- 01 Oct 20
Limerick leads this month’s new Irish music charge with some wondrous hip-hop.
Having wowed us just before Lockdown – it seems a lifetime ago – with the Denise Chaila, Hazey Haze, Citrus Fresh, MuRli, Gavin DaVinci and Strange Boy Nature-assisted ‘Who’s Asking? (South West Allstars)’, God Knows has produced an East Coast Allstars sequel featuring Skripteh, Nealo, Mango and Rebel P, which more than matches the original.
It and its parent Who’s Asking, Vol. II EP confirm what HP’s Tanis Smither says about G being “one of the most progressive and forward-thinking members of the Irish hip-hop community.”
Add in the new Hazey Haze-assisted video for ‘Mup I Said’ and his streamed show in the National Concert Hall with Denise Chaila and MuRli, and he’s got it all going on at the moment!
Packing a ferocious punch is ‘Nick Nack’, the latest from another real deal Limerick rapper, Willzee.
It follows on from his ‘Dear Friend II’ collaboration, which looked at the gangs, drugs and knife crime that exists within his community – and offers a way out.
His musical counterfoil this time is Margate MC Mic Righteous who’s worked with the A-List likes of Ed Sheeran, Emile Sandé and The Libertines.
Also a talented actor, Willzee won the 2019 Virgin Media Discovers Short Film Competition with his script for Innocent Boy.
Lilla Vargen does nothing to dissuade us of the notion that she’s going to be a massive star with ‘Love You Twice’, an almost whispered outpouring of her young Northern Irish heart.
Having received 25 million cross-platform streams, toured extensively with Dermot Kennedy and hooked up with Halsey and London Grammar production outfit MyRiot, the omens for the Hot Press Hot For 2020 pick could not be better.
Never mind ‘11’, muscular Dundalk quartet Words That Burn turn it all the way up to ‘12’ with their cover of Billie Eilish’s ‘Everything I Wanted’, the proceeds of which go to the Sophie Lancaster Foundation.
Set up by her family after Sophie and her boyfriend were killed in a targeted street attack, the charity promotes “the respect and understanding of subcultures in our communities.”
Amen to that. Text SOPH05 (Your Amount) to 70070 to donate.
Having topped the Irish metal chart with their Regret Is For The Dead album, the band embarked on a European tour, which included dates in Hungary, Romania, Poland, the Czech Republic and Serbia where they appeared on the same EXIT festival bill as Discharge and Black Dahlia Murder.
Meanwhile, the Berlin-based Black Pope celebrate one of those subcultures with the scuzzy ‘Goth Girl’ – “she’s a dark and strong tornado of badassery and she likes what she likes,” they say of the song – and an accompanying video, which captures their theatrical side.
The as-yet-untitled parent album, described as ‘A letter to Loserville’, was recorded over seven very manic days in Cork’s Monique Studios with St. Vincent and Mini Mansions producer Cian Riordan who jetted in specially from LA, man!
It’s described as “a belter” by their Delphi record label, and We Cut Corners’ four-track EP Muscle Memory EP lives up to the billing.
Our favourite is ‘Evil Knievel’, a gloriously twisted love song from Dublin duo John Duignan and Conall Ó Breacháin who never fail to impress with their White Stripes-ian guitar/drum noise pop.
One of the stars of RTÉ’s Songs From An Empty room initiative, Fia Moon has amassed 2.4 million Irish radio impacts with her latest single, ‘XX’, which documents a particularly fraught break-up.
A Dubliner who’s spent a lot of time in London, she’s also featured on six different Spotify playlists; joined 39 of her musical sisters on the Irish Women In Harmony cover of ‘Dreams’; and treated us to a brilliant Hot Press Y&E Series Lockdown Session, which is archived on our Instagram.
We’re also loving ‘Fortune’, the latest from former Axis Of man Ewen Friers who’s now trading as Catalan!
While not abandoning his punk past he’s added electropoppy synths and Latin-inspired beats to the mix, which bodes extremely well for his upcoming Veritas album. It’s being released on new Northern Ireland label Bolder – great name! – which has been set up by Ewen and his And So I Watch You From Afar brother Rory with two German and Belgian friends who’ll be working their releases in Europe.
The Latino theme continues with ‘Runaway’, single #2 from Lucy McWilliams who infuses – and, indeed, enthuses – her latest creation with some choice Bossa Nova beats.
It follows on from her ‘Fair Play’ debut, which featured a guest turn from Malaki, and marked out the Dubliner (who happens to be economist David McWilliams’ daughter) as a funky hip-pop one to watch.
One of the most-played female Irish artists on Spin 1038, FiCat has released the sultry ‘Déjà Vu’ to coincide with the announcement of an Upstairs @ Whelan’s, Dublin show on March 27.
With the likes of CMAT, Aimée, Soulé, JC Stewart, RuthAnne and Gemma Bradley also doing their respective things, the pop scene here could not be healthier. Incidentally, the video for Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson’s latest, ‘I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby’ is out now.
TikTok star Crybabyamy had her new single, ‘Nobody Hears From Me Anymore’, premiered last week by 2fm’s Tara Stewart who knows a killer tune when she hears it. Still only 18, she’s getting a lot of Billie Eilish comparisons and will be appearing on these pages shortly.
Æ MAK does what she always does – blow us away – with ‘i dance in the kitchen’, a giddy pop track that features on the first of her two how to: make a kitsch pop song to show the world EPs.
Featuring a cameo from Galway singer-songwriter Seba Safe whose own ‘Drip’ single is also a must-listen, the accompanying Tim Sherwood-directed video explains what the concept is all about.