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little bear. Derry

If your frontman’s surname is McCool, you’re already onto something. Joining Steven (who also plucks the bass) in this extremely promising fourpiece is drummer Mark O’Doherty, guitarist Ryan Griffiths and pianist Conor Mason. Hailing from Derry, they first turned heads with the haunting ‘I’d Let You In’ and followed that up with an equally beguiling debut EP last year. With bags of hooks and atmospheric harmonies that ease their aching lyrics, they’re none-too-shabby live either, as proved by their confident turn on the Cosby Stage at Electric Picnic 2013. They also deployed their repertoire of tunes - which, in general, coast across the waters of heartbreak - when wowing Whelan’s and Derry’s Other Voices. In an understated way of course. ‘Night Dries Like Ink/'Killer’ is a good example of what they do best, released through Smalltown America. Tipped by radio veterans Paul McClean and Rigsy (to name but two), their gentle but memorable sonic endeavours are gaining a real audience. With Little Bear recording their debut album this year, who knows how far the sound can spread?

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