A lot of 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 songs that pass our writers that deserve to be heard by you. For more extensive Irish coverage, follow our Spotify playlist or hit up the Irish section.
Released as part of a double single, ‘Holding’ is the sound of Kildare native Sive blossoming out from puritan art or traditional musics. It’s been interesting to mark the artist’s evolution of sound. Both ‘Holding’ and 2018’s ‘Quietly’ are far more approachable rather than challenging. ‘Holding’ in particular offers a distinctly palatable indie flavour. The harmony plays out in a staggered arpeggiation below the artist’s silky vocal delivery.
This is not to say ‘Holding’ is in any way derivative or formulaic. There’s too much character in the track for that. Sive instead seems to have achieved the very tight balance between loyalty to her musical genesis and the effort to expand her listenership.
I’m Tired Now
Eimear O’Sullivan AKA EMR gifts us with the dreamy sound of her pop ambition on ‘I’m Tired Now’. This downtempo track is taken from her Health EP. There’s a distinctly organic quality to the track, like the entire thing is a feeling expressed in one long exhale. EMR’s vocals are somewhere out of sight, lost in clouds of plate reverb. The same can be said for the sparse accompaniment on the keys. It’s a fine line between ambience and washed out, but we think ‘I’m Tired Now’ falls on the right side of it.
Another track from Maria Somerville’s upcoming All My People LP, ‘This Way’ is another exciting track from an artist shaping up to have a fantastic year. ‘This Way’ is a more sonorous affair than much of Somerville’s more experimental material. The melody carries the emotional impact of the track, sung with an air of isolation. “All I ever wanted was for you to see me as me”. The track isn’t gloomy though, it’s filled with warmth and personality. We love the warbly counter melody in the synths on the verses. A genuinely beautiful song.
Diffusion Lab’s star signee Soulé came through with another nu-R&B pop anthem on ‘Love Tonight’. It’s not neccasarily anything paticurlarly shocking from the Dublin-based artist. We’ve heard Soulé make this kind of thing before. Admittedly it’s hard to resist how well suited the artist is suited to the genre. Soulé provides perfect vocals for the instrumental, which is exactly the sort of sleek pop production you’d expect from the Diffusion Lab. A track made for radio.
Kojaque, Kean Kavanagh & M Finnegan
‘Whitney’ taken from Gangster Doodles’ upcoming Gangster Music Vol.1, brings three of the most well-known Softboys onto one track. It’s a straight up early 2000s R&B groove, with Kojaque and Kavanagh sharing singing duties. It’s definitely not the label’s best material, some of vocal delivery and treatment leaves much to be desired. The pitch correction on the falsetto lines especially can be a little jarring from time to time. Though, there is an undeniable energy and vibrancy to the cut, with a hook and groove made to be stuck in your head. A fine cut for a compilation.
Over & Over
Erica Cody comes in strong with her first single of 2019. ‘Over & Over’ is taken from her forthcoming EP Leoness. It’s a sleek pop track, another reminder that Cody is one of the nation’s finest vocalists and an exciting creative prospect. Fingers crossed we actually get to hear more from the artist this year.
A bedroom producer and composer, Sean Maher channels lo-fi aesthetics in all the right way on his new single ‘Present Tense’. There’s a lot of promise here, even if this particular cut is a little rough around the edges. Maher jazzy chords with washed out shoegaze vocals. There’s plenty of artists adopting a DIY approach to music production these days, with good reason too. With the right vision and expertise, you can end up with a track as good as ‘Present Tense’.