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.
Duke Dimez is a Dublin-based MC originally from London who released an EP in a busy December called Dukebox. It features a production from Negro Impacto producer Laurence Kapinga on ‘Strange Dimes’ but my highlight is the wavvy rap of ‘Celtic Tiger’.
Sprints are the latest in that list with ‘Little Fix’ being a new grimy punky-pop song from their forthcoming EP A Modern Job on Nice Swan Records on March 11th.
“Plagued by insecurities, imposter syndrome and gender stereotypes, Little Fix is the culmination of all my fears – the, sometimes, self applied pressure that as a woman in music I can’t just be good, I have to be great. I feel like I am in a constant state of proving myself.
That no matter what I achieve, learn, write, play or sing, there will always be a critic, a voice in the crowd or in my head telling me that it’s still not good enough, that there’s a million men out there who are better and I’ll always just be “good for a girl”. Little Fix is a song that instead of running away from that fear, shit talk and criticism, it runs head first at 100 miles an hour into it. Pulling influence from Thee Oh Sees and Courtney Barnett, it’s lyrically the song I am most proud of and one that on tour proved a serious fan favourite.”Karla Chubb.
Crash Ensemble and ELLLL
Images & Sensations
For last year’s New Music Dublin Festival, Crash Ensemble commissioned the producer ELLLL to create a piece of music, which they then performed.
“Images & Sensations is primarily an exploration through slow paced, hypnotic sounds and textures that evoke memories, dreams (good, bad, lucid), and feelings of deja vu, nostalgia, temperature (warm, icy), and tension.”
The music is now available on platforms with a video by Laura Sheeran.
Ellen’s composition references particular phenomenons that have become increasingly more popular in recent years surrounding topics such as meditation, mindfulness and ASMR. These are explored sonically via instrumentation (e.g. singing bowl, rainstick, sub-bass, white noise), extended technique, instrument preparations, diverse textures and slow deliberate tempos to create hypnotic pulses and atmospheres that develop gradually throughout the piece from icy to affable.
Kyoto Love Hotel
Fortune Tellers (December)
Kyoto Love Hotel also released a single before Christmas which is set in the month of December. The Tipperary electronic duo’s song is reminiscent of M83, Purity Ring and Chvrches in tone, and and explores “the idea of returning home, the old habits we fall into, the near fictional versions of ourselves that emerge and the intimate moments we experience with people we only see around this time of year.”
Tomike, Jack Suddaby
Can’t Find You
A regular around these parts, Dublin R&B artist Tomike has a collaborative project coming with London based producer/artist Jack Suddaby and ‘Can’t Find You’ is the first taste from the pairing, and was “written about trying to find a loved one in a crowded place.”
IMLÉ, Róisín Seoighe
MC Muipéad and Cian Mac Cárthaigh of the eclectic Irish-language band IMLÉ here enlist Connemara singer Róisín Seoighe for a bight and melodic native language pop song.
‘ÉAD (Jealousy)’ is written from the perspective of two people longing to share a loving relationship with someone. It is a song about the painful realities of life and how everything is not always seems, in particular the highly unrealistic environment of social media, and the many harmful expectations synonymous with imagery and profiles depicting perfection.
It was produced & mixed by Karl Odlum.
No Monster Club
Save The Circus
TheNo Monster Club band started way back in 2009 as a Bobby Aherne solo endeavour (his solo work is now under the name Sir Bobby Jukebox) and the project with Aherne, Mark Chester and Tim FalconPrime is back with a new album, deadbeat effervescent out on February 11th 2022.
‘Save The Circus’ is a whimsical slice of independent bubblegum DIY pop with the circus a metaphor for a place’s crumbling cultural infrastructure. Hmmm, I wonder what place what could be? Ahem, it’s Dublin of course.
The album deadbeat effervescent was mixed by Daniel Fox, before being mastered by Richard Dowling.
The Berlin-based Irish singer-songwriter released the ZAP! album last year which Hynes said was “extremely personal – almost like a love letter to my own heart.”
This week, the artist has released a new video for ‘Sweety Confectionary’, a song that explores the aftermath of a relationship.
“Working on forgiving you / Not to take it personally / You found someone who’s skinnier than me / Looks more like Charlotte Gainsbourg / Who understands rigidity”
Rory Sweeney, Curtisy and Ahmed, With Love
Men On A Mission
Rory Sweeney follows up last year’s I like you album with two rising rap artists Curtisy and Ahmed, With Love on the swerving beat cut of ‘On A Mission’.
A gorgeous new psychedelic song from North Dublin band Sundown that sounds like what a shimmering sea on a warm day feels like. Follow them on Spotify.
CK & McG
Pink & Gold
Rap duo CK & MCG are formerly of Gracepark and featured here last year too. This new one features a sweet sampled beat and a whispery delivery.
Nixer’s recent song ‘Gentrification’ spoke to the experience of many of the young Irish people who have become disillusioned with their hometown. The followup ‘People Feel’ is a high BPM electro guitar clash of a song which forms the opening gambit of a forthcoming 6-tracker on Blowtorch Records.
The Listowel, Kerry rapper Barra Ó Súilleabháin aka Súil Amháin and Cork producer Ruari Lynch aka Bantum have struck up a fine partnership for a run of singles so the pleasing ‘Oíche Mhaith’ is not the first time they’ve struck gold.
Taking a break from fronting the double-drummer noise-rock band Thumper, Oisín Leahy Furlong has a more delicate solo project called Anamoe Drive, of which there will be a Rian Trench-produced album coming.
This tape saturated crooner is about the things you know you need to do, but don’t. It’s a song about writing the song – a meta excuse to ignore your own needs.Oisín Furlong
I wrote half of it in a locked cubical of a bar on Camden St, and the other half the next day nursing a hangover and watching the Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke, all the while thinking – “What the hell am I doing?”
Róisín Ní Haicéid’s banríon released the Airport Times EP in 2021 and kicks off 22 with a solo single after collaborations with qwasi and Henry Earnest.
‘End Times’ is a folkier song with Diarmuid O’Connor akapassersby helping out this time around.
My eyes still well up bout your sisters
God how I miss them
They won’t remember me
I feel brave when I hold her hand
Fuck I’m going to shout back
Won’t walk the other way
Hear more on Bandcamp.