As with many events, gigs and concerts, Ireland Music Week was plunged into a state of uncertainty given the circumstances surrounding gatherings and live gigs.
Normally, the 4-day-long event (formerly known as Hard Working Class Heroes, FYI) is a great way to experience the best of the rising talent on the Irish music scene right now. There's a buzz at both the showcase gigs around Dublin, and the various panels and workshops that take place on the daytime programme.
However, all is not lost. Ireland Music Week is moving online for its 2020 edition and kicks off tomorrow, Tuesday October 6th, and runs until Friday October 9th.
Apart from the conference element, there are also online showcase gigs available that have been filmed at Dublin's Lost Lane venue which you can buy tickets for.
You can see the full schedule here, but here are 10 acts that we think are worth checking out...
A. Smyth | Ark Stage, Tuesday, 8.30pm
Dubliner Aaron Smyth has been knocking around in various guises for several years, but his recent material as A. Smyth has gained a bit of traction. Influenced by the likes of Wilco and Springsteen, his folk-tinged rock 'n' roll, as heard on new single 'Don't Let Me Down', is very enjoyable.
Cmat | Singer's Stage, Tuesday, 8.40pm
Ciara Thompson was once a member of an indie duo called Bad Sea, but she's found her niche as a purveyor of wry pop songs with a country edge; her latest single 'I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby' sounds like a lost treasure from Dolly Parton's back catalogue. She's got the charisma and the voice to back up the droll image, too.
Christian Cohle | Singer's Stage, Tuesday, 8.55pm
We're really digging the songs that this Dublin-based musician has put out so far – especially excellent single 'Wallflower', a hypnotic electropop song that has the best use of organ we've heard in a song in a long time. The glitchy 'Breathe' sounds like Spandau Ballet meets Disclosure, while 'Ghost' ticks the 'epic atmospheric ballad' box with aplomb. Colour us intrigued.
Kynsy | Ark Stage, Wednesday, 8.30pm
With her recent debut single 'Cold Blue Light', 23-year-old Dubliner Ciara Lyndsey marked herself out as a pop writer with attitude, influenced (to our ears, at least) by the likes of Billie Eilish. It'll be interesting to see where she goes next.
Powpig | Ark Stage, Wednesday, 8.45pm
We first heard about Powpig a few years back, when their fellow Limerick natives Whenyoung steered us in their direction. The teenage indie band have proven extremely prolific with their releases since then, not to mention varied: recent slow-drip single 'Intellectual' and the dour jangle-pop of 'Ode to Wiseau' sound like they're from two different bands. This is a good thing, by the way.
Gemma Bradley | Circle Stage, Wednesday, 8.20pm
If r'n'b-inflected electropop is your thing, you need to check out this young Northern Irish artist. Gemma Bradley has only released a handful of singles to date, but she's being tipped for greatness by many, thanks to her idiosyncratic voice and her versatility, as heard on her single 'Obsessed'.
Rachael Lavelle | Singer's Stage, Wednesday, 8.55pm
The Irish music scene is as eclectic as it's ever been before, but artists like Rachael Lavelle are truly one-of-a-kind. It's not just down to the Dubliner's spellbinding voice – her atmospheric music, blending experimental pop with a haunting ambience, sets her apart on multiple fronts. An album could really be quite special and we're looking forward to seeing her live.
Anna Mieke | Ark Stage, Thursday, 8pm
You might already have heard Anna Mieke's music if you watched 'Normal People' earlier this year – her song 'Warped Window' was used on the soundtrack. It's just the tip of the iceberg for the Wicklow native's output, however. Her 2019 debut 'Idle Mind' showcased a songwriter of tender, ruminative folk songs.
God Knows | Circle Stage, Thursday, 8.50pm
There's been a lot of talk about the exciting hip-hop scene in Limerick lately, thanks to the likes of Denise Chaila (also on the IMW bill) – but this guy has been at the centre of it for several years. God Knows showed what he was capable of as a member of Rusangano Family, but his solo material – especially his collaborative releases, heard on the 'Who's Asking' EPs this year – is really great, too. [Incidentally, his fellow Limerick rappers MuRli and Hazey Haze are also on the IMW bill on Thursday evening, so tune in early.]
Aoife Nessa Frances | Singer's Stage, Thursday, 8.55pm
There's something about Aoife Nessa Frances's voice and her musical style that sounds so familiar in a comforting kind of way; her debut album 'Land of No Junction', released earlier this year, sounded like the amalgamation of many records from the 1970s that we'd pilfered from our parents' collection as kids. It's an album that we've returned to many times this year but we still haven't seen her live – so we'll definitely be tuning in on Thursday evening.