- 24 Jun 20
The words are as powerful as the tunes this month as young Irish artists address the times we live in.
“You can’t hide forever. At some point you’ll need to stand for something.”
That’s the credo from Limerick rapper MuRli on his new single, ‘Till The Wheels Fall Off', which conveys a powerful anti-racism message.
“I wrote this in February when a footballer in the Portuguese league walked off the pitch after incessant racist abuse throughout the match,” he reflects. “Watching all of that unfold I was broken, baffled and full of questions. The only thing I could do then, was to channel all I was feeling into my art. This song is a small part of it. After the events of the last few days, I felt I should share it with the world.”
It’s also a funky devil of a tune, which builds on his previous work with the Choice Music Prize-winning Rusangano Family. All proceeds are going to the Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland so play it loud, play it often!
Sinéad O’Connor’s ‘Thank You For Hearing Me’ gets put to impeccable use on ‘Where Ye From’, a spoken word piece by Ebunoluwa who’s a painter and stylist from North Dublin with an Irish mother and Nigerian father.
The accompanying video was shot with Ebun’s partner Dylan from The Ballyboyz in Wexford. The striking ‘More Blacks, More Dogs, More Irish’ mural in it adorns the side of the house he shares with fellow Ballyboy Steve.
“Why’s it so hard to believe that you can be black and Irish; do you not remember the Afro-Celts that walked before me and put this island on the map,” Ebunoluwa asks before referencing the likes of Phil Lynott, Paul McGrath and Rachael Baptist, the black singer who wowed Dublin audiences in the 1750s.
June 26 is D-Day for Jack Rua as he releases Narcissus, a mini-album awash with choice dance, house, glam and theatrical influences.
With extensive 2fm, BBC and Spin 1038 airplay and a berth on the Spotify Out Now Pride playlist, it’s no surprise that the former BIMM student has broken through the 100,000 Spotify plays barrier.
We’re loving ‘Nocturnal’, the second track to be lifted from Dubliner Luke Clerkin’s upcoming What Little Time We Have EP.
Recorded locally in Cabin Space Studios with previous collaborator Gavin Doyle and Jack Keenan, it was mastered in London by the internationally renowned Pete Maher whose CV includes Jack White, Damien Rice and U2.
Having learned the live ropes in 2015 by performing over 250 gigs, Clerkin has embarked on multiple German tours and crossed the Atlantic for festival appearances!
Forget ‘11’, we’ve been turning the office hi-fi up to ‘12’ every time we play ‘Revelation’, the second single from Canadian-born singer-songwriter Laura Belyea who’s now residing in Dublin and making a furious punk rock noise.
Before upping sticks, she fronted Toronto’s brilliantly named Scorpion Chainsaw Operation Booze Orgy (SCOBO for short) who played such high-profile events as NXNE Festival, Canadian Music Week and Indie Week.
In addition to her musical activities, she’s the co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of high-flying Irish tech company, Talivest.
Aided and abetted by her cracking ‘23’ single – Pat Kenny is a fan – Shaefri has been signed to Warner Music’s W Songs by the renowned Ruth Wyatt who’s “so friggin’ excited I’m trying not to pee my pants.”
Blessed with a voice that will put goosepimples on your goosepimples, Shaefri is an Irish-Egyptian who grew up in London but most importantly summered in Mayo.
The W Songs deal bears instant fruit with the July 1 release of Girl, a five-track EP which was inspired by the #MeToo movement, while also planting one foot on the dancefloor.
“I don’t know one woman my age who hasn’t been harassed at work,” Shaefri says. “Just thinking about the scale of the problem is almost too much to take in.”
Gaeilgeoirs suffering from Daft Punk withdrawal symptoms should check out ‘Digiteach’, a futuristic electro pop gem from the Deoraí Irish-language collective.
Featured in Kenneth Okiria’s accompanying 4k video, the central characters are a man who comes from 100 years in the future and a woman from the present day who hook up digitally.
“There’s a lot of Irish language music but only a small amount, which is breaking creative ground,” reflects their leader, Jack Delaney.
There’s a serious buzz about EFÉ, the Artist Formerly Known As Anita, whose ‘Seven’ single has immediately been pounced on by RTÉ and BBC.
First released last year on Soundcloud, it’s been remastered by Chemo from KMJ45 Studios who has such mega names as Rag n Bone Man, Four Owls, Roots Manuva and Rodney P on his CV.
Part of the Word Up Collective, EFÉ opens for Bobbi Arlo on October 1 when she plays Upstairs at Whelan’s.
He may have had to put live plans on ‘hold’ but Malaki’s lockdown has been anything but quiet with the Dublin hip-hopper assembling his Cocoon project. Following on from collaborations with Lucy McWilliams, Jeorge II and Matthew Harris, he releases ‘You Told Me’ feat. Gemma Bradley on July 2 and then plans a musical hangout with Nealo.
Along with an acoustic version of fan favourite ‘Fair Play’ – half a million Spotify plays and rising – and an additional bonus track, Cocoon will be getting a limited-edition gatefold vinyl release. There are also some seriously snazzy Malaki tees to be had via-his Instagram and (everything crossed) London Sebright Arms (September 17) and Dublin Opium (18) shows to look forward to.
Somebody’s Child continues to justify the industry hype with ‘Hold Me Like You Wanna’, the first track to be lifted from his debut 20-something EP, which follows on August 7. With over a million streams and twenty million radio impacts – it’s the modern currency – the Dublin Artist Also Known As Cian Goddo looks poised to make a major commercial breakthrough.