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 Place Above
Moxie’s cross-pollination of trad and contemporary pop production never really landed with me in a strong way before, but the addition of Josh Sampson on drums and French singer Julia Spanu means the band are a different proposition now.
but the band’s new single ‘The Place Above’ leans more on the latter without ditching the former, and I think it’s musically a more interesting amalgamation. The lyrics were written by Spanu about her adopted home.
An album called The Dawn of Motion is released on 3rd September.
The band have tour dates:
Fri. 3 Sept Doolin Hotel, Clare Tickets
Sat. 4 Sept Claremorris Folk Festival, Mayo https://claremorrisfolkfestival.com/
Fri. 17 Sept. Meet Me In The Garden, Birr
Tue 21 Sept. Monroes, Galway
Sun. 26 Sept. Andersons Live, Sligo
Rosa Zajac & Daragh Lynch
The Burning of Auchindoun
Rosa Zajac & Daragh Lynch (Lankum) have released a re-imagining of ‘The Burning of Auchindoun’ on London folk collective Broadside Hacks’ upcoming compilation album Songs Without Authors Vol. 1 out digitally on September 11th, and vinyl on September 24th, which also features tracks from Junior Brother, Pixx, Yorkston Thorne Khan, Brigid Mae Power and Katy J Pearson.
‘The Burning of Auchindoun’ is based on a story which dates back to 1592 in the North East of Scotland. The late 18th century ballad tells the tale of Willie MacIntosh’s revenge on the Earl of Huntly for the murder of MacIntosh’s kinsman, the Earl of Moray.
“We recorded the track with Chris Barry at Ailfionn Studio in Dublin. This is where much of the instrumental section and outro were arranged, using a combination of acoustic and vintage electronic instruments, as well as Chris’ array of weird and wonderful analogue recording gadgets. The track is definitely influenced by the arrangements of Shirley and Dolly Collins and BEAK>, amongst others.”Daragh Lynch
“I learnt this song from my sister at a very early age and have sung it regularly ever since, mostly unaccompanied or with the harp. I’ve generally sung an abridged version, but managed to piece together verses from different sources for this recording. The song evokes such strong images of the event I almost feel like I’ve seen it. Running bodies and flames, Scotland’s clans and their bloody loss of life.”Rosa Zajac
Something In The Water
‘Something In The Water’ is the first single from London-based Irish R&B singer Carrie Baxter’s new What Now EP (October 22nd) – a bright guitar-assisted track about wanting wellness along with a bit of hedonism. The track was produced by Gramm.
“It is an ode to youthfulness and decisions that bring momentary joy but leave a bad taste in your mouth, both metaphorically and literally… There was a point in my life I thought perhaps meditation and yoga sessions would save me and outweigh the awful things I was doing to my body – but I was young and naive and failed to recognise that the real practice is out in your life, not on a mat! Thank heavens I am wiser than the situations in this song now.”
The North Dublin Afro-Irish artist GNS‘ new song ‘Bibs’ takes inspiration from the Jaden Smith’s 2019 Erys album. I like the the journey that the song takes, as if it’s floating between big sounds in and out of focus, with the bass underscoring its insistence.
A follow on from the feature for the 22-year-old here in July, Cheesmore’s latest song reminds me of the tones of Soft Boy’s Kean Kavanagh set to shuffling garage-leaning beats and Baths-esque electronics. Nice!
Blondmodel’s latest track is a floaty falsetto electro-popping track about a one night stand with an ex. Stil, it sounds like they haven’t been stung too badly, as this tune is a bop.
All The Luck In The World
‘Only Avenues’ is inspired by feeling small in the Big Apple.
“It sprang from feeling the subway shake the room in the basement of a bookshop, and it’s basically about feeling very small/insignificant, but then finding a sort of solace in the company you keep and the human experience. That all the giant buildings are pointless without the people to fill them.”
In My Head
Afro-Irish artist Xona is back with his new solo single post-XO MO. ‘In My Head’ is a big dramatic pop song made with production that is indebted to wavy electronica, soul and R&B. Production is by Michael Heffernan.
‘In My Head’ is a song about falling deep for someone after just a small encounter, and racing through far-fetched fantasies of real everlasting love. “I’ve come around to overwhelming feelings like these. I think it’s a universal situation, it happens to everyone, and I believe those feelings, at the time, to be real and valid”
‘In My Head’ is out now on Berlin/Dublin based record label Welcome to the New World.
The final single from five-piece Somebody’s Child’s Staying Sane EP (out soon) is a song about a simple and universal stubbornness that is inherent in a lot of people, frustration to the band’s indie pop style.
Clare Sands ft. Brídín
Iontach Bheith Beo (Good to be Alive)
Friends Clare Sands and Brídín’s collaboration here is folky stomper with a mystical quality to it. The tune was recorded in Enniscrone over a week spent working together, and is an ode to the county Sligo.
Luke Rabbitte’s Type Face A/V project’s ‘Circling Away’ is a cathartic spoken-word-lead track inspired by techno raves and a car crash.
The song centres around a narrative of four friends involved in a car crash but from this bedrock explores the higher strata of friendship, the beauty of youth, and the tragic waste that comes with misdirected intelligence – a waste felt ever more keenly with more and more of Ireland’s brightest talent searching beyond the domestic veil for the sake of their future.
Arc Of The Rising Sun – Neil Flynn’s Rhythm Re-Arrange Mix
Producer Neil Flynn takes on a track from Cork artist Patrick Hatchett’s K3:lu’s recent album, and lasers in on the percussion and looped guitar lick as the centre, adding some dub hits and psychedelia to proceedings. The song is on Bandcamp.
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.