2018 may be more than halfway over, but there's still plenty of music to salivate over in the coming months.
There have already been some impressive albums released by Irish artists in the first half of the year - but what about those that have yet to be heard? Below, we take a look at 5 Irish albums to look forward to before the year is out.
VILLAGERS – The Art of Pretending to Swim (September)
If you've already heard the first cut from Conor O'Brien's forthcoming album – A Trick of the Light – you're undoubtedly as excited as we are to hear the rest of it. The Villagers man releases his fourth album on September 21st, but while its predecessor Darling Arithmetic was a stripped-back affair that saw him part from his bandmates and do a bit of soul-searching and exorcising of demons, this one is said to have more in common with his debut Becoming a Jackal. No pressure, so.
HOZIER – Title TBC (September TBC)
His 2014 eponymous debut album made him a global star, as he sold out gigs on numerous continents, became a darling of the US chat show circuit and even played the Grammys - but now it's time for Andrew Hozier-Byrne to step up and best it. The Wicklow man is currently in the studio putting the final touches to his second album, telling fans in June that his forthcoming North American tour (scheduled for September) will "coincide with the releasing of new work."
"The completion of the record is approaching and I'm eager to share it," he said. "Sincere thanks to you for your continued support. Hope to see you on the road again."
MY BLOODY VALENTINE – Title TBC (Date TBC)
Kevin Shields promised us new My Bloody Valentine material in 2018, and he wouldn't lie to us... would he? Well, turns out he was telling a slight untruth. Despite insisting last November that the band "one hundred percent will" release a new album this year, it seems that the album has now been downgraded to an "sprawling EP", which the Irish-English band debuted a new song from during their appearance at London's Meltdown festival in June (listen to it here). How sprawling is "sprawling". though? Knowing MBV, it may well turn out to be album-length, anyway. We should – fingers crossed – hear it before the end of the year.
SAINT SISTER – Shape of Silence (October)
This album is shaping (pun intended) up to to be something special. Saint Sister's output to date has been seriously impressive, with their debut EP Madrid clocking up over 2 million streams on Spotify alone, and their live shows have proven equally mesmerising. Now, Gemma Doherty and Morgan McIntyre's full-length debut, recorded with Hozier's right-hand man Alex Ryan, is set for release on October 5th. Their new single You Never Call signals a more forthright, fuller sound and gives a tantalising taste of what to expect.
MIK PYRO – Title TBC (Date TBC)
He's the man responsible for hits like Comeback Girl, Break and The Steady Song, but former Republic of Loose frontman Mik Pyro's solo material is a very different beast - "less a comeback than a rebirth", in his own words. Having recently unleashed a gem from it in the form of lead single Very Strange earlier this year, anticipation levels for the soulful, funky bluesfest have soared. Several 'Loose members contributed to the record, as well as musicians drawn from various Irish bands and Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu - even Gavin Friday lends his voice to it. We can't wait.