Alot of Irish and Northern 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 new songs from emerging artists that deserve to be heard by you.
21st Century Woman
Having previously collaborated with Arvo Party, the Northern Irish singer with a big pop voice, Alice LA dropped ’21st Century Woman’, a big retro-synth indebted Scandinavian pop belter that serves as a call for gender equality.
Who knew Easter week was a time for club pop bangers? Like Alice LA before them, Kollidr’s ‘Heartbeats’ leans on big ’90s throwback dance pop soundscapes to excellent effect. The duo are originally from Galway and Kilkenny who formed in England in 2018.
From a forthcoming EP, DYVR (it’s pronounced “Diver”) hooks up with spoken word artist Benjamin Yellowitz on a delicate electronically-fused pop track about self-acceptance.
“Holding Back is a song about the masks we wear in order to feel like we’re part of the world. Before I began my journey into self-acceptance, I was performing a role; going through the motions of what I had been taught was the natural order of things. As queer people, we aren’t educated about the possibilities of what our identities could be, so we can only choose to try and fit as much of ourselves into the limited space we are given. I wrote ‘Holding Back’ as a way of asking the question, ‘should real love hold me back?’ This song is about dropping the mask, and learning to love who you truly are. This is a journey I’m still on, but one that empowers me more every day.”
‘Bubbles’ is a fine R&B track from the Dublin songwriter and singer Darcy Faith, who has previously toured with Chasing Abbey. There’s lots of this laid-back style around at the moment but ‘Bubbles’ plays to its strengths. It’s out now on Waterford’s Anomaly Collective.
It’s been five years since the Mayo musician Conor Walsh passed away. Here, fellow Mayo native and friend of Conor’s pays tribute with a harp version of Conor’s most well-known song ‘The Front’.
“As a young musician, I was always a huge admirer of Conor’s work. Growing up in Co. Mayo, Conor and I shared similar musical styles, both heavily informed by the rural landscapes and rich heritage the west of Ireland has to offer. He was a profound influence on my musical development and his words of advice and encouragement still resonate with me today. Learning ‘The Front’ was a difficult yet deeply fulfilling challenge for me, Conor made it sound so easy, which epitomises just how great of a composer he was. I hope that I have managed to do it justice.”
Your Love (My Way)
References to the music of Angel Olsen and St. Vincent make a lot of sense to HALLI’s newest track ‘Your Love (My Way)’, which is a compliment indeed.
“It’s a song about selfish love, born from the delusions of expectation. The energy is both desperate and unrestrained, as the music and words spiral from self pity, towards a place of self reflection.”
Wild (feat. Lisa Hannigan & I Have a Tribe)
A typically brittle and beautiful arrangement from Sun Collective. ‘Wild’ has an interesting backstory in that frontman Caimin Gilmore gave over the creative control of the track to Patrick O’Laoghaire of I Have a Tribe, and Lisa Hannigan sings on the song as well.
“I wanted to let go of the usual songwriting patterns I utilise when I was making ‘Wild’. In that regard, I relinquished control to Patrick O’Laoghaire (I Have a Tribe), to arrange & steer the ship through his piano arrangements. I have played Lisa’s music for a number of years. As is her nature, she always generously offered to work on mine. ‘Wild’ & the upcoming single, ‘New Light’, were immediate fits when I thought of her voice within the context of our music. I am so humbled & grateful that she lent her unbelievably beautiful & unique voice to the project. Like everything she does, it lifted the songs to a level beyond what I could have imagined for them. The video was a collaborative brainstorm between myself and Kev Cahill. He distorted background credits & rendered characters from out of copyright films to create the vibrant primary colours & striking characters; made them dance & animated the subject matter of the song… I have a little cameo as well.’Caimin Gilmore
The song was produced by Ross Turner (Lisa Hannigan, Villagers), recorded by Ber Quinn (John Grant, Divine Comedy), with accompanying film by award winning director / writer and VFX specialist, Kevin Cahill (VFX – Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Alice in Wonderland).
The song is on Bandcamp.
Rain On Tent
Lets Go For A Walk
Rain On Tent is an ambient project from songwriter and composer Kevin McNamara who works as a music therapist in mental health, dementia care and acquired brain injury. ‘Let’s Go For A Walk’ is a edifying meander of a song, the first of three tracks from an EP. Each song is accompanied by a fitting video by Kieran Sherry Sheridan (who makes videos as Chromatic)
When the Cork beat maker CLM should have been working from home during these trying times, he was probably just making beats instead. The cheekily-titled Working From Home is an 11-track collection of dusty samples and hip-hop production.
Working from Home is released on today April 1st 2021 and is available as a name-your-price download at https://clmclmclmclm.bandcamp.com/ .
The Swedish Railway Orchestra
Workman’s DJ regular Rob Smith is a hard man to keep up with. His The Swedish Railway Orchestra project has a decent sized discography and he’s just dropped a 30-plus collection of tracks on Bandcamp called The Past Is Unpredictable : Select Electronic Recordings 2016-2021.
I haven’t had a chance to listen to even half of it but I can already recommend the bouncy ‘High’, the third track from the collection of electronic instrumentals.