‘Dark Places’ is the second single release by Maria Kelly from her new AA side ‘Dark Places’/‘Small Talk’. Both tracks tackle themes of mental health, depression and social anxiety.
The raw and open qualities on ‘Dark Places’ in dealing with mental-health related topics such as isolation and depression creates a space of reflection that resonates, with the angelic tones to Maria’s voice throughout allowing for that space of reflection to also be one of comfort.
Maria Kelly tackles the issue of mental health in her new song ‘Small Talk’. The song is full of subdued beauty. From the earthy quality of the acoustic guitars to the warm vocal delivery, this song is personal and intimate. The track is Kelly’s second release of 2018, the first being her excellent collaboration with Ailbhe Reddy on ‘Threads’.
THUMPER – AFL
THUMPER seem to have found their feet recently, sonically speaking. Following a stint touring with The Strypes, the group sound tight and their new track ‘AFL’ is testament to that fact. The song shows more signs of maturity and a more cohesive approach to songwriting. Coming in at just under four minutes, ‘AFL’ is a thrilling noise-pop number.
XO-MO – Sweat
XO-MO have gathered considerable media following recently, due in no small part to their affiliation with producer Mike Dean. Hype aside, ‘Sweat’ is an excellent debut single. Praise must be given to the layered production on the track, reverb soaked percussion hit add depth and character to the mix. XO-MO sound like a group who know exactly what sound they’re aspiring toward and, for the most part, succeed in reaching it on ‘Sweat’.
T.E.D – Shawty
T.E.D are the newest addition to the burgeoning trap scene in Dublin. The trio recently released ‘Shawty’, an undeniably superb trap track. Half-time drum beats with analog sub bass underneath make up the relatively simple, but effective, instrumental track. The auto-tuned hook repeats with the trio taking turns rapping over 16 bars. With a gorgeous video shot in Dublin city to accompany the track, ‘Shawty’ is a vibrant and exciting new Irish release.
Sleep Thieves – Aching Bones
Electronic trio Sleep Thieves seriously impress with their new track ‘Aching Bones’. The song is moody and atmospheric. The group seem to have drawn influence from the surrealistic lyricism of artists like Bjork and the pop idiom of the early Bat For Lashes material. The song is founded upon a throbbing synth bass, over which the vocal and synth hooks are added. The finished product is a thoughtful and nuanced electro-indie track.
Reuben James – Shoelace
BIMM graduate Reuben James has been gigging and releasing music since 2012. His new track ‘Shoelace’ is a summery hip hop track perfect for the sunny days. The track blends elements of hip-hop and R&B with its West Coast inspired flow and flamboyant backing vocals. With a reggae-inspired instrumental track, ‘Shoelace’ is an excellent song to soundtrack the oncoming summer.
Deaf Joe – And He Opened His Eyes And Looked Skyward
Waterford-based composer and producer Deaf Joe released the most unique piece of new Irish music this week with ‘And He Opened His Eyes And Looked Skyward’. The 14 minute track is an evolving ambient piece concerned with the experience of war, specifically the composer’s Grandfather’s own experience of the first World War. The track pulls elements from post modernist composers like Philip Glass as well as contemporary musicians like Nils Frahm with its mix of grand piano and analog synth textures. Emotional and evocative, ‘And He Opened His Eyes And Looked Skyward’ is a stunning piece of art music.
Fia Moon – The Fall
Fia Moon, an independent singer from Dublin, has just released her debut single ‘The Fall’. The song seems inspired by the current wave of R&B artists, with the organic instrumentation being overdubbed over a synth bass line. The beauty of the track lies in the excellent vocal delivery, with Moon’s warm voice glistening over the mix.
Melts – Skyward
Melts are a brand new group from Dublin comprised of members from Ghost Estates, The Things, The Mighty Stef and The North Sea. The psych rock group have drawn from their collective experience to deliver their excellent debut single ‘Skyward’. The song seems to fall somewhere between The Brain Jonestown Massacre and Interpol, a driving bass guitar keeps the intensity high while the vocal line verges on the surreal with it’s echo chamber quality. Having played their first few gigs supporting Fontaines D.C. , Melts are a welcome addition to the already rich Dublin rock scene.
Last Thursday, Homebeat launched their Spring 2018 programme with a sold-out show by Maria Kelly and guests in the Fumbally Stables in Dublin 8.
The building, which was originally constructed in the 1750s, and is used by The Fumbally Café team next door for events and workshops has retained some of its original features and the night offered an intimate candlelit setting for suitably intimate performances.
Wicklow native singer-songwriter Anna Mieke opened up the night, who some of you may recognize from the latest episode of This Ain’t No Disco. Anna’s voice embodies tone similar to that of Lisa Hannigan with elements of folk, trad and blues that sets her apart. For her second song, she presented a bouzouki, which she explains was purchased in Greece while she spent a summer there before ending up at a festival in a small town in France where she saw riot scenes of blood and tear gas. ‘Aurillac’, the song that encapsulates a strong sentiment of her experience.
With no music officially released yet, Anna Mieke is certainly someone to be excited about, with a fresh depth of talent and a traditional storytelling ability incorporated into her music. Anna Mieke takes you on a journey to where she has been and where she may yet to be.
As Maria tuned her guitar on stage the hum of conversation from the crowd was quickly reduced to a sharp silence with the first strum. Maria made her music debut with two years ago with ‘Before It Has Begun’ via Vita Records, an angelic love song that she wrote when she was 15. Tonight, she previewed some of the new material that she has been working which incorporates themes such as mental health and social anxiety. Maria’s songwriting ability can create a space of reflection that resonates, and her multi-toned vocal style compliments this intrinsically.
In celebrating the release of new track ‘Threads’ last week, Maria was joined by special guest Ailbhe Reddy with Anna also returning to offer backing vocals. Maria invited the audience to record the performance on their phones with the aim of making a 360 video from the night. All three voices harmonised each other with elegance, and commanded a sense of attention within the room.
Mayo-native singer-songwriter Maria Kelly has teamed up with Dublin-native Ailbhe Reddy on new track ‘Threads’ which is out on February 16th via Veta Records.
After touring together last year both artists realised that they have very similar influences and style of music. The track was co-written by Maria and Ailbhe from unfinished material they both had and deals with the emotions attached to being in a relationship with someone who is not showing full commitment.
“We just continued with this theme of someone having one foot out the door and how heartbreaking that can be to experience” says Reddy
Their voices compliment each other eloquently and effortlessly with and instrumentation on the track that seeps out further emotion. Both artists having the ability to captivate attention through their honest and open form of music.
Jome is a newly launched project, half of which is made up of an old favourite artist of mine, Imaginary Future. His solo music is very simply singer-songwriter, with intricate, heartfelt lyrics. With Jome, those elements are still present but it’s effectively pop with a little more resonance to it. ‘Hollow’ is one of my favourites from the album because of its hefty chorus but the whole record is definitely worth a listen.
Lorde – Liability
I’m in love with Lorde’s entire album Melodrama. I think it’s one of the best records written this year and one of the most effective I’ve ever heard in terms of capturing heartbreak & rediscovery. It was hard to choose a favourite but ‘Liability’ stopped me in my tracks when I first heard it – I felt like I had just read her diary.
Lucy Rose – Second Chance
I’ve always been a massive fan of Lucy Rose and her new album ‘Somethings Changing’ was so exception. It usually only takes one really great lyric to draw me into a song and these particular lines struck a chord with me:
“Take my photograph keep it ’til I’m old enough to know That I was lovely, and I was truthful If only I could have seen it If only I could have believed it”
LAOISE – Rich
My favourite release from Laoise so far is Rich. It’s such an infectious melody. On top of the song itself, everything that accompanied the release was so thoughtfully put together – the artwork, the video – it made for a whole experience, not just a one-off tune and really made me want to experiment with my visuals too.
Big Thief – Pretty Things
A friend introduced me to Big Thief and now I’m in love with their entire back catalogue. ‘Pretty Things’ is a particular stand out, it’s so beautifully sad and heartfelt.
George Ogilvie – Surveillance
I just discovered this song on a random Spotify playlist and I am absolutely in love with it. Ogilvie’s vocal is mesmerising and the production perfectly compliments it.
All Tvvins – Crash
The most recent release on this list is ‘Crash’ from All Tvvins. I’m always intrigued by vocal effects and the melody and production on this track are just so well crafted. I love the conversational style of the lyrics and the way the chorus just kind of hits you in the face. Just an absolute tune.
Billie Eilish – Bellyache
Recently, I’ve been listening to a lot more electronic music. I discovered Eilish last month and I’m blown away by her. Mostly by the fact that she is 15 (see profile). Bellyache is just a hilariously good song. Written about murdering all her friends, yet also a total bop. And what a video.
Ailbhe Reddy – Never Loved
I swear I’m not being biased by including my friends on this list – I honestly think ‘Never Loved’ from Ailbhe’s ‘Attached To Memory’ EP is such an incredible song. I had the pleasure of hearing it live every night on our tour in May and the meaning of it never fails to hit home every time.
Rae Morris – Do It
Just an ultimate feel good track. When I discovered this song, I played it on repeat for days. Also great for dancing around your sitting room to pump yourself up for gigs..or so a friend told me.
This track from the Wicklow trio has melodic and vocal similarities to that of Hiatus Kaiyote, with a soothing mix of bass synths and soft drum beats, written in response to the Simon and Garfunkel song ‘I Am A Rock’.
IAMDDB ft Graeme S – You Don’t Know Me
You should already know who IAMDDB is but if you don’t, she is 21-year-old singer-songwriter Diana Debrito from Manchester. Here, she teams up with Limerick producer Graeme S (also of Lakerama / Hsuan Records). The track is fueled with snappy lyrics from IAMDDB almost freestyling over a mix of screeching sounds and ambient beats. It’s one of two tracks that the pair teamed up on the EP. IAMDDB plays a headline show in The Button Factory this Thursday.
Maria Kelly – Hollow
The Mayo singer-songwriter continues to deliver delicate melodies and hauntingly emotional lyrics and vocals on her new track ‘Hollow’. The soft tones of violin throughout the track further more add to the emotive tone. You can catch Maria Kelly live this weekend at Other Voices in Dingle.
All Tvvins – Crash
Dublin duo Conor Adams and Lar Kaye have spent the year moving their music from a stadium-centred rock style to a more exploratory pop sound aided by a new relationship with Diffusion Lab (Soulé, Jafaris). ‘Crash’ is notable for its sombre lyrical content: covering traumatic life experiences – heart attack and cancer. It’s a downbeat and desolate song with Adams’ processed voice not hiding the desolation. The song offers a respite in a chorus that at once, acknowledges the fatalistic but offers hope in its soaring sonics.
Everyone feels great after a haircut but Jake Hurley felt so good that he wrote a song about it and a tongue-in-cheek catchy one at that. The video was directed by Zak Milofsky.
Blue Americans – Bull On Venice Beach
Paris/Belfast duo Daniel Morgan Ball and Kris Platt were former members of Belfast alt-rock band More Than Conquerors. Two years later, they have returned with a very different sound ‘Bull On Venice Beach’ is markedly contrasting in its melodically-coated vocals and bright electro-pop production. A surprising rebirth. They play Bar Sub in Belfast on December 3rd.
‘Enfold You’ showcases a more experimental and developing sound for Wastefellow in comparison to his previous releases such as ‘Wonder’ and ‘Meet Me’. The video was directed and edited by Flann Manning with lighting techniques inspired by the ’60s film Inferno.
Ganiyu TLG & Lui Meme – Vulnerable ft Mike Lawal
Ganiyu TLG started the year with the incendiary track ‘Shivers’ and ends it with this soulful jazzy banger with a video shot in and around the Guinness premises at St. James’ Gate and includes a local misunderstanding on the carriage.
Inner City Radio – Love
A Limerick-based collaboration between Emøly and Sean O’Mahony, Inner City Radio follow up the digital blues of ‘S.O.S’ with a soulful live track ‘Love’.
This track by Dublin native Anthony McGeown is a collaboration with Overhead, the Albatross members David Prendergast and Ben Garrett that builds up slowly with a mix of alternative-rock and ambient pop.
Mayo singer-songwriter Maria Kelly has been writing music since she was 10, yet she’s just released her first single ‘Before It Has Begun’, a mournful finger-picked acoustic song released late last year.
Followup single ‘Black & Blue’ is a melodic acoustic pop song in the vein of a brighter Daughter.
It’s out 1st July 2016 via Veta Records and arrives with this video directed by Kate Dolan where Kelly attempts to impress a boy.