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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.
Don’t Talk About It
The NYC-based Irish artist Sorcha Richardson has long been a feature here so it’s maybe a surprise that she has just announced a debut album First Prize Bravery later this year. After doing maybe her best work with All Tvvins recently, Richardson’s own lo-fi bedroom pop has been incrementally improving in impact with ‘Don’t Talk About It’ a track bout “avoiding conflict and trying to keep the peace, no matter how much you end up sacrificing in order to do so. Sometimes it feels much easier to convince yourself that you’re happy in a relationship, or in a city, or in a job, than to admit to yourself that you’re not, and to have to drag that problem out the light and deal with it. But that never works, and when you leave a problem alone, 99% of the time it just grows and grows until you can’t ignore it.”
Cillian McDonnell and Stephen Shannon return with more skyscraping electronic textures for a song written for to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Cian O’Ciobhain’s An Taobh Tuathail RnaG radio show. What I love about ‘Triantáin’ is as it’s as bombastic as it is nuanced.
Super Extra Bonus Party feat. Sorcha McGrath
Some Dark Forces
The return of Super Extra Bonus Party has heralded a collection of music that feels like a natural bedfellow to their earlier more frantic work. Sorcha McGrath of Ships provides the substantial vocals and hooks here (she is one of my favourite Irish vocalists) and ‘Some Dark Forces’ matches her with that galloping drum rhythm and production by Rian Trench that lifts the band’s guitar, synths and backing vocals. Evidence of the band’s known japery is kept to the video, as this song is sincere and anthemic as Bonus Party have often excelled at.
Elm are a Dublin band formed in BIMM in the city who have often over the last three years been spoken about with much promise. Early live sets were confessional lo-fi indie content to explore. ELM have since signed an actual record deal with Sony Music and have streamlined their sound in the name of light-hearted dance pop or “relatable queer pop” as they put it. ‘Fear’ is an undeniably Years & Years-esque track that fits a little too comofortably into the modern UK string-assisted zeitgeist.
Elm are Dylan Walsh (vocals), Aidan Clancy (piano and synths), Gary Molloy (cello) and Ca Ahearne (drums).
A fine opening track from another artist headed to Forbidden Fruit this weekend, which reminds me of a Dublin take on Loyle Carner. What’s the story, not the plot?
Ahead of the Dublin R&B singer’s biggest show yet at Forbidden Fruit, April Lawlor released another fine song called ‘Bliss’. Simply-adorned and all the more affective for leaving the vocals to the fore, April has managed to make memorable music out of minimal arrangements.
Beauty & Chaos
John Cowhie returuns to the Goodtime John project with an evocative collection of songs that will appear on an album of the same name that finds comfort in chaos.
Dublin trio Bitch Falcon sink even deeper into the mire than usual with the sludging and atmospheric ‘Panther’, a song that sounds like it was given a coat of reverb at the last pass to make it even more impenetrable. It reminds me of the busyness of Jane’s Addiction.
A nice highlight from the London-based Dubliner’s new EP Why Am I Like This?, ‘Inevitable’ is a bright pop song about the breakdown of a relationship.
Waterford 19 year-old MC Pat Lagoon has developed a cadence in his rap music that made him feature on our 19 artists for 2019 list. ‘Nova’ is a bit more personal than his previous work but keeps that space trap production intact.
Buzzcut (feat. staHHr)
With vocals by staHHr, ‘Buzzcut’ from Dubliner Sal Dulu has a bit of a Moby vibe thanks to classical tones and strings.
I’ve really liked what I’ve heard from NNIC so far and a set at Belfast’s Output suggests an artist able to do it live too. ‘The Place’ was produced by Adam O’Regan and Dylan Lynch of Soda Blonde, and finds NNIC able to move from small movements to larger declarations with soulful pop ease.