A lot of music from Ireland and Northern Ireland comes our way and every week, we listen through it all, sift the list down to a manageable list and share the best new tracks from emerging artists and some more established acts that deserve to be heard by you.
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, follow our Spotify playlist or hit up the Irish section for individual track features.
EMBY x Rory Sweeney
All My Life
Dublin producer Rory Sweeney and Belfast rapper EMBY continue their fruitful partnership with a new EP of loosies NEWBEATPACK4EMBY EP on Bandcamp, and the opening track of the four, immediately hits with a recognisable Kendrick sample that itself samples a 1970 Latin hit, but Sweeney uses it in a manner that doesn’t feel tired and is a perfect bed for EMBY’s rapidfire club flow.
Sweeney released two albums / two parts recently – Trash Catalogue part One & Two. This shit bangs.
After his recent solo reset of an album in Crude, Dundalk singer-songwriter David Keenan releases a new song from his CRUDE BOYO EP (due in March via Barrack Street Records).
‘Aldente Pasta’ is a piano, double bass, sax and voice track that marks a different shade for the artist.
Keenan has loads of tour dates in Europe and Ireland in the coming months.
The Northern Irish bedroom-pop artist Becky McNeice concocts a floaty pop number that sits somewhere between American indie pop and garage-pop of PinkPantheress.
McNeice’s latest work is supported by the PRS Women Make Music Award.
I Want You
Ria Rua is a creator of electronic indie music, with an alt-edge, as previously featured here, and ‘I Want You’ is no different, a driving desire-filled invite into the drummer/producer/singer’s domain.
An album is coming later this year.
Waterford Anomaly Collective MC Pat Lagoon is taking inspiration from the airy funk beats of Kaytranada on his smooth new track ‘Jungle’, with a confident delivery.
“I went on a few city breaks last year in 2022 and was just doing the usual people watching. I found it fascinating that everyone can somehow find peace in what, at times can feel like a jungle. The song is almost like a diary entry with a groovy instrumental under it, that how I would like this track to be consumed.”
The tune was mixed by Adam Shanahan aka MyFault and production came from F3mii from PlantainSound.
Do Them Proud
Limerick producer, singer and multi-instrumentalist Caoivín comes to us with a song that features a trad chord progression with electronic flourishes and a voice that sounds like José González. It’s a song that was written for the musician’s grandmother after the passing of her husband.
Caoivín grew up playing trad and attending Irish fleadhs and gatherings. Add the song on Spotify.
Hopscotch in the Sky
A boppy indie-pop song with summery feels from the Belfast artist Ruairí Richman aka Lemonade Shoelace, ahead of debut Do Whatever Makes You Happy EP, and forthcoming festival showcase appearances at SXSW and The Great Escape.
‘Hopscotch In The Sky’ is mixed by Chris Ryan (NewDad, Just Mustard, Robocobra Quartet), after intial bedroom recordings by the artist.
“The song was created nearly three years ago which I find crazy to me. It still gives me nostalgic images of looking out at the sunny beach and wanting to be immersed in it instead of being inside. The fact that I live in Ireland, with such a lack of good weather, whenever the sun presents itself we feel guilty spending it indoors. I definitely felt this guilt, so if I were to spend a day sheltered from the sun then I may as well embody it into a piece of music. In any sun-lacking country, there’s always the question “hey, what did you do on that really sunny day last week??”. I suppose I can now say “Yeah, I sat indoors. But I stared out the window and made this super sunny tune so that I can imagine sun any day of the year!”
Previously: Autopilot Paradise
Cork’s Caoilian Sherlock’s new song ‘Candidate’ is a fuzzy psychedelic pop song with shades of early ’90s guitar music and twisted Tame Impala-esque sounds.
It’s from a forthcoming debut album from the musician who has previously operated as Saint Caoilian, and played with The Shaker Hymn and The Tan Jackets, among other things (booking Quarter Block Party for example).
Sherlock’s says the song started as an attempt to rewrite a version of Bob Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’, turned into a tongue-in-cheek commentary on the political establishment.
A debut album under his own name and some tour dates are coming from May onwards, including a Dublin launch show at the Workmans Cellar in June.
The Longford singer-songwriter Aisling McCarthy was formerly of the band White Chalk until 2017. Having recently taken a career break from teaching and moving from Dublin to Thailand to work on music full-time as Sistir, McCarthy has fought through her doubts and anxiety and has released her debut song ‘Bridge’, after playing support and on bills with David Keenan, Cronin, Brave Giant, Mundy and CMAT.
Produced with Cormac Butler (The Coronas and Gavin James), the song is a fine melodic-driven atmospheric pop song from an EP to come.
“The title track ‘bridge’ deals with the idea of meeting someone halfway and what can potentially happen when you give too much of yourself to someone. The bones of this track were written when I was living in Dublin in 2017. I was in a difficult relationship, but the potential I saw in it kept me trying. I dreamed of moving away (which I had never done) and being in a harmonious relationship (also had never done!). I have since met a loving partner and am living in Thailand focusing on writing music. I’m a spiritual person and many of my songs are written about this journey. There are lots of people interested in the power of manifestation and this track feels like that for me. I have come so far from where I was when I wrote it, so it somehow feels like the perfect time to share this story.
Follow on Spotify.
Dundalk drill rapper Reggie comes through swinging with ‘Million Ways’, with a flow inspired by UK acts like Headie One and J Hus.
The Dundalk boss shouts out his hometown and alludes to struggles and rivalries. Reggie featured on ‘Irish Girls’ from Sello’s debut mixtape last year.
Sultan feat. Jackie Beverly
Smooth duet vibes abound on Dashoda’s new song with Jackie Beverly. ‘Sultan’ has the pair playing a couple hurting in the void of a failing relationship.
“Never Enough is inspired by the experience of avoidance and self-sabotage,” says Dashoda, confirming the theme.
“‘Sultan’ came from a place of heartbreak and the subsequent loneliness and confusion. I had this archetypal image of the ‘fallen king’ in my mind, somebody who believes they have it all in a relationship but then sees it unravel dramatically and unquestionably. The Blue Nile are my favourite band and the outro is a humble nod to their beautiful second album Hats.”
It’s from an EP called Never Enough out Wednesday 15th March, with a laucnh show a launch show at The Workman’s Cellar, Dublin with support from Beverley.
Faoin Tuath (Feat. Madelyn Monaghan)
Galway producer Froman spins a Celtic electronic song with the vocals as Gaeilge from New York-based Madelyn Monaghan.
For more extensive Irish and new music coverage, hit up the Irish section for individual track features
For this and more Irish songs, follow the Nialler9 New Irish Spotify playlist.