- 09 Feb 24
Check out some of our favourite Irish releases of the week below!
Gurriers, ‘Des Goblin’
Dublin post-punk upstarts Gurriers mark the addition of bassist Charlie McCarthy to the lineup with their latest industrial maul ‘Des Goblin’. A fuzz-mammoth of a bassline dictates the track – with an invigorating, dance-conducing beat suggesting notes of the Prodigy.
On the lyrical front, bandmember Dan Hoff described 'Des Goblin' as a song about "apathy and self-obsession in the face of impending destruction, particularly to do with the effects of climate change and war and people being too obsessed with themselves and their online personas to be able to see the wood for the trees."
Nadia Desree, 'Hold On'
The up and coming Dublin singer-songwriter’s new track ‘Hold On’ opens with a tranquil guitar riff. Desree then opens up to her listeners with her thought-provoking lyrics about mental health and personal identity. This paired with its electronic percussion and catchy melody is meant to be an outlet for any of Desree’s fans who might be struggling.
“While the main message in the song speaks to resilience and hope, the story of it channels my own struggles, feelings of uncertainty and battles with my personal identity.” Desree says. “These are backed with positive intent in the knowledge & belief that things will get better."
Following the release ‘OVERDOSE’ and ‘NOT TOO LATE’, JaXson, an Irish singer-songwriter is releasing the final song for his debut EP. The track opens with striking piano chords and a powerful refrain that is emotional and tells the story of how to control one's fate. After performing sold out headline shows in Dublin, he's gearing up to release his EP later this year.
"This song is a celebration of the moment when you recognize that your life is yours to live." says JaXson. "It's a reminder that we have the power to shape our own narratives and break free from any constraints."
Cosha, 'Fire Me Up'
Her first release since 2021, Cosha’s latest single ‘Fire Me Up’ does exactly as its title suggests, launching the budding icon back onto the scene pervaded by authenticity and passion. Filled with raw emotion, she explores the complicated feelings that come with letting go of intense love. Seemingly holding back the tears as she sings, the harrowing vocals tell a beautiful story of intimacy and loss.
“I made that beat on the plane when I was leaving from London to LA,” Cosha said of the new release. “It made it even harder because it was really about that like, ‘I still love you, I still want you in my life but we do need to do this and we’re both quietly in the distance for each other. You’re never not going to be someone I care about.’”
Really Good Time, ‘Escape To The Cubicle’
Exciting Dublin noisemakers Really Good Time offer a high-volume journey through intemperance-induced imprisonment on their first release of 2024 – ‘Escape To The Cubicle.’
The track fuses a QOTSA-type grit with Hoosiers pop-rock sensibilities – and is said to be inspired by a longer-than-expected mid-party trip to the bathroom, during which the tune's riff appeared in front of lead singer Diol.
“In a way, this is a song about throwing a tantrum,” said a statement from the band. “It is about the moment when one suddenly wishes to be locked away from the world with all of its responsibilities, disappointments and joys, even if that means confining yourself to a grime infested toilet cubicle, forever."
Lorraine Nash, 'February Snow'
Following her 2023 release of album All That I Can Be, Lorraine Nash shares yet another slice of beauty with her newest single ‘February Snow.’ With evocative songwriting that expertly blends trad, folk and blues, Nash vocalises the internal conflict of simultaneously craving control and surrender. Inspired by a bizarre snowstorm in 2018, the track is a response to the unprecedented times we live in.
“It was a way of thinking through climate anxiety as there was so much talk about how no one had seen this kind of weather in Ireland before.”
Nash’s stunning vocals and hypnotic fingerpicking, reminiscent of Jose Gonzales and The Paper Kites, are seamlessly woven into a comforting and inspiring lullaby.
Elaphi, 'All I Ask'
Dublin based four-piece Elaphi is back with another majestic single, furthering their ongoing exploration of vulnerability and strength. ‘All I Ask’ is a dreamy blend of moody folk and edgy electronics, finding the perfect balance between punchy melodies and introspective lyricism.
Reflecting on the essence of fleeting moments and fading memory, the alt-rock foursome crafts a distinct sonic landscape defined by resounded bass and effortless rhythm. Taking inspiration from the likes of New Dad, Wolf Alice and Daughter, Elaphi’s latest release is imbued with wistful nostalgia and intimate vulnerability.
Jillelli, 'You're too Sweet'
A sugary electro-pop track, Jillelli’s latest release ‘You’re too Sweet’ delivers a deliciously catchy response to overconfident pickup lines. Produced alongside Kevin Brennan and Jessica Richardson, the 90’s house inspired track is accompanied by a mouth-watering music video set at Dublin cocktail bar Lisa’s Yummy. Directed by Kristian Mantalvanos, the video features Jillelli as a waitress dishing out a variety of desserts and baked goods to hungry customers.
“Lisa’s Yummy naturally captured the palette of the song and was the perfect place for the music video,” said Jillelli. “We had to shoot in limited time, but the backdrop leant so effortlessly to the song that everything came together quite smoothly.”
Curtisy, ‘Lower Your Hopes’
Tallaght rapper Curtisy delivers his signature tetrahydrocannabinol-laced, tongue-in-cheek musings on his new single, which also offers a deeper glimpse into the atmosphere of his upbringing. The release of ‘Lower Your Hopes’ came alongside the announcement of his debut album this week, with What Was The Question? set to drop in May.
“We wanted to capture the energy of where I’m from and distil the type of youngfella the area breeds,” said the Hot Press Hot for 2024 artist. “I also wanted to express the fact that I’m not the average Jobstown kid; I’ve always had an interest in art and that wasn’t always understood by my peers.”
Emmet Scanlan & What The Good Thought, ‘Burning For You’
Limerick songwriter Emmet Scanlan traverses unconditional love on the latest stripped-back and sonorous ‘Burning For You’ – taken from his upcoming EP Every Given Day, due April 2024.
Faithful to his folk roots, a simple, catchy guitar accompaniment backs up the singer’s romantic meditations – as does the tasteful musicianship of his trusty collaborators What The Good Thought - an international group with members hailing from Sweden, England and New Zealand.
A project set to consist of songs of “gratitude of life’s gifts and challenges”, Every Given Day was written between the frontman’s hometown of Newcastle West and Lahinch, and was recorded in a studio in the Italian Alps alongside long-time recording collaborator, Raoul Terzi.
Dominda, ‘You Never Told Me About Him’
Emerging indie rockers Dominda turned heads with last month’s release ‘Meet Me In The Morning,’ the first track from their upcoming EP Don’t Mind That. Back again with a new alt-rock hit, the up-and-coming Irish band’s newest release, the EP’s second single ‘You Never Told Me About Him,’ is a hard-hitting masterpiece sprinkled with hints of funk and neo-soul.
A biting response to the betrayal of a partner, Dominda’s newest release combines fierce guitar with a catchy melody and relatable narrative, forming the perfect medley of frustration, passion and catharsis.
With their upcoming EP set to hit streaming services on 23rd February, Dominda’s recent release is only the beginning of what the band has in store for fans. "The EP is about our attempts to deal with life, love and the seeming apocalypse," the band said. "It is about being catapulted towards our late twenties without much of a chance to fully appreciate what came before."
Dublin-California folk duo DUG have released their first single ‘Jubilee’ after selling out back to back Whelan’s headlines. Only a few months after their formation in October 2023, Dublin-based songwriter Lorkin O’Reilly and California banjo player Jonny Pickett have found quick success, marking themselves as an Irish folk act to watch in the coming months.
Produced by Belfast songwriter Joshua Burnside, ‘Jubilee’ is a refreshingly optimistic track centered around themes of rejuvenation, faith and new beginnings. Pickett’s bright banjo blends beautifully with O’Reilly’s rich twangy vocals, forming the transatlantic duo’s distinct sound and offering listeners the first glimpse of what is sure to be a “year of jubilee” for the budding stars.
Balancing a weave of guitar riffs, spectral cellos and a propulsive bassline, ‘Kadira’ is a well-matched blend of Eastern whirling and Western tunes. With a broadened palette and a soulful melody, the latest from Echotal’s David Rooney, Jo Quail, Niels Kinsella and Torsten Kinsella, of God Is An Astronaut, is accompanied by a scintillating video starring Khatoon Fallah.
TOUCAN, ‘Don't Understand Why’
Tramore native TOUCAN, a.k.a. Conor Clancy, is back with his first release since 2020, a soulful funk-pop track entitled ‘Don’t Understand Why.’ With a carefree groove and bright bursts of brass, Clancy’s new single is the ray of sunshine we needed during these bleak winter months.
“I've spent the last couple of years getting the sound to be exactly as I want it, and I'm buzzing to get this song out there,” said Clancy. “I've had a bit of a break from releasing new music, and I think “Don't Understand Why” is the perfect track to kickstart the year of new releases - it's bright, upbeat, and still laid back and groovy. It's got a feel-good factor that's become an integral part of the TOUCAN sound.”
Sick Love, ‘Ricochet’
Irish alt-rock four-piece Sick Love have released the first blistering single from their upcoming debut album Champagne. ‘Ricochet,’ headed by front-woman and vocalist Rebecca Geary, is an intoxicating pop-rock track reminiscent of artists like Paramore, Blondie and No Doubt.
Ricochet is a song about standing up for your dreams and following your own path, even when the world thinks you should give up,” The band said of the new track. “It’s about believing in yourself, blocking out the hate and riding your own wave no matter what anybody else thinks."
Sick Love’s highly anticipated debut album is set to release on 3rd May via Paragon Records.
Gavin James, ‘I Do’
Self-described as “the most weddingly wedding song of all the wedding songs,” Irish singer-songwriter Gavin James’ latest single ‘I Do’ is the perfect Valentine’s Day love song for the hopeless romantics.
A beautiful testament to the importance of quiet love, ‘I Do’ hits the perfect balance between intimate and private, expressing James’ understanding of love in its simplest form.
Arriving on the scene back in 2013 with the release of his debut single ‘Say Hello,’ James has steadily built himself a devoted following, invited to support international chart-toppers like Ed Sheeran, Sam Smith, Tori Kelly and Kodaline.
Dea Matrona, ‘Stuck on You’
The ever charming guitar bass duo Dea Matrona have today released an intoxicating new track 'Stuck on You’ that will have you stuck on it. The dirty bass line is set off magnificently with the flirtatious vocal arrangement- leaving listeners wanting more. The new track comes this week as part of a string of exciting announcements from the Belfast band who also shared that they will be releasing their debut LP For You Sins along with a rake of UK and Irish dates to support the album.
Hermitage Green - All You Can Be
'All You Can Be' is a dose of feel good electro pop- with an optimistic beat orientated intro that wouldn't go astray on a Robyn track. It's a love song- but not in the conventional way people think of love songs, 'All You Can be' is a tender track penned by Hermitage Green's keyboardist Darragh Griffin to his daughter who says “All You Can Be is a track inspired by my early experiences of becoming a father and the relationship that grows between my daughter, my wife and I".
Continuing he says: " I wanted the musical landscape to have an ephemeral dream-like feel to reflect the joy of that period of our lives.”
Niamh Regan, ‘Madonna’
'Madonna' lyrics are written in a stream of consciousness style and focus on the violence often suffered by women. It features Niamh Regan's signature folk sound, which has garnered her numerous accolades including RTE Folk Awards and Choice Music Prize ‘Album of the Year’ nominations .Like a beat poetry track, 'Madonna' is a miss mash of words and ideas which are imbued with a reflective intensity. However, in spite of the free flowing form of the lyrical verses, ‘Madonna’ is a perfectly crafted succinct folk track.
Def Nettle, ‘Don’t’
Kicking off Def Nettle’s new album DN001 - released this week is the electronic rock fusion that is ‘Don’t’ acting as the perfect curtain opener for one of February's most exciting Irish debut LPs in a long time. Def Nettle is the project of multi-genre musician Glen Brady and from his decades of experience as a musician working with the likes of the Cranberries and R.E.M he’s brought together his technical skill and zesty sensibility to create a new ‘funk punk’ sound- quite unlike anything we have heard on the Irish music scene. ‘Don’t ‘ is a prime example of this brave new sound.
Liv Monaghan, ‘July’
A masterclass gentlefolk with incredible bass plucking, ‘July’ marks Liv Monaghan’s first single off her upcoming album set for release in 2024. What really shines on this track however is Monaghan’s enchanting vocals- which soar. The independent artist describes July as a track ‘with a desire to suspend time’ and that’s exactly what Monaghan’s new tune does. With her intentional and beautiful vocals- listeners can be transported from the reality of the mundane world into whatever ethereal planes Monaghan commands.
Combining the funk of a guitar riff with the clean energy of an electronic track, ‘LOSTWITHOUTMARIA’ will have you walking like a badass this weekend. Described as ‘a nostalgic 2 minute and 34 seconds of sonic heaven’ f3mii’s new track isn’t dissimilar to something that The Weeknd would put his name to.
Speaking about his new banger, F3miii said: “LOSTWITHOUTMARIA is a track about a feeling lost without something or someone. In my case it was about a person, so that’s where I went. I felt lost without someone who was special to me. I had a bit of an 80’s phase where I'd listen to Micheal Jackson and other classic records. So I drew inspiration from that by adding my own alternative spin to it by making it more upbeat and using synths and sounds that you wouldn’t typically hear on an 80’s beat”.
Lucy Gaffney, Big Love
‘Big Love’ is a dream pop anthem by the Belfast based Lucy Gaffney that will have listeners swooning this Friday. When describing what the track meant to hear, Gaffney said: “home, warmth and a pure sense of belonging” and what better feeling to carry around in your earphones on a rainy February afternoon?
The acoustics to Big Love give off a Tom Petty Style Americana timbre but the vocals offset the track and bring it squarely back into the dreamy realm of pop music.
Driven Snow, ‘Aurora’
Recording in the reclusive and inspiring Donegal Attica Studios - Driven Snow’s debut album A Kind of Dreaming was released this week and kicking off their dreamy Irish wonderland is opening track ‘Aurora’, a beautifully paced side stepper. Rated a 7.5 by Hot Press’ Jackie Hayden- ‘A Kind of Dreaming’ has been described as “shadowy electronic soundscapes”. ‘ Aurora’ sets the scene beautifully for the bands debut and allows the listeners to gently step into a warm and inviting indie folk realm.
David Hedderman, 'Leaves'
If Kevin Morby joined Simon and Garfunkel, it would probably sound something like David Hedderman’s latest single ‘Leaves.’
The song is gorgeous yet simple, parsed out by a shimmering guitar backing and Hedderman’s unceremonious vocal delivery. ‘Leaves’ grants the listener ample space for reflection. Driven by folk acoustics, this is a song that derives its intimacy less from its lyrics than from their structure.
Even still, there is a lot to be said for the beauty in Hedderman’s no-frills lyricism, which fittingly captures the simplicity of the scene at hand. Each line serves as an evocative springboard for further reflection, where meaning emerges from the margins: here, “Leaves all fall, fall to the cold, cold ground” offers an interpretative segue into love, life, even mortality.
Onion Boys, 'Wine Melody'
R&B tinged with gospel and indie sensibilities find a home in Onion Boys’ ‘Wine Melody.’ The doo-wop offering begets an enthralling new style for the band, which departs from their usual macabre and grungy soundscapes.
That’s not to say that they've diluted their punk roots, though: in fact, ‘Wine Melody’ channels and decants them, arriving at a new crossroads where punk-rock airs get a blues tuning.
Replete with a sound that transfixes and shines — frontman Johnny Dublin’s hypnotic vocals, the vivid harmonies from Mark Stevens and Alex Moore and the dreamy, often baffling (pun intended) saxophone from Andy Mullan — this slow burner sees Ricky Nelson’s ‘Lonesome Town’ meet Leonard Cohen’s ‘Chelsea Hotel No.2.’
It’s twee without the treacle, schmaltz without the soap. The lead singer’s hushed vocals are a fitting match for the morose lyrics. The refrain “I wanna sing a wine melody” simmers beneath the instrumental’s bubbly surface, describing a plaintive longing and loneliness. With its lush sounds and infectious vocal presence, ‘Wine Melody’ employs a nostalgic magnetism that is sure to charm even the most cynical of modern ears.
Lucy McWilliams, 'Old Ways'
This is what it sounds like when an artist stride into a new era, still wide-eyed and romantic but with a sense of assured self-respect bleeding through. ‘Old Ways’ sees Lucy McWilliams leave the bedroom-pop chamber and enter the vibrant conservatory of indie rock.
The track bears on the hard-won freedom of catharsis, of accepting change. Rooted in the elements of storytelling, the message of ‘Old Ways’ is, as McWilliams says, to “break free” from the burden of circumstance — hometowns, relationships, the desire for more from life — and step into the light.
Populated with subtly-layered vocals and tremulous guitar, ‘Old Ways’ starts off slow and tempered before breaking into a pummeling, mid-fi chorus with a hammering bass line and rhythm section that recalls the noise-rock chops of Mitski’s Bury Me At Makeout Creek.
It sees the songstress at her freest, vocally and thematically, while maintaining the kind of compelling energy and lyrical hooks she has made her calling cards. Infectious and empowering, ‘Old Ways’ reveals Lucy McWilliams at her best.
Robert Dawson, 'Scared'
Limerick singer-songwriter Robert Dawson issues a staggering offering of stunning vocals and moving instrumentals on his latest track. ‘Scared’ chronicles the singer’s journey across the rocky landscape of mental health struggles, and extends a message of encouragement for those with similar experiences. Poignant and relatable, ‘Scared’ is a soaring vocal performance of earnest lyrical reflection that defies the gravity of adversity and triumphs in the face of it.
View this post on Instagram
Audrey Bridgeman, 'Come Away With Me'
Audrey Bridgeman delivers a mellifluous blend of Afro-groove and rock airs on her latest release. ‘Come Away With Me’ is a rousing new song suffused with vibrant instrumentation and lyrics that stimulate and stir.
Immediately, the song draws listeners in with a flourishing guitar resound that rings out before Bridgeman pierces the echo with her beautifully golden voice.
The track boasts a galloping rhythm section that plunges towards an invigorating plainchant outro. ‘Come Away With Me’ is an effervescent number fleshed out by choral backing vocals and synths that surge forward at the track’s most urgent moments.
Ria Rua, 'Asking For It (Arveene Remix)'
Irish alt-pop artist and producer Ria Rua bursts into 2024 with her sophomore EP Asking For It, which comprises a dazzling remix version of the fan favourite title track.
Teaming up with the acclaimed South African-Irish DJ Arveene (The Prodigy, Felix the Housecat), the pair treat us to an electrifying dance track whilst showcasing the versatility and prowess of Ria Rua’s voice.
A surefire dance anthem, ‘Asking For It (Arveene Remix)’ boasts an intoxicating balance between Ria’s raw, heartrending glitchy synthpop and Arveene’s electro-underground curation.