The second annual Great Irish Beer Festival has announced its musical line-up for this August at Cork City Hall, headlined by, among others, Dublin synth-poppers Le Galaxie and Ulster punk legends Stiff Little Fingers.

Following last year’s inaugural event, The Great Irish Beer Festival will feature 24 Irish craft brewers and one distillery; as well as a music programme that sees its headliners joined by Leeside pop/folk outfit The Band Anna, Fire & Water and Cork punk-rockers Audible Joes. Saturday night August 26th will be headlined by David Bowie tribute act Rebel Rebel.

Le Galaxie, headlining on Friday August 25th, have been gigging intermittently since the release last year of debut full-length Le Club via Universal Music Ireland; while Stiff Little Fingers, headlining on Thursday August 24th, led by legendary lead singer Jake Burns have been continuously serving up the classics to a devoted following.

A joint production of The Franciscan Well brewery and local promoter Tom Keating, the GIBF is looking to continue its expansion to a staple of Cork’s festival and music calendars. On the craft beer end of things, lectures will take place over the weekend at City Hall including ‘Learn How To Brew’ with the Lee Valley Brewing Club and discussions led by Chris O’Flynn of the Malting Company of Ireland among others.

“We’re delighted to be welcoming these fantastic Irish brewers back to Cork again this year and equally as happy to be providing some great entertainment for festival goers over the weekend,” says Shane Long from The Franciscan Well. “Both professional and home Brewers will be onsite to show the public how to brew. We have also had a large number of enquiries from brewing enthusiasts from outside Ireland which is really encouraging and means the word about The Great Irish Beer Festival is spreading. We’d encourage people to purchase tickets in advance to avoid disappointment.”

Day tickets for each day are available at Information on stage times, etc. is available from

Posted on June 27th, 2017



Castlepalooza is one of the nicest little music festival in Ireland and this year’s festival has just added a load of acts for Tullamore Castle from Friday August 4th to Sunday August 6th.

Joining the lineup are:

  • Le Galaxie
  • Denney
  • Hiva Oa
  • Liza Flume
  • Oddsocks,
  • Bad Sea
  • Bitch Falcon
  • Daithí
  • Dublin Ukulele Collective
  • Dreaming of Jupiter
  • Floor Staff
  • Hot Cops
  • Ivy Nations
  • Mywoollyhat
  • Prymary Colours
  • Dip Djs
  • RSAG
  • Third Smoke
  • Tiz McNamara
  • Wastefellow
  • Elaine Mai
  • Seo Linn

DJ additions on the Friday and Saturday night in the Courtyard courtesy of Bedlam and Abstract are:

  • Al Murphy
  • Arman Giorgio
  • Bruno Grecchi
  • Beat Division
  • Bedlam DJs
  • Betty Jiminez
  • Boots & Kats
  • Charlie Garrett B2B AJ
  • Chasing Abbey
  • Daser B2B Mark Gill
  • Deadwax
  • Denney
  • Dylan Higgins
  • Fio’n’Jio
  • Fintan Lalor
  • Heroes in Hiding DJ Set
  • Killthedjs
  • Karl Guest B2B Aiden Thompson
  • Mark Byrne
  • Minisoul
  • Pat Hyland
  • Sarah Mooney
  • Sally Cinnamon

Day tickets from €59 + fees, weekend from €129 + fees.

Posted on June 6th, 2017


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Mother and THISISPOPBABY will mark Ireland saying yes to Marriage Equality two years ago with a once-day YESTIVAL in Tivoli Theatre on Friday May 19th.

On the lineup is Dimitri From Paris, Le Galaxie (new single here), Mother DJs and THISISPOPBABY’s End of the World Tea Dance, their first show since Riot featuring Scotty the Blue Bunny, Bourgeois & Maurice, Lucy McCormick: Triple Threat, Lockie Chapman & Timmy Matley (The Overtones) & The She.. More to follow but tickets are on Eventbrite from €20.

But, you can win a pair of tickets right here until May 10th. Just enter below.

Tickets to Yestival

Posted on April 27th, 2017


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Just a week out from its release on April 21st and two weeks since it was debuted here, Le Galaxie have debuted a video for their new May-Kay-featuring single ‘Pleasure’.

Directed by Sam Hooper, the video features bodies in tactile pleasure and paint.

Le Galaxie are playing a Beatvyne gig on Wednesday April 19th in their studio which holds 30 people. 2000 people have already applied.

They also play:
Saturday 29 April – Drogheda Arts Festival
Saturday 19th May – Yestival

Posted on April 12th, 2017


Mother and THISISPOPBABY have announced the first names for the one-day event to mark Ireland saying yes to Marriage Equality.

Yestival takes place in Tivoli Theatre and will feature music from Dimitri From Paris, Le Galaxie (new single here), Mother DJs and THISISPOPBABY’s End of the World Tea Dance, their first show since Riot. More to follow but tickets are on Eventbrite from €20.

Posted on April 11th, 2017


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Do you know Le Club?

Le Galaxie’s second album cemented the band’s rep as the best party-starting electro band in the country so their forthcoming third album on Reckless Records is feverishly anticipated by those who enjoy fun.

While we have to wait a bit longer in the year for that, ‘Pleasure’ the first single from the album is out on April 21st on streaming and download and features production by Blende and additional vocals by May Kay who will feature on the third album to come.

‘Pleasure’ is a banger of Le Galaxie proportions: expect no less:

Le Galaxie’s appearance on the Other Voices: Electric Picnic special, is broadcast in Ireland on RTÉ2 tomorrow, Thursday 30th March.

Posted on March 29th, 2017

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Northern Ireland’s only three-day music and arts festival Sunflowerfest has announced its first acts headed for Tubby’s Farm, Hillsborough from 28th – 30th July 2017.

Under the theme of A Parallel Universe, the following acts are playing:

Rubber Bandits
  • King Kong Company
  • Beans on Toast
  • Electric Swing Circus
  • Le Galaxie
  • Malojian
  • Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer
  • OR:LA
  • Ryan Vail
  • Too Many T’s
  • Ben Cutler
  • Brién
  • Chinooq & Stayin Low
  • Chris Hanna
  • Chris Keys
  • Citizen Nobody
  • Clockwork
  • CM88
  • Collate
  • Cursed Sun
  • Damola
  • Daz
  • Decomposing in Paris
  • Dream Awake
  • Electric Octopus
  • Emma Lou & The Agenda
  • Farah Elle
  • Henry Cluney Band
  • Jason Young
  • JC Williams
  • Jika Jika!
  • Lavengro
  • Le Boom
  • Lock Horns
  • Montauk Hotel
  • Mr Mur
  • Oh Boland
  • Paper Dogs
  • Petty Youth
  • Ponyhawke
  • R51
  • Roisin El Cherif
  • School of Rock
  • Single by Sunday
  • Stormzone
  • The Crawling
  • Themm
  • Twisted Sisters
  • Ubblahkan
  • Warriors of the Dystoteque
  • Zlatanera

Sunflowerfest has gained a reputation as a fine independent music festival and features 6 stages of music, interactive arts and some of the finest food NI has to offer (Boojum and more) – all while keeping a close check on environmental impact – via eco-friendly camping options including 100% recyclable, pre-pitched cardboard tents (weighing a sturdy sixteen kilograms sothey won’t blow away).


Tickets for Sunflowerfest start at just £74.95 (includes 2 children, aged 15 and under) and £64.95 for students. Additional bands, artists, and activities will be announced via Sunflowerfest’s website, Facebook, and Twitter.

Notes to Editors:
Online Ticket Portal – Paylogic

The theme of A Parallel Universe means a focus on futurism with festival organiser Micgael Magowan saying:

“Since 2002, over 7000 native trees including beech, birch, ash, alder, willow, hazel, and oak have been planted on-site. “The festival’s electronic music venue ‘The Moot’ and the festivals picturesque Pond Stage were crafted 5-years ago from renewable pine logs.

 We strive to foster a sense of community and connection both during the festival and at Tubby’s Farm generally. While visiting the festival, people from all walks of life can enjoy yoga, meditation, interactive and educational workshops as well as inspirational talks from individuals who share creative and eco-friendly interests. We’re proud to share our home in the countryside – a collective, beautiful, piece of heaven on earth. We are just the caretakers for the generations to come. 

Posted on March 20th, 2017


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Other Voices aired last night (watch it here) and featured Gregory Porter, Sample Answer, Pixie Geldof and Cry Monster Cry. Among the highlights was Le Galaxie’s performance of ‘Put The Chain On’ live from St. James Church. It’s no mean feat to get the entire audience out of their seats (there are cameras everywhere which you wouldn’t be wise to be in the way of ) but Le Galaxie were the first band in the last 7 years to make it happen.

Episode Five
Thurs 2nd March // 23:30
Margaret Glaspy
Girl Band
Rusangano Family
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh And Cormac Begley.

Posted on February 24th, 2017



There are plenty of albums to look forward to in 2017 and here are just a few of them which don’t have release dates yet. I’ve also included a few which we likely won’t see this year – just so you’re prepared. See also – My top New Artists of 2017.


Possible Date: Summer 2017

It’s been three years since the Leeds band released their second album This Is All Yours, so time is ripe for another in 2017. Last August, drummer Thom Sonny Green told NME, the band had loads of ideas, which wasn’t exactly – “songs are written, we’re recording them and they’re sounding awesome,” but after a period where Green released a solo record, bassist Gus Unger-Hamilton opened a café in east London and singer Joe Newman featured on a Clams Casino track with Lil B, there are rumblings.

The band have posted pics from the studio including ones at Abbey Road where they were recording strings only last week.The band have announced festival dates this summer so a good guess would be around the time of June, when they start.

Caribou / Daphni

Possible Date: Late 2017 but more than likely 2018

Three years on from a career apex record Our Love and a song which dominated the summer and the rest of the year. Dan Snaith is DJing as Daphni a lot this year including Coachella so a new album from Caribou doesn’t feel likely at this moment (maybe a Daphni 12″ / single release though?)

Daniel Avery

Possible Date: Autumn 2017

After last year’s DJ Kicks, 2017 looks to be the year that Daniel Avery follows up his superb 2013 album Drone Logic, according to this tweet.

Empress Of

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

Loreley Rodriguez’ debut Empress Of album Of Me was followed up with a killer once-off single and one of the best songs of 2016 collaboration with Blood Orange – ‘Best Of You’, as well as one with Pional, so I really want a followup in 2017. This is more hopeful than concrete, though signs are good.

FKA Twigs

Possible Date: 2018

Tahliah Barnett’s debut LP1 came out in 2014 and she’s been plenty busy with dancing, documentaries, stage shows, a once of single, and a 2015 EP. Last week, though a Nike ad directed and made by her featured a new track produced Oneohtrix Point Never suggested something isn’t far away, tweet replies to fans suggest it won’t be til 2018. 🙁

Flying Lotus

Possible Date: Late 2017 but looking like 2018

A new album was promised in 2016 from the Brainfeeder boss but Stephen Ellison was working on his feature-length film debut Kuso (starring Hannibal Buress and Tim Heidecker), which will premiere at Sundance this year. He also scored a short too. It looks like we’re getting V, a Captain Murphy record some time this year, as ‘Crowned’ featured in the recent Adult Swim Singles club. As for Fly Lo, a Kuso some songs on the soundtrack may be all we get.

Future Islands

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

Three years on from their breakthrough album Singles, things are heating up with some dates at festivals like Bonaroo, Panorama and Coachella. Last year, Sam T. Herring collaborated with Badbadnotgood. Their last music was single ‘The Chase’ in 2015. An album is definitely on the way very very soon.


Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

Grimes’ followup to Art Angels was halfway there last April ( “more chill vibes, downtempos, synth-y shit. That makes it sound boring. It’s not boring.”) and in a November interview, she said it would be “slow and reflective”.

“I’m really vibing on making something really slow and gorgeous that just breathes, and has room to breathe,” she explained. “I feel like my work has always been fast paced, kinetic, and almost just manic and I feel like for me the hardest thing I can do is make something that’s slow and heavy.”

Grizzly Bear

Possible Date: Spring 2017

Come on already. The Grizzlies’ last album was 2012’s Shields and a few years before, Jay Z and Beyoncé were showing up to their shows and a lot has changed in music since American indie folk was the dominant genre of choice, However in October, a tweet saying “Album 90 percent done. Last update until you hear it,” was posted. Any day now?


Possible Date: Summer 2017

Another album long overdue now. The LA sisters’ self-titled debut Days Are Gone dropped in 2013 and they even cancelled their appearance at music festivals last summer to finish it. It arrives this Summer.

Holy Ghost!

Possible Date: Autumn 2017

DFA Records’ disco dons Holy Ghost! will surely followup last year’s Crime Cutz EP with a third album, a followup to Dynamics. Alex Frankel released a solo EP last year too. I’ve a soft spot for these two.

Hundred Waters

Possible Date: Spring / Summer 2017

Gainesville Florida band Hundred Waters have made two stunning albums of folk and electronica thus far in their career and it looks like 2017 will see their third released. On Christmas day they posted (with a Neil Young cover) that they were finishing the album. Last year, they made a big remix with their label boss Skrillex and Chance The Rapper among others.

Jon Hopkins

Possible Date: Summer 2017

The followup to 2013’s Immunity is due this year according to Jon’s reply to a fan on Twitter. Yes. In the meantime, Hopkins plays piano on a track on the new Bonobo record.


Possible Date: Spring 2017

A followup to 2013’s Cut For Me mixtape after 2015’s Hallucination EP is on the cards (check out this Song Exploder about ‘Rewind’). In an interview with Dazed, Arca, Jam City, and Bok Bok are to be reprising their role as co-producers and Kelsey Lu, one of my picks for new artists of 2017 guests.

LCD Soundsystem

Possible Date: Summer or Autumn 2017

After last year’s triumphant live return, that promised LCD Soundsystem album is indeed on the way as James Murphy told someone on Facebook this weekin response – “Sure. still working on it, but it’ll be done soon. winter tends to mess with my voice, so finishing the thing drags out.”

Le Galaxie

Possible Date: Autumn 2017

The Dublin electro band’s third album is done and it likely to get a worldwide releasearound September time. Former Fight Like Apes’ singer MAy Kay is set to feature on six tracks too.

Little Dragon

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

The followup to Nabuma Rubberband from 2014 looks to be coming this year from the Swedish band. They are playing Coachella so that’s a good sign.

Mount Kimbie

Possible Date: Spring / Summer 2017

Mount Kimbie played some new songs at Metropolis Festival in November so it’s a safe bet a new one is coming to followup the brilliant 2013 album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.

St. Vincent

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

Annie Clark promises “the deepest, boldest work I’ve ever done” on her new record which is inspired by the topsy-turvy world events of the last year. “I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded – especially now that we have such high stakes from a political and geopolitical standpoint,” he told Guitar World (while managing to get a dig in on the cover). The last St. Vincent album came out in 2014.

Posted on January 18th, 2017

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Future Sounds is a new indoor festival weekend taking place at the INEC Killarney on February 3rd next month.

Playing the venue that night will be:

  • All Tvvins
  • Le Galaxie
  • King Kong Company
  • Little Hours
  • John Gibbons
  • Dashka

The night is brought to you by the INEC and Spin South West. Tickets €28 available on Ticketmaster. For more info check out or

Win a weekend away

But, if you’d like to win tickets to the gig, accommodation in the Gleneagle Hotel onsite to the INEC and B&B for two, enter via the Gleam app below.

Future sounds

Posted on January 6th, 2017

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Ding Ding Dingle. The 15th edition of Other Voices in the Kerry town is only a week and a bit away and that means the announcement of more acts and activities to the festival/TV show/ December getaway for music fans.

After the first names were revealed for the church/ the IMRO other room and the music trail we now have more names revealed:

  • All Tvvins
  • Imelda May
  • Rusangano Family
  • Saint Sister
  • Caoimhin O’Raghallaigh & Cormac Begley
  • Le Galaxie

That’s not all of course, the organisers have announced a Music Trail West – a music event featuring live music around the Dingle Peninsula on the Saturday, a vinyl artwork exhibition and Ireland’s Edge, a related conference.

The St. James’ Church recordings will be hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, Dublin born/London made DJ and broadcaster Annie Mac and Fight Like Apes’ May Kay. eir will stream the St James’ Church performances live to ten venues across Dingle town.

Finally, you can win tickets to Other Voices today right here.

Posted on November 22nd, 2016


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Fresh from Electric Picnic, Le Galaxie have announced a late night Halloween Party at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on Bank Holiday Sunday October 30th.

Doors will be at 11pm and special guests are Plutonic Dust. Tickets are €24.40+ fees and ar on sale at 9am this Friday, September 9th from Ticketmaster outlets and

This year, Le Galaxie haven’t had any new music but their tunes have been getting out there on Home & Away and on the latest Virgin Media ad (I worked as music supervisor on the ad with Avant Music Port)

Posted on September 7th, 2016


For the last couple of years, I’ve been compiling an up to date playlist of modern Irish music to celebrate and coincide with St. Patrick’s Day.

This year, I wanted to do something more to date and to roll it out across the year to coincide also with my weekly Irish Times column of new Irish music and as a companion to the general New Music playlist.

So today, I’m launching my New Irish Music weekly playlist which will be regularly updated. Because Irish music isn’t just for Paddy’s Day.

Join over 500 other listeners for fresh listens to new Irish music. There are songs from artists who have received support from Nialler9 in the last year or so from Brian Deady, Shit Robot, Roisin Murphy, Burnt Out, Saint Sister, I Have A Tribe, Le Galaxie, Rusangano Family, Come On Live Long, Daithi, Jape, Bitch Falcon, Pleasure Beach and many more.

The focus is on Irish music happening now, emerging and trending. I want this to be the definitive collection of new Irish music throughout the year in one place which I’ll be featuring as it comes on the site. Subscribe below.

Listen on Spotify

Subscribe to the newsletter too so you don’t miss out on any updates.

Posted on March 14th, 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

In association with:


Readers’ best Irish albums of the year

25. Evvol – Eternalism
24. Glen Hansard – Didn’t He Ramble
23. Lakker – Tundra
22. Little xs For Eyes – Everywhere Else
21. Somadrone – Oracle
20. Anderson – Patterns

19. Ham Sandwich – Stories From The Surface
18. Leo Drezden – Multi-Moment
17. Ciaran Lavery & Ryan Vail – Sea Legs
16. Not Squares – Bolts
15. Tucan – Towers
14. Fight Like Apes – Fight Like Apes

13. New Pope – Youth
12. No Monster Club – People Are Weird
Roisin Murphy – Hairless Toys



The Jimmy Cake


Jimmy Cake

Extended explorations into synth, noise, kraut, rock and ambience for the band’s first album in seven years.

Seven years on from album #3 and Master finds The Jimmy Cake, a band apart once again. Lineup changes (seven now: Paul G. Smyth, Lisa Carey, John Dermody, Dara Higgins, Vincent Dermody, Thomas Parke and Patrick Kelleher) and life has occurred since. The album is uncompromising in its delivery, making no concessions to convenience. There are three tracks with the shortest at just over 15 minutes and the longest just past the 32 minute mark. The individual tracks are elongated passages that segue into new movements.

The strongly-titled 32-minute ‘Death Can Fuck Off’ rings out with dangerous intent, building to a wall of galloping rhythm with synth vistas leading the pack of instruments before they are engulfed by a kraut-rock chug. A bassline changes and the track goes off in a different direction and a rhythmic pulse regains control as synth notes spiral above.

‘Observatory Destroyer’ is awash with horror-soundtrack style textures at its most minimal, building to a sonic heavy-rock dirge and piano release, while the final track ‘Teen Mist’ has a space-rock feel that gives way to a diptych of ambient and engulfing noise.

That’s just an overview. Master is about the journey, a multi-movement of a variation of styles and sounds. That’s about the only thing that The Jimmy Cake can be defined by.





Former Dublin rocker finds his sweet spot.

Three years on from the Dublin singer-songwriter’s second album Citizens, Owensie has followed it up with a sturdier and more elegant collection of layered folk music anchored by Michael Owens’ brittle falsetto and bright Spanish guitar playing. Conor O’Brien gives his seal of approval by supplying backing vocals and playing drums.

Listen on Spotify


Girls Names

Arms Around A Vision

Girls Names

Ireland’s best alt-rock band.

For their third album, the Belfast-based band have transitioned from expansive post-punk to a space between it and their former garage-rock jangle.

The band say they approached the album with a view that they had nothing to lose. “We’ve got nothing. We’ve never had anything. And we don’t expect to. The only person I ever wanted to impress was myself,” said frontman Cathal Cully.

In that regard, Arms Around A Vision is indulgent in the best way possible with the band soaking up the weight of their alternative retro influences and embracing their own visions in the process.

Listen on Spotify


Young Wonder


Young Wonder

The Cork electronic duo embrace pop dynamics and grander emotion.

After two superb EPs, the Cork pair of Rachel Koeman and Ian Ring carved out their own niche in the electronic pop sphere. Where previous songs, great as they are, were maybe too close to influences like Purity Ring, Birth finds the band creating their own textured world and deepening their songwriting prowess.

Previously-released songs ‘To You’ and ‘Time’ were among the most heartfelt so they fit right in with the new tracks like the airy ‘Intergalactic’ linking the cosmos to the romantic (“feel the rocky planet move / just for us,”), the anthemic electro-pop of ‘Enchanted’ and their most unabashed pop song yet – ‘Sweet Dreaming’.

Ian Ring remains one of the best and most nimble producers in Ireland and Colm O’Herlihy adds live instrumentation with electric guitar work. As the title suggests, this is just the beginning.

Listen on Spotify


The Strypes

Little Victories


The Cavan boys are nearly men.

The BBC aired a brilliant Julien Temple documentary about the Cavan kids who were thrust into a rock’n’roll major label lifestyle in their early teens. It left no doubt that The Strypes would be able to handle themselves into the future, marking themselves apart from the world of pop. They love retro rock and have no interest in the modern zeitgeist. What’s more they deplored any musician getting off their face over answering their craft. The lads just want to make music, wherever it takes them.

The answer to the question about where the Strypes would go next is contained in Little Victories from the off. Where as the first album Snapshot was exactly that, an account of a band in thrall to the bluesy rock’n’roll of the early ’60s and late ’50s, Little Victories finds the band (oldest member just turned 20) toughing up their sound by incorporating harder-edged rock sounds and rhythms. While they may not have brought their music up to date, they’ve taken a leaf out of the book of the Arctic Monkeys with an album that brandishes a distinct teenage indie/rock energy. Perhaps this is at the expense of what made them stand out in the first place but the band’s youthful vim still shines through.

Listen on Spotify



Before We Forgot How To Dream


Derry singer-songwriter releases her Mercury Prize-nominated debut.

It’s easy to forget how far Derry musician Bridie Monds-Watson has come in such a short time. Like the Strypes, the young singer-songwriter impressed from an early age with appearances on Other Voices with effective songs simply-constructed with an acoustic guitar and Bridie’s sweet colloquial voice.

Her Rough Trade debut, produced by Tommy McLaughlin, sheds the simplicity of those early EPs and settles for a multi-layered debut album that adds piano, strings and extra percussion to bolster the songs. Monds-Watson’s appealing simplicity is sacrificed for a more serious atmosphere but her personality and her rounded vocal style shines through on songs like ‘Blud’, ‘B A Nobody’, ‘Reckless Behaviour’ and ‘Shuvels’. Before We Forgot How To Dream bagged the young Derry musician a Mercury Music Prize for her efforts but it’s likely her best is yet to come.

Listen on Spotify


 Le Galaxie

Le Club

Le Galaxie

The Dublin electro band have made an album of joyous bangers.

For their second full-length, Le Galaxie enlisted the help of producer Erik Brouchek to solidify what most Irish music-loving people know from seeing the band live, that Le Galaxie are the best band for delivering gigantic song-led bangers built on dance music dynamism with live instruments.

Le Club feels like a victory lap, the band’s retro neon-electro having found new sinewy rhythms and strident sounds. Songs like ‘Put The Chain On’, ‘Streetheart’, ‘Le Club’, ‘Lucy Is Here’ and “Carmen’ already feel like modern Irish classics, the soundtrack to many a great festival night and gig. The new version of the Le Galaxie essential, the uplifting ‘Love System’ adds a sax-solo for extra celebration. A trip to Le Club is always fun.

Listen on Spotify



The third album from Conor O’Brien might just be his most important.

Stripped back to accompaniment that rarely goes beyond piano, mellotron, guitar and voice, Darling Arithmetic is a clear line in the sand for one of Ireland’s best living songwriters and as a result, there’s a sense of a songwriter really revealing and exploring his own self: his sexuality, his feelings, his pain and his love.

The 36 minute album’s opening song ‘Courage’ lays it all out. “Took a little time to get where I wanted / It took a little time to get free / It took a little time to be honest / It took a little time to be me,” O’Brien sings accompanied by guitar, light brushes, bass and some faraway blurry synths.

The stripped down nature of the album highlights what a great songwriter O’Brien is. These songs are captivating enough in their demo-style form because O’Brien is an elegant arranger and musician too; he has things to say we can relate to, and sentiments that comes from a heart, his heart, with an underlying confidence that comes from experience and learning from it.

Listen on Spotify



Richie Egan’s fifth album is a collection of serene electronic songcraft.

For most of his creative endeavours as Jape, Richie Egan has been juxtaposing traditional guitar-based songwriting with electronic synth textures.

The fifth Jape album, This Chemical Sea, made with band member Glen Keating, is the first released since Egan uprooted his life and family to Malmö in Sweden and that distance has encouraged a clarity of vision that translates to these two sides being more suitable bedfellows than ever.

There’s soft transparency to the production helped greatly by David Wrench who mixed and mastered the album, and whose considered imprint can most recently be heard on top notch productions from Caribou, FKA Twigs and Jungle; three of the best sounding records of the last year. Those albums have a clear spaciousness that they share with This Chemical Sea.

This Chemical Sea often feels like its floating above the physical and unmoored from the sum of its parts, that give the songs a unique identity in the Jape discography. It is a collection of serene electronic songcraft: meditative, lucid and unbound.

Listen on Spotify


Empress Of

The Dublin band have made the highly-strung album of the year.

There weren’t more uncompromising sonic albums made in 2015 than this one and while it took its toll on its creators, their efforts have not gone unappreciated.

Holding Hands With Jamie is a bare psychosis, the breakdown of Dara Kiely soundtracked by dissonant, piercing and pulsing noise. Kiely spends howling into the pressurised turbulent wall of noise, fending off life expectations and minutiae.

The band match his intensity spectacularly with guitars that whirr and buzz like nasty synthesizers, drums that engulf the room in a live fashion and low-end that wipes the floor and shits on it afterward for good measure. The harshness of it all is a suitably foil for the discombobulating frame of mind that Kiely displays throughout. It sounds like post-punk, it sounds like garage-rock, it sounds like no-wave, it sounds like dirty bleedin’ techno.

The coiled wrestle between confrontation and escapism, both in the music and in the lyrics, is what makes Holding Hands With Jamie such an uncomfortable yet singularly brilliant album. That it uses the familiar language of rock music to do so makes it one of the albums of the year.

Listen on Spotify

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

Posted on December 22nd, 2015


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Whether it’s anti-Muslim sentiment on Facebook, a terrorist attack on a music venue, or yet another over-reported Donald Trump quote, the world can feel like a hopeless place. It can be hard to counteract the hate and division happening in the world.

Le Galaxie, decided to do something positive and send it out into the world. Namely, recording a version of Friendly Fires’ ‘Paris’ with vocals from Elaine Mai.

The band say:

The internet is a miserable place right now. Understandably. Good people feel compelled to disseminate displays of ignorance and bigotry to shame, highlight and challenge it. We need to confront it all. But it’s hard on your outlook, it’s hard on your hope and hard on your faith in human beings. So we had a idea: take Friendly Fires’ banger about Paris, a city that ALL people deserve to love and explore, and Le Galaxie it. We wanted to take a tune we loved and make our own romantic, emotional and optimistic version with a big help from the one and only Elaine Mai. Nous espérons que vous apprécierez xx

Le Galaxie have some shows coming up and all are on sale now:

27th December – Dolans Warehouse, Limerick
28th December – Cypus Avenue, Cork
29th December – Tricky’s Mc Garrigles, Sligo
30th December – Roisin Dubh, Galway
31st December – NYF Street Fest, Dublin @ St. Stephen’s Green w/ All Tvvins, Wyvern Lingo & Otherkin

Posted on December 11th, 2015

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