A lot of Irish music comes Nialler9’s way and there’s little time to feature everything we think is worthy of a thumbs up or more ears. Every week, we collate the songs that pass our writers that deserve to be heard by you. For more extensive Irish coverage, follow our Spotify playlist or hit up the Irish section for individual track features.
Jon Hopkins vibes abound on the Naas producer Samuel Powell’s debut single ‘Floating’ which shows an impressive craft for a first track. Compounding the artistry is a brilliant collage-photo-video video by Josh Meany capturing nights out in the city that just makes us miss clubbing more. Still, it’s a very accomplished opening gambit.
My Sweet Beloved
A band who had an Other Voices slot back in 2017 before there were any releases out, My Sweet Beloved have put out their debut single – an atmospheric spacious track from a forthcoming debut album.
My Sweet Beloved are of Danielle Harrison Byrne (ex-Skindive) , Derek Byrne (Autumn Owls), Anton Hegarty (Future Kings of Spain, A Lazarus Soul) and Dan Devlin (Moskowitz).
Dublin R&B artist MA-KA drops a confident track with shades of Tinashe and Banks and a beat that underscores the song’s personal ruminations about overcoming trauma, sexual abuse and mental health battles. In the artist’s own words:
“Better was written at a low point in my life. At the time, I was seriously struggling with my mental health. The song is a cry for help, a prayer at a time when I felt so alone. It’s me begging somebody to save me. I couldn’t save myself, I’d tried everything: partying, suppressing it, but nothing was working.”
For so many years, I suppressed the trauma of being sexually abused as a child. I never allowed myself to fully feel it, I caged it in my mind, compartmentalised it. I created this person in my mind that it happened to, a person who was separate from me. But she was a part of me, and she didn’t want to be caged up. Eventually, she tried to escape. 16 years later, I was triggered, which put me into a dark, depressive place. Everything about the abuse came back in vivid detail, it was like it was happening again, there and then.”
“I started seeking help. I moved home to be closer to family. I quit my day job and began living my truth by pursuing music more seriously. I got in touch with my spiritual side and started leaning on Jesus as my higher power. I knew I couldn’t do it myself, so I completely let go and gave my life to God. I was set free, I was delivered from pain, I found acceptance and peace.”
I went through a battle, and I won. The song is called “Better”, because I am better, I’m better than the things that have happened to me.”
Am I Still On Your Mind?
21-year-old Dubliner Greg Tisdall’s ‘Am I Still On Your Mind?’ falls somewhere between pop and R&B. With Toygirl’s Hannah Worrall on backing vocals, the song’s bright production goes down easy.
Summer Of Glove
You’ve got to feel for artists who were making moves from being a lone bedroom producer to a full live band only to be faced with a pandemic meaning they couldn’t get in a room together. Derry artist Neil Burns is one such artist, but unterred he has produced a two volume compilation of music called Old Gods instead of a planned studio album. ‘Summer Of Hat’ is one of those songs from the 2020 lockdown, and as is his want, it’s a hazey shimmering slice of dreamy alt-pop that clocks in at a proggy seven minutes.
It’s Cool (featuring Shiv)
1000 Beasts dropped his full On A Different Page EP last week after previous features on this site, and ‘It’s Cool’ featuring rising artist Shiv is a highlight from the EP.
Rachel Mae Hannon
Be in Love
A debut here from Monaghan-born Dublin-based artist Rachel Mae Hannon, who says she is inspired by Hiatus Kaiyote, Amber Mark, London Grammar, Tom Misch and Oh Land, Charlotte Day Wilson.
You can hear strident heart-on-sleeve tones and sentiment on ‘Be In Love’ a song about “the importance of self-love and how it affects relationships with others.”
A ballsy bass funk rhythm from a Donegal singer and producer Aine O’Boyle isn’t something you hear often from this island.
‘Wisewords’ is a new release on Happyalone’s Real Fear record label, and it contains some of that Cork band’s wonky alternative styles in its DNA. Nobody Famous is producer/vocalist Jack Murphy and guitarist/vocalist Jake Hackett.
Northern Irish rapper and Class Craic producer Lacuna impresses with this short off-kilter rap jam.