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.
Raglans are no newcomers to the Irish music scene by any means, but 2014 looks set to be their brightest year yet. What with a UK record deal and backing already bagged and their debut album ‘Raglans’ due to be released in March of this year; it’s safe to say that Raglans are a name and sound that you will be hearing a lot of in 2014.
No strangers to us here at GoldenPlec, the band headlined our Coast to Coast; Tea & Toast charity event gig in Whelans (see here) and we also dropped in to them while they were recording their single Natives (read it here). With Irish pop seeing its most promising signs in recent years with acts such as Kodaline and Hudson Taylor bashing down the door with tours in the UK and further afield; Raglans are equipped with the songs and live performances to follow on in the same vein.
What are you looking forward to most in 2014?
Releasing our debut album. That and all the festivals, gigs and tours – playing live is why we’re doing this whole band thing.
Are you planning to release an album this year?
We’re releasing our debut album ‘Raglans’ on the 21st of March in Ireland and 24th in the UK; so we’re massively excited! We’ve always wanted to do an album but were waiting for the right time/people to come along; we didn’t want to skimp on anything.
Will there be video/single releases as part of this?
We just released the video for our first single from the album a couple weeks ago, (Lady) Roll Back The Years, which went down great. The track itself will be released February 24th and it’s a taster of what the album’s all about. We’re working on the next single/video at the moment.
Is there a tour planned? If so, does this involve dates outside of Ireland?
To celebrate the release of our album we’re doing our biggest headline show to date in The Academy, Dublin on March 29th. We can’t wait! Its an awesome venue and it’s huge for us. We’re gonna be pulling out all the stops for this one, gonna make it all special and stuff. Then we’ve got an Irish tour after. But before all that, we’re heading over to the UK to join our pals The Strypes for some dates on their tour in February. Should be a good one.
Who do you think will win Meteor Choice 2013 album of the year award?
Honestly, I wouldn’t know. Music awards and all that kind of stuff goes over my head. But I’d like to see ASIWYFA win it because that album is great and it would be cool to see a ‘heavier’ band like them get it.
Who are you predicting to be big from the Irish music scene in 2014?
Us? Hopefully… But seriously, its a hard one. Obviously The Strypes are out of that category because they’re already massive. I know The Hot Sprockets have an album coming out this year so hopefully it all goes great for them.
2013 saw you guys tour England a bit more, how did you find that experience?
It was amazing, like most bands, we just love gigging. We got to play some great places, meet some great people and just have an awesome time. The UK have been really receptive to us so its been amazing. Five lads driving around in a van is always gonna be a laugh.
Is the plan for 2014 to be based out of England and make the mark over there with the new album?
I don’t know if we’ll be “based” out of England. We’re an Irish band. Most of us all have our families, friends, etc here. But we do plan on spending a lot of time in the UK. We want to be as active in the UK as we are here and having a UK label really helps. But the same goes for Europe, America, Russia, Africa and everywhere else for that matter. We’re working on it!
What have you found having an English record company like and why did you choose that particular deal?
It’s awesome. It was really important to us to have a UK label on board because we wanted to give it a proper shot over there. We decided to go with these guys because they seemed genuinely really into the band and wanted to build it – something every label says – but these guys really are. We wanted someone that was gonna work as hard, if not harder, than us and they’re doing it.
How did you find recording out in isolation (Dublin mountains) and then over in London?
It was a great experience. We love the whole ‘going to a new place to record’ thing because there’s generally less distractions and all that. We did some demos and preliminary work for the album in a studio up in the Dublin mountains which was lovely then we went over to London and started recording it which was a blast. We really wanted to get the right studio, engineer, producer, etc for the album and when we were given the chance to do it in London, we were delighted. Every time we’ve recorded anything its been in a different place and we like that.
Photos: Sean Conroy
Words: Ros Madigan