Featuring Viscose, Babylamb, Alicia Raye, Luka Palm, Malik, Chxmist, Matthew Xavier Corrigan, Sweetlemondae, Shauna Lee, Walshy, Lowkick, david ofmg, Jobseekr.
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.
Turn It Up
A big electro-pop banger with a big dance beat, ‘Turn It Up’ is the sound of an artist leaning into the dancefloor and ’90s house, ahead of the release of a debut EP called Flawless this summer.
Underneath the surface of this bop and if you listen to the words of the chorus (“only when the light’s out, do I ever wanna”) do the lyrics about body dysmorphia and low self-esteem make themselves more readily apparent.
Nice to hear something new from Afro Irish artist Alicia Raye. ‘Emotional’ offers an R&B take on the drill sound by offering sweet vocal turns over a drill-style bassline and percussion, a take that underscores the song’s meaning.
“’Emotional’ is a call out for femininity in a male-dominated industry. Women in hip-hop don’t always have to be portrayed as masculine and rough. We can still make strides without having to step out of their feminine energy to conform to social norms and standards”.
Alicia Raye is an artist on the come up, and is working with Irish label Trust It Entertainment, and building her rep through Spotify’s editorial playlists like The New Éire, New Music Friday UK, Afro Bashment and more.
Raye grew up in a Direct Provision centre near Drogheda, and is a mentor at NOISE Music funded by South Dublin City Council, a programme aimed at inspiring aspiring DJs, rappers and young artists.
‘The Weapon’ from Irish electro-pop band Babylamb (now a duo of Tobias Barry and Rían Stephens) is the kind of song that Ireland should really be sending to the Eurovision – a big ultra-melodic hit with The 1975 sounds in there too.
‘The Weapon’ also comes with a very ambitious video too, directed by Conor Hooper and Jamie Hooper, that is a peak into a band creating their own mythology.
“It’s a fierce and righteous bop about growing up queer, figuring out yourplace in the world, and discovering what drives you to keep living truthfully,” they say.
Soft Boy collaborator Luka Palm releases his first solo single since 2019 and first since collaborating with Kojaque on the Green Diesel mixtape.
‘Fanta Red’ is a heady rap cut heralding the artist’s return from relative silence, and features a beat by Wastefellow and Kean Kavanagh.
Malik aka Malik the Melanated Militant is a Gliders (TraviS, Elzzz) member bringing Latin drill flavour to his latest single from a forthcoming debut EP Art Of War.
The trumpet-lead production comes from Liam Garris, and Malik gives off a casual-sounding yet tight flow on the beat. A video directed by UncleJafanetwork, was shot in Dublin.
Dublin producer and drummer Conor Barry has previously impressed with the Chxmist track ‘Fleeting’ and it earned a spot in the Nialler9 top 100 Irish songs of 2022.
‘Rather Be’ is the latest, a Bicep-esque synth breakbeat track on Lost Decay/Faction Records.
Matthew Xavier Corrigan
The artist formerly known as Ghostking Is Dead (yes, the project is now dead), re-emerges under his own name on ‘Meadow’ with a focus on analogue, with this billowing soft cut that flits between gentle guitar folk R&B, jazzy piano and alto sax from Dylan Howe.
The song occupies a few different shades with those core elements, with Corrigan accompanied by Peter O’Sullivan and Hugh O’Connor, who he plays with for Waterford rapper/drummer Alex Gough;s live band.
The song is a series of vignettes, a folk tale, with Corrigan wearing “the coat of the lone ranger, seeking solace through the images of people in his past – the forklift driver “living on the edge of a knife”, a lost old school friend, itinerants passing through,” before the journeyman arrives at a place he loves only to find the land barren, and poisoned.
The tune is Corrigan’s first song from the EP from ten, with love, forthcoming on Hausu.
Galway artist Sweetlemondae comes through with a new laid-back track on Diffusion Lab to help you ease a troubled mind.
“‘It’s Alright’ I think is one of those songs that you can play when you’re feeling low. I wrote this song to remind myself that no matter what I’m feeling I will come out the other side of it. Life is not stagnant and that everything is ever-changing therefore, no matter what you are going through it will pass and you may not feel 100 percent but you will be okay.”
Love’s Got The Upper Hand
Shauna Lee is an artist from Kerry based in Cork, and ‘Love’s Got the Upper Hand’ is an immediately likeable song with a deft arrangement, it’s mellow, and driving, and is a song about a toxic relationship.
A debut EP is forthcoming.
Dubliner Walshy’s second single of the year enlists Lowkick’s Matthew McGary for a hip-hop soul spin on a track that serves as a summer jam ”pep-talk’ song about facing your fears dedicated to those who usually try and avoid conflict”.
Walshy is also the dude behind Sleepover Club in the Workman’s Club, which is happening this Friday with Plus One, F3miii, Sloucho, Filmore!, Boyfrens, CARSTEN2X, Es.
not to myself
Lowercase lover david ofmg is a solo artist from Arklow, basewd in Louth, who has previously played as a session guitarist with bands such as modernlove. and Dog Day Afternoon.
‘note to myself’ is one of two tracks available from this project, originally released in January , an introspective electronic vocal song, produced alongside Daniel Rooney of modernlove. Another song ‘city’ was released last Friday and is more in the ilk of that band.
“The song deals with difficult subject matter such as dissociative disorder and self harm, which I believe are very important topics to explore without being exploitative.
The track was who really helped me capture the idea I was chasing with this song. Taking inspiration from James Blake and Bon Iver, the music was written in a way to appear very dreamlike and ethereal, as if you’re in a sprawling, non-linear memory. “
Dublin-based writer and producer Luke Foley’s new project Jobseekr, came after a bout of unemployment during lockdown, and music filled his time.
As the name suggests ‘Reichish’ is a Steve Reich-esque number with bouncy synths and marimbas, that recalls Tangerine Dream at their most buoyant.
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.