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


Arctic Monkeys – Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino

The sixth album from the Arctic Monkeys has been met with equal doses of praise and condemnation. Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is certainly the group’s most ambitious studio release to date. Musically, the group have shifted away from the dirty guitar riffs of AM opting instead for a more psychedelic layered approach to the songwriting. The result is a much more nuanced sound, though perhaps not as immediately gratifying as the album’s predecessors. Lyrically Tranquility Base see’s Turner at his very best. Citing the influence of science fiction in the writing process in a Radio 1 interview, the lyrics on tracks like ‘Four Out Of Five’ and ‘Star Treatment’ are the perfect blend of cosmic surrealism and dry wit.


Beach House – 7

Baltimore dream pop duo Beach House have established themselves as one of the few bands consistently producing great music. Their new record 7 is both a continuation and a departure from their previous material. The band’s most identifiable traits are all still present. The rich textures and haunting vocal melodies are all there in abundance. However, the music on 7 has an edge their previous material does not. A track like ‘Dark Spring’ finds the group at their most animated while ‘Lemon Glow’ seems to take much influence from trip-hop. The album is a great example of how a band can have an distinguishable sound while avoiding becoming stale.


Paul Alwright – Hungry

Former Lethal Dialect hip-hop artist Paul Alwright has been making waves recently with Hungry, the first solo release by the artist under his own name. It seems like a new beginning for Alwright. The material on Hungry is vibrant, seeming to come from a writer who has something vital to say. Tackling a wide range of subjects from mental health, self doubt and critical thought , the album has an overwhelmingly honest charm. Songs like ‘The Auld Chinaman’ and ‘One Life’ prove that Alwright is one of the best lyricists in the country.


Slow Skies – Realign

Dublin-based singer-songwriter Karen Sheridan has been releasing music under the title of Slow Skies since her debut EP Close in 2013. Realign is the title of the project’s first full studio release. The album is a wonderful nostalgic folk endeavour. Sheridan’s vocal delivery being the absolute stand out feature, both intimate and moving. Whether it’s the lilting hook behind lead single ‘Fire’ or the lush harmonies on the album’s title track, Sheridan’s ability as a singer and melody writer is stunning.


Cloud – Dungaree Daydreams

An Irish man splitting his time between Dublin and London, Cloud has impressed with his debut release Dungaree Daydreams. The album plays like a hybrid between the downer pop vibe of artists like King Krule and the hip-hop essence of groups like Homebeat. Released independently, Dungaree Daydreams’ lo-fi production only adds to the album’s charisma. With a clever ear for a hook and some fantastic beats, Cloud’s music is youthful and exuberant. A welcome addition to the already rich roster of Irish musical talent.


Simian Mobile Disco – Murmurations

Those who would have been worried that Simian Mobile Disco were thinking of calling it a day after the release of an anthology album last year will be relieved to hear of their brand new album Murmurations. In fact, the album sounds like the sort of material from a band who still have plenty to say. This album is the first from the group in years to predominately feature the human voice, with numerous features from all-female vocal group Deep Throat Choir. Murmurations finds the happy balance between the experimental aspects of albums like Whorl and the commercial quality of the group’s earlier material. Album highlights include ‘Caught In A Wave’ and the wonderful ‘Defender’.


Half Waif – Lavender

A self described mood ring pop artist, Half Waif’s new album Lavender is exactly the sort of inventive music you’d expect from such a genre. Fluid synth lines dance above and below the artist’s vocal delivery. The moody vocal lines sound exposed next to the pointed minimalism of the album’s production. On the one hand, it’s a sound that has been explored before. However, there is something unique about the Brooklyn-based artist’s music. There’s a feeling of beat poetry about the lyrics on the album. At times, it sounds like Half Waif is having a frantic conversation with the audience. It makes for some compelling listening.


Posted on May 16th, 2018


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Karen Sheridan, performing under the name Slow Skies has a new song ‘Fire’, her first since2017’s ‘Shut Your Eyes’.

It’s an expansion upon the dreamy folk sound that Sheridan has been honing since first releasing material in 2011. The addition of a full backing band builds a rich texture underneath the warm quality of Sheridan’s vocal delivery.

The song seems to be set in the midst of a tumultuous relationship and, while sombre at points, is laden with the artist’s determination to make it through the rough times.

‘Fire’ could mark a changing point in the kind of music we can expect from Slow Skies when her debut album Realign drops on May 11th.

A Dublin show happens at Fumbally Stables, 17th May.

About the album

The album was produced in Dublin with Ber Quinn and has various Irish musicians playing on it including Pat O’Leary on keys, Micheal Quinn on drums, Joe Furlong on bass, Danny Snow on double bass, Lia Wright on violin and Matt Rafter on cello.

Speaking about the album Karen says “I started writing the album in Sweden on a writers retreat but ended up writing most of it in the attic of my grandparents house much later, when the pressure was off. I had bought an electric guitar and various electronic bits to endeavour to make some cool music but it just was not working. I ended up scrapping all that and just went back to my trusty, old acoustic guitar. I was in a transition and I needed to evaluate a lot of things in my life. The title for the album came from a song called Realign, a song of hope and joy, exploring the possibility of change and of self-transformation for yourself and for the people around you no matter how bad things have been before”. 

Track list
Shut Your Eyes
Lilac Love
Feel It
Map Out
A Place In Time.

Posted on April 9th, 2018



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


Tooka – Bogotá

Tooka are a new three-piece electronic band from Dublin who formed this year made up by Ben Higgins (vocals/guitar), Jack Gamble (vocals/guitar) and Dónal Sharpson ( piano/vocals/production) – the same guy who dropped Bonobo-esque upbeat feel-good track ‘Sheikah’ earlier in the year. Elements of Dónal’s production style can be heard on ‘Bogotá, a vibrant energy that is emotionally laced with a harmonious flow and piano riffs. The track is from their three track self-titled EP.


Pillow Queens – Puppets

On their way to dominating the current Irish indie-pop scene Pillow Queens release ‘Puppets’ their second release this year as follow on from ‘Favourite’. The title of their forthcoming EP out on March 16th State of State was inspired by ‘Puppets’. The track does not fail to deliver that infectious quality that Pillow Queens embody in their music, while at the same time dealing with the issues present in a post-recession Ireland and the effect that can have on your mental health.


The Hot Sprockets – Cold Cold Sweat

Dublin soul-rock four-piece The Hot Sprockets are teasing the sound of their new album Dream Mover with an impactful tone on this first release ‘Cold Cold Sweat’. The added brass elements and afro-beat influence on the track sees a step up in soulful energy for the band. Excitement for the new sound on the album builds.

The album launch takes place at The Button Factory on April 14th.


Slow Skies – Dancing

Slow Skies is the musical project of Dublin musician Karen Sheridan. ‘Dancing’ is an ambient folk-pop track that captivates attention with Karen’s angelic vocal delivery. Her debut album is set for release in May.


Days_S – Elbows

This is Dublin-based singer-songwriter Dave Costello or Day_S, second release via Diffusion Lab as a follow-on from his debut release ‘Last Night’. ‘Elbows’ is another soulful electric pop track delivery from the 22-year-old musician. A stripped back acoustic version of the track is also out.


Montauk Hotel – Hands

Dublin-based indie-pop four-piece band Montauk Hotel made their debut with ‘Sense of Place’ last year. ‘Hands’ is an 80s-inspired pop track with a beaming melody.

You can catch them live at The Paddy’s Weekender at The Workman’s Club this Saturday March 17th.


Sequence – Stunna

Athlone-based hip-hip artist Sequence’s new track ‘Stunna’ is his first release from his EP Take Time which will be released this July. The track is an upbeat feel-good track with a UK afrobeat tone.


Super Silly – Here

Hudis, Grvz, SolBas and Glory make up the Dublin-based group Super Silly. ‘Here’ is a modern R’n’B track with a soulful-pop melody, produced by Tunde Esho and recorded with Rian Trench of Solar Bears.

The video was directed by Sean Clancy.


Sorcha Richardson – Can’t We Pretend

Dublin-native, Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter Sorcha Richardson’s latest release represents a slightly more stripped back and slower-tempo sound than her previous release ‘Waking Life’. In 2015 Sorcha released an acoustic demo recorded in her bedroom titled ‘I Can Be Your Friend’ via YouTube. It appears that this same track has been developed into the harmonious electro-pop track ‘Can’t We Pretend’.

Posted on March 14th, 2018


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Karen Sheridan and Conal Herron’s Slow Skies was quiet for 2015 since ‘Bodies’ and their Keepsake EP but thankfully, the pair have regrouped and released a new single as of Friday.

‘Winter Night’ is a drifting piano ballad, about “trying to capture a place in time or feeling you once had and wanting to hold on to it, not wanting to move on from it. It’s that feeling you have where you wish you could go back in time and just be in that moment or feeling again. It comes from a place of longing.”

It was recorded by Ber Quinn (Villagers), and featuring piano from Patrick O’Laoghaire (I Have a Tribe) who plays live with Karen sometimes.

Posted on February 22nd, 2016


Over three days and nights in Cork the Sounds From A Safe Harbour’s programme took hold in the venues of the city that saw the likes of Lisa Hannigan, Wild Beasts, The National’s Bryce and Aaron Dessner, Richard Reed Parry, Crash Ensemble and many more contemporary artists play shows in a new festival put together by Mary Hickson of the Cork Opera House and curated by Bryce Dessner.

It was a superb first year, with bonded warehouse food, cocktail bars, gigs and talks; exhibitions and screenings and an attendance that further suggested Cork was more than ready for this unique style of contemporary/classical yet alternative-leaning festival to dock in the city.

As part of the whole experience, I curated a free music trail around 5 pubs/venues in the city including Crane Lane, Bodega, The Oval, Poor Relation and BDSM which featured shows from My Brightest Diamond, I Am The Cosmos, Rusangano Family, Bantum, Shookrah, This Is The Kit, I Have A Tribe, Katharine Phillippa, Somerville, Quiet River Of Dust, Slow Skies, Loah, Conor Walsh, Deady, Adultrock, Talos and more.

If you missed out, here’s flavour of the weekend through the lens of Bríd O’Donovan. Here’s to the hope of the return of the festival next year. Thanks Mary, Bryce and Cork for having me too.

Posted on September 22nd, 2015


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Next weekend, the Sounds From A Safe Harbour festival will take over the port and city of Cork.

Curated by Bryce Dessner of The National, the festival will feature shows from The Gloaming, Wild Beasts,Julianna Barwick, My Brightest Diamond, Sam Amidon, a collaboration between Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Amiina, This Is How We Fly; Donal Dineen, Crash Ensemble, Eat My Noise and more.

As part of the festival, I’ve put together a free music trail taking place across three days and nights in Rising Sons’ venues Crane Lane, Bodega, Poor Relation, The Oval and BDSM starting on Culture Night on Friday 18th with Rusangano Family and happening in between the main gigs on Saturday afternoon and late night.

Playing are:

My Brightest Diamond, I Am The Cosmos, Rusangano Family, Bantum, Shookrah, This Is The Kit, Mina Tindle, I Have A Tribe, Katharine Phillippa, Somerville, Quiet River Of Dust (featuring Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry) Slow Skies, Fish Go Deep, Loah, Conor Walsh, Deady, Adultrock, Talos, Colm K, Vinyl Love.

Facebook event | Festival





2PM Bodega

Slow Skies (@ BDSM)

3pm Bodega

Katharine PhillippaSomerville (@ BDSM)

4pm The Oval

TalosConor Walsh

5PM Bodega

Rusangano FamilyThis Is The KitLOAH

6pm Bodega

ShookrahDeadyI Have A Tribe

7PM Crane Lane

Mina TindleMy Brightest DiamondQuiet River Of Dust (feat. Richard Reed Parry of Arcade Fire)

11PM Poor Relation

I Am The CosmosBantum

Midnight Poor Relation

Vinyl LoveAdultrockFish Go Deep (@ Bodega)

01:00 – close

Vinyl LoveColm K (DJ set)Fish Go Deep (@ Bodega)

Posted on September 9th, 2015


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Sounds from a Safe Harbour is a new festival taking place around the city of Cork from September 17th to 20th. put together by Cork Opera House with a lineup curated by Bryce Dessner of The National.

Already set to feature the likes of The Gloaming, Julianna Barwick, My Brightest Diamond, Sam Amidon, a collaboration between Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Amiina and lots more as previously announced, today the festival have added Wild Beasts to their lineup. The band will headline Cork Opera House on Sunday, September 20th.

Sounds from a Safe Harbour music trail

On a personal note, I’m pleased to share the news that Nialler9 is curating a music trail around the city that weekend which will take place in various venues and pubs owned by Benny McCabe including the Rising Sons brewery, Bodega and more.

The confirmed lineup for the free music trail which will take place in the afternoons, evenings and late-night during the festival includes Slow Skies, I Am The Cosmos, Rusangano Family, Somerville, Bantum, Talos, Shookrah, Conor Walsh and Vinyl Love with more to be confirmed. Artists from the existing lineup will also be playing these music trail shows.

Other confirmations

Soundings from a Safe Harbour – Lisa Hannigan and Dylan Haskins’ podcast turned live show will welcome Bryce, Aaron and Jessica Dessner in the unique setting of a Bonded Warehouse down on the Port of Cork. The show happens in three sections – the first is stories to inspire, then stories to alarm, and finally stories to humour. Each section is bridged by a song on those themes.

Cork salad king Rocketman will host a food area at the Bonded Warehouse which will include Cork food, food trails and special dining experiences.

The Glucksman will present a week long exhibition of the mesmerising seascapes of renowned Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. The exhibition will take place in one of the interior chambers of the historic observatory on the UCC Campus, evoking the connection between tide and moon, sea and stars.

A screening of Matthew Ritchie’s ‘Monstrance’, which is scored by Bryce Dessner and features Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond).

‘Sail to Sirius’ – Saturday 19 September. A vessel will leave Port of Cork with 40 souls, bound for Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh. On board, the seafarers will be treated to a live performance by Landless before alighting at Sirius for lunch on the venue’s veranda, overlooking Cork Harbour. This will be followed with a double billed performance by Rainwear and Sirius Arts Centre’s artist in residence Nad Spiro.

Cork’s own Alex Petcu-Colan will present a percussion programme in CIT School of Music’s Curtis Auditorium with a programme entitled WoodMetalWater with the Bangers and Crash Percussion group.

Craig Carry of Fractured Air is teaming up with Filter Cafe for an exhibition of work created in response to the festival programme.

Cork Concert Orchestra and the Lords of Strut will also play over the weekend.

Some shows are free, some are ticketed and you can buy a ticket for all shows all at the Ticket section.

Check out the Fractured Air mix to coincide with the news:

A Safe Harbour Vol. 2 [A Fractured Air Mix] by Fractured_Air on Mixcloud

Posted on July 20th, 2015


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Homebeat and KPB are presenting a new two-day small festival of music, film and food in the impressive natural Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre in Co. Kilkenny, just outside the city.

On Friday July 3rd, Happenings will screen the Goonies in the hollow while on the Saturday July 4th, there will be music from Jape, Elephant The Man Whom, Sails, Slow Skies and I Have A Tribe. An afterparty in the Set Theatre will feature a Jape DJ set and T/A/S/T/E DJs too.

The event is non-camping and buses will run from Kilkenny City to and back.

Tickets for Hollow Sounds go on sale this Friday 15 May at 10am and are available from Eventbrite.ie priced at €30 Early birds and €38.50 regular. Regular + Return bus from Kilkenny is €45. The film costs €5 or €10 with bus.

Posted on May 12th, 2015


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The Wonderlust stage is where you may spend a lot of the time during the day at Body & Soul on the summer solstice weekend as it’s a nice place to chill out and it has a lot of varied things on during the day and night.

At night-time, it’s all about the music and the lineup will feature Interskalactic, Hare Squead, Talos, Inni-K, Landless, Katie Kim, Maria Somerville, Ambience Affair, Augustus & John, Twin Headed Wolf, Christof and I Am Niamh, Slow Skies and DJ sets from Daithí, Donal Dineen and Sally Cinnamon.

By day, it’s more talk-based with conversations with creative collectives Le Cool, The Trailblazery, Young Hearts Run Free, The Tweed Project, Forkful, Arran St East, Queens of Neon, Kickstart and Fraoch. Special Wonderlust guests include Sunny Jacobs, Ruairi McKiernan, Donal Lunny, Donal Dineen and Canadian electronic musician Mike Milosh ( who is playing as Rhye). Topics include Irish Design, Passion Projects, Slow Fashion to Food & Nourishment, Yoga Nidra and Kismet – The Art of Chance Encounters.

Here’s a handy playlist of music from the artists:

Posted on May 6th, 2015


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For their new EP, entitled Keepsake, Slow Skies (Karen Sheridan & Conal Herron) have amped up the atmosphere between the notes and words, moving their sound into more dynamic and effective places.

A couple of weeks ago the ’80s feel of ‘Ice Field’ marked that change. It’s further reinforced by ‘Bodies’, track two on the EP, in which Karen sings of searching for bodies in the snow, adding a glacial cold front to the band’s usually lilting sound.

Slow Skies are in London supporting James Vincent McMorrow on October 5th at Shepherds Bush Empire next month. Keepsake is out on Faction on September 26 (IE), 29 (UK), 30 (US).

Posted on September 17th, 2014


The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site, as per below. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour.

Some first plays for little xs for eyes, Laura Doggett, Slow Skies, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and Dear Desert in this show.


Listen: Hour One

  1. Girl Band – ‘De Bom Bom’
  2. Sinkane – ‘New Name’
  3. Dear Desert – ‘Give It Up’
  4. James Vincent McMorrow – ‘When I Leave’
  5. Laura Doggett – ‘Phoenix’
  6. Zola Jesus – ‘Dangerous Days’
  7. Vaults – ‘Lifespan’
  8. M83 – ‘Don’t Save Us from the Flames’
  9. Say Lou Lou – ‘Games for Girls’
  10. Snakehips – ‘Days With You’ (feat. Sinead Harnett)
  11. little xs for eyes – ‘Love Gets Lost’
  12. The SM Corporation – ‘Hammer (1986 Studio Version)’


Listen: Hour Two

  1. Cloud Castle Lake – ‘A Wolf Howling’
  2. Mark Lanegan Band – ‘No Bells On Sunday’
  3. Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh –  ‘What What what’
  4. Slow Skies –  ‘Ice Field’
  5. Ballet School –  ‘LUX’
  6. Hauer  – ‘Merc II’
  7. Dornik – ‘Rebound’
  8. Benoit & Sergio  – ‘Your Darkness’
  9. SL2 –  ‘DJs Take Control’
  10. Diamond Dagger –  ‘Licky 6’

Posted on September 8th, 2014


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Dublin-based Cork producer REID is back with a new EP and the release is being trailed by ‘Fractures’, a track with a head-spinning night-time European electronic feel with nods to Gold Panda and vocals by Slow Skies aka Karen Sheridan.

The six-track Fractures EP on M:UK comes out on August 11th and features contributions from Woman’s Hour (who Reid recently remixed) and Sam Mason.

The song in iTunes

Posted on July 8th, 2014

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Ig you’re in Cork this Thursday, I’ll be DJing at Feel Good Lost’s Second birthday with live sets from Slow Magic, Giraffage, Slow Skies and a DJ set from Signal, Ian Ring of Young Wonder’s new garage/house project featuring live vocals from Senita Appiakorang. Live visuals all night by Feel Good Lost of course.

Tickets €¯8/€10 from the Pavilion venue.

Posted on June 10th, 2013


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The best new music/artist picks of the last week. As published in today’s Day & Night Magazine. Follow Day & Night on Twitter and Facebook.


Forget Emmelie De Forest’s Eurovision win, Denmark has much more going for it in the pop stakes, like the Florence Welch-esque sound of this Copenhagen cool chick who just released her second album Escapism.


Posted on May 24th, 2013

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