The Irish Times’ On The Record Guest Post: ‘500 Words of January’

Posted: 08/01/2013 in Uncategorized

As published on The Irish Times’ On The Record Blog on January 7th 2013

The 500 Words Of January series resumes on the first proper working week of ’13 with Elaine Buckley looking at how 2012 brought fascinating developments from Irish acts who were once ones-to-watch and why taking your time to get things right may be the best advice of all…

Irish music fans tend to constantly yearn for the ‘next big thing’ – the great white hope, with THAT exciting song which will set the scene alight. It’s an important trait and it makes Ireland a great place to be as a lover of quality home-grown music. Vibrant creativity and diversity abounds and breaking talent deserves to be discovered and celebrated, with practically every day bringing something new to get excited about.

2012 brought stellar debut albums from long-time ones-to-watch such as Funeral Suits, Logikparty, Last Days of 1984, Bantum, Ghost Estates, OCHO and Croupier. Up-and-comers The Strypes, Hudson Taylor and Little Green Cars were plucked from obscurity and lavished with major label deals, the latter truly recognising a great song within their arsenal, the third reincarnation of “The John Wayne” being the one to shine brightest as the ink was drying on a recording contract. There’s been an un-listable amount of other fledgling acts who have given us reason to eagerly await their next move.

But 2012 also brought some astonishing developments from the ‘ones-to-watch’ of yore and those are the success stories of the past year that have intrigued immensely. The Cast of Cheers have lived the fairytale of the Irish DIY scene. They asked for nothing in return for their groundbreaking 2010 debut album “Chariot” and the gamble paid off. The follow-up “Family” cemented their reputation as one of Ireland’s finest guitar bands upon its release earlier this year.


Heathers are another outfit that have come from the humble beginnings of their debut album to release a stunning follow-up. When “Kingdom” landed, it proved that allowing time for talent to gradually scale the heights of its potential can be a magnificent thing. Four years in the making, but certainly worth the wait.


Julie Feeney chose a new direction in embracing crowd-funding to realise her vision for her third self-produced album “Clocks” – and what an ambitious and innovative project to lend your wallet to. You can practically hear how Feeney painstakingly pored over every note to make it one of the albums of 2012, and for fans to have felt part of the process made it all the more special.

Julie Feeney

Delorentos too played the game of slow-burning anticipation to perfection, uniquely letting their audience in on the gestation of “Little Sparks”. Having stuck together on the roller-coaster ride of the industry, their third album “Little Sparks” heralded the sound of a bruised-but-not-beaten band completely rejuvenated.


These tales of triumph prove that Irish artists’ New Year’s resolution for 2013 should be to take their time to get it just right. Ours, in return, should be to not lose sight of acts we already know and love. Villagers, James Vincent McMorrow, Fight Like Apes, Ham Sandwich and Le Galaxie are just some established acts who are brewing up new offerings for 2013 – and I have every faith that this time next year, alongside celebrating the latest revelations, we’ll be reflecting on those ol’ favourites having taken that next landmark step.


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