We continue 19 for ‘19 – our feature looking at nineteen Irish acts that we’re convinced are going places in 2019 – with fast-rising Belfast queerpunk five-piece Strange New Places.
Photo by Niall Fegan
One of several fast-rising Northern Irish acts that have been propelled by the Scratch My Progress initiative at Belfast’s Oh Yeah Music Centre, Strange New Places spent 2018 steadily emerging as one of the country’s most promising bands.
On full display at Outburst’s Youth Take Over Day, Atlantic Sessions, Women’s Work festival and elsewhere throughout the year was the band’s equal parts forward-pushing and ear-worming brand of queerpunk. Striking strong midpoints between emo punk, folk and synth-pop, it’s music that pours forth fist-clenched conscience and heart. Live, it spans the celebratory and sincere, brims with allusions and big truth, is conscientious and radical, fervent and – at its very best – treads its very own sonic path.
Bolstered by the promise of debut single ‘Trombone’, these are all elements that we’re confident will feature strongly on the band’s forthcoming debut EP. Set for release in the summer, it is, we’re told, set to comprise a combination of familiar and brand new tracks and has, not least due to the time that’s been invested into the recording process, been a “real labour of love”. As we see it, it can’t come soon enough. Brian Coney