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.
Elaine Mai, Sinéad White
Elaine Mai has announced her long-awaited debut album Home is to be released on October 8th with this collaborative song with Sinéad White that brings a euphoric strain to proceedings. It’s the third pairing after singles with Maykay and Ailbhe Reddy.
“Elaine and I have known each other for a long time. We are both collaborators of the electronic music producer Daithí, so our friendship has grown over the years. When Elaine asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a song for her album, I was really honoured. Just because you are friends with someone doesn’t mean that you are automatically going to work with them. Her care and consideration as a friend translated into a deliberate and conscious handling of each element of her songs. Nothing is there ‘’just because’; everything has been carefully considered.”Sinéad White
Cork R&B pop artist Rushes releases his full-length debut Glowchild last week, and it’s a capable opening long playing gambit of confident and sparkling music. Just take the escapist loved-up vibes of ‘Feeling Good’ with a bonus turn from Jafaris.
Rushes also released a new video there today as it happens:
‘Feel’ is a vibe of a track inspired by the smooth trap of Certified Lover Boy himself Drake.
Zimbabwe-born Belfast-based Leo Miyagee is up in the top tier of Northern Irish rappers. His latest release is the 10-track Act 3 album, from which ‘Function’ is among the standouts.
“Act 1 was me when I was, like, sixteen to nineteen. Act 2 jumps between me in primary school and the things that made me then, while Act 3, instead of venting, this time I wanted to write about me now; the going out, the meeting girls, the conversations.”
The Dublin rap duo of Wax White is Ballymun’s Damo Guilfoyle and Inchicore’s Gav Furlong who just released a sweet little EP called Young Fella, with tracks produced by Sharpson that give these rap tracks a club edge.
Ellen and Carla who make up ELKIN come across like an Irish Sylvan Esso on this new song ‘Tokens’.
“To us ‘Tokens’ is a celebration of all the memories we’ve made in our early 20s. We wanted to capture the nostalgia you feel when a song comes on and reminds you of the person who first showed it to you. This song is an homage to all the friends we’ve made along the way.”
Lucy Blue, the 9-year-old singer, songwriter and producer from Dublin signed to Sony Ireland has followed up her debut EP with this song using the titular as an exploration of control.
Pilot is about feeling really out of control of the things around you. Everyone can feel lost sometimes – even people who are meant to be in control. I always think about being lost when I am on a plane. I wander if a pilot has ever felt so lost even though its literally their job to know the way.”
You can see Lucy Blue live at The Academy Green Room in Dublin on November 18th and October 28th at The Grace in London.
40Hurtz, Jim Dollard
Limerick producer40hurtz has released To Wake a Sleeping Giant, an album that crosses metal and electronic textures on a 8-track release featuring appearances from Hazey Haze, Citrus Fresh, Jim Dollard, Krome and Strange Boy.
It ranges from electronic industrial dirges to low-end Death Grips-style barrages of sound. Check out the discombobulating scabrous sonics of ‘He’s Awake’ with Jim Dollard.
Very impressive stuff from a North Dublin producer called Aksent. The evocative ‘Flow’ with its break beats and vocal sample comes with a drone-assisted footage video and it’s taken from the producer’s debut album Alter Ego which came out last week.
“I started creating music during lockdown every day after work in my bedroom, I created over 80 songs and decided I wanted to narrow them down to make a full project. I work as a graphic designer by day so all the visuals in my album are also created by me, it’s a big part of what I want to do with my music. It’s a mash-up of a lot of different electronic music that I listen to, some songs are house, future garage, breakbeats, it’s a collection of my favourite genres.”
Check out Aksent here, along with another video for ‘Gone’ with footage of Dublin:
Belfast-based non-binary queer artist Adam Cleaver’s ‘Smoke’ draws on the intimate electronic pop that the likes of SOHN. It’s from an upcoming Part 3 EP, and the track is concerned with the period in lockdown 2020 when “queer people felt their sense of identity was slipping away.”
“Smoke is a song that confronts current attitudes, and expresses a lot of the hopelessness thatpeople were feeling at that time. It’s a damning indictment of a system that hurts more people than it helps – and how so many of us just want to be free of it.”
Conor from Brame & Hamo’s New Spectrum project releases its second single. ‘New Spectrum’ is crammed with big basslines, orchestral stirrings, pew-pew noises, pianos and breaks. It’s bursting with energy.