Nialler9’s favourite songs of the past month, all in one place.
Bicep’s ‘Apricots’ is built on two vocal samples. One from traditional Malawian singers recorded in 1958, originally released via the label Beating Heart, whose profits go towards supporting the ongoing music conservation work of the International Library of African Music) and a 1950’s performance by The Bulgarian State Radio & Television Female Vocal Choir.
The song is a classic shimmering Bicep song, forlorn, emotive and euphoric. It really makes you want to hear it in the dark open air of a late-night festival.
My favourite song from the Go Bravely mixtape. Read the review.
Loah and Bantum
‘NGLA’ is a deep fried funk synth jam with a memorable Loah chorus always in sight with a little help from friends and family.
A doo-wop song from Jacklin’s recent contribution to the Sup Pop Singles club is elevated by its simple and effective lyrics.
“Hiding my depression from my housemates / I don’t know them well enough yet to cry in the kitchen…”
Sharon Van Etten
Van Etten has a new song soundtracking the Pepe The Frog film Feels Good Man.
One of the best albums of October, we reviewed it on the podcast.
Happiness Isn’t A Fixed State
Should you run from your problems, if you’re problem is an ex and you bump into them on the street? Probably.
For Kynsy’s second single (first was ‘Cold Blue Light’), the artist explores the push and pull between positive and negative feelings after a relationship ends and does so with a sprightly guitar jam called ‘Happiness Isn’t A Fixed State’ and a fun video.
‘Straight To The Morning’ (feat. Jarvis Cocker)
After their chilled Late Night Tales compilation, Hot Chip enlist Jarvis for some upbeat dance music yearning for the future on a dancefloor. It was originally written with Dua Lipa in mind and the vinyl comes with a Mighty Mouse remix.
Missing (feat. Andreya Triana)
The Vision production duo of Kon and Westbeach with vocalist Andreya Triana have an album on the way, they shared the third single with remixes by Maurice Fulton and Deetron.
New Mogwai music is always welcome and especially in times of turmoil. Their new album As The Love Continues will be released on February 19th 2021 and features appearances from Colin Stetson and Atticus Ross. Dave Fridmann produced.
Do You Ever
After a clutch of once-off singles ‘You’re Too Precious’, ‘Are You Even Real?’, his cover of Frank Ocean’s ‘Godspeed’ and a collaboration with Slowthai and Mount Kimbie, James Blake’s new Before EP is “a yearning for dancefloor elation” with the artist returning to the more electronic side of things as he is wont to do frequently. This time around though, his own voice is also featured unprocessed, something which he really hasn’t done enough. It’s a nice melding of his singer-songwriter and production strands of his creative personality.
A dark electro spinner from Beesmunt on Hivern Discs.
Mango x Mathman
Chest Out (Bon Voyage’s Tea Time remix)
My favourite track from Mango x Mathman’s Casual Remix EP, is this big room shaker from Bon Voyage.
A highlight from the New Yorker’s recent album Only For Dolphins hammers the tension of Eastern rhythms.
Ishkabibble’s (feat. Black Thought)
From the New York rapper’s second album of 2020 – Who Made the Sunshine – Westside Gunn enlists Black Thought for an absolute banger.
Let Your Dreams Collect Dust Until You’re Desperate
Nealo’s debut album All The Leaves Are Falling is a reflective narrative-driven album charting the Dubliner’s travels and links to home and this is our current favourite.
Nilüfer Yanya has announced a new EP entitled Feeling Lucky?, the first release since the artist’s debut album Miss Universe.
Feeling Lucky? is a three-track EP out December 11th, lead by ‘Crash’, a song produced by New York producer Nick Hakim. The video was directed by Nilüfer’s sister Molly Daniel and centres on the fear of flying – aerophobia.
Black Country, New Road
The seven-piece Cambridge band were one of the highlights of the only live music festival I went to this year at Eurosonic. Black Country, New Road are a unique prospect and the signing of the band to a label like Ninja Tune, normally known for more rhythmic music, is on the surface a surprising one. But the label has always backed unique talent, and Black Country, New Road’s sprawling literate post-punk free-jazz is certainly individual.
Black Country, New Road’s debut six-track album For The First Time comes out on the label on February 5th 2021.
Aaaagh (feat. Awkward Z)
The duo of Matt O and Max Zanga aka Tebi Rex’s ‘AAAAGH’ is a track that has been a live favourite for a while now, and while the pair didn’t get to play it live at SXSW, due to you know what, it’s one of the the best Tebi Rex songs cos it slaps so much. It’s also about drinking.
The Oldham artist Keeley Forsyth is a new name to me but I always pay attention to music on The Leaf Label going back to the start of this site over 10 years ago.
‘Photograph’ is a brooding and intense song, with deeply felt synthesizer and orchestral sounds with Forsyth’s vocals akin to the brittle beauty of Ahnoni.
We weren’t too fond of the new record on the podcast but this song stayed on our playlist.
Dublin four-piece Sprints’ ‘Drones’ is the band’s best song released to date – melding tension-filled rhythms, guitar stabs and post-punk sounds into a song that is anchored by Karla Chubb’s running vocals, that has to have some strong inspiration via Girl Band, which is fitting as Daniel Fox of the band produced the EP and track. Win win.
Working Men’s Club
Loving the baggy synthpop energy from this track from the English band’s debut record.
Interstellar Love (feat. Leon Bridges)
Another beautiful celestial track from The Avalanches’ forthcoming album We Will Always Love You, due December 11th.
Life in 3/4 Time
It’s acccurate to say that Graham Cooney’s Yenkee project is one of my personal favourites to emerge in the last years.
Here, The Cork musician follows up his ambient meditation mixtape with another sweet indie-guitar jam.
‘Life In 3/4 Time’ is full of sweet buoyant guitar sounds and is influenced by Prince, John Martyn, and ABBA. Cooney has moved to London from his native Cork which forms the basis for the song’s existence.
Niall Byrne is the founder of the most-influential Irish music site Nialler9, where he has been writing about music since 2005 . He is the cohost of the Nialler9 Podcast and has written for the Irish Times, Irish Independent, Cara Magazine, Sunday Times, Totally Dublin, Red Bull and more. Niall is a DJ, founder of Lumo Club, event curator and producer of gigs, parties & events.