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


HAIM – Something To Tell You

Haim’s debut album exceeded expectations for a new act. The Haim Sisters’ mix Fleetwood Mac-style soft rock, ’60s girl-group sways, early 90s pop/rock and pristine pop. Their second album isn’t a radical departure but nor should it be. Haim are so good at recalling vintage pop music while creating music of the now in a glossy but human fashion. As singles ‘Little Of Your Love’, “Want You Back’ and ‘Right Now’ have already revealed, Something to Tell You revels in heartbreak. But those aren’t the only highlights – ‘Ready For You’ plucks up an ’90s rhythm in the style of George Michael, the title song’s bass and drum combo keep things rolling in the Peach Pit, ‘You Never Knew’ might well be a Fleetwood Mac song (produced by Dev Hynes) and ‘Walking away’ has ’90s R&B tones. Haim should be too sickly sweet but their pop conjuring act is too good to dismiss.

Listen on Spotify


Broken Social Scene – Hug Of Thunder

Broken Social Scene still make albums. Nevermind making albums but a group of 17 members actually talking and organising regularly enough to do more than jam is the most impressive feat. Their fifth album may have taken seven years to arrive but the best thing about it is while it holds on to the Broken Social Scene pattern of bombastic indie-rock (which will likely be anywhere Kevin Drew and 16 other people may be) but Hug Of Thunder has a slightly different slant. Production by Joe Chiccarelli makes it sound enough apart from their previous discography to feel new. Leslie Feist (Feist) and Emily Haines (Metric) are back. It all adds to up a sense of invigoration and the bluster and bombast feels justified when it’s not papering over the songwriting cracks as it has in the past.

Listen on Spotify.


Toro Y Moi – Boo Boo

Chaz Bundick’s fifth album retains that soft retro electronic pop glow that has characterised most of his releases. Boo Boo feels like the one most indebted to the ’80s in tone and sonics. It’s languid and warm and perfect, as the video album stream suggests, for a summery drive.

Listen on Spotify


Clams Casino – Instrumental Mixtape 4

A free download EP of spacey beats and textures from Clams.

Listen on Spotify


DJ Shadow – The Mountain has Fallen EP

A surprise drop of four post The Mountain Shall Fall tracks featuring Nas, Danny Brown and Steven Price along with a drum’n’bass turntablist style instrumental.

Posted on July 7th, 2017


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With London club Fabric currently fighting its closure, many artists and producers who have played at the club have contributed a track each to help cover the significant legal costs involved in the fight to stop the revoke of the license by Islington Council and the closure of the club.

The 111-track #SaveFabric compilation featuring tracks from Clams Casino, Clark, Skream, Machinedrum, Ikonika, Addison Groove, Skream, Vex’d, Kuedo and many more. Download it via Bandcamp, iTunes or Fabric’s site.

Fabric’s Shaun Roberts speaks at Metropolis today about the club’s woes.

Posted on November 4th, 2016


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Last week, Metropolis announced a day-by-day breakdown for the festival taking place in the RDS on November 3rd to 5th and this week they’ve added some choice acts including Clams Casino, Novelist, Floating Points (DJ Set), Shura, Klangkarussell & Groove Armada (DJ set).


  • Groove Armada (DJ Set)
  • Clams Casino
  • Novelist
  • Mall Grab


  • Floating Points (3hr DJ Set)
  • Klangkarussell
  • Shura


DJ Shadow will play the opening night on Thursday December 3rd in the Shelbourne Hall. Tickets for that can be bought separately at €39.50 inc. booking fee, through Ticketmaster and usual outlets.

More from Metropolis.

Posted on August 24th, 2016


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Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new songs from Metronomy, Shura, Agnes Obel, Trentmoller, DJ Shadow and Flores.

Check out the Songs of the week Soundcloud playlist.


Blood Orange – ‘Best To You’

Dev Hynes’ ambitious guest-filled Freetown Sound album dropped last week.

The former Lightspeed Champion and recent songwriter/producer of great records from Sky Ferreira and Solange has released some great music under his Blood Orange name but with new album Freetown Sound, Hynes’ moves from liminal to minimal soulful sleek pop that addresses race, class and feminism.

Nelly Furtado, Carly Rae Jepsen, BEA1991, Debbie Harry, Kindness, Ian Isiah, Kelsey Lu, Jason Arce, Ava Raiin, P, Porches, Starchild and Patrick Wimberly of Chairlift all feature but easy standout right now is the Empress Of-sung ‘Best To You’ an alluring melancholic pop record to dance around to against the push and pull of desire in a fading relationship.


Clams Casino & Kelela – ‘A Breath Away’

Clams has largely ditched the cloud for precision production.

Having already given us a grade-A banger with Vince Staples, Clams Casino has turned to his softer side on this collaboration with LA R&B singer Kelela from new album 32 Levels. Kelela is the owner of one of my favourite voices in music and while there are cloudy elements to Clams’ production on ‘A Breath Away’, Kelela punctures it with an emotive soulful beauty that few can match. It’s almost pop.

32 Levels is out on July 18th and also features Alt-J’s Joe Newman, A$AP Rocky, Lil B and Sam T Herring of Future Islands.


Angel Olsen – ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’

A great single from the Chicago songwriter’s new album.

When Angel Olsen really lets loose, she’s at her biting best, as demostrated by songs like ‘High-Five’ and ‘Forgiven/Forgotten’ from Burn No Fire For No Witness.

For her forthcoming album, My Woman (September 2nd on Jagjaguar), Olsen is playing a part, in song and video, versions of herself and others. ‘Intern’ dramatically suggested a transition but ‘Shut Up Kiss Me’ draws you in to that world with a song that asks yet is in control of the situation. Olsen’s voice is at her most authoritative, expressive and artistic.


James Vincent McMorrow – ‘Rising Water’

New R&B stripes with production from Drake’s ‘Hotline Bling’ producer.

James Vincent McMorrow’s new album is done and dusted and with some recent teasing, and a European tour announced, James appeared on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio One show last night to debut the recorded version of ‘Rising Water’ as the Hottest Record In The World.

The song is R&B soul-inspired with new textures in the form of throwback synths, a motorik bassline. McMorrow’s falsetto remains but there’s a refreshing vitality to it.

The song was produced by Nineteen85, who produced Drake records like ‘One Dance’ and ‘Hotline Bling’ along with OVO acts dvsn and Majid Jordan.


I Am The Cosmos – ‘Letting It Go’

Dublin synth-lovers come back tougher.
Three years on from the release of Monochrome, the debut album from Ross Turner and Cian Murphy as I Am The Cosmos and the presence of its analogue synthesizer dance music in my regular listening has never diminished.

Where Monochrome was inspired by a single song from the Japanese band Mariah, a band who have inspired and moved crate diggers and music outliers alike, the band’s new material, live in recent shows, had much more muscle.

‘Letting Go’ echoes that difference in their approach. Following the band’s remix of Girls Names last year, ‘Letting It Go’ is all pulsing synthesizer electronics and swallowing Joy Division vocals that itself, start to lose control, echoing the title.


Orlando Volcano Ft. Gemma Dunleavy – “Mixed Messages”

Dublin boy finds his feet in the Big Apple.

After being accepted to the Red Bull Music Academy in New York, the producer Orlando Volcano moved to the city for good three years ago and has spent his musical time exploring global underground dance sounds. His latest EP on London’s Liminal Sounds features the tropical dancehall of Mixed Messages with vocals by the effervescent Gemma Dunleavy (Murlo, White Collar Boy, Clu).

As featured in Irish Times’ New music roundup.

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Posted on July 5th, 2016

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Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new songs from The Invisible, Grace Lightman, Classixx and more.

Check out the Songs of the week Soundcloud playlist.


Lapsley – Operator (DJ Koze remix)

A firm festival DJ favourite if Body&Soul is anything to go by.

‘Operator (He Doesn’t Call Me)’ from Lapsley’s debut Long Way Home already has a laid-back disco swing to it.

DJ Koze’s version of the track beefs up the track’s club dynamics and stretches it out over 10 minutes of lush disco. Check out the extended disco remix of the track as aired on Annie Mac in a shorter forms. The official release is to come but it is a doozy.


Clams Casino – ‘All Nite’ feat. Vince Staples

The producer is back with a vengeance.

From his long-awaited debut album 32 Levels (July 15) which features a impressive guest list: Kelela, Samuel T. Herring (Future Islands), Joe Newman (alt-J), A$AP Rocky and Lil B. ‘All Nite’ has more bite than Clams’ entire clouded output prior to this.


Portishead – ‘SOS’

Portishead dedicate their bleak Abba ‘SOS’ cover to Jo Cox.

Portishead’s dystopian and brilliantly bleak cover of Abba’s ‘SOS’, from the soundtrack to the movie High-Rise starring Tom Hiddleston is a chilling soundtrack to the very real Brexit leave vote that’s happening in the UK today. The video ends with a quote from Jo Cox, the UK Labour politician killed last week. “We have far more in common than that which divides us,” it offers. On dark days like this, strangely, the ever-bleak Portishead attempt to offer some sludged hope.


Adultrock – Push And Pull

Adultrock’s Talabot-esque analogue dance cut is out now.

Gavin Elsted is my DJ cohort in Lumo Club (Body & Soul went well [video] so we’re looking forward to this Saturday), a Newbridge man (along with myself, Mmoths, DJ Deece, Knoxville Morning, Mix & Fairbanks, and Cinema to name a few, the Kildare town clearly likes its tunes), a former Super Extra Bonus Partyer and producer in his own right under the Adultrock name.

His debut EP on Bodytonic two years ago, found its way to the hands of Annie Mac, James Holden and John Talabot and this Friday, the label will release his second EP Push And Pull, three-tracks of melodic analogue electronic synth music with a chillwave haze and a dancefloor vision.

Lead track ‘Push And Pull’ is Elsted’s first vocal track with the refrain “How can you do it? How can you be so strong? Even if it all feels wrong,” set to synth arpeggios, crisp house rhythms and a rolling bassline that recalls Talabot at his best.

Push And Pull EP is out today via Bodytonic on 12″ and digitally. Bodytonic also released new music from Manzana Kicks and Ocho recently.

Adultrock plays the Nialler9 Stage at Interlude this Sunday evening.


The Avalanches – ‘Subways’

A magical callback to their debut.
The Avalanches’ three songs from forthcoming album WildFlower have improved upon each other which is a relief.

If ‘Frankie Sinatra’ is a novelty rap song with decent guests, ‘Colours’ is effective moody psychedelia then ‘Subways’ is a magical callback to the sample tapestry of Since I Left You. It’s coincidentally the first song we’ve heard without a guest vocal. Samples include the Bar-Kays’ ‘Sang And Dance’,   Chandra’s ‘Subways‘ and Bee Gees’ Warm Ride’.


Flores – ‘Ocean’

Svelte Norwegian R&B.

Produced by Maths Time Joy, this new track from the UK producer features a vocal that sounds exactly like Kelela and stays on that future electronic R&B tip.

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Posted on June 24th, 2016

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Tahliah Barnett wanted to be a dancer. After begging her mother, she finally went to dance college, where she felt nothing substantial. She danced in big pop videos for Jessie J and Ed Sheeran but she realised it was music was the source of her desire so she became the musician, twigs and later, FKA twigs, the artist formerly known as who had yet to really be discovered.

The first phases of FKA twigs were an impressive ethereal first EP in 2012 and a second EP which was trailed with the impressively visually-lead videos for ‘Water Me’ and ‘Papi Pacify’. Those videos and their hypnotic R&B electronic songs, suggested a parallel brutality and sensuality. They flirted with danger in form and were amorphous and hypnotic in sound.

twigs has showed herself in public through artwork and videos which have hyper-realised versions of herself (large eyes, elongated neck, disfigured faces), that she is interested in examining and distorting her identity, including the very name she’s persisted with – Formerly known as.” On LP1, she shares seemingly true intimate versions of herself.

The majority of her debut concerns twigs attempting to convince a lover to accept her as exactly that and she goes through different stages in order to achieve her antagonising goal. It starts with shame. “I love another, and thus I hate myself,” Twigs sings on the opening track to a draggy beat, setting the scene for an album, which on the surface sounds sensually futuristic but is filled with realism, helped by cohesive yet caustic productions by Arca, Paul Epworth, Emile Haynie, Sampha, Dev Hynes and Clams Casino.

Stage two is seduction. The lead single, ‘Two Weeks’, a monument to carnal ecstasy is the most singular highlight as its epic brooding instrumentation is perfectly matched by a flight of lyrical fantasy. “My thighs are apart for when you’re ready to breathe in,” she sings on the song in which she hyperventilates the words climatically, sounding less in the throes of passion, more in a sort of desperation because she’s pleading her lover to choose her over another (“I can fuck you better than her”).

Stage three is distress. ‘Hours’ and ‘Pendulum’ are surface-level lascivious tracks with an uneasy stop-start musical arrangements that amp up the uncertainty – “So lonely trying to be yours / when you’re looking for so much more.”

In taking a track to address her music video past (and present), ‘Video Girl’ addresses the view others might have of her (“Is she the girl that’s from the video? / You lie, you lie, you lie”) and what she might think of herself (“I can’t recognise me.”)

Stage four is an increasing desperation. ‘Closer’ appears to offer some sort of calming plea (“closer / I’m here to be closer / closer / to you, to you, to you, to you”) while stage five is approaching uncomfortable stalker tendencies on ‘Give Up’ – “I know that sometimes you wish I’ve gone away, away / But I wish that you would know that I’m here to stay, to stay.”

Stage six and seven are clear on the album’s final track is ‘Kicks’, First, resignation, before fulfillment, with twigs getting her kicks (“I just touch myself / And say, I’ll make my own damn way” ) and removing that album long frustration.

There is no worry that the separation of the music from the visuals FKA twigs has become synonymous with has lessened the impact of LP1 or that twigs has nothing to say. A longer sustained running time means rather than snatches of character-forming opinion, we get a confidential look at the artist herself talking sex, self-image, desire, loneliness, intimacy, and state of mind, subjects normally guarded from others more vehemently, particularly for new artists.

The combination of twigs’ alien otherworldliness, her ambient often anguished electronic R&B style and her intimate and lustful portrait of herself, directly or reflected in others, makes for an iconic release and helps form a person who feels human and real. By the end of the album’s 10 tracks, twigs decides that she knows herself best, after all.

Listen to the album on Spotify

Posted on August 13th, 2014


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I spent all of Monday afternoon listening to the first two mixtapes from The Weeknd, House of Balloons and Thursday. There’s enough quality material there that I really didn’t anticipate the final part of the trilogy would come before the end of the year but Echoes Of Silence is here and downloadable. 2011 has sure been a prolific year for Abel Tesfaye.

First impressions: it opens with a cover of Michael Jackson’s ‘Dirty Diana’, features lots of big crashing drums, Abel Tesfaye’s golden voice saying lots of “ooooohs”, production from Clams Casino on ‘The Fall’ and won’t frighten you if you dig the other two mixtapes. Get it here.

Posted on December 22nd, 2011


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Two years ago, I ran a series of guest posts from people involved in Irish music featuring their top 5 Irish acts at that moment. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to international and ask a similar question – “Who are your top 5 new artists of 2011?”. Kicking off today and running into next week, musicians, bloggers, record shop owners, journalists, bookers and radio presenters will be answering that question.

Alan Reilly is the man behind the new music Tumblr Bitzl R which takes a look at new worldwide artists. There’s always things on there I’ve never heard of before. Reilly is also a co-editor alongside myself at State.ie. Here are his five essential new artists of 2011:

Read Bitzl R’s top 5 artists of 2011…»

Posted on December 5th, 2011


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The new EP from Clams Casino, the 23-year old New Jersey producer introduced recently who makes tracks for Lil B and Soulja Boy, is now streaming from his Soundcloud page. The Rainforest EP is released on Tri Angle Records (read a great interview by Daniel Harrison with the label founder Robin Carolan) next week.

The five-track EP plays like an ambient release filled with spectral movements and blunted hip-hop beats. Quite a head-trip truth be told. As Volpe explained to The Fader – “..when I put them together I got like a nature/rainforest/tropic sort of vibe. It’s hard to explain, but seeing landscapes, colors like light green in my head.” it works on that level. Beats explosion.

Rainforest EP by clammyclams

You can check out the Clams Casino FACT mix too.

Posted on June 22nd, 2011



Clams Casino - spaced-out blunted hip-hop instrumentals

Behind every great rapper is likely a great instrumental producer. 23 year-old Michael Volpe is a New Jersey hip-hop producer that has been making beats for the likes of Lil B and Soulja Boy. Far from bombastic rap instrumentals, his work is blunted and space-filling, not the obvious choice for such showy rappers but therein lies the key to Clams Casino’s music. Once you hear Lil B over the top of ‘Oh My God’ it makes sense.

A few weeks ago Clams Casino released a free EP of instrumentals of his work that serve as a superb intro to his sound.

Download: Clams Casino – Motivation [Lil B]

As Clams told Pitchfork: “My beat “Realist Alive” samples the song ‘Hometown Glory’ by Adele– it’s not a weird source, but I just make it sound weird. To find things to sample, I used to just type a random word– like ‘blue’ or ‘cold’– into LimeWire or BearShare and download the first 10 results. I had no idea who the artists were or anything.”

Download: Clams Casino – Realist Alive [Lil B]

In June, New York label Tri Angle (home to Holy Other and How To Dress Well) will release his Rainforest EP, from which ‘Gorilla’ is taken from:

Clams Casino – Gorilla

Read a Village Voice interview with Volpe.

Clams Casino : “Gorilla” from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

Posted on April 21st, 2011