The Class of 2023: Music from Emma Langford, Kingfishr, T.A. Narrative, Dylan Flynn, JaYne, Strange Boy & many more

Kingfishr played to a full Milkmarket in December Pic: @aoifmoloneyphoto

Here is a roundup of some of the fine music released by Limerick connected artists in 2023. You can hear the songs on my Spotify playlist, MusicLimerick – New Music Favourites.

Emma Langford

IN February Emma released the song ‘Abigail (Tomhas Ghobnatan)’. This beautiful song comes from a tradition linked with Irish saint, Gobnait. The tradition is called Tomhas Ghobnatan. The name “Gobnait” can be translated as “Abigail” (Hebrew) or “Deborah” (English). “Tomhas Ghobnatan” (Gobnait’s Measure in English) is the name given to a piece of ribbon measured along the length, around the feet and around the neck of an ancient medieval statue of the saint by her worshippers who come to Ballyvourney in February each year for Gobnait’s Day. The blessed ribbon can be kept, or given to someone in need of help or healing. Emma said, “I was inspired by the stories of Gobnait, local devotion to her, and the idea of “Gobnait’s Measure” to write this track in the style of a love song to a woman who embodies the virtues of kindness, healing, and forgiveness.”


T.A. Narrative

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LIMERICK duo TA Narrative released their new EP Retro Futurism. The EP includes indie dance banger ‘If I Was A Man’ and sees Tara and Anna further develop their sharp punk-dance attack on the self produced Loves Hold, Signs Out and The Freeze expressing 2020’s soul-searching to a floor-filling retro synth/guitar soundtrack.

The acclaimed EP and live show saw T.A. Narrative book a tour with King Kong Company, play sets at Electric Picnic and some fine live shows with Le Boom, Bush Tetras and KYNSY. 

Speaking about Retro Futurism, TA Narrative say, “With this EP, we’ve used musicality as a vehicle to engage in deep self-reflection and navigate the chaos it brings. Our lives are filled with challenges we all face as humans. In addition to the fucked up experience, it has been a huge source of healing. Self-reflect – then party!” STREAM/SUPPORT

Dylan Flynn & The Dead Poets

2023 has been a big year for Dylan Flynn & The Dead Poets, seeing the group release their debut album and take on their biggest tour to date. They have gained almost a million streams on Spotify, and secured support slots with acts such as NewDad and Milk and The Stunning.

The band met while at college in Limerick in 2019 and launched their debut EP in the Kasbah Social Club.

Since then, Dylan and band have put in the hard yards, they have self-released/produced multiple EPs, booked Irish tours and picked up support slots.

All this culminated in the release in March of their 11 track debut album titled ‘how are you feeling today?’ featuring a slew of strong singles ‘life’, ‘running away’, ‘more’ and the soaring anthem ‘nowhere to live’.

The band made a captivating live video, filmed on top of a carpark in the heart of the city, for the politically charged ‘nowhere to live’. It’s an angry tirade platforming the band’s frustrations with the housing crisis and living in a country that completely ignores them.

The song has been play-listed by Spotify in New Music Friday, Alternative Ireland and A Breath Of Fresh Eire, and also heard across RTE 2FM, BBC ATL, Amazing Radio and Today FM.



“We never thought we would make it this far” is their byline on Spotify and the trio of “wannabe songbirds” namely Eddie on vocals/guitar, McGoo on banjo and Fitz on bass (AKA Edmond Keogh, Eoghan McGrath and Eoin Fitzgibbon) have made strong strides this year selling out Limerick Milk Market in December. 

Tracks ‘eyes don’t lie’ and ‘flowers-fire’ have accrued almost four million streams since their release in 2022.

Kingfishr pride themselves on deep textures and a grand sonic atmospheric nature, with influences ranging from Hanz Zimmer to Ben Howard. They have two nights booked at The Olympia for next March and a UK tour in February with several dates sold out and will be special guests to Snow Patrol at Thomond Park in July.


LIMERICK soul/jazz singer/songwriter JaYne released her first solo album in May. Two years in the making, ‘Pass the Test’ gets its title from a drive to complete something of her own. JaYne’s voice has many shades to it from strength and fragility. The album is a beautiful production from one of Limerick’s most soulful and distinctive artists.

She began releasing as a solo artist in 2021 having previously worked as a topliner and session singer in the U.K.

“I wrote the songs at a time when I was doing a deep dive on my past, trying to heal some stuff that was really holding me back. I have been writing songs my whole life, a solo album was a test I needed to pass. 

“I have experimented with different styles over the years, I went through an alt-pop phase, but with jazz l feel like home.”

Influences such as Steely Dan and Queen can be heard in tracks like ‘Charlie’ and ‘Bad Sign’ co-written with keyboard player, Conor Broderick.

The album is a coming together of over ten musicians and two producers, with very tasty features throughout including guitars by Sam Killeen, Sean O’ Meara and Paddy Shanahan. Produced by Ben Wanders and Danny Lanham (Dry Lane Studios). Mixed by Ben Wanders (Wanderland Record Studios).

Strange Boy

LIMERICK Rap and Hip-Hop artist Strange Boy (aka Jordan Kelly) won the 2023 Liam O’Flynn Award this year. Awarded by The National Concert Hall and The Arts Council,  it offers a bursary of €15,000 and an opportunity to enjoy a period of artistic reflection and creation in residence at the National Concert Hall to innovate, collaborate and create new work.

His acclaimed debut album HOLY / UNHOLY, produced in Kilfenora, Co. Clare with Enda features the soulful voice of Grammy award-winning Clannad vocalist, Moya Brennan.

Described as ‘one of the most exciting prospects emerging from the Irish rap scene’ Strange Boy released his debut album Holy/Unholy in 2021 which offers a fusion of hip-hop and Irish traditional music, earning him a four-star review in The Irish Times.

Strange Boy teamed up with longtime producer Enda Gallery for his single called ‘For A Man To Be Content’

At the core of the new single resides a personal narrative. Jordan, having navigated the turbulence of a painful breakup, engages in contemplation, delving into the insatiable desires that reverberate within the human soul.

Abe Soare 

LIMERICK songwriter Abby Butler released a new single and video ‘Oasis’ under their new moniker, Abe Soare. The new name translates as “Honest Sun”. The 23-year-old was adopted from Romania as a baby to Irish parents, their original name was Ioana Soare. This directly translates to Joan Sun in English. The name Sun (Soare) reflects how Abe has learned to always keep a positive outlook on life and wants to continue spreading light and love through their music.

Abe looks to songwriters such as Emma Langford and Wallis Bird as an influence. Abe won the Live 95fm Local Hero award 2021 and the Mike the Pies Battle of the Bands competition in 2022. They followed that single with the brilliant ‘Devil in disguise’ in October.



LIMERICK band Sweets released their second single ‘Dead Ends’ following up on the earworm rocker ‘Charm Offensive’ that marked their arrival in throttle to the floor style.

Members of Sweets (Liam Marley – Guitar/Vox, Lorcan Bourke – Drums, Keith Lawler – Guitar and Bertie Kelly – Bass) have plied their trade in a number of highly regarded bands from this parish, Tooth, Giveamanakick, Windings and Japanese Jesus.

‘Dead Ends’ is all about the big riffs and  was recorded at Wanderlane Studios by Ben Wanders and mastered by Richard Dowling. The release is accompanied by a video directed by Angus Gannagé-Stewart, Tom Brewins and Keith Lawler. 

STREAM / SUPPORT the band at

Anna’s Anchor

LIMERICK emo/indie outfit Anna’s Anchor dropped their fourth album, The Merries in July released by Galway label Strange Brew on digital and limited edition 12” vinyl. 

Once a solo affair for Marty Ryan, Anna’s Anchor has evolved into a collaborative community with the frontman as the band’s lynchpin.

Over nine tracks, The Merries takes the listener through days of freedom, moments of teenage social awkwardness on ‘Function Room Floor’ and his love of Limerick in ‘I Never Felt That Way’.

Ryan’s love of Limerick is “more a part of my personality than anything else,” and living in the States he often finds himself missing “walking down Catherine Street just to bump into someone I know, going to Rift for coffee and sitting outside in the fresh air, skateboarding at the train station where you meet some of the sketchiest characters you’ll ever encounter in your life”- the list goes on. 

Hazey Haze

Milk and Honey is a collection of 14 tracks that Hazey recorded with producer Danny Lanham at Dry Lane Studios. The mixtape was released in March and is available on and streaming platforms.

The Limerick rapper released a new video for his track title track ‘Bainne agus Mil’ translated as Milk and Honey. The animated visuals were done by Krooked Tease Animations production company. Their very original animation video features Hazey hanging out in the Island Field.

Citrus Fresh

LIMERICK rapper Citrus Fresh (aka Michael O’ Donoghue) dropped his new mixtape titled ‘Good Grief’. The release is produced by the rapper and DJ 40hurtz (Eoin Maguire). The quality eight tracker features guest appearances from Strange Boy, Godw1n, Courtesy and Rory Sweeney.

Limerick hip hop has been in rude health for some time now and Citrus Fresh’s ‘Good Grief’ is another good reason to get with the city’s free and easy jazzy haze. Stream/Support: 


RAPPER Shafto has realised a long term ambition to create an album of his work. The LP is called ‘Round and Round’ featuring collaborations with Damz Doherty, Molly O’Brien and many more. It brings together new raps with some previous releases. The track list flows through Shafto’s typical week starting out with Mornin’ Blues through to Pay Day on Thursday to Shots at the weekend.

He says, “after many many years of procrastination and doubt and over thinking and excitement, here it is! I was lucky enough to have loads of unreal artists on it.”


Eamonn Hehir

EAMONN Hehir of The Flag Listeners / Toucandance released a solo track called ‘The Liberty Suit’. 

The Limerick songwriter explains that a Liberty Suit was some basic clothing given to prisoners on release. Nowadays they receive a small sum of money on release. “This lyric is about release. For many, release can be as daunting as imprisonment.”

‘The Liberty Suit’ was recorded, mixed and produced by Eamonn Hehir at home in his Shanavogha studio. Eamonn recorded the vocals, electric guitars, bass, keyboards and drum program with friends James Hanley joining in with some electric piano and John Steele bringing his “steely electric guitar licks and baritone voice cameo.” The recording was mastered by Richard Dowling at Wav Mastering.

Stream & Support the artist at


THE Limerick instrumental prog metal band released their new album ‘Oars in the Water’ in October. The record draws from a wide range of metal, prog rock influences to produce a rush of prowess and boundless creativity. Oars in the Water is a sonic tapestry that is as intricate as it is emotive. 

The album is engineered by Ben Wanders and Ciaran Culhane, mixed by Ben Wanders at Wanderland Recording. Mastered by Richard Dowling at WAV Mastering. The quality artwork is thanks to Wexford based Iron Parasite

David Blake

TOO Synthetic is a new track from David Blake of Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, adding to his catalogue of solo singles, each very unique from the other, Too Synthetic is very much an electro tune brilliantly executed with Kraftwerk and Daft Punk influences throughout.

David says, “Twas born of childhood years when RTE would play the video of Kraftwerk’s “Autobahn” to kill time between programmes.

I figured I should make some form of electronic music before the robots inevitably take over so after messing about with a Bon Iver/Daft Punk vocoding preset and a few other bits, I ended up with this. I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome.”

Michelle Grimes

LIMERICK singer / multi-instrumentalist Michelle Grimes kicked off 2023 with a powerful vocal ballad ‘Never True’ in February.

After the release of her first batch of singles, Hotpress nominated Grimes alongside the likes of Dermot Kennedy and Denise Chaila for Irish artist of the year and one to watch.

Michelle’s music has wowed Irish radio and she went straight onto playlists across the country from Fm104, Live95, LMFM, Corks 96 and C103 as their Select Irish Artist of the Month as well as gracing the airwaves across BBC (Track of the week), 2FM, Spin and many more.

Having already been compared to the likes of Ariana Grande, Jessie J and Dua Lipa, Grimes is an R’n’B star-in-the-making.


Fiona O’Connell 

CRATLOE based singer-songwriter Fiona O’Connell released her debut single ‘Easily’ this year. Influenced by the likes of Sufjan Stevens and Adrianne Lenker, Easily’ is a high quality production balancing ethereal folk sounds with electronic elements showcasing Fiona’s warm vocals.

“The track was self-recorded in my bedroom over a number of months during lockdown.”

Out Of Place

CREATED by the folks behind the Féile na Gréine annual music festival in Limerick, Out Of Place features performances from Denise Chaila, God Knows, Hey Rusty, His Father’s Voice, MuRli, and Post Punk Podge & the Technohippies.

The documentary is an intimate portrayal of a local music scene, capturing the incredible diversity of cultural activity happening in Limerick City.

Exploring music made at a local level, Out of Place follows the musicians as they try to navigate their changing city, in an attempt to find places to create, perform and connect with others.