2018 saw some exceptional albums released by Ireland's homegrown artists, including Kodaline, Gavin James, Villagers and The Academic. So what's in store for 2019? Here's our rundown of the exciting albums to come by Irish musicians.
Irish-raised Maverick Sabre returns on March 22 with When I Wake Up, his first album released independently. Early tasters Drifting, Her Grace and Jorja Smith duet Slow Down reveal the record's sound is similar to his debut Lonely Are The Brave, which reached Number 2 in Ireland. Is a return to the Top 10 in Maverick's future?
The punk group's debut album Dogrel is being released on April 12, and the band want fans to listen to the record as a whole. An official statement reads that the album "is best enjoyed as a whole; it is very much in the grand tradition of the album as art form, just as this is a band very much in the classic band mold." Lead single Big is out now.
Ballymun folk musician Glen Hansard has two Top 3 albums under his belt as a soloist, plus he hit the top of the Official Irish Albums Chart as lead singer of The Frames in both 2003 and 2004. The Oscar winner's fourth studio album This Wild Willing is released on April 12, with the lead single I'll Be You, Be Me out now.
Walking On Cars
It's not an understatement to say that Walking On Cars' debut album Everything This Way was massive. Spending two weeks at Number 1 in 2016, the album spent its first 15 weeks on chart in the Top 5, occupying the Top 10 for 31 consecutive weeks. Their new collection Colours can be yours from April 22, and is available on CD, digital, vinyl and cassette.
Following the death of Dolores O'Riordan in January 2018, In The End will be The Cranberries' final album. The collection's lead single All Over Now is available now, with the LP coming on April 22. Noel from the band said of the new record: "I feel like this album is a celebration of this band and of Dolores and the legacy we will leave behind."
We Gotta Tell You some great news, Samantha Mumba is releasing an album this year. Sam last had a studio album out way back in the year 2000, but by the sounds of who she has been working with, it will be worth the wait. The Baby Come On Over singer - who has scored seven Top 5 singles in Ireland - has been working with MNEK and H.E.R. songwriter Ryan Ashley.
Dermot Kennedy is an absolute One-To-Watch. The Dubliner recently claimed his highest charting hit on the Official Irish Singles Chart with Power Over Me, while a self-titled "collection" of songs (made up of EP material and two new tracks) reached the Top 10 of the Official Irish Albums Chart. Dermot has promised that his debut studio album (currently untitled) will be released later in 2019.
Damien has taken a very unique approach to writing and recording his new album. The Kildare folk singer spent a week on an old wooden sail boat to get in the right album-making head space, cutting himself off from the world. Expect Damien's fourth studio album (and potentially his third Number 1) in the coming months.
Westlife returned in January 2019 with their first single in eight years Hello My Love. An incredible comeback for the boys, the song peaked at Number 2 on the Official Irish Singles Chart. Speaking on The Graham Norton Show, Shane Filan said "end of the year, hopefully" in regards to a full album. Here's hoping!