Hip-hop and pop may be the dominant forces in Irish music right now, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a wave of indie and rock bands doing great things, too.

You've probably heard of the bigger ones making waves, being snapped up by big labels and clocking up international acclaim. And fair play to them – but here are five lesser-known acts who are proving really promising and are doing great things on the Irish scene right now.

(And if you haven't already, check out our list of '5 Irish acts killing it in pop music right now' feature here.)


One of the most exciting Irish bands we've heard in ages, Sprints impressed us hugely with a smattering of single releases in 2020 - tied together for the release of their debut EP 'Manifesto' last month. The Dublin band, fronted by the exceedingly charismatic Karla Chubb, will delight fans of bands like Wolf Alice, Girl Band and IDLES. We're dying to see them live.



This Cork band have been something of a best-kept secret up until now, but 2021 could well be their year. They've got off to a good start with two smashing singles, 'Salami' and 'Sea Sea Sea'; the former a menacing, stalking, cacophonic thrill-ride, the latter a dark belch of chaotic indie-punk. We can't wait to hear what the trio come up with next.



We're not gonna lie: Little Green Cars were one of our favourite Irish bands of recent years. If you, like us, were bereft at the news of their split, you were probably equally relieved that Soda Blonde – the band that rose from LGC's ashes – are just as capable of sophisticated, melodic indie-rock tunes. The four-piece's debut album 'Small Talk' is released on July 9th and they are a band that deserves to be heard by huge audiences.



What is it with all these new female-fronted indie and rock bands lately? Whatever the reason, we're not arguing – especially when they're as promising as Galway's NewDad. The four-piece specialise in dreamy alt-rock best heard on songs like 'Drown' and 'Blue' - but there's a snap to their sound that suggests they're capable of more than we've heard thus far, too.



Perhaps it's the fact that she lives in London that means Sinead O'Brien has been largely overlooked by much of the Irish music media so far. That's a pity, because the Limerick punk-poet is a star in the making. Taking her cue from the likes of Patti Smith, PJ Harvey and Nick Cave, her art-rock sound is seriously exciting, as evidenced by last year's 'Drowning in Blessings' EP. We're keeping our fingers crossed tightly for an album.