For the past few years Trinity Ball has seen a strong trend towards dance and electronic music, and this year is no different as Mall Grab and Honey Dijon are joined by Mella Dee, Le Boom, and Sally C on this year’s lineup. Trinity News has previewed which acts to catch at this year’s Ball.
The Coronas return to the Ball for the first time since 2012 when they were added to the lineup after both Marina and the Diamonds and Labrinth pulled out. Fresh off selling-out the Olympia for four nights in a row in December, The Coronas are sure to draw a large crowd to the Main Stage, as old favourites like San Diego Song and Heroes or Ghosts will have a nostalgic appeal for many. While they haven’t changed much sonically over the years, the Dubliners will bring a steady, assured set this April.
The Manchester grime artist released his debut album, B. Inspired, last August to great fanfare with inward-looking, visceral lyrics dealing with themes like poverty and mental health. He has also cited Quentin Tarantino and spaghetti western films as a thematic influence on his sound. B. Inspired was produced by Dizstortion, who has worked with Stormzy; and if his set is anything like Stormzy’s at the Ball two years ago, we’re in for a treat.
London-based R&B singer Mabel has pop appeal and a powerful voice which has drawn comparisons to Dua Lipa. She’s nominated for Best British Breakthrough Act at this year’s Brit Awards, and her live performances have received rave reviews for her energy and supreme vocals. She re-released her mixtape this January, and her tropical-pop hit Don’t Call Me Up has gained a lot of traction over the past few weeks.
The Australian House DJ’s look has been compared to a “doomed French poet”, but fortunately for those of us who don’t want our Trinity Ball experience to be too existentialist, his music is decidedly upbeat. Lo-fi eclectic house tracks like Pool Party Music will make him one of the biggest draws at this year’s Ball. Having launched his label Looking for Trouble last September, the 25 year-old’s star is certainly on the rise.
A week in the life of a deli worker is not your run-of-the-mill concept for a hip-hop record, but Kojaque isn’t your run-of-the-mill hip-hop artist. Deli Daydreams pulls off the rare feat of being both witty and authentic but not overwrought, as many concept albums are. The Dublin artist is deservedly shortlisted for this year’s Choice Music Prize with an ambitious, contemplative debut that demonstrates rare maturity and focus.
In 2011 Nina Nesbitt supported Ed Sheeran during his European tour at the ripe old age of 17. Now 24, the Scottish singer-songwriter has released two albums. Her most recent release, The Sun Will Come Up, the Seasons Will Change, is more R&B than her folkier debut, but the astute observations peppered throughout her lyrics remain. Those who enjoyed George Ezra’s set at last year’s Trinity Ball should make a beeline for Nesbitt.
Pitchfork described Honey Dijon’s debut album as “a glorious vision of house music’s inclusive, utopian potential”. High praise indeed, but well deserved for the Chicago-native who has had legendary producer Derrick Carter as a mentor. An erudite contributor to discourse around gender in club culture, and an esteemed curator of music for fashion shows, Honey Dijon is one of the most interesting artists at this year’s Ball.
The Belfast hip-hop trio, who are playing their second Trinity event of the (academic) year, after playing Eat Sleep Réabh Arís during Freshers’ Week, will play their first Trinity Ball. They rap satirically as Gaeilge and have already appeared at Electric Picnic. Definitely the only act you’ll see at this year’s Ball rapping about Bláthnaid Ní Chofaigh.
The other acts
Representing College, we have the usual suspects – Trinitones, Trinity Orchestra, and DUDJ performing. However, science students in particular will be delighted to see Biochemistry professor, Luke O’Neill, take to the stage with his rock band Metabolix, who also played the ball in 2018.
For Ball-goers who want a band to dance to, the lively nine-piece funk band Toucan are sure to get people moving with brassy grooves and pristine vocals. Meanwhile slow-dancers will enjoy Jordan Max’s soulful, chilled-out vocals and beats.
The Kildare hip-hop duo Tebi Rex round out a solid cohort of hip-hop acts. With comparisons to Childish Gambino for their alternative delivery and sound, they are one of the country’s most inventive young acts.
And for something a bit different, The 2 Johnnies, a comedy duo from Tipperary, will take to the stage to sing about Junior-B hurling and cutting silage. The duo, who have their own podcast, will add some bucolic humour to this year’s ball.