Stephen Young & The Union
When debut album Wilderness Machine was released in March 2011, Stephen Young & The Union were asked "do you think this brand of Americana/folk-rock has a place in the Irish music scene?" by one interviewer. Young replied... "we'll see...".
They have since performed on RTÉ's The View, their first single Coke & Rum was playlisted by RTÉ Radio One, and Fairbanks was playlisted by BBC Radio Ulster and Dublin's Phantom FM.
Interviews and features on the band were published in The Star and Hotpress. By early 2012, having signed with Cellarmusic Recordings, the answer was clearly "yes!"
A busy summer followed. The band toured Ireland twice and played some of Ireland's most well-known festivals.
Their sound was proving popular in an emerging folk-rock market in Ireland - they won the MRU award for best Alt-Country act in December 2012, while they continued to draw media and blog attention from the UK and US.
With recording on album two now underway, SY & The Union also finally - with the backing of their new label - formally released the second single from Wilderness Machine in December 2012. Since it was added to their live set, Fairbanks has come to prove the most popular of the band's songs.
The song was added to multiple regional playlists this January while Stephen Young & The Union co-headlined the Today FM and Irish Daily Star Shave or Dye event at the Workmans Club with The Hot Sprockets - a night organised by Young - which raised over 6,000 euro for the Irish Cancer Society.
Last summer SY & TU performed - with new guitarist Shayne Byrne - at the Knockanstockan Festival and the Jack of Diamonds Festival in Dublin, at which they were hailed as the 'band of the night' for the Saturday night.