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A lot of Irish and Northern Irish music comes Nialler9’s way and there’s little time to feature everything we think is worthy of a thumbs up or more ears. Every week, we collate the new songs from emerging artists that deserve to be heard by you.
It’ll Be Grand
Cork R&B artist Jena Keating impressed with her last single ‘Alone’, which we premiered the video of as we vibed with it so much. The followup is more than just grand and has a lovely looping beat to serve the song’s message.
“Grand, its grand, I’m grand, EVERYTHING IS GRAND. Ingrained in Irish culture is this false heroic prophecy that by telling everyone were doing “grand” it will make us feel that way. Grand is a milky middle ground that denies what needs to be addressed. Whether that’s the lack of content we experience with where we are or the disabling of insight into the pain that our bodies crave to digest. “Grand” can rob an alive life. “It’ll Be Grand” is the robbing I’ve done from myself over the years. “It’ll Be Grand” is my depression story.”
John Francis Flynn
My Son Tim
John Francis Flynn is an artist who has supported Lankum and a few others in the before times. And rejoice, the trad-folk artist with electronic interests has also been picked up by Rough Trade’s River Lea imprint. Flynn’s album I Would Not Live Always will be released on July 30th.
Flynn is also a member of Skipper’s Alley, and on the album are players Ultan O’Brien (Skipper’s Alley / Slow Moving Clouds), Consuelo Breschi (Varo), sean nós singer Saileog Ní Ceannabháin, Phil Christie (O Emperor / The Bonk) and drummer & composer Ross Chaney The album was produced, engineered and mixed by Brendan Jenkinson (Villagers / Cloud Castle Lake) who also plays on the album. It was recorded and mixed at Oxford Lane and Sonic Studios, Dublin.
Don’t Know Why We Met
London-based Carpark lean into 90s rock vibes and qualify for this column with two members – drummer Loda and bassist Scottie born in Belfast. ‘Don’t Know Why We Met’ is the first single from the three-piece’s forthcoming October release EP.
Followup ‘Everything Is Trash’ is more of a pop-punk vibe.
One of the country’s finest selectors when it comes to global sounds, also knows his way around making a good tune. T-woc’s latest album Pantangle comes out on a New Zealand label, and is ” a sonic clash of Tropical, On-U and Eastern proportions”, features among it ‘Crazy Bronco’, that hits lockstep into a strange and edifying bass groove, with steel drums to boot. The whole 6-tracker is great and T-woc deserves more attention in general.
Left Hand Path
Donegal psych band Tuath sound like true outliers on their latest EP Research And Development, which tackles the socioeconomic issues of our times (capitalism, Christianity, the nuclear family, exorbitant housing prices, the decline of cultural spaces) and is inspired by frontman Robert Mulhern’s attempt to address his ADHD along with a few choice sources:
Cultural theorist Mark Fisher’s theory of ‘the slow cancellation of the future’ that’s been happening since around 1994, the phenomenon of hauntology – a look at lost progressive futures that once looked possible – and the spirit of Adam Curtis’ truth-searching latest series, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.
There’s a lot to go on and sound-wise their own presser namechecks Stereolab, Ween, Fat White Family, Orange Juice, Julian Cope, The Passions, Tears For Fears, Elvis impersonators, Mac DeMarco, Joe Dolan and Vaporwave, and there are song titles like ‘That Looks Like A Good Spot For Some Luxury Apartments’ and ‘F I B E R O P T I C C O N N E C T I O N’.
That’s a lot of information but if you dig the saxophone-wielding psychedelia of ‘Left Hand Path’ – a song about society asking you “when are you having kids,” so if you dig that, then pick up a larger shovel.
Walk It Off
A Meath duo who trade in old-school hip-hop R&B vibes, Paper Clap’s ‘Walk It Off’ expounds the virtues of a good headphones listen on a walk. It’s from the band’s forthcoming album.
A summery bop about living the highs and lows from the Skibbereen boy Rushes, from a forthcoming project called Glowchild, due in September.
“I was on a good run of creating so there was optimism around, and I think that comes across through the sound. I remember it was a miserable day during summer, which is a very typical scene in Ireland. I had the song written so it was just about capturing that carefreeness when recording”.
A Dream A Sequence
Limerick producer and composer Paddy Mulcahy’s newest Tidal Oscillations EP will come out on XXIM Records at Sony Masterworks on July 16th. ‘A Dream, A Sequence’ is a beaut of a track to kick things off, from a release which “examines the themes of consciousness, anxiety and exploration.”
“Supporting young artists in their musical experimentation has been part of XXIM’s mission statement from day one, with this new project, we want to invite artists in, help them to present themselves to a wider audience, and map out all the interesting and exciting developments in post-genre instrumental music.”Alex Buhr – XXIM Label Head
London Irish 19-year old artist with a second feature here ahead of an EP release in August, Molly Burman’s ‘Debt’ is a charming indie-guitar song which features the line “you’re wearing a face like a slapped arse,” and is actually about the supreme annoyance of male entitlement when rebuffed. “I am not your confidence boost.”
Time & Time Again
Cork label Hausu are back at again with a loved up guitar R&B track from Drew Hall, whose day job is working as an assistant engineer on sessions in LA (he moved just before the pandemic), and spends time writing his own songs in between. Sounds like a movie plot to me.
Time & Time Again was co-written with LA artist Chelsamina, is “an attempt to document the feeling of holding onto the comfort of life improving with time and the support of those closest to you, through the anxiety of uncertain times.”
Dublin Franki’s The 1975 meets chillwave vibe has featured here before, and it works because the artist is so adept at writing those hooky melodies, as you can hear on ‘Talk Again’. An EP, Rinse, Repeat is out now.
Five-piece Papa Romeo’s ‘Team Sports’ opens with a classic drum break before unfurling into a spacious and crisp groove that sounds like a relaxing dip in a pool TBQHWY, and you don’t have to do it solo.
The band’s previous single ‘Yellow Magic Orchestra’ featured here.