Mullingar band The Academic will play their biggest headline show to date in the Iveagh Gardens on Friday 20th July 2018.

Tickets priced at €35 go on sale Friday December 11th from

Most recently, the band released a live looped video of ‘Bear Claws’ that went viral.

The band’s debut album Tales From The Backseat is released January 12th and we’ve had two new songs from it in recent weeks.

Tales from the Backseat Tracklist:

1) Permanent Vacation
2) Bear Claws
3) Different
4) I Feel It Too
5) Bite My Tongue
6) Fake ID
7) Northern Boy
8) Television
9) Why Can’t We Be Friends?
10) Girlfriends

Posted on November 27th, 2017



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


Lilla Vargen – Downtown

Northern Irish artist Lilla Vargen has this past few months, burst into life with her live performances and a debut single. It has been a most welcome activity as the song and shows have resonated and she’s not ready to stop there.

Majical Cloudz’s ‘Downtown’ is already a devastatingly effective song in the hand’s of the now defunct Canadian duo. Lilla Vargen’s version doesn’t change much of the original’s as it doesn’t need much work. Instead, she heightens the song’s backing arrangements and sings the song in her own way. She plays for us next Thursday evening in Bello Bar alongside Jafaris and Sleep Thieves at Future Proof.


Molly Sterling – Plain Static

Tipperary singer Molly Sterling, is a 19 year-old who has been trekking her own creative path for a number of years and it feels like it’s now finding a place of resonance.

Her latest single is a piano-lead ballad based wholly in reality and all its flaws, that has intimacy in its construction and one that Sterling sings of her body “is not just feast for eyes / it’s a home / a prison / a craft / all at the same time ” and explores how her mind and body are interlinked in reaction to external forces.


The Lost Brothers – Echoes In The Wind

The finest harmonic folk singers in the style of The Everly Brothers in the country, Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland return to calm our nerves with thee first single from their forthcoming fifth album Halfway Towards A Healing out 26th January next year.


And So I Watch You From Afar – Dying Giants

A highlight from the Belfast band’s fifth album The Endless Shimmering is the sound of them doing what they do best, bludgeoning the competition with big rock moves counteracted with pretty little riffs.


Autre Monde – Leuctra

Autre Monde’s debut EP, which is released today on Popical Island, digs deeper than their first ’80s rock and post-punk references for a “murkier” sound, darker in tone with bands such as Can, Total Control and John Foxx namecheckd. ‘Leuctra’ has that John Maus-esque synth ambience for sure.


Autumns – You’re A Right Useless Cunt Aren’t You

It’s been a number of years since we heard from Derry artist Christian Donaghey and last time, that was more in the vein of jangly noise rock. Now, Autumns sounds like industrial techno a la Factory Floor and has a great title to boot. His Dyslexia Tracks EP is out on Touch Sensitive Friday.


Áine Cahill – Blood Diamonds

The Cavan singer celebrates signing to Warner Music with a track produced by Courage (who has produced Ray Blk). This is the most modern sound that Aine has displayed thus far.


Elephant – Time Will Tell

Dundalk man Shane Clarke has been embracing a more layered sound of late moving away from his debut of finger-plucked music and his new music has more of a starry-eyed celestial vibe in the vein of Bowie at times. The video for new song ‘Time Will Tell’ asked 28 local artists to take one word from each line of the song and represent it how they wished.


Leigh Michael – Cosmic Couch’

From Leigh Michael’s new Cosmic Couch EP produced by Staz comes this tongue-twisting rap track highlight. Leigh has a Youtube channel with rap tutorials.


The Academic – Permanent Vacation

After their looped music video took on a large viral lift (more on that here), the Mullingar indie popper announced their debut album Tales From The Backseat for January 12th 2018 with new single ‘Permanent Vacation’. The album was recorded in LA with producer Tim Pagnotta (Dreamcar, Walk The Moon, Saint Motel). Their gig in Vicar Street this Saturday is a sellout.

New Irish Music Spotify Playlist

Check out the regularly updated Spotify playlists.

Posted on November 3rd, 2017

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For a video of their latest single ‘Bear Claws’, Mullingar’s The Academic came up with an idea that OK Go would have been proud to do.

Using Facebook Live, the band figured they could use the slight delay/ lag in actually going live to create loops in which to build the song into a looped and stacked live version of the song. A brilliant idea.

Here’s how: We rearranged each instrument on “Bear Claws” to fit Facebook Live’s delay, with each loop getting more complex, adding instruments, rhythms, and melodies. Additionally, by projecting the video live from a soundstage we created an infinite tunnel consisting of all the previously recorded loops. Hope you guys like it!

The band play Vicar Street on November 4th.

Posted on October 4th, 2017


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

Nialler9 Weekly playlist


Mura Masa – ‘Nuggets’ feat. bonzai

After last Friday’s Damon Albarn and Christine & The Queens drops, Mura Masa returns to his old friend, the Irish/London vocalist and makes his best song in a while thanks to a rubbery bassline and Bonzai’s convicted delivery.


SZA – ‘Love Galore’

I spent a lot of time writing about SZA this week and this song keeps coming back to my ears.


Felix Pallas – ‘Similarities’

A Belgian band who are our blog friend Disco Naivete’s first release as a label, ‘Similarities’ is a sheenful dance-pop track rooted in full-band dynamics that reaches unexpected peaks.


The Academic – ‘Bear Claws’

The Mullingar band have re-recorded the song that turned everyone’s heads a few years back. This tighter version of the singalong indie-pop song is tighter and comes from the band’s debut album to come.


Shay Lia – What’s Your Problem?

Kaytranada on the beat and Shay Lia on the R&B low-end flow.


Skepta – ‘Hypocrisy’

“They try to disrespect me / When they’re online especially /But everything cool when they check me / Because I’m so cool and deadly / See, I had to realise slowly / That nobody actually knows me/ Yeah, man, I’ve got fifteen different iPhones / But I am so not phoney.” Skepta, true to form. He declined some amazing dinners and an MBE apparently.


Shabazz Palaces – ‘When Cats Claw’

Extraterrestial alt-rap group Shabazz Palaces will release two albums next Friday : Quazarz: Born on a Gangster Star and Quazarz vs The Jealous Machines but until that overload arrives drink in ‘When Cats Claw’, a echo chambering track.


Four Tet – Two Thousand And Seventeen’

Kieran Hebden returns to the relative calm of his early work with this minimally-pitched track that lets a string instrument become the main focus.

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 July 7th, 2017

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The Choice Music Prize have announced their song of the year nominees, which features 10 songs to a public vote.

The shortlist is decided by a combination of Choice judges (who are solely responsible for the album list), Today FM DJs and airplay.

They are:

All Tvvins – ‘Thank You’

Daithí – Mary Keane’s Introduction

Pleasure Beach – ‘Go’

The Academic – ‘Different’

Fight Like Apes – ‘Pretty Keen on Centerfolds’

Otherkin – ‘Ay Ay’

Kodaline – ‘Ready’

Hozier – ‘Someone New’

Gavin James – ‘Bitter Pill’

Vote here.

Posted on January 27th, 2016


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The music industry showcases continue to roll on with Eurosonic in Gronigen in Holland and SXSW in Austin Texas coming up in January and March respectively.

As part of the second wave of announcements for SXSW, Rusangano Family, Girls Names, Enemies, Saint Sister and September Girls are in there among the international acts like Nao, Autre Ne Veut, Pixx, Mercury Rev, Blanck Mass, Ezra Furman, Menace Beach and Vant. The whopper Spotify playlist for all of them is here.

The Academic and Rosie Carney were previously announced.

For Eurosonic, the entire Irish contingent via the Music From Ireland party has been revealed and it features: Marc O’Reilly, Rusangano Family, Pleasure Beach, The Academic, Otherkin, The Hot Sprockets, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and The Young Folk.

These acts will be abroad looking to make moves to benefit their careers.

Posted on November 18th, 2015


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Following last week’s preliminary announcement of Richard Hawley, Lapsley and more for Other Voices this year, the TV show and event in Dingle between Friday 4th – Sunday 6th of December, has announced more this week.

Making their trip to the main room at St. James Church also are:

Low, Jack Garrett, Keaton Henson, Glen Hansard and The Academic.

The Irish acts of the IMRO Other Room are:
Gavin Glass, Saint Sister, Talos, Bitch Falcon, Hawk with another TBC from the viewer’s choice from the open call.

For those heading to Dingle for the weekend, who may not get tickets, fear not, there’s a load of music happening for free in the pubs and venues of the town as the CPL Music Trail is back with 45 live acts including:

David Kitt, Sorcha Ni Bhriain, Declan McLoughlin, My Tribe Your Tribe, Eve Belle Mongoose, Chanele McGuinness, Hannah McPhilimy, Johnny Stewart , Hare Squead, Marc O’Reilly, Rusangano Family, Conor Walsh, Shookrah, Chapter 2, Slow Moving Clouds, Maria Kelly, Sample Answer, Callum Orr, Bad Sea, MKAI and Rebecca Collins

Listen to the first Other Voices podcast.

Posted on November 16th, 2015


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Mullingar band The Academic have been on my radar since December 2013 and the release of ‘Bear Claws’ . Things took off for the four lads with the release of ‘Different’ earlier this year which was picked up by radio nationwide and in the UK too, meaning there are many more ears trained on what’s coming next.

‘Northern Boy’ is the that next impressive single for the band – a melodic guitar track that swells  with a buildup of sonics and backing vocals that matches its message of encouragement in love.

Upcoming tour dates for The Academic in the Uk and Ireland.

Posted on September 22nd, 2015


Sea Sessions Surf & Music Festival  happens this weekend in Bundoran, rechristened Fundoran for those who make the trip to the edge of The Atlantic to what will probably be a sunny haven of surf, sand and tunes. Here’s my guide for who to catch at the festival and if you want more on Sea Sessions hit Vodafone Centre Stage, your festival resource this summer for news, tickets and performances all summer long.

So how about taking the hassle out of who to see? Just follow Nialler9’s guide.



The drummer from Kilkenny is much more than that one-man job as Jeremy Hickey does it all – makes the music, produces the tracks and plays it all. Live, he stays behind his drumkit flanked by visuals of his virtual self and still manages to look like he’s doing everything all at once. It’s that workmanship that has got him noticed by the likes of Bo’Tox and Xavier de Rosnay of Justice in France as the go-to guy for live beats.

The Minutes

There aren’t many classic rock’n’roll bands around these days but these Dubliners are definitely in the top tier of the pack with their visceral take on garage rock and rock’n’roll. Second album Live Well, Change Often saw the band become a European tour staple picking up fans across the continent along the way. As a result, these lads are primed and ready to give you a sweaty rock show at all times.

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Posted on June 16th, 2015


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The Great Escape has announced its last 150 bands (150) bands for the new music festival in Brighton from May 14th-16th to add to this list.

Highlights include Ciaran Lavery, Empress Of, Float Fall, Gaz Coombes, Lion Babe, Klo, Landshapes, Mick Jenkins, The Academic, Skepta and Rhodes.

A.O.S.O.O.N / Acid Arab / Ady Suleiman / Afrikan Boy / Akcadamy / Al Bairre / Allusondrugs / Andreas Moe / Arborist / Astronomyy / Baby Queens / Bad Weed / Baxter Dury / Beach Baby / Bill Ryder Jones / Blanck Mass / Blaue Blume / Bonkaz / Brika / Bristol / C. Duncan / Cape Cub / Casi / Cc Smugglers / Chilli And The Whalekillers / Ciaran Lavery / Daisy Victoria / Dan Owen / Daudi Matsiko / Dj Nature / Duke Garwood / Elias / Empress Of / English Heretic / Fekky / Feverist / Fickle Friends / Float Fall / Francisco The Man / Furs / Gabi / Gaz Coombes / Georgia / Get Inuit / Gramotones / Hannah Lou Clark / Hein Cooper / Ho99O9 / Hollysiz / Hooton Tennis Club / Hyena / Indigo Face / Jack Robert Hardman / Jamie Lawson / Jane Weaver / Jeanne Added / Jeremy? / Jerry Williams / Jesse Sheehan / Jme / Joe Dolman / Jpnsgrls / Julia Marcell / Junius Meyvant / K.I.D / Kelvin Jones / Klara Ketelaars / Klo / Kuenta I Tambu / Landshapes / Liberto Wolf / Lily Rendle-Moore / Lion Babe / Lloyd Yates / Lonely The Brave / Loris / Miamigo / Mick Jenkins / Mile Me Deaf / Model Aeroplanes / Mugwump / Nah / Neon Saturdays / New City Kings / Ngod / Ocean Wisdom / Okmalumkoolkat / Ólah Bliss / Oliver Daldry / Olivier Heim / Optical / P.H. Fat / Palace / Plastic Mermaids / Queen Kwong / Raye / Rebecca Clements / Rhodes / Ria Mae / Rob Finlay / Robyn Sherwell / Rory Indiana / Sabella / Sasha Siem / Say Yes Dog / Saycet / Scarlet Rascal / Sg Lewis / Shopping / Skepta / Slug / Sonar Soul / Spring King / Stal / Sunflower Bean / Sykes / Tama Sumo / The Academic / The Accidentals / The Big Bluff / The Cribs / The Mispers / The Moon / The One Hundred / The Strypes / The Vryll Society / Thor Rixon / Tkay Maidza / Tor Miller / Tora / Triana Park / Tropics / Tusks / Versus You / Warm Graves / Whilk And Misky / White / Wyles & Simpson / Yorke / Young Kato / Young Romance / Yung / Zak Abel / Zibra / Ωracles

Tickets are £59.50 without fees got the three-day festival.

Posted on March 27th, 2015


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Barn Dance Festival, now BD Festival happens on Good Friday one-day festival in Glendalough House, Co. Wicklow on April 3rd.

Today, they added Jape, The Academic, Hare Squead (who rocked our Paddy’s Day Unlocked event), Discopunks, Brian Deady, Together Disco’s Confession Session, Heroes In Hiding, Mode 1 + Lee Kelly, Dave O’Sullivan, Pusher, Lerosa, Mulljoy, Kaily, Room 19, All City DJs, This Greedy Pig, Southpaw, Shake, The Raid, The Malibu Club and Shane Linehan.

That adds to the existing lineup:
Leftfield DJ set, Benoit & Sergio, Ben Sims, Omar S, Mundy , Hot Sprockets, Smash Hits, Eskies, Jay Daniel, Frank B, Interskalactic


There will also be a Whelan’s Main Stage, Together Disco, Abstract Dance Arena, Subject Forest Stage, gastronomic feasts and visual arts.
Tickets are €60 + fee from, and retail outlets nationwide.


As for getting there: A bus service will run from Custom House Quay from 3pm and every 30 minutes thereafter with tickets priced from €10 on the website, return bus tickets must be purchased in advance or on entry. Limited parking will be available along with a taxi drop off point.

Posted on March 19th, 2015


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As broadcast last night, as it is every Thursday from 10pm to midnight TXFM.

Part One

  1. Mark Ronson – ‘Daffodils’
  2. Chromatics – ‘I Can Never Be Myself When You’re Around’
  3. Twin Shadow – ‘Old Love / New Love’
  4. Tame Impala – ‘Let It Happen’
  5. Toro y Moi – ‘Buffalo’
  6. Little Green Cars – ‘The John Wayne’
  7. The Academic – ‘Different’
  8. Hare Squead – ‘Bop With It’
  9. Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment – ‘Sunday Candy’
  10. Discopunks – ‘Tie Me Up’
  11. Tobias Jesso Jr. – ‘Can’t Stop Thinking About You’

Part Two 

  1. And So I Watch You From Afar – ‘Wasps’
  2. Evvol – ‘Your Love’
  3. Young Wonder – ‘Enchanted’
  4. Girlpool – ‘Jane’
  5. David Holmes – ‘My Mate Paul’
  6. Clarence Clarity – ‘Will To Believe’
  7. Speelburg – ‘Kline’
  8. Oh Wonder – ‘Technicolour Beat’
  9. Grimes – ‘REALiTi’
  10. Ryan Vail and Ciaran Lavery – ‘The Colour Blue’
  11. Villagers – ‘Hot Scary Summer’
  12. Sufjan Stevens – ‘Should Have Known Better’
  13. Courtney Barnett – ‘Depreston’

You can listen live on Thursdays to the show on 105.2FM, online, the iOs app, Android app or if you missed it, along with all the other shows, via the listen back section

Posted on March 13th, 2015


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Mullingar’s The Academic were one of the best live bands I saw last year on my four week stint around Ireland for Guinness Amplify.

The four lads consisting of Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin, Stephen Murtagh and Matt Murtagh also left a big impression with their debut single ‘Bear Claws’ and they’ll hope to keep it up with their debut four-track EP released on April 24th.

‘Different’, the first track from it is a tightly-played three-minute indie-rock pop track, effortlessly sauntering around your ears in a melodic and pleasing fashion.

Posted on March 3rd, 2015


From Thursday to Saturday this week, seven venues will be occupied by 104 Irish bands playing the Hard Working Class Heroes festival playing to music fans, interested parties, industry delegates, bands, friends and all sorts. There are free daytime gigs, a convention in the Liberties speed sessions, panels, tech companies, talks and much much more. Tickets are €20 per day or €45 for the three days. It’s one of my favourite weekends in Dublin of the year. There’s a great buzz about.

Here are 18 new bands to see this weekend, I kept it strictly to bands that have not released a debut album yet. Enjoy.

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

1. Rusangano Family


Energetic talented Limerick rap trio.

Thursday October 2 – 10pm @ The Button Factory

Anyone who witnessed these two Limerick MCs (Murly goes untitled for now) live and producer John Lillis, like last Friday night’s Minimum Maximum Block-T show has felt the relentless energy of their music: an all-moving, all-interacting proper show. Plus, they have released one of the best Irish albums this year too.

2. Planet Parade


Kildare band return with a rich new sound

Thursday October 2 – 8.45pm @ Meeting House Square

Michael Hopkins and Andrew Lloyd played their first gig in four years with four band members last Friday with us and  showcased a new sound that traced a line between electronics and indie with rich songcraft and confident style. They used to sound more like The Police, now they sound more like they’re own thing.

3. Dear Desert


Dublin emotive pop purveyors.

Thursday Oct 2 – 10pm @ The Workman’s Club / 14:00 @ NDRC, In The City

A new band formed from Futures Apart and Hush War Cry, the two songs so far featuring production from Darragh Nolan have suggested an elegance and a quality in the arrangement and songwriting of these Wild Beasts-style ’80s throwback synth pop tracks. ‘Give It Up’ is a particularly exciting track.

4. Voids


Ambient bass-toned duo from Galway

Thursday Oct 2 – 8pm @ The Workman’s Club / 1:30pm @ HMV Henry Street

This Galway duo make ambient electronic music with cold tones from a warm instrument, a bass guitar and the singer Alison’s icy voice. Their new EP Begin came out last week on High Society.

5. The Academic


Mullingar indie-pop band on the up

Thursday Oct 2 10.40 @ Bad Bob’s

Four Mullingar school-friends with a penchant for pop hooks and charming indie-rock music. They’re on the way up, this weekend is a good time to catch them.

6. Atriums


Baldoyle singer-songwriter

Thursday Oct 2 10.40 @ Bad Bob’s / 1pm @ Jo Burger

Dublin singer Gavin Farrell is still in early days but citing Perfume Genius and Youth Lagoon as two influences on his bedroom folk pop has me intrigued. He’s just released his debut EP tell me we both matter, don’t we?

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

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Posted on October 3rd, 2014


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Hard Working Class Heroes today unveiled 100+ artists who will play the festival’s 12th year in Dublin from Thursday October 2nd – Sunday October 4th. This year the festival is sponsored by HMV Ireland and as is now established will feature a conference taking in mentoring, panels, advice and involvement from the tech space.

500 bands applied for the festival this year and they were judged by music people at home and abroad (including me).

Here is the list of bands that will play this year. Deeper delving into the lineup will commence here in September.

The bands

A Lazarus Soul
Benny smiles
Brian Casey
Buffalo Sunn
Buffalo Woman
Carried By Waves
Ciaran Lavery
Cloud Castle Lake
Color Sound
Columbia Mills
Conor Walsh
Deaf Joe
Dear Desert
Death In The Sickroom
DVO Marvell
Eamon bode
Elaine Mai
Elastic Sleep
Eoin Dolan
Fallen Rule
Floor Staff
Florence Olivier
Frankenstein Bolts
Ghost Estates
God Knows + mynameisjOhn
Hare Squead
His New Atlas
Hugh Hick
I have a tribe
I’m Your Vinyl
Imploded View
Jet Setter
little xs for eyes
Liza Flume
Low Sea
Maija Sofia
Maud in Cahoots
Me & My Dog
Me Auld Flower
Mere Moths
Myles Manley
Neon Atlas
Old Hannah
Paddy Hanna
Planet Parade
Red Queen Contest
Satori Je
Sleep Mc Evox
Tell No Foxx
The Academic
The Bedroom
The Black Sea Fleet
The Boxing Plot
The Clameens
The Debutantes
The Hard Ground
The Late David Turpin
The Loafing Heroes
The Magpies
The Pale
The Run Ons
The Shaker Hymn
The Statics
The Vincent(s)
Tino Ras
Val Normal
Vann Music
Walpurgis Family
Wild Promises
Yes Cadets


The Button Factory, The Workmans Club, The Mercantile, The Twisted Pepper, Bad Bobs, The Grand Social, Meeting House Square.


Weekend Tickets €45 + fees, Nightly Tickets €20

HWCH is also supported by The Arts Council, Failte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the NDRC.

Posted on August 13th, 2014


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