Dublin Sound

20 Dublin Bands You Need To Hear Now

Thursday 13th July 2017

Otherkin at Dublin venue, Whelans

Dublin has given the world huge bands such as U2, Thin Lizzy, My Bloody Valentine and, predictably, The Dubliners. As you might expect, with the city's reputation for music and nightlife it's a great place for new music to emerge and flourish. More recent bands to come out of Dublin include notable and diverse artists such as Jape, The Coronas, Girl Band and September Girls. With this in mind, we look to Ireland's capital to seek 20 Dublin bands you need to hear now.

Otherkin
Although they've been making a noise on the indie-rock scene for a couple of years now, Otherkin look set to make 2017 their big year with their debut album 'OK' set for release in September (2017). Take note of their 'Bad Advice' until then.

Æ MAK
Formed around the songwriting duo of Ellie McMahon and Aoife McCann, Æ Mak make art-pop songs that have drawn comparisons to Bjork. This is an understandable reference to make given the pair's unconventional vocal style, which uses their voices as narrative as well as part of the instrumentation. Watch their video for 'I Walk' below.

Bad Sea
A singer/songwriter duo made up of CMAT (AKA Ciara Thompson) on vocals and Alan Farrell on guitar, Bad Sea's songs have a vintage feel to them thanks to CMAT's evident 1960s influences. That said the songs have a fresh feel that should please fans of Amy Winehouse and similar artists. 

Squarehead
Sounding like they might belong to the Birmingham indie pop revival of a couple of years ago (Peace, Jaws etc), but with a welcome injection of grit and distortion, Squarehead promise to be an excellent indie-rock trio who are sure to find success outside of Dublin and Ireland with 6Music friendly tunes like 'Waves'. The song also has a great video with feelgood slo-mo rollerskating and the band playing in a drained swimming pool.

EMBRZ
Self-taught electronic musician Jack Casey has gone from learning guitar at ten, to playing in bands and writing by 15, to being a fully fledged solo artist at 25. His influences are diverse, including Stone Roses, Deadmau5 and Slipknot. His vibrant style of electronic dance orientated production has scored EMBRZ some big remix work including mixes of Ellie Goulding's 'How Long Will I Love You' and 1975's 'Settle Down'. Check out Jack's latest original composition 'Higher' below. 

 

Bouts
It would be easy to compare Bouts to their fellow countrymen Ash, but there is a much more American sound behind the four-piece that is reminiscent of Dinosaur Jr. or Weezer, albeit in a very laid back fashion. 'Allies' taken from 'Unlearn' EP resurrects the lost art of the guitar outro to great effect. Watch the video below.

Dublin singer/songwriter Farah Elle

Farah Elle
A talented solo singer, songwriter and pianist, Farah Elle's songs are deceptively complex yet soulful and brimming with emotion. See a video performance of her song 'Silk' below, and search out her cover of Massive Attack's 'Teardrop', recorded for mental health charity, Aware.

 

Ailbhe Reddy
Another young, strong, independent singer/songwriter, Ailbhe Reddy released her debut EP in 2016 leading to her being awarded Artist of the Week by The Irish Times among other accolades. Summer 2017 sees Reddy play a long list of festivals, including a recent Glastonbury slot, with a UK tour planned for Autumn 2017.

Not Monsters
A band made up of members from two other bands (namely, CFIT and Punch Face Champions) Not Monsters make sharp introspective yet good humoured indie-rock. Watch the video for their single 'On Tilt' below.

Apella
A melodic indie-rock duo made up of Dara Quilty and Ronan Nolan, Apella have a light touch that has won over Irish festival audiences and, at a recent headline gig, Ed Sheeran, who had attended their gig at Dublin's Whelans venue.

 

The Urges
'Echoes Softly' is taken from The Urges' newest album 'Time Will Pass' which sees the '60s mod orientated band take their sound to new heights, following some considerable time spent gigging in the US and elsewhere. A must for fans of The Coral and other revivalist bands who look to that era for inspiration.

DAVIIS
Contemporary guitar-based pop with a sophisticated vocal style, DAVIIS are made up of cousins Gavin Davis and Keith Davis. 'Love, Hate & Drugs' is the latest single to be taken from their 'Simple Words, Complex World' EP. 

Thumper
Extremely loud and distorted indie to really test and confuse your stereo speakers. Thumper's third EP 'Pop! Goes The Weasel' is noisy in all the right places. To see what we mean watch their video for 'The Loser'.

The Klares
A four-piece band that sound like Dublin's answer to Pretty Vicious at moments and Arctic Monkeys at others. The Klares are sure to please acolytes of the This Feeling scene with their gritty guitars and equally gritty vocal delivery.

Shrug Life
Politely political indie-pop with an Irish accent. Shrug Life poke at contemporary issues with their jangly well-crafted songs. Listen to their latest release 'Your Body' below.

Pranks
Pranks are Micheal Sheil (Guitar and Vocals) and Gearoid Connaughton (Drums). Despite only having two members the duo manage to create an epic rock vista on songs such as 'Long Knives'. For fans of Smashing Pumpkins, Bush, Soundgarden and other post-grunge rock bands.

Ape Rising
With a very accessible, fast take on math-rock, Ape Rising were formerly known as The Radioactive Grandmas until their web domain name was reportedly stolen by an unpleasant website of the same name. Their eponymous debut LP, due Summer 2017, will thankfully follow in the new name. Watch their lo-fi yet ambitious video for 'King of the Universe'.

 

Stoat
With a dark sharp-witted sense of humour, Stoat make discordant alt-rock in the vein of bands such as Primus or Cake. Their latest track 'Try Not To Think About It' tells the story of an ordinary life that doesn't live up to expectations.

Heathers
Euphoric dual vocal/electronic pop. Musically Heathers sound as though they might herald from somewhere more Scandinavian, but for a light touch of Irish accents. Watch their 'Call Home' below. 

Skyfever
Bringing this list to an end, an accomplished rock band with hints of blues, big riffs and big vocals. Skyfever recently proved themselves worthy when the legendary Alice Cooper played their new tune 'The Returning' on his radio show. Check it out here.


For further Dublin listening, you should also check out Elly DPaddy HannaTandem FelixRachael LavelleOrla GartlandIann BrennanThe Bionic Rats and Walpurgis Family.

Thanks to everyone who made suggestions or got in touch to be involved.

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