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.