Nialler9’s favourite songs of the past month, all in one place.
Baby Keem, Kendrick
Whatever Kendrick’s recent screed actually means for his music career (is he doing one more for TDE and that’s it? Is he quitting music? Probably the former not the latter), a Kendrick feature on a proper rap track is always welcome, as per ‘Family Ties’ from his cousin Baby Keem.
Kendrick basically gets his own beat and verse on the song and his appearance in the video always suggests he actually wants to be there, as well as the fact that it’s on his own label PGLang.
There’s just no-one rapping with as much verve and versatility as Lamar. It’s one to pour over the lyrics to.
“2021, I ain’t takin’ no prisoner
Last year, y’all fucked up all the listener
Who went platinum? I call that a visitor
Who the fuck backin’ ’em? All been falsified
The facts mean this a vaccine, and the game need me to survive”
Kanye, The Weeknd
We talked about the problematic dichotomy of Donda on last week’s podcast, and musically speaking, it’s the hook from The Weekend and the euphoric gospel rush supporting him on ‘Hurricane’ that is a special musical moment, divorced from what surrounds it on the tracklist.
Circles In the Firing Line
Conor O’Brien’s fifth album as Villagers – Fever Dreams – is as sumptuous and well-realised collection of songs as anything in his discography. Inspired by the number seven and “lockdown madness” included.
There are many highlights throughout – I could have plucked for ‘Momentarily’, ‘The First Day’, ‘Full Faith In Providence’, ‘So Simpatico’, but ‘Circles In The Firing Line’ is a song that encapsulates the higher base of sophistication and confidence that O’Brien has in his songwriting and arrangements, and greater vision these days. An example of which is at five minutes, when that crisp bluesy guitar solo comes in before giving way to a garage riff on the line “they’re fucking up my favourite dream.”
If U Ever
Overomono are brothers Tessella and Truss working together, making minimal palette bombastic electronic music that draws from garage and techno for the creation of euphoric 4/4 dance music. If you loved their For Those I Love remix or the recent big favourite ‘So U Know’., ‘If U Ever’ from the duo’s recent Fabric Mix is what you want.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
A classic Unknown Mortal Orchestra song, with some yacht rock vibes to boot. Thank you.
How Can I Help You
God Knows, Senita
On his latest single, and debut for Narolane, God Knows has cast his net wider than the rap genre and brings a cast of Irish musicians together on ‘Glory’ a track inspired by the South African jazzy house genre Amapiano, on a song produced by his brotherGodwin Jonas with vocals from Senita Appiakorang (ex Shookrah), drums from Micheál Quinn (Meltybrains? / Dermot Kennedy), vocals from his sister Geraldine Jonas, production by Ian Ring (Boku) and engineering by David Anthony Curley (The Clinic).
John Francis Flynn
The Stoneybatter trad artist John Francis Flynn’s debut album I Would Not Live Always is a magnificient Irish album, one of the best of the year – with Flynn’s baritoned trad music augmented byRoss Channey’s Tascam tape loops and Skipper’s Alley bandmate Ultan O’Brien’s violin and production by Brendan Jenkinson (Cloud Castle Lake / Villagers).
Secrets (Your Fire)
I was a big fan of LA duo Magdelena Bay’s cheeky fun bop ‘Wow’, and to prove they make tunes of more substance, as their latest track from their forthcoming album Mercurial World (October 8th) makes clear with that light touch and tone intact.
I Didn’t Change My Number
A highlight of Billie Eilish’s second low-key album Happier Than Ever has enough of album one’s DNA while the lyrics address the extraction from an ex.
With no club to put on, Cian Murphy has been putting his production skills to work rather than his DJ ones and his latest track ‘Night Czar’ is a wavy high-BPM French Touch Ghetto-house-leaning track that sounds like it belongs on a Daft Punk Essential Mix.
The track features on Movelt House Party, a label compilation with ghetto and acid house and also featuring luminaries like Paul Johnson, Armand Van Helden and more.
The London dance duo of Bruise bring euphoric house strains to the feet with this moving seven-minute track. I bought it on Bandcamp.
Ahmed With Love, Khakikid
Dublin rap artists Ahmed, With Love andKhakiKid collaborate on this summery R&B track that is among the best of the genre from Ireland in recent months.
Ross From Friends
Felix Clary Weatherall aka Ross From Friends has been moving away from the “lo-fi house” sound for a number of years now,’ and while there are some shades of the sound on new song ‘The Daisy’ is warm and detailed in the way that AFX’s music is melodically.
Ross From Friends’ new album Tread is due for release on 22nd October via Brainfeeder and Sense have just announced a live 2022 Dublin show for him at the Button Factory on Saturday January 22nd, 2022. Tickets now on sale.
The Dublin artist Bobbi Arlo has released a great new single ‘Fever Thoughts’.
‘Fever Thoughts’ has a dark chugging electro beat matched by Arlo’s sweeping R&B vocals, with subtle glittering guitar lines and sidechained effects.
The song is a big one, and shows an artist adept at bringing in new textures into her confident pop music.
Chris Davids, is one half Maribou State and his debut album as Tomorrow’s People is filled with music of a similar melodic persuasion to his other band, but squarely dancefloor-orientated.
Like ‘Burnin’ Jungle’ a French Touch-esque house track with psychedelic sounds throughout. A tune for Summer Of Love this weekend I’d say.
Baltimore hardcore band Turnstile’s newest album Glow On and they have been doing exciting things with their music and videos, and the buzz has been growing about them.
‘Turnstile Love Collection’ is a short film featuring four of the band’s songs with distinct immersive visuals setting them apart. Brendan Yates sounds like the strains of Perry Farrell and the band have some of that glossy metallic guitar.
I don’t know if this is inspired by ‘Apricots’ but if it is, I wouldn’t be mad at the Frenchman.
‘Happy Again’ is typical of Niamh’s songcraft in its lushly Laurel Canyon-esque arrangement, that holds a sentiment of a quiet confidence and resolve.
Big Thief released two new songs last month because they clearly cannot stop making music whatever’s going on in the world. ‘Little Things’ is a jangly little jam that sounds like it going through the wash at the same time.
cbb to be sad
The English duo can’t be bothered to be sad on their new album, but they can release catchy tunes that capture that emotion on songs like this.
Dreaming Of A Disco
I mean, it does exactly what the title suggests. A Disco strings and lo-fi house meeting of minds. Bandcamp.
All Of The Time
The new Jungle album Loving In Stereo redraws the band’s trademark soul funk pop with slightly wider textures. It’s nothing too radical but there are great songs like this ‘Romeo’ ‘Keep Moving’, “Talk About It’ and ‘All Of The Time’.
Joy Orbison has eschewed releasing a long-awaited debut album in favour of a mixtape called Still Slipping Pt. 1. It’s an intimate collection of non-clubby music from the man whose real name is Peter O’Grady.
Art School Girlfriend
Is It Light Where You Are?
London artist and producer Polly Mackey shares the title track from a forthcoming Art School Girlfriend album, out this Friday September 10th via Fiction Records.
“This is probably my favourite track and video I’ve ever released. The song wrote itself really quickly; it felt like I was chasing it. It’s based around a phone conversation with someone I was trying to get over, someone who was in a different place to me both mentally and physically. The title ‘Is It Light Where You Are’ has a double meaning: obviously time zones, but also, my world felt quite dark to me at that point and I was trying to make it light.” The single is released today alongside a fan-contributed video. “I put a call out to fans asking them to film the skyline wherever they were in the world, all at the same time — 8:30pm BST on July 2nd 2021 — to help answer the question: is it light where you are?”
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.