- 07 Apr 23
Listen to our favourite new Irish releases of the week below!
Fizzy Orange, 'Surf'
Recorded at Sonic Studios Dublin with Gilla Band maestro Dan Fox, the tenth single from the jazzy sextet is an ode to classic 60s surf-core. Inspired by the Beach Boys, though the band are pretty far from the US West Coast (or sunshine, for that matter) - classic vocal harmonies and spring reverb welcome summer with open arms. Surf rock has never felt so warm. Jangly riffs, lo-fi grooves and a laidback temperament, the romance-driven lyrics echo coming-of-age stories and small town tales. "Another gloomy day on the front porch steps, the rainfall so big you keep them as pets."
SPIDER, 'Growing Into It'
The Tallaght-raised, London-based producer and singer-songwriter is back with another powerful bang(er) today, titled 'GROWING INTO IT'. SPIDER also announced news of her new EP, Hell Or High Water, which is due to be released on April 27th. The project will feature her edgy last release ‘America’s Next Top Model’, and continues on from the addictive debut mixtape C.O.A. ‘Growing Into It’ was written “loosely around the concept of men using women as social capital to make themselves look cooler, smarter, better than they actually are.” Posting to Instagram, she explained: "I am very protective of my best friends and this one is specifically dedicated to all of their worst situationships and exes. I will always hate you." Fair enough...
A92, A9Dbo Fundz, A9Ksav, A9Kebz & A92 BT, 'One Take'
Following on from Dbo Fundz' recent single 'Irish' and Ksav's 'Steph', the A92 Collective return with a hard-hitting drill anthem. Ksav, Kebz and BT collaborate with Dbo Fundz' deep bassline raps for an addictive grime-fuelled track, peppered with trap beats and string flourishes as background noise. Named after the postal code of Drogheda town, A92 was formed in 2020 and went viral following the release of 'Plugged In Freestyle'. They've gone from strength to strength since then, and their slick production is even more attention-grabbing on 'One Take'. Armed with their usual bravado and confidence (that borders on cockiness), the group sounds more compelling than ever on the drill scene.
Whenyoung, 'Home Movie'
Limerick couple Aoife Power and Andrew Flood sculpted the beautiful Paragon Songs in a cottage in Co. Clare before being finessed on the east coast of England on a road aptly named Paragon Street. The coming-of-age opus, featuring some of their best work yet, is all about learning tough lessons as you heal from past mistakes. 'Home Movie' sees Power's ethereal vocals lying atop of an indie-rock guitar riff and luscious harmonies. "Bring the medicine, serve absolution / I will not sleep now, I've traded in fear for self-respect," she declares. Stripping away shame, low self-esteem and codependence, Power throws away comfort to empower herself.
Drew Hall, 'Wayfaring Friend'
The first track from a forthcoming EP, released through the Cork-based Hausu label, Drew Hall's new single 'Wayfaring Friend' is his first since 2021's 'ilostmyhead' and 'Time & Time Again'. "There doesn't seem to be a destination / No, not a place to rest myself for a while / There are silver linings to every situation, you said to me with a smile," the soulful R&B song opens. "I thought I know myself much more by now, but this world's got me feel more lost than I have before / I don't know which way is left to go." Merging neo-soul, jazz, R&B with pop, Drew's vocals nod to that of Jordan Rakei, Cian Ducrot and Tom Misch. Stay tuned for the new EP - we'll be keeping our eyes peeled!
Clare Sands & I Have A Tribe, 'Teasgal'
The Cork-born, Belfast-based sixth generation fiddler, bilingual singer, and multi-instrumentalist has carefully crafted new macaronic works to be released throughout this year. First release ‘Teasgal’ (meaning "a singing wind in a storm") features Mayo-based alt-folk songwriter Patrick O’Laoghaire, AKA I Have A Tribe. Penned in the Irish language, ‘Teasgal’ is a mystical incantation that breathes new life into ancient words and worlds. It is a song of love and longing, and a call to protect the natural world and seas that we are fast destroying. With gentle piano, Cohen-esque vocals, and fervent fiddle playing all building from the stillness of a deep, dark sea to the cinematic crashing of the west Cork waves.
Enola Gay, 'PTS.DUP'
The Irish noise punks Enola Gay have joined the Super Cat roster, releasing scintillating new effort ‘PTS.DUP’ earlier this week as the first reveal from their forthcoming EP. The riotous project will land this summer via Modern Sky (Crawlers, Malady). Hotly tipped by revered musicians Iggy Pop and Jehnny Beth, the group are back to follow up their acclaimed debut EP Gransha and have partnered with cult indie label Modern Sky in the process. "100 years living under the blood red hand / A state of fear, forsaken by the mainland, never never never had to handle the truth because only the winners write the history books / Nobody's culture should ever be dismissed / Just remember, 15 million Brits forgot we exist."
Inspired by a personal attack that left a member with a fractured skull, Enola Gay lambast Northern Irish conservative party the DUP and their influence on the impressionable youth of today who feel a lack of identity and abandonment by their own government. Instrumentally and verbally scalding, ‘PTS.DUP’ also yearns for a united Ireland while also prompting listeners to think about how frustrated sides of the community are indoctrinated into blind hatred from an early age to suit a misinformed agenda.
SISTIR, 'in the eyes'
Following on from 2023 single 'bridge', Sistir (Aisling McCarthy) returns with another electro-pop, indie gem. Having received its first airplay on BBC Introducing a few weeks ago, the single was written in Bristol with James Lock (ex guitarist of Keywest), after the relationship ended. A fresh offering, the emotional punch it holds hits hard. The music video is set to be helmed by Brian McDonnell, starring Emma Eliza Regan, Dan Monaghan and Niamh Mahony.
"This melody came pouring out of me within the first days of making the move to Bristol," McCarthy explains. "There was a lot of healing to do. I had put my ex's needs ahead of my own which had a pretty bad effect on me. He was going through a difficult time and I felt he needed my support but no matter how hard I tried, nothing helped. The line ‘who are you at your best’ sums up how much I wanted to see him happy and thriving. They say the eyes are the window to the soul, so this reference was my attempt to see who he was beneath all the pain."
All The Brave Hunters, 'Sing Out West'
Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Alain McFadden remains a current member of award-winning folk group Ye Vagabonds. His solo EP Painted Glass was released earlier this week, recorded in the hills of West Cork and inner-city Dublin. The Galway native collaborated with producer and colleague Brían Mac Gloinn (Vocals, Bouzouki, Harmonium, Fiddle) of Ye Vagabonds, Elva Carroll (Vocals) and Nick Rayner (who previous work includes records by Ye Vagabonds, Talos, Saint Sister, Anna Mieke), to help develop and bring these five original songs into being. Opening with gentle accordion and acoustic guitar, the finger-picking and soaring vocals generate an intimate, compassionate ambience.
Slow Moving Clouds, 'The Longest Lie'
Slow Moving Clouds are set to release their third studio album Kolmas on May 19th, sharing the lead single ‘The Longest Lie’ to accompany the news. The song taps into the sense of ideological upheaval currently being experienced globally. People are no longer accepting the old narratives justifying inequality and the song speaks to this sense of defiance. Powerful strings and strong vocals are threaded together for a lyrically intense offering. The Dublin-based post-folk band's music is an organic mix of the Irish and Nordic folk traditions with baroque strings and post-rock influences. Their critically acclaimed 2015 debut album Os drew comparisons to Icelandic post-rock legends Sigur Ros and Irish traditional supergroup The Gloaming.
YARD & YinYang, 'ECDYSIS'
Four-piece Dublin band YARD dropped the unnerving and energised single 'ECDYSIS' earlier this week, featuring the Belfast hip-hop artist YinYang. After supporting Shame and Scalping in Dublin, the techno-noise outfit are dead-set on crafting an intense, immersive techno and rock experience, taking inspiration from SUUNS, Gilla Band, Death Grips, Nine Inch Nails and more. Rallying behind their mascot "Bucketman," they've been building their work for the past two years and are now ready to reveal it to new audiences. "Trust a snake to bite you / Trust it to be itself / It's not trying to be anybody else," Lauren Hannan, the producer and visionary behind the YinYang pseudonym, sings.
“ECDYSIS is about getting into something that you know has the potential to cause you harm," YARD explains. "Then, when it ultimately does, having to pick yourself up and shed your skin of it to (hopefully) grow wiser next time.” YinYang added: "Collaborating with YARD has been a match made in heaven."
Doppler, 'About You'
After an influential recording session in Clew Bay Studios in Westport with multi-award winning, double platinum selling Polish producer Bart de Boer (EMI/Universal), Doppler’s third single 'About You' was born. With well renowned Raph Dziubinski (Joe Cocker/ Average White Band/ Simply Red) on percussion and Kevin Donnellan (BRÍDÍN) laying his incredibly rich and diverse sound on fiddle, it was just a matter of days before the track was completed. The subject matter attempts to address the complexities of love, life, death and melancholy.
“There’s an uneasy sort of feeling to this song," one-half of Doppler, Jamie Mulrooney, notes. "Myself and Mick were going through similar difficulties. We both lost our fathers within a 3 weeks period over Christmas. I actually became a father for the first time and lost my own father within that 3 week period. We’re still adjusting. There’s something about the tone of this song that captures our struggle I think. Coming to terms with the world around us and surrendering control “In reality I wait for a dream that I know will not come true”. Ultimately it documents the darker reaches of both our minds through this period and concludes that the people closest to us are the most important.”
First Class & Coach, 'Yr Life'
The West Cork alt-rock band have shared their second album today in the form of Neon Hip, via FIFA Records. Built upon the foundations of their debut record and much-lauded The Truth About Honey, First Class & Coach strive to deliver an upbeat record that nevertheless reaches into some dark corners. This LP contains accounts of heartbreak, rage, loss, grief - and yet, hope, which is evident from the three singles, ‘Neon Hip’, ‘My oh My’ and ‘SURE’. Founded in 2017, the band have steadily built up an audience of listeners and critics alike. “Just like everyone else, we use personal feelings and experience to create songs," Reuben Maher offers. "I wrote the lyrics for ‘Yr Life’ as I saw myself growing old with fewer friends and was both sad and ok with it."
Bríd Lyons, 'I Must Go'
Emerging Kilkenny folk artist has just shared a new single from her upcoming EP, following on from previous offering 'Mother'. 'I Must Go' is a captivatingly track that stacks heartfelt vocals and Celtic influences with lyrical poetry. 'I Must Go' mirrors the emotions felt about effecting changes in life and acquiring the bravery to do so. Lyons' original, ethereal soundscapes are inspired by artists such as Hozier, Lisa Hannigan, Saint Sister and Anna Mieke. The new single was born from the instinctive, visceral urge to step away from the safety of home and explore new pastures.
“This song has been in the works for five years and I'm delighted that it will finally be out in the world this April," Bríd muses. "Since performing it live, I've realised that the audiences complete this song by bringing their own meaning to it, and I hope the same can be said for the recording”.
Under Starling, 'Canopies'
Hailing from the Viking City of Ireland, the alternative rock outfit invoke ultimate euphoria with their reverb-soaked melodies and dark distorted riffs. Taken from new EP Portals (out May 5th), 'Canopies' uses a powerful rhythm section that drives a rocky undertone to their pop-styled music. The single and EP were recorded at Monique Recording Studios, Cork. The band draws influence from the likes of Biffy Clyro, The 1975, and U2 but their own sound is difficult to pigeonhole. This gritty four-piece are rapidly building their flock of followers through their energetic live shows and popular releases. ‘Canopies’ acts as a post-apocalyptic indie rock anthem, describing a world in which mother nature has taken back what is rightfully hers.
"The song depicts how the self-destructive and parasitic tendencies of the human race have us edging towards the point of no return," Under Starling explain. “As we progress through the track, we make the descent from self-reflection, to pure demise as the earth begins to start its life anew without us."
Following recent single 'Love Me Now', Irish hip-hop artist DALY returns with his Forget Me Not EP. Featuring Neolithic and Solo on 'Lemonade', the jazz-infused track begins with a statement: "Spending today complaining about yesterday won't make tomorrow any better" before a piano chord hits. With a trap-heavy beat mingling with twinkling piano melodies and hip-hop flourishes, the trio match each other's infectious energy and unique styles to perfection. Until this point, DALY has had the privilege of sharing the spotlight with some of Ireland's most celebrated rap artists, including JyellowL, Aaron J, Jafaris, and many more. The Secret Sessions co-founder started out as a busker in Dublin city cntre and worked his way up to performing at festivals like Electric Picnic.
Taylor D, 'Fan Girl'
17-year-old Dublin singer-songwriter and indie-pop artist Taylor D has released an anthemic new single, 'Fan Girl. It's the title track from her upcoming EP, which follows her 11 songs to date. Taylor returns after working with a US Record label on curating her sound, full of booming pop beats. The contemporary musician came up with the idea for the title track of her upcoming EP (due in September) at a concert after observing the way girls her age were acting – in hysteria. The upbeat track brings us on a story through the eyes of a ‘Fan Girl’ using catchy melodies and lyrical hooks. "He's everything and I'm just a light the crowd / Now I'll stand on the side of the stage hoping one day he'll say hello to the fan girl." Her previous releases have impressively been aired in Australia, Tokyo, the US and the UK.
Peter Richardson feat. anna leah, 'Emily'
"Morning comes, I think I've wasted my time / The thought of her burned in the back of my mind," Richardson starts on 'Emily', the first of a series of songs created by Peter and Drogheda-based producer Daniel DeBurca. Following a spell focused on writing last summer after the success of his debut headline show at Whelan’s, the pair began working together in late 2022 on this next batch of material. Since then, Peter has been in JeJune Studios recording, honing his sound and taking his production to the next level. It's brimming with yearning narratives, describing the feeling of loss and unknowing after the end of a deep connection.
The song is a stirring, emotional indie folk ballad reminiscent of honest, grounded singer-songwriters like Damien Rice and Ray LaMontagne - firmly rooted in folk roots. The song is heavily influenced by Declan O’Rourke, Hozier, Bon Iver, The Staves and countless others who put pain into beautiful storytelling. Richardson brings to life a potent, fabricated story of heartbreak and loss on the single, dropping the listener right in the depths of the narrator’s despair and wrapping us up in emotion. Dublin artist Anna Leah, includes stunning, delicate vocals to add an aching beauty to the track, blending with Peter’s strong vocal. Catch Richardson's headline show in The Sound House, Dublin tonight.
Walshy feat. Housewife, 'Just Walk Away'
Sleepover Club co-founder Walshy (Luke Walsh) is back with a colourful new visual for 'Just Walk Away', enlisting skilled animators and filmmakers for the job. Cillian Green and Cian Redmond are responsible for the acid-induced, animated dreamscape that Walsh curates with Housewife on the tune, taken from the Swords native's new EP. The creative, trippy video marries hand-drawn doodles and live-acting as Walshy explores a forest of trippy wood-land creatures and ecosystems. The trio have created their own Bedknobs and Broomsticks-style world, where angels float overhead and caterpillars smoke blunts, and its residents are free to be as weird as they want. It paves the way for an exciting, DIY-driven debut album from Walshy, who's ready to emerge fully from behind-the-scenes to take the spotlight.
Nagam feat. Mac Gray, 'Cycling Too Fast (fox song)'
Fresh from the success garnered from the Nagam-produced 'Violets' by Mac Gray and Thomas Chinarro; Gray and Nagam decided to pursue a fuller, more ambitious effort in indie jazz rap fusion. Retrospective track 'Cycling Too Fast' sees Nagam questioning the lack of direction in a young adult's life and addressing his late grandfathers in search of answers, all through the lens of cycling as an extended metaphor. Gray provides relief from the gravity of the topic with a light intro and a tastefully full and open chorus. With drums produced by Jacky O'Halloran and Nagam adding his trumpet-accompanied jazz ensemble sound, this latest track is going to turn all the right heads. Nagam released his 'feel pretty good mixtape' back in 2022 before collaborating with Type Face on 'Nagadáin Glasa / Green Fools'.
Late Night Pharmacy, 'Can't Sleep Without Paracetamol'
The up-and-coming alt-rockers' sound freely blends soaring hooks, angular guitar riffs, post-punk atmosphere and hardcore aggression into an unpredictable yet accessible whole. The quartet have already seen significant radio support at home, with a string of singles and EPs allowing them to perform across some of Ireland’s most notable venues. 'Can’t Sleep Without Paracetamol' shows their songwriting ability in full while staying true to the rough-and-ready feel that they have become known for. The single was recorded between Black Mountain Studios (Gavin James, The Murder Capital) and Soundcaster Studios, where it was produced by Terry Doyle.
“While recording and mixing, we were making a conscious effort to mimic the sound and feel of the song 'Wicked Game' by Chris Isaak," bandmember Fionn Murray says of the song. "We wrote the lyrics from the perspective of a woman whose boyfriend is inconsiderate and unfaithful to her, inspired by friends of ours.”
Echotal, 'Serrated Dream'
The recent track and visual release from artist/musician David Rooney and producer Torsten Kinsella (God Is An Astronaut) is taken from their new Fire at Full Moon EP - a collection of four instrumentals that mark the distillation of the Echotal project. The goal was to marry the art and the music in a way that reflected and enhanced both disciplines. The tracks feature David’s compositions along with material co-written with Torsten - plus cellist and composer Jo Quail. Additional guitar by Jay Wilson, saw playing by Guy Bellingham and all glued together by bass playing from Niels Kinsella (GIAA). The video for the hauntingly beautiful 'Serrated Dream' was filmed and edited by Guy Bellingham, featuring Danni Tonks.
“It’s funny how the Echotal project which had the aim of melding the music and the art finds me back at an easel working in a style I developed when I was a teenager, still at school," Rooney notes of his East Galway roots, which inspired the cover art. "As a culmination of the process it felt right to make something more lasting. I always knew that when I got older I would be drawn back to painting... I guess now is the time. There is real peace in the boglands and a sense of history, recent in the abandoned railways and ancient in the protruding bog oak."
Anna Mullarkey, 'Clouds'
The Galway singer and composer is back with a gorgeous new project after unveiling her magical debut solo album Falling last August. 'Clouds' is a piano composition taken from the soundtrack to stage production After Love, which is returning to theatres. Building up slowly in momentum, the delicate, thoughtful piano work injects emotion at every turn - engrossing the listener. Having spent time as part of prog/rock outfit My Fellow Sponges before venturing into documentary, theatre and film composition, trad/electronic musician Anna Mullarkey now works with Strange Brew on her solo work, as well as contributing breathtaking scores to drama productions and movies.
Angie McLaughlin, 'Every Day'
The Ireland-based Scottish singer-songwriter has dropped 'Every Day', the second single from her upcoming debut record The Boy is Gone (coming this summer). The track's subject matter is grief, but finding that sense of hope in the darkness. It's more upbeat than her previous single 'Joy', and the black-and-white video amplifies the song, later bursting into colour as the musician finds the light. ‘The Boy Is Gone’ was produced by Martin Stephenson (of the Daintees). "The influence of Black American music is an expression of gratitude for the exposure to so many great black artists and a way of maintaining a connection to that culture," Angie notes in a press statement.
Kipunji feat. Conor Hamilton-Long, 'All 4 U'
Following his 2022 single 'In My Feelings', Aussie-born Dublin-based singer-songwriter Conor Hamilton-Long hops on a beat with Irish producer Kipunji for a dance number. Inspired by artists such as Harry Styles, Col3trane, Miguel and many more, Conor has spent the last year collaborating with producer and close friend Paul Jarvis by honing in his unique sound of R&B and pop. Kipunji is a Dublin producer who has worked with Clannad, Banyah and Blue Tide. His compelling electronic embellishments mingle seamlessly with Hamilton-Long's lush, soft vocals, adding heavier beats at the perfect moment for a pure, escapist anthem. It deserves to be on the playlist of every club on the island, we say.
The experimental electronic music project, originating from the Dublin mountains, from Gav, has dropped the first single from his new Meabhrú Tapes EP. The work follows a rake of singles in 2022, with 'Night Drive' being the most recent. "I want you to be receptive to what I have to say...take a slow, deep breath in and let it out." Part mindfulness/meditation mantra, part ambient electronic glory, 'Fairy' is out of this world. The collection of chilled down tempo electronic is "perfect for exercise, chores or generally just zoning out," as the man himself said on his Instagram page. The vibrant artwork was forged by photographer Scott Dagg. Formed in early 2020, Banba creates sonic textures and psychedelic layers through manipulating samples and collaborating with other artists. The tracks range from down tempo grooves, dusty lofi beats, to uplifting rave euphoria.
HamsandwicH, 'Good Friday'
Following the release of their vibrant fourth album, Magnify, HamsandwicH have shared 'Good Friday' as the latest single from the LP, along with a powerful accompanying music video – which Hot Press premiered yesterday ahead of its official release tomorrow. The release coincides with the Irish band's 20th anniversary – with HamsandwicH having originally formed at a Good Friday party back in 2003.
“'Good Friday' has received a great response from fans old and new," singer Niamh Farrell says of the track. "It’s a very special song to the band, as you can hear our late manager Derek Nally’s voice in the song. The song is a homage to 20 years of HamsandwicH and holding on to friendships through tough times.”
Siobhan Franks, 'Sleep All Day'
Arriving after 2022 singles 'spill it all over you' and 'until tears subside', the Dublin singer-songwriter is back with a heart-wrenching new offering that showcases her sleek vocals and world-building instrumental power. "We went out to escape, always ends up the same way / First bus home again, and we sleep all day," Franks sings. She paints a relatable picture of everyday vignettes and life in your 20s, going from night out to a lazy daytime routine, seeking escapism. The indie-pop artist maintains her hot streak of using powerful vocals and vulnerable lyrics to demonstrate a raw and refined reflection of personal experience. Merging heartbreak, loneliness, college days and nightlife, plenty of young Irish listeners could use a storyteller like her in their life.
The soulful Belfast-raised talent made the move to London on a broken heart, where the half Irish-Indian songwriter had nothing but a plane ticket and his guitar. Looks like it's paid off, given he standard of his releases. After being selected to be a part of a cutting edge Incubator program Qube Futures, he was mentored by Plastician, Eliza (FKA Eliza Doolittle), Worldwide FM’s Charlie Dark, Stormzy and Dave's Mix Engineer, Manon Grande Jean. Plus TMS producer Froe Barnes, who has worked with artists such as Lewis Capaldi, Dua Lipa, and John Legend. With a dazzling indie-pop soundscape in his arsenal, 'U.ME.US.HIM' marks the first installation of Kalla's debut EP. The track reflects on that one situationship we've all (unfortunately) had, transporting the listener on a journey through love, loss, and self-discovery.
Dollface, 'Plastic Skin'
Dublin-born songwriter Aimée Rose has shared her intriguing, meaningful first release of the year. 'Plastic Skin' deals with themes of feminism and disassociation, trying to highlight how some people truly think of women and their bodies. It traces how women are forced to come to terms with what they think of themselves in an age where women hating themselves and who they are is so profitable, both monetarily and societally.
“Plastic Skin (originally called Dolls) was a song I wrote a few years ago for a college assignment, after an interaction I had with a then-friend of mine," Rose says. "It made me reconsider what it means for a woman to feel at home in her own skin. It can often feel like the idea of being comfortable with who you are and what you look like isn’t really yours. It has been marketed to you all your life. Like dolls, the more we are scratched and broken and played with, the more our value seemingly decreases”.
Listen to the playlist in full below.
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