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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.
Robocobra Quartet’s new album Living Isn’t Easy is certainly up there with one of the finest albums of Sprechgesang alternative music released this year, and a fine Northern Irish contender for the end of year lists.
The band’s pre-release singles have suggested that but the album tracks are strong, like this penultimate song which twists and turns wonderfully with its bass switchup and lines like “Maybe Disneyland next year? This is the last one I swear.”
I could hear a decent rapper jump on the part at 02:40 tbqhwy.
Waterford brothers Clive & Scott Sullivan are dance producers SX2 whose latest release gets a seal of approval by releasing Moscoman’s tastemaker label Disco Halal.
Lead track ‘Miracle Mayhem’ is reminiscent of Justin Strauss, Marcus Marr and Joe Goddard’s Extra Credit project while B-side ‘Where We’re At’ is squelchy electro in the style of Boot & Tax, all swirling synths and floaty vocals, over shape-shifting beats. Fun is their ethos and there’s a lot to be had here with these tracks.
Breath Me In
We’re keeping a keen eye Scottish/Irish duo, Angelica Black and Irish producer Emmet Carey aka Strabe who have turned out a fine few tracks of late.
‘Breathe Me In’ is their latest single wonky electro-pop jam with something I haven’t heard in a while – a harmonica solo.
Their JUVENOIA EP is out on PIAS on July 22nd.
Pat Lagoon, Harriis
Let the sun
Encapsulating the seasonal vibes is Waterford’s Pat Lagoon, along with vocals from Harriss, are presumably no longer looking out the window waiting for a good summah to happen.
“I spent some time looking through my window whilst working from home the past year and just thinking about the city breaks, weather and the mischief. I feel I am in a much better place mentally and physically since making the transition from college life to the real world and I wanted a song that easily puts you in that positive mood and brings you to that happy place. It’s the type of track you want playing in the background when you are road tripping with a few mates and anticipating what’s to come that day.”
From Dublin band Melts new album Maelstrom released last week, ‘Circular’ is the buzz-saw synth rock song that stood out to me on an early listen, not including the recent singles also featured here. I’m a sucker for a good rolling rock bassline and you probably are too. Also, cannot be mad at comparisons to The Horrors’ Primary Colours era.
The third single from Dublin alt-rock four-piece band Mr. Pink is all bright taut new wave chords and Strokes-esques bassline, with a Britpop-leaning vocal.
“This is a song about breaking out of a small town in Ireland and challenging
the things that people say to put you down,” they say.
“People can look down on that and tell you not to stick out. This song represents all those things people can say to you and can make me you feel like you’re trapped in small town Dublin. I wanted to express those feelings that a lot of Irish people share. The lyrics really emphasise that.”-Jonah Rennicks (Singer/Guitarist).
Kildare producer Samuel Powell closes the loop on his two-track Aries EP after the title track with ‘Elsione’ built on euphoric synth pads and a bassline, that kicks up a notch with some percussive hits as it rolls on.
‘Elsione’ is more club-focused than ‘Aries’. Instead of intricate drum programming, it focuses on emotional pads, an ever-growing lead, and a driving bassline. One for any BICEP/Overmono fans, it’s reaching for that euphoric anthem sound.
Yinyang is the Northern Irish artist Lauren Hannan whose punky hip-hop gets a good flex here on ‘Take My Money’.
The artist got some coverage on BBC Introducing and says the son’s lyrics “tell a raw, relatable tale of depression, antidepressants and how she’s frustrated that her happiness depends on an over-the-counter remedy that she must pay for. In self-soothing shediscovered most self-help materials saying something daft like ‘Happiness is the best medicine’, which infuriated her, so she regurgitated Happy Money.”
It’s Like (1000 Beasts Remix)
Maybe it’s the nice weather or maybe it’s a coincidence but there’s a fair amount of laid-back summery tunes this week. Witness the cool splash of ‘Runway’ from Dublin five-piece Papa Romeo, the third single from the band’s jazzy indie R&B project, which “tells the story of reluctant emigration, heartache and cold feet when leaving people behind.”
Papa Romeo are Paddy Rogers, Mark Rogers, Rob De Boer, Chris Wong and DAny Coyne.
Only Your Pressure
Irish producer Blimp drops a Bicep-inspired shimmering break-beat house-cut with neon-dripping vocals. An expansive listen.
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.