Dubliner James Smith started his first band, Gypsies on the Autobahn at the age of 16. After being signed to Universal Records Ireland in 2015 the band released their first full length record Born Brief in 2017,following it with their second album Suspended in 2019. Throughout their 14 year kinship, the band sawsuccess supporting Little Green Cars, Bombay Bicycle Club, Bleeding Heart Pigeons selling out Whelan, playing at Vicar Street, Other Voices and touring the festival circuits. During this time James had been honing his production skills, creating demos for the band to bring into recording sessions orbeginning new artistic ventures with his project Yurn, working with artists such as Soda Blonde, Zaska,Tolü Makay, Danny G and the Major 7ths, Nnic, Gareth Quinn Redmond to name a few. With tensionsmounting, the band decided to part ways mutually and amicably at the beginning of 2020 and James setout to finish recordings he had started late in the 2019.
Philip Noone is an Irish singer/songwriter based in Doha, Qatar. He has toured the world extensively for the past five years supporting the likes of Boyce Avenue and the Dropkick Murphy’s.His last single,“The Ballad of Mickey Mòr charted very well in the iTunes chart and his cover of “The Galway Shawl” gathered 7 million views and plays across all social media and online music platforms Although generally Philip would be described as a traditional Irish artist, his latest release “Say Anything but a Goodbye” has ventured further into the melancholic folk realm of music. The song itself is inspired by the largely unspoken subject of the Covid pandemic - loneliness.
Vox Deluxe are a UK (Kent) based vocal group, featuring two former members of the now defunct band KRY. Pat Reilly and David Reilly are both vocalists and multi instrumentalists. Vox Deluxe are currently recording their debut album. The new single Just a Little follows their previous release Right in front of you.
Ailafar, melodic rock band from Thessaloniki, Greece, were founded in late 2006 by John Tzortzis to perform his material. After some changes to the line up and few bar/club gigs they recorded the first demo in May 2009. In September 2009 the recordings of the first full album '' Long way to imagery'' began. It was finished in August 2011 with the help of the current band and several session musicians. The album was self released and includes 12 songs written/arranged and produced by J.T, plus an extra song recorded in 2012. With a new line up the band played several bar/club gigs in Thessaloniki including a couple TV appearences and radio shows. Within a break of a year in 2013 the recordings of the second album started in May. It was finished in February 2015 and was released worldwide by AorBlvdRecords in UK.
The Belfast singer/songwriter has had an extremely busy year since the release of his second EP, “Out Of Babylon” in January 2019. From career defining gigs supporting Peter McVeigh at a sold out show in the Sunflower, an evening of support for Tony Villiers in Eastside Arts to the Forest Songwriter stage at Dalriada Festival- Andrew can be found honing his craft and shining the light of song in every performance, with passion and a love of storytelling. Like many artists, 2020 has been a difficult year for Andrew, and with a limited amount of resources and an abundance of time, he spent much of April and May reflecting and putting the beginnings to new songs and ideas that would speak into the current situation and worldview.
West Co. Sligo native, BRÍDÍN, carries on the traditions of unique skills and talents passed down through her family. She is fourth generation of her family to play Irish music and plays harp, flute, piano, and dances sean nós. And by day, BRÍDÍN, works as a full time funeral director and embalmer, taking after her father David McGowan, known from the RTÉ documentary The Funeral director. She says “I’ve always been involved in funerals, working full time in it, it has completely changed my outlook on life. I see sadness every day and people going through the most horrible time. There are tragic funerals and you have to stay strong, and hold it together. When the funerals over and I go home that night I erupt. I gravitate towards my harp and write my music, which I find is a huge relief and escape.”
Dublin indie folk rock band, Blue Fish Diamond were formed in 2016 by Jim Murphy, released their debut album From Dark to Light in 2018 and Hotpress described it as “essential listening for those who like their music powerful and heartfelt”. Their music has been played on radio stations across Ireland, including on RTÉ Radio 1, Radio Nova, Cork’s Red FM, KCLR and Shannonside/Northern Sound. They're also a staple of the Irish live scene having played Electric Picnic, Whelans, The Workmans and The Grand Social to name a few. With several singles and an album planned for 2021, Jim Murphy (rhythm guitar & lead vocals), Shay Sweeney (drums), Ronan Quinn (bass), Laura Ryder (piano), Axel McDonald (lead guitar), Matilda O'Mahony (backing vocals), Ella Ryan (backing vocals), aka Blue Fish Diamond, are a band to keep a firm eye on as they are sure to rise the ranks over the coming months. Their new single Sunshine In My Brain was produced by Gavin Glass in Orphan Recording studios.
Over the past three decades, A.J. Croce has established his reputation as a piano player and serious vocal stylist who pulls from a host of musical traditions and anti-heroes — part New Orleans, part juke joint, part soul. While his last album, JUST LIKE MEDICINE, paired him with soul legend Dan Penn and an all-star cast of players, his new album was born of memories — of favorite artists and shows, but mostly, of late-night gatherings with groups of friends, many of them fellow musicians, with Croce at the piano taking requests. Croce revisits these musical evenings on BY REQUEST, 12 personally curated covers that traverse decades and genres, propelled by his spirited, loose-and-easy piano mastery and emotive vocals.
It’s a tribute to Croce the music fan as well as Croce the musician that both the variety and execution is inspired, aided by a full band and horns. BY REQUEST is the first album Croce has released since losing his wife of 24 years, Marlo Croce, after a sudden heart ailment. It’s also the first album by Croce to feature his full touring band: Gary Mallaber on drums (Van Morrison, Steve Miller band), GRAMMY®-winning bassist David Barard (Allen Toussaint, Dr. John), and up-and-coming guitarist Garrett Stoner. AJ Croce opened for many artists including Carlos Santana, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, B.B. King or Ray Charles to name a few.
Northern Ireland Music Prize nominee Sam Wickens is releasing his new single Murky Waters on the same date as his Watson EP. The 5 track Watson EP is the second major release since his critically acclaimed debut All I've Seen album in 2019. Compared to Jeff Buckley, John Martyn, Death Cab For Cutie, Tom Waits, Sam is a soulful writer and performer with a restless creativity, conveying a personal blend of Electronic, Soul, Blues, Gospel, Folk and Indie. This young and gifted artist humbly plies his craft with a focused sincerity, and has created a style of his own: consistently delivering on his reputation as a bewitching live performer.
Monaghan singer-songwriter Jim McHugh is back with his new single 'Dave' and a first taste of what's to come from his upcoming third album 'Pretending To Wake Up', due for release May 28th.With this new single McHugh lets us hear how he has progressed his rocksound in an organic way, never wavering from his roots in crunchyguitars and anthemic riffs but always developing as a songwriter andraising his game sonically. Working alongside producer Alex Borwick (Parliament Funkadelic,Catfish & The Bottlemen, Niamh Regan, Lankum) and session musiciansPaul McCabe (bass) Paul Sherry (Electric Guitar) and Butch McNeill(Drums), McHugh brings a new dynamic and alluring sound to the rock genre. About 'Dave' Jim says...."In an original story of misspent youth, Daveunveils my interactions with a friend who was known for being on thewrong side of the law on numerous occasions."