- 20 Apr 20
That thing about adversity creating great art... it’s true! Irish musicians have gone into overdrive to try and cure those Covid-19 blues.
They’d reckoned on the Lockdown curtailing their musical activities for a while but having discovered the joys of Zoom Fox Jaw pieced together a cracking five-way version of ‘Ghost Town’, which does The Specials proud.
It’s typical of the ingenuity and “Fuck you, Covid-19!” attitude that artists and music lovers alike have displayed these past few weeks. It’s fostered a sense of community, which has gladdened our hearts. The message is clear and simple - “We’re in this together!”
Fellow Limrockers We Come In Pieces – the name contains more than a hint of what they sound like - had us forming a socially distanced moshpit with their ‘Lockdown’ offering, which was written and recorded in a 24-hour orgy of cabin fever creativity.
“Stay at home you muthafuckas!” it exhorts as the forces of Valhalla are unleashed. With Leo Varadkar taking care of intro duties (well, sort of) and a nicely deranged accompanying video, it was a day very well spent.
Having built up a healthy online following with her Lewis Capaldi, JP Saxe and Maisie Peters covers, Irish-Argentinian teenager Luz Corrigan proves she’s a writer of calibre too with ‘i’m lonely’.
The beguiling slice of acoustic pop explains why heavyweight London-based producer JMAC, the Apple-backed Platoon label and Paradigm, the same agency that live books alt-J, Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Jason Mraz, The Lumineers and the Dave Matthews Band, are all in Luz’s corner.
You can tell from looking at her socials that the 18-year-old has a close bond with her fans who are lapping up the new single and counting down the minutes until she starts gigging again.
The Burma buzz has crossed the Atlantic with Rolling Stone premiering their ‘Same Again’ track and comparing its “glimmering rock” to the likes of The Killers, The Smiths and The Strokes.
What distinguishes the Corkonians from those other bands is singer Tony O’Donovan’s halfway between Paul Banks and Tom Petty sneer.
It’s available as part of their Sugar Moonlight five-tracker, which is available from the Burma Bandcamp and likely to cause more media fawning, not least from us.
While currently unable to add to his list of high-profile supports - Aslan, Brian Kennedy and Damien Dempsey are among those who’ve been given a serious run for their backstage rider by him - Ciarán Moran has treated us to the cracking ‘Falling Down’.
Guided by the likes of Christy Moore, Roddy Doyle and Colm Quearney as he found his musical feet, the Dublin North Inner City singer tells it like it is with references to substance abuse, domestic violence and homelessness. We imagine a song about the current crisis will be coming down the tracks.
He also pens a mean chorus, which has resulted in serious amounts of Spin 103.8FM airplay.
Impressively, the accompanying video trended for almost 72 hours when premiered on hotpress.com.
Moran is being looked after by Luke Rynne Cullan and the rest of the TuneRelease.Com crew whose next release is the debut single from JJ Bloom, AKA Conor McQuaid who’s majorly into his classic soul, funk and R&B.
The 23-year-old had quite the adventure with his previous band, Dúlamán, who made it to the final of Germany’s Got Talent and subsequently released a well-received album there through Sony.
He’s co-written two songs, ‘I Won’t Be Leaving’ and ‘Supernatural’, with Jake Carter and ventured to France as a pen-for-hire but is now keen to establish himself as a force in his own right.
His cause will be helped no end by ‘Always You’, a supercool summer pop single which finds JJ taking to the ice at The Rink in D12 in the video.
Sound-wise, there are nods to two of his favourite acts, Hall & Oates, and the cycling shorts-era Style Council.
Proving that he’s a top man as well as a wonderful songwriter, The Late David Turpin has gifted us a free instrumental version of his Romances album, which is proving to be a real stress-buster in the virtual HP Towers.
Released last October, the original 12-tracker found Turpin, who scripted gothic Irish horror The Lodgers and has a new movie, The Winter Lake on the way, ‘casting’ the likes of Elephant, Bear Worship, Gar Cox, Samyel, Martin McCann, Jaime Nanci and old pal (in terms of the duration of their friendship, not his age) Conor J. O’Brien as the singer of his songs.
The result is a cinematic tour de force ripe for overseas licensing…
Infandum, a prodigiously talented Lucan rapper, announces his arrival with ‘Blast Furnace’, a street anthem that manages to be both gritty and poppy.
If radio stations are looking for something to play next to Dermot Kennedy, this could be it. With the 16-year-old also a natural in front of the camera, we’ll be keeping a very close eye on young Dylan Donegan…
We’re also loving ‘That Girl’, the current single from Zali who’s been working with Wizkid, Tekno and Tiwa Savage producer Blaise Beatz. The Irish singer promises “a bold reminder to girls everywhere to unapologetically own who they are” and duly delivers with a song that oozes R’n’B sophistication.
Inspired by the likes of Toni Braxton, Frank Ocean and Amy Winehouse, she could have a summer hit on her hands if radio proves to be as enthusiastic as Spotify who’ve put it on their The New Éire playlist.
With previous single ‘Can’t Stop’ amassing close to 150,000 plays and pockets of fans everywhere from Mullingar to Mexico City – we love them analytics! - Zali is really cooking at the moment.
An R’n’B belter if ever there was one, Amanda St. John teams up with Avro Party on ‘Made Myself A Name’, which contains such choice couplets as: “You could literally be my fairy godmother or knight in shining armour/ Myself & Karma will never forget you for it!”
Upcoming on May 8 from the Northern Irish singer is The Muscle Shoals Sessions, which finds her following in the legendary studio footsteps of Aretha Franklin and Etta James who you suspect would recognise St. John as a kindred spirit.
It’s always a good day when there’s new music from Patrick M. Barrett who also magicked ‘Hearts Off The Latch’ up in just 24 hours. Putting his Hedge Schools guise to one side, he’s operating this time round as Arrivalists. Whatever name he’s using, Mr. B is consistently one of Ireland’s best songwriters. A doff of the A&R Department headphones too to Ruth Medjber formerly of this parish who supplied the ace cover photo.
Belfast indie rockers Gnarkats undergo a massive growth spurt on their new single ‘Dreamers’. As with its ‘War Cry’ predecessor there’s a big wall of guitar noise – we suspect they listened to quite a bit of Therapy? growing up - but now with added pop guile.