With their second album {Awayland} due out in the second week of January, expect Villagers fever to be rampant over the course of the next few months. The band’s debut, Becoming A Jackal, is rightfully recognised as one of the best Irish releases of the past decade and picked up nominations to both the Mercury and Choice prizes, one of only three Irish acts to be up for ‘Best Album’ gongs on both sides of the Irish sea (the other two being Lisa Hannigan and Fionn Regan). The first two cuts from {Awayland}, ‘The Waves’ and ‘Nothing Arrived’, have whetted the appetite significantly and we can’t wait to get our mitts on the new record.

The Strypes

If you’re a regular reader of these pages you’ll no doubt be aware of our fondness for this young Cavan band. 2012 has been an incredible year for the rhythm & blues loving teenagers. A trio of excellent performances at Electric Picnic, a shout-out from Paul Weller and glowing write-ups from NME and The Guardian have signified that no, we’re not crazy and yes, these guys are the real deal. No doubt one day thirty years from now we’ll be fondly recounting about how we saw The Strypes play in a tiny church in Dingle.


16-year-old Bridie Monds-Watson released her debut EP ’Trains’ earlier this year under her SOAK moniker and the reaction among muso circles was unanimous in its praise. The young Derry singer-songwriter has a voice that reminds of Lisa Hannigan or Katie Kim and we don’t think it’ll be long before she’s mentioned in the same revered tones usually reserved for the aforementioned performers.

The Staves

The three Stavely-Taylor sisters from Watford, who perform under the abridged name of The Staves, hark back to the sort of music you’d expect if Laura Marling was a familial relation of the Mountain Man girls and they all jammed together. Extremely delicate musicianship combined with exquisite vocal arrangements all add up to, well, something pretty special.

The Unthanks

Continuing the folky theme at this year’s Other Voices, The Unthanks will be one of the bands who will being closing this year’s Other Voices on Monday evening – and we can’t think of a better way to help bring the curtain down on a weekend of music in Dingle.

Other Voices will be broadcast live on RTE Two and from 7pm this Sunday.