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.
Having already had a number one hit in Ireland as a vocalist on Belters Only’s ‘Make Me Feel Good’ along with featuring on ‘Don’t Stop Just Yet’, the Irish-Jamaican songwriter and producer Jazzy strikes out solo on the vibey house-pop of ‘Giving Me’.
It’s a fine intro the the singer’s own buzz, with some of that mainstream flavour coming to a head with some euphoric ’90s-indebted house music.
Jazzy has some DJ mixes on Soundcloud too.
House Of Craft
Irish/UK-based psychedelic alternative soul band Shadeemus just dropped their fifth EP collection, entitled Dagobah, yes, taking its title from Yoda’s planet in Star Wars, which echoes the themes of those scenes somewhat – “a dark internal journey in the mind, with themes of addiction, mortality and depression.”
‘House Of Craft’ is the EP’s closer, a delightful soundalike to Portishead’s ‘Glory Box’.
La Vie Est Belle
JYellowL comes through on a Chris Kabs beat with a drill-leaning bassline, and rhymes “RDS” with “audience” on this banger that serves as a reminder of the Irish artist’s penchant for fast flows and bright bangers.
A cool weird little tune from Bobby Basil, with processed vocals and a sweet little synth line backing things up. There’s a bit of a Frank Ocean vibe to ‘No Scrimmage’, which the press releases says is “a freestyle lambast of consumption culture and the ever shortening attention span”. The video, directed by Basil in collaboration with Purgatory Studios’ Doug Miller, “reflects this mad scramble to the top of the food chain no matter the costs”.
I Think I’m Scum
Dublin singer-songwriter YourCuzMarcus debuted as Marcus with ‘Obey’, an idiosyncratic love song in 2020, and released a debut EP since then.
The uncertainty of the big Pause lead to Marcus feeling dejected about musicmaking, but a chancer encounter with Richie Egan aka Jape in a pub lead to a Egan adding some synths to his music, helping to reignite the passion for creating
I’m loving ‘i think i’m scum’, Marcus Haugh’s return which has a gentle soulful brittleness to it, recorded with some extra production from David Curley at The Clinic Studios.
“I became quite disillusioned with music over the last couple of years. When I began making music, it was because I loved the process. I enjoyed getting lost in that creative state and I never really questioned how the songs might be received by a wider audience. When I began releasing music, that started to change. I became lost in a world where the metric of a song’s worth is quantified by likes and streams. It began to feel soulless and it was a game I didn’t like playing. When the music sector grinded to a halt in 2021, it was difficult for me. But when I picked it back up again, it was purely because I enjoyed doing so. I felt no pressure regarding my output and just wanted to start getting lost in that creative state again.”
Emperor’s New Groove (for Klara)
Always nice to hear a Raphino Murphy aka Uly song, with his trademark soft glow production, guitar and R&B vibe.
‘Emperor’s New Groove (for Klara)’ is a single from a 12-track mixtape entitled 1822.demos, out March 17th, a clearing house ahead of the eventual release of a debut album.
‘Emperor’s New Groove (for Klara)’ takes inspiration from Kazuo Ishiguro’s Klara and The Sun, emperor’s new groove is an alternate take on the novel’s ending. Written from the perspective Klara’s ‘artificial friend’ (artificially intelligent robots tasked with acting as a companion to children), the song outlines a hypothetical scenario – a self-dialogue in which a particular ‘artificial friend’ attempts to understand novel and unprecedented ‘feelings’ of compassion and love as she comes to the end of her service.
Uly on Insta
Cocaine Dinner Party
‘Cocaine Dinner Party’ is a highlight from the new EP called I’m On Drugs, a punchy bassline-assisted song about well… you might guess.
Gaz has been releasing tunes on Bandcamp for number of years, great to be alerted to that fact. He’s also a painter and decorator by day so, job’s a good ‘un.
Fresh from last month’s feature in this column, Perlee, Meath/Berlin duoSaramai Leech and Cormac O’Keeffe have released a big sounding shoegaze indie song in the form of ‘Reckoning’, a song giving me Beach House feels. It’s from a forthcoming album Speaking From Other Rooms out April 21st on Greenbay Records / Backseat.
The band say ‘Reckoning’ was sonically inspired by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ song ‘Maps’:
“The track is about the end of the world and “that weird space where you contemplate the end of being and what matters.”
“We were trying to capture that weird feeling you can get from trying to connect online with family. Necessary and welcome but difficult and strained. We wanted to start the 2nd half of the record with a bang but also have a sense of continuity with some of the sounds introduced in the first half. We had the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s song ‘Maps’ in our minds as we were recording, especially for Matt’s drum part. It was fun for us to have a riff based song leading to a euphoric chorus. We retreat to our dreamy safe place on the outro as your soul drifts away into the evermore of infinity!’
Fooling Around Again
‘Fooling Around Again’ is the third song from the EP, which was co-produced by Ross Fortune (Benny Smiles) whose ’80s-leaning influences can be heard on the song alongside a stated influence of Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘1979’,
“We wanted to play with colour and setting for aesthetic reasons, and the idea of the fragmented self. We lived in this 70s-styled house for four days and made three videos so it felt like a complete escape from reality for a while. There is a playful, juvenile quality to the imagery and I think this is a reflection of the absurdity of self-sabotage,”Dashoda
“I was drawn to the 80s style hook of ‘Fooling Around Again’ which I found reminiscent of Don Henley’s ‘Boys of Summer’. Lyrically the EP circles around internal struggle and self deprecation which is set against the backdrop of lush and warming alt pop. I wanted to reflect this juxtaposition in the video, which is a series of vignettes toying with Dashoda’s penchant for self sabotage; using the house as a decadent metaphor for the self and internalisation.”Video director Ror Conaty
“Talkin’ About comes from agreeing to disagree. It’s about seeing the other persons perspective as nonsense and not being able to see their point of view. Maybe you can’t connect with them, maybe they don’t empathise with you or the two involved simply don’t want to see eye to eye.”Matthew O’Reilly.
The band play Dublin and Belfast in May and release their debut EP We’re not getting any younger on vinyl soon. Links here.
Dublin five-piece indie rock band INSIDEAWAVE bring the dreamy pop of ‘Start’ to the table.
“[It] features themes of restlessness and boredom,” the band say. “This is characterised by shape shifting synthesis, fretful tapping rhythms and a strong sense of reinstating repeated bass lines, which combine and evolve to form an otherworldly trance-like haze to finish.”
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.