The Best Irish Rock Music to Listen to Right Now

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,

If you’re looking for the best Irish rock music to listen to right now, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got a great selection of music for you to enjoy.

Celtic rock

Celtic rock is a subgenre of rock music that combines elements of traditional Irish and Celtic music with rock. Celtic rock began in the 1960s with bands like the Clancy Brothers and the Dubliners, and reached its height in the 1970s with bands like Thin Lizzy, Horslips, and Van Morrison. Celtic rock has made a comeback in recent years, with bands like Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, and The Saw Doctors keeping the sound alive. If you’re looking for some great Celtic rock to listen to, check out our list of the best Irish rock bands below.

Irish folk rock

Irish folk rock is a genre of folk music that developed in Ireland in the 1960s. It reached its height of popularity in the 1970s, when many Irish bands began incorporating elements of traditional Irish music into their own sound. Some of the most popular Irish folk rock bands include The Clancy Brothers, The Pogues, and The Dubliners. If you’re looking for some great Irish music to listen to, check out these bands!

Irish punk

Punk rock originated in the 1970s and is typically characterized by fast, loud, and aggressive music. Irish punk is a subgenre of punk rock that developed in Ireland in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Irish punk bands are typically influenced by traditional Irish music as well as British and American punk rock.

Some of the best Irish punk bands to listen to right now include The Pogues, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys, Stiff Little Fingers, and The Mahones. These bands all have unique takes on the genre, and they’re sure to get you up out of your seat and dancing along. So what are you waiting for? Turn up the volume and enjoy some Irish punk!

Alternative Irish rock

The best Irish rock music to listen to right now is a mixture of traditional and alternative Irish rock. Artists like The Cranberries, U2, and The Pogues have all helped to shape the sound of modern Irish rock, while newer bands like Kodaline and The Script are keeping the sound fresh. If you’re looking for the best Irish rock music to listen to right now, check out this list.

Indie Irish rock

The Irish rock scene is thriving right now, with a host of incredible bands and artists making waves both at home and abroad. If you’re looking for some great new music to check out, here are some of the best Irish rock bands to listen to right now.

From established acts like Villagers and Bell X1 to exciting up-and-comers like Fangclub and Just Mustard, there’s something for everyone in the world of Irish rock right now. So dive in and explore some of the best music the country has to offer.

Pop Irish rock

This Irish rock band took the world by storm in the early 2000s with their hit single “Linger.” The Cranberries went on to release five studio albums before going on hiatus in 2003. In 2009, they released an album of acoustic versions of their greatest hits, and in 2017 they released an album of brand new material. While the band has seen some personnel changes over the years, they continue to tour and perform to sold-out crowds all over the world.

Formed in Dublin in 1976, U2 is one of the most successful bands of all time. They have released 13 studio albums and have sold over 170 million records worldwide. The band is composed of four members: lead singer Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton, and drummer Larry Mullen Jr. U2 has won 22 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005.

One of the most popular Irish bands of the 21st century, Kodaline formed in Dublin in 2005. The band consists of four members: lead singer Steve Garrigan, guitarist Mark Prendergast, bassist Jason Boland, and drummer Vinny May. Kodaline has released three studio albums, with their most recent one reaching number one on the Irish charts. The band has toured with some of the biggest names in music including Ed Sheeran, Paul Simon, and Bruce Springsteen.


Rockabilly was the earliest form of rock ‘n’ roll, originating in the 1950s. The style is a fusion of country and rhythm and blues, and is characterized by a heavy backbeat, guitar solos, and often saxophone riffs. Early rockabilly acts such as Bill Haley & His Comets, Elvis Presley, and Buddy Holly became very popular in the United States and Britain. In the 1960s, rockabilly saw a resurgence in popularity with bands such as The Stray Cats and The Crickets.


Although its popularity has diminished since its 1960s and 1970s heydays, Ska is still an incredibly important musical genre, serving as the foundation for subsequent styles like reggae, rocksteady, 2 Tone, and more. If you’re looking for a fun, high-energy way to get acquainted with Irish music, look no further than this list of essential Irish ska tracks.

Surf rock

While the sunny, carefree ethos of surf rock might seem worlds away from the Emerald Isle, Ireland has produced its fair share of excellent surf rock bands. Check out our list of the best Irish surf rock bands to listen to right now.

The Surfites
Formed in 1991, The Surfites were one of the first surf rock bands to emerge from Ireland. Blending the sounds of classic 60s surf rock with a more contemporary punk aesthetic, The Surfites quickly gained a cult following both at home and abroad. The band released three albums during their career – ‘Surf Rock!’ (1993), ‘Flatfoot 56’ (1995), and ‘Attack of the Hut Six’ (1998) – before splitting up in 2000.

The Razors
The Razors are another seminal Irish surf rock band, who formed in 1997 and released their debut album, ‘Rip It Up’, the following year. With their raw, energetic sound and catchy hooks, The Razors quickly established themselves as one of the most exciting young bands on the Irish music scene. The band went on to release two more albums – ‘ Wired Up!’ (1999) and ‘ Are You Ready?’ (2001) – before calling it quits in 2002.

The Thirst
If you’re looking for a more contemporary take on surf rock, then check out The Thirst. Formed in 2011, The Thirst draw inspiration from a wide range of sources, including 60s garage rock and 80s post-punk. The band has released two albums to date – ‘ This Is Not A Test’ (2012) and ‘ Time Is Running Out’ (2014) – both of which are well worth checking out.

Traditional Irish music

When it comes to Irish music, there are a few things that come to mind – traditional ballads, upbeat drinking songs, and of course, rock music. While Irish rock might not be the first genre that springs to mind when you think of the Emerald Isle, there are actually some great Irish rock bands out there making some truly incredible music.

If you’re looking for some great Irish rock to listen to right now, here are just a few of the bands you should check out:

-The Cranberries: One of the most successful Irish rock bands of all time, the Cranberries achieved international fame in the 1990s with their unique blend of alternative rock and pop. The band’s sound isDEFINITELY influenced by traditional Irish music, and if you’re a fan of groups like U2 or R.E.M., you’ll definitely enjoy the Cranberries.

-Ash: Another hugely successful Irish rock band, Ash actually got their start in 1989 as a punk band before evolving into the alt-rock powerhouse they are today. Ash has released 8 studio albums over the course of their career, and if you’re looking for catchy hooks and huge sing-along choruses, you’ll definitely want to check them out.

-The Pogues: One of the most influential Irish bands of all time, the Pogues are best known for blending traditional Celtic folk music with punk rock attitude. The result is a uniquely raw and emotional sound that has inspired countless other artists over the years. If you’re a fan of folk-punk bands like Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys, you’ll definitely want to give the Pogues a listen.

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