The Irish band Gurriers onstage
Credit: Jan Rijk (

SXSW – Artists from the island of Ireland

As the clock is rapidly ticking towards SXSW for its 2024 edition, it’s time to begin looking at some of the artists attending the showcase event in Austin, Texas from 11 to 16 March. With three artists announcements made to date, God Is In The TV Zine begins with a look at the artists from the island of Ireland.

Cardinals are a six-piece from Cork who shared ‘Roseland’ in 2023, their first release for So Young Records. The band merges 80s-influenced indie, shoegaze, and Irish trad folk. They also admit to not shying away from pop-leaning influences. ‘Roseland’ is named after a New York ballroom and expanding on the track, vocalist and guitarist Euan Manning shared the following:
“I think I was trying to write a folk song about Cork city and a story that took place there.”


The trio from Belfast have had a staggering 12 months building a reputation through word of mouth for their electrifying live shows. Chalk released their debut single ‘Them‘ in 2022. Six singles in and they are hitting the BBC 6Music playlist, have signed to tastemaker label Nice Swan Records, and announced their second EP Conditions II, the vinyl release immediately selling out. Chalk combine techno with raw noise, and what a glorious sound they produce.


Conchúr White
The Northern Irish indie-folk singer-songwriter Conchúr White released his debut album ‘Swirling Violets’ in January 2024. Lyrically the songs are unquestionably intended to be deeply introspective, but married with the individual melodic styles that he’s delivered it allows you to drift along with each track, allowing the experience to wash over you.


Enola Gay
Belfast’s Enola Gay roared back in 2023, a highlight being playing Chicago Riot Fest and being joined onstage by their BFF Jehnny Beth. An EP Casement, UK tour plus numerous festival appearances in UK and EU meant they grew their fanbase with their music which shakes to the very core. However, single ‘Terra Firma’ produced by Mount Palomar proved that this band are no one trick pony, and with further dates in the US around SXSW it’s inevitable they will make more fans Stateside.


Gavin James
Dubliner Gavin James released his third studio album The Sweetest Part in 2022. Exploring the highs and lows of love and relationships, he wrote and produced the album with some of pop music’s most highly regarded players including songwriter Mark Ralph (Years & YearsClean Bandit, Jax Jones), Patrick Pyke Salmy and multi-Platinum awarded Richard Muñoz (Zoe Wees), Ollie Green (Freya RidingsLewis Capaldi) and Jimbo Barry (The Script). He has had a staggering 1.5 billion streams on Spotify.


Formed on the brink of a global pandemic, Dublin’s Gurriers, merge post-punk, noise rock, and shoegaze. Comprised of five best friends, roommates and co-workers Dan Hoff, Emmet White, Ben O’Neill, Mark MacCormack and Pierce Callaghan create a wall of sound. With gigs and festivals in the UK and EU they have been creating moshpit mayhem with their music. Tracks such as ‘Approachable‘ and ‘Sign of the Times‘ (to confirm, not a cover) are made to be played loud.


Where to start with Belfast’s hip-hop Kneecap? Winner of the Audience Award at Sundance Film Festival, I suspect Austin’s SXSW audience will already be aware of the trio. DJ Próvai wears his trademark green, white and orange balaclava and with his fellow band members, MCs Móglaí Bap and Mo Chara the trio rap almost exclusively in their native Irish. Kneecap are not afraid to confront their country’s fractious political spectrum in their music. Their latest single ‘Better Way To Live’ was a collaboration with Fontaines D.C. front man Grian Chatten and perhaps brought Kneecap to a wider audience. Thrilling, passionate and full of ferocious, Kneecap are not to be missed.


Mick Flannery
The Irish singer and songwriter Mick Flannery was the first international signing to Oh Boy Records, the label the late John Prine set up. His debut album Evening Train resulted from his time spent studying music and management at Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa in Cork. It featured tracks which had previously won Flannery two categories at the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville, Tennessee, the first Irish musician to win in this event. Flannery writes songs with fluency, expressing layered aspects of the human condition, its flaws, triumphs, and general uncertainty. His eighth studio album Goodtime Charlie was released in 2023.  


New Dad
Debut album Madra is quite rightly been getting all the plaudits for Galway band NewDad. Formed in 2018, their music is dark shoegaze but undeniably beautiful moments amid the mammoth guitars. Their debut EP Waves acted as a perfect introduction to the world of NewDad. There’s a heaviness to the music, which the band pin to a love of The Cure, Pixies, and Slowdive among others. But it’s not just in the feedback that NewDad find their truth, vocals and guitarist Julie Dawson’s songwriting brings a subtlety to their sound, weaving personal relationships and influences from the worlds of literature and cinema. 


Constantly evolving from her singer-songwriter roots, Reevah has earned tastemaker acclaim, international airplay and streaming support in Ireland, the UK, the USA and beyond. However Reevah steped into a new chapter and a fresh sound with the new 2023 single ‘Call Me Up’. Reevah’s instantly magnetic vocal allure adds the midas touch to a sound that will appeal to fans of Phoebe Bridgers, Maggie Rogers, Florence + the Machine and London Grammar. Like those artists, Reevah writes songs which express the frailties, confusions, and vulnerabilities that come with everyday experience. But ultimately she finds an empowerment that offers hope to listeners who are going through similar things.

“I don’t tend to write about soft subjects,” notes Reevah, real name Aoife Boyle. Fittingly, ‘Call Me Up’ possesses a dogged determination to refuse to adhere to social expectations. “It’s basically about smashing the patriarchy,” she continues. “It’s about going through the motions, but trying to break away from them and away from what women are perceived to be. I’m worth more than this. I can do more than society expects me to do.”


Robert Grace
Robert Grace is an Irish singer-songwriter from County Kilkenny, Ireland. Signed to Sony Records, Grace was raised in a musical household where his father played traditional Irish music with local bands Drop the Penny and the Keltic Kats. Single ‘Fake Fine‘ showcases Grace’s skills as a songwriter and a performer. The track sums up the trials and tribulations of living in the current climate. “The song is about pretending to be ok when you’re really not,” says Robert. “When everything is all an act. You might not even be in a bad situation but still, for some reason somethings not right and you’re trying to figure out what that something is.”


Soda Blonde
Dublin quartet Soda Blonde released their debut album Small Talk in 2021. Their second album Dream Big, released in September 2023, is described by the four-piece as the “most fun, cathartic and meaningful experience we’ve had making an album”, certainly it has a sense of musical abandon. Yet perhaps surprisingly a touch of self-doubt seeps into many of the tracks. ‘Midnight Show’ sees frontwoman Faye O’Rourke admit: “I just wanted to sing / But I’m not good enough, am I?” . However this is a multi-faceted album full of growth since Small Talk. SXSW is in for a treat.


Dublin four-piece Sprints launched their debut album Letter To Self via City Slang in January to critical acclaim across the board. Their spring UK tour is already sold out and dates in Ireland, EU and US plus in the autumn in larger venues are also heading that way. Live they are explosive with lead singer and guitarist Karla Chubb creating mayhem both on and off the stage. Just listen to ‘Heavy’ or ‘Literary Mind”. Suede‘s Brett Anderson said the latter was too good a track to leave off their debut album. High praise indeed, and he was absolutely correct. Highly recommended.


In today’s musical climate, any band that has endured for 30 years without a split, hiatus or implosion of any kind is a cause for celebration. Northern Irish rock trio Therapy? wanted to mark their milestone anniversary in some way, but a standard Greatest Hits compilation was never going to be the Therapy? way. Instead, the Andy Cairns-fronted trio decided to pack up 12 of their Top 40 UK hits, take them to Abbey Road and re-record them with producer Chris Sheldon, who oversaw most of their biggest successes, including 1994’s Troublegum. 3 decades in Therapy? rock as hard as they ever did. Austin remember your earplugs.

For more information on SXSW including full schedule and ticket details please check out the website.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.