Some days you’re the bug, and some days you’re the windscreen. Unfortunately for Ireland, they’ve been enduring the splat and the squash at Eurovision rather consistently in recent years. With four consecutive non-qualifications, a last-place finish in the grand final and only two top 10 finishes since 2000, the Emerald Isle has progressively gone from bad to worse.

Critics have identified the various forces at play: the rise of geopolitical voting, uninspiring staging, and tepid to bland songs which fail to break
the pop mould. Perhaps the most recurring concern, however, is the Irish delegation’s choice of artists, who tend to be unestablished, unknown and lacking any musical identity.

In the aftermath of Ireland’s recent Eurovision Forum — which The Sun rather dramatically described as a “crisis meeting” — it’s time to pause and reflect on some of the successful and talented musicians RTE may be overlooking. So here are five popular — and realistic — Irish
artists who could lift Ireland off their knees at Eurovision 2018.

Note: We’ve already discussed Samantha Mumba, Nadine Coyle and Nathan Carter in the recent past, so you won’t see them below.

1. Walking on Cars

Be it rock or pop, Ireland is known for its bands – and this Kerry-based alternative rock group are primed and prepped for Eurovision. Walking on Cars have experienced success across the British Isles and the Benelux countries with experimental pop/rock singles such as “Speeding Cars” and “Always Be With You”. Their dark and mysterious rock sound lends itself perfectly to high-impact Eurovision staging with drama and purpose.

2. Roisin O

There’s no void of female Irish pop — it’s filled by Roisin O. The daughter of legendary Irish singer Mary Black, and sister to the lead singer of powerhouse band The Coronas, Roisin O creates fresh and contemporary tracks that frequently meld the acoustic and the anthemic. While inspired by Florence and The Machine and Hozier, Roisin imbues her music with an Irish sound that’s at once integral to it and authentic to her. A song in the vein of her singles “Give It Up” and “Warn Me of Silence” would be a clever stroke to help move Ireland in a new direction.

3. Picture This

Picture This are an effervescent breath of fresh air. The two-piece band formed in 2015 and have grown exponentially in popularity with a No. 1 album in the Irish charts. They’re also gradually breaking through in the UK. Picture This have an instantly endearing sweetness and likeability that comes through in their voices and instrumentation. Singles like “Take My Hand” and “Never Change” — which put their voices centre stage — would no doubt clock up jury and public votes with ease. Drummer Jimmy Rainsford has Eurovision experience already: he played the drums for Molly Sterling in 2015.

4. Eve Bell

Eve Belle isn’t as established as the other artists on this list. But owing to her country, acoustic sound and tender vocals we’re willing to overlook that. After signing with indie UK record label LAB Records and winning Irish Song of the Year at the NÓS Awards in 2015 with “Solas”, Eve is on the up. With her stripped-back, pure songs, she’s serving some John Karayiannas meets Tom Dice realness. Her laidback style contrasts sharply with the deafening and over-the-top music that frequently reigns at Eurovision. Here’s a snippet of “Too Young To Feel This Old”. You can’t tell the woman from the music — and we like that.

5. Gavin James

Gavin James – one of Ireland’s biggest breakthroughs of recent years — rounds out the list. He straddles acoustic, pop and electronic, and has cast his net just wide enough to draw in a range of fans — including some established A-listers. He’s already been a supporting act for Ed Sheeran and collaborated with the world-renowned Alan Walker. Plus he’s collected millions of Youtube views courtesy of hit singles like “Nervous” and “Bitter Pill”, both of which have charted well across Ireland, the UK and Western Europe. He’s ready for Europe’s biggest music stage.

What do you make of our choices? Who do you want to see represent Ireland in the future? Leave your opinions in the comment section below. We can’t wait to read them!

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Mateja Purple Panda
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Mateja Purple Panda

Walking on cars would be amazing!
????

Daniel
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Daniel

I’m so happy that we’re making some changes and going for something better than the past few years ?. Picture This, Gavin James, Walking on Cars and Hozier sound great. Or they could just pick someone at random with an amazing voice and give them a power ballad. All in all please god NO NATHAN CARTER

Stan
Guest
Stan

they should send U2

Irish ESC Fan
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Irish ESC Fan

@Polegend Godgarina agree, it’s my favourite song from any Irish singer

ati0111
Guest
ati0111

Walking On Cars would be amazing!!! <3
Picture This is also great 🙂

Héctor
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Héctor

Walking on cars sound really good.

Miguel
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Miguel

They all sound good.
The problem with Ireland is…
They always have good songs (except 2017) that are NOT eurovision friendly.
Its always the same indie-pop balads that probably do well in the charts and are radio friendly, but when you listen to them with 20 or 30 more songs along, they dont stand out. They are easily forgoten…
Its a shame because they are actually good and Ireland should be proud of them. Good luck next year!

Polegend Godgarina
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Polegend Godgarina

Lyra would be perfect in my opinion. Check out her song “Emerald”. It’s like it was written to go top 5 in the Eurovision final!

Charli Cheer Up
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Charli Cheer Up

I would love to see Janet Devlin represent Ireland. She came 6th on The X-Factor in 2011. Her music is modern contemporary like Blanche, Lorde, Ellie Goulding and Florence + The Machinces. She had pull off any concept whether its modern, rock or celtic. Check out her videos and performances on YouTube!

Liam Holton
Guest
Liam Holton

I’d like

Dayl Cronin
Picture This
Hozier
Alan Hayes
Laoise

At least Thisispopbaby was left out of this, leave them out of Eurovision sight!!!!!!

Siún
Guest
Siún

I would loved to have seen Seo Linn included on this list!! They mix Irish and English throughout their songs and theyre just phenomenal. It would be great to see a song with some of the Irish language in it again

Ern
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Ern

All these acts are very good.

However, who is the best one live? We don’t want another repeat of “Playing With Numbers” (aka … excellent studio version, but a rather dull and un-engaging live performance).

Tamu
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Tamu

I love “Walking on Cars” and “Give it up”. Both are really great.
“Picture on This” is alright
I’m not a big fan of “Too young to feel this old”
Nervous is not available in Norway. So I can’t judge it.

Jonas
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Jonas

I like Walking On Cars and Picture This. Can’t see it happening, though. The rest on the list are just boring, at least to me. However if I could choose a “realistic” Irish act to represent the country, it would be Bressie or Le Galaxie. They have the star quality, production values and pop melodies. With the right song & attitude, they may have a chance of doing well. I’d also love to see The Divine Comedy enter a song. Neil Hannon has never taken himself too seriously, and at this point in his career, what has he got to… Read more »

raulvalero
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raulvalero

It would be so cool to see Walking on Cars on the stage. Their style is so U2-ish yet so personal, and people could identify with them. I miss EDEN though! His song “drugs” is awesome!

Ian
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Ian

I could see Gavin James writing a song for Ireland for I don’t think he’d actually perform in Eurovision

John Egan
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John Egan

Roisín O would be PERFECT. And put Kween™ Mary on backup vocals! Will garner tons of buzz.

mad-professor
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mad-professor

Add Greywind to that list – fantastic duo!

Eire
Guest
Eire

Would Be a dream come True to see Roisin O represent ireland but I don’t think she’d want to go to Eurovision. & Honestly I see none of the artists on this list representing us, Especially not Walking on Cars.

kimmm
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kimmm

Walking on Cars would be the best choice.