Right here right now


So who looks like being your favourite new act of the next 12 months? JIM CARROLLasked artists, radio folk, industry dudes, journos and a football pundit who they are tipping for 2013. Here’s what they had to say



Two super-talented brothers who make house music infused with garage and r’n’b. They’ve an album coming out in 2013 and I hope it does really well for them.

CONOR O’BRIEN (Villagers)


I’ve never seen Bleeding Heart Pigeons live, but the recordings I’ve heard so far are so unbelievably fully formed and emotionally gratifying to me that I’m finding it hard to believe that they’re still in their teens and have only played a handful of shows. The songs are awesome, but it’s their imaginative and textured arrangements that really set them apart for me. And the singer’s voice is ace.

AOIFE WOODLOCK (Other Voices music producer)


Eoin and Rory Loveless were destined for a musical career with those names. They are from Castleton, Sheffield, and I saw them play in their local cave at a JD event – the cave is called the Devil’s Arse and they live next door. Formed in 2010, the guitar and drums duo create a Jack-White-bluesy racket.

JEFFREY REMEDIOS (Founder Arts Crafts, Canada)


My tip for 2013 is a band from Toronto called Diana.They’ve got this mellow, warm-blanket, sexy, vintage-but-progressive sound that I think it going to resonate with a lot of folks. I wish I’d signed them.

JESSICA (This Must Be Pop)


The Neighbourhood have great songs, a cool, charismatic frontman and a very fashionable sound. Their indie/r’n’b, complete with distinctive vocals and unexpected sound effects, should lead to comparisons with Lana Del Rey and Frank Ocean, and, since they’ve signed a major deal with Columbia, expect to hear them everywhere in 2013.



I met Mano about six years ago and, since then, he has consistently worked to become one of the best at what he does, which is produce and DJ a friendly and melodic brand of emotional vocal house music. Each year, he gets bigger and better.

BRIAN KERR (football pundit and former Republic Of Ireland manager)


I love them: energetic, confident and cool-looking; very competent musicians; versatile too. They combine the energy of the young Rolling Stones with the vocal harmonies and easy-on-the-ear sound of The Beatles. Throw in a bit of old style American blues, played with a slight twinkle in the eye, and it’s a potent mix.



She reminds me of bad dreams and primal fears. The melody is sickly sweet against the minimal but definitely sour music – and it’s really addictive. Candid lyrics to make you squirm: my kinda lady.

HARRY MARTIN (Domino Records)


Cavan singer imbued with the spirit of Margaret Barry and Edith Piaf. The perfect blend of charm and eccentricity, and a genuinely unique voice. Glad to report she recently signed to Domino Publishing. You’ll also hear a lot about Limerick’s richly talented Bleeding Heart Pigeons before 2013 is done.

JOHN McMAHON (Head of 2fm)


I love their harmonies, pop sensibilities and obvious love for what they do. Their current single (The John Wayne) is just beautiful and I’m delighted that they are 2fm’s nominees for the Eurosonic festival in January.



Jack Colleran has been building an arsenal of material over the past 12 months, much of which we’ll hear next year. Will his music be covered on X-Factor? I doubt it, but you get the feeling he will leave an indelible mark on many in the very near future.

JOHN BALFE (Music editor entertainment.ie)


Gallops have long been touted as a buzz band, but now that their debut LP, Yours Sincerely, Dr Hardcore, has been released, they finally seem set to deliver on their lofty promise. Their Battles-like post rock sways from bludgeoning to playful at a moment’s notice, managing to be highly technical yet endlessly catchy.

JENNY WREN (Body Soul booker)


I want to step away from the very obvious breakers and throw this very interesting German duo into the arena. Their debut album, The Hawk, The Beak, The Prey, was released in September. Jump into Heavy Weight and You’re a Runner and I dare you to tell me I’m wrong.

EOIN CREGAN (Bodytonic booker)


Brooklynite Joey takes us back to the golden era of 1990s’ New York hip-hop with his sharp and lyrically conscious flow, dusty, jazzy beats and NY street imagery (see his Survival Tactics video). Check his 1999 mixtape with beats from J Dilla, MF Doom, Statik Selektah and Lord Finesse. Refreshing and exciting – not bad for a 17-year-old’s debut.

GUGAI (Róisín Dubh, Galway booker)


I think Hundred Waters is the way to go for 2012. Do people still call it folktronica? Maybe DigiFolk? They had a wonderful debut album this year, and there’s more than enough there to satisfy fans of the likes of Grimes, Animal Collective, Braids and such.


I do not have one hot tip but three, two of whom I am working with. ESP: mad electronic/psychedelic/surfer trio (Japanese bro and sis with live drummer). Check their track Serenade and double check the Miami-reggaeish remix with Flea on bass. Trill Pill: west London youth, full of invention and cross-genre ideas, all leavened with hooks galore. Tan Wei Wei: amazing Chinese singer with post-Grace Jones/SM danger vibes. And, as an afterthought, Twigs.

LEAGUES O’TOOLE (Aiken Promotions and Foggy Notions booker)


I was instantly hooked by his album Big Inner. Allen Toussaint might be a handy comparison – understated vocals, a fine understanding of American roots, jazz, psychedelic 1960s pop but most importantly southern/ N’Orleans soul with a delicious bed of string and brass arrangements and goosebump vocal harmonies. Instantly classic but definitely a fresh voice in American music.

STEVIE GRAINGER (Red FM The Pavilion, Cork)


He’s not new and his album is out, but he’s not well known yet. Karriem is a music veteran at this stage and it’s time for him to step out of the shadows like his Detroit buddy Dilla did years into his own career. Waajeed is another who could be the doing the same in 2013.

NIALL BYRNE( Nialler9.com)


These Mancunian mysterions’ underground ballads burn with unrequited emotions and piano-trailed elegy that occupy a self-created atmosphere, suited to destitute buildings and lost spaces. All we really know is that they are adept at creating anthemic downbeat music with a disregard for sound grammar (HOLDONME or FEELSOLOW) but we’re very much looking forward to what they’re cooking up with our own James Vincent McMorrow in 2013.

DECLAN FORDE (Electric Picnic and POD booker)


Daughter have been slowly and organically gathering fans since releasing their debut EP, The Wild Youth, in late 2011. While their songs have the semi-electronic atmospherics of bands such as The xx, their appeal lies simply in the quality of the tunes and the depth of emotion expressed in them. Their debut album is due in spring 2013.

BRIAN ADAMS (Head of Music, Today FM)


They have spent the past year playing, gigging, recording and getting their sound and act together. Young, talented and packing some great tunes, they have honed their alt-pop sound and strengthened their live performance.

NEIL DOLAN (Dolan’s Warehouse, Limerick booker)


They’re fresh, dynamic and have an infectious enthusiasm, which translates into searing live performances. They have an excellent ability to connect with their audience and are developing a consistency in their sound. Can they translate their live performances into a recording environment? I believe they can and I know their fans do too.

PAUL McCLEAN (Across the Line, BBC Radio Ulster producer)


It’s not exactly sticking the neck out here as young Bridie Monds-Watson has been causing ripples among music cognoscenti for more than a year now. At first only the Nordies had their collective knickers in a twist over her fragile yet ballsy paeans to love and life, such as Sea Creatures, but with Snow Patrol supports, publishing and management on board, the Derry teen is now surfing a swell that could become a tidal wave that travels well beyond Ireland’s shores.



Forget alt-pop, credpop or wonky. A*M*E’s not afraid to go glossy. The 17-year-old Londoner is in cahoots with wunderkind MNEK (who wrote The Saturdays’ All Fired Up), but can stand on her own two feet just fine. Think Beyoncé-level sheen combined with streetwise sass. It’s not all front though: I saw her at a recent acoustic showcase and she knocked the socks off everyone in the room.



While her electronica unit, Emily’s Eldest, is currently under the radar, Tackney (who is organist/musical director of Cavan Cathedral) has been working on her debut solo album, due for release in early 2013. What we’ve heard so far is a wonderful and intuitive bridge between old-school electronic music (Can, Cluster, Rick Wakeman) and latterday exponents of the genre (Ulrich Schnauss).



There is real beauty to be found in the old-fashioned and familiar. Just ask harmonising, acoustic guitar-playing girl/boy duo Hidden Highways. Trailblazers? No, but their blended voices and beautiful songs have a timeless quality more redolent of the Wild West than their west of Ireland roots. Debut album due 2013.

BRIAN BOYD (The Ticket)


The all-female, post-punk group provide the sort of sonic clatter that hasn’t been heard since the heyday of The Slits and early PiL. They have the best bass guitar sound I’ve heard in many’s a long year, there is a persuasive propulsion to the music and an urgent intensity to the vocals. Already full-formed and capable of a really great debut album, they are the most exciting new presence in the music world for a very long time.



These three twentysomething Dubliners (brothers Donal and Rob Cumiskey and Brian Higgins) are knee-deep in the murk of guitar-inflected electronica and post-punk pop. They heave guitars on top of bass and synths and there are retro touches of The Chameleons and Mirrors. First single is due in February/March, with a tour planned.

JIM CARROLL (The Ticket)


Dublin-based producer Craig Babikan has already thrown down a couple of fantastic, infectious bass house grooves with Illinois and Ghetto leading the way. Mentions in the despatches too for Bleeding Heart Pigeons, Soak, Rosie Carney, Holograms and NO.

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