His debut album is amazing, and he's even better live. One thing is immediately noticeable - hear any of the songs only once and you'll find it's instantly stuck in your head. Great stuff.
Born in Dublin, Damien Rice first got into the music business through a band called Juniper. But the record company pressured them into writing radio-friendly songs and he left in despair.
Instead, he went to Tuscany for a year and busked. When he'd returned he'd got enough songs to put a demo together. His first album, "O", was released in 2002 to huge critical acclaim.
What's amazing about Damien Rice is seeing him live. The songs take on a new urgency and energy, and they'll stick in your head even if you've not heard the album. He appeared at Glastonbury in 2003 and this helped cement him as an artist to watch.
I first saw him live at the small Pilton Party in Somerset. It's like a little beer festival held for the poor old residents of Pilton that have to put up with Glastonbury festival each year. He was phenomenal, and it was a treat to see such a good performance in a small tent with lots of beer. The album O is well worth checking out - it's a mesmerising LP and one of those ones that you can listen to all the way through and it's like you're on a journey.Official site
Review: Damien Rice at Glastonbury 04