- 10 Aug 21
Irish hip-hop continues to expand into experimental new dimensions this month. Plus – we listen to new homegrown sounds in pop, Americana, garage-noise and more. Pictured: GNS.
After kicking off the year with ‘Rhodes’ and ‘momma bird’, GNS – pronounced ‘Genius’ – continues to bring an eclectic new flavour to the ever-diversifying Irish hip-hop scene with ‘BIB’. The track, out this Friday, draws influence from smooth, jazz-rap-influenced Chicago artists like Saba, Chance The Rapper and Noname, as well as the experimental trap approach of Jaden.
The Dublin-based rapper’s raw talent is sure to translate into massive streaming figures in the months ahead…
Also flying the flag for alternative hip-hop and R&B in Ireland is Uwmami – who’s fast becoming one of the most promising producers in the country, while embracing a fiercely DIY ethos. She’s rapidly building up a reputation for her collaborations with a dazzling selection of forward-thinking, genre-blending artists, including Kendino, CHAHYLD, Sushee, Martin Ocean, Awesimon, elu and ØMEGA.
More recently, she’s teamed up with Cork’s hotly tipped Goldie Bron$on on ‘Dial’, New York-based artist Zach Surp on ‘FAULT’, and Dublin-based singer-songwriter Ṣelu on 'Keep Your Head Up'.
The individual talents of Carlow-based independent label Poxy Records – including Willhouse, Pop Wallace and Shaun Hennessy – have teamed up for their first collaborative project, Poxy Beats: Volume 1. Released on Bandcamp on July 23, the project features 16 beats from artists on the roster, including a few new faces. Blurring the boundaries between hip-hop subgenres, the tape features everything from lo-fi beats to ‘90s-influenced sample chops – all curated into one cohesive project.
As if the Poxy Records team weren’t impressive enough, they’re also donating all Bandcamp sales of the project to Pieta House.
Taking aim at the housing crisis, Uppbeat has crafted a potent blend of punk, hip-hop and pop on ‘Landlord’. The ambitious West of Ireland rapper – who’s clocked up nearly 200,000 Spotify streams on his previous single, ‘Exhale’ – taps into the concerns of a generation on the new track, with his unapologetically angry commentary on modern Irish life.
With an approach that’s centred around raw emotion and explosive energy, Uppbeat has marked himself as a unique force in Irish music, with an ever-growing online fanbase. ‘Landlord’ is set to feature on his highly anticipated upcoming project HI V!Z.
Hip-hop artists aren’t the only ones making major moves on the Irish scene this month. Dunx is steadily becoming one of the most captivating talents on these shores, with his surf blues and desert rock-flavoured sound on dazzling display on his new self-produced single, ‘I Land At Sea’.
Armed with a deeply resonant and instantly commanding voice, not unlike Nick Cave, the Irish-Australian artist has previously put in the hard graft behind-the-scenes as a producer and engineer – working with U2, Inhaler, Sorcha Richardson and more – before stepping into the solo spotlight with his debut single, ‘Don’t Gotta Be So Bad’, last year.
Dunx recorded the new track at former Otherkin member David Anthony Curley’s The Clinic – fast becoming Dublin’s most buzzed-about studio – with Soda Blonde’s Dylan Lynch on drums and percussion.
Following an appearance on the Problem Patterns-curated compilation album Bangers ‘N’ Breakups earlier this year, Belfast’s F.R.U.I.T.Y. continues to establish himself as a star-in-the-making, with his self-titled debut EP.
Blending lo-fi electronica and experimental pop, as well as elements of hip-hop and spoken word, the artist also known as Dan O’Rawe serves up brilliantly off-kilter ruminations on life as a queer person in Northern Ireland. With conversational, deadpan delivery in his native accent, F.R.U.I.T.Y heralds the arrival of one of the most compulsively original emerging voices in Irish music...
Also representing the Northern Irish music scene this month is Newry artist CeeV (aka Caoimhe McAleavey), with her new single ‘Twenty Three’. Following her studies at BIMM Manchester – as well as a subsequent adventure in Ottawa, Canada – she returned home determined to share her own songs with the world. Having gradually built up a loyal following with two previous releases, the singer-songwriter has positioned herself on the verge of a major breakthrough with her new single.
Keep an eye out for her on Irish stages this year, supporting Liam Ó Maonlaí, Lisa Hannigan and Gloria Gaynor.
Just a few weeks after his previous track, ‘The Hope Song’, got the remix treatment from fellow Waterford artist Evan Miles, Tadhg Williams is back with a new single, ‘The Summer Song’. Fearlessly vulnerable and unapologetically honest, it’s a track that belies the Trinity student’s relatively young years – showcasing profound growth in both his abilities as a vocalist and a songwriter.
Having already earned praise from the likes of Declan O’Rourke and David Keenan, Tadhg has cemented his reputation as one of the most promising singer-songwriters in the country with his new single – which we’re expecting to become a prominent fixture on the airwaves…
Fresh from signing to internationally renowned music publisher peermusic, Irish singer-songwriter Jacqui Sharkey has shared an uplifting new single, ‘The Light’.
“I am delighted to be working with such a talented artist and writer as Jacqui,” says Nigel Elderton, President of peermusic Europe. “I hope that this current release will introduce her music to a much wider audience outside of Ireland.”
Jacqui, who was raised in Scotland, but has spent most of her life in the Donegal Gaeltacht, has crafted a sound deeply rooted in the alternative country and Americana traditions. A string of acclaimed releases brought her to the attention of producer John Reynolds, famed for his work with the likes of Sinéad O’Connor and Damien Dempsey.
Produced in London, with her vocals recorded remotely by Tommy McLaughlin (who’s played with and produced Villagers and SOAK) in Donegal, ‘The Light’ signals the beginning of an exciting new chapter in Jacqui’s career.
After being tipped as one of our ‘Hot For 2020 Irish Acts’, Oscar Blue’s skyrocketing trajectory continues, with ‘Backyard Mafia’, his first release of the year, and the lead single from his upcoming debut EP.
The Clare singer-songwriter – who’s already clocked up over five million Spotify streams – has been busy collaborating with producer Philip Magee, renowned for his work with some of Ireland’s biggest pop acts, including The Script, Gavin James and Kodaline. The musical partnership has resulted in thrilling new developments in Oscar’s emotional indie-pop sound – marking him as a serious contender for the title of Ireland’s next breakout star.
If you’re looking for something a little louder... Dublin four-piece Sprints returned this month with ‘How Does The Story Go?’, their first release since their critically acclaimed Manifesto EP back in March. The new single finds the garage-noise band reflecting on the trials and tribulations of attempting to make a living through the arts – with vocalist Karla Chubb serving up a brazenly brilliant blend of honesty, humour and raw vulnerability.
Stay tuned for news of their highly anticipated second EP, expected later this year – and don’t miss out on tickets for their Irish and UK tour, kicking off this October...