See the New Music section for all the of tracks and albums featured this week.
U Get High / I Get Nothing
Spider is the London-based Tallaght artist who first appeared here as Jenn back in 2019, before a names switch with the release of ‘Water Sign’ into more alternative bedroom pop, before releasing ‘I’M FINE! I’M GOOD! I’M PERFECT!’, which was one of my favourite Irish songs of last year.
Today, Spider dropped the C.O.A. mixtape (Coming Of Age) which collects these songs from the 22-year-old along with two new tracks demonstrating the artist’s off-kilter pop style, a product of her unique circumstances.
As a Black Irish woman from a Nigerian Catholic family, Spider struggled to fit in with expectations and was disallowed from going to gigs by her family, which she ultimately rebelled against by moving to London at 18, after finding her own voice and community in online stan culture.
Buoyed by Lorde, Halsey and M.I.A., Spider resolves to produce her own music after what she says was “the racial pigeonholing of male producers who took one look at her and assumed she’d be there to make R&B.”
Of the title and EP, Spider says:
Activities like drinking and partying are tagged as ‘coming of age’ when white kids do it but demonised when kids of colour do it. We deserve the right to experience our youth and find ourselves. ‘C.O.A’ is what that felt like for me, and my hope is that other people of colour will listen to it, hear a situation they’ve been through, and maybe it’ll become their own coming of age moment.”
Aldous Harding’s new album Warm Chris is also out today.
The New Zealand songwriter brandishes a singular intensity on her music, and like Cate Le Bon’s most recent album Pompei, embodies liminal songwriting and moods.
It’s a long way off but Harding plays Dublin’s National Concert Hall in April 2023.
As featured during the week, Dublin artist Skinner’s ‘The Slump’ makes a “weird disco” song out of influences from James Chance and B52s.
Catch him at The Workman’s Club on May 20th and on tour with Silverbacks from this weekend.
Ibibio Sound Machine
Protection From Evil
The London afrofuturistic electronic group’s latest and fourth album Electricity was produced by Hot Chip and is one of the top tips for albums to listen to today.
It’s a collaboration borne from sharing festival bills and bonding over Francis Bebey and Giorgio Moroder. Ibibio have always been a live band that shook stages and rooms, and it’s nice now to hear a new slant on their music which loses none of its ferocity in the process as heard on this opener.
In or Out
UNQ’s ‘In Or Out’ pairs R&B with Afropop production on a slick Solow The Astronaut beat (aided by Jafaris) in which the artist signals authenticity and vulnerability as a sign of strength in a relationship, and sets the boundaries of intent.
UNQ (pronounced Unique) was born South East London, raised in Dublin, is ethnically Nigerian and has spoken of wanting to put Hausa artists on the map, and tunes like this will help in that regard.
Sure, flip Mobb Deep’s ‘Shook Ones’ in your own image Nehru. Nice.
welcome to the sidelines
We’ve been keeping an eye on the Mullingar artist Amy Michelle for a while now. Method records released the artist’s debut six-track EP the way i make things feel okay today, and ‘welcome to the sidelines’ is pitched somewhere between the Billie / Phoebe / Lorde axis.
Ahead of summer appearances at festivals like AVA, Forbidden Fruit and Primavera, Berlin-based producer Samantha Poulter aka Logic1000 has released this fine dancefloor shaker.
“Something about this tune reminds me of the music I was listening to when I first started listening to club music. I’m most excited about playing this one out in clubs”
Zaska, Jess Kav
After rallying against the Irish government’s ineptness in the housing stakes, Zaska, and his pal Jess Kav have turned their attention to their inaction on doing something, anything, to address Direct Provision in Ireland.
“I’ve been teaching guitar at the Direct Provision centre in my town and have gotten to know many of the residents. Calm Down came out of my anger at a system that damages already vulnerable people. They want a normal life with dignity while awaiting processing. Instead, they are kept in limbo for years while their deplorable living conditions are ignored. The inaction of the Irish government is shameful.”
‘Calm Down’ second single from ZASKA’s upcoming album A Better Way.
What they crying for?
Their tears we won’t allow
While we sob in the Dáil
Our history resounds
Shoulder to shoulder
Ireland’s call we answer proud
But when they’re screaming save me
Our silence speaks so loud
It’s the return of Waterford 23-year-old rapper and drummer Alex Gough with ‘Busy!’, “making your auntie cry like Gary Barlow, Take That.”