With so many releases flying at you, here are recommended vetted listens from Nialler9 for you this week, as collated in the Nialler9 New Albums Spotify playlist, updated weekly.



1.

PVT – Another Life

Album number four from the Perth electronic trio asks some urgent questions about the world we’re tending to. Electronic arrangements are often used as escapist fantasy soundtracks, and PVT have explored that vein in the past. While New Spirit pulses with transportive rhythms rooted in the 80s synth sound, the sentiment is of the personal looking outward, of a changing country of Australia, like other places in the globe, increasing in intolerance. It’s a dystopian view, one that includes digital evolution, a public homicide (Murder Mall) and environmentalism. Highlights: ‘Another Life’; Morning Mist, ‘Rock Mountain Bend’, ‘Kangaroo’.

Listen on Spotify


2.

Clock Opera – Venn

Clock Opera returned with album number two last week, four years after their debut album failed to reach the audiences it deserved. Venn arrives on League of Imaginary Nations / !K7 with more baggage than before (it was inspired by a miscarriage) so the default reach isn’t always the anthemic, but there’s an impressive weight to this introspective textured electronic pop especially in its first third. Whether it’ll capture an audience in today’s noisy market feels like a slimmer chance than ever, which is a shame. Highlights include ‘Whippoorwill’, ‘Changeling’ and ‘In Memory’.

Listen on Spotify


3.

Thundercat – Drunk

The jazz-funk falsetto-flouting bassist’s new album has a hangover. “I feel weird… I think I left my wallet at the club,” he sings on ‘Captain Stupido’. We begin with fever dream regret, delve into The Fear assisted by technology and desires to be a cat. Yacht rock stars Michael McDonald and Kenny Loggins reduce the panic with smooth 80s vocals. A whimsical song about how great Tokyo is, and a song about being in the friend zone also lighten matters. Despite guest names like Kendrick Lamar, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell, Drunk is thoroughly a punk-drunk jazz odyssey tinged with heartbreak. Highlights: ‘Bus In These Streets’, ‘Walk On By’, ‘Friend Zone’.

Listen on Spotify


4.

Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayers

Arguably UK Grime’s biggest star. 23 year-old South London MC is poised to surpass the hard-graft of relative old-timer Skepta with his debut album. Leading with the big hit single ‘Big For Your Boots’, the surprise about Gang Signs & Prayers is that it’s not as tough as it appears with soft sung ballads replacing Stormzy’s trademark yelp on tracks like like ‘Blinded By Your Grace’, the NAO-featuring mid-tempo synth boom bap of ‘Velvet’ and Kehlani and Lily Allen-featuring piano ballad ‘Cigarettes & Cush’. It doesn’t always work in earnest like on the laboured metaphors on that track and ’21 Gun Salute’ and the best songs are when Stormzy is rhyming to a stabbing sinogrime beat as on ‘Cold’, ‘Big For Your Boots’ or ‘Return Of The Rucksack’.

Favourite tracks: ‘Cold’, ‘Big For Your Boots’, ‘Shut Up’.

Listen on Spotify


5.

Dear Reader – Day Fever

South African musician Cherilyn MacNeil’s first album in four years, Day Fever, shares the spirit of Sufjan’s Illinoise phase – pastoral orchestral folk with a choral harmony thread and a female voice at its centre. It’s pleasingly retro in tone, like discovering an unknown 70s album smudged with modern techniques.

Favourite tracks: ‘Oh!, The Sky!’, ‘Mean Well’.

Listen on Spotify


Posted on February 28th, 2017

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Ever had one of those potential relationships that were heading towards the friend zone, that you were just DONE with the pretence?

Thundercat knows the feeling. When you can he’s looking at the screen waiting for you to hang up? He’s rather be playing Mortal Kombat. And please, stop calling after 2am. ‘Friend Zone’ was produced by Mono/Poly.

Thundercat broke up with a girl on February 14th in the past.

It’s the fourth track we’ve heard from the 23-track album after ‘Bus In These Streets’ and ‘Show You The Way’ (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins). Drunk is out on February 24th on Brainfeeder and also features appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington and Flying Lotus. ‘Them Changes’ is also on the record.

As part of his world tour, Thundercat plays Vicar Street on March 27th.

Drunk Tracklisting

01. Rabbot Ho
02. Captain Stupido
03. Uh Uh
04. Bus In These Streets
05. A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)
06. Lava Lamp
07. Jethro
08. Day & Night
09. Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)
10. Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
11. Blackkk
12. Tokyo
13. Jameel’s Space Ride
14. Friend Zone
15. Them Changes
16. Where I’m Going
17. Drink Dat (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
18. Inferno
19. I Am Crazy
20. 3AM
21. Drunk
22. The Turn Down (feat. Pharrell)
23. DUI

Posted on February 14th, 2017

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On his recent comeback single, Thundercat channelled yacht rock.

Now, he has gone straight to the source for the latest song from his just-announced debut album Drunk by enlisting Michael ‘Doobie Brothers’ McDonald and Kenny ‘Footloose’ Loggins for ‘Show You The Way’.

Pure Yacht rock.

Drunk is out on February 24th on Brainfeeder and also features appearances from Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Wiz Khalifa, Kamasi Washington and Flying Lotus. ‘Them Changes’ is also on the record.

As part of his world tour, Thundercat plays Vicar Street on March 27th.

Thundercat was introduced to Loggins by keyboard player Dennis Hamm. Loggins then suggested bringing “These are guys that I’ve listened to and where I felt that I’ve learned that honesty in the music. Kenny Loggins is one of my favourite songwriters I think one of the most beautiful moments was realising how amazing Michael McDonald is. He would go through so many ideas and have so much to offer.”

Thundercat also notes: “That song to me is about going down the rabbit hole, taking you to another place… On the edge of dark, there’s the brightest light. It means a lot to me in the sense of… the experience that I’ve had growing up with friends and people that I’ve been around where it’s inviting them into where I come from emotionally. Sometimes it’s a pretty intense thing. The point is how weird things can get. I feel like it’s very funny that, in a way, of course Michael McDonald and Kenny would be there.”

Thundercat – Drunk Tracklisting

01. Rabbot Ho
02. Captain Stupido
03. Uh Uh
04. Bus In These Streets
05. A Fan’s Mail (Tron Song Suite II)
06. Lava Lamp
07. Jethro
08. Day & Night
09. Show You The Way (feat. Michael McDonald & Kenny Loggins)
10. Walk On By (feat. Kendrick Lamar)
11. Blackkk
12. Tokyo
13. Jameel’s Space Ride
14. Friend Zone
15. Them Changes
16. Where I’m Going
17. Drink Dat (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
18. Inferno
19. I Am Crazy
20. 3AM
21. Drunk
22. The Turn Down (feat. Pharrell)
23. DUI

Posted on January 25th, 2017

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Here are some gigs that were announced in recent days.


Thundercat, the singer, bassist and all-round dude who has been working with Kendrick Lamar and releases on Brainfeeder is to play Vicar Street in 2017 on a World Tour on Monday March 27th. He’ll play live with Dennis Hamm (keys) and Justin Brown (drums). Tickets on sale Friday from €27.90 + fees.


The Redneck Manifesto are to play two 2017 shows with support from Paddy Hanna on February 16th in Whelan’s and Feruary 18th in Dolans Limerick on 18th. Feb – Paddy Hanna plays in Dublin. Tickets on sale this morning at €18 + fees from TM, Wavtickets or Dolan’s.


A second Fleet Foxes show was added on July 13th in the Iveagh Gardens next year. Tickets on TM now.


You’ve heard that Guns’n’Roses are playing Slane yeah?

They look and sound like this now:


Car Seat Headrest, the creators of one of the critically-acclaimed rock albums of the year are to play live at Whelan’s, Monday March 27th 2017
Tickets €18.50 including booking fee go on sale Friday December 9th at 10am from Ticketmaster.


Dance DJ legend Joey Negro is back in town in January for a show at Hangar on Saturday January 28th. For fans of disco edits and house jams.


Dream pop experimentalist Wild Nothing plays Whelan’s, Dublin on February 28th. Tickets on sale now priced €18.50 (incl booking) from Whelan’s TM & outlets nationwide


Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit) are Andy and Edwin White, two “boogie, ’60s psychedelic-rock, and choral pop” loving dudes from New York who are playing The Workman’s Club on February 23rd 2017. Tickets priced €15 on sale now from TM


Andrew Weatherall returns to Wigwam on January 28th. Tickets from €10 for members and on Eventbrite for €18 + fees.


Lo-fi house or not, DJ Seinfeld is coming to Dublin to play Hangar on January 14th next. Some absolute gems coming out of him.


Finally, speaking of lo, the rock band Low are playing Christchurch Cathedral next week, December 13th and just dropped this lovely Xmas tune:

Posted on December 7th, 2016

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Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new songs from all the below along with Cassius, Indian Wells, Jagwar Ma, Sundai, Bon Iver and more.

Check out the Songs of the week Soundcloud playlist.


1.

Frank Ocean – ‘Pink & White’

Blonde will sustain many more listens this year.

I wrote about Blonde being “the year’s most hyped record that reveals itself in subtle ways” on Friday. While there’s sill much to unpack, ‘Pink + White’ is the album’s most immediate cut, beautiful sunshine soul, a showcase for Ocean’s honey-toned voice.

Album of the week.


2.

Vince Staples – ‘War Ready’

Outkast x James Blake x Vince Staples.

Grabbing you by the scruff of the neck with a classic Andre 3000 Atliens sample, ‘War Ready’ is a James Blake-produced track from Stapes’ new Prima Donna EP that is rough and ready.


3.

Hazel English – I’m Fine

Swooning indie synth pop anxiety.
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Californian-based Australian singer-songwriter and indie musician Hazel English makes hypnagogic indie pop music that comes from a place of guitar band roots. The 25 year-old has a debut EP coming on Marathon Artists/Canvasback in October and following on from the impressive title track, I’m Fine’ is a song about anxiety (“For most of my life I’ve felt a sharp uncertainty/ Now it’s just become a part of me.’) that is shimmering and summery in delivery.

See also: ‘Never Going Home’


4.

Carriages – Moving Parts

The Irish folktronica duo create magic from found objects.

Harry Bookless and Aaron Page’s brand of field-recorded folktronica makes for a unique rhythm. ‘Moving Parts/ was made from some interesting sources: drain pipes, gravel, puddles, branches and a starter melody that features Harry’s three year-old nephew Alex singing. it’s wrapped up in a lush tune that nods to Bronksi Beat while sounding like Four Tet.


5.

Thundercat – ‘Bus In These Streets’

A breezy 70s-style song about modern technology.

Thundercat has grown in stature recently, for his work with Kendrick Lamar and his own tunes like ‘Them Changes’.

‘Bus In These Streets’ is a song that sounds like a breezy 70s TV theme but is actually about technological dependence in the 21st century. It’s also a bit yacht-rock in tone.

The song is a once-off single out now that also features Louis Cole (keyboards, drums, programming); and Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus (programming, editing).


6.

Phillipi & Rodrigo – ‘Mantra’

Soulwax’s label DeeWee is essential listening these days.

As proven by this recent Beats 1 show, Soulwax are well and truly back to the top of their game. Their label DeeWee has knocked out killer tunes by Emmanuelle, Bolis Popul, Asa Moto and Phillipi and Rodrigo, a Sao Paolo duo. Their first release ‘Gueto De Gent’ featured a Twin Peaks reference and here, the pair build up a mantric percussive electronic groove.


Posted on August 29th, 2016

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Thundercat has grown in stature recently, for his work with Kendrick Lamar and his own tunes like ‘Them Changes’.

‘Bus In These Streets’ is a song that sounds like a breezy 70s TV theme but is actually about technological dependence in the 21st century. It’s also a bit yacht-rock in tone.

The song is a once-off single out now that also features Louis Cole (keyboards, drums, programming); and Steve Ellison aka Flying Lotus (programming, editing).

Posted on August 24th, 2016

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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.

Posted on September 11th, 2015

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My favourite songs of the month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below.

The songs

  1. Shura – ‘White Light’
  2. Joy Orbison & Boddika – ‘TMTT’
  3. Donnie Trumpet & the Social Experiment – Wanna Be Cool
  4. Leon Bridges – Coming Home
  5. The Weeknd – ‘Can’t Feel My Face’
  6. Disclosure – ‘Holding On’ (Gus Pirelli 7″ VIP remix)
  7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra – ‘The World Is Crowded’
  8. Delorean – Crystal
  9. The Galleria – ‘Calling Card’
  10. Terriers – Believing The Crystal.
  11. The Chemical Brothers – Under Neon Lights
  12. Mac Demarco – Another One
  13. Cruising –  ‘Safe Corridor’
  14. Girls Names – ‘Reticence’
  15. Beirut – ‘No No No’
  16. Thundercat – ‘Them Changes’
  17. Ajo Arkestra – ‘Mother & Father’
  18. Night Trap – ‘Someone Like You’
  19. Nao – ‘Golden’
  20. Statik Selektah feat. Joey Bada$$ & Action Bronson – ‘Beautiful Life’
  21. Rejjie Snow – ‘All Around The World’
  22. Seven Davis Jr / Julio Bashmore – ‘Good Vibes’
  23. Janet Jackson – ‘No Sleeep’
  24. Oh Wonder – ‘White Blood’
  25. Hudson Mohawke feat. Antony – ‘Indian Steps’
  26. Laura Clock – ‘Fantasy’
  27. Tomorrows – ‘The Circle’
  28.  Slow Riot – ‘City Of Culture’
  29. Come On Live Long – ‘Speak Up’
  30. Robyn & Bagatelle Magique feat Maluca – ‘Love Is Free’

Posted on July 3rd, 2015

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Saturday picks | Sunday picks | Stage Times | Spotify playlist


Forbidden Fruit is upon us. As requested by some, here are my 10 tips for bands to see to get the most out of your weekend in Kilmainham. Plus, stage times and a Spotify playlist. Enjoy your weekend and check the gig guide for the weekend’s FF afterparty details.


Saturday

1. Flying Lotus 3D Show / Thundercat & Captain Murphy

The Undergrowth Stage: 9:15pm – 10:45pm / 7:45pm – 8:45pm
Flying-Lotus-AMOA-Twitter-FEED-Topete-6

Stephen Ellison’s music has always had a visual imaginistic quality to it. His jazz-inflected electronic beats conjure up shapes and forms on its own so for him to push it forward into an actual A/V show makes sense. Forbidden Fruit will be the Irish debut of the 3D Show, which is pretty well explained in the video below.

As for Captain Murphy, Flying Lotus’ alter-ego showed he can rap too, as heard on 2012 mixtape Duality, a cult-leader pitched-down collection of Quasimoto-style hip-hop. He’ll be joined on stage by his good friend Thundercat, presumably in his role as a bassist first and foremost rather than a singer or solo performer.


2. Lisa O’Neill

Original Stage, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Lisa O Neill acoustic

One of the most original, idiosyncratic and Irish voices we have in music at the moment, it’s good to see O’Neill get such a prominent slot at an Irish festival. Her second album Same Cloth Or Not, was filled with the Cavan lady’s personality and her colloquial mannerisms. Her folk voice is scrappy yet lilting, tinny yet commanding; that’s to say it’s not for everyone. As a performer though, O’Neill is also commanding, and very funny; she knows how to spin a story or two.


3. Fuck Buttons

The Undergrowth Stage, 6:15pm – 7:15pm
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Brutal in its mechanism and industrial in its rhythms, Slow Focus, the third album from Bristol duo Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power was as uncompromising as the pair have got. Previous albums relied on an ambient strain of repetitive euphoria that saw that track ‘Olympians’, wisely enough, used in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. In a live context, they combine all of that in a barrage of low and high frequencies that leaves you elated and bruised.


4. And So I Watch You From Afar

Original Stage, 6pm – 7pm
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Surely you’ve seen ASIWYFA live by now? They’ve been on constant tour since they began that it had to happen. So you’ll know you’ll be at this to witness a set from one of the best live bands in any country – the Belfast lads rip through the instrumental rock rulebook with a fervour that is only matched by their latest album’s sunny uplift – perfect for a festival so.


5. Girls Names

The Undergrowth Stage, 9.45pm – 10.45pm
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Also from Belfast, Girls Names’ took a step towards a bolder, more gratifying sound on their album The New Life last year eschewing the jangly surf-rock of previous releases for a more distinctive and thematically unified sonic palette of post-punk, kraut and new wave. It means the band’s live set is a head-nodding mood-piece of some of the most evocative guitar sounds drawn from the late ’70s/early ’80s period of rock music.


Saturday picks | Sunday picks | Stage Times | Spotify playlist


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Posted on May 28th, 2014

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