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The best music of January 2023

The best music of January 2023

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


1.

Ice Spice

Princess Diana

Intro: Ice Spice is the trending NY drill rapper you should know


2.

Rozi Plain

Agreeing For Two

A highlight from a January album that was also a standout of January, in the form of Rozi Plain’s Prize, a fine collection of English folk music, featuring a gorgeous air of gentleness and artful arrangements, most exemplified for me by the opening song ‘Agreeing For Two’.

And she’s on tour:

Wed 1st Mar – Dublin, Workmans Club
Thu 2nd Mar – Bangor, NI, The Court House
Fri 3rd Mar – Waterford, Phil Grimes
Sat 4th Mar – Ballydehob, Levis Corner House
Sun 5th Mar – Kilkenny, Cleere’s


3.

Young Marco

What You Say?

In summer 2022, the eclectic Dutch DJ Young Marco returned to Dekmantel for one of his marquee sets on the Boiler Room platform, and the edit of Imogen Heap’s ‘Hide And Seek’ that became the track ID festival hit, and a big takeaway for many.

The edit was officially released on Ministry of Sound in early January, as Young Marco’s ‘Whatcha Say’ on all DSPs and streaming services, including Beatport for the DJ crew.

See full info.


4.

Everything But The Girl

Nothing Left To Lose

Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt have returned as Everything But The Girl after 24 years away, and it’s astonishing how readily they slot right back into the music landscape after hearing ‘Nothing Left To Lose’.

A song which makes some concession to the last 30 years of innovation and trends in dance music, also is analogous to the sound of Bicep, with its crystalline dance production, open-air feel, and sub-bass frequencies that nod to drum and bass and techno without losing their own identity.

And then there’s the voice of Thorn, who like on 1994’s ‘Missing’, the band’s ’80s and ’90s catalogue and subsequent work with Massive Attack, has always had her own identifiable vocal style.

‘Nothing Left To Lose’ leaves me with a big anticipation for the comeback album Fuse on April 21st.


5.

Overmono

Is U

Overmono announced the release of their debut album Good Lies, out on Friday May 12th this year via XL Recordings.

‘Is U’ is a new song which samples a Tirzah track ‘Gladly’ which serves as the second teaser from the record, after last year’s ‘Walk Thru Water’ featuring St. Panther.

Brothers Tom and Ed have released some of the most precise and individual dance music of the past three years drawing from their respective projects of Truss and Tessella and their backgrounds in dubstep, bass and club music, with tracks like ‘So U Know’, ‘Gunk’, ‘Blind Date’, their For Those I Love remix and ‘If U Ever’ becoming firm Nialler9 favourites.

More


6.

Benny Sings, Remi Wolf

Young Hearts

A sweet melodic synth-funk ditty from Stones Throw-signed Dutch artist Benny Sings. ‘Young Hearts’ is from the album of the same name, out 24th March, his eighth, this time with producer Kenny Beats on the boards.

That’s Remi Wolf on the chorus too.


7.

Yaeji

For Granted

New York Seoul artist Yaeji announced her debut album With A Hammer is out April 7th on XL Recordings, and ‘For Granted’ is the first single from the album,

‘For Granted’ arrived with a video directed by the artist too. It’s an airy smart off-kilter electronic pop music with Yaeji’s singular pop melodies, that rushes towards the end with breakbeats, that in the video uses the hammer of the title to break stuff.

More


8.

Five to Two, JarJarJr.

Song 50,000

Five To Two are the Irish jazz trio of Matthew Breen, Jonah Byrne and Finn Mac Anna, who rekindled their recording status with ‘Moretartar!’ on Soft Boy Records in the busy December month.

‘Song 50,000’ with debut rap vocals from Cork producer jarjarjr, leaves a fine jazz / hip-hop vibe in its wake. It came out of an improv session, and features on the band’s second album Talk Soon, out February 17th on Soft Boy Records, which will be launched with a show at Bello Bar in Dublin on February 18th.

Video by Tim Shearwood.

Follow Five To Two on Insta / Tik Tok / Twitter / Spotify


9.

Lankum

Go Dig My Grave

Lankum today, announced their return for 2023 with a new fourth album entitled False Lankum out on March 24th on Rough Trade Records preceded by new single ‘Go Dig My Grave’, along with a slew of tour dates including new Irish gigs this May in Belfast, Cork, Dublin and more.

‘Go Dig My Grave’ is a droning dark 9-minute song about a hanging and subsequent grief and inspired by the old Irish practice of keening (caoineadh).

“’Our interpretation of the traditional song ‘Go Dig My Grave’ is one that centres around the emotion of grief – all-consuming, unbearable and absolute. A visceral physical reaction to something that the body and mind are almost incapable of processing. The second part of the song is inspired by the Irish tradition of keening (from the Irish caoineadh) – a traditional form of lament for the deceased. Regarded by some as opening up ‘perilous channels of communication with the dead’, the practice came under severe censure from the catholic church in Ireland from the 17th century on.”

More.


10.

Lil Yachty

drive me crazy

Surprise, trap pop rapper Lil Yachty has made a psychedelic pop-rock album and it’s kinda great. It’s autotune psych / sweet melodies R&B melded with Tame Impala vibes (who he did a remix of last year), and a credit list that includes Mac DeMarco, Alex G, Magdalena Bay, Fousheé, Jam City, Chairlift’s Patrick Wimberly, Unknown Mortal Orchestra bassist Jacob Portrait, MGMT’s Ben Goldwasser, Justine Skye and Diana Gordon.


11.

David Kitt

Wishing Well

David Kitt has announced his ninth album Idiot Check, will be released on March 31st on RE:WARM. Kitt has never been one to settle on just one sound, but under his own name, his work has always kept the singer-songwriter flame strong no matter what slots around it, and the new album is said to be an “ambient and atmospheric record that puts an eclectic experimental spin on traditional folk music.”

‘Wishing Well’ is the third track on Idiot Check, and was recorded and produced by Kitt using his “Breaking Bad mobile studio set-up”.

“Wishing Well is about being on the run from memories/your past and memories fading/morphing/appearing in dreams and asking yourself what are you running from exactly. Running from yourself or something other than yourself? Some ghostly spectre that you can’t really pinpoint. It’s also about the void left by the absence of religion/superstition and who we ‘blame’ or project things onto in that absence. The song explores where these two things overlap I guess.”

More


12.

CMAT

May Day

CMAT has surprised released a new song today, a track called ‘Mayday’ – “a very sexy song about climate change,” and is musically inspired by the B52s.

More.

It’s called Mayday. It’s a very sexy song about climate change. I found the inspiration for the song last summer. My boyfriend was on tour and flying into a country that was at the time being evacuated for forest fires. I was so anxious, I kept asking for him to text me when he landed. Eventually he did, like: ‘hey! The runway is on fire’. I thought the human anxieties of the oncoming climate change disaster are something that are either not spoken about, or spoken about in big, sweeping, dramatic statements. I wanted to bring it back down to something pretty mundane and quite funny. Like the musical equivalent of a Coronation Street episode about fracking. 


13.

Crying Loser

Friends

No wavey- post-punk from a new Cork band called Crying Loser. ‘Friends’ channels the spirit of the ‘late 70s no-wave era with a recording that sounds like it was beamed from CBGBs, clarinet and all.

Crying Loser are Mícheal Fitzgerald, Ruairí De Búrca, Arthur Pawsey and Sam Clague, and ‘Friends’ is on Bandcamp.

The video is by Laurie Shaw and the song will feature on the upcoming EP Oaf Milk.

See Also


14.

The Murder Capital

The Stars Will Leave Their Stage

There’s a pleasing looseness and a brightness to the sound of The Murder Capital’s songs from second album Gigi’s Recovery we’ve heard to date, whether its Britpop ‘Only Good Things’ , Radiohead-esque ‘A Thousand Lives’, and the rock-centric ‘Ethel’.

‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’ is a career highlight, a tune built on a suspenseful bed of instrumentation that soars beyond its elements.


15.

boygenius

Emily I’m Sorry

Indie-rock singer-songwriter trio Julien Baker, Phoebe Bridgers and Lucy Dacus and their boygenius supergroup announced a debut album on the way entitled the record, out March 31st, via Interscope / Polydor.

Three songs were released simultaneously indie-style of Julien-Baker-lead ‘$20’, Dacus-lead songwriting of ‘True Blue’ and the Bridgers-lead melancholy atmospheric of ‘Emily I’m Sorry’, being my personal favourite.


16.

Armani White, Denzel Curry

GOATED

Philadelphia Def Jam rapper Armani White and Denzel Curry go hard on this sub-bass on ‘GOATED’.

Floyd Mayweather pops up in the video.


17.

Braids

Evolution

Canadian experimental pop 3-piece Braids’ music has been moving in increasingly dancier directions, and ‘Evolution’, from the trio’s forthcoming ffith album Euphoric Recall (28th April 2023) is the closest they’ve come to sounding like fellow countryman Caribou.


18.

Shiv

Late Now

The Irish artist Shiv has kicked off her 2023 account with the vibey new song ‘Late Now’, which has psych pop and drum breaks bedded in.

It’s the first release for Shiv with new label Warner Music Ireland and was written when she lived in Paris with production duo Superparka.

“I tried my best to portray a feeling of frustration and chaos through the lyrics and ensured that was a key part of the production. It’s really exciting to show people a different side to me, show that I’m not bound to a specific genre/mood and begin to grow as an artist both thematically and musically.’ 

Shiv is on Insta / Tik-Tok

Previous Shiv features.


19.

El Michels Affair, Black Thought

Grateful

It’s no surprise to hear El Michels Affair’s once-off track ‘Masterclass’ used for a rap track, but Black Thought, fresh from the Cheat Codes album? That’s a win.

Even better, it’s from a joint El Michels Affair / Black Thought album called Glorious Game, out April 20th on Big Crown Records.


20.

English Teacher

Song About Love

Leeds indie band English Teacher have paired up their dreamy pop song with a Sims video, and it all adds up to a kooky little vibe.

It was made with Speedy Wunderground label boss and Kae Tempest / Fontaines D.C. producer Dan Carey.

“It’s a pop song about doing chores instead of doing someone else, and how even songs with social or political themes that analyse contemporary discourse, rather than lyricism about tired themes like romantic love, still come from a place of love, or lack thereof.

Lily Fontaine

English Teacher:
Spotify / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram



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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