- 15 Mar 23
From Drogheda drill merchants and grungey Limrockers to psych-pop Dubs and Down artists of the psychedelic persuasion, all forms of Irish music life are here. Collage by Rachael McGinty.
A92 collective member Ksav opens his solo account in spectacular style with ‘Steph’, two minutes and fifty-six seconds of slick drill-hop – yes, we’ve just invented a genre – which pays homage to Golden State Warriors basketball player Steph Curry.
With close to 150k Spotify plays in a month, the masked man is on the verge of blowing up like his Drogheda brother-in-rhymes Offica.
We’re also loving ‘Wheels Fall Off’, the latest release from Plantain Papi who recently supported Burna Boy in the 3Arena and looked right at home on that massive stage.
With 800,000 streams – and counting – he’s another artist who could easily make a commercial breakthrough this year.
The Limrock conveyor belt shows no signs of slowing down with lots of talk about Waterdogs, a grungey three-piece who played a stunning hometown gig last month in Pharmacia.
The band, who first came on to the A&R Dept radar last year when they similarly rocked Fred Zeppelin’s in Cork to within an inch of its life, are currently gearing up for the release of their debut single.
Hot Press fave Roisín El Cherif ups the ante with ‘Love Again’, an ethereal slice of folk-pop, which was written during lockdown “when the world’s grief felt palpable.”
In addition to her musical career, the Galwegian has crewed on such major TV and film productions as His Dark Materials, Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness and Vikings.
Having ditched their Smoothboi Ezra moniker, Ezra Williams has released ‘Deep Routed’ which swaps the lo-fi bedroom pop of yore for something altogether more expansive.
Phoebe Bridgers and Soccer Mommy are two names that spring to mind, but the Wicklow-born, Cork-based artist brings plenty of their own to the party.
Williams has recently joined the Verdigris Management stable which also includes the likes of Hot Chip, Jungle, Superorganism, Hayden Thorpe and Priya Ragu.
Catch them live on March 25 in the Workman’s, Dublin and on April 5 in The Social, London.
“Historical Catholic guilt, shame and the lack of discourse around sexuality within Irish society” are all addressed by ‘Pleasure’, the latest from Dublin duo Séan Keenan and Gearóid Peggs, AKA Nixer, who sound like a cross between the Pet Shop Boys and the Bloodhound Gang – which is an entirely good thing!
“I’m a holy soul/ You’re a Holy Mary/ I offered ya truth/ You wanted to dare me,” they darkly intone over a thumping electro beat.
Fräulein impress with ‘Pet’, the first fruits of the three days they spent in the studio with Yard Act and Soccer Mommy producer Ali Chant.
The follow-up to their excellent A Small Taste EP, it finds the Northern Irish/Dutch duo getting into bed with London’s ultra-hip Submarine Cat label.
“The word ‘pet’ means a lot to me” explains the Belfast half of the equation, Joni Samuels. “I love it because it can be a term of endearment, but it can also be slightly patronising. This theme fits nicely with the cyclical riff of the track, a kind of pattern that you can’t get out of.”
We’ve raved about Chris Kabs before and we’re going to do it again with the Dubliner releasing a sumptuous slice of Afrobeat, ‘Nobody’, on boutique London label Rough Bones.
Blessed with the smoothest of soul voices, Cabs was working with Coolio last year shortly before the rap superstar passed away.
While the production lets them down a little, Siúcra’s ‘Travellin’ Song’ is a delicious melting pot of folk, jazz, pop and AOR influences – we’re hearing The Cranberries and Sunflower Bean along with their self-professed early Clapton, Fleetwood Mac and Slowdive influences.
Add a little extra studio sheen and the Galway outfit could have a radio hit on their hands.
Down man of mystery Lemonade Shoelace, mines the trippier side of The Beatles on the sitar-tastic ‘Hopscotch In The Sky’.
Crying out for a warm summer’s day and a baggy revival, it’s lots of fun.
Not content with bringing us Joe Dolan, The Blizzards, Niall Horan and The Academic, Mullingar offers up Flynn, a London-based pop star in the making who’s supported Lewis Capaldi and collaborated with the likes of Lost Frequencies and Hayden James.
He’s also a good looking fella, which won’t do his commercial prospects any harm.
Having previously supported the likes of Kodaline, James Bay and Walking On Cars as part of White Chalk, Sistir strikes out on her own with the gorgeously atmospheric ‘bridge’.
Also answering to the name of Aisling McCarthy, she’s already received the FM104, Fiachna Ó Braonáin and BBC Introducing seal of approval with the latter’s James Thelwell proffering, “What a massive tune – big and energetic.”
The new issue of Hot Press is out now, starring The Edge.