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.
The noise-rock pop six-piece Thumper are back with news of their debut LP Delusions of Grandeur, out on March 18th this year.
‘Overbite’ teases the record to come while ably encapsulating the band’s sound to date, two drummers, three guitarists and a melodic alt-rock fuzz with the song coming as part of the LP’s 20-minute final act, three songs melding into each other
What’s Wrong With Changing?
Wallis Bird is back with a seventh album Hands on May 27th and it was heralded with new song and video ‘What’s Wrong With Changing?’, a stomping percussive track about identity, while weaving in references to Irish societal changes like the legalisation of marriage rights and Repeal.
The video was shot in Berlin, where Wallis lives.
“Identity plays a huge role in the song. We can’t help what background, physicality, skin colour or what land we were born into but we can choose how we treat each other, how we learn. That to me is the making of the song: How you are not who you are. So, with the video, I wanted to play with identity, surrounding, and keep it technically simplified – always the same scene setup in random locations.”
While the physical distance between the artists Caleb & Walshy means it’s tough for the pair to get music done and dusted, Walshy has come up with a solo gem here on ‘Glass Case’, a delayed sax-soaked beat track with piano keys and gentle guitar, all adding up to a dreamy reintroduction for the artist.
Xkane X Linco
Back On It
Ballymun artists Xkane and Linco’s ‘Back On it’ sounds and looks like a statement of intent, a sign of bigger things to come.
Dublin rap artist Curtisy and producer D*mp just put out an EP Of Sorts called that very title. It’s only 8 minutes long and I picked out a 97-second track called ‘Bag’ for highlighting. Similar in tone to the local relaxed rap vibe of Fynch, ‘Bag’ is a fun vibe as showcased in the video for the EP directed by Cian Bolger.
Éamonn an Chnoic
The Dublin-based singer-songwriter and artist Eithne Ní Chatháin released two songs, ‘Éamonn an Chnoic’ and ‘An Tiarna Randal’, from a forthcoming Inni-K album entitled Iníon, which will be premiered on Nialler9 next week, before release on February 11th.
‘Éamonn an Chnoic’ is a song that has traditional and jazz roots along with a consistent theme of the album of sean-nós singing. It comes with a video by Néstor Romero Clemente.
[‘Éamonn an Chnoic’ and ‘An Tiarna Randal’’] are two big songs from the sean-nós tradition that I love to my bones and have been singing for decades. It was really satisfying and exciting to fall into step with fellow explorers of different musical genres, from jazz to classical; Matthew Berrill, Brian Walsh and Mary Barnecutt, (along with Caimin Gilmore on ‘An Tiarna Randal’); to imagine together and share new iterations of these songs that are traditionally unaccompanied. They all massively contributed to helping me bring my vision for these songs to life. We worked together through lockdown 2021, remotely, and then gloriously in the one room together when we could. Recording the album over 4 days in Dublin last November; it felt like we really created and entered into mini worlds for these songs together! I’m very pleased for these first two offerings to fly the roost first and introduce listeners to the new album.”Inni-K
Inni-K has upcoming gigs in March. See inni-k.com
The sister of Senita (Shookrah, X Collective, God Knows and more) , Yesunia Appiakorang, who previously collaborated with Low Gee, drops a solo single, with Chris Kabs on production. ‘Drip’ is a brash tough-beat rap track that interpolates Kanye’s ‘Clique’.
My Tribe Your Tribe
I Stay Quiet
Laois-born musician George Mercer returns to the My Tribe Your Tribe project with a hazy indie pop number that recalls Panda Bear in tone.
Max Zaska spent the pandemic being the musical director for Denise Chaila and Tolü Makay, writing, recording and crowdfunding his second album (and 2 others), working on the contemporary jazz project MasExodus, and becoming a dad for the third time.
And here the Kildare artist is, kinda bumming me out about Ireland and how its not serving its people, gentrifying everywhere and making it hard to live here. Nice tune, though. Score? 😪😪🙂🙂🙂
Like It Like That
New song ‘Like it Like This’ is notable first for its memorable wavy beat which USNA matches for hooks and energy.
Jayem, Juggrite, AC-130
Irish drill is knocking it out of the park, it’s hard to keep up sometimes. ‘Plugin’ dropped nearly two weeks ago and is a further mark on the card for AC-130 and cohorts Jayem and Juggrite.
District and Dean Van Nyugen have a piece called In Search of AC-130.
Belfast-based rapper EMBY enlists Nialler9 regular, the Dublin R&B artist Tomike for the hook on this gorgeous track with the rapper going full double flow on a chilled beat.
Joel Johnson is an Fermanagh singer-songwriter and instrumentalist who is making music as Far Caspian and who released his debut album Ways To Get Out last year.
His latest track ‘Sun Room’ is a lush sleepy reflective folk track about the loss of the artist’s grandfather.
“When I started to write this song it made me think of what happens when we lose important family members. The memories that tie us to our hometowns can be disrupted by losing someone that played a role in that time in our lives and I wanted to create a song that remembered a person both in the past and in the present, now that they’re gone and what that means for those old memories”
The song is from a deluxe version of the album to be released on February 25th via Tiny Library Recs / AllPoints.
The Wicklow noise-rock band Naked Lungs make their second appearance in this column after their impressive live video. ‘Database’ is a song produced by Daniel Fox (Gilla Band) and continue’s the county’s fine tradition of heavy guitar music.
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.