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.
Kildare-born London-based artist April is wiping the slate clean with her upcoming mixtape Starlane on UK major Atlantic in September.
‘54321’ is a fresh sound for the artist, a more-underground-spun song with nods to Uk garage and drum’n’bass without losing sight of a pop hook.
‘54321’ was co-written with Matt Maltese and produced by Danny Casio (Joy Crookes, Griff), and takes inspiration from Pinkpantheress.
Love of Your Life
Dublin-based alternative Kynsy is also releasing a new five-track EP in September, entitled the Something To Do With Love EP.
‘Love of Your Life’ is a surprising ballad love song punctuated by a string arrangement that marks a new sound for the artist.
“‘Love of your Life’ is an expression of that feeling and thought process you go through when you first meet someone you really like. When you’re in the early stages of infatuation with them and you fantasise over what the two of you could possibly become in the future.”
The new EP was co-produced with Charlie Andrew (Alt-J). “Every song I gave to Charlie, he was like, ‘How can we make this weirder?’” Kynsy says.
30th July – Y Not Festival, Peak District
4th August – The Workman’s Club, Dublin (SOLD OUT)
2nd September – Electric Picnic, Co. Laois
No big grand statement on this new track from 22-year-old Irish artist Anita Ikharo.
‘Loving Girl’ is a simple song, with a simple desire from EFÉ’s forthcoming EP VITAMIN – C out on Wednesday August 3rd via Platoon. It includes previous singles ‘KIWI’ and ‘LIME’.
“‘Loving Girl’ is about the juxtaposition between pleasing other people and yourself. It’s about finding a middle ground while wanting to be liked and seen as this ‘loving girl’. I started creating the song as a joke, so it was actually like 90% freestyle. I feel like it really captured my headspace at that time – feeling disconnected from people because of miscommunication and trying to figure out how to be loved. It ties in with ideas of co-dependency and struggling with feeling like you can’t depend on yourself – that you need someone to make a great song or art, or to be in a relationship. That is why it was so important for me to include the song in the EP, as it was me challenging myself and depending on my ideas.”EFÉ
EFÉ Live Dates
11 August | Academy 2 | Dublin – headline show
14 August | Newquay | Boardmasters Festival
27 August | London | All Points East festival
02 September | Stradbally, Ireland | Electric Picnic
I’ll Be Ready
Formerly of Spies, Neil Dexter has released a fine line of singles since last year, and ‘I’ll Be Ready’ is the final and title song from the album to come on October 14th 2022.
The song is a textured triptych of compositional ideas that Dexter worked on with David A. Tapley (Tandem Felix) and recording engineer Stephen Dunne which expanded the song from the home demo.
Dexter plays his debut headline show in the Workman’s Cellar on October 20th.
“‘I’ll Be Ready’ confronts feelings of apprehension. I wrote the song when I was in my mid-to-late 20s, it’s about jumping into the next stage of your life and the fear of not knowing whether or not you’re ready to take those steps. In those moments, you try to reassure yourself by saying, ‘Ok, I’m ready. I’ll be able to do this,’ whilst simultaneously having a sense of uncertainty. I think at one point or another, everyone goes through this feeling of overcoming self-doubt.”Dexter.
Now You See it
Clare songwriter Susan O’Neill is back on her own steed with yet another September EP release on this page this week, the Now You See It EP, on September 14th. The EP was recorded in Los Angeles, Maine, Clare, and Wexford this spring with producer Tony Buchen (who also recorded her collaborative album with Mick Flannery last year – In The Game)
The title track is a stirring song with O’Neill’s typically magnetic vocals to the fore.
“Even if we lived to be 150 years old it would still just be a micro blip in the ripple of space. This song is looking from an in-between state of consciousness, neither dead nor alive anymore but someone that has lived, a mind looking at the world for what it is (and was) while on earth in the 21st century. It is fleeting and in constant decay which is part of the beauty. We endeavored to show a bit of that transitory nature in this video put together by Chris Luke.”
Susan O’Neill tour dates
July 31-Aug1 – Canmore Folk Festival, Canada
Aug 5-7 – Edmonton Folk Festival, Canada
Aug 11 – Club Passim, Boston, US
Aug 12 – Rockwood Music Hall, New York City, US
Aug 19-20 – Philadelphia Folk Festival, US
Aug 21 – NPR Mountain Stage, Charleston, WV, US
Aug 23 – The Blues Kitchen, Manchester, UK
Aug 24 – Thelka, Bristol, UK
Aug 27-28 – Tønder Festival, Denmark
Sept 11 – Clonakilty Guitar Festival, West Cork
Sept 15 – Cleere’s, Kilkenny
Sept 16 – Duncairn, Belfast
Sept 17 – Vantastival, Drogheda
Sep 30 – Spirit Store, Dundalk
Oct 1 – The Milk Market, Limerick +
Oct 6 – Whelan’s, Dublin
Oct 7 – INEC, Killarney
Oct 8 – Glór, Ennis
Oct 13 – Coughlan’s, Cork
Oct 14 – Róisín Dubh, Galway
Oct 27th – Imagine Arts Festival, Waterford
A loosey from Cork and Hausu label artist and producer Arthur Valentine with a singular take on an R&B summer track with off-kilter frizzy edges.
It was produced alongside Actualacid and Automatic Blue, and featuring additional production by Matthew Xavier Corrigan.
“I think writing Focus might’ve been the most natural any song has ever come to me. It all felt very stream of consciousness when writing it and I didn’t have to overthink any of it. The song just reflected whatever was on my mind at the time and whatever was on my mind, I said. That’s why when Jack, Drew and I came to producing the track, we didn’t want it to feel overthought or over produced. We wanted to keep the foundation of the track more minimal and stripped back and then to inject little elements of explosive instrumentation and production in the spaces and gaps where the song called for it.
“I guess I’ve been wanting to make a song like Focus for a long time, but have just recently gotten to a place personally and artistically where I’m comfortable doing it. I’ve reached a place where I’m not constantly second guessing myself and I’m happy to just make stuff that I want to make and not worry too much about everybody else.”Arthur Valentine
Mongoose singer Molly O’Mahony previously featured here with ‘Brother Blue’, and ‘Her Song’, is a self-described as “a big, gay love song.”
“A celebration, a bop, a monument, Dublin in the sun. It’s joyful, loud, hopeful & proud; queer as you like.”
There’s some lovely specific details in the lyrics here – how a partner looks in yoga pants, a coffee and a stroll in the Liberties, a noodle bar on Capel street, “man I’m buzzed to see ya”.
Molly O’Mahony’s debut Alex Borwick-produced album The House of David, will be released October 20th 2022.
The title pertains to the house of her close friend David, which she lived in for most of her twenties in Dublin.
“It is the place that allowed me to live and grow as an artist in the city. It’s also the site of so many of the events, love affairs, and cock-ups, which inspired this collection of songs?”
Through My Blood
Dublin-based singer/songwriter and producer Ben Hogan aka BENJAMYN brings an atmospheric electronic vibe to ‘Through My Blood’, with his own vocals over crunchy rhythmic drums and bleeping basslines.
BENJAMYN previously featured here with a collab with Banyah.
He also recently played live in Whelan’s on a Beardfire night.
Give You My Love
‘Give You My Love’ is the first of a lot of music made for the project – a sleek, bright electronic tune with some oblique eighties vives.
“I’ve written so much music over the years that I haven’t released and thought it would be such a shame to just leave all these songs on a dusty hard drive forever, so I decided to set up Amoodi and finally get them out to the world. Revisiting these songs has inspired me to rewrite and produce them to a whole new level I never thought possible at the time.”
On My Mind
I tried guys. But I just can’t escape the 1975 comparisons on the the title track from Modernlove.‘s new EP of the same name. Whether by accident or design, they have form, and they have found an audience with their ultra-shiny rock/pop music.
“Oh my mind explores the modern day neuroses of young people and the mental health challenges brought upon them by pop culture, the internet and most recently, the coronavirus lockdowns. I think we all went a little mad over lockdown and most of this EP was written in that state of social isolation. Without distraction or release from cycles of negative thought you can begin to spiral to the point of derealisation and being in a constant state of panic. But then we kinda juxtaposed that by a brighter and more playful sonic composition. I think as young people, we tend to joke about our mental health as a way of relating to one another and not feeling so alone in all of it. So it felt natural to write a poppy, upbeat song about such dark themes rather than treating them with a forced solemnity and formality.”
modernlove. November UK & Ireland Tour Dates:
2 – Birmingham – Hare & Hounds
3 – Manchester – YES! (Basement)
4 – Glasgow – The Garage (Attic Bar)
8 – London – Camden Assembly
9 – Bristol – The Louisiana
10 – London – Camden Assembly – SOLD OUT
11 – Leeds – Hyde Park Book Club
12 – Belfast, The Deer’s Head
13 – Derry, Sandino’s
17 – Listowel, Mike The Pies
18 – Limerick, Kasbah Social Club
19 – Cork, Winthrop Avenue
24 – Galway, Roisin Dubh
25 – Dublin, Button Factory
Jake Richardson is a session musician who has worked and played with the likes of Dermot Kennedy, Lyra, Mark Feehily, Robert Grace, Ryan Mack and Tim Chadwick among others.
JNR is his solo artist project inspired by the music of Honne and Bruno Major, and ‘Fallin’ is an immediately-hooky alt-pop track about “investing too much of yourself in someone too early when you’re not sure if the feeling is mutual.”
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.