- 21 Jul 23
Listen to some of our favourite new Irish releases from the week below!
The Soft Boy Records co-founder is back with new music, two years on from his brilliant debut album Town's Dead. Teaming up with the exciting Leeds jazz hip-hop collective Gotts Street Park, he describes the track as charting “the one that got away". The track launches with a hugely creative, ice rink-themed visual collaboration between Kojaque and long time co-director Sam McGrath. "It’s about missing your chance and what remains after that. It was around Covid times, and I had come back to London early after Christmas because our landlord was evicting us. The melody came there and then, and I finished the verses on the train back East. I had Ryan Hargadan play the sax line over it to tie everything together, but the mood of the instrumental fit the lyrics perfectly. It’s one of my favourite songs I’ve written.”
Maija Sofia, 'Telling The Bees'
Galway alt/folk star Maija Sofia returned yesterday with a moving distillation of melancholia, loosely based on the story of fourteenth-century Italian nun Rita of Cascia. An otherworldly collage of lush organ, piano and harp arrangements paired with spine-tingling textured harmonies, ‘Telling The Bees’ is a cathartic gem from Maija Sofia. With distinctive notes of Kate Bush, Maija's penchant for penning narratives that transcend the mundane is mesmerising. Check out the Anna Heisterkamp-directed video.
Jazzy, 'Feel It'
Having earned Ireland's first female solo No.1 in 14 years with dance banger 'Giving Me' a few months ago, the Crumlin native is back with another booming electronic cut. ‘Feel It’ is co-produced by Scottish DJ Hannah Laing, whose track ‘Good Love’ is currently Top 10 in the UK singles chart. The feel-good anthem from the fast-rising Irish-Jamaican DJ and vocalist is destined to uplift dance fans with high energy production. 'Giving Me' reached number three in the UK Official Singles Chart, so there's big anticipation for its follow up.
Róisín Murphy, 'You Knew'
The Wicklow artist's latest DJ Koze-produced track is the fourth to appear on her forthcoming new album Hit Parade, out September 8th on Ninja Tune - following 'CooCool', 'Fader', and 'The Universe'. The dance-driven electronic single is also accompanied by two remixes from DJs Eli Escobar and Payfone. "You Knew is the story of my life," the Irish artist wrote in a post, "many times, I have bravely loved and not been loved in return, and I am proud of that. That phrase 'You Knew' just sums it all up."
Sarah Crean, 'Wasted Youth'
The Clondalkin indie sensation unveiled the desert road trip-inspired visuals for her latest single this week. After supporting BLACKPINK at Hyde Park and currently on tour with Bombay Bicycle Club, the Dubliner's video follows recent indie scorcher 'What Do I Know?'. Crean finished the nostalgic track in the iconic Michael's Craft Store studio with producer Gabe Goodman, and Nate Lich on drums, looking back at her childhood experiences of bullying and the concept of forgiveness. Her new EP Death By Laundry is due to arrive this year.
Lizzie Fitzpatrick has released her synth-infused debut single under her Coolgirl moniker this week. This is the first single to be taken from the Dublin native's upcoming EP, out later this year via Veta Records. Fitzpatrick was the frontperson of Dublin grunge-rockers Bitch Falcon, who disbanded in 2021. 'Silverlight' is a deep synth-wave track that "encapsulates the feeling of being sucked into another person, another world, completely devoid of outside life," Coolgirl explains. "Heavy synth lines swirl around in a pit of muddy bass and relentless rhythm. I used vocals chopped up in a sequence that portray lost bits of conversations remembered suddenly and swiftly forgotten."
Rónán Ó Snodaigh and Myles O'Reilly, 'King of the Kingdom'
Musicians Rónán Ó Snodaigh (Kíla) and Myles O'Reilly have joined forces again to release their second album The Beautiful Road, a soulful blend of folk, traditional, and ambient crossover, coming July 28th. Following on last month's ‘Níl Aon Easpa Orm’, the duo share an instrumental track, and accompanying video for ‘King of the Kingdom (Rí A’Ríocht)’. The haunting track sees Rónán emulates the sound of the ocean, to which the song serves as an ode. Rónán attached rings, earrings, and keyrings he's collected over the years to his body and danced in the studio to create some of the heartbeat ocean sonics.
Just Wondering, 'Long Sunny Weekend'
The Irish indie-pop trio have unveiled an infectious new single this week celebrating the love story of friendship, accompanied by a DIY video by Adam Redmond. Featuring warped vocals on a bed of shimmering synths and addictive beats from producer Redmond, it's another catchy gem from Just Wondering (Wale Akande, Redmond and Jack O’Shaughnessy). "I get older with all the people I love and this is all I have to show for it...and show it I will," the video reads. "Photos in our wallets, joy in our hearts...never to die." The lads first emerged in November 2020 with debut single ‘Drive’.
The Mary Wallopers, 'Wexford'
The trad rock outfit have announced their new album Irish Rock N Roll, landing on October 6. To mark the announcement, the group released new tune ‘Wexford’ earlier this week. The traditional ballad is the second single from their upcoming full-length project, following up from ‘The Holy Ground’ which came out in April. “The song was written by Pecker Dunne, who was a travelling musician. He brought so many songs into circulation over the years he played, you’ll have heard the Dubliners playing a lot of his songs,” The Mary Wallopers' Andrew Hendy said of their brilliant, reworked 'Wexford' rendition.
Jape, 'Heal These Wounds'
Dublin-born, Sweden-based artist Jape has shared the lead single from his forthcoming album, Endless Thread - on September 29th via Faction Music. "Every time you look around, take a little time to see / Every time you close your eyes, my love / Know that you are close to me / Out of the dark, there will come light / Isn't that right?" he sings on the opening verse, infusing optimism and hope to the jangly tune. Full of warmth and memorable indie riffs, the Richie Egan track embraces love, emotional freedom and growth at its core.
Isaac Jones, 'THE PITS'
The final track to arrive before the Dublin multi-instrumentalist's new GET LOST! EP lands in early August is one of the strongest in his entire catalogue - produced by Rhoshi. It's becoming even harder to pin the Irish musician to any particular genre, embracing elements of ambient, R&B, jazz, hip-hop and electronic with relative ease. "I see the face you put on when you don't like what you've had," he sings on the compelling new offering, which glitches and warps his soulful vocals with clever synth and percussive flourishes. "Wrap that hand around a new thing, trying get it down from the ceiling...Trying to tell the future from a feeling / I'm in the pits digging holes with a bucket and spade..." His potential feels limitless at the moment. Isaac Jones, Henry Earnest, Passersby and guests also have 32 dates planned in all 32 counties on a daily tour that over the course of 32 days. The tour starts in Wicklow on August 15th and finishes at Dublin's Button Factory on September 15th.
Nealo and Jehnova, 'Tears You Cry'
After their second 'Cold Summit' gig at The Big Romance this week, capital city rappers Nealo and Jehnova (who reminds us of a young Nas) unite on a powerful new single. The collaborators were first acquainted in 2019 when Jehnova and Sivv’s group Nuxsense invited Nealo to support their gig in the Workmans Club in Dublin. The introspective piece is infused with the mood of a smoky jazz club, with the lyrics encapsulating a conversation between friends sharing past troubles and hopes for a brighter future whilst navigating through life. Choice Music Prize nominee Nealo's strength has always been emotional resonance, which he serves in spades.
Hozier, 'De Selby (Part 2)'
Another Unreal Unearth cut has landed today, with a sharper rock edge than we've come to expect from the Bray musician - but the results are epic. The track takes inspiration from De Selby, an eccentric fictional philosopher, and scientist featured in Flann O'Brien’s novel The Third Policeman. The lyrics explore themes of darkness, longing for escape, and a desire to flee the world’s problems, most likely referring to the protagonist’s grip on reality appearing to waver as he grapples with the consequences of his actions. "It follows its opening, to further explore and play with the themes of darkness in the context of connection; to self, to other and to sense of time and space," Hozier wrote on his social media pages. "The two parts are some of my favourite songs on the album."
Soulé, 'Pick It Up'
The Dublin R&B sensation has released her first new single of the year, following 2022's 'Body', 2021's infectiously catchy 'Queenish' and her 2019 breakout EP 'Love Cycle' - which spawned the massive Irish hit 'Love Tonight'. New offering 'Pick It Up' oozes soul and catchy basslines that take influence from trap and Afrobeats. Soulé's usual sleek vocals are effortlessly glamorous, describing the high on life emotions she's experiencing as a result of being loved and respected the right way: "There's something about the way that you look at me / It makes me feel so good, boy you've got me coming alive".
Cian Ducrot, 'Everyone Who Falls In Love (Has Someone Else They're Thinking Of)
Taken from his debut album Victory, the Cork singer-songwriter describes the frustration and sadness of dating someone who remains troubled by a former partner's actions. The album, out today, will be followed by a world tour kicking off later this year. "Guess that's the way when you fall into love / Sometimes the wrong person does more than enough / There's a girl somewhere else, feels the way that she does / But, what if it's me who made her feel like she's not enough?" he asks on the heartfelt tune, a style of meaningful ballads which has fast become his trademark and gotten him noticed by Dermot Kennedy and Ed Sheeran.
VJ Jaxson, 'Waiting On The Day'
Charting the Irish talent's everyday struggles, the anthemic new track is taken from Jaxson's upcoming second EP Changes. The proud Tallaght creative introduces the single with warm vocals and poignant lyrics that speak to perseverance and relentless belief in his own potential. Hoping to light a fire under other people and urging them to embrace their dreams, overcoming obstacles will consequently deliver triumphs. Arriving on the scene with his debut EP Finding Myself in 2021, VJ proved his ability to flit across topics of love, mental health and faith within his soul-stirring mix of hip-hop, R&B and indie rock. Here's hoping 2023/24 is fruitful for the artist, who's been knocking on the door for years.
Moondiver, 'When U Land'
Despite this being only their third single, the experimental electronic/jazz quartet have already amassed 25,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Pretty impressive. Dylan Lynch (Soda Blonde), Ryan Hargadon, Luke Howard and Samuel Mark are maestros at their respective instruments, and their previous singles 'Gretchen' and 2023 gem 'Dominos' show their flair for rich rhythms. Having formed three years ago and played with some of Irish music's biggest names, each performer in the four-piece is part of the industry's bedrock. Smooth saxophone notes, driving percussion and clever balancing of everyone's talents makes 'When U Land' the cherry on top of a noteworthy trifecta.
Tadhg Daly, 'I Thought We Were Friends'
The Jersey born Irish singer-songwriter released his EP Getting It All Wrong late last year, but 2023 has been full of singles from the musician. 'Forget You' and 'Losing Streak' followed his Darla Jade collaboration 'When The Sky Fell Down On Us', and his latest single is as enthralling as ever. "What are these games? What are the rules?" he asks someone who treated him badly. "Am I a fool? I don't think you meant it, but it hurts / I can't pretend that in the end, I thought we were friends." Acoustic guitar chords, warm background textures and clever piano flourishes support his gorgeous vocals, at once strong and soft. The relatable storytelling describes the universal feeling of betrayal and disappointment we've all felt at the hands of a pal at some stage.
The Galway singer-songwriter announced her debut album Everything Unsaved Will Be Lost with her moving new single ‘Sightseeing’ this week. The folk sensation will release her album on Wednesday, October 11th a record she describes as a “macabre lullaby”. 'Sightseeing' opens with warm, acoustic guitar before Reylta's strong vocals declare: "I've been suddenly sort of feeling like the water / Like rain on a window pane / Absorbing the window's pain / Sightseeing, the city crane / The light hitting off the boxes / You left when you chose not to stay." The track itself describes an oppressive relationship.
Donna Dunne, 'Who Am I To Judge'
The veteran Dublin blues/retro rock 'n' roll singer-songwriter is back with a fiery new tune, after Donna collaborated with twice Grammy nominated producer Billy Farrell (The Corrs, Brian Kennedy, Ryan Sheridan, Bonnie Tyler). It marks the first single from Dunne's forthcoming record, after she unveiled 2017's debut Voodoo. Throwback riffs and textured harmonies bleed into Donna's strong voice, which harks to the likes of Imelda May and Anastacia. "I can't believe this life we're living / We're working for the weekend drink but who am I judge because I'm older?" she declares. With a string of singles and EPs released since Voodoo, we're excited to hear her new album after this strong start.
The blistering new freestyle from rapper MiMi sees him embrace his cultural heritage, fusing it with contemporary genres. The artist, who has roots in Edo State, Nigeria after which the track is named, is an example of the original sound MiMi has dubbed as “EdoDrill”. His exploration of Edo culture in a fusion of drill, Afroswing, Afrobeat, R&B and hip-hop results in a unique sound that feels fresh and innovative. The track is sharp and reflects his determination to succeed, as he draws from his storied experiences in Edo State.
Kt, 'Fickle Friend'
Fierce, soulful vocals layer over a jazzy horn-filled instrumental in Irish/Australian singer-songwriter Kt’s newest single ‘Fickle Friend’, released today. The single recounts the 22-year-old pop/soul artist’s experience with someone who broke her trust and the feelings of betrayal that came with it. Kt’s previous singles 'Save Yourself' and 'I’m Damn Fine' have racked up more than 26k Spotify streams, making her an artist to watch. “Singing it out helped me vent my feelings,” she said about her passionate, angry vocals on the new track. “I can’t wait to hear about how people relate situations in their own lives to the one I went through’.
Her first single since acquiring her band earlier this year, ‘stevie’ is a floaty, passionate song that perfectly encapsulates RUDY’s shoegaze-dream pop signature sound. With her soft, echoed vocals layered over sparkling guitar riffs, the Dublin-based artist creates an emotional track that speaks of first love and heartbreak. Drawing from influences My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins, along with clear nods to alt-rock royalty Sonic Youth and Pixies, RUDY has created a well-defined sound for herself that is present in every lush beat of her newest track.
Connor McCann, 'I Believe'
Taken off of his upcoming debut album Without Wax, Connor McCann’s newest single ‘I Believe’ is a grungy, headbanging delight. With intricate guitar riffs and emphatic vocals, the track is simultaneously understated and amp-blowing, a contrast to the acoustic fingerpicking of his previous single ‘Lady Rest’ and an example of his far-reaching sound. As the frontman of the now-defunct alt-rock act Stonemasons, Belfast-based McCann’s solo act proves that he’s more than capable of creating a sound of his own, carving out a musical niche that unites signature guitar riffs with heavy alt-folk influences.
Goth Fight Cage, 'Optimism'
“Where is all my optimism?” cries Mark Holloway, the sole member of Belfast-based Goth Fight Cage in its first single, ‘Optimism’. The track is an indie rock bonanza that draws from The Strokes as much as it does from The Kinks, as garage rock guitars blend with a reliable, pounding drum. It’s a catchy, bouncy tune, and is sure to stick in your head long after the apathetic, layered vocals are gone from your speakers.
Conor Ward, 'Elephant'
As one of Irish Music Month's A New Local Hero finalists this year, this Mayo singer-songwriter is definitely going places. Blending melancholic folk-pop genres with melancholic acoustic ballads, his fusion of soundscapes is clear on new single 'Elephant'. Produced by Dave Skelton, the track is an exploration into the life of those caring for loved ones suffering from dementia. "I went on a safari in South Africa a few months back. I couldn't sleep on the flight over so I ended up watching the incredibly powerful documentary, Finding Jack Charlton. I was in awe of how strong and resilient his wife, Pat, was while faced with this terribly sad fate. She is one of so many amazing people out there facing similar circumstances," Ward describes, explaining the raw inspiration behind the beautiful song.
The Henry Girls, 'A Time To Grow'
Acclaimed Doengal folk trio have announced their anticipated new album, A Time to Grow, with the title track unveiled earlier this week. Tonight will see the three-piece perform a lunach party at Colgan Hall, Carndonagh as part of the Earagail Arts Festival. ‘A Time to Grow’ emerges from the depths of darkness, offering solace and inspiration during challenging times. The song serves as a reminder that even when hope seems distant and there is always an opportunity for personal growth and learning. The album was produced by Tommy McLaughlin (Soak, Pillow Queens, Ailbhe Reddy), who plays a skilful instrumental role on ‘A Time to Grow’, and features exceptional Glenties fiddle player Denise Boyle and Armagh's Rioghnach Connolly.
Orwells '84, 'The Border and the Mistress'
The brainchild of musician Damien McKenna, the Dundalk alt-folk outfit now includes guitarist and long-time friend Sean Byrne, celloist Ella Englishby, musicians/producers Peter McCoy and Pauric McCrum alongside renowned trad fiddle player Roisin Ward Morrow. 'Border and the Mistress' is the new single from the band's new album The Crucible, adding elements of the trad stylings of Paul Brady and Andy Irvine. The track is described as a "true love song about the town so special to songwriter Damien McKenna". The video was helmed by the super talented Tim Sherwood (Le Boom, Rachel Mae Hannon), acting as a delicate, artistic mirror image of the emotive single itself. It features the wonderful actors Seán Óg Cairns and Kerri Watt.
Search Results, 'Three'
Dublin trio Search Results - who currently work with Blowtorch Records - released their new single 'Flower Rock Rain' back in June, after 2022's No Punchline Arousal EP and 2021's Mirrors EP. Using lo-fi recorded vocals that sound deliberately far away and out of reach, paired with 2000s indie riffs destined to be stuck in your head for days, the track is another marker of their burgeoning talents. Offering an alternative take on the current Irish post punk/alt rock scene, their captivating mix of melody, harmony and spoken word set to tight grooves veer from post punk to pop to jazz.
Donegal-born brothers Disfreq - aka Joe and Cahir Kely - have already released a load of great tracks this year, including their Pictures six-track project and 909303 EP. New single 'Afraid' builds to incredible heights, using pounding basslines and acrobatic beat embellishments and synth choices. Disfreq cut their teeth in Belfast’s thriving club scene, inspired by raves thrown at the city's legendary venues such as Shine, Telegraph Building, Limelight and more. Having grown up around legends of the scene Bicep, Or:La, Ejeca, Annie Mac and others, their knowledge and experience from a young age allowed their love for underground sonic club culture to flourish into the mainstream electronic area. They're not slowing down anytime soon, judging by how hard 'Afraid' goes.