galore on the follow-up to the band’s Cadenza debut.

VillagersAwayland (Domino)

Expect to be still wowing about Conor O’Brien and co’s second album a year from now.

Local NativesHummingbird (Infectious)

What the Silver Lake melodic and harmony giants did next.

FuturePluto (Epic)

Wild ride to the far side with the Atlanta rapper.

PhosphorescentSong for Zula (Dead Oceans)

The return of Matthew Houck and a fine, hazy, stunning appetiser for 2013’s Muchacho album.

New Music


Bristol-based singersongwriter with a soulful, sand-blasted, blues voice and sparse, spine-tingling, elegant songs to match. Something here for fans of The Tallest Man On Earth, Daughter and Ben Howard.



London-based duo playing noisy, spikey, buzzy, oddly poppy tunes on debut EP Thrash Magic. Playlounge sound a lot like their heroes (No Age, Japandroids, Lemonheads) without ever veering into photocopy territory.



Limerick-raised, Dublin-based indie kids pushing a rock/pop line with interesting hooks and riffs in the mix. Curtains is their strongest calling card to date, a tune which best catches what lead singer John McDonnell’s voice can do.


* For more see irishtimes.com/ blogs/ontherecord

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