Every year the GoldenPlec community of writers and photographers get together for a big old natter about which artists we expect to explode on the music scene in the year ahead. The discussion always provokes a heated debate, general bickering and communal agreements. To complement our ‘Best of 2013’ feature, we have selected our ‘Plec Picks’ for 2014. The list encompasses a wide range of artists, highlighting some of the best bands and solo artists currently active in Ireland. We had the pleasure of conducting interviews and photo shoots with all acts on this list and we are proud to present the final result.
But for their humble years (one of the band is still completing the leaving-cert), you would think that The Academic have been navigating the Irish music scene for some time now. What with the industry clamour to see them at Other Voices, as label and industry-heads packed into a small bar to assess the lads promise. A&R representatives, festival / gig bookers and music fans alike – take note, as all the signs are pointing to big things for this fledging indie-pop band from Mullingar.
What are you looking forward to most in 2014?
Well finishing the Leaving Cert for one. Probably the thing we are most looking forward to is getting out and about and playing more live shows. It’s what we love doing most so hopefully we can get out to a few more people this year.
Are you planning to release an EP/album this year? If not, have you plans to write new material?
We have no immediate plans to release an EP or an album but we are constantly writing new material and have a lot of ideas that we would like at some point to get down in studio and maybe after that we will look to put something out.
Is there a tour planned?
There is no tour planned as such but we are hoping to be out and about gigging around the country this year and getting our music out to as many people as possible.
Who do you think will win Meteor Choice 2013?
We are big fans of a lot of the nominees but if we were pushed, we would probably go for Villagers or Little Green Cars. Maybe Villagers just edging it.
Who are you predicting to be big from the Irish music scene in 2014?
There is so much talent around the country at the moment and it is hard to narrow it down but Bleeding Heart Pigeons are definitely ones to watch; they are class and we are big fans. Hozier as well, he is really talented songwriter and has such a unique voice, we think he will do big things this year.
UK A&R’s have been over to attend Academic gigs. Does that put a lot of pressure on your gigs or are you taking it all in your stride?
I think if we thought about it too much if could make us a little nervous, but it is not something we worry about too much. We just enjoy getting up on stage and playing and we hope that whoever is in the crowd enjoy the show.
How long have you guys been playing music together?
Properly as a band , about 2 years but we had been playing under different guises and in different bands since we were 14.
When did you first start getting attention and how did it happen?
Towards the end of last year we had a few supports with Delorentos and Heathers after which we had our own show in Whelan’s upstairs which was a full house. Soon after we got a call from our manager to say we were playing The Other Voices Music trail in Dingle. We arrived down to Dingle not knowing what to expect but turned out that there was a bunch of people who flew in for the show from the Uk to see us, so I suppose that was when it started picking up.
The Academic have had a busy year which included a slot at Other Voices and support for Heathers and Delorentos. What was your highlight of 2013?
It is hard to highlight as all of those shows were amazing, but I guess playing in Vicar Street for the first time to a full house was probably the highlight , particularly as it was with one of our favorite band The Delorentos.
Photos: Alessio Michelini
Words: Anna Job & Ros Madigan