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10 songs we love this week: John Francis Flynn, Rachael Lavelle, Pillow Queens, Heartworms

10 songs we love this week: John Francis Flynn, Rachael Lavelle, Pillow Queens, Heartworms


Featuring Fabiana Palladino, Jai Paul, John Francis Flynn, Rachael Lavelle, Pillow Queens, Heartworms, Nealo, Tomike, Jena Keating, Julia Holter, Sarah Crean.

Today is New Music Friday, which means there’s loads of new songs in the world.

Here are 10 songs released this week I loved from my listening this week, along with fresh ones in the New Music section.

See the end of the post for the Spotify playlist featuring much more than 10 tracks released this week, updated weekly.

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Fabiana Palladino, Jai Paul

I Care

2023 was the year that Jai Paul truly returned with live dates (he’s on tour in Australia right now) and communication where there was none before.

And now we have more music on the Paul Institute, the long-standing Jai Paul collaborator and live band musician Fabiana Palladino, (who supported Jai on those London shows I attended) returned with a duet with Jai this week.

The song was co-written and produced by Palladino and Jai Paul, and features on Palladino’s upcoming album.

A limited edition 7” vinyl will be released today also.

“I wrote this song on my Juno 106 one night at home and played it to Jai the next day. He instantly came up with a beat and we worked together on the track from there. I’ve always loved those Motown duets with Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, or Diana Ross and wanted to create a modern version of that. We’re playing with the way those duets have this quite clear notion of romance, love and relationships…we’re subverting that a little to explore normativity in relationships. Musically, we’ve tried to put all of the beauty, excitement, and tension of modern day love into this song.”

Fabiana Palladino.


Pillow Queens


The Dublin indie-rock band have released a fine new single called ‘Suffer’ – a song about the emotional fallout of “an unraveling of a once-cherished relationship,” with Northern Soul, along with Alt-J, Hozier, Feist, Black Pumas, stated influences. It’s the band’s first single of their new era, post-Leave The Light On album.

“We wrote it in the depths of winter at our rehearsal studio in Dublin, and the cold really penetrates the song.”

Full info.



John Francis Flynn

The Lag Song

‘The Lag Song’ is a song written by folk singer Ewan MacColl and performed by Luke Kelly and The Dubliners, and as the penultimate song on Dublin folkie Flynn, it is the penultimate song on new album Look Over the Wall, See the Sky.

The album marks a shift from his 2021 debut I Would Not Live Always, in that it takes recognisable trad and folk songs like ‘The Zoological Gardens’ and ‘Mile In The Ground’ and wraps them with an experimental cloth, a trick beautifully repeated on ‘The Lag Song’ as banjo and Flynn’s higher register lead the way over a dip into creaking stringed instrumentation.


Sarah Crean

The Subtle Art of Past

Following the release of recent Death By Laundry EP out on August 2nd through AWAL, along with recent single ‘What Do I Know?’ and ‘Wasted Youth’, Irish singer-songwriter Sarah Crean supported Blackpink at BST in Hyde Park and Bombay Bicycle Club on their UK dates.

The now Brighton-based artist, Crean debuts ‘The Subtle Art of Past, a fine new song with an video inspired by cult films Corpse Bride and The Addams Family – starring Sarah and an invisible man echoing the song’s sentiments.

“This is my favourite song that I’ve released so far. The premise of it and its story both feel so simple yet were so extremely therapeutic for me to write. I can remember just feeling so bitter and honestly seething a little bit when we made this and the whole song came very quickly because of that for sure. But at its core it is a song about just how extraordinary a person’s impact can be both in how they come into your life and how they leave. It just might take a wee bit of extra time to accept that.”

Original Post.


Rachael Lavelle

Night Train

After John Francis Flynn’s new album, the debut record from Rachael Lavelle – Big Dreams – is the other Irish album to be recommended today.

Rachael Lavelle is a world-building artist, creating unique liminal spaces for her off-kilter music to occupy, and she’s doing it in spades all over the new album, like on soaring ‘Night Train’, a song with Lavelle yearning for close contact, and solace. “come and fill the vacancy of hope / here lies the address / soften in sadness / Come and sing the Orinoco Flow.”

Big Dreams features the singles – ‘Let Me Unlock Your Full Potential’‘Perpetual Party’ and the title track , which features Luas announcer Doireann Ní Bhriain. Bandcamp.



May I Comply?

London artist Jojo Orme aka Heartworms comes through with post-punk theatricality on the spiky ‘May I Comply’ on Speedy Wunderground.

“When I wrote this track I just wanted to get over an ex and to tell my little brother he’s good enough… turned out to be a lot darker than I thought.”

See Also



A Good Time

Tomike is an artist just consistently dropping great tracks, and here the London-based Irish artist. ‘A Good Time’ features production from Jens Højager and Rory Sweeney.

It was “written from a place of trying to find a silver lining when you’re going through hardship.”


Jena Keating


London-based Cork artist Jena Keating is another Nialler9 favourite, with the artist’s latest addressing her experiences with Borderline Personality Disorder. Production is by collaborator S P A C E, who has also experienced BDP.

“In 2017 I sat inside a mental health hospital at my last appointment with an overworked employee who didn’t have much to give to himself not to mind anyone else. “Do you know what you have?” He muffled under what felt like a breath not bothered enough. “No”, and that’s when I was told “BPD”. Borderline Personality Disorder.

“’BPD’ was made exactly what it feels like to exist with it. Sounds, voices, perspectives, different people talking from each corner of the mind and the way the song moves is the feeling of that. Written and produced with two people who have BPD ( S P A C E who mixed and produced the beat ) this song is a minuscule journey of what it’s like inside with the lyric “chasing, chasing”. Constantly running after stability. One second your splitting “no sir” & “yes sir” the next dissociating “can’t stop dissociating feels like radiation, is this a movie or another depersonalisation?”.


Nealo, Morgana, Rach, Uly


A week out from the release of Nealo’s second album November Medicine, we get a listen to ‘Cereal’, a song about friendship that draws from Nealo’s friends – Morgana (Saint Sister), Rachie and Uly.

Hear also:  ‘Tears You Cry‘, ‘Only Human’ and ‘Forest’ featuring Morgana.

Nealo plays Whelan’s on November 17th, and Other Voices Dingle too.


Julia Holter

Sun Girl

LA-based singer-songwriter and composer Julia Holter released a new single on Domino this week – a drifting melange of bass, mellotron, Yamaha CS-60 synth, bagpipes and voice, it’s a woozy psychedelic near-six minutes of music, that sounds like the stretch of an early morning.

It’s Holter’s return to her solo work proper in a while since the Aviary album five years ago, or the 2020 single ‘So Humble In the Afternoon’. Since 2018, Holter has released a lot of collaborative once-offs.

Nialler9 Weekly Playlist

Nialler9 New Music Playlist

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.

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