A lot music from Ireland and Northern Ireland comes Nialler9’s way and every week, we listen through it all and select the tracks from emerging artists and some established acts that deserve to be heard by you.
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, follow our Spotify playlist or hit up the Irish section for individual track features.
It’s always nice to hear something new from EFÉ. The 21-year-old bedroom pop artist Anita Ikharo was last featured here in 2020, and is back with a team around her.
‘Kiwi’ is a bright and summery pop tune, all melodics and twinkling instrumentation, a lovely bop.
Now that things are back in a live capacity, you can see EFÉ supporting JPEGMAFIA in Dublin next month, Still Woozy later this year in Europe and UK, along with shows at The Great Escape and Forbidden Fruit.
‘Kiwi’ comes with a video conceptualised, directed, shot and even part-edited by EFÉ, produced by Collective Films It’s taken from forthcoming EP VITAMIN – C, out in June and was co-produced with her best friend who.killed.romeo as well as by Ben Baptie (Rex Orange County, Little Simz, Moses Sumney).
EFÉ says she resonated strongly with Rachel Chinouriri’s recent open letter about being wrongly stereotyped as an ‘RnB’ artist.
When I saw Rachel Chinouriri’s tweets, I was like ‘this has been my exact thoughts for so long!’. Getting labelled as just straight up RnB was definitely something I was quite shocked by as I feel like my music has strong elements of indie/alternative and bedroom pop. I even made jokes about how a black person could make full on metal music and it would still be called ‘alt-RnB’. I always questioned myself, that maybe I was just reading into it too much – so when Rachel put it into words, it was so nice and reassuring to know I wasn’t the only one who felt this way.”
Let Me Stay
The Dublin band Stomptown Brass return with a song that shakes off the second line brass band tag with a more psych-jazz and electronic take on their sound than they’ve released before.
‘Let Me Stay’ adds in new spacious textures while keeping the raw brass band energy. Watch the fun video by Kate Hurley and you can catch the band’s live return at Whelan’s on Saturday.
Heart of a Nation
Dublin band Columbia Mills’ new song ‘Heart of a Nation’ hangs heavy with the tribulations of the housing crisis in Ireland right now, shining a focus on the disadvantaged, with a song that recalls the band’s main late ’80s / early ’90s alternative influence with a darker more insistent tone than normal, understandable given the subject matter.
“’Heart of a Nation’ documents the housing crisis in Ireland, with each verse tackling a different aspect of the problem. From a mother sleeping with her children in a Garda station to the crooked businessmen and politicians that have caused the housing crisis in Ireland. Heart of a Nation peels back the political rhetoric and looks at the real people affected when the ruling class looks out for themselves.”Singer Fiachra Treacy
Blue Niall, Celaviedmai
New Celtic Flow
Rapper, music producer, artist and designer Blue Niall has spent the last couple of years since his 2019 releases pushing his sound forward, taking infleunce from trad music and combining it with modern trap, grime, hip hop, and club music, along with rapping in Irish.
With that in mind, ‘New Celtic Flow’ comes across like a mission statement for his return, with a trad-flute loop sample, bodhrán, verses as Gaeilge and Galway rapper Celaviedmai on the track, which sports minimal production and a banging low-end.
It’s the first single from a concept album Oisín: A Modern Retelling of the Legend of Tír na nÓg out in September.
Look out for a video with Diabhal666 and Peter Donnellan soon which promises “a trippy montage through Ireland past, present and future, from the lens of a Ryanair flight”
It’s Just Cat
Not A Vibe
Vibe shift. After impressing with debut electro-pop single ‘Ache’, It’s Just Cat’s newest song ‘Not A Vibe’ is on more of an acoustic soul tip, and is song about standing up for yourself and your truth.
“Not a vibe” is a reflection of my personal experience of the music industry. It’s a clap-back at people who have attempted to copy me while telling me I’m not good enough. The chorus celebrates the freedom I feel by cutting out people who bring bad vibes and the positive energy of the track represents my everlasting confidence that I’m happier than ever when I’m doing music. A feeling that is all my own and completely untouchable.it’s just Cat
See Cat live on tour supporting Robert Grace and Crawlers.
March 24th @ Cyprus Avenue, Cork (Supporting Robert Grace)
April 16th @ The Academy, Dublin (Supporting Crawlers)
Calling all soft psych fans, Limerick’s Martian Subculture is a purveyor of such smudgy psychedelic rock sounds that fans of Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Yenkee can get behind.
‘Bitter’ is from the forthcoming debut album Bank Prologue, getting a release with New York City independent label 22TWENTY.
Ultimately, the album is an experience of a city on an alien planet, which to the potential listener, highlights my experience of feeling alien on our own planet, as a human/artist/being.”Martian Subculture
Carol Keogh – Wolf
Songwriter Carol Keogh has returned with a solo project / alter-ego entitled The Wicc, which will encompass multiple albums under the banner The Wolf Chronicles for which the artist has worked on – self-composed, recorded and mixed – over the last few years.
The Wicc will tell the story of a lycanthrope / werewolf, and debuts with Wolf, an album which was released yesterday, which comes with an extensive artwork booklet and notation for each song.
The second track ‘Sheep’s Clothing’ is an 8-minute plus track which I took to – it’s an eerie song of discordant and switching styles, gently creeping across its running time with flourishing rhythms and strings, while Keogh tells the tale of the aforementioned apocryphal wolf.
The wolf has moved on
I woke up and he was gone
I heard he found a washerwoman in a fishing town
And she has a great big barrel
For washing out his sheep’s apparel
I must find a pen and page and put this burden down
J. Cowhie / Comte
J. Cowhie is no stranger to Nialler9. The now Malmö-based Irish musician is back with a second album under the name c o m t e, which is an ambient release that utilises field recordings and the artist says:
Whereas the first c o m t e album ‘Of Clear Light’ (Wow & Flutter Records) was a meditation on loss, Cipher is more of a meditation on life and the world around us. Bringing the use of field recordings and organic textures further into the fore. The album was made with the idea of gently guiding the listener back to their environment, with an emphasis on the healing nature of sound, through repetition, vibration & meditation.
Every Moment We Breathe
We don’t get to hear a lot of new drum & bass music these days so I was pleasantly surprised to hear Thirty7, a new Dublin collective formed by electronic producer GRYFT and a poet called Comhar.
When it’s at its best, drum & bass has a transportive quality, which the opening track ‘Everything We Breathe’, from their EP Time For A Change has. I like the subtle use of Comhar’s lyrics throughout this warm liquid production.
Tell Your Mother
The X Collective’s Zapho‘s new single which dropped today ahead of Mother’s Day this weekend to shine a light on a queer daughter telling her mother about her sexuality.
The song eschews Zapho’s normal jazz, pop and and soul sounds for a slower ballad that uses a 100 year-old piano that the artist got for free.
‘Tell Your Mother’ explores “the feelings around telling your mother about your own sexuality, and the fear around losing this deep matriarchal connection. A nervous closeted girl, in a love triangle of sorts. Trying to tell the woman she loves dearly, about a new found love.”
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, hit up the Irish section for individual track features.
For this and more Irish songs, follow the Nialler9 New Irish Spotify playlist.