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Five Irish Guitar Bands To Look Out For - An Update

Nearly 3 years ago our blog looked at 5 Irish guitar bands who we reckoned were going to be big. What has happened to them since?

 

In November 2020 Jake Tiernan, then bass player with Galway punks Turnstiles, wrote an article for Blowtorch predicting 5 Irish guitar bands who he thought were going to be big in 2021 and beyond.


Where are they now as we move into Summer 2023? Was Jake right or wrong? Clue: you might want to get him to pick your lottery numbers as he demonstrated an uncanny prescience. Ironically the one blot on the scorecard was his own band who split in 2022.


As well as an update on the five original bands, we have added two more who we think are going to be big in 2023/4


1. Sprints


At the time of the initial article, the Dublin-based four-piece had only released one (brilliant) single, The Cheek, and had just announced their debut Manifesto EP. This came out in March 2021 on Nice Swan Records and gained support from BBC 6 Music's Steve Lamacq as well as NME and So Young magazines.


At the time Jake said; "Karla Chubb’s incisive lyrics and passionate performances ensure that the Dublin band retain their garage rock soul. They’re on to a lethal combination."


Their confidence bolstered by that early support, they have delivered a string of outstanding singles which continue to rail against outdated social norms while retaining their melodic garage punk roots. They have relentlessly gigged their ferocious live act, culminating in a support slot for Suede and an appearance at SXSW 2023. They are now signed to iconic German label City Slang Records and have just finished recording their debut album.


Here's their latest single Literary Mind.


Verdict: right



2. NewDad


Back in 2020 Jake said; "Make sure to keep an eye out for their upcoming EP if you’ve ever thought to yourself 'I like the Pixies but I wish they’d just chill out a bit'."


They were already reasonably well known at this point, more so in the UK than their native Ireland, thanks again to the support of Steve Lamacq. The EP mentioned was Waves and contained two tracks which catapulted the Galway band to worldwide success - I Don't Recognise You and Blue.


Shortly after our blog, the band moved into a house together in London. Shrugging off the loss of homesick bassist Áindle, and replacing him with Cara, they developed a poppier edge to their sombre dreamy shoegaze sound.


With Spotify streams in the millions and regular BBC Radio 1 and 6 music playlistings the verdict is clear: right.


Their latest single is In My Head which reminds us slightly of Dear Prudence.




3. Static Vision


"Imagine Kurt Cobain meets The Rubberbandits on a night out and he decides to give it all up, move to Limerick and spend the summer writing tunes and drinking cans."


Static Vision are still going but so far haven't broken through to a wider audience. they are currently trying to recover from the loss of €100s of equipment after their drummer's car was torched in Limerick.


Verdict: jury's out




4. The Love Buzz


"Having just returned from the studio, I’m eager to hear how they choose to follow up 2019’s excellently eccentric Candy Flip EP. I’m assuming they haven’t mellowed out."


Well a) they followed up with the fabulous Here Comes The Scum EP (which also got a vinyl release) and b) they didn't mellow out.


Now a four piece with the addition of Oisín Walsh Agnew on guitar and signed to Cork's FIFA Records, their live act is as ferocious as ever. Support slots have included The Darkness and Sultans Of Ping FC. They recently secured a place at this year's Glastonbury Festival after taking part in their Emerging Talent competition - one of 9 acts picked from a long list of over 90 acts.


Verdict: right


Their latest single is Kaleidoscope.



5. Turnstiles


Jake put his own band Turnstiles on the list and at the time there was no reason to see why they wouldn't join the big league. They had just recorded their debut EP, which was released in January 2021 and also saw a 7" vinyl cut. They played Forbidden Fruit festival, toured the UK and headlined The Workman's Club bank holiday weekender to massive acclaim. And then split.


They went out in style with a huge outdoor gig in Galway's Áras na nGael and two final singles Dig It Out and Bow Down. Reminisce with my favourite Turnstiles track - that drop at 2:17 still thrills.


Verdict: gone but never forgotten



So that was then - what about now? We're predicting big things for Adore and Search Results.


Adore


Adore are an Irish trio making waves and bringing their raucous, garage punk to a gig near you soon. The lineup is frontwoman Lara Minchin on guitar and vocals, Lachlann Ó Fionnáin on bass and vocals, Naoise Jordan Cavanagh on drums.


Only formed in 2022, there's already an almighty buzz about Adore with London gigs and an appearance at Electric Picnic already under their belts. So far it's been all about the gigs. They've been busy recording and debut single Postcards is out on June 30 on Blowtorch Records with a vinyl release on its way.


Search Results


Dublin trio Search Results provide an alternative take on the current Irish post punk/alt rock scene. Sharing vocal duties, Fionn Brennan (guitar), Jack Condon (drums) and Adam Hoban (bass) formed Search Results after moving to Dublin in 2019.

Eclectic and experimental, their Beck meets The Vaselines vibe marks them out as ones to watch.


The upcoming single Flower Rock Rain is out June 23 and is their third release to date, following 2021’s Mirrors EP and 2022’s No Punchline Arousal EP.


 

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