The most essential tracks of the last week handpicked by the Nialler9 team.

1.

David Byrne – Everybody’s Coming To My House

As suggested last week, David Byrne will release his first solo album since 2004 on March 9th and it’s called American Utopia. He has made albums with Eno, St. Vincent and Karl Hyde, it’s his first solo album. It’s produced by The xx cohort Rodaidh McDonald and features guests, Jack Peñate, Oneohtrix Point Never, Jam City and Thomas Bartlett,  and its choreographed live shows to come, Byrne has suggested are “the most ambitious show I’ve done since the shows that were filmed for Stop Making Sense.”

Talk about expectations. ‘Everybody’s Coming To My House’ is Byrne at his best – melding acoustic textures, brass and Afrobeat textures with his trademark pop songwriting.


2.

Wolf Alice – Don’t Delete The Kisses (Charli XCX x Post Precious remix)

A highlight from Wolf Alice last year gets a reworked electro-pop version from pop auteur Charli XCX. The song’s ode to young love and it’s “what if he’s not meant for me?” hook is wisely reinforced with new tones here.


3.

Kendrick Lamar x SZA – All The Stars

Kendrick is curating Marvel’s Black Panther movie soundtrack and ‘All The Stars’ is our first offering from it. So that’s both creators of album number 1 and 2 of 2017’s best albums collaborating (they are on the same label). SZA outshines Kendrick on this – her honey-dripped voice beholden with power is very suitable for a superhero movie. Kendrick can’t compete.


4.

Bruno Mars – Finesse (Remix) (Feat. Cardi B)

Cardi B adds some Salt’n’Pepa ’90s shake to a highlight from Bruno Mars’ 24K Magic. Props also for the 60fps video.


5.

Superorganism – Everybody Wants To Be Famous

London-based eight-member pop crew Superorganism show off their off-kilter electronic pop with their second big single. An album comes out on Domino on March 2nd.


6.

Rosie Carney – K

Donegal singer-songwriter Rosie Carney dropped a fine and faithful cover of a Cigarettes After Sex song written about lust and desire for a new partner on the Lower East Side.


7.

Reykjavíkurdætur – Hvao er Malio

Icelandic ice-queen rap collective Daughters of Reykjavík are always welcome around here, regardless of what they’re rapping about – the driinks menu? Either way, it bumps.


8.

Fischerspoooner – Togetherness feat. Caroline Polachek

The wandering Electro-clash Casey Fischerspooner returns with a fine electronic pop song featuring former Chairlift singer.


9.

Charli XCX – Backseat (Feat. Carly Rae Jepsen)

Charli XCX strikes again. December is a terrible time to release anything but Charli doesn’t give a fuck and dropped Pop 2 mixtape that kicks off with this M83 style banger.


Posted on January 9th, 2018

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Update: Charli XCX has announced this is being released on her own label Vroom Vroom on Friday. The label “focuses on experimental and futuristic pop music”.

Sounds like a compromise between the label and artist (she calls it “my favorite music i’ve ever made”) so that she keeps making big pop tunes for a while yet.


When Sophie first appeared as a divisive electronic producer of bouncy zig-zagging sounds with an underground label (Numbers) and a fizzy aesthetic, there was no doubt his off-the-wall productions would be well-suited to pop music.

Charli XCX, ever the pop magpie and songwriter knows this, so she enlisted Sophie for a track on her new album. ‘Vroom Vroom’ is a rush of warped pop music, that takes car noises and turns them into pop hooks, producing a giddy dangerous thrill that does what the best pop music can do – leave you exhilarated. Imagine being 12 and listening to this?

Sophie’s making good on that future pop music tag. With a collection of songs so far called Silicon Product coming out on what looks like a dildo, it looks like his story is ready to move on.

Posted on February 23rd, 2016

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Best of 2015: Albums | Songs | Videos | Readers’ Albums | Readers’ Songs Readers’ Gigs, Clubs & DJs | Your Intl. albums & songs | Top 10 Lists | Nialler’s Irish choices


Despite the rise of Spotify and streaming services, The music video continues to dominate in terms of artist marketing due to the domination of Youtube,  the major label’s push of Vevo and the independent artists making cracking videos on small budgets released through Vimeo. Music videos are still hugely effective for establishing an artist’s brand. For this list, I kept that in mind, while also representing the videos for songs that either I loved or liked previously, or videos that lifted or introduced a song to me. The power of a good idea and great execution is what is celebrated here.

A Youtube playlist of the videos.


Live TV performance of the year

Kendrick Lamar performing on Late Show with Stpehen Colbert

Lamar and his band played a To Pimp A Butterfly medley (or “The Very Horny Caterpillar” as Colbert called it) on the second episode of Stephen Colbert’s tenure at Late Show filling in permanently the big boots of Dave Letterman. It was a powerhouse of a performance, featuring the tracks ‘Wesley’s Theory’, ‘Momma’, ‘King Kunta’ and ‘u’ and performed with a tight band that includes Anna Wise, Bilal and Thundercat. Proof that Kendrick pushed his music and himself as much as possible this year.


Best use of video to promote an album

Anderson tries door to door sales

Video by: Colm Russell


20. Missy Elliott – ‘WTF (Where They From)’

Directed by: Dave Meyers & Missy Elliott

What better way for Missy to return that with a kickass dance video?


19. Sleep Thieves – ‘You Want The Night’

Directed by Mike P. Nelson

A brilliant collection of horror-mongering imagery to suit a foreboding song.


18. Major Lazer & DJ Snake – ‘Lean On’ (feat. MØ)

Video by: Tim Erem

MØ’s limber dance moves and the lads attempt at doing what the professionals do is a right laugh. More than anything though, the video and the dancing suited the song down to the ground.


17. Charli XCX – ‘Famous’

Video by: Eric Wareheim

Charli XCX’s saccharine bright pop is counteracted by Eric Wareheim’s warped mind which infects the neon space of the music video with ideas about the negativity of our reliance on our social media feeds, mobile devices and vanity.


16. Le Galaxie – ‘Love System’

Video by: Feel Good Lost

The song endures as a recent Irish classic but Brendan Canty gives its 2015 sax-version a new dimension that explores an unhinged couple’s escapade.


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Posted on December 10th, 2015

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My favourite songs of the past month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below on Spotify, Playmoss and Soundcloud.

The songs

  1. Hot Chip – Dancing in the Dark
  2. Erykah Badu – ‘Hotline Bling’
  3. PG Goes Dance – ‘Kontrol’
  4. Charli XCX & Sophie’s ‘Vroom Vroom’
  5. Saint Sister – ‘Blood Moon’
  6. Kisses – ‘A Groove’
  7. Conor Walsh – ‘The Front’
  8. Daithí – ‘Mary Keane’s Introduction’
  9. Chairlift – ‘Ch-ching’
  10. New Order – Tutti Frutti
  11.  !!! – I Feel So Free (Citation Needed)
  12. Glass Animals & Joey Bada$$ – ‘Lose Control’
  13. Chance The Rapper – Angels
  14. Grimes – Flesh without Blood
  15. Augustus & John – ‘There Goes My Train’
  16. Katie Laffan – ‘Ego’
  17. TPM – ‘All The Boys On The Dole’
  18. Pleasure Beach – ‘Dreamer To The Dawn’
  19. Mano Le Tough – ‘Early Years and the Empty Seed’
  20. Savages – ‘The Answer’
  21. Sophie – ‘Just Like We Never Said Goodbye’
  22. Forrests – ‘Teeth’
  23. Hælos – Pray
  24. Owensie – ‘Dramamine’
  25. Majical Cloudz – ‘Downtown’
  26. The Drink – ‘The Coming Rain’
  27. Paddy Hanna – ‘Underprotected’
  28. Goldlink – ‘Spectrum’
  29. Tops – ‘Hollow Sound Of The Morning Chimes’
  30. Keep Shelly In Athens – ‘Silent Rain’

Listen on Spotify

Posted on November 10th, 2015

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Cian Ó Cíobháin is the man behind the long-running An Taobh Tuathail radio show on RnaG every Monday to Friday at 9pm. You may have also heard his annual ATT mixes, the last of which was featured here a few weeks ago. He’s a regular DJ at Galway’s 110th Street. His show is one of the best alternative shows on the FM airwaves we have left so there’s no better man to ask for his top 10 tunes of 2013.


Chequerboard – ‘Today Is Beautiful, We Have Things To Do’

John Lambert is king of bucolic, twilit, instrumental music vignettes that quietly nestle their roots deep in the unconscious. Since hearing it for the first time, I’ve been tuning into on a daily basis – as crucial to my wellbeing as that first cuppa in the morning.


Laurel Halo – ‘Sex Mission’

Easily the most hypnotic, mind-melting piece of avant-garde techno I heard this year, from the genius that is Laurel Halo – one to happily get lost in & never find your way home.


My Bloody Valentine – ‘In Another Way’

It was a straight choice between this, or the fabled once long-lost d’n’b track ‘Wonder 2’, but this is quintessential MBV with a heart-wrenching/uplifting (that delicious tension between both emotions, that can verge towards however you feel at a particular time) hook to die for.


Ikonika – ‘You Won’t Find It There’

Played to death on ATT last summer, this lady’s sumptuous tune is constructed from bleeps, bass and grandiose swathes of synth, with a healthy injection of pathos to engage the heartstrings … not to mention an unpredictable structure to challenge the moves of the most jaded of disco dancers. Oh and I almost forgot to mention the sub-bass. Immense.


Mount Kimbie – ‘Home Recording’

If you wanna woo the affection of your beloved, stick this on a mixtape: no need for flowers, poetry or fancy restaurants.


Boards Of Canada – ‘Reach For The Dead’

Their new LP may have not earned the plaudits of previous albums (give it another chance!), but this beguiling track is up there with the finest in their expanding oeuvre.


Dean Blunt -‘Demon’

Ex or current (depends on what you read) Hype Williams man made one of the most unashamedly emotionally bare LPs of 2013 and by doing so inadvertently shaped himself into a modern day Arthur Russell-figure. All heartbreak, no hubris. ‘I’ll come home early next week’ was possibly one of the most romantic refrains that I heard in a song in a long time.


Charli XCX – ‘Grins’

Perhaps the most exhilarating pop-song of 2013. Mark my words, this talented young lady will soon be ubiquitous.


Blondes – ‘Andrew’

Spend time with this one, I mean really spend time with it and you will not be disappointed. Yes it has a 4/4 kick, but I prefer to listen to it lying down with my eyes closed. Preferably as dawn breaks.


Mssingno – ‘XE2’

The world had high hopes for Rihanna when ‘Umbrella’ came out but it’s been all downhill since then. Here’s something that finally fills that emo-r’n’b-dream-void.

Posted on December 19th, 2013

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A collection of music videos of interest which arrived in the last few days..

Tanlines – ‘Not The Same’
Tanlines’ new one for ‘Not The Same’ has the pair playing every instrument live that they played on the recording of the song that featured on Mixed Emotions. Of course, the only way to do that is to clone yourself:

(more…)

Posted on November 29th, 2012

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After the poppier sound of recent single ‘You’re The One’, ‘So Far Away’ from Charli XCX’s summer mixtape Heartbreaks & Earthquakes gets its own focus and a Disney princess cutup video by Ryan Andrews. It’s more in vein with the earlier tracks ‘Stay Away’ and ‘Nuclear Seasons’, a darker sound that I’m more taken with in her music. Still, it’s early days for Charli. Download the mixtape at her site. She’s supporting Labrinth at The Academy next month.

Posted on September 26th, 2012

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