Featuring Just Wondering, Luz, Archy Moor, Melina Malone, Pursued By Dogs, Ellen Sleator, Joel Harkin, Rhosi, Adam O’Rua, Josef Mac, Martellos, Lucy Bell.
A lot of music from Ireland and Northern Ireland comes our way and every week, we listen through it all, sift the list down to a manageable list and share the best new tracks from emerging artists and some more established acts that deserve to be heard by you.
Chain On Legs
Fresh from supporting Denzel Curry, Dublin rapper Archy Moor comes through with a bumping bright rap track produced by frequent collaborator Earl Saga.
Long Sunny Weekend
There’s no doubt that the Dublin electronic / hip-hop / pop trio Just Wondering are adept are making earworm zeitgeist tracks with their latest single ‘Long Sunny Weekend’, an evocative ode to friends.
If I was to offer a criticism on their output it’s that a lot of the songs have the same sonic and rhythmic vibe so they can be hard to distinguish from each other if you’re just a casual listener.
It’s been a while since we heard from Luz (pronounced ‘Luce’), the Irish Argentinian artist with a gift for memorable folk pop songwriting that has received 120 million Spotify listens to date.
‘Sustain’ continues in the vein established by the artist’s early releases during lockdown with lyrics inspired by a recent ADHD diagnosis. It was released ahead of upcoming dates:
Thu 5th Cork, Crane Lane
Fri 6th Dublin, Academy Green Room
Tue 10th London, Omeara
“This song is about feeling like you’re constantly messing things up and ruining the lives of the people around you because you’re so unreliable. Even though I go through good phases, I feel like this at some point every day. I recently got diagnosed with ADHD, which makes a lot of sense, and I feel like this is the song that really reflects that experience for me.”
Melina Malone is in her feels on ‘True Luv’ a song that moves from gentle keys and voice to a grander drums and strings-assisted call – “an ultimate self-love mission,” as the artist puts it.
“This track is the oldest one on the album, and I know I shouldn’t have favourites but this one is currently very much up there! I wrote Tru Luv on the keys about 8 years ago and it very nearly didn’t make the cut but I’m so glad it did. It started out as a sweet and hypnotic neo soul love ballad, and has morphed into a self-love bass heavy groove anthem with the help of the wonderful Alex O’Keefe on production.”Melina Malone
Melina has a London gig coming up on July 21st at The Muddy Puddle.
Pursued By Dogs
Dublin band Pursued By Dogs return with their first song since 2020, with ‘Days Return’ channelling Thom Yorke-esque vocals, trip-hop drums with synths backing the prominent guitar throughout.
Pursued By Dogs are Andrew Brennan (vocals, guitar); Suzanne Purcell(vocals, keys), Ronan Marr (production, percussion).
Mullingar songwriter and producer Ellen Sleator is content to keep things quiet on ‘Beaches’ a song with a lo-fi whispery quality.
Sleator is currently studying at BIMM and recently opened for fellow townsmen The Academic on their Irish tour.
” I am a weird visual thinker who sees everything in shape and colour so for me that was all I had to do. CREATE WHAT I COULD SEE! Beaches reflects the sound of nature when no-ones there to listen. I want people to feel immersed and drift away. The pale green hue in this song is more sure of itself, more grounded. “
A confessional song from Northern Irish singer-songwriter Lucy Bell, taken from the forthcoming EP, Emotion Pending, on August 11th.
‘Quiet’ is a personal song that took Lucy three months to write, and three years to record.
Quiet is the song that means the most to me out of everything I’ve written, the one I’m proudest of. Following themes of love, naivety, self and regret it closes the door on accepting the past in order to move on.”
Letters From Alan To George
Northern Irish alt-folk artist Joel Harkin sounds like Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes and the song ‘Light Pollution’ is a stated influence) on the journey of a song ‘Letters From Alan To George’ a song co-written with fellow Northern Irish singer-songwriter Ciaran Lavery about George Lucas.
Well, the song’s lyrics are written from the (fictionalised) perspective of Alan Dean Foster—the ghostwriter of the original novelisation of Star Wars, and his missives to the director and creator of the Star Wars galactic film empire.
“Some fans have speculated on how much of the work Foster put into the novel and how it went to influence the rest of the films. As far as I know, he had never come forward saying he was unhappy about it. He’s had a brilliant career, writing books and for the Star Trek expanded universe, but we thought it would be interesting to from the point of view of Alan getting progressively more annoyed as Star Wars continues to blow up and George leaves him on read, so to speak. It’s outside of the kind of stuff that I would normally do. And, of course, it’s purely speculative fiction.”
There’s no doubt where the two-piece duo Martellos are from if the name already wasn’t a hint. ‘West’ features a sample of the Late Late Show originator Gay Byrne, punctuating the song’s hypnotic bassline-driving electro-indie darkness, from the band’s forthcoming EP Strawberry Blonde, out August 4th.
There is references to Donegal in the lyrics too, which is where Lorcan of the band is from. Lorcan and Kevin are the duo who make up Martellos, from Mayo and Donegal but they met in Galway, but now living in London.
There’s serious low-end frequencies and impressive sound design at play on ‘Icarus’ a blown-up electronic production from the Irish producer Rhosi.
The producer’s experimental style has seen him collaborate with Julia Louise Knifefist, sourfruit, Cheesmore, and Isaac Jones previously.
If I Had…
A yearning R&B song from singer/dancer/producer Adam O’Rua, drawing on classic soft soul vibes, with a video featuring dance choreography to match from O’Rua and Alba Keita.
“This song, and Eva as a character has come from
a very real place, a very real experience of first love. I don’t think
there’s anything that compares in this life to the ecstatic elixir of
connecting your heart with the heart of another. Of feeling that your
souls are intertwined and only wanting to spend time with them and
know them deeper than you’ve known anyone else in this life.”
‘If I Had…’ is a track that came out on the EVA EP last December.
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, hit up the Irish section for individual track features
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