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18 for ’18: Molly Sterling

molly sterling 2

We continue 18 for ’18, our feature of showcasing eighteen Irish acts we’re convinced are going places in 2018. Throughout January we’re going to be previewing each of those acts, accompanied by words from our writers and an original photograph from one of our photographers. Next up is Tipperary’s Molly Sterling.

Photo by Ciara Brennan

Try as one might, it’s usually nigh on impossible to clearly pinpoint what demarcates a great artist from a good one. Often, the real difference can only be traced in the smallest moments – music that has a way with itself, the space between the notes or how set forms and unfolds, slowly unravelling a source that is not merely inspired, but vital and yearning for something bigger than itself.

Having fully arrived last year with the sublime, piano-led ballad ‘Plain Static’, self-taught Tipperary musician and singer Molly Sterling is increasingly of this world, fast on the way to bringing her emotively-dense alt-pop to a much bigger audience in 2018. Counting the likes of PJ Harvey, Lana Del Rey, James Blake amongst her influences, the 19-year-old’s craft mines reprieve from darkness, and bounds with an earnestness that not only can’t be feigned but necessitates real-life hardship to manifest as art.

Having made a strong impression at the likes of Hard Working Class Heroes, Culture Night Belfast and Canaphonic last year, Sterling and her band comprised of Laura McCabe, Enda Cahill and Colin Lyons will almost certainly become a regular, increasingly-featured fixture across the country over the coming few month. A significant break and its upshot will surely follow in tandem with new material that’s in the works. If you get it – and you likely will – don’t pass the opportunity to pinpoint rare greatness come into being. Brian Coney

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.