Top 10 up-and-coming Irish musicians you need to know about

Some of the best musicians in the world are Irish (OK so we might be slightly biased), but Ireland is home to lots of musical talent so here are ten up-and-coming Irish musicians you need to know about.

Playing a musical instrument is often encouraged in schools and homes across Ireland, so it is no surprise that up-and-coming Irish musicians regularly appear on the global music scene.

An array of haunting voices and incredible instrumental talents come from the Emerald Isle with powerful lyrics and dramatic backdrops accompanying music videos and performances.

Up-and-coming Irish musicians are often portrayed as uninhibited artists with wild spirits singing about the beauty of the Irish landscape and the connection to home. In contrast, many others are influenced by the hardship witnessed by the people of Ireland over the years.

But regardless of what story is being told, Irish music is as alive as ever with plenty of new talent to explore. Here are just ten up-and-coming Irish musicians you might want to check out.

10. ELM – a voice for a generation

ELM are the voice of the current generation.
Credit: Instagram / @elmbandx

ELM is a group that will strike a chord in many Irish teenagers. Fantastic music, powerful choreography, and beautiful messages about embracing individuality are what ELM is all about.

Their innovative videos explore the reality that often accompanies gender identification among young people.

Two of their singles, “Paris” and “Fear”, are both brave and marvellous in their musical production and are sure to make a massive impact across all generations.

9. Powpig – talented, charming, and unique

Next on our list of up-and-coming Irish musicians is Powpig.
Credit: Instagram / @powpig

Limerick-born group, Powpig, are an alt-rock band with an edge.

Fresh musical talent with an early 90s-esque twist of unique rawness is one way to describe their sound, but their onion-like appearance onto the music scene leaves us somewhat stuck for words, but here goes!

Charming, insanely talented, likeable, and unique could all be used to describe Powpig. But, with their ever-changing songs and enviable youth, we’re sure they will earn a much wider variety of reviews over the coming months. To keep it simple… check them out for yourself.

8. Aimée – Ireland’s pop princess

Aimee is Ireland's pop princess.
Credit: @aimeemusicofficial

Aimée is the ultimate Irish pop princess bringing girl power back with a bang!

Her fresh look, strong vibe, and moving lyrics are an inspiration to any teenage girl. Originally from Swords, Co. Dublin, Aimée is smashing the pop music scene.

Her harmony may be sweet and her songs catchy, but this is one young Irish artist who wears her heart on her sleeve.

Her emotional song, “I’m OK”, is about losing her beloved mum a couple of years ago. She also sings about heartache while staying strong and true to yourself. Powerful stuff!

7. Rushes – making waves on the electro RnB scene

Rushes is a must listen of our up-and-coming Irish musicians.
Credit: Instagram / @smilerushes

Rushes, aka Sean Walsh, is an exciting new electro-RnB Irish musician from Cork. Currently based in Dublin, he has smashed the music scene in the capital with a strong profile sure to flourish.

His first single, “Wild High”, was a huge success and he continues to grab listeners’ attention with his soft riffs and fresh, cute look with his catchy new song, “Wave”, already smashing more than 100k streams online.

6. Lilla Vargen – using music to talk about Ireland’s issues

Lilla Vargen uses her music to talk about Ireland's biggest issues.
Credit: Instagram / @lillavargen

Antrim-born Lilla Vargen’s soulful voice navigates listeners through the painful truth around some of Ireland’s most desperate issues. Her powerful single, “Why Wait”, looks at our country’s housing crisis and the critical problem we have with homelessness.

Her more recent song, “Cold”, exposes the equally important issue of abusive relationships and the emotional turmoil experienced by women every day in Ireland and beyond.

Lilla Vargen is an exceptionally talented up-and-coming Irish musician and certainly one to watch in 2020 and beyond.

5. Shakalak – find Kindness in music

Next on our list of up-and-coming Irish musicians is Shakalak.
Credit: Instagram / @shakalakdublin

Shakalak is a group of talented musicians from the capital we continue to follow. Their most recent single, “Kindness”, has never been so important to take time to listen to.

Lead singer and poet, John Cummins, is something of a genius with the spoken word and his thoughtful lyrics strike a chord with all of us living through this global pandemic.

His depth of meaning when he speaks is moving, and the musical talent of the band is incredible. We should all try practising a bit more kindness in the current climate.

4. Dermot Kennedy – the sky’s the limit

Dermot Kennedy is taking the global music scene by storm.
Credit: Instagram / @dermotkennedy

This fantastic musician from Rathcoole in County Dublin has taken the music world by storm with hits including “Outnumbered” and “Giants” making a global impact.

He has already sold out concerts in America, Australia, and Europe with tickets on sale for a string of shows to happen in Ireland next June.

Our only advice is to get in fast. With Dermot Kennedy’s level of success so far, the sky’s the limit for this up-and-coming Irish musician. Watch this space!

3. Lyra – a festival hit

Lyra is one of the top up-and-coming Irish musicians.
Credit: Instagram / @thisislyra

This next inspirational musician comes from the beautiful County of Cork. Her haunting sound is dark yet uplifting with tones of artists like Kate Bush and Florence and the Machine springing to mind.

Her powerful EP, “W.I.L.D.”, catapulted her to fame and prompted a string of sell-out performances. She has appeared at several festivals in Ireland and the UK, where her fan base has steadily grown.

Lyra is sure to continue to grace the music scene over the next few months, and we can’t wait.

2. Junior Brother – a unique sound

Junior Brother takes toe-tapping to a whole new level.
Credit: Instagram / via @richgilligan

This talented Kerry man takes toe-tapping to another level.

With his mesmerizing riffs and tambourine bass sound, Junior Brother’s alternative sound will keep you hooked.

His online soul sessions were perfect for taking troubled minds away from Covid-19 for a while with his distinguished voice and poetic lyrics drawing us in.

Junior Brother is definitely one to watch and with his debut album, Pull The Right Rope, released last year, we are excited to see what comes next. One thing is for sure; this up-and-coming Irish musician will be around for some time.

1. Lankum – evoking Irish heritage

Topping our list of up-and-coming Irish musicians is Lankum.
Credit: Facebook / @dublinfolkmiscreants

Anyone who finds comfort in Dublin as the original dirty ol’ town will appreciate the brilliance that is Lankum. Gritty folk riffs, powerful lyrics, and life messages will leave any listener taking stock.

Their raw ballad, “Hunting the Wren”, is what goosebumps were made for and will take many Irish people to places that lie only in our psyche, barren landscape, and heritage.

Radie Peat’s voice is carried delicately by the mystical harmony of an eclectic mix of instruments. Truly stunning up-and-coming Irish musicians!

Related Posts


Ireland Before You Die is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Send this to a friend