With only a few days to go before tickets go on sale, by now College-goers are already furiously Googling to find out whether this year’s Trinity Ball lineup are really worth that extra €7.
Save your time; below we’ve given our guide to this years acts including “Must-listen Tracks” for each artist. Click here to view a specific artist or scroll down to see the whole lineup:
1. Bloc Party
2. Riptide Movement
3. The Strypes
7. Fatima Yamaha
8. Loyle Carner
9. Section Boyz
10. SG Lewis
11. Hare Squead
12. Little Hours
13. King Kong Company
14. Chris Wise & the Hidden Revolution
16. April Towers
17. Eve Belle
- Bloc Party
Headliners Bloc Party are a British indie rock band that formed in 1999. Since their breakthrough album Silent Alarm reached number three in the UK album chart in 2005, the group has been met with huge success, with four of their five albums making the UK top 10. Their latest album Hymns, was released in January of last year following a two-year hiatus.
The group’s music was originally mainly built around guitar rock, but they have significantly diversified their sound throughout the years. Their second album A Weekend in the City saw them incorporate R&B into their music, and they further diversified with the use of electronic music with the release of Flux.
Following a return to their original style in Four, their latest album epitomises the group’s diversity, drawing inspiration from R&B, gospel and electronic music. With such a wide range of styles, and so many recognisable tracks, this is an act sure to attract a diverse crowd to the main tent.
Must-listen tracks: Helicopter (for a sample of their original rock style), Flux (their most successful electronic track), Stunt Queen (a masterclass in genre-fusion).
The Riptide Movement are a folk-rock band hailing from Lucan in Dublin. The group released their third studio album Ghosts in October of last year, and are currently touring Germany. They are set to play in the Olympia on March 17, just three weeks before Trinity Ball.
Their first three albums have seen their rock ‘n’ roll influenced sound take them from Irish celebrity to international fame. Their music is authentic, and as far as style is concerned they prefer to stick to their guns rather than yield to the trend of the day. Their latest album is characterised by a classic pop-rock style that has a wide appeal, as well as including a number of ballads that were made for live performances.
Trinity Ball has always tended towards bringing Irish acts to Front Square, and this year’s line-up proves no different. The Riptide Movement are likely to prove a big draw at the ball, being a recognised name with a well-known back-catalogue and a style that appeals to so many.
Must-listen tracks: Elephant in the Room, All Works Out, I Could Have Loved You
The Strypes, a rock band out of Cavan, made their original breakthrough in 2012 with the release of their self-produced EP Young, Gifted & Blue. The group, consisting of Ross Farrelly, Josh McClorey, Peter O’Hanlon and Evan Walsh, were noteworthy for being between 15 and 17 in age when they first began to become known both nationally and internationally.
The band originally primarily played the local scene, and slowly built up a name for themselves as a live act. Their music has a range of influences, namely blues and pub rock. Elton John said of The Strypes, “They have a knowledge of R&B and blues at 16 years of age that I have only amassed in my 65 years. They’re just like a breath of fresh air.”There are rumours of a new album, which would be their first release in two years.
Must-listen tracks: Blue Collar Jane, Get Into It, What a Shame
Hailing from Stockport, Manchester this five-piece indie-pop band owe a strong influence to their ‘80s predecessors, with atmospheric synth and clean bass grooves underpinning the band’s sound. Fans of fellow Mancunians “The 1975” will be sure to enjoy the musical stylings of “Blossoms”.
The band came in at fourth place in the BBC’s Sound of 2016 poll with their track “Blown Rose”, heralding a successful year for the group. Their debut eponymous album issued by Virgin/EMI records, was released in August 2016, followed by a sold-out tour and favourable reviews.
Currently nominated as a “Breakthrough artist” for the 2017 BRIT Awards, the band are due to start a second tour, with three dates lined up in Ireland on the 9th, 10th and 11th of March, for those wishing to suss out their live performance.
Must-listen tracks: Charlemagne, Blown Rose, You Pulled a Gun on Me
Kölsch, also known as Rune RK, is a Danish music producer and DJ who has worked with artists as diverse as Deadmau5 and Coldplay. Best known for his 2003 breakthrough track Calabria, which he produced as Rune RK, he has been producing as Kölsch since 2011
He released his first album under the moniker, entitled 1977, with renowned German label Kompakt in 2013. A collection of established classics and new material, it ranges from upbeat playful tracks to much darker sounds. This was followed two years later by 1983, which exemplifies Kölsch’s melodic style of house music that doesn’t shy away from emotion.
With his distinct style and revered back-catalogue of hits under a variety of aliases, Kölsch is a likely sound effort to continue the trend of attracting fans of dance music to Trinity Ball.
Must-listen tracks: Bloodline (a melancholic track that demonstrates his melodic style), Loreley (for something more fast-paced), Opa (for a captivatingly good hook)
Wilkinson is a British drum and bass music producer and DJ who gained fame in 2013 with his top-ten single “Afterglow”. His second studio album “Hypnotic” is forthcoming, with a release date yet to be announced. Three singles from the album were released last year, the latest being “Sweet Lies” with vocals from former X-Factor contestant Karen Harding. He is currently touring the UK.
Wilkinson grew up surrounded by different genres of music, and this is evident in his style. He’s very much at home mixing genres, and his latest tracks are an eclectic melange of R&B, drum ‘n’ bass, grunge, hip-hop and more. He’s worked with a wide variety of vocalists too, each of whom brings something new to his music.
One of the many dance acts to grace the stage this year, Wilkinson’s unique genre-fusing style is sure to be a big hit with music fans on the night.
Must-listen: Afterglow, Sweet Lies, Dirty Love
Fatima Yamaha is one of many monikers of the Dutch producer Bas Bron. Best known for the dancefloor classic “What’s a Girl to Do” which, though dually released in 2004 on Irish label D1 Recordings and Magnetron, has only gone on to garner attention more recently as DJ tastemakers began to sample it in 2008.
Focusing on synth-heavy, slow-burning mixes, Bron is exemplary at building up the crowd. His 2001 retro release “You’ve Got My Love” under another pseudonym Bastian reached 17th place in the Dutch Top 40 of that year.
Having performed at 2015’s Dekmantel Festival as well as being in the lineup for this year’s Primavera Sound in Barcelona and Park Life in the UK, he’s an act you won’t want to miss.
Must-listen Tracks: Boiler Room x Dekmantel Festival Live Set, “What’s a Girl to Do”
Having just released his debut album “Yesterday’s Gone”, 21-year-old Croydon hip-hop and grime artist Loyle Carner (Ben Coyle-Larner) is gaining ground due to his easy-flowing, confessional rap style. The release has already received glowing reviews, as did his recent appearance at The Workman’s Club.
Signed to the London-based AMF Records, who support other notable artists such as Gilligan Moss, Carner’s work is emotionally-charged and down to earth. This has been his hallmark ever since the release of his 2014 EP “A Little Late”, which deals with the loss of his stepfather. His lyrics are deeply personal, detailing his familial relationships (with a conversation with his mother featuring on track “Swear”) as well as wider meditations on living life hand-to-mouth on tracks like “No Worries”.
Currently in the middle of a European tour, with an Australian stint to follow, it seems Carner is set to break into a larger market.
Must-listen Tracks: Ain’t Nothing Changed, The Isle of Arran, Cantona.
Section Boyz is an English rap group formed 2010. Their major breakthrough came in 2015 when their Don’t Panic mixtape reached no. 36 in the UK album chart – a feat they achieved without the backing of any major label. It also reached no. 3 in the UK R’n’B album chart the same year.
They have had huge success at the MOBO awards in recent years, being named Best Newcomer in 2015 and Best Hip Hop Act last year. They have their fair share of famous faces supporting them, with Drake plugging Don’t Panic in the run-up to its release, and Lily Allen and Rita Ora expressing their love of the group on social media. Their latest release, 2016’s Attack the Block, saw them collaborate with Chris Brown and OHB.
Their music is characterised by memorable hooks and choruses, and their appearance at Trinity Ball is another in a long-line of promising upcoming artists getting exposure at the event.
Must-listen tracks: Trapping Ain’t Dead (for a sample of their trademark unforgettable hooks), Don’t Panic (a darker track with a memorable chorus), Don’t Like That (for something irresistibly catchy)
SG Lewis is a music producer from Liverpool. He released his debut EP “Shivers” in 2015 having been signed by PMR, the record label that had previously signed names such as Disclosure and Jessie Ware. Influenced by both club music and singer-songwriters, his music is characterised by a combination of soulful vocals and club beats.
SG Lewis is known for his mellow style, which will provide an interesting contrast to many of the other dance acts on the bill. His unique sound comes from a love of singer-songwriters like Bon Iver, whose style he brings to a genre that is seemingly worlds away. The result of this unusual combination is deep club beats fused with emotive narrative that is often lacking in other such artists.
SG Lewis is one of a few “come-down” artists on the bill, that will likely carry the party into the not-so-early hours of the morning. His unique style will be attractive to dance fans looking to discover something new.
Must-listen tracks: Shivers, Warm, Meant to Be
Hare Squead is a “genre-bending” rap hip-hop trio from Dublin. Comprised of members Tony Konstone, Jessy Rose and Lilo Blues , the group’s energetic live performances swing between soulful RnB refrains and heavy-hitting beats, interspersed with sharp rhymes. Growing up in Tallaght and Blanchardstown, the boys bonded over skating in 2013 and began to play music together upon discovering each other’s musical abilities.
In 2015, the band were signed to Sony/Columbia Records in the UK and have garnered attention off the back of some very promising publicity in NME and music blog Pigeons and Planes. The group was also chosen to represent Ireland at Eurosonic in January – one of Europe’s largest music industry events.
The group has already secured the major gigs on the Irish festival circuit, playing Body and Soul in 2015 and Electric Picnic in 2016 and have just completed a European tour supporting Dua Lipa in promotion of their EP “Supernormal”, released in December.
Their song “If I Ask” is currently nominated for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize Irish Song of the Year.
Must-listen Tracks: Loco, Herside Story, Long Way To Go
Little Hours are a homegrown alternative/folk pop duo out of Killybegs, in Donegal. The group consists of experienced singer-songwriters John Doherty and Ryan McCloskey.
Although still a relatively new group, they played Indiependence along with being nominated for Meteor Choice ‘Song of the Year’ in 2016. Their primary musical influences are the likes of Kodaline, Hozier and Justin Vernon. Their newest song was released on Friday 9 December 2016.
Must-listen Tracks: Tired, Let it Snow, It’s Still Love
King Kong Company is an Irish dance band that formed while its members were studying at Waterford IT. They initially came together in 1996, and their session on RTÉ 2FM was the most popular of the year. The group split upon graduating in 2000, but reformed in 2011 to produce new music videos on a regular basis.
The popularity of their material saw them play their first international gigs in 2014. Their self-titled debut album was released independently in June of last year, and reached no. 45 in the Irish charts. They aim to merge rock, electronica and dubstep in their music, and the result is a fun, eclectic mix of tracks that seamlessly spans genres.
Their debut album provides upbeat club tracks as well as mellow come-down tunes, with homages to ‘90s dance music peppered throughout. Another in the long line of dance acts to appear on the bill this year, King Kong Company’s appearance is likely to delight die-hard festival goers who will no doubt have encountered them at one of their many sets over the past few years.
Must-listen tracks: Donkey Jaw (for an emphatic reminder of the group’s Irish humour), All These Things (for something upbeat and fun), Pol Pot Rock (for some ‘90s nostalgia).
14. Chris Wise & the Hidden Revolution
Founded in 2008, Christ Wise & the Hidden Revolution are an indie-rock band out of Manchester. Made up of Chris Wise, Ian Sanderson and Pete Marshall, their debut EP “perfectly motionless” was released in 2011, and won EP of the year from Rainy Skies magazine.
Primarily influenced by the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and the Police they were described by Chris Long of BBC Manchester as having “something mighty brewing. Who knows how big it could be if they manage to let it out.”
Must-listen Tracks: Already Know, We Are The Ones, Everything Rusts
The brainchild of Austrian producer and DJ Marcus Fuereder (AKA Parov Stelar) and Alexander Kapeller (AKA Alexx Aiyax), Stelartronic is a project aiming to reinvent sounds of the early 2000s with a more modern flair. As co-founders of Bushido Recordings – with Stelar’s most notable work being his groove-inflected electroswing and Aiyax bringing the grittier synth-fuelled techno that dominated this century’s early club scene – both producers bring something different to the project.
Recent releases have pointed toward more laid-back electronic pop sound, featuring the voice of LA-based soul singer Anduze on tracks “Press my Luck” and “When I Find My Love”, with a full-length album due to be released by the collaborating artists.
Must-listen Tracks: “Press My Luck”, “Where I Find My Love”, “Into Sunshine”
April Towers are an indie pop duo from Nottingham. Though yet to release an album, their singles have been hugely well-received for an upcoming act, with their hit A Little Bit of Fear being featured on the Fifa ’16 soundtrack.
They count ‘80s acts like Depeche Mode and New Order among their influences, and this shows through in their electro-pop sound. Despite this synth-driven style, however, they’re experimental in their use of instruments and genres, occasionally fusing pop with house and rock. They’re a feel-good act that will undoubtedly fit in well with the Trinity Ball vibe.
Must-listen tracks: A Little Bit of Fear (for their characteristic ‘80s synth pop with an undercurrent of dance beats), Silent Fever (for a simple, feel-good tune), Arcadia (for the catchy piano riff and rousing chorus)
Eve Murtagh is an Irish singer-songwriter from Donegal and a Junior Freshman in Trinity. Having released her EP “Sonder” in 2015, Murtagh performed at the Other Voices Music Trail the same year, as well as gigging at various Arts Festivals and the Ruby Sessions alongside this.
Her EP showcases her affection for lilting love ballads, as does her Soundcloud, which also features an Irish language track “Craiceann agus Cnámha” – nominated for Amhrán na Bliana (Song of the Year) at this year’s Gradaim Cheoil NÓS.
Currently on tour with Frightened Rabbit (a Scottish indie rock band) for their Irish dates, Murtagh’s heartbreaking lyrics and sweeping vocals are sure to captivate this April.
Must-listen Tracks: “Too Young to Feel This Old”, “Please Don’t Check Your Messages”
Reporting by Sinéad Harrington, Niamh Moriarty and Oisín Vince Coulter