Dan Owen – “Older than his years”


24 year old Dan Owen is a Shrewsbury born singer/songwriter who’s first claim to fame was a viral video of his take on early Bob Dylan tune ‘Ballad Of Hollis Brown’. Earning him the nickname ‘Blues Boy’, it also won him a mentor in Mick Fleetwood. With an undeniable fab husky tone to his voice, he is certainly one to watch.

He has since made Nashville his recording home and released a pair of EPs 2015’s ‘Bad For Me’ and last year’s ‘Open Hands And Enemies’. It’s his live performances that have cemented his arrival.

Illness caused the cancellation of his Irish tour in December however replacement dates have been promised.

Aside from playing at several festivals, Owen has also previously hit the road with Birdy on her European tour and is about to join her once more on her approaching tour this Autumn.

Check out Dan Owen on Spotify or Soundcloud  #RN


The Sound of 2017

We’ve been checking out some of the artists that have made the prestigious BBC’s Sound of 2017. This post features The Japanese House and Declan McKenna, go check them out for yourself.

The list is compiled using tips from a panel of 170 DJs, critics and writers. It aims to highlight 15 of the most promising rising musical acts for the coming year with previous winners who include Adele, 50 Cent, Ellie Goulding and Sam Smith.

The Japanese House

The Japanese House is the stage name of 21-year-old Amber Bain. Her dreamy brand of electronica was first played on BBC Introducing, and has gathered support from the likes of Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and Huw Stephens.

To date, she has released two critically acclaimed EPs, ‘Pools To Bathe In’ and ‘Clean’, while latest single ‘Face Like Thunder’ premiered on Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show back in September.

It’s the first track from her third EP Swim Against the Tide, which was released earlier this month on Dirty Hit.

Having spent most of the year touring with The 1975, Amber is currently on a headline tour of her own, and will head to the US at the end of November. There have been no local NI dates announced yet but keep an eye on the New Music NI Facebook for updates.

Tracks are available to stream on streaming sites Spotify and Soundcloud, go check her out for yourself.

Track to check out: Cool Blue

Declan McKenna

At 17 years old, the British singer song-writer has already gathered quite a buzz.

After winning Glastonbury Festival’s Emerging Talent Competition in 2015, Declan shot into the music industry’s spotlight, shortly afterwards self-releasing his debut single, Brazil.

This critical debut, condemns FIFA’s local community involvement at the 2014 World Cup, but it also secured him national airplay on Radio 1 and support from new music guru Huw Stephens.

2016 saw him perform at Radio 1’s Big Weekend and Later… with Jools Holland.

All the attention is certainly justified: Declan’s brand of socially-conscious indie pop is fresh and intelligent, and it has established him as a youthful voice with something to say.

He plays The Academy in Dublin on the 16th January, but as yet there are no NI dates scheduled. Declan is also available on Spotify and Souncloud, check out latest track ‘Isombard’

Louis Berry – “up-and-coming Liverpudlian crooner “


Born in Liverpool to a heroin addict father and a mother desperate to keep him on the right side of the law, it took just two gigs for Louis Berry to be signed.

Early single .45 was the first introduction to Louis’ songwriting and quickly won him local praise as well as national support from the likes of Zane Lowe, who nominated it his ‘Next Hype’ on his then BBC 1 Radio Show.

It was ’25 Reasons’, the first single from Louis’ 2015 debut EP ‘Rebel’, which cemented his sound as an amalgam of classic rock n roll and soul.

His style has been compared to legends such as Johnny Cash, as well as modern-day talents such as Alex Turner.

Louis’ track ‘Restless’ is currently getting some airtime on daytime BBC Radio 1, If you haven’t already heard it go check it out on Spotify or Soundcloud.

PORTS – “.. will give you your next Hozier moment”

PORTS, formerly named Little Bear, are a Northern Irish 4 piece who formally got going under their new name in 2013 and have since managed to have a pretty phenomenal year.  After the release of their first demo ‘I’d Let You Win’ the band received a flood of fantastic reviews including; ‘Flavour of the Month’ and ‘Ones to Watch’ from BBC Introducing which resulted in extensive airplay from BBC Radio 1 and RTE.  They continued their rise to prominence when they stepped in to take a key slot at the ‘Other Voices’ concerts in Derry, after Two Door Cinema Club pulled out, and played a couple of gigs with a young singer called Hozier as the support act.

This year the band have been busy performing a host of headline gigs across the province and featured on the line up to Stendhal Festival and Moira Calling. They have also been nominated for this years Northern Ireland Music Prize which will announced in November. The Northern Ireland Music Prize was won last year by SOAK and celebrates the best of local music.

Debut album is available since May and available to buy or stream.

Follow the band on Facebook  and Twitter for further updates

Saint Sister – “…celestial songwriting”

Saint Sister are an Irish duo who formed in November 2014 consisting of Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty. Their music is a combination of early Celtic harp traditions, 60s folk and electronic pop to create what has been described as ‘atmosfolk’ … its dreamy.

Following an early performance on Irish national television, one of their first gigs saw them open the stage for Arcade Fire’s Will Butler. Their debut EP ‘Madrid’ was released in November 2015 with the lead single playlisted on RTE1 and TXFM. It was also championed by Huw Stephens and Phil Taggart on BBC Radio 1, and further afield on Australian national radio, ABC.

In late 2015, they toured extensively around Ireland and played their first headline show in Dublin which sold out. An impressive live performance on RTE’s Other Voices aired in January ahead of the bands first European show in the Trianon, Paris, alongside O Wonder and Frances. They made their US debut in March with multiple showcases at SXSW, Texas.

In May this year, the band embarked on their first UK tour, with a headline show in London, two slots at The Great Escape, and returned to play a sold out show in Dublin’s Unitarian Church. This summer they also played numerous UK and Irish festivals, including Electric Picnic, Longitude and Body & Soul.

Available to listen to for free on most streaming sites. Here’s the soundcloud site.

Hudson Taylor – “… supported the Rolling Stones in London’s Hyde Park “

With the debut of local festival ‘Moira Calling’ fast approaching we thought we’d give a nod to headline Irish duo Hudson Taylor.

Hudson Taylor consists of brothers Harry and Alfie Hudson-Taylor, who grew up in Dublin, where their father was a musician and their mother was a dancer.

They have come a long way from their time busking on the streets of Dublin having made the supporting bill for the Rolling Stones at London’s Hyde Park.

Prior to being signed they released their debut EP, “Battles”, in August 2012, which peaked at #1 on the Irish iTunes and #14 on UK iTunes. In November 2012, the band quickly followed with a second EP in November 2012, and a third in October 2013.

Full-length debut album, Singing for Strangers was released in January 2015 and peaked at number 3 in Ireland and number 24 in the UK.

Hudson Taylor can count the likes of Madonna, Eminem, Eric Clapton and Lady Gaga as stablemates when they signed to the prestigious Polydor label.

Go check them out on popular streaming sites, such as Soundcloud or Spotify  or catch them and other local acts at Moira Calling this weekend, 10th September.


Against the Current, sometimes abbreviated as ATC,  are an American pop rock band who have released their debut album ‘In Our Bones’ in May this year.

The band gathered a strong youtube fan base covering songs like Owl City and Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Good Time” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch My Breath.” Their own debut single, “Thinking,” arrived in July 2012, followed a year later by “Closer, Faster,” the latter of which also appeared on their debut EP Infinity in 2014.

Powered by catchy, upbeat melodies and Costanza’s strong voice, Against the Current’s sound fell more on the pop side of the spectrum.

Following the release of their debut album they have announced a World Tour including a date in Mandela Hall, Belfaston the 26th September, tickets currently available here 

Check out Against the Current for free on Spotify and soundcloud and stay up todat via their Facebook and Twitter accounts.