A lot of Irish and Northern Irish music comes Nialler9’s way and there’s little time to feature everything we think is worthy of a thumbs up or more ears. Every week, we collate the new songs from emerging artists that deserve to be heard by you.
Belfast band Enola Gay have made a relatively big splash in a year of nothing happening with performances at Ireland Music Week, Eurosonic and SXSW.
The band tap into the current wave of Irish post-punk rock that’s prevalent while also harking back to Northern Ireland’s rich heritage in producing such acts. ‘Sofa Surfing’ was recorded with Chris Ryan (Robocobra Quartet/ Just Mustard/ NewDad) and is informed by a real life experience.
“…a personal insight into the fallout of a turbulent chapter in their teens and how subsequent substance abuse followed an eviction from their home, before returning with the emotional and mental baggage in addition to the destructive effects it had on their deteriorating mental health.”
Dundalk man Shane Clark is back with new Elephant music and asking the big questions.
“I hit a stage in my life where I had to decide what was important. It got me thinking about the ups and downs to each avenue of life. I could concentrate on my career, make a lot of money, but give up my free time… I could throw myself into my passion, but would I end up broke?! I couldn’t quite figure it out… so I just wrote a song about it instead!”
Chris Ryan plays drums on this too, as it happens.
Gaptoof ft. MANIK MC, Lex Amor & Carrie Baxter
Soft Boy producer brings together London-based artists MANIK MC, Lex Amor and Carrie Baxter on one of his typically lush beats.
Limerick rapper Strange Boy has embraced folk and trad textures in his music (produced by Enda Gallery) that he has really made his own. Ahead of the release of debut album HOLY / UNHOLY on June 25th, what you hear on ‘Prayers’ is a one-take vocal over flute, bodhrán, banjo and subtle beats. Strange Boy’s cathartic and impassioned words brandish real emotion and fire.
Following up the wonderful ‘Martha’, Mayo singer-songwriter shows a new track from her forthcoming debut album.
Maria says she imagines ‘eight hours’ as a conversation – trying to explain to someone exactly why you’re struggling, but invalidating your experience every step of the way.
“You convince yourself that it’s just one single thing, and that if you could just find it, fix it, get over it – everything would be ok again. Ironically, through that process of invalidating, there’s so much pressure, guilt and shame, which just sends us further into that spiral.
As seen on last week’s District and NCH show Extra Terrestrial, the Belfast-based artist Alicia Raye enlists Reggie, A9Dbo Fundz, Smilez and Larry Alabi on a drill-style R&B pop track.
Sonja Sleator and Daniel Lynch’s Embarcadero project is on its third single and putting collaboration at the heart of what it does. ‘Down’ a fine indie rock song with sparse instrumentation and Sleator’s voice at the centre of its appeal features Frank Turner’s drummer Nigel Powell and producer Alex Loring (Rews, Fangclub) on the boards.
It’s the latest in a series of singles the band produced with support from Help Musicians, enlisting several guest musicians and producers to work on music written and recorded remotely across the UK and Ireland. Other musicians featured in the new project include Michael Mormecha (Mojo Fury, Amy Montgomery), Sarah Branigan (Jaxson), Joe Capel (Small Pond Records), Scott Halliday (Prince, John Grant, Gavin Glass) and bassist Calvin Wells.
Dublin trio Just Wondering (Wale Akande, Jack O’Shaughnessy and Adam Redmond) dropped their third single last week, from their 7-track EP Float Over , which is out on June 17th.
“’Bicycles’ is about an ideal life with our mates, in the perfect setting. Moving “slower” on bikes is a way of saying that taking it easy and not moving fast allows time to appreciate life. It’s also about how, as we get older, being with friends feels more like being home than anything else, and obviously we miss all of our friends a lot these days…”Adam Redmond
Give Me Good Reason
Reminiscent of Hozier’s ‘Work Song’ in tone with handclaps and hummed melodies, Susan O’Neill’s newest gospel and blues-infused song was languishing on a hard drive before Susan and Mick Flannery dusted it off and finished it. Finishing a song really can be the hardest thing.
On Saturday 29th of May, Susan and Mick Flannery will showcase new songs from their forthcoming duet album, with a special streaming concert from the stage of Glór Theatre in Co. Clare. Tickets here.
A London-based artist with Irish roots qualifying under international football representation rules (her Irish mother sang with Shane MacGowan of The Pogues, presumably professionally), Molly Burman’s bedroom pop is bright, melodic and very nice.
An EP Fool Me With Flattery is out in August.
This shimmering new moody pop single from Fya Fox has a deeper meaning brought on by the artist’s grandmother passing.
“This song is really about this idea/belief of meeting again in an afterlife. The SUNSET is kind of that space between this life and the next.”
Bright retro alt-guitar pop with electronic undertones from an unknown duo which definitely has Radiohead vibes. It’s the second single from the Gorgeous Wrecks‘ forthcoming album Gentle Art of Persuasion, released later this year.