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Tune into 2013. We ask those in the know who to lis­ten out for in 2013,

AN­NIE MAC (BBC Ra­dio One)

DIS­CLO­SURE 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)

BLEED­ING HEART PI­GEONS 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)

DRENGE BROTHERS 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)

DIANA 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 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.


MANO LE TOUGH 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)

THE STRYPES I love them: en­er­getic, con­fi­dent and cool-look-

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.


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 Mi­amireg­gaeish 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)

MATTHEW E WHITE I was in­stantly hooked by his al­bum Big In­ner. Allen Tous­saint might be a handy com­par­i­son – un­der­stated vo­cals, a fine un­der­stand­ing of ing; very com­pe­tent mu­si­cians; ver­sa­tile too. They com­bine the en­ergy of the young Rolling Stones with the vo­cal har­monies and easy-on­the-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.


GRETTA GUNN 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)

LISA O’NEILL 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)

LIT­TLE GREEN CARS 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.


MMOTHS 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 en­ter­tain­

GAL­LOPS Gal­lops have long been touted as a buzz band, but now that their de­but LP, Yours Sin­cerely,

JENNY WREN (Body & Soul booker)

ME AND MY DRUM­MER 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)

JOEY BADA$$ 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)

HUN­DRED WA­TERS 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.

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)

KAR­RIEM RIG­GINS 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 ( NO CER­E­MONY/// 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 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)

LIT­TLE GREEN CARS 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)

LEAD­ING ARMIES 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)

SOAK 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.


A*M*E 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.


EILEEN TACK­NEY 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).


HID­DEN HIGH­WAYS 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)

SAV­AGES 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.


NEWCO Th­ese three twen­tysome­thing Dublin­ers (brothers Donal and Rob Cu­miskey and Brian Hig­gins) are knee-deep in the murk of gui­tar­in­flected 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)

NOC­TURN YOUNG 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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