Daithí is back with a new tune rom his upcoming Holiday Home EP, a release which has given us the grade A electronic pop banger ‘Falling For You’ with Sinead White.

The EP was recorded in houses and holiday homes in islands like Achill and Valentia and the last track had some bells and sea sounds from this island in its production.

This title track is an instrumental song that had a tough percussive streak that somehow manages to illuminate the link between techno and the bodhrán (as the main rhythm is a recording of an 11 year-old player of the instrument who won the all Ireland Fleadh in the ’90s.)

“I do a lot of driving late at night after playing shows, and driving home to Co. Clare feels very solitary. There’s something interesting about playing to a room full of people, and then suddenly being completely alone in the middle of nowhere, with only your thoughts and some tunes to keep you company”

The five track EP is out on at end of April but you can get the track on Bandcamp before it’s added to Spotify on March 31st.

Daithí Irish tour

◦ Sat 15 April: Nellie Freds, Dingle
◦ Thurs 21 April: FourtyOne, Navan
◦ Fri 28 April: Roisin Dubh, Galway
◦ Sat 29 April: Abstract (Opium Rooms), Dublin
◦ Sun 30 April: Cyprus Avenue, Cork
◦ Sat 20 May: Levi’s, Ballydehob, Cork
◦ Sun 19 June: Lukers, Athlone
Plus more to be announced…

Posted on March 22nd, 2017


Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new music from Dark0, The Chemical Brothers, Ciaran Lavery, Ekkah, Alyss and more. Follow the playlist here.

This is only a selection of new music – dig into more.

Check out the Songs of the week Soundcloud & Spotify playlists.


Daithí – ‘Falling For You’ feat. Sinead White

Galway electronic pop producer Daithí teamed up twice last year with Sinead White on ‘Love’s On Top’ and ‘April’.

It proved a fruitful partnership so the pair are at it again on the lead song from Daithí’s forthcoming EP Holiday Home, due in March. Holiday Home came about when Daithí bought a field recorded and began recording the sounds of the west of Ireland in an attempt to build a unique library of sounds.

‘Falling For You’, his collaboration with White, uses sea sounds from Inch beach in Cork and bell sounds from a wind chime I found in an Air Bnb in Achill. White recorded the vocals on Valentia Island.

Watch the video, also suitably set in the West of Ireland by Feel Good Lost.

First posted.


Toofools – ‘Touch’

In a short time, TooFools, a band brought to us by Lorcan O’Dwyer, Steven McCann and their big gang of friends have made a splash on the Dublin music landscape.

They introduced themselves with a live video by Christian Tierney of Insanity.

Now, nearly a year later and with much live experience under their belts, ‘Touch’ is an indication of what comes next – a disco-funking electronic soul stomper that recalls Jungle in its backdrop and falsetto.

The band play a headline show on November 24th in Button Factory and an EP is forthcoming.


Saint Sister – ‘Tin Man’

The atmosfolk duo Saint Sister, Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty have established themselves as one of the best new Irish bands of the last year and a bit.

The pair have now released two new songs to keep us sated.  ‘Tin Man’ and ‘Corpses’ are two songs recorded with Alex Ryan which are released through Communion Music’s Singles Club.

Communion have a habit of illuminating breaking folk artists and these two songs by the band, while they very much fit their harmony-folk aesthetic, there’s more atmosphere at play in the arrangements than before.

[First Posted]


Bonobo – ‘Kerala’

Bonobo has a new album called Migration and a Dublin date as part of a European tour.

Migration is Simon Green’s sixth album and he says it’s “the study of people and spaces.”

“It’s interesting how one person will take an influence from one part of the world and move with that influence and effect another part of the world. Over time, the identities of places evolve.”

‘Kerala’ from it features a sample of Brandy. The video was directed by Bison and features Gemma Arterton.

[First posted]


DJ Shadow – ‘Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt’ (Salva remix)

DJ Shadow touched down in Dublin on Thursday for a rare live set at Metropolis. A producer with such a revered first album often struggles to stay modern in what follows (Shadow addresses that weight here). Luckily, his latest album The Mountain Shall Fall has some peaks on it (most notably Run The Jewels) but it’s a recent remix album of Entroducing featuring remixes by contemporaries like Hudson Mohawke, Teklife, Lee Bannon, Prince Paul and Clams Casino that attempts a reimagining of the seminal first album. Most successful of the lot is Salva’s footwork remix of ‘Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt’, which Shadow incorporated into his set at Metropolis.


Funeral Suits – ‘Chariot’

It’s hard out here for bands, particularly alternative rock bands. With the closure of TXFM, there’s barely any outlet for such music in Ireland. Last week Fight Like Apes called it a day. The same week, Dublin band Funeral Suits announced that their forthcoming album would be their last.

Which is a pity when they are knocking out songs like ‘Chariot’.


Roosevelt – ‘Teardrops’

Recent album of the week beneficiary Roosevelt delivers a fresh take on dancefloor classic Womack and Womack’s ‘Teardrops’. He’s on a European tour, though no Irish date.

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Posted on November 7th, 2016

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Galway electronic pop producer Daithí teamed up twice last year with Sinead White on ‘Love’s On Top’ and ‘April’.

It proved a fruitful partnership so the pair are at it again on the lead song from Daithí’s forthcoming EP Holiday Home, due in March.

Holiday Home came about when Daithí bought a field recorded and began recording the sounds of the west of Ireland in an attempt to build a unique library of sounds.

I started renting out houses along the coast for weeks at a time, bringing a make-shift studio with me to islands like Achill and Valentia. Once I had some music together, I brought some of my favourite vocalists out to the west, away from the pressure of the normal recording studio environment. The result is Holiday Home, a five- track EP built completely in the west, using sounds from the west.”

‘Falling For You’, his collaboration with White, uses sea sounds from Inch beach in Cork and bell sounds from a wind chime I found in an Air Bnb in Achill. White recorded the vocals on Valentia Island.

“I think it’s my favourite vocal I’ve ever worked on. It’s so undeniably Irish, but feels modern at the same time, which is kind of my buzz.”

Watch the video, also suitably set in the West of Ireland by Feel Good Lost.

Holiday Home Tracklist

  1. Falling For You (feat. Sinead White)
  2. Aeroplane (feat. Sinead White)
  3. Holiday Home
  4. Coral
  5. Wrap Up Tight (feat. Elaine Mai)

Tour Dates

Thursday 8th December – Brubakers, Dundalk
Friday 23rd December – Opium Rooms, Dublin
Tuesday 27th December – Cyprus Avenue, Cork
Sat 31st December – Róisín Dubh, Galway

Posted on November 2nd, 2016

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As part of the upcoming Interlude Festival in the RHA Gallery, off Stephen’s Green from the 24 – 26th of June in Dublin city, I have curated a room on the Sunday of the festival of live electronic & DJ sets for the Tony Ryan Room.

While the likes of Grandmaster Flash, Booka Brass Band, Interskalactic play the Block party outdoors and Kelly-Anne Byrne and Dmitri In Paris have a disco ball upstairs, the Tony Ryan room on Sunday June 26th will feature:

DJ Cian Ó Cíobháin (Midnight – 1:30pm)


A stalwart of Irish radio for the last 17 years through his show on RnaG An Taobh Tuathail, Cian is one of Ireland’s finest DJs (110th Street in Galway) and selectors and he doesn’t play Dublin enough.

Solar Bears (live A/V set) – (10:30pm – 11:30pm)

After three albums of on Warp Records, Planet Mu and Sunday Best, Solar Bears have confirmed themselves as Ireland’s most cinematically-driven act taking in wistful Boards Of Canada-style electronic ambience, krautrock, library music, psychedelia and tough synthesizers. The Interlude show will be a live A/V set. Check out their recent Boiler Room mix for an idea of what to expect.

Bantum: Prince A/V set (9pm – 10pm)

Ruairi Lynch is a huge Prince fan who has played his own unique take on Prince tracks live in the past. At Interlude, Lynch will air his specially remixed and mashed up tribute to the Purple One with visuals by LeTissier.

Bantum with some Prince jams #noadvance

A video posted by Nialler9 (@nialler9) on

Daithí (8pm – 8;45pm)


The Galway electronic pop producer with the fiddle in tow recently followed up his debut album with this smash featuring Sinead White – ‘Love’s On Top’.

Adultrock (7pm – 7.45pm)


With a new release on Bodytonic this week, Gavin Elsted is pushing the analogue buttons of electronica with his hazy widescreen dancefloor productions which take inspiration from John Talabot and a hardware-heavy recording ethos.


Bad Bones (6pm – 6:45pm)


Sal Stapleton has been releasing a tune and video a month of dark-gilded electronic R&B that recalls FKA Twigs and Maya Jane Coles. Live, she’ll be flanked by dancers.


Tickets are €29 per day. Weekend tickets are sold out.


Posted on June 23rd, 2016

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I first heard ‘Love On Top’ at Daithí’s incendiary Body&Soul Electric Picnic set last year. At that time, Dublin singer-songwriter Sinead White was known for a pleasant debut album of bright songs.

Paired with Daithí’s electronic pop sensibilities though, White’s voice became a powerhouse on that day, in a dance music context. I’m delighted that the recorded version of that track is finally here.

“I came across Sinead White last year, and really loved how her voice had a unique ‘Irish’ quality to it, but at the same time felt very contemporary. It was a perfect match for Love’s on Top, which was a track inspired by Galway City at night, especially the west end and around the Spanish Arch. This track could be considered the lead single to the Tribes E.P, and it’s a good snapshot of what the rest of the record is like”.

“The first single, Mary Keanes Introduction, was a real game changer for me, because it was the first track I released inspired by a new direction. I want to write dance music that’s not just inspired by traditional music, but by the culture, the scenery and atmosphere of the west of Ireland. Tribes is the start of me going in that direction, it’s full of nature sounds and samples from this part of the country. Even for that simple reason, this EP means way more to me than anything I’ve released so far. ”

The song is taken from the Tribes EP which is out on February 26th and also features the Choice Music Prize Song of the Year nominee ‘Mary Keane’s Introduction’. The release is available digitally and on 12″ vinyl (pre-order that)

Daithí tour dates

Feb 19th: Generator Hostel, Dublin – Free
Feb 24th: HMV Sound Garden, Sligo
Feb 26th: Roisin Dubh, Galway (Tribes launch)
March 16th: Connolly’s of Leap, Cork
March 19th: Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Posted on February 11th, 2016

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After hosting the latest edition of Boiler Room on its premises, the Generator Hostel in Smithfield is introducing Generator Live, a new showcase of emerging Irish music live at the Generator.

The first one takes place next Friday February 19th and features a whopper lineup of new Irish talent, that’s all been featured here before, Daithí, Beach, Katie Laffan and Cut Once.

Pick up your free tickets on yPlan for the show.



Cut Once:

Katie Laffan:

Facebook Event

Posted on February 10th, 2016


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The Choice Music Prize have announced their song of the year nominees, which features 10 songs to a public vote.

The shortlist is decided by a combination of Choice judges (who are solely responsible for the album list), Today FM DJs and airplay.

They are:

All Tvvins – ‘Thank You’

Daithí – Mary Keane’s Introduction

Pleasure Beach – ‘Go’

The Academic – ‘Different’

Fight Like Apes – ‘Pretty Keen on Centerfolds’

Otherkin – ‘Ay Ay’

Kodaline – ‘Ready’

Hozier – ‘Someone New’

Gavin James – ‘Bitter Pill’

Vote here.

Posted on January 27th, 2016


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The new video for Daithí’s brilliant ‘Mary Keane’s Introduction‘, a song which features his 90 year-old Clare grandmother recounting her life’s love, explores the Irish landscape (Galway and Mayo) while very firmly taking a nostalgic hue through Irish symbols: St. Brigid’s Cross, coastlines, cottages (the one belongs to Daithí’s grandmother) and World War II outposts, some which were destroyed in storms.

It was directed by Conal Thomson. Daithí, who plays the Workman’s Club on Friday night (see the gig guide)

Dotted along the coast of Ireland, there are lookout posts built during WWII as a means for Irish soldiers to keep an eye on the sea. Unintentionally, they have made a kind of treasure hunt for amazing views of the coastline, most of which are so hidden that very few people know they exist. While shooting, we had a lot of fun searching for these lookout posts, some of which have been completely destroyed by huge storms.

This video was filmed at the lookout posts on the Galway and Mayo coastline. The house at the start is my Grandmothers house in Clare, who is also speaking at the start of the track.

Posted on December 9th, 2015

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Giveaways first?

Would you like to win tickets to:

Fancy a plus 1 and a pitcher of beer for one the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble Christmas shows in the Sugar Club? Pick one from below and enter below:

Thursday December 3 with Stomptown Brass + AfterParty
Friday December 4 with Interskalactic + AfterParty
Saturday December 5 with Ajo Arkestra + AfterParty
Sunday December 6 with special guest tba. + AfterParty

Wednesday December 9: Hudson Mohawke @ The Academy (this Noisey doc on him is great)

Friday December 11: Daithí @ The Workman’s Club

How to enter free entry comps – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number (for late contact) in the body of the message. Draw closes Friday at 3pm and winners will be contacted after.

Gig news today:

Julia Holter is playing Button Factory on February 17th next year. Tickets €18.50+ from Ticketmaster. Her new album Have You In My Wilderness is very good.

Discotekken host a Jurassic Park Party on Friday November 27th @ The Sugar Club featuring a screening of the movie, a set from Attention Bébé, DJs and BBQ. Tickets €8–12 and here’s the Facebook event.

The National Concert Hall have a series of concerts called Imagining Home, featuring seven stylistically different concerts to celebrate 100 years of Ireland from Monday the 28th of March to Sunday 3rd of April 2016.

Of interest to me and perhaps you:

ENGLAND Tuesday 29 March 8pm
Martin Carthy, Camille O’Sullivan, Cait O’Riordan, Paul Brady, Andy Irvine, Cathal Coughlan, Lisa O’Neill and more to be announced. A conversation between neighbours in song hosted by writer and broadcaster John Kelly, England celebrates the musical interplay between Ireland and England.

THIS IS IRELAND Saturday 2 April 8pm
Glen Hansard gathers friends and collaborators to celebrate Ireland in 2016. (Guests to be announced).

OUT OF THE TRADITION Sunday 3 April 8pm
A journey through Irish traditional music from its roots to the thriving traditional scene of today and an exploration of the great works of the Irish language and its place in Ireland featuring Martin Hayes & Dennis Cahill, Usher’s Island, the Tulla Céilí Band, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, and Iarla Ó Lionáird. More to be announced.

Also happening at the Royal Festival Hall in London is IMAGINING IRELAND on Friday April 29th supported by the Embassy of Ireland in London and Culture Ireland, featuring celebration of Ireland’s musical journey over the last 100 years and the musical interplay between Ireland and Britain featuring Paul Brady, Camille O’Sullivan, James Vincent McMorrow, Martin Hayes and Dennis Cahill, Andy Irvine, Cait O’Riordan, Martin Carthy and John Kelly.

Posted on November 19th, 2015


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West of Ireland electro/pop fiddle and button pusher Daithí has been finding his own groove of late with shows at Electric Picnic among the best that he’s played in his career.

As a fiddle player, it’s no surprise that Daithí takes inspiration from the past, but his new track ‘Mary Keane’s Introduction’ has a personal significance as it is interwoven with an interview with his granny, as he explains:

“A few years ago my Grandmother was interviewed about what life was like in Clare when she was younger. When I heard the recording I couldn’t believe how personal and heartfelt it was, I hadn’t heard anyone her age talk so honestly about love. I put parts of the interview to some chords I was writing and everything clicked into place. It’s a great introduction to the upcoming record, which is inspired by living in the west of Ireland. My Grandmother is 90 years old, and still lives in a thatched cottage in Ballyvaughan”.

The track opens the Tribes EP which overall, was inspired by the West of Ireland landscape and cities, “something that reflects what life is like for young people living in the west of Ireland”.

The EP drops in February and features vocal turns from Sinead White, Elaine Mai .Daithí has a date at the Workman’s Club, Dublin on Friday 11th December. ‘Mary Keane’s Introduction’ is out digitally on November 13th.

Tribes EP Tracklist

  1. Mary Keanes Introduction
  2. Banshee / Love On Top feat. Sinead White
  3. 1995
  4. April
  5. Rocamadour feat. Elaine Mai

Pic by Ruth Medjber.

Posted on October 21st, 2015


Interlude is a new mini-festival happening at the RHA from October 23rd to 25th and it will feature music, movies and art across three days including DJs Tom Middelton, Ashley Beedle, The Reflex, Justin Robertson, Get Down Edits, Keep Schtum, The Disconauts & Arveene and more to be announced.

There will be a live music room, club space, cabaret cinema in The 600 square metre Gallery One including Arcade Fire’s The Reflektor Tapes, cocktail club, craft beer bar, vinyl room with Vinyl & Wine, outdoor garden and pop-up restaurant too. More info to be announced soon.

Tickets from €10 at interludefestival.eventbrite.ie

Hidden Agenda are bringing Vitalic to Hangar for a headline show on Saturday November 28th. Tickets current €10+ from RA.

Daithí is playing a headline show at the Workman’s on December 11th. Tickets €15 + fees.

San Fermin are back in November for a show at the Workman’s Club on Saturday 21st. Tickets €16.50 + fees. Farao is on support.

Lethal Dialect has announced a headline show at The Academy on December 5th. Tickets are €12+fees.

Studio 54 DJ legend Nicky Siano is back in the Pygmalion in November.

Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock will have a debut performance of their 1916 Lockout in Hangar on Saturday November 21st with special guest Donal Lunny. Tickets from €12+.

Posted on September 29th, 2015

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I’m Your Vinyl’s recent single ‘Erase You’ has some retro pop swing to it.

Not in Daithí’s production hands though. His remix takes Dana Donnelly’s vocal and surrounds it with some string-assisted house beats.

Daithí’s at Longitude this Saturday with a new improvised live show and guest vocalists Elaine Mai, Senita, Raye and Sinead White. I’m Your Vinyl are on tour with Ryan Sheridan at the moment.

Daithí on the remix:

As usual, it was the vocal that really made me jump at the chance to make this remix. Rhythmic punchy choruses are perfect for my style of music, something you can sing along too easily while bouncing around. Lyrics wise it’s similar in theme to my track Case Closed from last year, so I wanted to give the remix the same type of attitude, that kind of Irish response of ‘yea, I couldn’t really care less about you anymore’ to break ups.

Ken I’m Your Vinyl on the track:

I Love where Daithi took the song in this remix, Balearic, club friendly and seductive. Takes me on a memory re-wind of sun drenched holidays abroad.

Posted on July 14th, 2015


Daithí has put a remix spin on Wicklow trio Tell No Foxx’s minimal and broody track ‘Dust’, which he says he tried to put an emotional house feel behind:

“I guess when I came across the original song the first thing that hit me was the vocal melody, it has a really strong rhythmic aspect to it, which I could really see sounding good with a house beat. I like house music with a lot of feeling in it, so I wanted to make the track feel kind of melancholy, but with a lot of energy. I wanted it to sound like dancing through the pain of a break up, in a dark room full of people. It’s one of those tracks that just fall into place really naturally, I had the first cut of the track done in one day at my studio in Galway, with all the lights off.”

Posted on May 13th, 2015

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Pusha T, Nick Mulvey, Raury, Drenge, Petite Noir, Welp, The Bohicas, Wyvern Lingo, Young Wonder, Daithi, Subplots, Princess and Spies were all added to Longitude today.

Longitude takes place in Marlay Park from Friday July 17th – July 19th. Weekend tickets €149.50 / Day tickets €59.50 excluding fees.


Longitude 2015 additions: James Blake, Metronomy, Glass Animals, Todd Terje, Pusha T, Danny Brown….

Longitude 2015: Alt-J, Hozier, Chemical Brothers, Caribou, Wild Beasts…

Posted on March 27th, 2015


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In association with



Best of 2014 : Albums | Songs | Readers Irish albums | Readers Irish songs | Remixes | Videos 

For the ninth year, I’ve handed the mic over to you guys to see what Irish albums made you move or moved you. This year 92 individual albums voted for and if you want to see the top 50, it’s at the end. But here’s a focus on the top 25 Irish albums released in 2014 as voted for by Nialler9 readers.

If anything tickles your fancy, be sure to drop into one of the Tower Records in Dublin, on Dawson Street or Eason’s, O’Connell Street and support the artist by buying a copy, preferably on vinyl.

For more: see my own lists in the Best of 2014:
Remixes | Videos.

More results coming before Christmas.

Artwork by Stephen Maurice Graham

Listen to the list on Spotify

Albums 25 – 11

25. The Riptide Movement – Getting Through
24. Mick Flannery – By The Rule
23. The Hot Sprockets – Brother Nature
22. Lethal Dialect x Jackknife J – 1988
21. Land Lovers/Windings – Split LP
20. Sinead O’ Connor – I’m Not Bossy, I’m The Boss
19. Adrian Crowley – Some Blue Morning
18. Women’s Christmas – Too Rich For Our Blood
17. SlowPlaceLikeHome – Romola
16. The Minutes – Live Well, Change Often
15. Sleep Thieves – You Want The Night
14. Rhob Cunningham – The Window and Day
13. Kormac – Doorsteps
12. Paddy Hanna – Leafy Stiletto
11. Damien Rice – My Favourite Faded Fantasy

10. Shit Robot – We Got A Love

Shit RobotNYC-based robotic Dubliner’s second album on DFA Records

With artwork from fellow Dublin globe-travelling artist Maser, Marcus Lambkin’s second album for the influential label is thoroughly of the DFA cannon. Those drums often associated with the label are felt throughout: post-punk-style yet filtered through Lambkin’ productions.

For the most part, the songs rely on club textures and modes: filtering from synth-disco to rave to electro to house. Dance and pop tropes are reinforced by vocalists Nancy Whang, Jenr and particularly by Holly Backer on ‘Feels Like’. The title track featuring the comedian Reggie Watts doing his soulful warble thing to a house-piano beat is a highlight.

Listen: Spotify | Buy

9.Delorentos – Night Becomes Light

DelorentosFourth album from the rejuvenated Dublin indie rock band.

“Assured from start to finish, Delorentos can even offer a peon to their hometown (‘Dublin Love Song’) that doesn’t leave you curled up in a ball of embarrassment. Yes they’re not exactly swimming against the musical tide but that makes the results all the more impressive, that in a world full of guitar bands they can still leave their mark. Another potential hurdle cleared with few difficulties, there’s even the feeling that the real Delorentos story is only just starting.” Phil Udell – State.ie.

Listen: Spotify

8.Daithí – In Flight

DaithiThe Galway kid moves from fiddling around into EDM pop circles on his own.

From his first forays into fiddle-assisted electronica, Daithí O’Dronaí has really raised his own bar and his sights. The music on his debut album In Flight (Co-produced by rising talent Ian Ring of Young Wonder) was unlike any other Irish album made this year as it was unabashedly a pop record: albeit one with the underlying structure of house, pop, trad and electronic music

Granted Irish radio is less accepting of this type of music than the UK is which maybe explained why the album didn’t spawn a big hit but in tracks like ‘Case Closed’ with Cork singer Senita, ‘Chameleon Life’ with singer Raye and ‘Have To Go’ featuring soul singer Jesse Boykins III there are certifiable chart house-pop bangers. No-one else in Ireland is making that kind of crossover music right now. Time for some catchup.

Listen: Spotify | Buy

7.Aphex Twin – Syro

AFXYes, the electronic music pioneer is from Limerick so his first record in 13 years has been claimed.

“We know now that the contents of Syro is just some of the material recorded in the intervening years in one of James’ many studios. The oldest track stretch back six or seven years, using a massive 138 pieces of musical equipment (all listed in spiral on the artwork).

What appears before it also echoes the heavier side of Druqks but repeated listens reveal new textures, new moods, new avenues explored by James. The trademark eeriness of melody and general cheeky humour is still evident throughout but the greatest part of a new Aphex Twin record is that is truly allows you to get lost in its puzzle, a completely different musical terrain even when there are expected imprints of ambient works, electro, acid, jungle and squiggly funk.

The 10 minute experience of ‘XMAS_EVET10 [120][thanaton3 mix]’ feels different every time with environmental listening experiences changing the focus and feel (headphones, outdoors, late-night) as all the best electronic music can do. Syro still offers much to explore, many repeat listens in.

And that is the key to why Aphex Twin is pored over so minutely, because he goes into such detail in his music. James’ intricate compositional skills remains his biggest asset. While his sounds have been copied over the years, his brain is still peerless.”

Listen: Spotify | Buy

6.Godknows + MynameisjOhn – Rusangano/Family

SBsA brilliant grimey hip-hop collaborative album via Clare, Zimbabwe and Limerick..

“As they describe it, ‘a Zimbabwean Christian and an Irish pagan sit down with a pot of tea’ with the expressed interest of changing the game.

What God Knows, the founding member of the Random Acts Of Kindness collective and Ennis-born mynameisjOhn came up with (along with MuRli) is a game-changer in the way it drags Irish hip-hop into a fully-formed album/mixtape format with a confidence and skill that is unfamiliar in this country’s rap output.

MC God Knows is a fervent presence, an MC with command, as heard on the soulful clip of ‘Standard’, an easy album highlight. MynameisjOhn provides the horn-soul hip-hop backing but doesn’t rest there, the beats bang, the strings stab and God Knows goes double time to the beat slowing to let the soul sample breathe.

The versatility extends to MynameisjOhn too. ‘Throw The Spear’ reminds me of an MF Doom production – Dangerdoom era, meets Machinedrum. ‘Habbahuk’ is more plaintive, ‘Twentyfourseven’ is psychedelic funk and there are hints of a knowledge of electronic subgenres, even African dance on ‘African Shirts’.

Aspects of being an African boy growing up in Ireland seeps through the lyrics in details about being black in an Irish school. He’s Joined by MuRli and Guide on ‘Words Of Our Fathers’, a track which, in the short history of Irish-African rap would have never been made twenty years ago, and serves as an aural document of one small thing that multi-cultural Ireland has given us.”

Listen: Bandcamp

5.Adebisi Shank – This Is The Third Album of A Band Called Adebisi Shank

Adebisi ShankThe electro-rock band’s swansong leaves us stranded on a Mario Kart cloud.

“It’s facile to call the band math-rock or post-rock because there aren’t many of the standard tropes of those genres really left in the Adebisi Shank sound.

Post-rock used a traditional band set up to create something new with the same instruments but Adebisi strive for euphoria through a larger palette of sounds that they’ve incorporated from 80s music and video game soundtracks through vocoders, one of their dad’s saxophone playing, electro synths and Japanese pop culture. This Is The Third Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank is a whizz-bang of flag waving exuberance.”

Listen: Spotify | Bandcamp | Buy

4.We Cut Corners – Think Nothing

We Cut CornersThe two teachers’ second album rocks out with brevity and lyrical craft.

“The first album from John Duignan and drummer Conall O’Breachain as We Cut Corners clocked in at 27 minutes but packed in more passion, melody and meaning than most manage at twice that length. That brevity is one of the band’s greatest assets, the delivery of short, sharp gut punching tracks that bow to the three-minute rule has become a trademark.

The band’s second album Think Nothing, recorded in Donegal with Villagers’ producer/guitarist Tommy McLaughlin is no different in that regard. Two years in the making no less but running at just 34 seconds extra, it wastes little of that duration. We Cut Corners are not a band made for indulgences.”

Listen: Spotify | Buy

3.The Gloaming – The Gloaming

GloamingMartin Hayes’ trad supergroup create an album that breaks many moulds.

“Those self-imposed challenges over the years lead fiddle player Hayes to to form The Gloaming, a group featuring two other Irishmen: singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh, playing his hardanger fiddle (a special instrument of Norwegian origin with eight or nine strings rather than four) and two Americans, the guitarist and frequent Hayes collaborator Dennis Cahill and American pianist Thomas Bartlett.

The Gloaming does create new ideas in old ones, by gelling the different experiences of the players. “I don’t recognise the lines that the rest of this band sees,” Bartlett says in a documentary about the band. ‘They’re very happy to go outside of those boundaries, but the fact that I don’t even know the tradition helps make them disappear.’

The Gloaming achieves a spacious temporal glow. Its evocative arrangements let the tunes breathe between the players, using familiar language in what feels like fresh ways. It communicates with the outside world from Cork to Clare to Vermont to Chicago to Norway and beyond. It has a context in that wide open world and does something delicate with the weight of history that informs it.”

Listen: Spotify | Buy

2. Hozier – Hozier

Hozier The Wicklow bluesy/rock singer was Spotify’s most viral artist of the year and defied expectation. My, how he’s grown.

“The Wicklow man’s debut album’s 13 songs reveal an assured lyricist, a powerful singer and dedicated blues guitarist that is a stern reminder, despite his growing ubiquity, of exactly why the dude is only going to get more visible.”

“Taken all together in album format, it’s the howl, the voice that keeps drawing you back. Hozier-Byrne proves he knows how to write a good song or 13, and he knows how to use his Bill Withers bellow to memorable effect. Hozier has the confidence where it matters – in the tunes. Everything else is already on the cards.”

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1. James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical

The Dubliner transitions from the folk tag to something much more effervescent.

Post Tropical is all about breaking away from conventions of McMorrow’s previous form. It is more nuanced and less traditional. Since appearing as a bearded man in a flannel shirt with a guitar, McMorrow has talked about how appearing as a bearded man in a flannel shirt with a guitar has pegged him as a folk artist. Certainly, much of Early In The Morning fit in with that pastoral idea of a folk musician, even going on song titles like ‘Follow You Down To The Red Oak Tree’ and ‘To The Woods!!!’ alone.

McMorrow revels in defying those tags here. Recorded largely by himself, possibly all of the instruments and all of the layered harmonies which are also his, in a studio on a pecan farm in Texas on the Mexico border, Post Tropical is all about keeping away from the obvious.

It’s worth stating again, that the album is the work of one talented man’s intense schedule in isolation. It’s a towering achievement in that case but even without knowing that fact, Post Tropical stands up as a less-immediate release to its predecessor. It’s an emphatically unconventional yet rewarding album and a considerable achievement for its creator.”

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Listen to the list on Spotify

See a list of the top 50 albums.

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Posted on December 18th, 2014


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