My favourite songs of the past month – all in one place.
Four Tet – Two Thousand And Seventeen’
Kieran Hebden returns to the relative calm of his early work with this minimally-pitched track that lets a string instrument become the main focus.
Arcade Fire – ‘Signs Of Life’
Now that Everything Now has arrived, it’s clear it’s a bit of a patchwork of an album and there’s something freeing in one of the biggest bands in the world creating an album that doesn’t sonically all fit together so easily as their previous albums. Case in point – ‘Signs Of Life’ which has street sirens that herald handclaps that feel close to Blondie’s ‘Rapture’, drums that sound like they were tuned by DFA and there’s the DNA of Talking Heads in that rhythm.
The former Odd Future anarchist shows some depth with his new album Flower Boy, hinting at his sexuality and his true character with kaleidoscopic, soulful and psychedelic jazzy productions that keep things moving for his best release yet. The diptych of ‘9/11 / Lonely’ encapsulate the album’s smoothness while exploring Tyler’s lone wolf tendencies.
HAIM – ‘Ready For You’
The Haim aisters’ return with their own brand of Fleetwood Mac-style soft rock, ’60s girl-group sways, early 90s pop/rock and Shania covers. Second album highlight ‘Ready For You’ plucks up an ’90s rhythm in the style of George Michael, the title song’s bass and drum combo keep things rolling in the Peach Pit, Haim should be too sickly sweet but their pop conjuring act is too good to dismiss.
Dublin label Orange Tree have established their Afro edit credentials with just 3 vinyl releases and it’s on that third release that Kildare duo and Nialler9 favourites Mix & Fairbanks turn up the heat to a considerable level with an Afro blasting slice of carnivale rhythms that nearly loses the run of itself in the build until those horns bring us back into focus. This is a blast.
23 year-old self-taught violinist, vocalist and producer recently signed to Stones Throw illuminates with ‘Come Meh Way’ a folk, violin and R&B vibe of a tune.
I had written earlier in the year that we were hopeful for a new album this year and new song ‘Go To Hell’ is the strongest indication yet, bright Robyn-esque track that features Lorely Rodriguez doing a tropical percussive pop vibe while having a ‘go-to-hell’ singularly minded disposition.
Mura Masa’s debut album has guests like Damon Albarn, Christine and the Queens, Bonzai, NAO, Charli XCX, ASAP Rocky and Desiigner on it but it’s the returns to his old friend, the Irish/London vocalist Bonzai whostands out thanks to a rubbery bassline and her convicted delivery.
SZA’s CTRL continues to dominate my listening since its release and this song’s subtle melodies and beat keeps me coming back.
A dark slice of hypnotic Factory Floor-esque coldwave from a Massachusetts duo.
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.