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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.
Looking For You
‘Looking For You’ was written and produced by MacDermott with London-based Ross Fortune (A.K.A. Benny Smiles), on additional production.
“I started writing ‘Looking For You’ with Richey McCourt before the lockdown in 2020. It began life with a very different sound, more sombre and lo-fi. Ross Fortune took a risk on a more lush synth heavy sound. When I first heard it played back I was having a few beers on the canal with my girlfriend and I loved his interpretation. It felt like the right way to go, especially because of how uncertain those times were.”Gavin MacDermott
Spring Came (ft. Pippa Molony)
The prolific Dublin producer and DJ Rory Sweeney provides a short euphoric piece of music to match the longing in Pippa Molony’s words that centres on a contradiction of wanting something or someone you know isn’t good for you.
“It’s knowing all of that, and longing still. Spring Came is about not fully understanding what you want, so you yo-yo between two ends of the extremes: wanting it all, or wanting nothing. The compulsion and the shame that drives that way of thinking. The seesawing between pleasure and pain, and never finding the right balance.
The last verse, though, might be the most hopeful part of the song. Maybe it’s suggesting that spring is like a friend who carries you out of a dark period, and brings you back into the world. Spring is change, it’s hope. Growth. Its rebirth, and transformation and learning to live differently from the way you did before. More hopeful (and more welcomed) than autumn, spring’s a season sandwiched in the extremes. Living in the space between, where life happens.Pippa Molony
Jocks on Fire
Jack Hevey is the artist behind the electro-pop project Boyfrens. I’m digging this searching, scrolling track ‘Jocks On Fire’, the second single from a forthcoming EP, literally inspired by a physical and metaphysical search after the closure of Dublin creative hub Jigsaw.
‘I’m gonna dance like my jocks are on fire, If I can find a place with space for the people I admire.'”
I’m excited to hear the evolution of Newry’s Lauren Ann, who has already come a long way since I featured ‘How It Works’.
Now releasing on Faction Records and with Declan Legge producing (Jealous Of The Birds / Ciaran Lavery), the arrangement, confidence and delivery of ‘Adelaide’ assures it as Lauren Ann’s most competent song yet.
“Adelaide is a bit different to previous songs I’ve released. I wanted to experiment with a different sound. It’s about being with someone who has changed since meeting them, and so you’re unable to navigate where the relationship is going. It’s about wanting to go back to the way things were but not knowing how to so you’re losing yourself in the process.“
Following a feature in August for the Ireland-born, West London-raised Coex, for ‘Ballydehob’, and a selection for Brownswood/Gilles Peterson’s Future Bubblers grass roots artist development programme, Coex’s new song ‘Hold Me’ spins a coruscating light in its electronic DNA with a nod to reggaeton in its rhythm.
Cork trio Pretty Happy come across as a theatrical cabaret version of art-punk live and in some of their songs. The band’s newest Echo Boy EP is out November 14th and produced by John ‘Spud’ Murphy (Lankum, Black Midi) at Hellfire Studios in Dublin.
The EP’s title and artwork references the Echo Boy statue in Cork City by sculptor Barry Maloney which commemorates the paperboy street sellers of the Evening Echo newspaper.
The band from the rebel county like to sing overlapping each other to add to the chaos of a relatively straightforward bludgeoning rock song like ‘Boots’.
Being Jolene Feat. Cormorant Tree Oh
Always nice to hear a new one from Wicklow synth maestro Damien Lynch aka Diamond Dagger on Remote Town Records.
‘Being Jolene’ features the vocals of artist and musician Mary Keane aka Cormorant Tree Oh, and its ’90s bounce is inspired by “a time of badly lit house parties, shitty hash and XWorX jeans”
Big Fat Liar
A deceptively nice sounding song about a shitty person from Dubliner Monjola, produced by his brother, Moyo, and released on Chamomile Records (Aby Coulibaly is the third member of the label / “creative hub”).
“‘Big Fat Liar’ is fundamentally about trust. Putting your faith in the wrong person can have a detrimental effect on your well being and on the relationships. Not only does it affect you and the relationship but also affects any relationships that’ follow., romantic or otherwise. The song explores it from all aspects, initially from the hurt you feel and having to let go to finally accepting the fact that you’d been let down.”
Irish-German solo artist Avelina is pitching herself as an audio visual proponent of dark pop with a video that she directed, produced and chose the looks and costumes. An all-rounder.
“Intangible is about being out of touch with oneself. The concept of the video is that the three entity’s depict different states of my mind; the dark, the bright, the co-existence. The Darkness represents every negative, mean and cynical thought. The thoughts we keep to ourselves and never share. I wanted to create an almost graveyard statuesk entity. Always rooted in the background and is there for eternity The Brightness symbolises the positive, the light and kindness. when we are kind to ourselves the positively is always emulating off us, it has its own glow. This glow is what I was trying to recreate. The co-existence is the green entity. she symbolises the natural existence between the two strong emotions, always surviving.”Avelina
20-year-old Crybabyamy’s bright pop tune ‘Validation’ is about the perils of social media, and is the third single from the artist, who recently signed a publishing deal with BMG and has worked with UK producer Rob Milton (Holly Humberstone, Easy Life, The 1975).
“Validation is a song about being obsessed with the attention we get from posting and being on social media! I see it as an anthem for young people, who are going through the motions of having a love/hate relationship with social media, I know I struggle with the vicious cycle of picking up my phone and putting it down again! Always chasing validation!”
You Bleed Me
“Songs for the night, for the moon and its shadows,” is how Emmet Owls describes his sound with post-punk and synthwave influences also palpable from ‘You Bleed Me’.
The End Me EP is out the 11th of November on Blowtorch Records.
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.