With so many releases flying at you, here are recommended vetted listens from Nialler9 for you this week, as collated in the Nialler9 New Releases Spotify playlist, updated weekly.


Julien Baker – Turn Off The Lights

21 year-old songwriter signed to Matador Records who was my new artist of the week for the Irish Times last week, hits some big highs on her second album, and the first that people are already paying attention to and she’s nailed it with big songs that burn with atmosphere and a voice that commands the release. The gig on November 9th is sold out.

Listen on Spotify


Lankum – Between The Earth & The Sky

The band formerly known as Lynched release their first album (second in total) on Rough Trade Records. The phrase they coined about themselves still feels like the truest to apply to the band – folk miscreants. There are traditional tunes here but original ones too like the 8-minute ‘Deanta in Eireann’ that could be about nearly any time in Irish history but are applicable to the now – migration, a government who doesn’t care about the little people and using your Irish charm abroad but it turns the song’s gaze back on the homeland – if the Dáil are the pimps, then we are the whores” and in the end, you’ll want to stand up and declare the song our new antagonistic national anthem.

Listen on Spotify.


Martin Hayes Quartet – The Blue Room

The Gloaming fiddle players’ latest project saw him convene in an 18th century house in Bantry with frequent collaborator Dennis Cahill (guitars) and New Yorkers Doug Wieselman (bass clarinet, Anthony & The Johnsons and Laurie Anderson) and Liz Knowles (hardanger d’amore), with a fire going at both sides of The Blue Room (the album is called after it) and the quartet’s recording process involved playing each traditional piece repeatedly and allowing something different to emerge in the process. The quartet are playing the album at NCH this Saturday night.

Listen on Spotify


Fever Ray – Plunge

For her first Fever Rat album in 8 years, Karin Dreijer returns to the sound that made the now defunct band The Knife that she formed with her brother a going concern – that means it’s more dynamic electro pop with an edge than a haunted atmospheric album like LP1. More on the background of the album, the release of which was only announced yesterday.

Listen on Spotify


Adrian Crowley – The Dark-Eyed Messenger

The Galway/Dublin singer-songwriter has been following a path of elegaic music making in recent years and his eighth album eschews his trusty guitar completely, thanks to encouragement from producer Thomas Bartlett (The Gloaming again). That makes for music that has new tones and colour to it. The only constant is Crowley’s barrelling baritone.

Listen on Spotify

Posted on October 27th, 2017


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Adrian Crowley will release his eighth album Dark Eyed Messenger his fourth for Scottish label Chemikal Underground on October 6th this year.

‘The Wish’ is the lead-track from the album, which over 11 songs finds Crowley ditching his guitar at the suggestion of producer Thomas Barlett (The Gloaming). It was recorded with Barlett in his New York studio over four days.

“Day one set the rhythm for the week. I’d make coffee while Thomas switched things on. I’d name a song and we’d listen to my demo of it. Thomas would play it on the piano or Mellotro n and I’d sing. We’d do a run through. He’d hit record. And then another song and another. He’d say, ‘Let’s do a scratch vocal’ so I’d do a take. But soon we realised my scratch vocals were final takes. By day four we had 11 songs recorded.”

His last album was Some Blue Morning in 2014.

Artwork Galway-based visual artist Louise Manifold.

Posted on July 24th, 2017

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Pearse McGloughlin will release his fourth album of music under the name Nocturnes on Friday. The Soft Animal is a self-described “album of refined atmospherics that draws from the things that matter most.” It’s his first album since his collaboration with Justin Grounds as Idiot Songs.

The album is McGloughlin’s first since the birth of his daughter, and is subsequently a more personal work with the album addressing childhood, parenthood and human nature.

‘I wanted to explore what we share as humans: our animal origins, our residence in the natural world. Having my daughter arrive into my life prompted this simple reverie.’

Pearse is given a helping hand by Adrian Crowley who sings on ‘Heikegani’, with instrument help from serial collaborator Enda Roche and Christophe Capewell on violins. The album was engineered, mixed and produced by Darragh Nolan at Asta Kalapa Studios.

Musically, it flits between folk, ambient, orchestral and singer-songwriter styles, underscoring an inquisitiveness and search for something greater within.

The album is jointly released by Sligo’s Bluestack and Urchin Music. Pre-order now at Bandcamp.

A Dublin gig happens in the Bello Bar this Friday with Valerie Francis on support.

Posted on July 25th, 2016

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What’s on this week? Hit the gig guide >>
What’s already announced beyond below? Hit the news section.

Turning Pirate are putting on a Back To The Future party with Today FM on Wednesday October 21st in the Button Factory. The house band, The Flux Capacitors will feature Graham Hopkins (The Frames), Cormac Curran (Villagers), Dan O’Connor (Spring Break), Laura Mackey (Boss Volenti, Spring Break) and Joe Furlong (Planet Parade) and they will play live soundtrack with Booka Brass Band and other guests. Tickets are €15 from Tickets.ie.

Telephones’ next party is happening in the Boxing arena on South Circular Road on Sunday October 25th. Ringside Disco will feature DJs, BBQ, badminton in the stadium – “Think 1980s school hall + big PA + lights + TLC + vibes.” DJS include Papa Lou (Discotekken) JOMA (Telephones) Sol O’Carroll, Mark Allton (Discotekken) Al Murphy (Loose Ends) Liam Maher (Telephones) and DIP DJs. Tickets €8+

New promoter P.U.G Productions are bringing Fujiya & Miyagi to Hangar for a show on Friday 13th November. Tickets €15+fees available from Ticketmaster. Support from Everything Shook. Here’s their classic track:

Another new promoter/night Modern Magic presents Luke Vibert, Alexander Robotnick, & Automatic Tasty at District 8 on October 17th. Tickets €10/€15+

Leon Vynehall and Henry Wu are playing a double-headliner show at District 8 on Saturday December 5th courtesy of Hidden Agenda. Tickets €15+.

Adrian Crowley is playing the Unitarian Church on Saturday, 17 October. Support comes from Brigid Mae Power (formerly Brigid Power Ryce). This is a rescheduled show. Tickets €15 from www.tickets.ie.

Next week, a Ireland Calais Refugee Solidarity Campaign fundraiser called Ain’t No Border High Enough featuring Donal Dineen, Lasertom, Cormac Dermody & Radie Peat (Lynched), The Spook of the Thirteenth Lock, Landless, Let’s Set Sail, Owensie, Twin Headed Wolf and more takes place on Thursday Oct 15th @ The S.ugar Club. Tickets: €15 / €8 (unwaged).

The Dublin Beatles Festival is back from November 6th to 8th with gigs, theatre, films, quizzes, talks and more. Biggles Flys Again, Vyvienne Long and The Sex Beasts are playing the festival. Check out the PDF programme.

Posted on October 8th, 2015


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The Galway singer and musician Adrian Crowley has made a name for himself for creating music of his own soundscapes. Across six albums, his music has moved from folk to gentle rock to singer-songwriter style to his newest album, his seventh, Some Blue Morning out this Friday, is certainly his most unique to date.

The album expands on the pastoral panorama of 2012’s I See Three Birds Flying and the dreamy folk of 2009’s Season Of The Sparks (a Choice Music Prize winner for album of the year in 2010) with brooding songs that conjur up twilit majesty, a Scott Walker-esque experience with richly-arrangement orchestrals, guest instrumentation and vocal augmentation from Katie Kim, Seti The First’s Kevin Murphy and London string ensemble Geese. It’s Crowley’s most varied album.

Have an exclusive first listen to the album before it’s released on Friday on Chemikal Underground. Crowley will play a live set Tower Records on Dawson Street on Saturday at 3pm to launch Some Blue Morning.

Listen on Spotify

Crowley plays Workman’s Club on December 12th.

Posted on November 5th, 2014


Last year, Adrian Crowley quietly released a collaborative album with Scottish folk singer James Yorkston. Staying with the label that released that album, Chemikal Underground, Crowley is due to release a new solo album Some Blue Morning on November 7th, his first since I See Three Birds Flying.

The title track suggests that it’s going to be a cracker of an album. The song, a richly-arrangement orchestral vista that is reminiscent in tone of Scott Walker and Richard Hawley, to name but two majestic musicians. The title is perhaps a reference to the Lee Hazlewood / Nancy Sinatra song ‘Some Velvet Morning’, the song’s melancholic air gives way to a hopeful Crowley vocal delivery (augmented by Katie Kim), as animated and filled with power as he’s ever sounded, singing convincingly of “where once were splinters / hope shall rise.” Perhaps the blue in the title is a calm, a comfort rather than a sorrow.

The album will feature contributions from Katie Kim, Seti The First’s Kevin Murphy and London string ensemble Geese. You can read a whole bio written by Leagues O’Toole about him below.

Adrian Crowley press blurb

In a recent essay – Reasons to Hate Adrian Crowley – from my private collection, I noted, to myself, the subject’s creepy calculated consistency. His six previous album albums, from 1999 to 2012, emerged in pattern of three years – two years – three years – two years – three years – two years. With this clockwork deliverance Crowley displays a ruthless arrogance, knowing his adversaries are waiting for each new release, and that he will dispatch right on time with crushing inevitability. And it will be good. In fact, it will be slightly bigger, slightly more beautiful than the last one. That’s the way he rolls; he teases. And you can hope, and you can dream, that someday Crowley will just knock out something weak, something run-of-the-mill, something-by- numbers because that’s all he had him in.

Today was not that day.

For a man of such personal understatement, he is an artist of considerable ambition – something he shares with the unique artists I have sometimes thought of when listening to his music; Scott Walker, Lou Reed, Ivor Cutler, Lee Hazlewood. The latter brings us to the title-track, perhaps a nod to Lee’s “Some Velvet Morning”, perhaps not. Either way, this song sets the mood, the colour he chose for this album. Again, perhaps a nod to the Blue Note label, perhaps not, the blue-filtered sleeve design set around a stylish Steve Gullick photograph brings to mind how this colour has traditionally transpired in the world music. Yet with Crowley, the “blue” is something more than melancholy. He predicts a day of “rapture”, “hope” and “gladness”. It’s quite an opener. A big song for what turns out to be an otherworldly album.

Crowley achieves a number of interesting and brilliant advances with this collection. The compositions move between sparse dream-state ghost-songs and song-stories to all-out epic numbers with tense nerve-ending strings. We hear essential contributions from members of London string ensemble ‘Geese’, cellist Kevin Murphy of ‘Seti The First’ and singer Katie Kim, amongst others.

Crowley is a man literally haunted by music. His ability to capture these dreams in such a disciplined manner is astoundingly rare. And this album almost feels like an exposition of that process. “The Wild Boar”, essentially a short story grammatically set to music shows huge confidence, so explicit in its execution you can hear the hum of the engine, you can smell Crowley’s nervous breath in the cold air. “The Stranger” is practically Hitchcockian, a beautifully mysterious question of identity. “The Angel”, stark, baroque, menacing, could be Cale and Reed writing your nightmares. “Follow If You Must” is one of Crowley’s greatest lyrics, the music almost gothic in tone, the prose etched to perfection as he plays the “interloper from some forgotten dream.”

Some Blue Morning is not an ordinary album. Crowley is not an ordinary man. There’s something about him that doesn’t quite make sense. Staring at that blue-filtered Gullick shot on the sleeve of this album, I remember meeting him for the first time in Galway many years ago, in his exotic sallow skin. He still looks the same, somehow grown beautifully into that skin, aging into elegance… another reason to hate Adrian Crowley. I await his downfall in 2017. – LO’T

Posted on October 1st, 2014


Young Hearts Run Free have put together a small but beautifully-programmed festival taking place in a fortnight in Dublin city with an emphasis on the craft of music in all its forms.

The events will take place in Marsh’s Library, National Concert Hall, Bello Bar, Molloy & Dowling’s and other surprise locations from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th October.

Bill Drummond, Pat Collins, Donal Dineen, Jim Carroll, Sylvie Simmons and more will be talking about their favourite records and other things; there’s a musical surprise tour, music from Katie Kim, The Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock, Adrian Crowley, Nimah McCormack and more; John Osborne performing John Peel’s Shed; Foil, Arms And Hog, Barry McCormack and DJ sets by James Byrne, Peter Twoomey, Daragh O’Halloran, me and more, while Aoife McElwain will be doing a Forkful brunch on the Sunday. Tickets for all events are available here and as ever, all proceeds go towards the Simon Community.

Click to enlarge:
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Posted on September 26th, 2014


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The first single from Adrian Crowley’s sixth album I See Three Birds Flying is ‘The Saddest Song’. From the sounds of those strings, Adrian’s distinctive baritone voice and rich imagery (lyrics below), he’s failed as this is gorgeous.

I See Three BirdsFlying is released on Chemikal Underground on September 14th and two gigs will take place in the Peacock Stage, of The Abbey Theatre, Dublin, September 14th and 15th. The album was co-produced with Stephen Shannon.


Posted on August 23rd, 2012


Myles O’ Reilly is the finest music documentarian Ireland has right now. Here, over the course of ten minutes, he takes us into a warm and fuzzy night at Space54 (which closed down over the weekend) as Donal Dineen and friends play the venue.

In order of appearance: Hulk and Adrian Crowley, Lisa O’ Neill, Donal Dineen DJing (the Deadboy Foals remix) and Niwel Tsumbu. I love the shot drawing you into the venue at just after 7 minutes. This is a beautiful video. I wasn’t there that night but I feel like I was now.

Posted on August 30th, 2010


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Adrian Crowley wins the Choice Music Prize 2009 Congratulations to Adrian Crowley for winning the Choice Music Prize 2009 for his album Season of The Sparks earlier last night. A surprised, shocked and humble winner he was. A video of Jim announcing him as the winner is below.

Afterwards, the And So I Watch You From Afar juggernaut which shows no sign of stopping played a not-so-secret show in the Mercantile on Dame Street after their performance in Vicar Street, which was by-far and away the best short set of the night.

Here’s a pic of Tony ASIWYFA on the stacks in Vicar Street: (more…)

Posted on March 4th, 2010


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A list of recommended events taking place over the next seven days in Dublin.

Yeasayer (somehow pictured) is the big gig for me this week. Some great lineups from Wednesday’s Haiti Fundraiser to the Young Hearts Run Free BYOB gig on Saturday to the NME Awards show on Sunday. Loreana is putting on an interesting night of Yacht Rock on Thursday while a few of gigs are happening I was completely unaware of this morning: Fake Blood, Boy 8-Bit and Crystal Fighters. Wretch-rock purveyors Xiu Xiu play on Saturday. Check out their horrible video below. Sample MP3s below too.

Tuesday 16th February
Trashed (Indie/Electro club) @ Andrew’s Lane Theatre (10.30pm, €5)
C U Next Tuesday (indie/electro/pop/dance) @ Crawdaddy (11pm, €3/5)

Wednesday 17th February
Haiti Fundraiser: David Kitt, Jape (solo electronic), Legion of Two, Patrick Kelleher & Goodtime John @ Whelan’s (€15)
Phantom 105.2 Music Quiz @ The Sugar Club (€50 per table)
Antics (indie club @ Crawdaddy (€5, 11pm)

Thursday 18th February
Sidetracked (Indie, Dancey Disco) @ Chocolate Bar, The Pod (8pm – 11pm, Free)
Alphastates (last gig), Herm, DC Experiment @ Whelan’s (€10)
Soundcheck @ Spy (7pm, Free before 11pm/€5 – Screening of The Room – 9:30pm)
PANDAmonium! Yacht Rock night @ Shebeen Chic (Free)
Choice Cuts: The Beatdown – DJ Scope, Rizm, Olan @ The Pygmalion (Free, 10pm)
– Cancelled: The !K Club: !Kaboogie Residents @ The Cavern, The Good Bits (new venue) (Free, 8:30-12:30)
Silent Front, Shlow, Riastradh, Children Under Hoof @ The Lower Deck (€7)
Marina and the Diamonds album Listening Party Listen I Love @ The Chocolate Bar, The Pod (€5 with Marina giveaways / poster)
Kitsune: Crystal Fighters @ Andrew’s Lane (11pm, €8)
Fake Blood @ Twisted Pepper (€11.95)
MUSIK presents Zemaria @ The Button Factory (10.30pm, €6)

Friday to Monday’s Listings »

Posted on February 16th, 2010


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Photo by Rich Gilligan.
Below you will find the fourth annual countdown of the top 30 Irish albums as voted by readers and commenters of this blog. There are some surprises in there to me. The number one album on the list actually won by a fair few votes. In a year where there was no clear favourite, it’s interesting to see such an album top the list. A few of the albums charted quite highly considering they were only released in the last month or so.

Anyway, I hope you discover something from the list you had dismissed or not heard before (I know I have). A full list of the songs and albums are available in a Google Document at the end of the post (might be worthwhile for the bands featured to see what songs struck a chord with people). The last two years winner has gone on to win the Choice Music Prize. Will it be three in a row? Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for stopping by throughout the year. (more…)

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Posted on December 23rd, 2009


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The results of the poll are ready to be revealed. First up, the Irish songs of the year as voted by readers and commenters of this blog. A staggering 215 different songs were voted for overall from about 150 voters in total and the resulting top 30 sees multiple appearances from some of the following: David Kitt, Villagers, And So I Watch You From Afar, Hunter-Gatherer, Patrick Kelleher and Super Extra Bonus Party. I’ll post the Google Doc showing the number of votes for each song tomorrow along with the album results as well as hopefully contacting the winners of the prizes. Here is how it stacked up from the number one position which was a clear winner by six votes: (more…)

Posted on December 22nd, 2009


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