Now Reading
The 20 best songs of June

The 20 best songs of June

Avatar
Best of June 2024

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

Featuring: Jamie xx, Robyn, Kabin Crew, Mabe Fratti, Burial, Martha Skye Murphy, James Blake, Lil Yachty, King Krule, The PVP, His Father’s Voice, Kneecap, Heartworms, Orla Gartland, Pond, Joey Valance & Brae, Nilüfer Yanya & more


1.

Jamie xx, Robyn

Life

After being very quiet for a number of years, Robyn has popped up twice on new songs recently. Firstly, with Yung Lean on a Charli XCX remix and here as a featured vocalist on ‘Life, a new single from Jamie xx’s forthcoming album Waves (20th September 2024).

The song is in Robyn’s wheelhouse with big disco orchestration samples of Cerrone, a French Touch bassline and big skittering beats to match the Swedish pop powerhouse’s vocals. They performed it together at Glastonbury too.

2.

Tommy Richman

Million Dollar Baby

The Brent Faiyaz-cosigned Virginian artist released one of the most rewarding song of the summer contenders with this falsetto G-funk meets Pharrell track that has been on repeat since I heard it in April (shout out Graham Dolan who told me about it when we DJed at our Indie Sleaze night).

The same vibe can also be heard on the Arabic music-tinged G-funk followup ‘Devil Is A Lie’ that sounds a bit like Jai Paul at his most brazen.

3.

Kabin Crew, Lisdoonvarna Crew

The Spark

The Irish song of the summer.

A heartwarming, out and out banger, that now has 12 million streams on Spotify.

‘The Spark’ is a D&B tune produced by Kabin Crew, a group of children in the youth music and creative space The Kabin supported by Music Generation Cork City and run by producer GMC with additional raps from Lisdoonvarna Crew, another group of children from a direct provision centre for asylum seekers.

4.

Mabe Fratti

Kravitz

Guatemalan Mexico City-based avant-pop cellist and singer Mabe Fratti released her fourth album Sentir que no sabes last month.

Not previously an artist I had delved into, I was only familiar with the name from playing Foggy Notions’ Flotations last year.

‘Kraviz’ kicks off the record, a drama-charged horn and piano track of suspense that hooked me into the record.

Fratti plays Whelan’s in Dublin on Tuesday October 29th.

5.

Burial

Phoneglow

Like ‘Dreamfear’ / ‘Boy Sent From Above‘, ‘Phoneglow’ which appears on a split alongside Hyperdub boss Kode9, Burial continues his forays into productions that are draw on sounds of R&B nostalgia (‘Shanice’s 1999 song ‘When I Close My Eyes‘) and early rave music, drawing those into his recognisable glowing-ember 2-step cinematic universe.

I love that the nine-minute song has its own end credits – a Eurodance synth rush outro too.

6.

Martha Skye Murphy

Spray Can

The debut album from the London songwriter Um was released on AD 93 in June, and Murphy’s music remains beguiling, elegaic, melancholic, sparse, and a bit eerie.

‘Spray Can’ is a bit of a piano dirge, an unsettled kaleidoscopic trudge that is still beautiful to behold.

7.

Beth Gibbons

Floating On A Moment

Sure, the Portishead’s debut solo record Lives Outgrown came out in May but the nice weather we had after its release meant I put this on the backburner.

Floating On A Moment’ was the first single from the record – a psychedelic pastoral folk song that I don’t think is surpassed on a beguiling record we are lucky to have from Beth Gibbons.

8.

James Blake, Lil Yachty

Midnight

A ten-track collaborative album between the producer and rapper, Bad Cameo is at its best when Blake and Yachty are on the same page, as they are here on ‘Midnight’ with both artists providing vocals over a very James Blake spacious dubstep wub, which builds to a gorgeous synth spiral crescendo.

9.

King Krule

Time For Slurp

Marking a year on from the release of Space Heavy, King Krule dropped a four-track EP called SHHHHHH! via XL Recordings / Matador. All of the tracks were previously only available on flexi-discs at King Krule live shows.

‘Time For Slurp’ is a short track, the best of the lot, a scuzzy fuzzy guitar tune.

The tracks are now available on 2×7″ proper to counteract that someone had listed the original flexi-disc for £1000 on Discogs.

10.

The PVP

Track 94

The Limerick band The PVP feature former members of Bleeding Heart Pigeons, Cruiser and His Father’s Voice.

The project was kicked off when Chris Quigley started making music inspired by the fabled Kevin Shields’ Drum and Bass record.

Of course, the end result is nothing of the sort but there is some frenetic drums and shoegaze, alongside Suicide, Stereolab and Sonic Youth references on the resulting album.

‘Track 94’ is one that stood out to me – drawing on psychedelic rock, ’80s rock sounds and atmospheric guitar band jams.

11.

The Redneck Manifesto

Hidden Hands

The Rednecks are back as a trio with their first new song, from a forthcoming album in the Autumn.

The band consist of founding members Niall Byrne (no relation), Richie Egan and Matthew Bolger, and ‘Hidden Hands’ is the band’s first bit of music since 2018’s The How, with an album forthcoming.

‘Hidden Hands’ was recorded along with the other new material over three weekends with James Eager at the Clinic in Dublin and subsequent recordings were made across two sessions in Malmö, utilising Richie’s RARN Studio and Studio Möllan. Additional drums and percussion on the recordings comes from Markku Hilden and this song was mastered by Sean MacErlaine in Dublin.

12.

Kneecap

I bhFiacha Linne

The debut album from Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Provaí is finally here, and it goes HARD.

Fine Art is a riot of sound and a cacophony of energy – drawing on rave, grime, hip-hop, dub and ragga with lyrically dexterous raps as Gaeilge and English (and moves effortlessly between language), that is the most compelling argument for learning the Irish in recent memory (the film out in August is similar, albeit with more subtlety about the trauma that is passed to a younger generation in the backdrop of the aftermath of The Troubles).

‘I bhFiacha Linne’ (“In our debt”) channels the frantic dance music of The Prodigy with lyrics from the perspective of drug dealers taking what’s owed to them.

20 best Irish albums of the year so far.

13.

Heartworms

Jacked

I love the intense experimental synth rock setting of ‘Jacked’ (Speedy Wunderground) the latest track from London post-punk artist Jojo Orme aka Heartworms, it’s a song that feels liked it’s being chased.

Which is appropriate as the song is haunted by a spectre – “a darkness or entity which you are running away from… but it is really you that holds it.”

I also loved ‘May I Comply’ from last year.

14.

Pond

So Lo

This new one from Australian psych-pop band Pond, sounds like ’80s Bowie and Duran Duran in the studio with Nile Rodgers with Prince. It’s from their new album Stung!.

15.

Orla Gartland

Mine

Every time this song comes on I think it’s Julia Jacklin singing which If you know me, you know this is the highest of compliments to Orla Gartland.

See Also
Silverbacks. Photo: Róisín Murphy O'Sullivan

There’s beautiful intimate songwriting here.

“’Mine’ is by far the most vulnerable song I’ve written to date – putting it feels a little scary but also hugely important to me. It tells a fragmented story of an experience that really affected my relationship with intimacy and how that stayed with me throughout relationships that followed. I wanted to give the lyrics on this song space to breathe so we kept the production super minimal on this track; live vocal & guitar and a super beautiful, haunting 4-piece string part. This was my first time recording real strings on a song of mine and for me they bring even more emotional depth to the track. I’m really proud of this song and whilst I hope in a way that no one relates to it, I hope it can bring comfort and hope to anyone who does.”

16.

Enola Gay

Cold

Belfast rock band Enola Gay continue their fruitful partnership with producer Mount Palomar on ‘Cold’ an iced reverb shoegaze guitar song, inspired by the death of a friend’s sister.

Cold was one of the first tracks we ever wrote, written from a place of admiration for our close friend and her family. We vividly remember meeting her and the infectious energy she brought to our friend group so to discover that she had a sister, who was terminally ill, really took us back. As she and her family battled one of the most tragic experiences imaginable, their love remained fortified and their heads grounded.
Witnessing this set our adolescent self-destructive behaviour into perspective. We wrote something we hope echoes an acceptance that you can be bruised without being broken. A sentiment that could have easily been lost in a track of this nature however, Mount Palomar helped us resurface this through his production and suggestions when reshaping the song to what it is now. Forcing us of decisions when recording with him to deliver something tender, which he could then propel to sound as confident as our heavier side.

For some time, we were all dealing with personal issues behind the scenes but that is exactly why Cold was the most appropriate track for us to record next. It reminded us that our issues weren’t as big as they seemed and because we stuck together, we surpassed them. Cold is not just a song of incomparable loss; it is about not being alone through it.

17.

Susanna

Elephant Song

A piano note run in an unconventional time signature, is the bed of this beaut of a track from the Norwegian singer and composer Susanna.

Susanna release a new album Meditations on Love on August 23rd via her own label SusannaSonata. 

‘Elephant Song’ is an ode to being in process; to struggle, to stumble, being in doubt, feeling vulnerable, but to keep on going. All we have is here and now. Highly inspired by the Ethiopean pianist Emahoy Tsege Mariam Gebru, and the first song I made on my new piano (a Steinway from the sixties which I totally emptied by savings account to buy).”

Susanna.
18.

Joey Valance & Brae, Danny Brown

Packapunch

Old school ’90s rap vibes incoming with Beastie Boys and Wu Tang influence, is this retro hip-hop track from the American duo’s second album No Hands.

By the time Danny Brown shows up on the guest verse, this has gone full Cypress Hill.

They play Dublin on December 1st.

19.

Nilüfer Yanya

Method Actor

Nilüfer Yanya’s second song from the forthcoming album My Method Actor, out September 13th on Ninja Tune, continues the artist’s penchant for skittery rhythmic songwriting, as on recent single ‘Like I Say (Runaway)’.

Both songs have had a tougher guitar sound than we’re used to from Yanya.

“I was researching method acting – and from what I read, it’s based on finding this one memory in your life, a life-altering, life-changing memory. The reason why some people find method acting traumatic and maybe not safe mentally, is because you’re always going back to that moment. It can be good or bad but you’re always feeding off the energy, something that’s defined you – and that’s what helps you become the character. It’s a bit like being a musician. When you’re performing, you’re still trying to invoke the energy and emotion of when you first wrote it, in that moment. It definitely feels like you’re having to recreate or step into that headspace.”

20.

His Father’s Voice

Forgot To Feed

The Limerick new wave four-piece His Father’s Voice dropped this shiny Beach House-esque track with the standout vocals of Ash O’Connor. The band’s best work yet, and follows on from ‘Arm’s Length’ in April.

You may be familiar with the band from Féile na Gréine’s award-nominated documentary Out of Place.

“This song came about around the time that I was listening to a lot of Bessie Smith and Ella Fitzerald. I’d like to think there’s glimpses of that showing through across certain vocal lines, I don’t think I would have made those creative decisions had I been in my usual shoegaze listening rut. Forgot to Feed originally began with quite dark shoegaze guitars, but as the crooning vocals began to achieve the dejected delivery I was looking for, the instrumental brightened and provided a well needed dream-like contrast.”



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



Hey, before you go...

Nialler9 has been covering new music, new artists and gigs for the last 18 years. If you like the article you just read, and want us to publish more just like it, please consider supporting us on Patreon.

What you get as thanks in return...

  • A weekly Spotify playlist only for patrons.
  • Access to our private Nialler9 Discord community
  • Ad-free and bonus podcast episodes.
  • Guestlist & discounts to Nialler9 & Lumo Club events.
  • Themed playlists only for subscribers.

Your support enables us to continue to publish articles like this one, make podcasts and provide recommendations and news to our readers, and be a key part of the music community in Ireland and abroad.

Become a patron at Patreon!