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.
How To Change Your Mind
The Irish artist Síomha’s debut album Infinite Space is bringing a lot to the table – which the musician calls “cosmic, folk-informed, jazz-tinged, post-pop.”
‘How To Change Your Mind’ is certainly a song of the cosmic persuasion, a melting pot of electronica, soul and jazz with Síomha’s effect-tinged big vocal melodies leading the celestial path. There’s a lot going on here, in a really gorgeous and impressive way.
The album was recorded in Ann Arbor, Michigan with Tyler Duncan and features some respected players like Joe Dart (Vulfpeck), Louis Cato (Bobby McFerrin/ Snarky Puppy), Michael Shimmin (the olllam), Martin Atkinson Borrul (TOUCAN) and violinist Jeremy Kittel (Bela Fleck/ Chris Thile).
Belfast jazz-punk band Robocobra Quartet’s last single ‘Heaven’ was a big highlight of February for me.
‘Wellness’ is a song that literally takes an actual newspaper article which details the daily routines of influencers aloud.
“There’s a song by The Fall called Dr Buck’s Letter where Mark E Smith reads out an interview by Pete Tong and there’s a beautiful absurdity to it so I thought I should just repeat this article verbatim as it didn’t need any fictionalising at all,” says Chris Ryan.
Robocobra Quartet play Whelan’s on September 17th. Tickets are on sale now.
The song is from the band’s Taken from their forthcoming album Living Isn’t Easy out June 17th via First Taste.
My first thoughts listening to this new indie-punk band Tramp from Derry/Tyrone is that they sound a bit like CMAT fronting Pillow Queens. So you should probably hit play there.
Play It By Ear
Isn’t it always a pleasure to hear some new music from Libyan-Irish powerhouse Farah Elle? One of the brightest personalities you could meet is finally about to release a debut album Fatima later this year.
‘Play It By Ear’ has Farah Elle’s distinctive songwriting and keys at its hearth, with the song’s middle eight line of “I do this to remove it from my bones,” serving as a mission statement for the artist’s work.
“It” represents the pain that comes with the gift of being alive. In polarity to that pain, is the beauty that motivates us to keep going. Music is one of the most moving aspects of my human experience and helps me see the beauty in the bigger picture.”
There Are Good Times Coming
London-based Limerick’s Sinead O’Brien brings a spoken word aesthetic to post-punk music, as heard on recent single ‘Kids Stuff’.
Accompanying the single, OBrien says:
“It’s a hyper real, close-up look at the surroundings of this place, and a glance to the horizon. Mundane observations weave in and around concepts of RITUALS, MANIFESTATIONS, INTENTIONS.
A mantra anchors me as I spin and fall in an alternate space.
Watch the ripple effect of things play out; life, ideas, episodes. A subtle movement makes the biggest tremors.
There are moments where the music is sparse and the lyrics hang around a while. It’s a strange space, warmth and coolness in the air. Full moon, dogs barking in the distance and an empty railway station.
‘There Are Good Times Coming’ is not a dream, it’s a restless night.”
A debut album Time Bend and Break The Bower is due for release June 10th via Chess Club Records.
Their new tune ‘Pricey’ also serves as a trailer for their own G Suit tracksuit with a €240 price tag, the origins of which TraviS talks about.
“I’ve been in the modelling industry since I was sixteen. When you’re in the industry you see a lot of cool stuff and meet a lot of cool people,” he says. “When I was eighteen I met Skepta for the first time. I was chilling with these guys and the stuff I was seeing and hearing, I just knew I had to do something for myself. The brand made sense because I love fashion and Elzzz and I have our own styles, and it feels natural to want to communicate our style to the masses. That’s a part of me. Every bit of expression has to be as true to ourselves as possible.”
Wordless Soundless feat. Knowah
Auxiliary Phoenix is set to release a deluxe edition of last year’s Petrichor album with a whopping 11 bonus tracks including this kaleidoscopic jazz electronic number featuring frequent collaborator Knowah.
Crying Now, Thanks
Louth’s Eleanor Rogers is a filmmaker who has made videos for Elkae, Jack Rua, and Pure Grand, a photographer and now a solo artist making soft electronic pop music as heard on ‘Crying Now, Thanks’.
Rogers was previously in the Drogheda band Featuring X.
“The song discusses the growing pains of dating while in your 20’s. Stuck in continuous cycles of dating the wrong types of people but expecting different outcomes. The song was written in an act to break the cycles of my own patterns and self sabotage in relationships.”
Why Do People Change?
No prizes for guessing who produced Naked Lungs’ post-punk single ‘Why Do People Change?’ The Longford/Wexford band’s single has Dan Fox’s Gilla Band sonic imprint all over it.
While we haven’t hit Gilla Band baby band fatigue just yet, I can feel it getting closer. ‘Why Do People Change?’ is still a good song, you just hope that these bands can escape the large shadow of the originators in the process of their development.
It’s been a while since we heard from AikJ. ‘Phases’ is a track that defies easy categorisation, it’s a floaty cloudy R&B number at times, other times, it’s giving off big Afropop pheromones.
The song is from a forthcoming PHA$E EP, out June 30th. Insta.
The storyline relates to being humble in the pursuit of love, rather than flamboyant in delivery but sincere and realistic.”
“I can’t promise you the world, but I can show you different scenes”.
Mark Earnest is Filipino/British artist who was raised in Cork but currently based in Tokyo. This new song ‘Lost Boy’ is a fine slice of bright indie guitar-pop music.
“I wrote the song back in October 2021 with the goal of self-reflection, on my state of mind in past relationships, and transitioning back to single life. There’s this distinct feeling of instability you feel during the death throes of a relationship, those last few weeks, or days before you confront the situation. I think that mental instability carries through, for me at least, long past the actual break-up. You have to learn how to be on your own again, and redefine who you thought you were. That liminal space is difficult to navigate.”
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.