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.
The Galway composer and singer Anna Mullarkey was one of our first guests of the year when she chatted to us for the podcast on Black Gate in Galway.
Falling, Mullarkey’s debut album on Strange Brew was released last week, and showcases a chestt of sounds that draws from West of Ireland tradition, orchestration and ambient electronic textures. It was recorded both at Black Gate and the the Beekeepers in County Clare.
‘Please’ is an early-listen highlight, a stirring song that draws on all those elements in a paean for authenticity.
Mouth of the Isthmus
Staying in the West, with the ambient tag, the Belmullet multi-instrumentalist producer Seamus O’Muineachain has already released one album this year (Different Time Zones) and is planning Isthmus, his sixth, in October.
With an Irish/Italian/American background and teen years spent as a boxer, O’Muineachain‘s musical path is a lighter one than a sweaty punch bag, with ambient compositions that are delicately poised and reflective in nature.
After featuring here with a song from Maria Kelly’s Postcards Versions and releasing ‘I Am Old Enough To Know What Love Is’, the Northern Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery has released the second single from the upcoming EP Another Night At The Self-Indulgence Hotel.
“It’s not a love song. It’s a song about love” says Lavery, of the memorable song which was a group effort, cowritten with Morgana MacIntyre (Saint Sister) and featuring recording contributions from Joshua Burnside and Tom Tabori (Robocobra Quartet), Lavery, alongside producer and composer Dan Byrne-McCullough.
“I am prone to overthinking and second-guessing matters that may not need to beCiaran Lavery
over-analysed – that’s what the song does, it takes something that is good and asks why, what if, and is it deserved?”
Break My Own Heart
“Just like smoke I don’t know where you go…”
Ahead of appearances at Electric Picnic and Irish Music Week, 22-year-old singer-songwriter London-based Dubliner Lucy McWilliams has released ‘Break My Own Heart’, a warmly-arranged dreamy pop song addressing insecurities in a relationship.
“Break My Own Heart is about self-sabotage within a relationship; being scared of being close to someone so you intentionally push them away before they can cause heartbreak to you. It’s that fear of rejection and preparing yourself for the hurt before they can hurt you.
Drum machine electro post-punk and darkwave is the vibe from new Irish outfit Bean Sí on their debut single ‘Nyctophobia’.
Very little info shared apart from the song link, but I dig it. A little bit like Nixer.
is Macseoin is Dublin-born Ethan Jones, an electronic producer who namechecks DJ Poolboi, Mura Masa and Shaolin Cowboy as influences. ‘These Feelings’ is their debut single, a vocal-twisting production with pounding beats and low bass.
“These Feelings are nostalgia and warmth, a longing to redo the summer youMacseoin
just had, and vivid snapshot of moments racing through your head”.
A music video shot over the course of a month in Berlin, London,
Edinburgh and Dublin which “depicts the euphoric lust for life amongst youth in a post-covid world,” is released tomorrow.
Zach James Douglas
You’re Still Everything
Dublin producer Zach James Douglas has released the latest single from his solo project which teams up with vocalists on bouncy bright electronic productions.
‘You’re Still Everything’ features vocals from English singer Lupupa, and a track that draws on musicbox sounds, strings, piano and percussive elements to form a bright whole.
“With my previous single “I’d Breathe For You”, the focus was based around the challenges faced by an individual, struggling to build meaningful connections during lockdown, but with “You’re Still Everything” I felt it was important to acknowledge those who put others before themselves and served as a rock for the ones they love, who couldn’t quite cope with the weight of the pandemic on their own. The level of mental fortitude required to maintain any relationship during lockdown is immense, but for those who have to carry the additional weight of a partner struggling to keep their heads above water, requires a level of compassion and empathy that I find awe inspiring. Unfortunately, a number of relationships within my social circle crumbled throughout covid, that notwithstanding, would probably still be going strong today. As sad as this is, it was always inevitable that some may not make it out the other end, but I’d like to think that for many of those relationships that did manage to weather the storm, that they have now forged a new level of resilience that might not have existed before and that their brightest days may still be let to come.“Zach James Douglas
Love Command 0
Jamie of Fight Like Apes & his wife Bex debuted Italo-disco-influenced debut single as Love Command 0 recently which I loved, and here’s ‘Glass’ the second single from the forthcoming album.
Italo is not dead.
Dublin musician and producer Orán Magan has released the Feel Pretty Good Mixtape last week, and among its lo-fi kaleidoscopic songs is this summery melodic track featuring saxophone, a collaboration with Typeface.
Ireland-born, West London-raised Coex’s ‘Ballydehob’ takes inspiration from the West Cork town where the artist wrote some of the sweeping contemporary sounds heard on the track. Combined with jazzy drums, repeating vocals, and glitching effects, it recalls the gentler side of the music of Floating Points and Mount Kimbie.
“The track is named after the place. After a difficult time I went there by myself to just write some music and this track just seemed to be born from the surroundings I was in. The serene environment found its way into the music and then the rest followed from there”.
Coex was recently selected to participate in Brownswood/Gilles Peterson’s Future Bubblers grass roots artist development programme.
Live Love Perish
After featuring here in June with an Outsider Ents collaboration with My Twisted Heart and Kestine, Outsider YP drops a 94-second track that falls somewhere between chiptune, synth and trap music.
Signs Of Joy
Telebox are a young Galway-based band who I met at the recent IYMAs in the RDS.
Joe Kelly Conall Ó Floinn, Stevie Healy and Eoin Killeen’s second single is ‘Signs Of Joy’ is an lo-fi indie bop. The band from the west.
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, hit up the Irish section for individual track features
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