- 08 Sep 23
Check out our favourite tracks of the week below!
Offica, ‘Living Proof’
The Drogheda-based rapper Offica has released his new single ‘Living Proof’, shared in the build up to his debut album Hokage, out October 6. ‘Living Proof’ is another strong outing for the exploding artist - discussing relationship struggles and his musical journey over a laidback jazzy beat.
Since first hitting the scene in 2019, Offica has skyrocketed to the top of the Irish scene and beyond- amassing over 600,000 monthly listeners on Spotify alone. “I want to be the biggest to ever come from Ireland, and take the city to new heights,” he said in an interview with Hot Press’ Lucy O’Toole last year. “I didn’t really start music to make money, or income, or any of that. I was just doing it for fun. So to be doing it, and doing really well at it, at such a fast rate – I’m just enjoying it! I’m taking in every moment. Anything else is a bonus.”
CMAT, ‘Stay For Something’
Irish country superstar CMAT has released 'Stay For Something', the new single from her forthcoming album Crazymad, For Me. A more personal piece than fans are used to from the singer, 'Stay For Something' explores a past relationship of CMAT's, with instrospective lyrics questioning why she let herself be treated the way she was.
Nostalgic and fresh simultaneously, the singer's vocal carries the track, with her crooning country tendencies decorating the riff heavy piece perfectly. The bridge of the release brings some of our favourite CMAT vocals and lyrics, "And they tell me I should hate you/Say you put me through it/Lord I know I used to/But I just can’t do it."
Speaking about the track, the musician said: “It's basically just about questioning why I stayed / suffered in a bad relationship for as long as i did. trying to desperately find some kind of meaning in the mess and then being embarrassed when i remember the good parts. It's not very lyrical or poetic, it's just a lot of emotion and energy - this song, to me, sounds like going for a run at 1am with your headphones on full blast, screaming through the streets in order to get away from your problems. i hope that at least one person does that when they hear it.”
Nell Mescal, ‘TEETH’
Following her stellar Electric Picnic set on the 3Music Stage, and at the Hot Press Chat Room, Nell Mescal is releasing her new sinlge 'TEETH' - which you would've been lucky enough to hear performed acoustically at her Chat Room performance.
Her fourth single of the year, ‘TEETH’ releases via LAB Records. The new track shows an incredible growth in the singer's lyrical abilities, as well as her insane vocals. A perfect ebb and flows shines through in the track, with the choruses building up layered vocals and powerful instrumentalism.
A shimmering, indie thriller, Nell continues to truly make her mark on the Irish music scene. Speaking about the track, Mescal says: “'TEETH' is a song about when you leave the ending of a friendship/relationship too late and there’s no more trust left. It’s about the moment where you decide enough is enough." The singer revealed to Hot Press last week that the inspiration for the track came from a point when she thought a friend had been reading her diary, hence the lyrics "I think you read my journal, so I pulled out all the pages, and I changed all my opinions so you can't say you feel them."
Kojaque, ‘WOOF’ feat. Biig Piig
Already receiving an incredible response for his last two sinlges, Kojaque is gearing up for an absolutely insane year, as he announces a headline European tour, a new album, and drops a new track and video with Biig Piig - 'WOOF'. Available now through Soft Boy Records, 'WOOF' marks the third single from PHANTOM OF THE AFTERS, the artist's upcoming album, dropping October 27.
Complimented by Biig Piig's sensual vocals, Kojaque brings forth a soft rap piece, with layered, distorted vocals hanging over a synth filled instrumental line. The track perfectly suits the unnaturally hot weather we're having in Ireland - an ideal out the back sunbathing release.
Loose and soulful, but loaded with what lies just beneath a conversation, ‘WOOF’, says Kojaque, is “when you get to that pointless stage of an argument with someone where neither of you are communicating anymore: no one’s looking for a resolution. Karma Kid sent the beat during lockdown, and Biig Piig absolutely crushed it. She was one of the very first people I clicked with when I came to London, so I’m delighted we finally got to work together.”
Irish dancepop artist LYRA has released her gleaming new single ‘LOVERS’ a week after her performance at Electric Picnic. The first song from her upcoming debut album due early 2024 via Rubyworks, Lyra's signature Irish booming vocal keeps 'LOVERS' true to her music, but with dance beats and 80s classic synth bringing an alt-pop sound to the surface.
The track sees the singer reunite with Lewis Capaldi and Ellie Goulding collaborator Phil Cook, who co-wrote and produced her breakout single ‘FALLING’. “I am a true romantic at heart and this is dance ode to those early years in my youth,” said LYRA. “I wanted to celebrate my personal journey tackling heartbreak, one of the things I will never give up on in life is love and this song is a way for me to reclaim and rejoice my hope for the future. This is an exciting new chapter for me. I have been touring my new music at festivals, as well as completing a UK headline tour, I can’t wait for my fans to hear ‘LOVERS’”.
Elaine Malone, ‘Stupid Hipster’
Enigmatic Cork musician Elaine Malone’s ‘Stupid Hipster’ is a beautiful, reverb-washed number with spacey guitars and self aware lyrics. The single is from her new album Phyrric, out now via Pizza Pizza records.
The LP marks a significant turning point in Elaine Malone's artistic journey, showcasing her maturity as a songwriter. Inspired by the Ancient Roman concept of a pyrrhic victory, the record delves into the notion of triumph achieved at too great a cost. Malone is set to host a special album release show at Bello Bar in Portobello, Dublin on 8 September. The event, presented by Foggy Notions, features support from Nudy Boy Nature. Tickets start from €14.50 and are available here.
Girlfriend., ‘In Silence’
‘In Silence’ is the latest gritty single from Dublin’s girlfriend. The song features droning and distorted slide guitar which builds tension to a head-banging crescendo. The song was recorded, produced and mixed by Peter Ashmore and features an accompanying lyric video. After an apparent hiatus, the band signalled their return with 2022’s ‘Repent’ and ‘Trust’, which came out in March earlier this year. The band will play headline shows in Limerick’s Pharmacia and Dublin’s Grand Social on 27 and 29 October.
Plantain Papi, 'Vela Cinderella’
Packed with slick autotune and dance-tempo beats, ‘Vela Cinderella’ is the newest offering from North Dublin’s Plantain Papi, one of the biggest rappers out of the Dublin scene. Accompanied by a “fast” version, perhaps more for the TikTok audiences, both tracks are upbeat and encourage you to dance. Having opened for internationally renowned artists like Burna Boy at the 3Arena, Mayorkun and YBN Gang, Plantain Papi is a creative musical force whose combination of rap, afrobeat and pop has gotten him fans around Ireland and beyond.
Soda Blonde, ‘Boys’
Irish alt band Soda Blonde have today released their massive sophmore album, Dream Big. Sitting at 11 tracks, fans can choose from a variety of tunes for every mood. 'Boys', the collection's third track brings epic '90s-soaked beats and vocals, reminiscent of Portishead, Gem, and a lighter, more indie, Garbage.
Speaking about this '90s influence in our September edition of Hot Press, lead singer, Faye O'Rourke, said: "“My cousins were a bit older. When they were getting ready to go out, they’d be listening to Ultrabeat and all that really heavy ‘90s club music, like ‘Born Slippy’. I remember being a child and feeling melancholy from this dance music. I couldn’t really figure out why I felt heavy, and I think I’ve always chased that feeling of emotional heaviness, mixed with this euphoria kind of thing. That was something when we were producing that was quite healing for me.”
SPRINTS, ‘Up And Comer'
Off the back of a big year of touring, Dublin band Sprints’ new song ‘Up and Comer’ is a noisy, energising punk number which singer Karla Chubb describes as a “pretty dry take on a fear and self consciousness that has been ruminating in me since I picked up an instrument.” The band have also announced their hotly-anticipated debut album Letter to Self, out 5 January 2024.
Sprints have forged a reputation as a must-see live band, combining passion, vulnerability and fun in equal measure. Having sold out their October shows in Dublin’s Button Factory and London’s Scala, they have announced a new set of dates across Ireland for April/May 2024. For more information on next year’s upcoming tour, including tickets, click here.
Zimbabwean-Irish singer-songwriter shiv has released her second track of the summer, and it’s a decadent blend of musical influence. A deliciously layered musical soundscape complete with samples and horns, shiv explores themes of identity, gender and family. She’s performed at some of the biggest Irish festivals in the past few months, including All Together Now and Kojaque’s Softfest, all the while tirelessly creating music.
“Mother is a song that explores the themes of colonisation and the opposing natures of masculinity and femininity. It is analogised via an unhealthy relationship between a Mother and a Father, and narrated through the eyes of a child, who bears the brunt of the toxic relationship, or in other words, the citizens of the country suffer the damage and long lasting effects of colonial power. It is something that is common to both my Irish and Zimbabwean heritage, the wounds of which both countries still feel today. The masculine role is exploitative and domineering, while the feminine remains meek and defenceless, trapped in survival mode. I really wanted to make a song that had a topic that feels quite heavy, but for the meaning to be unclear to someone listening passively. The instrumental in and of itself doesn’t seem like it lays the foundations for a song a topic as heavy as colonisation, and I like that juxtaposition.”
Yunè Pinku, ‘Dreams (Rework)'
Having released her second EP this past April, Yunè Pinku is clearly not one for a day off. Her latest release is a rework of The Cranberries’ 1993 classic ‘Dreams’, infusing the track with her fittingly dreamy vocals and unique electronic production. The end result is a song that is as familiar as it is completely new and is a lovely modern tribute to a band that had such influence on both Irish and international music scenes.
Valerie Rose, ‘September’
18-year-old Dublin singer Valerie Rose has seen exponential growth since her debut last year, due to her music’s relatable lyrics and infectious sound. Fittingly released this week as September kicks off, ‘September’ is an alt-pop lament over the changing of the seasons and apprehension of starting at a new school. It combines unmistakable grungy guitar riffs that combine rock with her signature indie sound, her beautifully soulful vocals layered on top.
She sings goodbye to the long summer days of August: “Will I lose my feeling after daylight? / Doesn’t feel right that summer said goodbye / Hate to see her go.”
Daire Patel, ‘Alone With You’
Channelling the likes of Frank Ocean and Dominic Fike, Daire Patel’s latest single is a mellow, sincere offering from the Irish musician. It starts with a stripped-back acoustic guitar before being joined by a lo-fi beat that perfectly accompanies his low-key vocals. Part of the Word Up Collective, a label that promotes some of the “most exciting creatives in Ireland today”, Patel has performed alongside the likes of Tebi Rex and Bobbi Arlo and is only getting bigger since the release of his first EP last year. He’s undoubtedly one to watch, his music fitting right in with some of the biggest names in the industry today.
Junk Drawer, ‘Nids Niteca’
Belfast band Junk Drawer’s showcase their inner Meat Puppets with ‘Nids Niteca’ - further establishing themselves as one of Ireland’s finest art rock outfits. The track appears on the fourth volume of independent Irish compilation series A Litany of Failures, which features acts from all corners of the island. The album is out now.
Despite their status as underground heroes, Junk Drawer have earned plenty of mainstream acclaim- including three awards at the Northern Ireland Music Prize. Following the release of their debut album, Ready For The House, in 2020, their four-track EP, The Dust Has Come To Stay, marked a thrilling progression in their sound last year.
Robert Grace x 49th & Main, ‘Casper (Remix)’
Two of Kilkenny's finest altpop/dance artists team up on this infectious dance remix of Grace's track 'Casper'. The original version of the track has over 92 million video views on TikTok, and 15 Million streams.
Robert Grace is signed to Columbia Records and Arista Records (US) and with 3.2 million followers on TikTok and over half a billion streams/views across DSP's is building a massive online following internationally. 49th & Main are signed to Counter Records and have a hugely impressive 1.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.Both artists are headed out on international tours from this September.
Lydia Ford, ‘Faking It’
Berlin-based Irish indie pop artist, Lydia Ford has released her debut album, Faking It, today! With the album's release comes a slew of new tracks for listeners to indulge in, in particular, the titular track, which we've had on repeat here at Hot Press HQ.
A steady bass gets listeners hooked, with infectious lyrics and rhythms building to an explosive chorus. The relatable content of Ford's lyrics coupled with the beautiful instrumentalism makes you want to listen over and over and over again.
Milk., ‘I Think I Lost My Number Can I Have Yours?’
A slow, mellow new offering from Dublin alt-pop four-piece Milk., the coyly named ‘I Think I Lost My Number Can I Have Yours?’ is a welcome addition to the band’s wide discography. Having just played the Electric Arena at Electric Picnic last weekend, Milk. is one of the most exciting new bands in the Irish scene today with its mixing of indie, folk and pop influences. They've collected a pretty massive following around Ireland and beyond, releasing two acclaimed EPs with more music on the way. Their first new track out of 2023, ‘ITILMNCIHY?’ is a ballad about identity– or rather, the loss of identity in the digital age.
Said the band, “The title came from the idea that we are all the same but different; identified as our own unique numbers but we are all still just a number.”
Arrow In The Sky, ‘Fire’
A new single from Arrow In The Sky’s upcoming album to release later this year, ‘Fire’ is psychedelic and genre-diffusing, with influences ranging from punk to rock to even some folk. The duo made up of singer Conor McCauley and Brian Murphy hails from the midlands and has been releasing music since 2009. On this track, they were joined by multiple very talented artists, including cello virtuoso Gerard Toal and The Cure’s Jaso Cooper on drums.
"Everybody brought so much to the song, and we were truly blessed with the calibre of musicians that played on Fire," said Brian.
Steo Wall, ‘Glory Days’
Dublin accent dripping from each syllable, ‘Glory Days’ is as classic as Irish folk music can get– and at the same time, it’s refreshing and modern. One of the most pioneering voices in the Irish folk music scene, Steo Wall lives in Co Clare and released his debut album in 2018 to critical acclaim. On the track, Wall, whose proud Traveller heritage is a big theme in his music, said it “came to me in a few hours during the pandemic, like a musical hug from the ancestors.
Sarah Buckley, ‘Puppet Show’
Cork singer-songwriter Sarah Buckley is back with 'Puppet Show' her fourth offering of 2023, including her recently released EP Magic Powers. The authentic Irish-ness shines through with this single. Buckley doesn't surpress her stunning accent, using the sing-songy-ness of the Rebel county's tone to her advantage.
Stunning instrumentalism adds to Buckley's beautiful musicality, with fresh, clearly thought out and well developed lyrics layering to create a unique piece of work. If this is your first listen to Sarah's music - 'Puppet Show' is a track that will make you want more. It provides the perfect introduction to the singer's discography, a kaleidoscope of drums, bass, and understated guitar drawing you in.
Taylor D, ‘Until The Time Is Right’
Taylor D released her debut EP Fan Girl this week, featuring her signature Indie Pop sound along the vein of Taylor Swift and Nelly Furtado. Featured track ‘Until The Time Is Right’ is a love ballad infused with electronic influences and club-ready drops. From Dublin, Taylor D has seen much success, finding a worldwide audience and an ever-growing Irish following.
Taylor D explained the meaning behind her EP: “Fan girls are loud, fan girls are proud and fan girls are deserving of as much limelight as they wish. It’s refreshing to see an artist revel in the enjoyment of being both a 'Fan Girl' and a popstar.”
REWS, ‘Lock Your Horns’
Northern Irish songwriter Shauna Tohill is the driving force behind REWS, an alt-rock outfit whose third album is set to release this October. ‘Lock Your Horns’ is the sixth single ahead of the record, and it’s a fiery, banging anthem for the angry about never backing down from an argument. It fuses rock with electronic influences, and is perfect catharsis for those needing to expel some stagnant energy– her headline UK tour is set to kick off this fall.
Danny Carroll, ‘Cheesemonger'
Fresh off of the fourth volume of A Litany of Failures, a compilation series showcasing independent Irish artists, ‘Cheesemonger’ is a return to solo music from Danny Carroll. He’s been a large part of the Dublin music scene for years, but ‘Cheesemonger’ is just his second solo single after January’s acclaimed ‘Affection’. The song is accompanied by a charmingly macabre music video which sees Carroll as a half-clown travelling through the city. A coy yet introspective track about sincerity and self-image, it channels the likes of Father John Misty and The Divine Comedy in its soft indie rock sound. “Beyond any sarcastic apathy/or elaborate worn-out jealousy/a cheesemonger you’ve made of me/something else, something else completely.”
Amble, ‘Lonely Island’
‘Lonely Island’ is a ballad about disillusion within the island of Ireland, complete with moving vocals and rousing acoustic guitar riffs true to Amble’s signature sound. A contemporary Irish folk trio from the midlands and west of Ireland, Amble are known for their soft, emotional sound and intimate live gigs. Their debut album is due to release in February of next year, and they’ve collected a dedicated following: they easily sold out their first Dublin headliner at The Workmans Cellar, as well as their next Dublin gig at The Sugar Club five months in advance.
Conor Furlong, ‘Lies’
Dublin resident, Conor Furlong, has today released 'Lies' from his forthcoming album Undo The Past, due later this month. The indie-fuelled track uses a mixture of electric and acoustic guitar, steady drums, and driving synth to create an exciting base for Furlong's unique vocal. Taking inspiration from the likes of A-ha, R.E.M., Nirvana, Arcade Fire, Smashing Pumpkins, The Beach Boys, David Bowie, and more, you can hear the clear '90s influence seeping through the track, and keeping listeners interested in what else is to come from the total collection.
Alongside the track, Conor has released a captivating music video, both eerily and interestingly capturing nature in the most unique of ways.
Fresh from their Main Stage Stradbally performance, Limerick-based Kingfishr are releasing their newest single 'Caroline'. The group's sixth offering sees lead singer Eddie Keogh take a poignant look back over a past relationship, citing a “combination of hubris and impulsivity” as the sole reason for walking away. An endearing vulnerability arises within the lyrics as he reminisces about “the girl that got away”, with a defiant slice of introspection.
Eddie's powerful folk vocal drives the track, with impressive vocal layering and harmonies creeping in as the track progresses. An impressive falsetto decorates the bridge of the track as Eoghan McGrath's insistent bango intensifies. Something of a clash between modern and classical Irish cultural meter, the powerful, cinematic quality to their sound is present in its usual epic proportions, however the underlying message of the track is one of regret.
Irish singer-songwriter, JaXson, is celebrated for his emotive storytelling and authentic musicality. The musician triumphantly returns to the music scene with 'OVERDOSE', marking a significant chapter in his career, showcasing his resilience, growth, and unwavering dedication to his craft.
'OVERDOSE' is an emphatic, anthemic masterpiece, using a slow build up to capture listeners. Vocal talent comes from JaXson in buckets, as well as emotional, intrsopective lyrics, built over a bed of synth and stunning keys.
Speaking about his new single, Jaxson explains “'OVERDOSE' encapsulates a unique narrative—an
exploration of love amidst the backdrop of an apocalyptic world on the brink of destruction. With the universe teetering on the edge of collapse, 'OVERDOSE' paints a vivid picture of two souls entwined, making the most of their final moments together. In a world racing towards its end, the song delves into the profound emotions of cherishing each fleeting instant, a poignant reflection of love and impending oblivion. Jaxson masterfully poses the question: How would it feel to be in the embrace of your loved one as the world crumbles around you? 'OVERDOSE' captures the essence of sharing an enduring connection in the face of impending catastrophe.”
Cian Thomas, ‘Mandy’
Mullingar-based musician Cian Thomas has released his debut single 'Mandy'. A strong Smiths-like opening introduces Irish influences, overall bringing a '80s/'90s pop sound to the forefront. Undeniable vocal talent makes way for expertly crafted lyrics, really bringing listeners back in time with this lighthearted love ballad.
Speaking about the track, Thomas said: "I wrote Mandy 5 years ago and it was the first original song that I ever played for anyone. Since then it’s become a big part of my identity as a musician, so it felt right that it should be my debut single. For me the song encapsulates everything I was feeling at that time, and the excitement, carelessness and recklessness of being 20. It was recorded with Mick Cronin in Transmission Rooms Studios in Longford and mixed and mastered by Martin Quinn of Jam Studios in Kells. It’s a lot of fun live and I think that energy comes across on the recording. Mick plays drums on it and Oran O Brien plays bass."
San Rocco, ‘Enola’
Dublin band San Rocco’s ‘Enola’ is an heavy, pulsating, new wave banger featuring a Peter Hook-esque bass riff and existential lyrics. The track, which has swiftly become a fan favourite at live shows, is the first off the band’s upcoming debut EP.
‘Enola’ was recorded at Black Mountain Studio in Louth and was produced by All Twins and Just Mustard collaborator Peter Broderick, who helped San Rocco emulate their live sound on the recording. It was later sent to London for mixing by Richie Kennedy, and mastered by John Webber, who’s portfolio includes work by David Bowie.
Bradley Marshall, ‘You’ll Be Okay’
23-year-old Bradley Marshall’s ‘You’ll Be Ok’ is the singer’s most personal song to date. Co-written and produced by Liam Geddes, the touching piano ballad was created after someone close to Marshall attempted to take their own life. The track’s release coincides with World Suicide Prevention Day on 10 September.
“This song means so much to me. Even though it came from a traumatic situation, ultimately, it’s a song of hope,” said the singer. After a busy summer of gigs, Marshall is gearing up for his first tour this November. Tickets for his show at The Academy in Dublin on 25 November start from €17.50 and are available here.
Gama Bomb, ‘Speed Funeral’
Newry thrash metal heroes Gama Bomb are back with their single and accompanying video, ‘Speed Funeral’, a heart-rate raising track with vicious drumming and face-melting neo-classical guitar solos. The song is off their upcoming album Bats out November 10.
“Bats is the weirdest album we’ve ever made - we finally felt confident enough to take the brakes off and had a lot of fun with the writing,” said the band’s Philly Byrne. “ We wanted to lead with the single 'Speed Funeral' because it’s a fun, catchy, classic GB mosher. Weird is good!”
Check out the playlist in full, below.