TGTF Guide to SXSW 2017: Irish artists showcasing at this year’s SXSW

By on Tuesday, 7th March 2017 at 11:00 am
 

The Emerald Isle always sends a strong contingent of acts out to SXSW, and this year for SXSW 2017 is no exception. Having covered Hard Working Class Heroes myself for the first time last October and my new initiative in 2016 to include Ireland as part of TGTF’s official remit make supporting the Irish and Northern Irish artists coming out to Austin all that much sweeter in 2017. In this post, we introduce you to seven acts from different corners of Ireland proper. The summaries of acts below were written by the newest member of our team and our Northern Irish correspondent Adam McCourt. Please note: all information we bring you about SXSW 2017 is to the best of our knowledge when it posts and artists and bands scheduled to appear may be subject to change. To learn when your favourite artist is playing in Austin, we recommend you first consult the official SXSW schedule, then stop by the artist’s Facebook and official Web site for details of any non-official SXSW appearances.

The Academic – rock / Mullingar
The Academic – Craig Fitzgerald (vocals/guitar), brothers Matt (guitar) and Stephen (bass) Murtagh and Dean Gavin (drums) are an indie pop four-piece from Mullingar. Since their performance of their debut single ‘Different’ on one of Ireland’s most watched television shows, ‘The Late Late Show’ they have done nothing but soared to success. They signed a publishing deal with Global publishing in that same year and since have appeared on the bills of top festivals and supported huge names Kodaline, The Strypes, Little Green Cars and opening for The Pixies at The Marquee. Their debut EP ‘Loose Friends’ was released in October 2015. We reviewed their single ‘Mixtape 2003’ and featured its promo video last year, so TGTF are no strangers to these young talents. FFO: Kings of Leon, The Metric System, Stereophonics

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nu8M3Cw6fuU[/youtube]

A.S Fanning – singer/songwriter / Berlin via Dublin
A.S Fanning is a musician, singer, songwriter and producer who was previously the frontman for the underrated Dublin band The Last Tycoons. Since their end, Fanning has relocated to Berlin and began writing music alone. So far, he’s only released one single, ‘Carmelita’ so far; however, keep your eyes and ears peeled for his debut album funded by Kickstarter crowdfunding, ‘Second Life’, expected to drop this March. FFO: The Veils, Editors, Tom Waits

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4ZkO9KaRv8[/youtube]

Birds of Olympus – rock / Wicklow
Spud Murphy (vocals), Donal Colohan (guitar), Darin Joye (guitar), Rory Clarke (bass) and Derek Byrne (drums) make up the Wicklow based self-proclaimed neo-psychedelic band Birds of Olympus. Keeping in line with their rather cryptic and metaphorical online bio, the birds hatched from their eggs in late 2015, and since have been testing the waters with their fresh blend of pop. They’ve released three singles – ‘Vine of the Soul’, ‘Cinder to the Sun’ and ‘Lights Out’ – and have a debut EP on the way. FFO: Modest Mouse, Villagers, Tame Impala

Cloud Castle Lake – electronic / Dublin
Dublin-based electronic trio Cloud Castle Lake have no fear when it comes to experimenting with sounds. Blending gloomy r&b chord progressions with Aphex Twin-esque acid techno drum grooves topped with an angelic falsetto voice, Brendan Jenkinson, Rory O’Connor and Daniel McAuley have perfected the art of cross-genre music. They released their debut EP ‘Dandelion’ in September 2014 and since then have only put out one single, ‘Glacier’. We’re looking forward to seeing what they unveil in Austin. FFO: Radiohead, Aphex Twin, Wild Beasts, Capua Collective

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=52jv-RxWjJA[/youtube]

EMBRZ – electronic / Dublin
EMBRZ is the brainchild of Dublin-born musician Jack Casey who started out as a guitar player in a band as a teenager. It’s said that an early deadmau5 track turned him on to electronic music. Since this discovery, EMBRZ has contributed massively to the vast world of EDM-influenced music with a rich blend of emotive dance music and downtempo beats. His remixes of The 1975’s track ‘Settle Down’ and Ellie Goulding’s ‘How Long Will I Love You?’ gained over 1 million plays when released and since then have almost tripled. A flurry of singles have been released in the last 2 years: ‘Silent’, ‘Lights’, ‘Home’ and ‘Breathe’. FFO: The 1975, Kygo, Bantum

Loah – soul / Dublin
The music created by Sallay Matu Garnett, aka Loah (pictured at top at an Other Voices show last year), comes as no surprise considering her background. Born in Kenya, but raised between Dublin, Sierra Leone and Maynooth, she now works as a part-time pharmacist in Dublin and writes stellar African infused soul/fusion music. Her rich blend of her African roots is what sets her apart from any other fusion artists, thus pioneering a genre Loah calls “ArtSoul”. Loah recently collaborated with Irish DJ and Bantum on single ‘Take It’ from his 2017 RTE Choice Music Prize Irish Album of the Year Award-nominated debut ‘Move’. FFO: Lianne La Havas, Nina Simone, Childish Gambino, Patti Smith

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HWK2N-uLK0[/youtube]

Picture This – pop/rock / Dublin
When Ryan Hennessy (vocals/guitar) and Jimmy Rainsford (drums) began writing music in 2015, neither of them anticipated that they would sell out 8 dates in total at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, making Picture This the first band to do this since R.E.M in 2007. Picture This’ success started in 2015 when Hennessey posted a video to Facebook of himself singing ‘Take My Hand’, culminating over 1.2 million views online. They booked a debut show in Dublin’s Grand Social venue, which sold out in less than 30 minutes. The gig moved to The Academy, which also sold out making them the first band to sell the venue out on their first gig. Their self-titled debut EP was released last summer, and we imagine a debut LP won’t be far behind. FFO: The Coronas, Kodaline, Ed Sheeran, Stereophonics

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T72qlb4SVeg[/youtube]

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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