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.
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, follow our Spotify playlist or hit up the Irish section for individual track features.
It’s Been Ages
Distilling what makes the Belfast rappers Kneecap so good at what they do, Mo Chara and Móglaí Bap move effortlessly between Gaeilge and English referencing generating controversy and humour, on ‘It’s Been Ages’ featuring a simple piano rap instrumental from Willhouse.
The Irish language raps slap hard.
Each new single from Northern Irish artist Lauren Ann brings another layer of freshness to her craft as the artist moves from the grunge sound of her earlier singles to a brighter indie-pop alt sound with the help of producer Declan Legge (Jealous of the Birds, Ciaran Lavery). ‘Other Stuff’ is an example of that slow but steady change.
Lauren Ann was at SXSW in Texas last week
The song ‘Other Stuff’, is about overcoming anxieties and realising that the company of loved ones is more important than anything else.
There were a fair few Irish-themed songs released on Patrick’s Day last Friday (when most Irish people were off work and enjoying themselves), and Sello’s ‘Irish X2’ with its trad/folk sample (that sounds like Lisa O’Neill) is the best, with the Clondalkin rapper using the Irish counties as source material for his dual-meanning rhymes.
Get Loose (On & On)
Fun fizzy big room energy from the producer Shee here on the lead track from a new release on Eats Everything’s Bristol-based label Edible.
Don’t Tell Me
Karen Cowley continues her solo forays into releasing while Wyvern Lingo are on a break with the latest Krea song (pronounced Kree-ah)/
‘Don’t Tell Me’ is a sweet lilting acoustic folk pop take on a Madonna original (from 2000’s Music,
“I love this era of Madonna, so many brilliant melodies and slightly strange concepts and lyrics. While recording the EP, I wanted to try this cover but we were short on time, so we had to record the keys, vocals, bass and drums live together at 1am. I love what we ended up with and decided to keep it relatively sparse and minimal with splashes of harp, guitar here and there.”
Krea is supporting Gemma Hayes on Sunday March 26th at Whelan’s.
The single was engineered, produced, and mixed by James Smith, and features vocals, piano, and harp by Krea, drums by Dylan Lynch, and bass by Neil Dorrington. The single was recorded at Black Mountain Studio, with artwork by Feather + Moon and photos by Susannah Appleby.
A Lethal Black Ooze
I Like To Feel Alright
A loud and shouty garage punk debut from new Dublin band A Lethal Black Ooze who are supporting Autre Monde in the novel venue of Drury Buildings in Dublin tonight.
The band are the brainchild of Andy McGurk (formerly of Spies) and a revolving cast of friends, and ‘I Like To Feel Alright’ features production and bass from M(h)aol’s Jamie Hyland (she/her) and drums from Iain Faulkner (Tau & the Drones of Praise; sound for Glasshouse Ensemble / Gurriers & The Mary Wallopers)
A debut EP is to follow later in the year.
‘During the pandemic, having nowhere to go, I got into the habit of writing lyrics on the foggy door while wasting time in the shower. This song sticks out particularly as the shower door had just enough space to write ‘I Like to Feel Alright’ on it. At the time, between lockdowns, I was receiving vocal coaching from Dara Kiely of Gilla Band, so I spent a lot of time in my apartment just shouting the line over and over at the top of my lungs..”
“..Due to the idea being one line, I originally disregarded it until Jamie and Iain reacted positively when we were messing about with it in the rehearsal space. I was very insecure at the time about shouting but it’s a lot of fun to play live to people that don’t know what to expect.”Andy McGurk
Born in a Barn (feat. Flynn Johnson)
Odhran O’Brien aka Odd Numbers brings in Dublin rapper Flynn Johnson on his new track ‘Born In A Barn’ a single from the hip-hop producer about toxic relationships from a forthcoming EP called Colours, on Golden Éire Records.
It follows ‘Parkgate Street’ in January and the video is by Bitter Rocc.
“The song paints an intense picture of relationships in today’s generation. The way no one’s really ‘together’ or exclusive and everyone’s dealing with commitment issues. Hence, the door is always being left open.”Flynn Johnson
Fat Eejit (Sharpson remix)
Choki Biki’s Sharpson is at it again, pairing big breaks and beats with Dublin voices, this time around the Irish rap duo of Demlot (Aka Sub-Rhyme & Scauldy).
See also: Sharpson’s recent track with Wax White.
Superior songwriting chops from the prolific Kerry-based songwriter with over 100 albums under his belt – Laurie Shaw.
‘Rollover’ is a fun road trip, with sumptuous backing vocals and a narrative story from his forthcoming album Dove From Above.
Your sister parachuted in / Panther pink dressing gown and rollers in / Centrefold poses on the fold out / She’s the Queen of the Underworld / All her stone imitations hold a sheaf of grain / Married a Kelloggs brother / At the Battle Creek Health Sanitarium
A somnambulist song from Limerick-based Wexford artist Hugo Lynn, who writes and records all his own music, but performs it with a three-piece band.
I love how ‘Sleep Talk’ (released on World Sleep Day / St. Patrick’s Day) moves between dreamy pop and its bluesy riffs coda.
Every year for the last 11 years, Belfast’s Oh Yeah Centre takes four emerging artists from the landscape of Northern Irish music for its talent development programme Scratch My Progress, supported by the PRS Foundation and YouTube Music.
The four artists this year on this year’s EP release are FYA Fox, Balcony Sunrise, Niall McDowell and Rachel Craig. The artists are given mentoring, recording and practical support from September to May from Oh Yeah.
Fya Fox’s moody band pop song ‘Ghost’ is one of the four, on 2023’s Scratch My Progress EP.
Faxe On Faxe, Blimp
Dublin producers Shane Smyth aka Blimp (previously featured here) and Josh Allotey aka Faxe On Faxe (The Shed Residents) team up for a euphoric electronic outing with an uncredited pop-vocal centring the track on ‘Stay’.
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.