My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.

Listen on Spotify


1.

“Are you on ten yet?,” Kendrick asks on this Black Panther soundtrack highlight, goading and amping up his fellow MCs Schoolboy Q, 2 Chainz and Saudi until they are at full hype and Schoolboy drops the line ‘Not even Kendrick can humble me’. It’s one of many highlights from the soundtrack curated by Kendrick that is way better than it has any right to be.


AE Mak began as the duo of Ellie McMahon and Aoife McCann and together, they cultivated a harmonic-driven art pop project over a few songs that suggested more ambition to come. McMahon has since left the project, leaving Aoife McCann to channel a new vision under the name along with Daniel McIntyre, Dylan Povey and Peter Kelly. ‘Glow’, the first song from the project since then is a song born of an argument with a friend. McCann channels that frustration into a dynamic electronic pop gem that paves a way forward for the AE Mak project.


3.

Kojaque – White Noise

The Dublin rapper Kojaque was happy to skulk around posting tracks on Soundcloud and Youtube for a good few years building his craft but last year, he embraced a public persona and a fresh ambition. His just-released Deli Daydreams EP is conceptually about a week of a deli worker and the theme adds a gritty weight to his tunes. White Noise rages with anger and societal frustration at class divide set to some mournful strings taking in “weekly standups in the streets with Síochána” and aiming vitriol at a country “that leaves abortions to the backstreets.”


The Black Panther soundtrack’s car-chase highlight is built on a hi-octane beat with Kendrick, Yungen Blakrok and Vince Staples leaving their rhymes on the track like burning rubber. One that I keep coming back to.


The tightrope-walking singer Janelle Monáe has spent the last few years building her successful acting career with appearances in Hidden Figures and Moonlight. Her success in her new field meant that it was easy to forget the magnetic musician on display when she appeared. For the lead single of her forthcoming Dirty Computer album and accompanying ‘emotion picture’, Monáe offers the closest thing to the music of her hero and mentor Prince, with a sleek funk pop jam that oozes with class and sex appeal. 


6.

Beach House – Lemon Glow

Victoria Legrand and Alex Scally’s breakthrough third album Teen Dream melded dream pop sensibilities with wistful melodies to much acclaim and they’ve pretty much been riding those soft coat-tails ever since. Their new song dispenses with much of that warmth in favour of a creeping sense of disquiet. ‘Lemon Glow’ still offers Beach House’s trademark solace, but it comes with a dose of The Fear.


7.

Caroline Rose – Getting To Me

In 2014, Caroline Rose was pegged as an Americana folk-rock youngling with a debut album I Will Not Be Afraid, that was in thrall to past predecessors. Four years later, Rose, the self-described “queer feminist” has put her real experience into her invigorating new album Loner, which she says is equally inspired by Kate Bush, Justin Timberlake and punk from the ‘70s. I
Loner is a dark-edged album of manic and millennial modern pop, drawing on indie-rock, surf music, synth hooks and bright production, which Rose herself was responsible for. ‘Getting To Me’ is a nice way in to the release.


8.

Paddy Hanna – Ida

Dubliner Paddy Hanna has grown from a nervous indie musician to commanding performer. ‘Ida’,from new album Frankly I mutate, produced by Daniel Fox of Girl Band,  is a sweeping slice of string-assisted retro pop music and is the latest in a line of finely-penned songs. The evidence confirms Hanna’s suitable leap into classic singer-songwriter territory.


Dublin singer-songwriter Ailbhe Reddy has been developing her sound for over two years now and ‘Nothing to Doubt’ is the first time we’ve had some electronic tones in her singer-songwriter style. The track was produced by U.S. producer Willie Weeks.


10.

Wyvern Lingo – Snow II

The Bray trio have just released a fine debut album that confirms their ever-expanding folk R’n’B sound with harmonious intent and a keen eye on real-world events. ‘Snow II’ is an album highlight that shows the girls can keep things subtle, nuanced and memorable.


French production and visual duo Guillaume and Jonathan Alric aka The Blaze made a splash with the best music videos of last year and some deeply affecting emotionally-charged electronic music. Their newest track ‘Heaven’ is ably matched by another warm and tender narrative of family and community in a utopian-like day in the sunshine.


Rejjie’s debut album finally arrived and it goes heavy on the soft glow rooftop down R&B-tinged rap tip. ‘Annie’ featuring Jesse Boykins III is a late album highlight freshly released on Dear Annie.


Kildare natives Gary O’Reilly and Rob Smyth released their new EP Bavarian Nights on Friday, inspired by a particular brand of beer. The EP features four fantastically disco-tinged tracks with ‘Hooly’ an obvious standout.


14.

Yuno – No Going Back

American artist Yuno is one of Sub Pop Records’s latest recruits and makes, writes and produces all of his music, has a hand in his his own press shots and directs his own music videos. His debut track channels a Tame Impala-esque sound with electrifying guitar riffs throughout and dreamy vocals.


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Posted on March 5th, 2018

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Will Toledo’s rising indie rock act Car Seat Headrest has announced a European tour which includes a date in The Olympia Theatre on May 16th.

Tickets for the gig go on sale this Friday, January 12th priced at €23+ from Ticketmaster.ie.

They have also left us with this new track ‘Nervous Young Inhumans’ off front man’s Will Toledo’s 2011 album Twin Fantasy which has been re-mastered and re-imagined to be released on February 16th on Matador Records.

Posted on January 9th, 2018

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Here are some gigs that were announced in recent days.


Thundercat, the singer, bassist and all-round dude who has been working with Kendrick Lamar and releases on Brainfeeder is to play Vicar Street in 2017 on a World Tour on Monday March 27th. He’ll play live with Dennis Hamm (keys) and Justin Brown (drums). Tickets on sale Friday from €27.90 + fees.


The Redneck Manifesto are to play two 2017 shows with support from Paddy Hanna on February 16th in Whelan’s and Feruary 18th in Dolans Limerick on 18th. Feb – Paddy Hanna plays in Dublin. Tickets on sale this morning at €18 + fees from TM, Wavtickets or Dolan’s.


A second Fleet Foxes show was added on July 13th in the Iveagh Gardens next year. Tickets on TM now.


You’ve heard that Guns’n’Roses are playing Slane yeah?

They look and sound like this now:


Car Seat Headrest, the creators of one of the critically-acclaimed rock albums of the year are to play live at Whelan’s, Monday March 27th 2017
Tickets €18.50 including booking fee go on sale Friday December 9th at 10am from Ticketmaster.


Dance DJ legend Joey Negro is back in town in January for a show at Hangar on Saturday January 28th. For fans of disco edits and house jams.


Dream pop experimentalist Wild Nothing plays Whelan’s, Dublin on February 28th. Tickets on sale now priced €18.50 (incl booking) from Whelan’s TM & outlets nationwide


Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit) are Andy and Edwin White, two “boogie, ’60s psychedelic-rock, and choral pop” loving dudes from New York who are playing The Workman’s Club on February 23rd 2017. Tickets priced €15 on sale now from TM


Andrew Weatherall returns to Wigwam on January 28th. Tickets from €10 for members and on Eventbrite for €18 + fees.


Lo-fi house or not, DJ Seinfeld is coming to Dublin to play Hangar on January 14th next. Some absolute gems coming out of him.


Finally, speaking of lo, the rock band Low are playing Christchurch Cathedral next week, December 13th and just dropped this lovely Xmas tune:

Posted on December 7th, 2016

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