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The 20 best songs of February

The 20 best songs of February

Best of February

Nialler9’s favourite songs of the month, all in one place. See the Spotify playlist at the end of the piece.

Featuring: Jessica Pratt, John Glacier, Kneecap, Adrianne Lenker, Beth Gibbons, R. Kitt, Yard Act, Fort Romeau, Thee U.F.O, Little Simz, Lime Garden, Kim Gordon, Schoolboy Q, Charli XCX, Idles, Mhaol.


Jessica Pratt

Life Is

The LA songwriter Jessica Pratt is back with a new album this May 3rd on City Slang called Here In The Pitch.

The artist’s first album since 2019’s Quiet Signs is preceded by the single ‘Life Is’ a song which channels a bit of Nico in its tone, and feels like a recording of that Velvet Underground era and in the artist’s words – “big panoramic sounds that make you think of the ocean and California” . Walker Brothers’ ‘The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore’ is also mentioned as a 60s pop influence.

The album features nine songs, with timpani, glockenspiel, baritone saxophone, and flute alongside Pratt’s singular voice, though Pratt says the song and album opener ‘Life Is’ is “kind of a false flag”, as the rest of the album features the artist’s trademark smaller intimate folk songwriting style.



Adrianne Lenker


The Big Thief singer’s solo material continues to thrill in parallel to the main event, with ‘Fool’ a song that could have easily been an off-cut from the band.

Lenker’s new album Bright Future is out March 22 via 4AD and there are Irish dates this April. ‘Ruined’ was previously released.

Fri 19 – Galway, The Black Box
Sat 20 – Kilkenny, St Canice’s Cathedral
Sun 21 – Dublin, Vicar Street


John Glacier, EarthEater

Money Shows

The first release from London experimental rapper, producer, and poet John Glacier on Young is this nebulous guitar-chugging experimental rap amble.

The  Like a Ribbon  EP featuring production from Flume, Vegyn, and Kwes Darko (who produced this one)was released February 23rd.


Beth Gibbons

Floating On A Moment

Portishead singer Beth Gibbons will release a debut solo album on Domino Records called Lives Outgrown on Friday May 17th and it is preceded by a gorgeous new psychedelic pastoral folk song ‘Floating On A Moment’

The album features 10 tracks recorded over a period of 10 years, the album was produced by James Ford and Beth Gibbons with additional production by Lee Harris (Talk Talk).

Lives Outgrown is, by some measure, Beth’s most personal work to date, the result of a period of sustained reflection and change — “lots of goodbyes,” in Beth’s words. Farewells to family, to friends, even to her former self. These are songs from the mid-course of life, when looking ahead no longer yields what it used to, and looking back has a sudden, sharper focus.



R.Kitt, Risteárd Ó hAodha

So True

Dublin electronic producer and DJ R.Kitt has put out his first release of 2024, a duo of tracks ‘So True’/’Wash’, and Robbie explains what lead him to this new music.

‘So True’/’Wash’ are the first in a series of singles that will ultimately be compiled on an album in 2025 from R.Kitt. These singles are intended to show the breadth and depth of Kitt’s music and interests.

And these first two, do that easily, with ‘So True’ a slow-moving orchestral ambient electronic track with live cello from  Risteárd Ó hAodha, and Robbie’s first recorded vocal on the track, while ‘Wash’ is more on the beatless side of things built on strings and drifting low-end, and is the instrumental of a track which will later feature Elaine Howley.

Robbie explains what lead him to this new music.


Schoolboy Q

Yeern 101

After two previous singles, ‘Back n Love’ ft Devin Malik and ‘Blue Slides’, Schoolboy Q drops the booming clap trap track ‘Yeern 101’, which is the first official single off his sixth studio album BLUE LIPS which was released on TDE/Interscope Records on March 1st.


Kim Gordon

I’m A Man

Ex Sonic Youth musician Kim Gordon is set to release her second solo album entitled The Collective on March 8th on Matador.

‘I’m A Man’ is a low-slung guitar dragged on the floor track with industrial sounds and trap low end bubbling churn under Gordon’s spoken word. The track’s raw metallic dub follows the similarly churning minimalism of ‘Bye Bye’ .


Charli XCX

Von Dutch

This is the first great indie-sleaze song of 2024.

Charli’s Brat album is out this summer. ‘Von Dutch’ is produced by EasyFun.


Lime Garden

Pop Star

Brighton indie-rock band release their debut. They played Workman’s Club last weekend. ‘Pop Star‘ is a catchy standout from the One More Thing album.



Jin Dou Yun

I’m a sucker for bright arpeggiated synths and ‘Jin Dou Yun’ from Munich producer Lindsey Wang aka Polygonia is practically bubbling.

The EP is features on, Da Nao Tian Gong is influenced by beloved childhood cartoon, itself inspired by the ancient Chinese legend ‘Journey to the West’ and the iconic character Sun Wukong.

In a retro-modern twist, the tracks vividly depict Sun Wukong’s essence: ‘Jindou Yun’ embodies the swiftness of his cloud, ‘Shen Wai Shenfa’ invokes his magical hair with tribal rhythms, ‘Ruyi Jingu Bang’ mirrors his legendary staff’s power, and ‘Disha Shu’ portrays his 72 Transformations through vibrant harmonics.


Lil Yachty

A Cold Sunday

These are the kind of tunes we need when it’s rainy and cold outside. Yachty has returned to making fine rap tunes after last year’s Let’s Start Here album of psychedelic-rock.

He’s also collaborated with Faye Webster who he went to school with in Atlanta.

Webster has an autotuney new one too.


Little Simz

Mood Swings

Drop 7 is the latest in a series of extended players from rapper Little Simz, and was produced by Jakwob.

It’s the first release from Little Simz since the 2022 album, No Thank You, rather than Inflo of Sault who usually produces Simz albums.


Mohammad Syfkhan

I Am Kurdish

The independent Leitrim label Nyahh Records is back shining a light on little-known music of folk persuasion, this time the vibrant Syrian artist Mohammad Syfkhan.

Last year, Nyahh Records, the label run by Willie Stewart (Woven Skull), released a collection of recordings called A Collection of Songs in the Traditional & Sean​-​N​ó​s Style.

The Ireland-based Syrian/Kurdish artist Mohammad Syfkhan’s debut album I Am Kurdish was released on the label last month, and finds a bright and energetic release filled with bouzouki, singing and music drawn from Middle Eastern and North Africa.




With the news that the band’s debut album Attachment Styles was re-released on Merge Records last year, Mhaol lost their singing member Róisín Nic Ghearailt would be leaving the group, citing the difficult lifestyle of a touring musician with a chronic condition.

The band are continuing as a four-piece with Constance Keane, who also makes music as Fears and has a second album Affinity on the way this March, taking the lead vocal with the band Zoë Greenway, Jamie Hyland and Sean Nolan.

‘Pursuit’ is the band’s first record in their new era, with Keane’s lyrics narrating the dangerous walk home after a night out.



Gift Horse

‘Gift Horse’ is a drum-heavy track from Idles’ fifth album Tangk . The 11-track Tangk was co-produced by Nigel Godrich, Kenny Beats and the band’s Mark Bowen.

IDLES have been announced for a Dublin and Belfast shows as part of the Love Is The Fing Tour.

They also support LCD Soundystem in Dublin this summer.



Sick In The Head

Kneecap have announced details of their debut album Fine Art, to be
 released on Heavenly Recordings on Friday June 14th 2024.

Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap, and DJ Próvaí made the album last summer. The 12-track album was produced by Toddla T, and blends Irish and English in its raps. The album features Lankum’s Radie Peat, Grian Chatten of Fontaines D.C. (as heard on previous track ‘Better Way To Live’) and Jelani Blackman, and is set in an imaginary pub in Belfast called The Rutz. Annie Mac recorded some sounds for the record.

Beastie Boys’ Check Your Head is mentioned as analogous to the record.

 To coincide wirth the announcement a new aong and video by Peadar Ó Goill  was released, with the song rightly claiming some Wu Tang / 36 Chambers energy – “The sound of the Wu Tang’s 36 Chambers hidden behind a doorway on the Falls Road” as they put it.




Fort Romeau


A highlight from the 8-track Romantic Gestures, a collection of singles released in the past 18 months from the producer.


Thee U.F.O


The Dublin garage-psych duo of Darragh Hansard and Beth Doyle aka THEE U.F.O released a fine debut album Ponderous Fug in 2022, that went a bit under the radar and was an honourable mention in my best Irish albums list that year.

The band released a new album Beaming A Moments Reflection on March 1st, and ‘Surveyor’ is an almost instrumental that sounds like drums and bass are fighting each other falling down the stairs, which is a lot of fun. The song is on 7″ record.


Stella And The Dreaming

The First Time

Stella Renee Hennessy featured here with ‘You Are Here’ back in 2021, a quietly brilliant first release.

There’s a stunning simplicity to this new song, a heartfelt piano ballad recorded “behind a garage door somewhere, stuffed with duvets and carpet covered frames”.

As for the name change – Stella says “Giving melody a world to live in, surrounded by the drama of keys changing and distorted vocals – is the Dreaming.”

Spotify / Insta


Yard Act, Katy J Pearson

When The Laughter Stops

I’ve done a 180 on Leeds band Yard Act recently as their post-debut tunes have dropped the overtly-verbose performative style in favour of brash and bold indie bops like this one, like ‘Dream Job’ before it – it prioritises fun and melody.

The band play Vicar Street in March.

Their second album Where My Utopia? was released March 1st on Island Records.

Every week, the Nialler9 Spotify Weekly Playlist is updated with new music, and in this corner, we share the playlist and highlight some some select songs from the list below.

Want access to the archived weekly playlists too? Support Nialler9 on Patreon.

See the homepage for all Spotify playlists: New Music | Irish | Monthly

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