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.


Ships – Precession

“With Precession, Ships have taken all that guardianship, heart and knowledge and have made one of my favourite albums of the year. Songs for the mind and body. The album is one of the most beautiful and dynamic sounding records you’ll hear this year. Its production is detailed with lots of little sonic treats that easy to pick up on but hard to create.”

My album of the week. Full info here.

Favourite tracks: ‘Where We Are’, ‘All Will Be’, ‘I Can Never’.


Gorillaz – Humanz

An all-star cast is Gorillaz thing but still the cast on this is ridiculous. Grace Jones, Kelela, Popcaan, DRAM, Danny Brown, Mavis Staples, De La Soul, Kali Uchis, Zebra Katz, Vince Staples, Savages, Rag ‘n’Bone Man, , Noel Gallagher (yes), Carly Simon, Ray Blk, Kilo Kish, Peven Everett. I could go on. It’s hard to weave so many disparate guests into a coherent whole but Damon Albarn is a dab hand at it. It may not be the best Gorillaz album (Plastic Beach reigns supreme) but Humanz provides many moments of kaleidoscopic pleasure, even while the formula feels a little tired on occasion. Standouts include Kelela’s vocal on the bouncy ‘Submission’, the Bobby-Womack tribute of ‘Andromeda’, Vince Staples sharp politically-charged verses on ‘Ascension’ and having Pusha T and Mavis Staples on the same track on ‘Let me Out’.

Favourite tracks: ‘Ascension’, ‘Submission’, ‘Andromeda’, ‘Let Me Out’.

Listen on Spotify.


Sylvan Esso – What Now

The second album from the North Carolina duo frees up the band’s electro with looser pop textures (‘The Glow’) and a near acoustic singalong (‘Song’). It’s still very much the duo who gave us ‘Coffee’ and Play It Right’ and that’s down to Nick Sanborn’s production which at its core is percussive electro-pop and vocally, the warm earthiness of Amelia Meath.

Favourite tracks: ‘Radio’, ‘Die Young’, ‘Kick Jump Twist’.

Listen on Spotify


J Dilla – Motor City

The latest release from the vault of one of hip-hop’s great – maybe the greatest – producer. Dilla’s mother Ma Dukes has released this album of 20 varied instrumental cuts. J Rocc provides a single mix of the album too.

Listen on Spotify


Feist – Pleasure

Leslie Feist’s first album in six years makes clear that we are far away from the bright guitar pop of 2007’s The Reminder and the silky textures of 2004’s Let It Die. Continuing the plaintive style of 2011’s Metals, Pleasure is a stripped back low-key album for quiet moments. Jarvis Cocker appears for some spoken word on ‘Century’, ‘Any Party’ feels like dropping in to a live band in the studio, and the title track brandishes a PJ Harvey-style intensity but Pleasure in this case, is very understated.

Favourite tracks: ‘Pleasure’, ‘lost Dreams’, ‘Any Party’.

Listen on Spotify

More albums to check out? Wilsen’s I Go Missing In my Sleep and Winter Aid’s The Murmur Of The Land.

Posted on April 28th, 2017


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It was 2011, when Leslie Feist released Metals and 2007 when her breakthrough record The Reminder was released to the world, 13 since her debut Let It Die.

Today we have news of a new Feist album, Pleasure, and it’s first single, out April 28th via Polydor Records.

According to the press release, her first album in six years “reflects on secrets and shame, loneliness and tenderness, care and fatigue and is at its core a study on self-awareness”.

It was recorded over three months in Stinson Beach, Upstate New York, and Pari, Pleasure was co-produced by Feist and her longtime collaborators Renaud Letang and Mocky. “The album threads her shape-shifting and often haunting vocals into sparse and raw arrangements.”

‘Pleasure’ is a sparse howl with growling guitars and space. It’s reminiscent of PJ Harvey’s early work.


1. Pleasure
2. I Wish I Didn’t Miss You
3. Get Not High, Get Not Low
4. Lost Dreams
5. Any Party
6. A Man Is Not His Song
7. The Wind
8. Century
9. Baby Be Simple
10. I‘m Not Running Away
11. Young Up

Posted on March 15th, 2017


Oh just Broken Social Scene back together, with Feist, to play ‘Almost Crimes’ and ‘7/4 Shoreline’ live on Jimmy Fallon. Just two of my favourite songs, no big deal. The reason for the break from the band’s hiatus is Arts & Crafts Records’ 10th anniversary bash called the Field Trip festival which will be celebrated on Saturday in Toronto and a compilation of A&C artists collaborating on a song each so there’s Chilly Gonzales x Stars, Amy Millan x Dan Mangan, Broken Social Scene x Years and more. Listen to the comp X below.


Posted on June 7th, 2013


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The best of new album streams this week in A-Z form.

Bjork – Biophilia
Death in Vegas – Trans-Love Energies
Feist – Metals
The Field – Looping State Of Mind
Future Islands – On the Water
Iceage – New Brigade
Jeffrey Lewis – A Turn in the Dream-Songs
Joakim – Nothing Gold
Leyland Kirby – Eager To Tear Apart The Stars
Martyn – Ghost People
Plaid – Scintilla
Prince Rama – Trust Now
Radiohead – TKOL remix album
Rustie – Glass Swords
Ryan Adams – Ashes & Fire
Still Corners – Creatures Of An Hour
Teeth – Whatever
Tropics – Parodia Flare
We Were Promised Jetpacks – In The Pit Of The Stomach
Wilco – The Whole Love
Zun Zun Egui – Katang

See last week’s links featuring DJ Shadow, Dum Dum Girls, DRC Music, Boom Bip, Zola Jesus, Spank Rock & more.

Plenty more in the Streams category.

Posted on October 5th, 2011


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Feist releases a new album called Metals, her first in four years on September 30th (October 3rd UK / 4th US) . The 12-track album judging by the teasers and reports will feature collaborations with Chilly Gonzales, Mocky and Valgeir Sigurðsson.

Watch another teaser ..»

Posted on July 25th, 2011



Aoife McElwain chatted to musical genius and entertainer (his words) earlier this week ahead of his Dublin solo piano talk show in The Sugar Club this Saturday (Tickets are €19.85 plus fees). Canadian-born Chilly has just released his career best album Ivory Tower which has a companion film of the same name currently showcasing in major cities. You may recognise his ‘Never Stop’ song in the latest Apple ad and noticed his crazy rapping on single ‘I Am Europe’ which slams together mutually exclusive ideals – sample line: ” I’m socialist lingerie, I’m diplomatic techno / I’m gay pastry and racist cappuccino”. Chilly now based in Paris, talked to Aoife about his collaborators including Feist and Tiga, going independent, the film, his epic piano battle with Andrew W.K. and why’s he’s a loudmouth entertainer and not an artist. But first, we need to know.. what exactly is a racist cappucino..

How exactly, would you define a racist cappuccino and if it was the only thing available to you in the morning, would you still drink it?

Well, a racist cappuccino is not necessarily a complaint. I say “I Am Europe” because I really feel like I have a lot of those qualities I’m describing, both bad and good. Europe is fascinated by places like Europe and America. America is like the new world and Africa is the old world. Everybody is fascinated by other races and other cultures. In Europe, they are really trying hard to keep their old values and they realise it’s not the same place it was a 100 years ago. It’s actually a better place. I moved to Europe in ’98. I went to Germany. My parents had to leave Europe because of the Germans in the ’30s. So I think I’m a product of the European experiment working. The fact that I could go back to Berlin in ’98 that fast and use the fact of being a Jewish American rapper in Berlin to my advantage in a media sense. It’s a beautiful thing. I’m a strange product of America and Europe. I have a European skillset and an American attitude. Old school aristocratic skills: arranging music and the technique of music but I have a totally capitalistic attitude compared to most Europeans which allows me to write songs like “I Am Europe” but also get away with it. So that’s what a racist cappuccino is.

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Posted on November 11th, 2010


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A look at Jamie in the studio working on his new album Compass. Appearances from Beck, Feist, James Gadson, Nikki Costa, Chris Taylor of Grizzly Bear plus a preview of the new tunes. Maybe, Jamie has finally found a way to marry his disparate eclectic styles: “I can rightfully hold a compass and feel like I’m not lost. I’m going where I want to go.”

I wasn’t too fond of the title track (below) but I’ve hopes for this one all the same. (more…)

Posted on March 5th, 2010


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I’m giddy like a Japanese schoolgirl about the imminent return of Broken Social Scene. A new as yet untitled album is due on May 1st on City Slang / Co-Op and they’ll be playing SXSW next month which I hope to catch. I’ve fond memories of all their Dublin shows particularly the Temple Bar Music Centre gig in 2006 and their two albums You Forgot in In People and Broken Social Scene are amongst my favourite albums ever. ‘7/4 (Shoreline)’ is one of my favourite tunes ever too.

The new album was produced by Tortoise’s John McEntire mainly in Toronto and Chicago and features the usual guests Feist, Amy Millan, Emily Haines, Jason Collett and loads more. The core group is now Kevin Drew, Brendan Canning, Justin Peroff, Charles Spearin, Andrew Whiteman, Sam Goldberg and Lisa Lobsinger. That’s four guitarists, a bassist a drummer and three vocalists. You can read more about the new album in a Kevin Drew interview with Pitchfork.

MP3: Broken Social Scene – 7/4 (Shoreline)

MP3: Broken Social Scene – Stars and Sons


Posted on February 8th, 2010


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This rather amazing 31 track compilation is a must-have for anyone interested in any of the featured artists not because they feature but because the standard of songwriting is so high that it exceeds most other charity compilations (AIDS charity Red Hot – A good cause too right?). All and sundry culled from North American alternative and indie music is present including: The National, Feist, Grizzly Bear, Sufjan, The Books, Yeasayer, My Brightest Diamond, Iron and Wine, Spoon, Arcade Fire, Dirty Projectors, David Byrne, Bon Iver, Beirut, Cat Power, Kevin Drew and on and on.. Ridiculous line-up. The album is released today. I’m seriously considering forking out for the triple vinyl package.

Out of 31 tracks it was hard to pick favourites but these three streaming tracks to the right nicely represent the album.



Posted on February 16th, 2009


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A superb live version of Owen Pallett’s ‘The CN Tower Belongs to the Dead’ segued into Feist’s ‘My Moon, My Man’ by a Meath band I hadn’t heard a note of until last week. If anything the darkness of the footage adds to the cover.

The Ambience Affair are playing Upstairs in Whelans on November 24th with support from Little Xs for Eyes and Groom. Could be interesting folks.

Posted on November 3rd, 2008

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Songs of 2007

I relish compiling lists. So much so that I ended up with a list of 75 songs from this year on a longlist. So for the sake of your attention-span and as recommendation reminders here are my top 25 songs of 2007. I’ll talk about the track when it warrants it or if I’ve talked about it before, I’ll be lazy and quote myself. Link to the MP3, stream or video can be found on the title of the song.

25. Modeselektor – Dark Side of the Sun
My favourite track from Happy Birthday although it took a few months for me to settle on it, like a lottery ball in front of a hapless individual on Winning Streak.

24. Zach Condon – Venice
“The downtempo electronic tones may surprise you if you’ve been enjoying his Balkan ways..”. (June)

23. Caribou – Melody Day (Four Tet remix)
“It strips back the instrumentation completely and adds extra vocals from Adem, Luke LaLonde, and One Little Plane to produce a delectably sparse, acoustic-led track.”. (July 07 – Featured in July Podcast)

22. Justice – Stress
If Bernard Herrman was alive to make Blog House, it would sound like this. (Featured in May Podcast)

21. M.I.A – Paper Planes
A number of alternative versions popped up after Kala was released including the Bun B/Rich Boy and the Esau Mwamwaya all-African version.

20. Nouveau Noise – Cinnte
19. Jape – I was a Man
18. The Bees – Listening Man
The Bees: The best 60’s band of the 21st Century.

17. Dan Deacon – The Crystal Cat
My introduction to the bat-shit crazy world of Dan Deacon was this bat-shit crazy tune. (Kicked off the April Podcast)

Posted on December 7th, 2007


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