February 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm

Irish App Delivers Thriving Music Scene to iPhone

The Breaking Tunes app includes a great selection of tunes from the emerald isle.

The Breaking Tunes app includes a great selection of tunes from the emerald isle.

There’s more in Ireland than the auld sod.

Even those with a taste for Irish music may have missed some of the great bands emerging from there in the recent past — not only the relatively big names like The Swell Season and Bell X1, but especially lesser-known indie bands.

The Breaking Tunes app, released this week for iPhone by app developer Iorum, gets you up to speed quickly — whether you want to listen to Irish bands as you read up on them, or find out where they’re playing.

Funded in part by the Irish department of Tourism, Culture and Sports, this free app connects you to new music from around the Republic of Ireland through searchable listings for shows by genre, county, or your location, creating a personalized gig guide for your locale. This is a crucial feature if you’re in the country, because Breaking Tunes offers a wide range of material from beyond Dublin’s city limits, but also if you’re interested in this music from afar.

Clearly, the Irish government funded this app for a reason, and indeed, the app may awaken an urge to travel to Ireland to take in this stuff firsthand. Regardless of how it was funded, Breaking Tunes provides a solid resource for fans of the Irish music scene.

The included bands range somewhat in quality, insofar as it’s possible to judge such things objectively, but we found plenty to like within the app, such as Waterford’s Deaf Animal Orchestra.

We appreciate that the app lets you listen to full tracks — tap on any band that catches your interest to hear their sample tracks play as you peruse their photos and bios, or watch videos of the bands in action. The app is nicely laid out, the listings are thorough, and everything’s easy to share by social media or email.

We had a few complaints: There’s no way to purchase songs, and you’re out of luck if you’re looking for a direct link to a band’s own website. But all things considered, Breaking Tunes makes it easy to navigate through a great selection of Irish bands, wherever in Ireland you find yourself — or even if you’re looking to explore Irish sounds from across the pond while planning your next trip.

Breaking Tunes

Bands can submit their songs to the Breaking Tunes app via the website.