If you thought that Castlepalooza pulled out all the stops for its 10th birthday last year, just wait until you see what they have in store for 2016.
This year's programme is the biggest, best and most diverse yet, making the Charleville Castle festival an unmissable occasion – especially if you like your music events reasonably intimate and ripe for discovering new talent.
With some excellent new music on the line-up alongside some reliable festival favourites, below we've profiled this year's headline acts and the songs you can expect to hear them play from July 1st – 3rd.
Who are they? Who is he, more accurately. Caribou is Dan Snaith, a Canadian composer, producer and musician who was initially known as Manitoba before a lawsuit forced a name change in 2005. He began releasing woozy, psychedelic electronica under the Caribou moniker with 'The Milk of Human Kindness' album in 2005, but his big breakthrough came via 2010's 'Swim', which delved further into house and minimalist techno than his previous fare and spawned a huge hit with the song 'Sun', while 2014's 'Our Love' cemented his position as Electronica Artist Most Beloved of Irish Festival Audiences. He also performs under the name Daphni; you can see him play both Caribou and Daphni sets at Castlepalooza on the Friday.
Song to catch: 'Can't Do Without You' will no doubt provide a memorable, arms-aloft-and-hug-your-mates moment for many.
Who are they? He is mainly Conor O'Brien, one of the finest Irish songwriters of his generation, who is occasionally joined by his backing band. O'Brien began his musical career as a member of art-rockers The Immediate before starting a solo project as Villagers with the super 'Hollow Kind' EP back in 2009. Since then, his star has consistently ascended and he's released four excellent albums, even recently bagging an Ivor Novello Award for last year's 'Darling Arithmetic'. They play Castlepalooza on Sunday.
Song to see: 'Becoming a Jackal' is an oldie, but still a goodie.
Who are they? They're an electro-indie-pop-rock band from Minneapolis, Minnesota who are led by frontwoman Channy Leaneagh (who has Irish roots, y'know). Polica started out as the a project of Leanagh's after her first band split up and she began working with producer Ryan Olson on his Gayngs collective (which Justin Vernon of Bon Iver also worked on). Polica took root and they released their third album 'United Crushers' in March. When the sun goes down on Friday, make sure you're there to dance to the trippy, electro-based indiepop that these guys have on offer.
Song to see: 'Lay Your Cards Out'
Who are they? Only one of modern rap's most quietly consistent collectives over the last 20 years. People talk about groups like N.W.A. and Public Enemy in terms of defining eras, which is fair enough - but J5 have done their bit to progress the genre since the late 1990s, with members including Chali 2na, Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark reuniting in 2013 after a split in 2007. They're also a hell of a lot of fun live, as you'll find out on the Saturday.
Song to see: 'Concrete Schoolyard'
Who is she? Her name is Chan Marshall, but she's better known as Cat Power – purveyor of beautiful, intimate and sometimes bloody-loud-and-angry indie-rock music that drafts in elements of blues, lo-fi and folk into its sound. In the early 2000s, she gained a reputation for her erratic performances, due to problems with alcohol abuse and mental health issues, but by all means is thankfully on a more even keel these days. She's hugely respected in the songwriting community, having released nine studio albums to date, the most recent being 2012's 'Sun'. She plays Castlepalooza on Sunday.
Song to see: 'Sea of Love'
Who are they? They are the bloody brilliant Field Music - a band led by brothers Peter and David Brewis, who have made it their life's mission to make the funkiest, more colourful, offbeat indie music to ever come out of Sunderland. It's safe to say that they've succeeded on that front - over the course of six albums, they've proven themselves one of the most underrated indie bands in existence. Can you tell that we're fans? You will be, too, when you see them on Sunday's bill.
Song to see: 'Them That Do Nothing'
Who is he? He's a Norwegian DJ/.producer/remixer who is best known for his collaborations with his fellow Norwegian producer Hans-Peter Lindstrom. Together, they craft a genre-spanning style of music that has best been described as 'space disco' - or what regular festival-goers will know as 'the perfect soundtrack to dancing at a festival on Saturday night'. Thomas's Castlepalooza set on Saturday is a solo one, but is sure to be a banger, nonetheless.
Song to see: Any number of his excellent remixes will do the job, but if he played his remix of local lad Jape's 'Floating', it would undoubtedly go down a treat.
Castlepalooza takes place at Charleville Castle in Tullamore from July 1st - 3rd. See castlepalooza.com for more.
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