My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.

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1.

Four Tet – Two Thousand And Seventeen’

Kieran Hebden returns to the relative calm of his early work with this minimally-pitched track that lets a string instrument become the main focus.


2.

Arcade Fire – ‘Signs Of Life’

Now that Everything Now has arrived, it’s clear it’s a bit of a patchwork of an album and there’s something freeing in one of the biggest bands in the world creating an album that doesn’t sonically all fit together so easily as their previous albums. Case in point – ‘Signs Of Life’ which has street sirens that herald handclaps that feel close to Blondie’s ‘Rapture’, drums that sound like they were tuned by DFA and there’s the DNA of Talking Heads in that rhythm.


The former Odd Future anarchist shows some depth with his new album Flower Boy, hinting at his sexuality and his true character with kaleidoscopic, soulful and psychedelic jazzy productions that keep things moving for his best release yet. The diptych of ‘9/11 / Lonely’ encapsulate the album’s smoothness while exploring Tyler’s lone wolf tendencies.


4.

HAIM – ‘Ready For You’

The Haim aisters’ return with their own brand of Fleetwood Mac-style soft rock, ’60s girl-group sways, early 90s pop/rock and Shania covers. Second album highlight ‘Ready For You’ plucks up an ’90s rhythm in the style of George Michael, the title song’s bass and drum combo keep things rolling in the Peach Pit, Haim should be too sickly sweet but their pop conjuring act is too good to dismiss.


Dublin label Orange Tree have established their Afro edit credentials with just 3 vinyl releases and it’s on that third release that Kildare duo and Nialler9 favourites Mix & Fairbanks turn up the heat to a considerable level with an Afro blasting slice of carnivale rhythms that nearly loses the run of itself in the build until those horns bring us back into focus. This is a blast.


23 year-old self-taught violinist, vocalist and producer recently signed to Stones Throw illuminates with ‘Come Meh Way’ a folk, violin and R&B vibe of a tune.


Since the release of her must-have debut album Empress Of has collaborated with Blood Orange and Pional and released a once-off single that instantly became a personal favourite ‘Woman Is A Word.’

I had written earlier in the year that we were hopeful for a new album this year and new song ‘Go To Hell’ is the strongest indication yet, bright Robyn-esque track that features Lorely Rodriguez doing a tropical percussive pop vibe while having a ‘go-to-hell’ singularly minded disposition.


Mura Masa’s debut album has guests like Damon Albarn, Christine and the Queens, Bonzai, NAO, Charli XCX, ASAP Rocky and Desiigner on it but it’s the returns to his old friend, the Irish/London vocalist Bonzai whostands out thanks to a rubbery bassline and her convicted delivery.


SZA’s CTRL continues to dominate my listening since its release and this song’s subtle melodies and beat keeps me coming back.


A dark slice of hypnotic Factory Floor-esque coldwave from a Massachusetts duo.


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Posted on August 2nd, 2017

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My favourite songs of the past month.

Listen on Spotify

The top songs of the month

Click the title of the song to see the original post.


My highlight of Primavera in a set with a naked drummer and singed body hair is also the cheeky Canadian who makes sweet delicate jams like this one from his excellent new album This Old Dog. Antics aside, the songs speak for themselves.


2.

Baba Stiltz – Can’t Help It

A rising act on Axel Boman’s Studio Barnhaus label, ‘Can’t Help It’ draws you close with its intimate lyrics pitched in a style suited to the dancefloor.


This Afro disco dancefloor track comes from a surprising source – the blind Malian couple known as Amadou & Mariam. The pair always had a capacity for soaring transformative melodies so it’s nice to hear them bring that with extra heat on their first track in five years ‘Bofou Safou’. The title takes its name from the the Malian nickname given to a young man who would rather party, dance and dress up than work.


The atmosfolk duo of Morgan Macintyre and Gemma Doherty continue to charm even if they’re causing trouble with a song that expands their palette in subtle ways and keeps their melodious intent intact.

“The song is about transitioning, from Belfast to Dublin, from an old love to a new, and the gaps that can be found between you and another person or place when people transition at different paces and in different directions,” says Morgan.


There are any number of songs that could have been here from James’ surprise album True Care but ‘Holding On’ is the one I keep coming back to.


Sure, we’ve all heard this by now but this is my pitch for Pop Song of the Summer. Plus, she does a mean acoustic version as seen on Jools. I played this a lot in May.


An analogue night-time construction with a graceful intimacy, as in the rest of the album From Night To Night, David Kitt’s full-length electronic side-project New Jackson comes up trumps. This is a nice segue if you’re only familiar with his solo material under his own name.


Caribou’s Dan Snaith returns to his Daphni side-project with a low-slung percussive groover that dropped as part of a forthcoming Fabriclive mix.


9.

Everything is Recorded – Close But Not Quite

XL Recordings boss Richard Russell returns to his roots to make music with Sampha and a Curtis Mayfield sample. Read this great profile of the man from The New Yorker.


Throw shade and shake the shudder away with a highlight from New York dance-punk party band !!! (chk chk chk)’s new album. A Primavera Sound favourite.


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Posted on June 8th, 2017

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This is only a selection of new music – dig into more or follow the Spotify playlists.


Nialler9 Weekly playlist


1.

Baba Stiltz – Can’t Help It

Axel Boman’s Studio Barnhaus label rising star Baba Stiltz draws together intimate sentiments and melodic dancefloor electronics.


2.

Rocstrong – ‘Vibes’

The latest single in his run of monthly tracks. After ‘ I Gotcha’, Rocstrong expands his template with the dynamic dance-pop tinged ‘Vibes’.


3.

ASA Moto – ‘Athina’

A highlight from the latest release on Soulwax’s DeeWee label (have you heard their new Essential mix?)


4.

Murlo feat. Gemma Dunleavy – ‘I Need’

Dublin singer Gemma Dunleavy continues her collaboration with UK producer Murlo on two songs on his Club Coil EP. She’s a nice foil for his clubby electronic productions.


5.

Future – ‘Mask Off’ feat. Kendrick Lamar

Lamar adds his first post-DAMN. verse on Future’s floating flute loop single.


6.

The Fontaines – ‘Liberty Belle’

Dublin band The Fontaines‘s ‘Liberty Belle’ is a retro rock’n’roll jam fitted with a Dublin accent. It’s short, sharp and stands out.


7.

Daphni – ‘Face To Face’

Whatever the snobs at Boomkat think, ‘Face To Face’ is a serious banger.


3 New Music flavours:

All song added in the past week: Nialler9 Weekly.

The larger three-month New Music Playlist.

New Irish Music Playlist

Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.

Posted on May 25th, 2017

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