The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site, as per below. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour. Click the buttons to launch the TXFM site autoplaying links.

HOUR ONE

  1. Kleerup & Susanne Sundfør  – ‘Let Me In’
  2. Mr Twin Sister –  ‘Rude Boy’
  3. Caribou  – ‘All I Ever Need’
  4. Gruff Rhys – ‘Lost Tribes’
  5. SISSY  – ‘No Mickey on the Mouse’
  6. Elastic Sleep  – ‘You Only Live Twice’
  7. Melt Yourself Down –  ‘We Are Enough’
  8. Lapsley –  ‘Falling Short’
  9. Liza Flume – ‘Sleepless Nights’
  10. Adrian Crowley  – ‘Some Blue Morning’
  11. Milosh – ‘Right Never Comes’
  12. Thrupence –  ‘Silk’
  13. Flying Lotus –  ‘Never Catch Me’ (feat. Kendrick Lamar)

HOUR TWO

  1. SBTRKT  – ‘Higher’ (feat Raury)
  2. Benihana –  ‘Vanish’
  3. Imploded View  – ‘Starring Karl’
  4. Aphex Twin  – ‘produk 29 [101]’
  5. Arca  – ‘Thievery’
  6. Thom Yorke  – ‘Guess Again!’
  7. Prince –  ‘FUNKNROLL’
  8. Chynna x Hudmo – ‘MadeInChynna’
  9. The Celestics ft. WALDO  – ‘173 (pipo version)’
  10. Ta’East – ’72-10′
  11. Lethal Dialect – ’26 Laws’
  12. Dorian Concept  – ‘Ann River, Mn’
  13. Kiasmos –  ‘Bent’

Posted on October 3rd, 2014

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If you weren’t already aware of the significance of South By SouthWest (SXSW), the shorthand goes like this: thousands of bands and artists at all levels in their careers come to Austin, Texas for a week in March after the tech industry has done its business the week before. They come to SXSW to be seen, to make deals, to spread the word about their music and to further their career.

In some cases, larger acts like Jay-Z, Kanye and Lady Gaga pick up the big cheques (sorry, checks, we are in America after all) and while there were a lot of mid-to-top level artists like St. Vincent, Damon Albarn, Cee Lo Green, Kendrick Lamar and err, Spandau Ballet in Austin last week, my focus, as it has been for the last six South Bys is on new music. Seeing an upcoming artist playing live for the first time is one of the main reasons I come here.

There was a real-life thing that overshadowed the music: a drunk driver in a stolen vehicle killed three people and injured many others while driving up the road fleeing police the wrong way outside SXSW venues Cheer Up Charlie’s and Mohawk. It was a random incident that hung over the rest of the festival ominously afterwards.

A bit of housekeeping: You can find out how the Irish got in with two pieces in print just published: Heathers and The Strypes at SXSW in Irish Independent’s Day and Night Mag last Friday. My interview with Hozier was in the Sunday Times Culture. He was blowing up at SXSW last week. Finally, there is a ton of daily updates from me to be found at Red Bull Ireland too.

Here are the 15 best sets I enjoyed in a sensory-overloading fatiguing but ultimately supremely rewarding SXSW.

First, the playlist, then the explanations:

Hozier live photo: James Goulden.


1. Future Islands

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Photo: Adam Kissick For NPR

American indie music’s best kept secret for the last ten odd years will be familiar to Irish audiences due to Foggy Notions bringing them to Dublin for a few times over that period. A timely reminder of the band’s live prowess was provided by the Baltimore band’s appearance on Late Night With Letterman a few weeks ago where singer Samuel T. Herring put in a towering magnetising PERFORMANCE of realness that included teary-eyed facial contortions, air-punching stage delivery, a voice that went from yearning wedding singer to a growling gutteral metal band craw, crab-like meme-friendly dancing and in ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’, one of their most anthemic songs yet.

Their synth-pop music, especially new album Singles is pleasing, a career-best release from a live band at their best. In Cheer Up Charlie’s (formerly Club Deville) for the 4AD Showcase, the band codify all of these things into a lightning set.

Herring encourages crowd surfing and gives as much as he gets in terms of compliments. The set was such a feelgood masterclass, I hope performers were taking notes. A masterclass in music and showmanship.


2. Glass Animals

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Some bands leave such a good impression you have to see them again. Of all the artists at SXSW, Oxford’s Glass Animals sound like the band most in waiting to hit a bigger level of popularity. They might be English but their alternative R&B music has a definite American swagger to it. Alt-J R&B, the journo part of my brain kept thinking.

Crucially, they already have songs that sound like people just need to hear to get on board with – ‘Gooey’, ‘Black Mambo’ and ‘Psylla” in particular. The two shows I caught, the band were meticulously prepared and their music intricately played. Their Harvest Records showcase set suffered from poor sound (as did everyone that night with the PA cutting out for every artist) but their last set of SXSW in Holy Mountain was a precursor of larger things to come.


3. Sophie


Firstly, Sophie is a guy from the UK, not a girl at all. But there were other diverting things happening on stage during the Sophie set at The Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel that set my brain off the wall and my feet off the floor. Sophie’s electronic music is as modern as you can get: a unique tapestry that takes in threads of Rustie-style hyperactivity, zippy electro synthesizer lines, high-pitched female vocals and rap samples. Where Saint Pepsi and Cashmere Cat throw all of their influences in the mix, Sophie’s creates a symphonic digital experience that bounces off the walls in its own language. It’s a divisive sound that’s like listening to a kids TV theme song derailed by amphetamines.


4. Kelela

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Photo: Adam Kissick For NPR

The only long queue outside a venue during SXSW for me, occurred outside the Empire Automotive Garage, an actual car garage that had a reduced capacity that leant itself to such occurences. In the case of Kelela though, the line was warranted, the LA singer has teamed up with some of the most sonically inventive future music producers including Nguzunguzu, Jam City, Kingdom and Bok Bok.

Kelela’s voice on her own is honey-dripped, akin to Janet Jackson in tone. Those outsourced productions create stuttering bass-rattling synth jams for her voice to ride and it results in an atmospheric club music that transcends the plain surrounds. The music was suspended above our heads and encased us in laser-guided sonic comforts.


5. Banks

Jillian Banks’ performance at Haven for the Harvest Records showcase was one of the first of the week at South By. A series of excellent alternative R&B pop singles had already established Banks as one of the most exciting new artists around.

Like Kelela, she has outsourced beats from TEED, Sohn and Shlohmo. All the songs so far share a monochromatic sombre feel. Banks uses that vibe as a starting point to emote in full colour with her bellowing and sometimes wailing voice.

Most obvious from her set, was that Banks’ performance style has endearing. The nerves were clear but she was steely-eyed and gutsy in her delivery. There are relieving smiles after the first few songs as if a large hurdle has been crossed.

In songs like ‘Warm Water’, ‘Brain, ‘Waiting Game” and ‘Fall Over’, she has an embarrassment of great songs that people were already singing back at her and a new song from the forthcoming debut album was of the same calibre.


6. Hozier

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Photo: James Goulden.
So, as an Irish music person who goes to gigs regularly, I’ve seen Hozier four times since his ascension into a global concern (read my interview with him in the Sunday Times from March 23rd). It’s been a startlingly rapid rise and one that has knocked lesser musicians into career oblivion.

The answer to whether Hozier’s move into mainstream acceptance was too soon was plain to see in at the Communion Records showcase in St David’s Historic Sanctuary. Mr Hozier-Byrne has stepped up his live game significantly. Before he was shy and gangly looking, in Austin he was commanding and charming. He lead his seven-piece band where he had fronted them before, and when the song required a solo performance he was able to keep focus.

The new songs reveal a deeper connection to Delta and Chicago blues with bottleneck swamp guitar and a “howling at your door” outlook. Hozier played six or so shows in Austin and was on the tip of many tongues. Local radio was playing Take Me To Church and there was a deserved buzz around him.

There’s a glimpse of what may come in St. David’s Historic Sanctuary as the seated crowd hung on every sweetly sung Bill Withers-esque syllable.

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Posted on March 24th, 2014

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Melt Yourself Down are a London-based band featuring members of Polar Bear, Mulata Astatke Heliocentrics, Zun Zun Egui and Acoustic Ladyland. Their kickass first single ‘We Are Enough’ wobbled and spit all over our last podcast and the flip side is on some effervescent Ethiopian jazz-punk tip. The two tracks are on a 12″ later this month on The Leaf Label. Check out the strobe-heavy video and track above.

Posted on February 1st, 2013

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ARTWORK: 400 Facts.

ARTWORK: 400 Facts.

We promise a podcast every month in 2013. It’s our new blog resolution. Here’s the first of the year and the forty-second Podcast in the series. Aoife Mc and I talk about, and play some of my favourite tunes of the last few months. Artwork inspired by Frank B’s ‘Chain Of Fools’ as heard on this episode.

Podcast #42 -Tracklisting

  1. Katy B feat. Jessie Ware – ‘Aaliyah’ (Danger EP)
  2. Sinkane – ‘Jeeper Creeper’ (Mars)
  3. Flume – ‘Sleepless’ feat. Jezzabelle Doran (Flume)
  4. Frank B – ‘Chain Of Fools’ (Download)
  5. Roses Gabor – ‘Stars’
  6. Melt Yourself Down – ‘We Are Enough’
  7. Sea Pinks – ‘Following Wind’ (Freak Waves)
  8. dÉbruit – ‘Ou est Wind’s Seagulls’ Mweslee Remix  (From The Horizon remixed)
  9. Theo Parrish & Andrew Ashong – ‘Flowers’
  10. Ryan Hemsworth – ‘Overthinking’ Supreme Cuts remix (Last Words EP)
  11. Chelsea Wolfe – ‘Sunstorm’ (Unknown Rooms: A collection of acoustic songs)
  12. Jessica Pratt – ‘Night Faces’ (Jessica Pratt)

MP3: Nialler9 Podcast #42

(more…)

Posted on January 20th, 2013

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