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.
Bottle & Chain
23 year-old Dublin spoken word artist Lyndsey Lawlor released a debut album Dearest Philistine in January. Chiefly concerned with the difficulties of being a young artist in a city of rising rents and cost of living with music by Gary O’Reilly (Mix & Fairbanks).
I featured ‘Bottle & Chain’ here before, but the arrival of a music video for the track is another excuse to share its singular vision.
The video is by Kildare based film maker Shay O’Donoghue.
Dirty Dreamer is a band formed by Nialler9 favourites Come On Live Long members Louise Gaffney, Daithí O’Connor and Ken McCabe in 2018 and the new project has picked up the more ambient pop of that band with Gaffney’s voice ever the magnet drawing you in.
With this week’s release of ‘Piano 39’, the band announce the debut album The Everyday In Bloom to be released on Friday April 8th.
‘Piano 39’ brings in the male/female duality of Gaffney and O’Connor into a soft focus song.
“‘Piano 39’ was one of those tracks that almost wrote itself. Daithí started quietly humming a gorgeous melody while jamming a middle section. In between chords I managed to hit the mic so it swung around on the stand and just caught it as he was coming up with it. That little passing moment became the hook. The final verse is trying to describe one of those shiny moments of clarity you can have at random when you notice an everyday moment of beauty and you are completely pulled out of yourself”.Louise Gaffney, Dirty Dreamer
Cork producer, engineer and singer Blakkheart says that her new track is inspired by Roísín Murphy and Aphex Twin, with lyrics from science fiction, fairy tales and folklore.
‘Emerald Underworld’ is electronic music immersed in the celestial.
“It is set in an Emerald Underworld; an otherworldly plant with lush forestry where two people who live on the fringes of society, watch the world around them, hidden away and unseen. They are deemed unclean and generally disliked by society as a whole, however, a man comes along, takes them under his wing; and promises them that one day they will be like those they look up to, clean, divine, adored and accepted, “ And we saw tongues/ Made of crystal/ You told us/ One day we’d speak, with them too”. They spend their lives out of sight, sterilising every part of themselves until they are ready to emerge, purified; with the promise that they will be embraced with open arms.
Time goes by, and they start to suspect that they have been lied to. The day they have spent their lives waiting for never comes. When they realize that they stayed hidden away for false hope, they give in to the internal darkness they kept at bay; letting it consume them entirely, as it was always going to ‘ The Underworld is calling/ And I’m going back to stay/ Return to the cave/From which I came/ I did your dance/It left me lame’.
When not absolutely bodying the Irish version of Dancing With The Stars, Erica Cody found time to drop a sweet R&B ballad counting her blessings.
A92 Collective’s Offica is the Drogheda MC on top of in Ireland’s drill scene.
‘Sharingan’ takes its Japanese Manga/ Naruto-inspired beat (KidSpyal) as the backdrop for the “popular loner” to go off, on a track from a debut mixtape to come later in the year.
Jermiside & The Expert
For The Money
Nice to hear some new music from The Expert, formerly of Messiah J and the Expert. ‘For The Money’ is a track from the collaborative album with Atlanta rapper Jermiside called The Overview Effect, which they say is “a socially conscious psychedelic hip-hop album inspired by Marvin Gaye’s narrative on What’s Going On mixed with tripped-out beats reminiscent of Edan’s Beauty & The Beat.
The album also features Farah Elle, Tanya Morgan, and Stik Figa (Mello Music Group).
The Expert’s last release was Excursions.
An understated chill electronic track with bright afrobeat guitar, ‘Naruda’ is the latest track from the forthcoming 1000 Beasts album of the same name on April 1st.
The album will feature collaborations and co-writes from FeliSpeaks, Célia Tiab, LENII, Arthur Valentine, April and Orla Gartland.
Dundalk drill rap trio DBA meet us with sonic ambition with ‘Elevate’ a song that brandishes organ, big rhythmic drops and gospel vocals on a track that aims for Kanye levels of bombast.
I recently featured their hook-filled track ‘Tatakae’.
Christian Cohle’s new song ‘Spinning Heart’ is the first track from the Irish artist since last year’s Holy Trouble album. In keeping with the musician’s atmospheric electronics, with voice notes (hey they’re a thing) bringing further intimacy into the sonic tapestry of this gently constructed track, anchored by Cohle’s aching voice.
“Spinning Heart’s title was inspired directly by one of my favorite Irish author’s books, by Donal Ryan, titled ‘The Spinning Heart’. I borrowed the title and made it reflect my own predicament at the time during a really difficult breakup I went through, when Covid first hit. I felt like my life was just spinning along, moving forwards but directionless. I was being spun around by the pain, the loss, the confusion, the doubt caused by having to end what was a really beautiful relationship.”
The Last Vinci
Adding Water to the Ocean feat. Toshín
Cork alt-stoner band The Last Vinci enlisted the R&B singer Toshín for the second half of their new single ‘Adding Water To The Ocean’. It was certainly an interesting curio and mix of styles when it popped up on Release Radar last week.
The Last Vinci’s new album The Revolution is Made Together is out on 4th March via Narrow Door Records.
‘Outsider’ is from the band’s forthcoming debut EP People Feel, a caustic track which tells the story of people at a house party where something bad is about to happen.
She stands in the corner of the room
With her head in her hands and her tissues in her pocket
He stands to close to the door
With a swift exit planned and an Irish goodbye
“Outsider welcomes, or unwelcomes, two characters to the narrative. The song deals with isolation and the feeling of being unwanted but from the perspective of the empathetic observer. The track opens with discrete chatter about these ‘other’ people, but as the track develops we learn that the song is about worry and concern for others, rather than the exclusion of them.”Sean, Nixer.
Get it on Bandcamp.
‘Feeling Lonely’ was the standout for me, a housey electronic shaker.