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.
It’s a bright production, buoyed by space between the airy synths, vocal sample squiggles and bass hits.
“Change can leave you feeling ungrounded and doubtful of the future, the first few lines of the track express a lack of trust in myself and in others around me. However, the tone changes as we move further into the song, the lyrics become a message of gratitude to the people in my life who have shown me true unconditional love and how important it is to be supported when going through great change.
I think the expression “One door closes, another one opens” sums up the theme of this track perfectly. Leaving behind what no longer serves you creates space for new wonders.”
Not a great name for a band perhaps but Belfast-based Donegal alt-rock band Lunch Machine overcome the obstacle with ‘Pipedream Graveyard’, a grungey rock’n’roll song lead by the memorable vocals of frontwoman Jude Barriscale.
It’s their first song in five years which the Barriscale saying “Our generation and the ones that come after us seem doomed to sequester any dreams of a bright future. It is exhausting knowing your road in life will end up surrounded in climate collapse, crumbling infrastructure, and regressive political ideals. Or, are we already there?”
Side 4 Collective, Fergal Edward
Seems Like Trouble
Side 4 Collective are a group of musicians group of drummer Dave Hingerty, previously of the Frames, who have been active since 2018. Over 80 musicians have been involved since the inception of the project, writing to a collection of grooves, which is kind of insane (also difficult to imagine gathering all for a gig).
‘Seems Like Trouble’ is a superlative song featuring singer-songwriter ≈ (vocals/keyboard/BVs), Dave Hingerty (drums/additional keys outro), Robbie Malone (bass), Sam Killeen (electric guitars/bass outro) and Jane Willow (backing vocals).
“So often when you are doing something creative, you are faced with the blank page. With this project, someone has already lined the page for you, decided the colour of the ink, and given you the first three lines of the story. It’s a lovely way to begin a song.”Fergal Edward.
You & I
Hyperpop, Jersey club and rap combine in a kaleidoscopic form on the brief but bright new single from Belfast artist Jordan Adetunji.
“The journey of creating this song was the most organic feeling to me in a long while. I was in constant thought about the thought of love and how we hate the feeling but love it at the same time. Rock, dance and hyperpop are my big musical interests, but when I thought ‘why don’t I try mixing it with Jersey club drums?’ that was when I knew this was something special. It felt so fresh and new to me.”
Adetunji recently signed to RCA Records on the suggestion of Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes.
Proving he isn’t a one-trick pony, ‘Promised Land’ sees the Tallaght rapper team up with Dublin artist ZEDsBAR on a song that echoes the best of New York rap in its beat but Irish drill in its verses.
‘Young’ released on Pizza Pizza Records finds the Dundalk man in a pensive and exploratory mood. Its half spoken / half sung vocals lend the song a ramshackle air, as they offer some gentle encouragement for self-love.
“Young is all about loving the unique things that make you you. Do you like to dance around the house in your pajamas? Dine out in restaurants alone? Put the TV on just for the company? Are you afraid of the dark, heights, or just being alone? Are you single and nearing 40? Do you want me to stop asking questions?! Love yourself, you’re too young to be worrying about all that.”Shane Clarke, Elephant
Clarke explains the personal inspiration for the song which lead to a bout of sleepwalking, and sickness just as COVID hit.
“I was so sick I was on antibiotics, steroids and inhalers, barely able to breathe…I was forced to move into my sitting room because I didn’t have the energy to get up my stairs. I had a single mattress on the floor, in the corner of the room, with half a dozen pillows used to keep me propped up as I tried to sleep.”
The Dublin producer George Feely has been making moves in the sphere of house and disco music of late, with this latest released on the revered Permanent Vacation label.
I love how ‘Don Johnson’ sounds like it could slot into a mashup of AZARI & III’s ‘Reckless (With Your Love)’ and Inner City’s ‘Big Fun’, two records I’d probably take to the big record shop in the sky with me.
Get it on Bandcamp.
Lose U Now
‘Lose U Now’ is more luminous pop music from a reliable purveyor of such things, the Dublin artist Kehli.
Written with songwriters Raheem Bale, Kali Clare and Maple Goldrush, ‘Lose U Now’ has dance-pop smarts, and features on a forthcoming debut EP.
More debuts? Kehli plays a debut London headline show at Sebright Arms on April 27th.
“I think you can really feel that on this song, I’m a bit more carefree and embracing that ‘whatever!’ feeling especially on the choruses. It’s a feeling of just wanting to let yourself go and finally LOVE! I was anxiety-central before this cos I used to second-guess every single move or feeling I had about someone I was interested in. It’s crazy how someone can do that to you especially if they’re giving you mixed signals which never helps. What’s worse is if after all that, you still like the person and have that feeling of not wanting to lose them, which I’m sure, we can all relate to. Hopefully you listen to this track and connect to that feeling of letting yourself enjoy love because it is the best feeling to love the right person. Hopefully I’m getting there.”
Ryan Burrowes (Robocobra Quartet) and Adam Smith (Smilo Smith) aim to imbue their garage/IDM/techno/club music with some of that natural world spirit, which I would say ‘Thornhill’ does a great job of, in its contrast of meandering synths and skittering breaks.
Clare cousins Evan Flaherty and Darragh Purcell got together to start an indie folk project and Scoth is the result. The duo’s latest single ‘Hopeless Tourist’ yearns for a magic meetup with a loved one, after a long time spent travelling to get there, with a fatalistic tone.
“Upon arrival not only do you find yourself completely and utterly disoriented, you also begin to realise how one’s sense of self and identity can be lost as a result of this love. Although every shared moment is a memory cherished and your love for them is true, you seem to have now become an extension of them, pushing away the person you truly are in the process. You try to do everything in your power to make them happy in an effort to hold on to a relationship that you care about so deeply. You have now become a tourist in your own mind, hopelessly hanging onto love that now seems destined to fade away. Yet, in the end you know the only one who can make you feel complete is that same person who you’d give everything up for.”
‘Phases’ might be even better being the lead-song on a three-track EP of the same name.
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.