Meet Ireland’s Breakout Artists Shaping the Sound of Tomorrow

image: james kelly / press

It seems everything recently on my social media pages, in cinemas and on television has been dominated by Irish talents. Cillian Murphy, Paul Mescal, Andrew Scott and Barry Keoghan are some of Hollywood’s biggest names today, and the list could continue forever. While Ireland has become no stranger to producing the actors involved in some of today’s biggest cinematic projects, it also has a lot to offer on the music front.


Perhaps one of the most talked about and exciting acts coming up in Ireland now is Dublin’s four-piece, Sprints. Fresh off the release of their debut album, Letter to Self, the group is gaining popularity quickly. Featured on the cover of Hotpress for the magazine’s Hot for 24 edition and ticking off sold-out gig after sold-out gig, the group is amassing quite the success off the back of their first record.

Sprints has a unique post-punk sound that would best be enjoyed in a mosh pit with the likes of other listeners. Led by vocalist Karla Chubb, who enthuses crowds not only with her intense voice, but with her unabashedness to shine as a feminist band front. 

Calling out misogyny in songs such as Adore, Adore, Adore where Chubb sings, “Well, do you adore me? Am I everything you wanted now, Or am I everything you despise? Well, do you adore me? Does this picture now not suit your taste? Have I disgraced what you built with your very eyes?” 

While the voice often heard from the band is Chubb’s, there is no Sprints without the heavy bassline played by Sam McCann, racing guitar courtesy of Colm O’Reilly or the blasting percussions from drummer, Jack Callan. To get a taste of Sprints, check out Up and Comer, or Literary Mind.

The Murder Capital

The Murder Capital is another Dublin based group whose music is the sound of a post punk era of music. The group of five are all Ireland natives, but met at the infamous BIMM music college in Dublin with lead vocalist James McGovern, guitarist Damien Tuit, drummer Diarmuid Brennan, guitarist Cathal Roper and Gabriel Paschal on the bass.

The band sets itself apart by focusing on darker themes and their sound is seemingly cathartic. Their debut album, When I Have Fears, is largely inspired by losing a friend to suicide. The album followed up their explosive discovery online following the release of single, More or Less, when the group jumped into producing their debut album. The Murder Capitals sophomore record, Gigi’s Recovery, echoes the same core values from the group but has a more evolved, mature sound. Standout tunes from The Murder Capital include A Thousand Lives and Feeling Fades.


Shifting away from a punk rock sound, Galway-formed band, NewDad has quickly become one of the most talked about debuts in Ireland. Featuring a more dream-pop sound, the foursome has been compared to the likes of Beabadoobee and The Cure. Made up of members; Julie Dawson (vocals and guitar) Cara Joshi (bassist), Fiachra Parslow (drummer) and Sean O’Dowd (lead guitarist).

The band’s debut album, Madra was released on 26 January and has been received positively across not only Ireland but the world. The band is currently out on tour and will be playing festivals such as Truck Festival, Tramlines and Y Not. 

If you’re looking to explore NewDad’s dreamy alt-pop sound check out tracks such as Let Go, Nightmares and Angel all off their new album, Madra.


Switching gears a bit, Northern Irish hip-hop trio Kneecap (Móglaí Bap, Mo Chara and DJ Próvaí) has quickly popularised in recent months. The group has been blowing up in the republic and the north alike because they sing and rap in Irish, a language which has slowly been lost over the decades. The connection to their roots and native language has led to a surge in interest in the Irish language.

Kneecap has also created a film, a fictionalised autobiography of living and growing up in Belfast, which is all Irish like their music and was honoured at SunDance Film Festival with the Audience Award. The breakthrough film was the first ever Irish-language film to be included at the festival.

The music they make itself is fast-paced and often met with socially conscious lyrics which often leads the group to being labelled as controversial. Regardless of political views, the efforts the group has made to repopularise the Irish language and bring Irish into today’s music culture are unprecedented, and they are quickly becoming one of the biggest rap groups on the island. Check out their single, Better Way to Live featuring Fontaines D.C. frontman, Grian Chatten.

You might already be familiar with…

Some other Irish acts who have seen some profound success are Dublin groups Inhaler and Fontaines D.C. Both groups had an incredible 2023 with Inhaler setting off on a US, UK and Ireland, EU tour, as well as opening for Harry Styles at Slane Castle and Arctic Monkeys EU tour. Fontaines themselves had a year as well, opening for Arctic Monkeys on their US tour. 

Fontaines frontman, Grian Chatten also explored his solo opportunities, releasing his first album ‘Chaos For The Fly’ as well an epic collaboration with the previously mentioned Kneecap.

Listen to our Irish Up and Comers👇🏼

Check out the full playlist to explore music from all the mentioned artists, as well as other Irish acts who are on the rise in Ireland right now.

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