- 23 Sep 22
Listen to some of our favourite new Irish tracks of the week below.
The Murder Capital, 'A Thousand Lives'
Paired with the news of their 2023 tour, The Murder Capital also share a new single from anticipated second album Gigi’s Recovery (out January 20): ‘A Thousand Lives.’ Paired with a moving video directed by Tommy Davies, the layered song is dense with emotion as frontman James McGovern sings, “A thousand lives with you and I won’t be enough.” More inventive electronics, masterful guitar work and a strong rhythmic force all feature.
The singer expanded on the themes within the group’s newest single, saying, “Knowing that the day is only X-hours long, alongside my understanding of how love can be the true restorative seed, means that if and when you are so lucky to find it, and it is true, the seemingly small glance that is our lifetime could never contain enough of those days or those hours. Even a thousand of those lifetimes would never be enough."
Sorcha Richardson, 'Stalemate'
Opening with a faraway electric guitar strum, the Dubliner's soft, comforting vocals are otherworldly but masterful. The third track from the indie musician's second album Smiling Like An Idiot takes influence from the likes of Julia Jacklin, Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and of course, Phoebe Bridgers, but she puts her own stamp on it. Richardson's stark vulnerability surrounding everyday moments of love (be that unrequited, unequal or joyful) allows her to stand out with ease. Oh, and Happy Birthday Sorcha!
"Stalemate why would anyone be on my side? When I get tunnel vision every time/Don't you think you got me wrong," she queries in the chorus, full of self-doubt. "Why wait around to see me rolling my two green eyes backwards, baby/Don't you think you got me wrong?"
Anna Mieke, 'Mannequin'
'Mannequin' is the third single to be taken from her forthcoming album, Theatre — due out November 18th via Nettwerk. The single's vivid soundscapes mirror Anna Mieke’s lush and adventurous upbringing. A beautifully-shot video for 'Mannequin' was directed and choreographed by Anna Heisterkamp.
"Mannequin” was lyrically inspired in part by a Jane Kenyon poem, 'Otherwise'," Mieke explains. "The first line of the song is one that repeats in the poem. There’s a feeling of being an observer, a witness, of being observed in performance, a play, and the rituals of moving through life. An acknowledgement of things coming to an end, and how nothing is meant to stay the same. A kind of imagined underworld exists in this song, too: it lives in a hot climate and I imagine a jungle, desert, tropical birds when I hear it. There’s a sort of darkness present: porcelain eyes, staring; blood; being consumed; a gun,” she explains.
Rachel Mae Hannon, 'Breathe'
The soulful new track follows the Monaghan musician's previous single 'Work It Out' and arrives ahead of her Whelan's main room gig on October 1st. "I used to see a future/now I’m unsure, I think you scarred me/I don’t know what for," the self-proclaimed overthinker opens up on her latest release, which was inspired by anxieties surrounding a relationship and lockdown restrictions. It is a slow and meditative song, brought to life by Hannon's low range of vocals and eloquent use of harmonies as well as instrumentation, which give the single a distinctive soul pop sound.
"It's about taking a moment to step back and managing anxieties towards the end of a frustrating relationship I had," Rachel Mae Hannon explains. "The claustrophobic feel of my room, the lockdown restrictions, and my sentiments towards the relationship itself all inspired the lyrics."
“I thought I’d go outside today, but my bed had other ideas," Derry's Róisín Donald (aka ROE) sings on her final single released from her debut album - also out today. The Northern Irish Music Prize’s Best Emerging Artist's internalised anxieties are all brought to the surface and examined on the down-tempo piano track.
“We were halfway through recording my album when I wrote ‘Alarms’ and immediately knew it needed to be how the record ended," ROE offers. "I think this song speaks for itself so I don’t want to ruin it with any kind of possible explanation. All that I will say is that it’s the song on That’s When The Panic Sets In that means the most to me, and getting to sing on it with some of my best friends was one of the most fulfilling experiences ever."
Carlsbad, 'Lemon Pie'
Following the release of debut single 'Still Life' earlier this year, Irish-based US musician Carlsbad is back with a new alt/country indie love ballad. Echoing vocals of Lana Del Rey, it's a smoky, thoughtful offering that narrates a romantic story with enchanting dexterity and grace. "Lemon Pie is meant to be played late at night," Carlsbad says of the yearning cowboy tune. "It's about a love with strong conviction in an uncertain place. I wrote this song up at my cabin in Utah, a very special place, where the stars are so bright each one has a colour. I wrote this song under these stars, a full blood moon and made a wish. We approached the production as if you were at a campfire or a session."
Having opened for Saint Sister in April, the singer-songwriter's debut EP is on the way - plus a headline show in the Sound House, Dublin on November 19th. Future Yeehaw is a post modern blend of electronic, pop, folk and country, produced by David Anthony Curley and Duncan Stewart (Dunx). The record features performances from the likes of Dylan Lynch (Soda Blonde) on drums and Gemma Doherty (Saint Sister) on harp.
Malaki, 'Never Mind'
The rising Dublin artist has returned with his first piece of new music in 10 months. Opening with textured harmonies and a simple acoustic guitar melody, the urgent percussion kicks in ahead of Malaki's mile-a-minute verses juxtaposed with spoken word. Themes of alcoholism, vice, and self-medication run throughout the track. Recorded at The Clinic in Dublin, ‘Never Mind’ is about struggling to ask for help.
“I left the party to breathe / But the goddess of Eden was a bottle to me,” Malaki spits in the first verse; “Stepping over overdoses in those brand-new Gucci loafers,” in the second. The song urges listeners to discard the term “never mind” in its entirety, as hiding your emotions only does damage.
As he readies his third album Dear Chaos for release on October 7th, Irish artist Talos has released the heady, hopeful ‘KITES’. The magical video was directed by Ellius Grace, and follows fellow singles 'dance against the calm’, ‘All Ours’ and ‘Farewell/Kamikaze’. Cork-based artist, Eoin French tells the story of two people scarred from past relationships. "They are flawed but meet as equals, open to each other," Grace notes of the visual, which is told through clues of movement.
“KITES is a flare of optimism, one that burrows its way into the future, looking outward," Talos divulges. "The idea of space - space to move on, to find something different - is embodied in the structure of the song: towards the end it morphs and melts into a flowering orchestral space, meant to paint the picture of something exploding into life or metamorphosing into change."
Patrick Stefan, 'Head Voices'
Opening his new album Wayfare with the pared-back ‘Head Voices’, the Dutch-Irish musician's effortless folk sound echoes that of Jack Johnson. The music video was shot in Paris, with the help of Lucy Shuyao Lü, directed and edited by Patrick Stefan with post-production help from Cara Gaynor. 'Head Voices' quotes west African melody and Brazilian rhythm, sharing scenes from the Clare-based act's voyage around the global south.
"Head Voices is written from the idea that big dreams gain power if you keep them to yourself and instead let them flow through your actions. The idea took on a new meaning while journeying for four months; first in Brasil & then Mali, West Africa,” says Patrick. "The song addresses the tension between my fortunes and ambitions and those of my hosts, featuring imagery and fragments of my interactions and (mis)-understandings.”
The Dubliner has just dropped her 7-track EP titled Take Two, forged as an insight into her world, sonically, lyrically and melodically. Take Two features previous singles 'Another Life', 'Aren’t Up For Debate', 'Can't Find You' and more, plus the jazz-infused R&B number 'Blue'. The alternative neo-soul artist layers smooth vocals with contemporary synths and electronics for a honey-toned outcome.
“My sound and my art has changed since my first project, and it will continue to change even after this project, but I think it's so cool that I can document that and look back at each project and be super proud," Tomike posits of the EP.
Tau & the Drones of Praise feat. Damien Dempsey and Pól Brennan, 'Ceol Ón Chré'
Marking their second release from their forthcoming third album Misneach, Tau & The Drones of Praise have teamed up with some of Ireland's best musicians. An incredible collaboration with acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Damien Dempsey and Pól Brennan of the legendary Irish group Clannad, the track exudes both traditional folk textures and experimental atmospherics. Dempsey's astounding vocal fronts the tracks, with tribe-like drums and enchanting melodies supporting. Filmed on Sliabh An Iariann in Leitrim, the video is a contemporary ode to the tale of the Tuá De Dannan.
Speaking about the track, Seán Mulrooney, (Tau & The Drones of Praise), said: "I was encapsulated by the song and the vibrations that it imbues. It is a great honour to join with two brothers in arms to bring this song to the world. It is a song for the children. It is for generations to come and for the people of today and tomorrow to have the misneach (courage) to move forward with neart (strength), imbas (wisdom), grá (love) and cumhacht (power)."
Corner Boy, 'The Sea'
Corner Boy have announced the release of their highly anticipated self-titled debut album on Friday, 28th October with new single 'The Sea'. A knockout punch of marauding dark folk infused with traditional Irish instruments, ‘The Sea’ is the third and final single from the band's album. Featuring unrelenting funereal drumming, empathic vocals and screaming guitar 'The Sea' explores a dialogue of inner turmoil through striking imagery and impassioned lyrics. The track was produced by Gavin Glass in Orphan Studios.
Mickey Joe Harte, 'Derry Girl'
The Donegal singer-songwriter is back with his first single in three years - and is currently working on pre-production for his next album. Harte has recorded four LPs to date, gaining multiple platinum records, No. 1's and top 10 singles. 'Derry Girl' was recorded in Attica Studios with producer/engineer Tommy McLaughlin and mastered in London with John Davis. The upbeat single tells a story about dating someone from the wrong side of town: "Religion or beliefs shouldn't matter when it's love," Mickey opines.
Fiona Sharkey, 'The Party'
Following the release of her debut single 'Backbone' in 2021, the self-made producer is back with another electronic/pop offering. Armed with a background as a classical pianist, Fiona has been making tracks for a decade, inspired by the likes of Confidence Man, Talos and Clannad. Opening with a slight organ sound, the synths and beats build in anticipation as the song propels forward. "My friends say you're different and I need to accept it/What would it take you to stand up and see me/I would not do much but not be reactive," she sings on the glittering track. 'The Party' is an exciting second release from a burgeoning artist fusing multiple genres to create dramatic, captivating tunes.
Anna B Savage, 'Ghost'
London musician Anna lived in Dublin for a spell, releasing her debut album in 2021 to critical acclaim. New single 'The Ghost' hypnotically builds and breaks over five minutes, utilising Savage’s deep register to sound truly haunted. The track was produced by Mike Lindsay, of LUMP and Tunng, and focuses on the triggers a past relationship leaves behind.
“Thought you were gone, but four years on, you’re back again,” she sings. “Stop haunting me, please/ Just leave me be, please.”
"Breakups are strange in that sometimes the easiest method for getting over someone is tantamount to acting like that person died," Savage writes of the song. "This song explores the feeling of being haunted by an old partner who is no longer in your life, and wanting, desperately, to be free of those memories. How easily they bubble up from the physical body or mind: being scared of saying your ex’s name in bed, seeing them in other people, smelling their perfume. Not knowing what to do with how much you loved them."
Evan Miles, 'Presence'
Having appeared on Ghostking Is Dead's 2019 EP Redoubt, Evan Miles has released a standalone single that whips up quite the ethereal atmosphere as the three-minute dance track progresses onwards to a hypnotic beat. The Waterford Anomaly Collective-associated producer previously collaborated with Pat Lagoon and Rikshaw, and merges introspection with soft electronic tunes that stay rotating in your head long after the beat concludes. 2021 single 'If This Is It' deservedly established him as a force to be reckoned with.
Sarah Buckley, 'Magic Powers'
The Irish alt-folk singer explores an angle on relationships that is more grounded…where everyday existence is made to feel magical: “Normal days are up in lights when you’re spending them with me/It’s champagne in a mug when you’re giving me my tea.” Buckley has been collaborating and recording with some of Ireland’s leading music producers, Karl Odlum (David Kitt, Gemma Hayes), Darragh Nolan (Ailbhe Reddy) and Richey McCourt (LAOISE, Will Young), which will culminate in the release of two sister EPs in the coming months.
"On the move a lot at the time, Magic Powers is about meeting someone that made you feel you could stand still following a restless period," Sarah wrote of the new song. "It talks about how the company of the right person can make the mundane seem special and the tricky parts of life more manageable."
Súil Amháin, 'Aisling Fhéile'
The Listowel artist's first single since 2021's brilliant 'Oíche Mhaith', 'Aisling Fhéile' is a fascinating Irish language hip-hop/rap banger produced by Bantun. Making fine use of a hard-hitting beat with trap flairs of instrumentation, Súil Amháin's bars are sounding better than ever. The unique music-maker explained how he had always wanted to compose verses to the River Feale, "but you can’t compose an Aisling – it has to hit you in a flash-vision, in time of need":
“The Aisling is a vision or dream poem, which developed in Gaelic poetry in Munster during the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries," Súil Amháin discusses. "The first rapper I ever heard invoke a river in this tradition was Dyrt Davis. Rivers are often used as a personification for the struggle of the people. ‘Only Our Rivers Run Free’ – the powerful song by Fermanagh/Listowel bard Mickey McConnell being a relevant example."
Jakliu, 'Bluey Orange'
Irish experimental electronic artist Jakliu has creates a tender, summer jam in the form of 'Bluey Orange', a playful offering from an exciting talent. Peppered with soft vocal chops and organic percussive elements, the track was penned about art of staying grounded in your own mind, while the world races past. Not a bad message for a post-lockdown world, we say. You can hear the inspiration of Caribou, Four Tet and Mano Le Tough in his twinkling work.
The Dublin native aspires to create a transportive and organic sound inspired by the stagnation and instability of early adulthood. Performing under the stage name of Jakliu, Jack Lewins uses frenzied drones, organic percussion and smooth luscious pads; his creative vision never straying far from feelings of melancholy and tenderness.
The Clockworks, 'Advertise Me'
Galway indie rock ensemble have announced a slate of tour dates today along with their newest single. Recorded at the infamous Abbey Road Studios and produced by the band in collaboration with Michael Rendall (known for his work with The Jesus and Mary Chain, Black Grape and more), The Clockworks’ new gem 'Advertise Me' is a scorcher.
The biting lyrics directly call out hypocrisy in a world that complains on the internet instead of taking action. It’s a raucous rock number, with cleverly crafted remarks about skewed society. Speaking about the track, the band revealed, “The idea for this song started with the line, ‘Complain about consumers from the comfort of my Mac’. It got me thinking about contemporary culture and that feeling of dissonance that comes from criticising society while continuing to conform to it. The song is partly a satire in answer to this feeling.”
Following on from his maiden release on Lost Decay, chxmist returns to the label with a vocal-infused garage workout. 'Fleeting' is the second single taken from his upcoming EP Reunion, out on October 14th. The project tracks the return to life, reuniting friends, family and dancefloors in a return to normality. 'Fleeting' changes tempo throughout, with a blistering yet ambient beat becoming the thread holding it together.
About the song chxmist (Dublin-based producer Conor Barry) says: “It seems to be a recurring theme; making music on the move. And this song was no different. I started this track with just my headphones and a library of samples I had recorded on my synth. I wanted to make a stripped-down track, focusing on drums, bass and a vocal chop to create a driving groove. I've always been a massive fan of UK Garage and I feel like this track rolls along to its ending, slowly and subtly morphing before returning full circle.”
Kellie Lewis, ‘Flashback To 18’
The Limerick singer-songwriter has returned with her most emphatic work to date on reflective, thumping new single, ‘Flashback To 18’. The energetic pop-rock anthem combines feelings of nostalgia and melancholy with those of independence and strength. The track comes with a big sound which carries the listener throughout, but never deflects from the track’s focal points, the subject matter and Kellie’s distinct vocals. Shimmering yet atmospheric, Lewis's stark vocals won her second place on The Voice of Ireland in 2014.
The singer-songwriter describes it herself as “an ode to youth which reminisces about easier days gone by, and the understanding that a new chapter in life is approaching.”
Columbia Mills, 'A Day Has Won'
The fifth single to be taken from their upcoming album, Heart Of A Nation, arrives hot on the heels of 'Momentum', which garnered support from John Kennedy on Radio X. 'The Day Has Won' is about struggling with reality and trying to find somewhere to escape. For fans of The National, Editors and Palace; Columbia Mills are redefining their sound and delivering gripping lyrics. Heart Of A Nation, the follow-up to their sophomore album CCTV will be available on October 14th October.
"The day time represents reality and the night time provides a solace where we can transport ourselves somewhere else for a while," frontman Fiachra Treacy says. "While the song centres around a tumultuous relationship, it could represent any number of problems that we encounter in our personal lives. Although we are given strict guidelines in how to deal with such problems, it's in our nature to just get out of our heads to try to escape.”
Will Troy, 'Lost Your Laugh'
With an impressive gigging history – including an appearance at Ireland Music Week – 19-year-old Wexford singer-songwriter Will Troy has now taken the next step with his excellent debut single, ‘Something About Stars’ and follow up 'Lost Your Laugh'. The latter single begins with a Mumford & Sons-esque guitar melody before Troy's gorgeous vocals kick in. A poignant track that boasts slick production and a beautiful simplicity; it's the universal lyrics that will get him noticed. "'Cause I told the moon about you/Asking where did we go wrong/I guess we're falling out of love again," he croons.
Overhead the Albatross, 'L’appel Du Vide'
Dublin five-piece instrumental Overhead the Albatross have built up a reputation for their intricate, powerful melodies and energetic stage presence. Layered strings, electronics and spacious synths combined with soaring guitars and powerful drums are used to create their unique sound. Debut album, Learning To Growl, was released in 2016 and nominated for the 2016 Choice Prize Album of the Year. After the release of their album they decided to take a short hiatus, but they're currently gearing up to release their second album.
'L’appel du Vide' is the drama-filled, cinematic first single from their sophomore outing: "We have all stood at the edge of a cliff and been struck by the urge to take another step, or sat in a moving car and had the fleeting thought to open the door," O,TA state. "We have all had that feeling. We have all heard L'appel du Vide - The Call Of The Void."
Sweetlemondae, 'Never Gonna Be'
The 22-year-old MC has unveiled her debut release on Diffusion Lab, and it's epic. Born in South Africa, Sweetlemondae moved to Ireland at the age of seven. Just before hitting a studio session, a conversation with a friend and fellow artist Moyo about racism and the increase of violent racial crimes in Ireland inspired the track. The song reflects on the huge impact such horrific acts have on the person involved and all the people around them.
About the song, she says: "I thought it would be good to shed light on that topic. I hope it can be understood that I’m not speaking from an American point of view but an Irish one. It’s sad how such racial crimes can strain families and change a person’s life forever hence ‘Never Gonna Be The Same’."
Ellen Donnelly, 'Everything Pales'
The debut single from the rising musician, layered vocals from the crystal clear-voiced artist are mesmerising as the piano chords kick in. Telling the complex story of a deep connection, Donnelly's words describes how everything pales in comparison to your feelings for this figure in her life: "Cards on the table, you wear your heart on your sleeve, you didn't notice when you started to fall/now you've forgotten how to breathe," she sings. "You can't be certain, so you'll settle for sure/you know there's nowhere you wouldn't go for her."
Rosa Nutty, 'Wildcard'
First emerging with her Bunny EP in 2015 and Pips EP in 2017, Nutty's new single is her first in five years. A jangly indie number that gets stuck in your head after the first listen, 'Wildcard' shows off her versatile vocals. The Dublin-based songwriter's alt-pop sound blends intimate and thought-provoking lyrics with inventive vocal harmonies. The song will appear on her forthcoming debut album, World Still Blue. It's a jaunty teaser into her anticipated new alternative project, years in the making. The track was also mixed by Chris Barry.
Blood Donor, ‘Lonely Street’
Fusing alt-pop with indie flourishes, Luke Reilly of Otherkin has revealed another single as Blood Donor: 'Lonely Street'. Opening with a fierce guitar riff, Reilly's gravelly vocals and nostalgic rock edge are a match made in heaven. His creativity is off the charts as he tracks a connection with someone based on small moments: "Giggles in the video chat, haven't laughed like that in years."
"To cut a long story short, I went back to working as a doctor and music had to take a backseat. It would be an understatement to say that it was one of the busiest and most taxing years of my life!" he explained this year of his upcoming album and pause from music. After playing a show at Whelan's with James Vincent McMorrow last March, he realised there was "a gaping void" in his life.
Maria, 'Do You'
Produced by Alex O'Keeffe, Maria's follow up to 2021's 'BF' is a dark pop banger that sees smooth production elevate her vocals to the next level. A native of Roman, Romania; Maria moved to Ireland at the age of seven. After fronting blues-rock band Akrasia, the singer turned her hand to pop music, working with Order33 on her debut 'Talk'. With sprinkles of Ariana Grande's effortless runs and a dash of Zara Larsson's edge, 'Do You' is a certified anthem that demands to be heard on the Irish airwaves.
Akrobat, 'Basquiat’s Widow'
The Dublin indie-rock band are oozing Sonic Youth on their new single, taken from their upcoming LP Jammed Space Movement (out November 5th). The album was recorded at The Meadow in late 2021 with acclaimed producer Rian Trench. 'Basquiat’s Widow' was inspired by the tumultuous, rollercoaster romance between American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and his lover and muse, Suzanne Mallouk. Thrashing guitars and near-spoken word lyrics tell a passionate tale, with a funky riff boosting the jam session.
Making it relevant for modern audiences, the song is also a reflection on racial discrimination and prejudice towards the LGBTQ+ community.
Video Blue, 'First Snow'
Dundalk native Video Blue (real name Jim O'Donoghue Martin) is back with his latest masterpiece, 'First Snow'. Debuting only a month after the alt-pop artist's previous single 'Weatherspeak', 'First Snow' proves to be a sweet, lighthearted tune that reveals Video Blue's impressive use of ambient electronic bedroom pop combined with the giddy strumming of guitar. The track features Aoife Powers of Irish band WhenYoung, the sweet soprano of the singer's voice perfectly syncing with the captivating synths of the beat and harmonising with Jim to create a sweet and undeniably catchy chorus.
Staff Party, 'Solo'
The Cork-based band released their astounding debut single 'Solo' earlier this week, which Hot Press were delighted to premiere. 'Solo', the group's first recorded track, contains elements of Arctic Monkeys, Stereophonics, and Kaiser Chiefs, but with a punkier Irish twang. Lead singer Jamie Kierans captures the enigmatic frontman energy with an incredible vocal - reminiscent of a dancier Grian Chatten of Fontaines D.C. Fronted by catchy guitar and an upbeat drum line, the track is nothing short of an earworm - you're sure to have "let's fly solo" stuck in your head for hours after your first listen.
Speaking about their debut release, the band explained: "There seems to be quite a lot of sad music being released in the world today, and we want to do what we can to put a bit of joy out there. And that’s our mission statement. We’ll do everything we can to have a good time, and you’re more than welcome to join us."
FRAQ, 'Fighting Is So Ugly'
Frankie McNamara, a music production student at Pulse and Windmill Lane Studios producer and mixing engineer, is back with a new banger. Pushing you towards the dancefloor with every synth and electronic embellishment, 'Fighting Is So Ugly' sees McNamara use clever samples and fun choices of off-kilter beat drops. The soaring chorus is euphoric, freeing, and perfect for a Culture Night evening of DJs and fun-loving energy. His sound is heavily influenced by various genres, most prominently Jersey Club, breakbeat and trance while also taking inspiration from pop, hip-hop and ambient music. He first rose to attention after remixing Enya to create 'N-Yasss', which we LOVED. Catch him on Dublin Digital Radio.
Maverick Sabre, Big Narstie and Jordan, 'Danny Boy'
Salford rapper Jordan McCann has teamed up with New Ross-raised soul artist and rapper Maverick Sabre - plus Big Narstie. Rhyming over a trap-inflected beat by Show N Prove, Jordan spits about the downfalls of street ethics. Maverick Sabre brings his unbelievable vocals to the hip-hop number, with a new video directed by Mosquito seeing the three artists connect. The London-Irish star is heading on on tour to celebrate the anniversary of his debut album, Lonely Are The Brave.