Nialler9’s favourite songs of the month, all in one place. See the Spotify playlist at the end of the article.
Bicep released two brand new tracks in October – ‘Water’ and ‘Waterfall’, two songs which are sides of a coin.
‘Water’ has been aired live recently and features frequent vocalist Clara La San and the B-side ‘Waterfall’ is an early instrumental version. The single has some early Bicep energy along with synths that ape video game music too.
The tracks are the Belfast’s electronic duo’s first tracks since their second album Isles.
The Mary Wallopers
Building Up And Tearing England Down
A highlight from Dundalk trad trio The Mary Wallopers’ (who have expanded to a larger group recently for live gigs) self-titled debut album. ‘Building Up And Tearing England Down’, was popularised by The Dubliners, and tells of the hardship of the Irishmen workers who literally built many of England’s buildings after emigrating from Ireland in search of work, and found themselves working with concrete and clay.
In a tunnel under ground a young Limerick man was found‘Building Up And Tearing England Down’
He was built into the new Victoria line
When the bonus gang had passed sticking from a concrete cast
Was the face of little Charlie Joe Devine
And the ganger man McGurk said big Paddy hates to work
When the gasmain blew and he flew off the ground
Oh they swore he said “Don’t slack!
I’ll not be there until I’m back
Keep on building up and tearing England down!”
Do I hate myself for loving this so much? Maybe a little bit, but there’s no denying the smooth ’80s synth and sax pop vibe here that the Manchester band have nailed more than once. See also the “We Built This City’- esque: ‘Looking For Somebody To Love’, which juxtaposes big pop song with dark lyrics about the epidemic of US school shootings.
The first five songs on Being Funny In A Foreign Language are undeniable.
Scottish trio Young Fathers have cornered the market for exalted raucous gospel hip-hop, as heard on new song ‘I Saw’, from forthcoming album Heavy Heavy, due on February 3rd 2023.
They play 3Olympia Theatre on Wednesday 1st March 2023.
“It’s a big bully with shite down their leg, still swaggering. That pamphlet through your door blaming the establishment and immigrants for everything going wrong. The stench of long-dead empire, trudging along, a psychological hammer to your head in every step. The delusion.”
The track follows on from ‘Geronimo’.
A track that came out a couple of months back, but it’s placement as track three on Loyle Carner’s excellent new album Hugo, accentuates its power. From the John Asgard half-cast poetry that flanks the track, to the classic Madlib production to Carner’s words, it’s a hit. Doesn’t hurt that it sounds like something off Madvillain.
As heard at recent Four Tet live sets, Anish Kumar’s ‘Sadhana’ comes from a compilation called Bollywood Super Hits! As the album title suggests, this is a Bollywood-inspired track brimming with percussive sparkle and synth energy.
Aoife Nessa Frances
I was away on holidays for nearly two weeks this October so I’m still catching up on new releases. So while I’ve only had one listen to Aoife Nessa Frances’ super second album Protector, ‘Chariot’ stood out immediately.
Anna Calls From The Arctic
Dry Cleaning’s second album Stumpwork, does enough to not feel like a carbon copy of the vibe of the brilliant debut New Long Leg.
Case in point: opening the album with this vibey rhythmic track that dispenses with the band’s M.O of guitars from the off. Also, delighted that Florence Shaw’s spoken lyrics have new shades and continue to allude to things greater than their parts.
“Nothing works‘Anna Calls From The Arctic’ – Dry Cleaning
And opaque and privatized
My shoe organizing thing arrived
Dublin drill rapper Sello finally released his Sellotape mix album in October, and it establishes the Clondalkin rapper as the Irish rapper most likely to break out – with his unique blend of Irish samples and the Dublin brogue he calls “Gaelic drill.”
Like a lot of rap mixtapes that stretch over 17 tracks, they aren’t all keepers, but there’s plenty of tracks in there from his story so far including ‘No Love’, ‘Dublin’, ‘Oggy’ and the previously-released ‘Process’ featuring a sample of Radie Peat of Lankum as the hook.
Hard To Fake It
A highlight from recent podcast guest Sorcha Richardson’s second album Smiling Like An Idiot.
After the tease of ‘Washed Away’, we got a return to the Kelela future R&B sound on new single ‘Happy Ending’. Good to have her back.
Sculpture Of Anything Goes
Due to aforementioned holiday, I’m still processing new releases including the Arctic Monkeys’ seventh album The Car, which sounded great on first listen.
And I love ‘Sculpture Of Anything Goes’ amps up the foreboding atmosphere around the Samhain season.
How am I supposed to manage my infallible beliefs?‘Sculpture Of Anything Goes’ by Arctic Monkeys
While I’m sockin’ it to ya
Performing in Spanish on Italian TV
Sometime in the future
Whilst wonderin’ if your mother still ever thinks of me
Irish slouch-rock artist Aaron Corcoran aka Skinner wrapped recent singles into the Commander Trainwreck EP package on Faction Records last month, and was a hit at Ireland Music Week.
‘Gaslighter’ is the EP’s final song, a snake of a track about a snake, a song about domestic abuse and coercion.
Catch him at Other Voices soon.
DOI: I manage Skinner.
Meltybrains?’s latest single ‘Worth’ is taken from their new album You is released on 25th January on Strange Brew, and comes after ‘Journey To/From The Meltyworld’.
‘Worth’ is a track that has influences as diverse as Kanye West, Hudson Mohawke, and Hans Zimmer, and moves between serene passages of treated vocals, synths and orchestra contrasted with big bass stabs and discombobulating drums. Tune’s heavy.
“In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde stated that “the cynic knows the price of everything, but the value of nothing”. Worth is a song about value. About the financial value of material things and how that value differs, according to your situation. Ultimately it is a song about what is worthwhile in the contemporary world of money and material goods. It’s also a song about self-worth, which is something that no price tag can be put on. The song’s arrangement has been influenced by artists as diverse as it features other-worldly vocals and synths, lulling the listener into a false sense of security before the drums, bass, and strings attempt to pummel the listener into submission.”Meltybrains?
Sweet indie pop from Londoner Sophia Mohan aka SOMOH in the vein of Soccer Mommy, Phoebe Bridgers and Snail Mail.
“This song is about coming to terms with your love for someone & knowing that you’d do just about anything for them. It’s a scary but beautiful feeling to fall that deeply for a person.”SOMOH
A debut EP is out in Spring 2023.
Leftfield, Grian Chatten
Full Way Round
I found the prospect of the Fontaines D.C. frontman and one of my first loves of electronic music (Leftfield are just Neil Barnes these days) crossing paths and this is a bombastic electro track that works for me. It’s a bit grimey and dirt-flecked, that sounds like a track from a classic ’90s dance record.
It’s from This Is What We Do, a fourth Leftfield album to be released in December 2022.
What They Call Us
Fever Ray released their first song since 2017 in October.
‘What They Call Us’ was written and co-produced with their The Knife member Olof Dreijer, and features a lot of what people might expect from the project, brooding steel pan synths and twisted vocals.
It’s high drama from the off with New Yorker Breanna Barbara’s song ‘Weaning’ cutting through a tense psychedelic blues rock intro with a howling vocal and crashing drums.
It’s from the Barbara’s forthcoming second album Nothin’ But Time
duye 11th November via Fuzz Club, and produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes)
“In the past, I found myself in relationship after relationship and, once deep inside them, I would pretty consistently want out for one reason or another. It was a pattern I followed for years and had a lot of guilt surrounding it. I think life in general requires us to wean off of certain relationships, starting with our own mother and all the way up to past versions of ourselves. For me this recording really captures the intensity and often pain that can come with grieving those relationships.”Breanna Barbara
Dan Snaith released his second Daphni album Cherry last month, and this one has a ’90s Avalanches meets Daft Punk vibe to it.
One of my favourite voices in music returns. Oh ya.
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.
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See the homepage for all Spotify playlists: New Music | Irish | Monthly