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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.
Born To Stay
The debut single from Dublin band Beauty Pageant, is a fine slice of melodic indie-rock that comes accompanied with a bright music video shot by Johnnie Lyons and featuring art by Aine Byrne that gives the band’s guitar buzz style a bright facade.
Beauty Pageant are a six-piece band who have played with Banrion, Fizzy Orange, Bedrooms and Skinner live.
Fresh from their recent set at Iceland Airwaves, the Dublin alt-rock band with the two drummers, Thumper, return with new single ‘Summer Assault’, a new single following on from their album Delusions Of Grandeur, that was released this year.
“’Summer Assault’”’ is a vignette of self sabotage, an anthem of small failure,” say the band of its fuzzy melodics. “It’s about a doomed relationship that carries on regardless — a narrator banging on the glass trying to warn the song’s inhabitants.”
Stay tuned for Thumper live shows after recent sellouts in Amsterdam, London, Paris and Dublin.
Sparkling body-popping pop music from Brighton-based Irish artist Matt Taylor.
It’s a followup to the gentler breakup song ‘April 13th’, and its accompanying EP.
“‘Stay’ was written in the aftermath of my last EP, when I wanted to get away from all the lil sad boy vibes & enter my dancing fiend era. It’s been a while since I’ve felt this good on my own. It’s been so freeing to have more time to invest in friendships and myself.
I just want to document how I’m feeling at the moment, and Stay is the embodiment of everything I want to be right now. It’s the most pure pop song I’ve ever written & I’m proudly owning it.”Matt Taylor.
Karin Was Not A Rebel / Fresh Young Overlook
Belfast indie-punk band New Pagans announced their second album Making Circles of Our Own will be released 17th February via Big Scary Monsters, and released two songs ‘Karin Was Not A Rebel’ and ‘Fresh Young Overlook’ as a showcase.
The former is a catchy rock track with taut guitar licks and is about the overlooked Swedish interior designer Karin Bergöö Larsson, who was active circa 1880s/1890s
The flip ‘Fresh Young Overlook’ is about the travails of being a band in the music industry, a topic which the band talked about publicly in the wake of a recent US tour where the margins were small and tours run on deficit. And this was before the current cost of living crisis.
Previous single: ‘Better Days’
Hold It Down
Debut track ‘Hold It Down’ lights the match with nods to future-R&B, 2-step and hyper-pop, and along with an impressive video, marks his card with a high standard first track.
The video for the single features Craig Cheko and directed by Sloucho is inspired by the idea that “to desire is to suffer.”
“We follow an unnamed soul on their journey to accepting their fate. Their heart, which represents their desires, is externalised in a cinder block which they are attached to. They are faced with a series of challenges, the first of two they fail and are sent to die by a rising tide.
We come to understand that each time they untether themselves from their fate they are punished. On the third challenge they finally accept that if they escape they will only end up back where they started, forever in this loop. So they accept their fate and drown themselves, for which they are rewarded with resurrection.”
Long story short, the message is that sometimes life presents you with challenges which you cannot run from no matter what the consequences are, in this case in order to live you must be prepared to die.”
Dublin vocal electronic trio, Robyn Bromfield, Jessica Kennedy and Áine Stapleton aka Everything Shook returned in time for Halloween with ‘Three Crows’, a typically eerie song with reverbed vocals and vintage synths.
The trio are on tour in the Balkans, supported by Culture Ireland:
BAM Belgrade, Serbia – November 30th, 2022.
Soma Book Station, Pristina, Kosovo – December 2nd, 2022.
Radio Bar, Tirana, Albania – December 3rd, 2022.
They also play Dublin’s National Concert Hall, as part of a series of electronic nights on December 6th, TBA.
Cursed Murphy Versus the Resistance
Something Wicked This Way Comes
Cursed Murphy is the titular project of writer Peter Murphy, and ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’ is from the Wexford musician’s second album Republic Of Weird.
The band is an eight-piece, and the opening track on the 2022 album (which was recorded in Rosslare last year with co-production by Murphy, Dan Comerford and Johnny Fox), features a rich tapestry of instrumentation that brings in cinematic post-rock as a bed for Murphy’s urgent storytelling. With lyrics like “Never mind that screaming sound / It’s probably, I dunno, a bird,” Murphy is a bit of an unreliable narrator.
“Republic of the Weird refers to the state we’ve been living in for the past five or six years. It’s about what happens when a generation of people who grew up on punk and electronic music, on dark sci-fi and speculative books and films, wake up one day to realise that their world has started to look like a present-day dystopia. But the feeling is strangely hopeful and inspiring too. We’re proud of the sound and the spirit of this record. It’s an album about future shock, but also hope and resilience.”Peter Murphy
Zaska, Faye O’Rourke
Featuring collaborations with J Smith, Precious Okpaje, Tolü Makay, Carly Coonagh, Melina Malone and Jess Kav among others, the album has the earth and its health as a chief concern amidst neo-soul, modern funk, and indie R&B jazz.
As a taster to the album’s sound, Soda Blonde’s Faye O’Rourke guests on orchestral album highlight ‘Lesson Learned’.
Night Train (Orange Tree Edits)
It’s been a while since we heard something from the Orange Tree label boss Jimmy Rouge (the label had a release in April I missed), and the return of the label heralds edit explorations of fresh sounds for the producer.
Where as previous releases leaned heavy on Afro rhythms, ‘Fever Dream’ has new-wave synth vibes. It’s from a recently-released 4-track vinyl release, of which you can hear Italo, ’90s breakbeats and Balearic influences.
Dublin musician Saoirse Miller collaborates with Irish producer Sean Brooder on the airy “fairy” themed track ‘Fairy Fort’, a gossamer electronic pop song.
Miller previously featured on a song from D*mp in this column in September.
Acid techno rings out from ‘Good Face’, the newest track from Dublin duo Polyglove, from an EP of the same name. The track was made in collaboration with engineer Rían Trench (Leo Drezden, Solar Bears, Crispy Jason), who is no stranger to dark synthy movements like this.
‘Good Face’ has an IDM-electro swing to it akin to the likes of DMX Krew.
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.