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

The songs

  1. Grimes – ‘REALiTi’
  2. Jamie xx – ‘Loud Places’
  3. Tame Impala – ‘Let It Happen’
  4. Hudson Mohawke – ‘Very First Breath’
  5. Girls Names – ‘Zero Triptych’
  6. Villagers – ‘Hot Scary Summer’
  7. Sufjan Stevens – ‘Should Have Known Better’
  8. Kendrick Lamar – ‘Alright’
  9. Shamir – Call It Off
  10. The Hard Ground – ‘Pucker’
  11. Jamie xx – ‘Gosh’
  12. Hælos – ‘Earth Not Above’
  13. Little xs for eyes -‘Logical Love’
  14. Fight Like Apes – ‘Pretty Keen On Centerfolds’
  15. Sauce 81 – ‘Natural Thing’
  16. Yumi Zouma – ‘A Song For Zoe & Gwen’
  17. Ciaran Lavery & Ryan Vail -‘ The Colour Blue’
  18. Oh Wonder – ‘Technicolour Beat’
  19. SertOne – ‘Lost and Found’ 
  20. Kelela – ‘A Message’
  21. Florence + The Machine – ‘St Jude’
  22. Young Wonder – ‘Enchanted’
  23. Evvol – ‘Your Love’
  24. Rusangano Family – ‘Wasteman’
  25. Action Bronson – ‘Baby Blue’
  26. Courtney Barnett – ‘Depreston’
  27. Teleman – ‘Strange Combinations’
  28. Ghostpoet – ‘X Marks The Spot’
  29. Hystereo – ‘Aquarium’
  30. Spies – ‘Quincy Morris’

Playmoss playlist (Soundcloud + Youtube)


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Ticket giveaways:

How to enter ticket comp - Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig or Friday 1pm latest for weekend gigs.

Tuesday March 31


Wednesday April 1


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Thursday April 2


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Good Friday April 3



  • BD Festival @ Glendalough, Co. Wicklow (€64.50, 4pm,WIN TICKETS)
    [BYOB Festival] Leftfield DJ set, Jape, Benoit & Sergio, Omar S and more.

  • Hunt & Gather: Nuit Blanche: Heathen @ Secret Location (€15)
    [Night market/party] Groovement Soul, Jay Broseph DJing and a night market.
  • Sober Sessions @ The Fumbally Exchange (€10)
    [Folk/] Miriam Donohue and Stephen James
  • Everything Shook @ ATRL, Dublin (€14)
    [Alt/vocal]  Support comes from Sunken Foal, Hauer and Donal Dineen.
  • SignA @ Fumbally Stables (€10)
    [Folk/electronic]  Check out Lines from the EP.

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Saturday April 4



  • Phase One Festival @ The Dock, Carrick On Shannon (€30 per day, €55 for weekend)
    [Electronic Festival] Horse Meat Disco, Sleep Thieves, Ghosts, Fish Go Deep and more

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Easter Sunday April 5



  • Phase One Festival @ The Dock, Carrick On Shannon (€30 per day, €55 for weekend)
    [Electronic Festival] Jape, Donal Dineen, Nanu Nanu, Hauer, Electro Sensitive Behaviour

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Bank Holiday Monday April 6

  • SFA OK @ Garage Bar (Free, 8pm)
    [DJs] A celebration of all things Super Furry Animals with DJs Nialler9, Louche, Trev, D-Reills, Stephen Donnelly, Eadaoin Dooley and Andy Marke

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Posted on March 31st, 2015




If you want to make classic rock’n’roll, why not turn to someone who has a track record in that department?

That’s something that Dublin band The Mighty Stef did in the recording of Year Of The Horse, The Mighty Stef’s most consistent and thrilling work yet.

Alain Johannes, who has worked with Queens Of The Stone Age, No Doubt, Eagles Of Death Metal and Arctic Monkeys was at the boards for the recording of the album, the fourth as The Mighty Stef – Stef Murphy (vocals, guitar), Gary Lonergan (Bass, keys), Ken Mooney (drums, percussion) and Daniel Fitzpatrick (guitars / keyboards) in LA.

You can hear the difference in the album’s opening track – ‘Everybody Needs A Grave’, a song that takes on anthemic proportions the more it plays to a crescendo. “As you cross through the ceremony you’re reminded you’re no longer a young man  / but you’re expected to play what is a young man’s game,” sings Stefan Murphy on ‘Ceremony’ perhaps about his own life in rock’n’roll. Murphy has experience and knowledge and that stands to his and his band’s credit on this record. There’s also a great sense of realism in the hard slog of being a rock’n’roller with a family on ‘Stella’.

Stef’s deep baritone voice has never sounded more commanding than on tracks like ‘Blind Girl’ which recalls Nick Cave and the hazy orchestral rock of ‘Capri Sun’. His penchant for writing earworm melodies are evident on the “gonna write a letter to you” hook on ‘Milk White Tears’.

A couple of previous tracks from the Iveagh Flats 2013 EP are included.  ‘The Nightwatchman of the Iveagh Flats’, the psychedelic punk-rock of ‘Vampire Hold Me Tight’ and once again, ‘The Hardship’, which is easily an album highlight. The song’s long running time giving the musicians and the song room to breathe as it extols the virtues of working your arse off to get to where you want to be.

It’s clearly paid off for Stef and his band:

rsgk15 finished

Some gig announcements of note, not included in recent news updates:

More parties for the Yes Equality campaign? Sure.

Record Store Gay is back on Record Store Day, April 18th (here’s the list of releases worldwide) and there will be another compilation and gig in Outhouse to celebrate on the day. Artists performing and featuring will be Hi Fashion, Kate’s Party, I Heart The Monster Hero, Florence Olivier, Katherine Lynch & Switzerland, Patrick Kelleher, Gross Net, The Late David Turpin, Brian Conniffe, Gar Cox, Fierce Mild, Feather Beds, GODHATESDISCO, Laura Ann Brady and many more.

There will be Record Store Gay prints by artists including Lili Scratchy, Shark At Heart, Ickis Mirolo, Ruan Van Vliet, KAGE and many more will be for sale. It takes place in Outhouse, Capel Street from 1pm til 6pm with a gig later in Pantibar from 6pm.

100% of proceeds will go towards the Yes Equality campaign.


‘Defeated’ is your introduction to a Dublin four-piece called The Nightlife and by the sound of it, the band are aiming direct at the mainstream and your ears, and they want to stay there.

The song recorded with Joe Egan in Nutshed Studios, Offaly reaches for earworm status with its big drum hits and subtle synth line before cascading into an all-in chorus line underpinned by bright guitar notes that has the lyrics “give me something I need / just a little more / I can’t reach any further.”

Greg, Stephen, Andrew and Jeff are the band and chances are they’ll extend their music pretty far if they keep knocking out tracks like this.


Canalaphonic is a new festival taking place on Friday 8th and Saturday 9th of May in Portobello and Rathmines just south of Dublin city, put on by the discerning barbershop / venue of choice Abner Browns.

The festival, supported by Dublin City Council will feature gigs on a barge at Portobello and a sets in 22 venues in the area including The Bernard Shaw, Mart, Blackbird Pub, Lock 6, Two Fifty Square, Café Moda, Slattery’s, Mother Reilly’s and more.

The first bands announced to play are:

The Hot Sprockets, Gavin Glass and the Holy Shakers, Sinead White, The Stomptown brass band, Nick Kelly, Corner Boy, Featuring X, Rudytrixx, Mother Mooch, Cave Ghosts, The North Sea, Carriages, Maria Somerville, Steve Young and the Union , Jem Mitchell and more to be added.

There will be a kids area, boutique market, comedy, spoken word, the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland’s Dublin Rally and sets from trad musicians from Ballyfermot College as well as a 20-piece jazz swing band on the Saturday.

The festival is launched on April 11th in the Sugar Club.

Posted on March 30th, 2015




Castlepalooza takes place in Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Offaly for its 10th year this year on August Bank Holiday: 31st July, 1st & 2nd August 2015.

The lineup for the festival which takes place on the grounds of the castle features international guests like Hercules & Love Affair, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Aeroplane, Alex Metric, Fryars, Paul White, Murlo, Alexander Nut, Of Montreal but it really relies on Irish artists and DJs including Fight Like Apes, Hare Squead Jape, Vann Music, Buffalo Woman and Not Squares.

The full lineup is:

Adeyhawke, Aeroplane, Alex Metric, Alexander Nut, April Towers, Arman Giorgio, Baz Hickey, Benihana, Benny Smiles, Buffalo Woman, Cave Ghosts, Colour // Sound, Columbia Mills, Dear Desert, Disco Punks, DVO Marvel, Electro Sensitive Behaviour featuring Perry Blake, Elephant, Fight Like Apes, Florence Olivier, Frankenstein Bolts, Fryars, Handsome Paddy, Hare Squead, Hauer, Hercules And Love Affair, Heroes in Hiding, I Have A Tribe, Imploded View, Jape, JB The Dee Jay, Jenny Greene, Jon Phonics, Joshua Burnside, King Kong Company, Kobina, Late Nite Tuff Guy, Mo Colours, Mr Whippy, Murlo, Nialler9 (I’ll be DJing one of the nights), Not Squares, of Montreal, Overheard,Participant, Paul White, Plutonic Dust, Rocstrong, Row Hawke, State Lights, Slimzee, Synaesthete, The Albatross, The Cacks , Tu Ki, Vann Music, Voids.

This year, the festival adds another stage in the Bavaria stage. A Three Day ticket with camping costs €94 plus booking fee from the website.

Last week, the festival was in the news as successfully it put in an injunction against Abner Browns’ festival Canalpalooza for its intended use of the term ‘palooza’. The festival is now called Canalphonic.

Posted on March 30th, 2015


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This week was the first of 2015 which a tidal wave of new music washed over me in a big surge. With SXSW out of the way, many artists began to set out their stall for the coming year who hadn’t already.

So we had two great new tracks from Jamie xx, a near-11 minute triptych song from Belfast’s Girls Names inspired by the Group Zero art movement, an impressive track from Matador’s new signing Haelos, new Irish music from Fight Like Apes, Little xs for eyes, Lakker, Roisin Murphy, Spies and Rusangano Family.

SXSW was buzzing for Shamir who dropped his fun track ‘Call it Off’ and Tei Shi capitalised on her appearances there with ‘Go Slow’.

There’s also brand new Hudson Mohawke, Teleman and Florence + The Machine. It was at times, an overwhelming music week. Here’s my way of digesting the best of it – a playlist. That’s not all of it nor does it include albums.

Like your new music on Spotify instead? Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. Updated weekly.

Posted on March 27th, 2015

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The Sufjan Stevens that affected me the most was the one that revelled in the quiet, who kept things simple. Illinoise and The Age Of Adz are great records, sonically rich and ambitious. His stature grew, literally onstage with wings on a recent tour, where layers of sound were built up in impressive displays of song arrangements.

For his seventh album Carrie & Lowell, Stevens has put the wings back in the cupboard and returned to his folk roots. He’s also traded in the conceptual grandiosity for the devastatingly personal.

If there’s one thing you need to know about Sufjan and this album is that it is concerned with his absent mother Carrie (and by extension, his stepfather Lowell), who left his family in Michigan when he was a one year old and moved to Oregon. Carrie died in 2012 of stomach cancer and this visceral album is Sufjan addressing the monumental loss of his mother’s life and of her in his life.

Stevens spent a few summers with his mother as a child, who was troubled by depression and schizophrenia. Much of the album is drawn with that little amount of time he spent with Carrie. Interestingly, Lowell, his stepfather, stayed in touch after he divorced Carrie and went on to release music on Stevens’ label Asthmatic Kitty and is a director of the company. Losing a mother is unbearable but a mother estranged from her son has a profound effect.

The music is sparse, evocative, stripped-bare. Stevens’ doesn’t embellish much musically but he doesn’t compound the hurt and pain in his words with more aural clues. It’s actually a beautiful-sounding album on the surface. Seven Swans, his 2004 acoustic album inspired by Bible songs is the closest comparison. It is an album of grief (On that subject do read Niall Crumlish’s far superior review of this album for State.)

There are questions that go unanswered – “what could I have said to raise you from the dead?”. In both the album’s opening track ‘Death With Dignity’ and ‘Eugene’ Stevens longs to be near his mother. He sings of “this empty feeling” on ‘Should Have Known Better’ and asks “I wonder did you love me at all?” on ‘The Only Thing’. There is searing hurt. “Should I tear my eyes out now? Everything I see returns to you somehow,” he sings on the same track.

His mother, “Erebus on my back” gives an imagined reply on ‘Fourth Of July’ – “did you get enough love, my little dove?” There is much rumination of Stevens himself as a person in the reflection of Carrie through his relationships on ‘John My Beloved’ and ‘Drawn To The Blood’. “What’s left is only bittersweet / for the rest of my life, admitting the best is behind me,” he sings on ‘Eugene’.

There is no answer to grief or estrangement. There can be acceptance, reconciliation, mourning and forgiveness. “I forgive you mother I can hear you,” Stevens sings but there’s much pain to get through. Carrie & Lowell offers catharsis for Stevens and consolation for others in his difficult exploration.