One thing the Emerald Isle certainly has no shortage of is quality Irish bands and artists.
U2 are arguably the most famous Irish musical export – achieving international renown as recording artists and a live act. If you’ve exhausted your U2 back catalogue and are looking for some up-and-coming Irish bands and artists to listen to, we’ve got you covered.
Here is our list of five Irish bands and artists who could very well be the next U2 – you can thank us later!
5. Tebi Rex – living proof that Irish hip-hop is not an oxymoron
Tebi Rex have a very different style to U2. Still, their passion for connecting crowds and their willingness to push artistic boundaries means it’s only a matter of time before this hip-hop duo attain Bono levels of fame.
In 2019, 2FM named Tebi Rex one of their Rising 2019 Acts – and it’s easy to see why. They jump comfortably from genre to genre in their style, and there is a thoughtfulness to the way they piece together their work that is hard to beat.
A perfect example of this is their album The Young Will Eat the Old – which has its roots in Greek mythology, and is divided into three acts representing three different phases of life. Not your average hip-hop album to say the least!
Tebi Rex are one of the most unique Irish bands out there at the moment, and they will no doubt one day be just as legendary as the Greek myths they pay tribute to.
4. Sorcha Richardson – girl power, but make it cool
U2 managed to create pop music that was undeniably cool and true to their own personal style. This is a legacy that Sorcha Richardson carries on in her work. Her distinctive voice carries her catchy guitar tracks about friendship and romance. And if you think you’ve heard her somewhere before, it could be because she’s guested on All Tvvins’ records.
Fun U2-related fact – as a child, Sorcha was in a band with Bono’s daughter, Eve Hewson.
3. Tadhg Williams – poetic lyricist
Tadhg first came to national attention as the founder of Busk Aid. This charitable initiative sees Irish bands and solo acts donating 100% of their busking proceeds for the Saturday before Christmas to local homelessness charities. When Tadhg isn’t busy organising other acts, he has a pretty impressive musical talent himself.
Fans of Glen Hansard may recognise Tadhg from when he played support for his 2018 Vicar Street gig. Tadhg recently released his debut single My Father’s Clouds – a touching tribute to his dad that he wrote during his Leaving Cert. year.
2. Alex Gough – embracing difference
It is unusual to see a band where the drummer is also the lead vocalist, but if you catch an Alex Gough gig, that’s precisely what you’ll witness. The Irish rapper and producer began his musical career on the drums, and he revives this skill as part of a four-piece band that he tours with.
Alex’s music combines hip-hop and jazz to produce one of the most distinctive sounds on the Irish music scene at the moment. Alex has already been firmly on the radar of the powers that be on music-streaming platforms Spotify, YouTube, and Deezer – having been added to high-profile playlists on all three. Big things lie ahead for Mr Gough!
1. Inhaler – the Hewson genetics live on
Inhaler have the unique claim to fame of having a direct genetic link to U2. Elijah Hewson, Bono’s son, is the lead singer of this four-man group. Their inspirations include The Stone Roses and Kings of Leon, and lyrically they pride themselves on writing about the real experiences of being a teenager.
Inhaler have already enjoyed a taste of international success – having toured the U.S. and Mexico – and 2020 looks to be their biggest year yet, with a support slot for Kasabian in Victoria Park booked in. One of our favourite up-and-coming Irish bands – get listening now so you can say you were a fan of Inhaler before they took over the music world!
So there you have it – our top five Irish bands and artists that might very well be as big as U2 in the not-too-distant future. You heard it here first!