1. Thumper - Pop Goes The Weasel

For a band with as much live presence as Thumper, it was always going to be difficult to capture that on a record. ‘Pop! Goes The Weasel’ succeeds in showing off a broad spectrum of just what you can expect from the band.

If you’re going to go and see them live, bring earplugs and possibly a helmet.

2. Fehdah - Like No Other

There’s soul, funk and worldliness in abundance on Fehdah's debut EP 'Like No Other'. Modern leaning neo-soul merges perfectly with percussive whorls and driving guitar work, mesmeric wordplay and pan-African doo wop. Fehdah -  real name Emma Garnett- is as the forefront of the forward-thinking contingent of African-Irish musicians who are redefining what sounding Irish means in the 21st century.

redefining what sounding Irish means in the 21st century.

3. Bicep - Glue

London based Irish duo Bicep - aka Matt McBriar and Andy Ferguson - have PhDs in making people move whether they want to or not. 'Glue' could easily be their dissertation on timeless, chilled-out Ibiza rollover vibes, such is the aplomb with which the three courses of morning, noon, and night electro are effortlessly assembled here.

'Glue' could easily be their dissertation on timeless, chilled-out Ibiza rollover vibes

4. Mano Le Tough-Ahsure EP

For his second E.P. of 2017, Niall Mannion - also known as Mano Le Tough - pushes the envelope on his experimental take on dance music.  Just three songs in length, ‘Ahsure’ is brimming with excellent content. The first of his projects to prominently feature the producer’s own vocal lines, Mannion’s moody lyrics are bolstered by the minimalist electronic accompaniment.

Pushes the envelope with his experimental take on dance music.

5. Loah - This Heart

Younger sister Fehdah may have made waves with 'Like No Other' but Loah has a lot to say as well. Slightly more stripped back, 'This Heart' is predominantly piano-led which makes it the perfect complement to the Sierra-Leonan-Irish's powerfully elegiac voice. Fans of Loah will already be familiar with The Bailey, which showcases her penchant for an explosive chorus. But there are also moments of quietude, like on the rather Celtic-sounding  Unveiled. In fact, Loah boasts a lot of the qualities of her co-nationality's traditional origins while also pushing things in an interesting new direction. The future is bright for the Garnetts.

A penchant for an explosive chorus

6. Shookrah-Clichés EP

There's no shortage of exciting RnB around at the moment, but Cork's very own Shookrah may just be at the forefront on our shores. The sextet produce frenetically soulful music, driven by a rhythm section of synthesiser, drums and bass and not one but two female voices as powerful as they are fun. On 'Clichés' they succeed in bringing the energy of their live shows while also bridging the gap between the percussive and the futuristic that all good RnB should be centred around.

As powerful as they are fun

7. Jafaris - Velvet Cake

Few Irish artists are as daring and ambitious when it comes to mixing styles as Jafaris. His four track EP is a dazzling blend of hip-hop, soul, RnB, funk and pop that somehow all mixes together seamlessly. Like Drugs and If You Love Me are the standouts as both sit on the different side of the spectrum when it comes to tone and mood. Overall, the 'Velvet Cake EP' give us a tantalising taste of what Jafaris is capable of.

A dazzling blend of hip-hop, soul, RnB, funk and pop

8. Mango & Math Man - Wheel Up

Observations on class warfare, hood hierarchies, and fronting on the Northside comes under the microscope of rapper Mango and DJ Math Man on their 'Wheels Up EP'. It's a gritty expose on disenfranchised youth culture in Dublin's working class areas as the gap between rich and poor expands quicker than ever.

Observations on class warfare

9. Laoise - Halfway

Galway singer-songwriter Laoise is one of the most promising acts to emerge from the BIMM scene recently, piquing the interest of UK blogs with debut single You. And all this before she even graduated. Her sound, which she aptly describes as “Electro pop and sad stories", evolved slowly from acoustic into electronica, but at its core it’s still pop. It’s not your standard pop sound however - aesthetically it’s much darker and atmospheric than anything you're likely to hear on the radio. Laoise’s sound has struck a chord with people outside of Ireland. You went to No. 4 in the Viral 50 UK and No. 17 in Norway. Her vocal is pitch-perfect throughout, displaying physical and emotional dexterity without ever over-egging her delivery with showy gymnastics. This suits Laosie’s sparse, airy brand of electro pop perfectly.

not your standard pop sound

10. Galants - Galants

Taking  their cues from the likes of Teenage Fanclub, For The Love Of Letting Go, Sonic Youth, and My Bloody Valentine, Dublin four-piece Galants' self-titled debut EP finds the shoegaze noise popsters in fine fettle creating luscious swaths of fuzzed out dreamscapes rooted in melodic pop sensibilities.

Lucious swaths of fuzzed out dreamscapes