- 07 Sep 21
From lazy summer grooves to pop of the darkly compelling variety, there’s another bumper crop of new Irish music...
“Beautiful, atmospheric, hyper-relatable pop songs flecked with R&B, jazz and soul” is how we previously described Fia Moon (pictured, above) in these here pages and new single ‘Simple’ merely reinforces our opinion.
Written over Zoom with Fia in Dublin, Robert Grace and Lenii man Bill Maybury in Cork and G-Eazy and Umi producer Austin Ward in Mississippi, the uptempo reflection on relationships is accompanied by a Lana Del Rey-esque video, which confirms that she’s got the visual side of things sorted too.
Iann Brennan impresses with ‘Mission To Mars’, his first new material since 2019 debut album, Start As You Mean To Go On.
A radio-friendly rocker, it was penned whilst the Finglas man was gigging (remember that?) with Declan O’Rourke.
Having also shared a stage with Aslan, Kíla, Lisa Hannigan and Mary Coughlan, he’s amassed a healthy following who’ll hopefully pester their local radio station to add it to their playlist.
“You got a new girl now/ She kind of looks like me/ Maybe a little taller, maybe she looks better…” rues Rosie Byrne on ‘Leaving With Me’, a rousing breakup single, which talking of radio would sound ace alongside the likes of Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo.
Just seventeen and about to go into sixth year, Byrne cut her teeth busking on Grafton Street with over a hundred live videos on the Dublin City Today YouTube.
With talent to burn, expect serious record company interest…
Raised in Cork, based in London and back and forth to LA on a regular basis, Cian Ducrot has been making serious waves since signing to Darkroom/Interscope Records.
Originally determined to pursue a career as a classical flautist, the 23-year-old’s music addresses love, loss, masculinity and frustration, and has drawn comparisons on this side of the Atlantic to Picture This.
Don Henley’s ‘Boys Of Summer’ and Richard Marx’s ‘Right Here Waiting’ were the songs Xona wanted to match for drama and pop sensibility with his ‘In My Head’ single.
That he’s managed to achieve his objective – and then some – explains why he’s been snapped up by Berlin/Dublin label Welcome To The New World who also have Tolü Makay, Enda Gallery and Strange Boy on their books.
Arriving in Dublin from Lagos aged ten, he honed his voice singing in the church choir while also drawing inspiration from Prince and Christina Aguilera.
The result is a sophisticated sound that bodes extremely well for the 23-year-old’s debut album.
“We were kind of thinking Jack White meets Radiohead in terms of the shredding violin parts and large orchestral sections,” BIMM Class of 2021 graduates Sky Atlas say of their ‘Threads’ single and, again, it’s mission accomplished.
There’s also a hint of Led Zeppelin about the four-piece who’ve already featured on 2fm, Radio Nova, KCLR, Beat 102/103 and 98fm.
If it’s lazy (in a good way) summer grooves you’re after, look no further than Ward’s debut Strawberry Jam EP, which is out now courtesy of Waterford’s Egg Twelve Records.
The four-tracker was assembled in his bedroom with the eighteen-year-old playing all the instruments himself.
Were dancefloors to be open they’d be heaving to ‘Fever Thoughts’, a bright lights/big city offering from 23-year-old Bobbi Arlo who confesses to being influenced by The Japanese House, KAYTRANDA, Rayvn Lenae and Elbow.
There’s also a bit of a Shakira vibe to her latest single, which has been pounced on by the likes of Fergal Darcy and Stephen Byrne.
Perfume Genius and Anohni both spring to mind listening to Attention, the debut album from Floor Staff, AKA Dubliner Anthony Donnelly whose pop is of the darkly compelling variety.
The songwriting throughout is top notch with new single ‘The Occupants Rotate’ a multi-layered delight.
Let us point you in the direction of ‘An File’, a stunning spoken word piece from Limrapper – and Kneecap collaborator – Dyrt whose wordplay couldn’t be any more dexterous. Shared on YouTube earlier this summer, the story about “the God of Irish poetry” runs to 13mins 23secs, and if anything is too short.
Four In The Morning open their account with Stress Dreams, another record made during lockdown over Zoom. Its lead single, ‘Keep It Together’, is redolent of The National at their most majestic.
The star attraction is Kevin Dolan, an Irish singer-songwriter, history podcaster and Bob Dylan documentarian whose lived-in voice couldn’t be any more expressive.
He formed the band as a way to make friends when he emigrated to Melbourne.
On September 10, Broadside Hacks Recordings – a London-based label dedicated to “the celebration and perpetuation of folk music” – release their eagerly anticipated compilation album, Songs Without Authors Vol. 1, featuring a selection of top talent. One of the teaser singles finds Rosa Zajac – who’s based between Dublin and Glasgow – teaming up with Lankum’s Daragh Lynch on a powerful new version of the ballad ‘The Burning of Auchindoun’.
Other Irish artists involved are Junior Brother and Brigid Mae Power. Pre-order a copy on Bandcamp before they’re gone – with all profits being split between Focus Ireland, Scottish Trans Alliance and Sistah Space.
Following the release of their debut single ‘Pretty People’, which earned serious praise from BBC Radio 1’s Daniel P. Carter, Fräulein return this month with lauded follow-up, ‘Belly’.
Comprising of Northern Ireland’s Joni Samuels (vocals, guitar) and Holland’s Karsten van der Tol (drums), Fräulein have marked themselves as a thrilling new force in alternative music, with their unique approach to lo-fi garage rock. ‘Belly’, the first single from an upcoming double a-side release, is packed with raw energy and fiery frustration.
Initially rising to prominence as Sean & Conor Price, the acclaimed Irish duo are back with a brand new sound under a brand new moniker: PRiiCE.
Blurring the line between indie-pop and hip-hop, the pair released their debut single ‘Sunflower’ in July – garnering international airplay, and coveted inclusions on Spotify editorial playlists like Fresh Finds: Pop and New Music Friday.
Hot on the heels of their debut track, they released the irresistible ‘Sweet Life’ last month. Expect big things from their upcoming EP…
Two years after the release of her last single, ‘Burn’, Cat Lundy makes her long-awaited return with ‘The Margarita Song’, offering an uplifting burst of energy before the summer’s officially over.
Penned during lockdown, the track once again highlights the Irish singer-songwriter’s refusal to be pigeonholed by genre – be that pop, blues or jazz. Her debut single, ‘Triggerman’, amassed major airplay in Japan, and led to her playing showcases in Los Angeles.
A classically-trained singer, Cat’s also played New York’s The Bitter End and LA’s House of Blues – as well as supporting multi-Grammy-winning artist Fantastic Negrito on tour.
Finally, one of Irish hip-hop’s most hotly tipped rising stars, Kildare’s Craig Cooney, returns after an eight-month hiatus with ‘Careful’ – joining forces with acclaimed producer Chris Kabs, whose fingerprints can be found all over JYellowL’s Choice Music Prize-nominated 2020 D|Vision album.
Incorporating drill influences, the pair bring a fresh new flavour to the homegrown scene with additional vocals courtesy of London-based artist Hxney.
There are also rumours that a collaborative EP from Craig and Chris could be in the pipeline. Watch this space...
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