My Top 5 Irish Artists - Maired Scahill

The Irish music scene is alive and kicking at the moment, with bands and artists releasing top notch tunes on a weekly basis. So much so that Spotify is even dedicating playlists to discovering the amazing new music they’re churning out.

Here’s a few heavy hitters that are making the music scene hop


Hip-hop was not something that people automatically tracked with the Irish music scene, and then Kojaque came along and turned everything on its ear and quieted the nay-sayers.

The Dublin-born rapper came to prominence with his concept album, Deli Daydreams, detailing the life and liberties of a deli worker in Dublin. It shouldn’t have worked and it worked so very well. Lyrically clever and melodically sound, the songs are highly entertaining and catchy and seeing them in action brings the audience to life.

Gateway Song: Eviction Notice

Fontaines DC

If you haven’t heard of Fontaines DC, you might want to remedy that. The Post-punk powerhouse hails from Dublin and imbues their music with dirty bass, heavy drums and James Joyce quotes.

Nominated for the Mercury Music Prize for their debut album “Dogrel”, the 5-piece have quickly risen to prominence in the music scene and it’s easy to see why. They assume their audience is intelligent, never tries to dumb things down but also showing that punk can be equal parts savage and articulate. Grian Chatten’s Dublin accent is really refreshing and gives authenticity to songs like “Liberty Bell” which speaks about their time living in the Liberties.

Watching them live is reminiscent of The Strokes, where the band are so loose and free on stage it almost feels like their making up the set list as they go along and winging it, because fuck it why not.

Fontaines DC are a rocketship on an upward trajectory. This is not a band you want to sleep on.

Gateway song: A Heroes Death

Somebody’s Child

Somebody’s Child is a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter one man hit machine. Cian Goddo made a mark on the music scene and seems to have solidified his place as an artist to watch, being highly praised for his performances on Other Voices and in venues across the country. His songs are deeply personal and he’s able to vocalise feelings regarding mental health that those who can empathise cannot always verbalise. And it’s refreshingly honest, making him one to watch.

Gateway song: Make you Alright

Junior Brother

Junior Brother, also known as Ronan Kealy, is a Kerry man who plays a damn good guitar and a ship-shape tambourine. His songs are irreverent and compelling and the man is so compelling to listen to that you can’t stop yourself getting pulled into the gravitational force of his music. HIs music is alternative and off-kilter and it’s the exact right kilter for the music scene right now.

And with song titles like “Hungover at Mass” and album names like Fuck Off I Love You, why wouldn’t you want to give yourself over completely?

Gateway Song: Hungover at Mass

Soda Blonde

In 2019, we said goodbye to Little Green Cars--a wonderful Indie Rock band who rose to critical acclaim with their album Absolute Zero--and said hello to Soda Blonde, an alternative pop collective with the majority of the bands original members.

Talk about a rebrand. And you know what? It works.

Faye O’Rourke, Adam O’Regan, Donagh Seaver O’Leary and Dylan Lynch have now become Soda Blonde, which is very different to their former band but just as compelling. Faye O’Rourke brings her signature haunting vocals to the new outfit, and the bass and guitar still hold as some of the finest in the business. In fact, the band released a new EP called Isolation while in quarantine and are only going to go on the up from here.

Gateway Song: Terrible Hands

Honorable mentions go to Talos, Deadbog, Lyra and The Academic.

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