It's that time of year once again. Electric Picnic 2019 is almost upon us and it may be one of the best years for Irish acts playing the festival ever, with a number of Irish acts set to take to the main stage. However, we've decided to have a look further down the bill to pick the best up-and-coming Irish acts that you need to check out at this year's festival.
For fans of Kojaque, Gus Dapperton & Clairo, April is the latest in a string of excellent bedroom producers to come out of Ireland. Drawing influence from classic jazz and '90s hip-hop, with a vocal akin to Lana Del Rey's, April is set to release her debut EP later this year. Trust us, you'll be bragging about being at this show in years to come.
April opens the Body & Soul Main Stage on Saturday at 12.30
A member of Ireland's hardcore punk scene for more than a decade, Nealo was left at a bit of a crossroads in his life when his band split and most of them emigrated. He knew he had stories to tell but wasn't sure how to get them out. Hip hop was the answer. Ever since, the Dubliner has gone from strength to strength and we'd honestly be shocked if he wasn't on most publications "must-see acts" lists for EP.
Nealo plays the Salty Dog Stage on Saturday at 16.55
Ever since leaving Ireland for London, Plec Picks whenyoung have been slowly building a reputation for themselves as a killer live band with a catalogue of catchy indie-pop bangers. The release of their debut album 'Reasons To Dream' earlier this year solidified that potential. With an Irish tour in October on its way to selling out, catch 'em while you can.
whenyoung play the Body & Soul Main Stage on Saturday at 18.00
Another in the ever-growing list of bedroom producers, Wexford's Dashoda is still incredibly new to the Irish music scene. Debut single In Between, however, picked up plenty of attention upon its release and with a second single due soon (we've heard it and it's good!), Dashoda is a name to take note of.
Dashoda plays the Global Green Stage on Saturday at 16.00
Producing simultaneously catchy and challenging music is a skill that Girl Band's Alan Duggan is very used to. So when he and two friends formed The Claque, we knew something special was on its way. With only two tracks online so far, reputation has gone a long way to making The Claque one of the most-talked-about new bands in Ireland. See what the fuss is all about this weekend, it's justified.
The Claque play the Body & Soul Main Stage on Friday at 20.30
You know when there are as many music industry heads in the crowd at one of your early shows as there are fans, that something special is unfolding before your eyes. That was our experience of Somebody's Child's recent headline show at The Soundhouse. Since then, they've signed to Paradigm Talent Agency and it won't be long before they're a household name.
Somebody's Child play the 3 Made By Music Stage on Saturday at 15.30 and the Jerry Fish on Sunday at 18.20
Sinead O Brien
We recently spoke to London-based Irish poet & musician Sinead O Brien after she was signed to Chess Club Records, who boast alumni such as Mumford & Sons, White Lies and Wolf Alice. "I try to make very distinctive pieces or songs, each one with an identity of its own; some more like poems and other closer to song and some that don’t quite fit anywhere along that line." Intrigued?
Sinead O Brien plays the 3 Made By Music Stage on Sunday at 14.00 and the Salty Dog later that day at 16.35
Guaranteed to get any crowd dancing, Toshín are an 8-piece band who take their influences from the likes of Tank & The Bangas and Anderson .Paak. The band promise a show that spans from chilled out, heartfelt soul to all-out James Brown-esque funky goodness. We're in. Are you?
Toshín play the Body & Soul Main Stage on Friday at 18.00
Purveyors of brooding shoegaze, Just Mustard are up there with being one of Ireland's best bands, no mean feat in what is being touted as a golden generation of Irish music. Their debut album 'Wednesday' was nominated for the Choice Music Prize and such is its new-found popularity across the water, they've just announced it's being re-pressed for all those who missed out. Pre-order it now and then get down to EP to see 'em.
Just Mustard play the 3 Made By Music Stage on Saturday at 17.45
I know we've told you to see a number of bands before they go global, but when we say it about ELM, you better believe we mean it. Recently signed to Sony, ELM are Ireland's answer to Years & Years, so you can catch them before you go see Y&Y themselves straight afterwards. Sorted.
ELM play Rankin's Wood on Saturday at 15.00
Self-described as an "explosive ten-piece funk-pop ensemble blasting out a blend of feel-good, heavy-on-the-brass, contagiously funky soul and pop music", need we say any more about why you should catch Toucan this weekend? One of our highlights of Knockanstockan this year, TOUCAN are the bees' knees.
TOUCAN play the Electric Arena on Friday at 18.00
Arguably one of Ireland's most-talented exports (although London-born, but we'll ignore that for now), Maverick Sabre was Dermot Kennedy before we knew Dermot Kennedy existed. A soulful voices backed by a hip-hop background, Mav, as his fans call him, is worth the entry fee for EP all by himself.
Maverick Sabre plays Rankin's Wood on Saturday at 18.30
Fresh from absolutely blowing the roof off the Dimestore Tent at Knockanstockan last month, as Gaeilge rap duo and 2019 Plec Picks Kneecap bring their anti-establishment beats to Electric Picnic's newest stage this weekend. When other acts are trying to claim their work is satire, Kneecap are dishing out lessons in what satirical music should really sound like.
Kneecap play Terminus in Freetown on Sunday at 18.45
Playing their own louche take on NYC-indebted rock, Silverbacks are touted as the best musicians to arise from the recent crop of successful Irish guitar bands. While they might not be selling out huge UK shows yet, but they're slowly building a dedicated audience and we feel it's only a matter of time before they get the attention they deserve.
Silverbacks play the Cosby Tent on Saturday at 16.05
Another Plec Pick for 2019, Biig Piig is yet another London-based lo-fi tune maker. Paired with her languid delivery, Smyth’s intimate lyrical vignettes deliver a distinct modern twist on the kitchen sink, warts and all vein of song writing.
Biig Piig plays the Cosby Tent on Saturday at 17.15