- 05 Aug 22
Listen to some of our favourite new Irish tracks from the first week of August below!
Zapho, 'Big Song Blue'
The vibrant new cut is taken from the talented creator's upcoming album, due for release in full later this year. 'Big Song Blue' is brimming with soulful vocals and filled with melancholy emotions. Dubbed the ‘birth of the sound of Zapho’ - the powerful alt-pop single showcases a blend of singer-songwriter, soul, electronic, dream pop elements while retaining Ele Breslin's standout flair.
"Musically we were brave enough to throw our common sense out the window and write from our gut," the singer-songwriter explains. "It was the first time I had blended genres and had written a song that had a semi evil and tumultuous concept. I remember playing the chords on my old piano, it was so dark and sinister and tragic, a bad romance of sorts. Bonnie and Clyde - or in my case Bonnie and Claudine."
Jafaris & Carrie Baxter, 'Satellite'
Waterford R&B singer Baxter and Choice Music Prize nominated Dublin rapper Jafaris have dropped a collaborative single. Following her 2021 EP What Now, Carrie has been tapped as One To Watch for her soulful vocals and Amy Winehouse-style of fusing jazz with pop. ‘Satellite’ melds sultry vocals and infectious production. Jafaris’ slick bars effortlessly complement Carrie’s serene delivery.
“Jafaris and I wrote and recorded the track on Paddy's Day this year — and no, there was no Guinness involved, surprisingly," Carrie says. "Although I was aware of his music, it was our first time meeting and when he sang ‘feel like you're stringing me along you’re like a cello,’ we just clicked."
“Our session was extremely smooth and comfortable, we bounced off each other so well," Jafaris adds. "We ended our session with a bop that I believe people are gonna fall in love with.”
EFÉ, 'Before Sunset'
EFÉ's sophomore EP Vitamin C arrived on August 3rd, featuring previous singles 'KIWI', 'LIME' and 'Loving Girl'. 22-year-old Dubliner Anita Ikhar sounds gorgeous on 'Before Sunset'; a wistful track about trying hard not to dwell on the negative all the time. Starting off with soft background instrumentation, a twinkling piano melody and silky, ethereal vocals; there's a Billie Eilish edge to the textured angelic harmonies. The rising star will also perform at Ireland Music Week in October.
"Dreaming of what’s real/No point in getting sadder/Just romanticise a life/That’s only getting better," the rising star croons. 2022 is a big year for EFÉ, make no mistake.
Just Wondering, 'Just My Luck'
Dublin-based electro-pop trio Wale Akande, Jack O’Shaughnessy and Adam Redmond emerged in November 2020 with debut single 'Drive'. Their style melds modern synth pop melodies, soul vibes, guitar licks, electronic textures and processed vocals together, with party playlist results. 'Just My Luck' follows the infectious recent offering 'idk, maybe', retaining warped, autotune-style vocals and a catchy chorus. They're becoming veterans at delivering pre-drinks and/or after-party anthems, deserving of their 'rising star' labels from tastemakers in Ireland and abroad. It's an irresistible head-bopping groove, as always.
Erica-Cody, 'Love Like This'
The RTÉ Main Stage broadcaster and singer-songwriter is back with more R&B gold. Infusing pop melodies and a faster beat with her usual smooth-as-honey vocals, 'Love Like This' is radio ready. "Got L-O-V-E on my lips," she declares on the track, which harbours slick production - as did her 2021 EP Love & Light. The Irish-American artist is clearly in a warm, happy place on the romantic new cut.
“[Love Like This] was the first song that I wrote after Dancing With The Stars," the 26-year-old told GOSS yesterday. "As soon as I went back into the studio, one of the first lyrics that came into my head was: ‘People’s opinions are none of my business’. The song is really centered around people’s assumptions around what they think is real, but it’s actually the complete opposite.”
TV People, 'Circle'
The Dublin post-modern, post-punk outfit are back with another gripping single. 'Circle' is a dark, atmospheric song that meanders from subdued, surreal sections through to explosive moments of chaotic energy, before closing with a hair-raising anthemic outro. TV People (Paul Donohoe, Brendan Clarke, Paula Moura, and Ben O’Connor) wrote the song as a tribute to their loved ones and friends and to the countless times they have relied on each other in times of difficulty. It's got the soundscape of White Lies.
‘Circle’ was recorded and mixed at Battery Studios London by Grammy winner Caesar Edmunds (QOTSA, ST Vincent, Foals) and assistant engineer Joshua Rumble. The track was mastered by Christian Wright (Radiohead, Fontaines D.C.) at Abbey Road Studios. 'Circle' builds upon previous releases ‘You Were Loved’, ‘Shallow Minds’, Out of the Silence’, ’Kitchen Sinking’, ‘Time Eats Up’ and ‘Nothing More’.
Levi Evans, 'Lay Low'
The Los Angeles-based, Dublin-born singer-songwriter has shared another single, brimming with pop potential. 'Lay Low' reminds Hot Press of Easy Life, without the English accent. The 22-year-old dropped initial singles 'Numbers', 'Catch Me', 'Bug Bite' and 'Back in My Head Again', but grows on the melodies and textures vocals on Levi Evans' new chillwave offering 'Lay Low'. There's a couple of head-turning indie-rock guitar riffs propelling the song along towards the end as well. It'll be rotating in your brain long after the song ends, that's for sure.
Etaoin, 'If I Ever Find Home'
The London-based, Irish-raised musician released her debut EP, Bedroom Walls, last year. The newcomer has laid out the foundations for a promising musical career with her intricate guitar playing style and quirky, sharp and relatable lyrical content. Citing Ed Sheeran, Dermot Kennedy and George Ezra as influences, Etaoin mixes pop vocal melodies and flawless stripped back production to form style of pop-folk which feels fresh while maintaining a classic singer-songwriter sensibility.
"You're the tingling in my bones, the little footprints in the snow/you were a light leading me home, 'til you left me on the side of the road," Etaoin sings on 'If I Ever Find Home'. The burgeoning musician is trying to forget someone who was a monumental part of her life on the down-tempo, sweet cut.
Grave Goods, 'Source'
Featuring current and former members of PINS, Girls Names and September Girls; rock trio Grave Goods are based between Dublin, Belfast and Manchester. 'Source' is short but packs a punch, and IDLES-like guitar riffs with a heavy edge. Inspired by early post-punk and minimalist rock, the outfit's sound has been described as urgent and demanding. 'Source' is their third single, after 'Come' and 'Phonetic Fresh', and easily grabs our attention - taken from their upcoming debut album TUESDAY. NOTHING EXISTS.. The band recently supported Irish act M(h)aol at their July show at The Grace in London.
Patrick Stefan, 'Drinking alone in the moonlight'
Following fellow 2022 single 'Head Voices', the Dutch/Irish folk musician has shared another track from his upcoming album Wayfare. The project will arrive on September 23rd. ‘Drinking alone in the moonlight’ takes its name from an eighth Century poem by Li Bai, known for his works about wandering, nature, mindfulness and solitude. The poem longs for friends, but settles with the company of his own shadow. Stefan wrote the song first on a Finnish Kantele – a child’s harp, then brought it to life with a guitar accompaniment and strings that reminded him of Nick Drake in a classic '50s film.
Patrick says, “The video was made by west Cork based artist Becky Hatchett, whose work I saw online and absolutely loved. I couldn’t come up with a concept for this song, it’s based on a poem and quite ethereal – nothing visual was quite doing it justice – so I contacted Becky to see if she had any ideas."
Loraine Club, 'Romeo'
Inspired by Prince's track 'I Wanna Be Your Lover', the charismatic Dublin outfit are back following the release of their genre-blending 2021 EP Desire. Loraine Club originally started informally, when brothers Jordan and Zac Curtis began writing together after a collaboration sparked a flow of creativity. 'Romeo' is full of fun, synth goodness and processed, falsetto vocals. It'll surely have you itching for a throwback tune-filled dancefloor, fusing '70s funk, disco and electronic soundscapes with contemporary soul and pop.
"This is our end of summer lifter tune!" the band tell Hot Press. "We wrote it after seeing a month of so much outdoor live gigs in Dublin over the months of June and July. We were feeling pretty inspired and haven't brought anything out in a while - so we thought it'd be a good time to bring something fresh out. The song is about some hot shot chatting up your fly girl and you hit them with one of these."
Hutch, 'Fall Asleep'
The cinematic alt-folk third single from the Dublin-based musician's upcoming album Trick of the Light evokes Bon Iver, Ben Howard, Sufjan Stevens and Marcus Mumford's new solo material. First singles 'Cave in' / 'Cold Bones') offered an insight into the sound for the new album, while 'Fall Asleep' offers another darker glimpse. The single was a long time in the making, influenced by world music guitar styles.
"Fall Asleep has had a bit of a weird trajectory," Hutch said in a statement. "I wrote it when I was about 23, and when I wrote it I had the idea that it would be an upbeat, strum-y folk-pop thing. So I had this idea in mind when myself and producer Shayne Byrne went in to record the second HUTCH album. For whatever reason, though, the track just wasn’t working. Shayne had the idea to break it all down to its raw elements and rebuild it as a sort of dark, minimalist, almost trip-hop thing, which I really like."
The London based, Irish/Pakistani singer-songwriter, playwright and multi-instrumentalist has just revealed her compelling debut single, and we're floored by the soul-packed vocals. Working with the esteemed Charlie Andrew and Neil Comber, Munah has already received co-signs from some of alt/pop’s best purveyors. With 'Calling', the creates a deeply intricate piece of mature and contemporary pop that highlights her raw style - for fans of Marika Hackman, London Grammar and Joni Mitchell.
Munah said: “For me, ‘Calling’ is about remembering the connections we have, wherever they may be, and channelling them when we need them the most; when life feels too difficult, or when we don’t feel strong. It is about feeling lost, and feeling found all at the same time.”
RUE, 'Call On Me'
The Armagh singer-songwriter's debut single is a masterclass in alt-pop. Building catchy melodies and layered harmonies into a track that builds up to a booming chorus, RUE's smoky voice is ideal for her chosen genre. With hints of AE Mak, Fya Fox and Ellie Goulding, we're intrigued to see what's next for the Northern Irish talent. She previously dropped an equally interesting track 'Into the Woods back in 2021, but 'Call On Me' puts the spotlight on her knack for curating earworms that stick with you.
Post Punk Podge & the Technohippies, 'For What'
Post Punk Podge & The Technohippies is a figment of punk and the post's collective imagination in the form of a singer/rapper/musician from Limerick. The outfit have just dropped their new 'For What' video, and it's as chaotic as you might imagine - in the best way. Check it out below; blending punk, electronic, krautrock, techno, Irish trad, hip-hop and classical. The band also play Fibber Magees on August 11th with The Deadlians and August 19th at Feile Na Greine in Limerick as well as Electric Picnic and Clonakilty Guitar Festival in September.
Cruel Sister, 'chihiro'
Dublin newbie Faithi Nico (aka Cruel Sister) has returned with her third single of the last 12 months, following 'too much' and 'my forever'. Tapping into her love of early '90s grunge, shoegaze and alt-indie (early PJ Harvey, Wolf Alice and Sister era Sonic Youth) Cruel Sister exposes the angst and uncertainty of being young in all aspects of life but predominantly the trials and tests of love. ‘chihiro’ borrows its name from the lead character in Studio Ghibli’s Spirited Away.
“I had never seen anything like it," Cruel Sister says. There was something so terrifying but also so exciting about the world Chihiro enters, and all the brave things she must do to save her and her parents’ lives even though she was just a kid like me. It was a massive influence on me as a person and I would watch it every week way back when you could borrow DVDs from Chartbusters and Xtravision.”
Dea Matrona, 'So Damn Dangerous'
Full of a defiant swagger, the new track from Belfast school friends-turned-retro-rockers Dea Matrona highlights their varied influences, ranging from HAIM and Royal Blood, to Blondie and Queens of the Stone Age. The track is about wanting something that you know isn’t good for you, but taking the risk anyway.
The band (Mollie McGinn and Orlaith Forsythe) explain: “We wrote ‘So Damn Dangerous’ last summer and I remember playing it in the room together for the first time and just looking at each other like ‘hey, this is catchy’...We road tested this song on tour for the past few months and we loved playing it every night, it felt right to put it out into the world.”
Walshy, 'Long Time'
A new summery indie-pop anthem has just landed, courtesy of Irish musician Walshy. Having released three jazz-infused, hip-hop singles this year, the Dublin artist steers into a more sample/melodic-based song. Having grown up on the sounds of Elliott Smith, Beach House, Kanye and Wu-Tang to name a few, 'Long Time' marries the nostalgia of teenage indie and contemporary hip-hop elements.
The track was written during Walshy’s time living in Leamington Spa in 2019, capturing a mix of frustration from having nothing in common with anyone there, being misunderstood; and relief after revisiting Dublin. The accompanying London-based video was helmed by Dylan Hayes and features Caterina Danzico, an artist whose practice is based on the intersection of dance, choreography, and collage.
Markéta Irglová, 'Girl from a Movie'
Irglova’s personal anthem is her penned reflection on what it was like literally being that “girl” from the film Once. The starring role not only served as her introduction to many and garnering her an Academy Award for Original Song but continues to be an active entry point through its cult-like following on streaming services and success as a Tony winning musical. ‘Girl from a Movie’ is also a meditative outlook on the cost of this unsuspecting instant fame.
Irglova states, “It is about what being the girl from a movie has taught me about expectations, trying to live up to them, while also subconsciously projecting my own hopes and dreams onto others, catching myself in a funny, but often heart-breaking dance of projection and perception usually ending in disappointment. I have learnt that we can only truly know one another through our heart, not our senses, for the heart is where love is and love does not discriminate. It does not edit and photoshop."
Keelan X, 'Fever'
Heavily inspired by both 80s and contemporary sonics, Keelan X (of The Marigolds) pulls on a diverse musical background to create a rich, silky sound. 'Fever' picks up from where previous single ‘These Days’ left off with Keelan X crafting wistful, dreamy soundscapes accented by propellant beats and memorable choruses.
Keelan X says, “Sonically, I was after a sensual, lush sound to capture the allure and feeling of desire in Fever. I also wanted the song to have some low-key disco danceability and a bit of oomph in the chorus. In my head, I saw it as a kind of song a DJ would play in a nightclub/bar and you’d want to get up and dance to it, either by yourself in your own little world or perhaps with someone.”
The Cope, 'True Romance'
Known within the music industry for their work behind the scenes, Dublin/Berlin-based electronic producers and audio visual artists David Anthony Curley (of Otherkin) and Joe Furlong arrive with their debut single and accompaniment dance film 'True Romance' under their new moniker The Cope. Haunting, serene piano melodies and processed vocals introduce the raw new single, while electronics build up the tension within the beautiful love-focused number.
About their debut video, the band say "Mirroring the themes of the track, the film is a meditation on love, isolation and control, and was shot on location in Antwerp in collaboration with acclaimed Irish choreographer Zoë Ashe-Browne."
Neil Dexter, 'I'll Be Ready'
The Dubliner has shared the final single and titular song from his forthcoming debut album - due October 14th. Catch him at the Workman's Cellar on October 20th for the album launch, presented by singular artists. Expanding upon the demo with David A. Tapley (Tandem Felix) and recording engineer Stephen Dunne, Dexter notes that their guidance allowed him to approach the arrangement without artistic boundaries; layering textures and taking the song in different directions.
Dexter describes ‘I’ll Be Ready’ as a “Frankenstein composition comprised of three different ideas saved in one project file” that he’d been working on in his Dublin-based home studio. It confronts feelings of apprehension.
Listen to the playlist in full below.
- Lifestyle & Sports
- 03 Aug 22