The most essential tracks of the last week handpicked by the Nialler9 team. Subscribe to the weekly Spotify playlist (1.3k subscribers) or the daily playlist (4.9k subscribers).


1.

Ross From Friends – John Cage

Lo=-fi house producer Ross From Friends’ may sound at first to be taking the absolute experimental new-age piss but repeated plays of ‘John Cage’ with thits pitched down vocals and aquatic ambience reveal, a beaut for the ages, that will be sticking around long on my playlists this year. It’s on an EP out now on Brainfeeder.


2/3.

Lykke Li – ‘Hard Rain’ / ‘Deep End’

The Swedish singer is back and released two new songs today >Both ‘Hard Rain’ and ‘Deep End’ have a similar ambient R&B gait to them that is fresh for the artist. In fact, the songs sound like something that The Weeknd might have concocted. The songs are from her new album so sad so sexy will be released on June 8. Lykke supports LCD Soundsystem in Malahide Castle that week.


4.

Tyler, The Creator – Okra

Tyler is back after his excellent Flower Boy album and dtermined to remind us he can rap. He succeeds with flying colours. He also dropped a demo from that album this week ‘Rose Tinted Cheeks’.


5.

Arvo Party – Liberté (Club mix)

Herb Magee is a Northern Irish electronic artist, and former member of Lafaro, whose 2017 Arvo Party album was a late addition to my lists. For the followup track Liberté, Magee has constructed a song that builds with rushes of synthesizer trance euphoria that I first heard via The Thin Air. I remarked that the song was fantastic and I would love a club mix. Magee duly obliged.


6.

Jenny Wilson – ‘Hi Lo’

Jenny Wilson is an artist not afraid of confronting difficult topics and the latest from her Exorcism album, out tomorrow is an album about Wilson’s experience of sexual assault. That she turned such a harrowing experience into a song as engnging as ‘Hi Lo’ but an album about it really indicative of how brave, strong and artistic the Swedish artist is. It’s a tough listen once you realise beneath the surface of her delivery that there is deep pain. She also released a song called ‘Rapin’.

On the album she released this statement:

This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever done.
In so many ways.

At first, I actually didn’t know if I even wanted to go on with music anymore.
Then, something terrible happened to me.

I ended up at a crossroads.
Either silent – or speaking.
It was not an easy choice.

I didn’t want to talk.
I didn’t manage to talk.

But I had to talk.

Not to bring justice or to take revenge.
Nothing is ever as easy as it seems.

I wanted to take back what I’d lost.
I had to get rid of what was hurting me.


7.

Jens Kuross – It Could Happen To You

Art! At The Expense Of Mental Health Volume 1 is the latest EP from the oft-recommended LA singer Jens Kuross. His sound is still indebted to Radiohead Kid A era and that is STILL no bad thing.


8.

Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) – Curse of the Contemporary

Laura Marling and Mike Lindsay (Tunng) have teamed up to record a full-length album called LUMP out on June 1st on Dead Oceans. ‘Curse Of The Contemporary’ is our first taste of it, a woozy folk song with an eera aura. “If you should be bored in California / I’m sure I’m not the first to warn you / We salute the sun / Because when the day is done / We can’t believe what we’ve become / Something else to prey upon,” Marling sings sounding more like Broadcast or Stereolab than her customary influence Joni Mitchell.


9.

Superorganism – Night-Time

Superorganism’s hyper-active pop music is easier to digest and enjoy in smaller bites and newer focused single from the album ‘Night-Time’ benefits from a solo run. The band play Forbidden Fruit in June and The Academy in May.


10.

Gang Gang Dance – Lotus

It’s been seven years since we last heard from Gang Gang Dance but they’ve returned with news of a new album Kazuashita on June 22nd. It’s hard to know what it’ll be like but Lotus is a pretty dreamy re-intro.


11.

Ben Khan – 2000 Angels

Ben Khan’s music appears to have its nucleus in the music of Jai Paul. It’s very close into tone and timbre to the Pauls. He even has something called The Foundation where the Pauls have the Paul Institute. However, it’s still good on its own terms. Khan has announced his debut album too for this summer.


Posted on April 19th, 2018

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This is only a selection of new music – dig into more or follow the Spotify playlists.


Nialler9 Weekly playlist


1.

George Fitzgerald – Burns

London-based dance producer George Fitzgerald leaves a mark with this layered ambiance-driven track ‘Burns’ which started off as a studio experiment and morphed into its own thing over time. It’s a slow-burner but it really takes off after a few listens.


2.

N*E*R*D & Rihanna – Lemon

Pharrell ditches his run of happy-go-lucky solo material for a return to the NERD sound that made his name as a producer (along with the other two members Chad Hugo and Shay Haley). Here they team up with Rihanna with trademark NERD boom bap beats and tight production but it’s Rihanna who owns the track, rapping like the boss she is.


3.

Jens Kuross – Only The Lonely

Idaho-born musician Jens Kuross explores a more electronic sound with his new track ‘Only The Lonely’. He has the ability to meld electronic textures with a traditional torch-burning singer-songwriter style.


4.

Overcoats – I Don’t Believe In Us

New Yorkers Hana Elion and JJ Mitchell’s new song ‘I Don’t Believe In Us’ shows off the duo’s natural blend in their typical vintage folk and modern pop sounding fashion. Overcoats released their debut album Young earlier this year.


5.

Charlotte Gainsbourg – Deadly Valentine (Soulwax remix)

Belgian brothers Soulwax have remixed British/French actress and musician Charlotte Gainsbourg’s ‘Deadly Valentine’ stripping it back and giving it a funk element.


6.

Baxter Dury – Miami (Parrot and Cocker Too remix)

Jarvis Cocker’s remix of Baxter Dury’s ‘Miami’ off his latest album Prince Of Tears emphasises the haunting tone of the original song as it channels the spirit of the Chromatics and Chilly Gonzales’ I am Europe.


7.

Henry Green – Stay Here

22-year-old Bristol based producer Henry Green‘s new track shows off his soft emotion-evoking vocals while giving an underlining Bon Iver tone to the sound on the track.


8.

EMBRZ – Doubt House

25-year-old, Dublin-born Jack Casey poroduces a high energy tempo with his new track ‘Doubt House’ which he states himself as probably being his favourite track produced so far.

Embrz plays The Button Factory this Friday November 17th. Tickets priced at €13+ are available from Eventbrite.


9.

Krief – Ordinary Lies

Montreal singer-songwriter Krief’s new song ‘Ordinary Lies’, which has just come out via Fierce Panda Records conjurs a gentle lullaby sound that keeps you tuned in throughout.


10.

Kelly Lee Owens – More Than A Woman

This cover of ‘More Than A Woman’ Produced by James Greenwood and Owens offers a bubbling acid arpeggio take on the original by Aaliyah. Kelly Lee Owens pays a fine tribute to a singer that continues to inspire.

Kelly Lee Owens released her self-titled debut album in March of this year.


3 New Music flavours:

All song added in the past week: Nialler9 Weekly.

The larger three-month New Music Playlist.

New Irish Music Playlist

Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.

Posted on November 13th, 2017

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This is only a selection of new music – dig into more or follow the Spotify playlists.


Nialler9 Weekly playlist


1.

Fever Ray – To The Moon And Back

After some teasing of her first new music in 9 years earlier this week, Karin Dreijer formerly of The Knife has returned to her solo Fever Ray project.

Far from the somewhat disturbing visual we saw yesterday teasing the song, ‘To The Moon And Back’ is the closest thing we’ve had to The Knife since they split in 2014. The song has the familiar electro mechanised beat and Knife-esque synth. It also has the line ‘I want to run my fingers up your p**y’ which on Spotify is given an Air Horn mix. The video for the song keeps things weird as the visuals proceeding it with a cryogenically frozen Karin reanimated.


2.

Everything Is Recorded feat. Syd & Sampha – Show Love

Two of the best contemporary voices in R&B, The Internet’s Syd and Sampha get together with XL boss Richard Russell for yet another memorable track.


3.

Smerz – No Harm

The Norwegian duo on XL Recordings made one of my favourite songs of 2016 and here they keep things odd and inviting.


4.

Jens Kuross – Spiraling

Recent New Artist pick returns with a gorgeous brooding piano ballad.


5.

King Krule – Biscuit Town

It’s hard to pick a highlight from The Ooz, Archy Marshall’s new album as King Krule. My current favourite is the album opener which has a beat that sounds like it’s falling down the stairs on repeat as the lyrics slip deeper still – “He left the crime scene without the Motorola / still had dreams of being young Franco Zola.” A fine descent into one of the album’s of the month and possibly year.


6.

Mind Enterprises – Idol

The creator of one of my under-rated albums of 2016 returns with an Italo twisted pop song. There’s also a Prins Thomas Diskomix, always a good sign.


7.

Giraffage & Japanese Breakfast – Maybes

From San Fran producer’s new album Too Real, his collaboration with Michelle Zauner aka Japanese Breakfast is an immediate warm cup of sonics, like a gentle EDM track that works. The album dropped today on Ninja Tune’s sublabel Counter Records.


8.

DJ Seinfeld – Time Spent Away From You

Previews of Mr lo-fi house himself’s forthcoming album on November 3rd have raised expectations for an already buzzed about artist. Tracks like this proves their is substance beyond the style and movement tag applied to the Swedish producer.


9.

Badbadnotgood – I Don’t Know (feat. Sam T. Herring)

A bonus collaboration between the nu-jazz Canadians and Future Islands singer after their fruitful get-together on the IV album last year on ‘Time Moves Slow’. Future Islands may as well be Future Irelands as they arrive to play Donnybrook next year. This track has a beautiful 70s soul quality to it.


10.

Floating Points – Ratio

Anything Sam Shepherd does is worthy of a listen and as it’s Friday, why not indulge in the 18 minute version of this live favourite as opposed to the 3 minute one.


3 New Music flavours:

All song added in the past week: Nialler9 Weekly.

The larger three-month New Music Playlist.

New Irish Music Playlist

Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.

Posted on October 20th, 2017

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Now we’ve kicked 2016 to the curb, it’s time to look forward.

January is all about freshness, so here are 20 acts from around the globe who I reckon you’ll be hearing much more of this year. Some will be familiar to you but I expect to make an even bigger splash and some, I bet are likely to be appreciated by a lot more people by the year’s end. That was the criteria. I avoided any of the obvious ones you’ve seen elsewhere especially the BBC Sound of 2017 poll.

There are also extended playlists featuring the pick of those acts and more (JFDR, Jorja Smith, Declan McKenna, Louis Berry, ABRA, Jamilia Woods, Maggie Rogers, Pumarosa among them) on Soundcloud and Spotify.

Last year’s list.


1.

Hare Squead

Dublin R&B pop trio to hit it big this year.

A regular feature on Nialler9, Hare Squead spent the year building their fanbase in the UK by supporting Dua Lipa and dropping a series of singles and an EP on Columbia Records that suggested that Tony Konstone, E-Knock and singer Jessy Rose’s blend of soul, R&B, rap and pop could cross the Atlantic this year if all goes well.


2.

Skott

Scandinavian bright light of pop.


Four songs deep and Scandinavian artist Skott (who apparently “grew up in a remote small town forest commune run by ‘outcast’ folk musicians”) has already received some worthy plaudits – Annie Mac’s Hottest Record In The World, approval from Lorde, plays on Zane Lowe’s Beats show and topping the Hype Machine’s most blogged chart (and featured in their end of year list)

Her songs so far are bright pop nuggets from the sweet melody of ‘Porcelain’ to orchestral finger-clicking ballad ‘Wolf’ and the whistle-assisted electronic pop of ‘Lack Of Emotion’.

https://soundcloud.com/skottpeace/sets/skott


3.

Jens Kuross

Brittle piano balladry with emotive results.

Idaho-born musician Jens Kuross studied Jazz at Berklee college in Boston but last year begun releasing music under his own name on the London-based Aesop label. Now based in LA, Kuross’ six tracks last year were songs of emotion, depth, minimalism and confident songwriting, taking on a singing style that gets more affecting as it opens up, with touches of Radiohead and minimalist songwriters.


4.

Ardyn

UK siblings reaching out with new pop tones.

Cotswold brother and sister Rob and Katy Pearson AKA Ardyn appeared with the smart indie pop song ‘Over The River’, a song close to London Grammar in mood. An EP followed, The Valley, which featured production by James Ford (Simian Mobile Disco, Arctic Monkeys). More of the EP’s arched celestial pop overtones would be welcome in 2017. If you’re in London next week, they play The Line Of Best Fit’s Five Day Forecast.


5.

Ailbhe Reddy

Dublin singer-songwriter has reached far in a short time.


For a new artist, having your second EP racking up over 1 million streams in your first year is quite an achievement. But Ailbhe Reddy has found fans wherever she has gone – whether its at festivals like Electric Picnic, Other Voices and Body & Soul among them. As she has grown in consciousness, so too has her craft and her live set finds her flanked by a full-band adding depth to already substantial songs. You may have heard her song ‘Seasonal’ in the RTÉ show Striking Out – courtesy of myself and Avant Music Port too.

2017 sees Ailbhe step it up into the wider world, starting with a new single ‘Relent’ and two gigs – The Servant Jazz Quarters in London on 15th February and The Sugar Club in Dublin on 22nd February.

Hear her new song below which Ailbhe says:

‘Relent’ is about looking back on a soured relationship & realising how it could have been, seeing the lessons and my own shortcomings as part of the story. It’s about the guilt that forms part of the natural retrospection on a once loving relationship. Too often these songs can be purely accusatory, whereas I’ve tried to explore the reality that there are two sides to every story and each party has their own narrative as they see it. The inspiration was these feelings and the song was written as an attempt to express this and move forward from it. To sweeten what has soured and move on without guilt”


6.

Her

French R&B duo.

Two French men make up the duo Her, making sensually suggestive R&B pop songs with electronic undertones – reminscent of Rhye with more body (ahem). They’ve had a few memorable songs already in the form of ‘Quite Like’, ‘Five Minutes’ and their most recent single ‘Queens’ featuring Zefire. They’re now signed to Island Records and kick off their year at Eurosonic next week. A debut album is forthcoming.


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Posted on January 5th, 2017

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Recent new artist of the week Jens Kuross, the Idaho-born musician making “brittle piano balladry with emotive results” has a new EP coming on the Aesop label.

‘We Will Run’ follows that template tumbling into some Radiohead-esque arrangements, but unlike that band, the song has an uplifting chorus.

We Will Run’ has been added to the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify.

Posted on October 13th, 2016

Artists:

Background:
Idaho-born musician who studied Jazz at Berklee college in Boston but just started releasing music under his own name on the London-based Aesop label (SOHN, Tala, Klyn).

Previous music experience:
Played with Ry X, The Acid and Howling’s live band.

Sounds in a nutshell?
Brittle piano balladry with emotive results.

From the artist’s mouth?

“I just sit at the piano for hours and hours and hours, sometimes I bang my face against it and on occasion, inspiration strikes. I do however attempt to write songs to their completion before I ever start recording them. I’m a firm believer that if the song doesn’t work when its reduced to its fundamental elements, (e.g. harmony, melody, rhythm, and lyric, i.e. just the vocal and the piano) then it probably isn’t a good song regardless of how much production wizardry you manage to smother it with.”

Nialler9 says:
Jens Kuross’ three tracks so far are the kind of music that from experience, sounds like the teasing out of a potential great talent. With a template that starts and largely ends with a piano and voice, Kuross focuses on writing a great song but still imbues it with some interesting shades and textures that become his own.

We’re not talking James Blake-level of experimentalism but Kuross is removed enough from the Tobias Jesso Junior retro balladry that he is a modern maker. The nearest comparison is Majical Cloudz (who recently called it a day) in terms of minimal electronic piano sonics. Vocally, I Have A Tribe is a comparison I’m drawn to.

Three of the four tracks from his forthcoming debut EP, Try To Follow, have been released so far.

The title track begins with airy synths and dry bell percussion that is punctured by drum hits and Kuross’ rolling timbre:

‘Steadier’ has a ember smoked frayed feel and a looping organ. It’s the chorus that is the clincher – “I guess your heat beats steadier than mine”.

Standout track of the three for me is ‘Nobody’s Problem’, Kuross’ most minimal, traditional and most affecting track.

Jens Kuross on Facebook | Twitter | Spotify | iTunes

Jens Kuross Tour dates

27/05 – St Pancras Old Church – London, UK – [Tickets]
28/05 – Huis 23, Brussels – Belgium [Tickets]
29/05 – Kleiner Donner – Hamburg, Germany – [Tickets]
30/05 – Badehaus Szimpla – Berlin, Germany – [Tickets]
01/06 – Divan du Monde – Paris, France [Tickets]

Posted on May 11th, 2016

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My favourite songs of the past month. Get the majority of them as a continuous playlists below on Spotify and Soundcloud.

Listen on Spotify

The top songs of the month

  1. Isaac Tichauer – ‘Higher Level’ (Bicep remix)

  2. Rusangano Family – ‘Lights On’
  3. Feather – ‘Like No Other’
  4. Bibio – ‘Light Up The Sky’
  5. Leon Vynehall – ‘Blush’
  6. DJ Shadow – ‘Nobody Speak’ (Feat. Run The Jewels)
  7. Lone – ‘Backtail Was Heavy’
  8. M83 feat. Mai Lan – ‘Go!’
  9. Kaytranada & Anderson Paak –  ‘Glowed Up’
  10.  Arthur Beatrice – ‘Every Cell’

  11. Pumarosa – ‘Cecile’
  12. Lil Silva – Lines
  13. Drake – ‘One Dance’
  14. Humans – Water Water
  15. Pleasure Model – ‘Mounnrocc’
  16. Tiga – 3 Rules
  17. Skepta – ‘Man’
  18. dvsn – ‘One In A Million (DVSN remix)’
  19. Ryan Vail – ‘Never’
  20. Bonzai – ‘No Rest’
  21. Cassius feat. Cat Power & Pharrell Williams – ‘Go Up’
  22. Imarhan – ‘Imarhan’
  23. Badbadnotgood – Speaking Gently
  24. Lyra – ‘Rabbit In The Headlights’
  25. Funeral Suits – ‘Tree Of Life’
  26. Pleasure Beach – ‘Magic Mountain’
  27. Ciaran Lavery – ‘Okkervil River’
  28. Jens Kuross – ‘Nobody’s Problem’
  29. Rozi Plain – Marshes
  30. abovedat – ‘Addicted’

Posted on May 3rd, 2016

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