- 28 May 20
From Kentucky Fried Chicken-inspired break-up songs to defiant as fuck hip-hop, there’s some insanely good new Irish music out there.
CMAT lists Dory Previn, John Grant, Paris Hilton and Kentucky Fried Chicken as key influences and to lesser and greater degrees all are apparent on ‘Another Day (KFC)’, her cracking debut single.
“This song is about a breakdown that I had at a KFC a few years ago when my debit card got declined, but it’s really about getting dumped,” the Finglas-based artist also known as Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson reveals. “Getting dumped is a specialist skill of mine, and I really wanted to highlight the humour and joy that can be found when people are at their most pathetic.”
As frothy a pop confection as you can imagine, it was recorded last year in New York with Oli Deakin who’s previously produced Benjamin Francis Leftwich, Scars On 45, Toothless and Bear Driver.
Equally as thrilling is the accompanying Elliot Ruddy-directed video, which finds CMAT busting out some serious moves.
“I love really manic dancing as a mind-clearing exercise,” she resumes. “My queen of manic dance is Ann-Margret, who I have been copying since I was about 14-years old. I wanted to pay tribute to her and use her wild persona to beef up the unhinged elements of the version of myself that I’ve written about in KFC.”
We don’t bandy the S-word round lightly, but CMAT really is a star in the making.
Locking down in London is Joy Crookes who addresses her mental health on gorgeous slow groover ‘Anyone But Me’.
“Where I grew up, this wasn’t a topic you would bring up when your mum was fixing you a plate of dal or when your mates were showing you how to flirt with boys and girls, so when I had my first episode of depression I didn’t really know where to turn to,” she tells us. “It’s taken me a long time, and I am still learning how to completely articulate what goes on in my mind. Music has a way to soften the blow with topics like mental health - it can make situations that seem completely out of reach, tangible.”
The neo soulster, whose mother is Bangladeshi and dad from the Navan Road, was the first topper of the BBC Asian Music Chart with the Jafaris-assisted ‘Early’. It’s racked up 26 weeks in all, most of them at number one. She’s signed to Speakerbox, the label run by BBC dance don MistaJam, which has scored massive success with Craig David and regards Joy as someone who can follow in his chart-topping footsteps.
Hot Press’ pal Emma Langford alerted us to ‘Green & Gold’, an electro pop belter from young Portarlington outfit Lucidy.
Despite their tender years, we’re pretty certain that they’ve got some Tears For Fears, Howard Jones and Art Of Noise in their collections.
Available on their Bandcamp, proceeds up till now have gone to the ‘Do It For Dan’ campaign, which has achieved its target of raising €2 million for life saving treatment for honorary fourth member of the band, Dan Donoher.
We wish little Dan, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Type 1 and Scoliosis, and his family all the best for the future.
There was a huge response to Hotpress.com’s premiering of ‘Summer Nights’, the new track from Sligo DJ and producer Jonah Class, which reflects his twin passions for electronica and classical music. It finds him hooking up with featured vocalist Weldon, AKA Brendan Chase, who he stumbled across online.
Class earned his live spurs opening for the likes of The Magician, Jax Jones and Denis Sulta. His previous single, ‘Ultimatum’, was championed by Spin 1038 and we can see this one faring even better.
Having previously fronted the much fancied Vox, Conor Thornton makes his solo bow with the sultry ‘The Car Bar’.
Recorded at home on an eight-track reel to reel (ask your grandad), it’s lifted from the forthcoming Despair And Devotion In XS City, a concept album “inspired by Serge Gainsbourg’s sensuality, Vladimir Nabokov’s wordplay, Stanley Kubrick’s hidden details, and David Lynch’s sense of mystery and Vegas-era Elvis’ fading glamour.”
You certainly can’t accuse him of lacking in ambition!
The Specials’ Horace Panter was among those showing the online love for Mayo singer Doppler when his debut ‘A Memory’ single also premiered on Hotpress.com.
“Just came across this new piece of music and think it’s worth sharing… for no other reason than I really like it,” the ska legend tweeted. “Superb video too!”
The eye-catching promo in question finds Doppler, real name Jamie Mulrooney, taking a stop motion drive through the desert in a 1950s Cadillac. It’s the work of award-winning filmmaker Bill Moldt who’s currently based in Los Angeles.
He’s also teamed up with Music Generation to host Ceile Ukulele, a programme that teaches 800 children a week in national schools.
Another Royal County musician making waves is Joe Monaghan, AKA Train Room, whose ‘Horizon’ debut featured in a Mayo tourism video that’s been viewed over two million times.
That brought him to the attention of former David Letterman Show music producer Sheryl Zelkinson who’s been championing his cause Stateside.
Out this week, the COVID-19 inspired ‘Heroes Everywhere’ is a fine slice of acoustic pop, which explains why RTE Radio One, Red FM, 2xm, KCLR, Galway Bay FM and Midwest FM are also in Joe’s corner.
The Valmonts go gunning for daytime radio with ‘Yesterday Kids’, a pop rock song that’s as sharp as the Galway four-piece’s haircuts. Yep, we’re guessing that they either got the promo pics done before lockdown or one of them is/knows a good barber.
Comprising of brothers Darragh and Keith Whyte, Cathal Sweeney and Tymek Kocurkiewicz, they’ve already been rightly lauded by Hot Press’ Tanis Smithers for whipping up a live storm.
Citing INXS, The 1975 and Lauv as influences, they’ve also conjured up a video that will make you as nostalgic as hell for Temple Bar and the quays.
If you like your hip hop emotional, melodic and very summery, look no further than ‘Sirens’, the new single from Word Up Collective artist Daire Patel who’s joined in the studio by the equally impressive Aby Coulibay.
“I’m running from the world in my rearview/ Staring at the stars because my ceiling’s always see through,” he croons on a tune that’s destined to build on the 175k-plus streaming success of its predecessor, ‘Hold Me Down’.
Having made a memorable contribution to the Rusangano Family’s Let The Dead Bury The Dead, Denise Chaila’s solo rise continues with the defiant as fuck ‘Down’.
“I could Bruce Wayne or Batman/ I could play nice or show you Arkham/ Come in my inbox again and I’ll chat to your girl and raise her standards,” the Zambian-born, Limerick-based rapper intones over an ice cool beat.
Get it now from her Bandcamp…