- 27 Jan 21
Inhaler, Declan O'Rourke, Imelda May and Wyvern Lingo lead the 2021 Irish album charge.
While the ongoing pandemic is understandably playing havoc with release dates, 2021 is shaping up to be another bumper year for Irish albums.
Out on February 12 in time, the romantic fools, for Valentine’s Day is long-player no. 4 from Django Django. Glowing In The Dark makes it into our roundup by dint of mainman Vincent Neff being from Derry.
February 19 is D-Day for Last Animals, an examination of friendship, family, dreams and life’s forking-paths from Wexford’s A.Smyth who’s a master of gently understated melody.
If you’re in to loudly overstated melody, God Is An Astronaut release Ghost Tapes#10 through Napalm Records on February 12.
Together since 2002, the instrumental Wicklow post-rockers are massive in Italy and Eastern Europe where they’ve toured extensively.
Hitting the racks on February 26 is Awake You Lie, the second album from Wyvern Lingo, which was recorded in Berlin pre-Covid.
The latest taster, ‘Rapture’, suggests it’s an album that will lift them up a division or two.
The same day finds Basciville, AKA indie folk brothers Cillian and Lorcan Byrne, opening their long-playing account with Hymns To The Air. Moodily atmospheric tracks like ‘Bloom’ and ‘Memory And Other Drugs’ nod to Nick Cave and early R.E.M., which is an entirely good thing.
Due on March 5 is Arrivals, the latest from Declan O’Rourke, which is produced by celebrity admirer Paul Weller – ‘Galileo’ is in his top 10 songs of all-time – and includes the intriguingly titled ‘Andy Sells Coke’.
Having recently wowed us with his Hot Press 'Rave On, Van Morrison' cover of ‘Come Here My Love’, Microdisney man Cathal Coughlan has just released his first new music in ten years with old pal Luke Haines lending a hand. The title-track from an album that follows on March 5, ‘Song Of Co-Aklan’ features understated keyboard swells, the ghostly twang of nervy surf guitar and, most importantly, the Greatest Living Corkman’s signature honey-throated tenor.
Having dazzled before Christmas with her lockdown remake of Radiohead’s The Bends, Rosie Carney joins Julia Stone and Lucy Rose as one of the featured vocalists on Roses, the latest from Australian folk rockers The Paper Kites, which is out on March 21. With the band having four million monthly Spotify listeners, it’s an excellent calling card for the Donegal songstress who’s also working on an album of original material.
Declan O’Rourke’s former housemate, Paddy Casey, has so many songs stockpiled that his new album due in April, Turn This Ship Around, is going to be a double.
John Spillane celebrates Ireland’s bardic tradition on April 2’s 100 Snow White Horses, which features the gossamer-like backing vocals of Pauline Scanlon and was produced by Sinéad O’Connor and Damien Dempsey man John Reynolds.
Imelda May has confirmed the late spring/early summer release of her sixth album, which was trailed before Christmas by her audition to soundtrack the next James Bond film, ‘11 Past The Hour’. Well, that’s what it sounded like to us and no better person for the gig!
“Rebellious and dangerous” is how she describes the musical follow-up to 2017’s Life Love Flesh Blood.
Originally due at the start of the year, Inhaler’s extremely eagerly awaited debut will now drop during the summer, hopefully in time for some sort of a festival season.
They’ve pieced it together in London with Antony Genn, an early member of Pulp who was also part of The Hours and Joe Strummer’s Mescaleros.
“Because it’s our first we’ve just got to make sure it’s right,” guitarist Josh Jenkinson notes. “We’ve got to deliver an album that’s as good as the first Clash or Strokes record. If you don’t aspire to that you shouldn’t be in a band.”
Following a successful Fund it drive, Jane Willow is looking forward to releasing her debut, date TBA, which features Dave Hingerty from The Frames on drums and Waterboy Steve Wickham on fiddle. Dutch but Dublin-based and part of the Whelan’s family, Jane cites Nick Drake, Leonard Cohen and Damien Rice as some of her key influences, which comes across loud and clear in her music.
Revelino going top 10 here last year with the re-release of their self-titled 1994 debut is likely to result in more bands dusting down their back catalogue.
Also a naturalised Irishman at this stage, David Gray collaborates with David Kitt, The Silken Same’s Mossy Nolan and Sligo singer Niamh Farrell on Skellig, his most overtly Celtic album yet, which is due during the first-half of the year. Bag yourself the title-track for free from his website.
Due soon-ish is the re-mastered in Abbey Road version of Heartworm, Whipping Boy’s 25-year-old masterpiece, which by the band’s own admission was a commercial failure but continues to resonate. Needless to say, it’ll be on shiny vinyl.
As will The Mission Sessions, an unreleased 1980s album from Dublin (then) next big things Those Nervous Animals.
And that really is just the tip of the iceberg with albums also due from Villagers, Saint Sister, Thumper, Stuart Agnew, Davie Furey, The Crayon Set, John Blek, Maria Kelly, Sive, Elaine Mai, Tolu Makay, Gemma Dunleavy, And So I Watch You From Afar (who’ve named their new baby Jettison) and Lisa O’Neill.
Order the Hot Press Hot For 2021 Special Issue below: