The Future of the Dublin Music Scene

Image Credit: Gordon Cowie on Unsplash

Holly Alder recounts some of her favourite up-and-coming Irish acts

The Irish music scene is exploding with amazing artists and music, old and new, with different genres and types of music to suit just about anyone. Here are a few artists who have caught my attention recently within the Irish music scene, particularly in Dublin City.

CABL (band) - CABL are a four-piece self-proclaimed “indie pop band put through a broken dishwasher” formed and based in Dublin. Since forming originally as a college project in early 2020, they have racked up nearly 1,000 loyal monthly listeners on Spotify, despite only having two songs released. Their first single, ‘What a Pop Song Sounds Like’ features their signature noisy ambience with lead singer Ava’s haunting vocals taking centre stage. The four-piece takes its main inspiration from bands such as Sunny Day Real Estate, My Bloody Valentine, Gilla Band and Just Mustard. Think dream pop, shoegaze and ambient noise combined. CABL’s sold-out debut headline gig took place in Whelans where they have played several other shows supporting the likes of Gurriers, Cruel Sister and Robocobra Quartet. They have also supported Thumper, Kynsy and Sky Atlas in different venues across the city centre. You can catch CABL live at The Workman’s Club Cellar on March 4th for their next headline gig for a night of pints and pure noise.

Derv (DJ) - Dearbhla, who goes by her stage name ‘Derv’, first appeared on the Dublin music scene at the beginning of last year, playing her debut gig in March of 2022. Derv always showed a keen interest in making music, purchasing her first set of mixing decks during the COVID-19 pandemic and creating her first-ever mix over lockdown. What started as a casual hobby turned into much more, with Derv playing multiple gigs in some of the best clubs in Dublin, such as Index, The Workman’s Club Cellar, Bow Lane Social Club and Farrier and Draper, while also being a founder and organiser of different club night collectives in Dublin. Derv has supported some big names in music over the last year, including LSDXOXO, X Club, Skin On Skin, X Coast and DJ Fuckoff. Her style in music varies, but she predominantly plays ghetto house, ghetto techno electro, house and techno. You can catch Derv supporting another big name, Partiboi69, in Index on February 11th of this year. She is most definitely one to watch within the Irish music scene.

Bobbi Arlo (singer/solo artist) - Dublin native Bobbi Arlo has already made big moves in the music scene since she first released her debut single ‘Berries’ at the end of 2019, which was first played on radio station RTE 2FM. Before the release of her single, Bobbi worked as a backing singer for rappers and other solo artists around Ireland. She has come a long way since her backing singer days, recently performing at the music and arts festival Primavera in Barcelona during the summer of 2022 and getting nominated for Song of the Year for the RTE Choice Music Prize. Aside from releasing new and exciting music, Bobbi has supported big names in the music industry such as pop band Years & Years in her home county of Dublin in 2022. Bobbi has six singles out at present, which can all be found on Spotify and her 2021 single ‘FEVER THOUGHTS’ can also be found in Sally Rooney’s television drama ‘Conversations with Friends’. Bobbi is currently focusing on making new music set to release early this year. Her R&B-infused pop sound is infectious and catchy, with her success in the music industry growing with each catchy release. Keep an eye out for Bobbi Arlo this year, she is most definitely one to watch.

Bricknasty (band/group) - Reigning from Ballymun, a hip-hop and rap group (amongst other genres), Bricknasty have recently become one of the most recognisable and exciting names in the Irish music scene. Beginning at the start of the pandemic in 2020, the lead singer and guitarist of the band, Fatboy, heavily focuses on his Ballymun upbringing throughout their music and music videos. Their music video and cover of ‘So Sick’ by Ne-Yo can be found on YouTube featuring the landscape of the estates and tall buildings of Ballymun with Fatboy donning his signature balaclava. The latter half of the video features stills of the suburb of Dublin in this somewhat nostalgic art piece. At present Bricknasty’s music can be found on Spotify and YouTube and you can also catch them playing gigs all over the country. 2022 was a huge year for the band as they performed with Maverick Sabre and Khakikid, going on their own ‘Stones Throw’ Tour around their stomping ground of Dublin City and even venturing off Irish soil, performing in the likes of London and Groningen. The group also took on the world of music festivals in 2022, performing at popular Irish music and arts festivals such as Body and Soul and Other Voices. The band, which consists of frontman Fatboy, drummer Korey and bassist Dara can be guaranteed to make even more waves in the Irish music scene in the future and are definitely worth checking out.

POSER (producer) - Up-and-coming Irish producer POSER is already making a name for himself within the Irish electronic music scene. He has consistently released new music on several music streaming platforms including Spotify, Bandcamp and SoundCloud, taking influence from the likes of Fred Again and DJ Seinfield. His 2022 single ‘Yours’ has racked up over 10,000 listens on Spotify alone and features his signature nostalgic house sound. His next single release is set for January 27th of this year, with an emotional and wavy dance tune ‘Letter to Dublin’. The track cleverly samples a poem by Alice Kiernan that the fast-rising producer found on the video streaming app TikTok. The poem talks about the frustration felt by the younger generation of Dublin and how the love we have for the city is inevitably fading due to the lack of care for the youth of the city. POSER pairs this with, in his own words, ‘blissful pads and drums that are made for those elongated moments of club euphoria’, making the track very easy to resonate with for those of us who reside in the capital city. Make sure to catch POSER’s new single ‘Letter to Dublin’ on January 27th, available across all streaming platforms.