- 03 Mar 23
Listen to some of our favourite new Irish releases from the week below.
Lankum, 'The New York Trader'
The lauded quartet have shared a new single from their forthcoming album False Lankum - out on March 24th via Rough Trade. Traditional folk song 'The New York Trader' describes the plight of sailers seeking to escape their captain by overthrowing him, only to fight against the supernatural. Lankum learned the song from Dublin musician "and all roud legend" Luke Cheever.
“We started working on 'The New York Trader' in January 2021," Ian Lynch of Lankum says of the seven-minute, experimental track. Sounding nearly cinematic at times, their ability to push the boundaries of genre and use unconventional methods to their credit is aided by producer John "Spud" Murphy. "Someone who had done terrible things had found themselves in command of the ship and in order for the passengers and crew to save themselves it became necessary to throw the captain overboard into the deep, hopefully never to return. We did what was necessary, but now live in fear as the bloated corpse threatens to resurface, this time commanding an army of the dead.”
Fontaines D.C., ''Cello Song'
Released as the first single from the upcoming Nick Drake tribute collection, The Endless Coloured Ways, this cover is a dramatic, ambitious reinvention of one of the iconic singer-songwriter's most beloved tracks. The Irish band's version is imbued with both the raw spirit of the original and their own groundbreaking sound – and follows the central brief given to each of the artists on the collection: to "ignore the original recordings of Nick's, and reinvent the song in their own unique style."
The Endless Coloured Ways, out July 7 via Chrysalis Records, will also feature the likes of Let’s Eat Grandma, John Grant, Self Esteem, Emeli Sandé, Guy Garvey, David Gray, Bombay Bicycle Club, Aldous Harding, AURORA, and many more.
SPIDER, 'AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL'
The fiery, rock-driven electronic track comes with a new music video, directed by Ashley Rommelrath. In the video, you can see Tallaght-raised, London-based producer and singer-songwriter Spider surrounded by mostly white cisgender men who call her names, but she remains stoically unbothered. She claps back by repeatedly asking, "Why're you so scared?" to edgy rock riffs and a wall of noise warping out her defiant vocals. Whatever the AWAL signee has coming after her 2021 C.O.A. (Coming Of Age) mixtape is sure to be amazing.
"I started ‘America’s Next Top Model’ after a conversation with my friend Earl Saga about how safe music can feel right now. We found it really interesting that in a time where artists have the most freedom to make the most opinionated art, it sometimes feels as a collective like we are shying away from it. The video is about my own experiences online, and accepting the fact that if people already feel the need to get rid of me, that means that I’m doing something right," SPIDER wrote on Instagram. The song was produced by the talented Earl Saga.
Aoife Nessa Francis, 'Automatic Love'
Dublin musician has shared her lush, pastoral new single 'Automatic Love' - originally recorded as part of the sessions for her latest LP Protector (out now via Partisan), 'Automatic Love' serves as an extension of the Protector world while gazing into a new realm - one of immense beauty surrounding the chaos of love. The song was produced by Brendan Jenkinson and features performances from Brendan Doherty, Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh and Méabh McKenna.
“It’s is a song about handing yourself over to the unknown, giving in to the unpredictability of nature," the 31-year-old Sallynoggin native says. "I spent time alone writing, learning to love myself so that I could experience deeper love for those close to me. It is about a divine connection to something greater than yourself. It is a form of prayer for the chaos of love. The song feels vast and open for me and should ideally be listened to outside, where you can experience wind and sun on your skin.”
The Dublin sextet are back with a dual release this week - their long-awaited released cover of Natasha Bedingfield's classic hit 'Unwritten' and a new original song called 'Circles'. THUMPER's new single brings their usual tenacious, wall of noise and irrepressible energy. A driving twang of guitar wailing acts as the bedrock for the headbanger, fuelled by aggressive dual drums and gritty vocals. "You're sending me 'round in circles," frontman Oisín Leahy Furlong repeats. The release comes just days before the Choice Music Prize Awards, where THUMPER’s debut album Delusions of Grandeur has been nominated for Album of the Year, alongside fellow coveted Irish acts Fontaines D.C., CMAT and Dermot Kennedy.
The Scratch, 'Latchico'
"Gotta let it go cause you’re gonna do it anyway / Fire away cause you’re a latchico, latchico," the Dublin trad/metal outfit belt on their surprise new single, which was engineered by Rian Trench at The Meadow Studios, Wicklow and mixed and mastered by Aidan Cunningham. "This song has nothing to do with our next album but everything to do with a fun and spontaneous experiment!" The Scratch wrote on Instagra. "We wanted to see what it would be like to record live in a room together and try capture the energy of a show." There's plenty of communal, layered vocals and riotous guitar wailing, as usual. You'd be hard pressed not to get caught up in the rabid intensity of the festival favourite band.
Lenii, 'Take The Money'
The Cork-born, LA-based producer and singer-songwriter released her sophomore EP, Zero Sympathy, yesterday following 2020's In All Fairness... project. Standout track 'Take The Money' features an addictive guitar beat and her typical, tongue-in-cheek, raw vocals. "Man I'm so lonely, sick of this game / Trouble is I only have myself to blame / I've been living life in a high speed chase / Yeah, I'm chasing success but I'm running away from bullshit responsibilities / full disclosure, you can't count on me," she sings in her wispy voice, perfect for alt-pop bangers like this one. Finding a way to retain your sincerity, principles and morals when money is dangling in front of you is the central theme. Having moved to the Hollywood scene for producing major names, we're sure Lenii's had the devil on her shoulder but her talent, charm and mindset remains solid.
Dylan Flynn & the Dead Poets, 'Nowhere To Live’
The Limerick outfit make infectious indie-rock music for twenty-somethings living in a country that completely ignores them. ‘Nowhere To Live’ is a garage-rockock inspired protest song, detailing the state of the current Irish housing crisis, mass emigration and the government's lack of help. The track opens with a thrashy drum beat, followed up by a wall of distorted guitars. The radio-friendly lands on an EP beside 'more', 'life' and 'running away'. "I'm thinking 'bout leaving, but am I just following my friends? 'Cause there's nowhere to go."
“This was the last track we wrote for the album, and definitely feels like an accurate reflection of the country we are living in right now. So many of our friends, even our bass player, are leaving or have already left and it just feels like the people we are closest to are disappearing by the day," the band explain. "The lack of housing around the country, especially where we are living in Limerick, is unsustainable, and it feels like the government just turn away from it.”
Far Caspian, 'Arbitrary Task'
Far Caspian returns with his first single of 2023 in the shape of Arbitrary Task, which conjures the very best of the 90’s/00’s surf sounds complete with woozy vocals and a crashing guitar & drumlines to fuel your impending summer playlists. In the coming months, Far Caspian will be sharing tasters of his sophomore studio album The Last Remaining Light, penciled for release this summer via his own label Tiny Library & Dance To The Radio.
Writer/producer Joel Johnston aka Far Caspian, explains “‘Arbitrary Task’ is meant to represent the journey into work and the repetition of doing so everyday. I moved into a studio in the city to record the second half of the album and commuting in everyday brought me back to that repetitive feeling of working and the emptiness we can feel in a job we hate or push ourselves too deep in to. I wanted to write something quick and direct to coincide with the emotion of frustration."
Scattered Ashes, 'Battles'
‘Battles’ serves as a follow-up to the band’s energetic breakout singles ‘Feral’ and 'This New Will', which were championed by the likes of Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music and Rodney Bingenheimer of Sirius XM. The quartet's latest offering demands the listener's attention from the offset with catchy hook before moving into a lyrical discussion of the hardships and self-sabotaging that sadly go hand-in-hand with addiction. The track rounds off with intricate percussion sections from drummer Cillian Shiel. "The song casts a rather acute spotlight on the shame associated with addiction and the long road to recovery," frontman Rob Dalton notes. "It has been an issue for the band in the past, but one that bound us together in a lot of ways." The fast-rising band, who teamed up with Fontaines D.C. producer Dan Doherty on 2021 single ‘Slow Motion’, match aggressive sonic textures with a strict sense of space, created by urgent guitar stylings and powerful vocals.
Daire Heffernan, 'Harry'
The new single from the rising indie songwriter marks her release since the singer’s 2022 EP Wasters. Heffernan showcases a new side of her sound with 90s-inspired guitar melodies and a cinematic atmosphere. With ‘Harry’, Daire draws on new and old references including beabadoobee, Big Thief, Cocteau Twins, and Lilys. Produced by Spies' Hugh O'Dwyer and mastered by Ivan Jackman (Gilla Band, Black Midi) at Hellfire Studios, the dream-pop love song examines new love. It's a thematic departure for the newcomer.
“After writing so many songs about men in my life who had hurt me or let me down, it felt so good to sit down and write this one from a place of happiness. It was actually probably the fastest I've ever written a song, no metaphors or poetry needed," the 20-year old explains. “The movie-scene feeling was so much fun to create and play with the band. I hope that translates through the recording."
After playing at The Workman's Cellar last Wednesday, the fresh Dublin artist releases a new bedroom pop groover. Co-produced by Kendino and his producer friend Mubi, 'Luvletters' features REM$, a frequent collaborator of Kendino. The Covid lockdown-inspired single was made as Kendino began branching out of his comfort zone into hip hop and alternative music. The infectiously dancey beat switch at the end is certainly a nice touch, ending the 'Luvletters' with a symbolic foray of freedom, unbound by genre. The Shankill-based musician was inspired by Johi, Tobi Lou, and Childish Gambino musically, but sees genres in a fluid manner: "I love to challenge myself and dip my toes into unknown waters."
KEHLI, 'LOSE U NOW'
21-year-old vocalist and performer KEHLI hails from Dublin, brings passionate pop energy to each release. After dropping her praised acoustic pop banger ‘Not Ok’, which went on to win notable mention in the International Songwriting Award in 2022, she's back with another bang. 'LOSE U NOW' is all about holding onto the person who makes you crave being in love for dear life. It's got plenty of silky sleek production, glittering beats and impressive vocal tones embedded in the textures. Playing to crowds of over 4,000 people at the likes of Independence festival and Sea Sessions festival this year, KEHLI is putting finishing touches to her R&B-infused pop EP with a slew of ear-catching tunes.
Dylon Jack, 'Nervous'
The Shannon-based artist is hoping to create a real buzz with his modern indie-pop tracks and social media presence. It's certainly worked for Spotify editorial playlisting and radio play. Originally an acoustic artist, Dylon has changed his sound completely since teaming up with producer Adam Redmond (Just Wondering, Milk., modernlove.) to create dance-driven anthems with exciting beats and synths at the core. 'Nervous' follows up previous singles 'Lose U 2 Him', 'IDFC' and 'On U' - all of which are set to be included on his forthcoming debut EP Something Never Quite Love.
"I'm so awkward when it comes to dating and that's what 'Nervous' is about," Dylon Jack notes of the relatable, raw single. "I met a girl when I was on holiday and we hit it off. We said we'd go on a date when we went back home to Ireland but it took me six months to gain the confidence to ask her on it. Eventually we met up, but when we did I went into my shell and couldn't get anything out. I felt so awkward and couldn't help but think how things might have gone had I actually had an idea what I was doing."
CARRON, 'Right Time'
Sisters and multi-instrumentalists Méabh and Mella Carron formed their namesake band as a healing project during a period of extensive hospital treatment. Alongside guitarist, violinist, and co-writer Darragh McGrath, the trio have established themselves with a string of impressive releases. 'Right Time' is an emotional forway into the hardships of failed pregnancy. The cathartic track lends a voice to the pain and struggle that follows that heartbreaking moment; steeped in haunting, ethereal vocals and sweeping instrumental tones.
The band explained, “The lyrics refers to the feeling of when your whole world is crashing down, you feel alone, and you believe that nobody understands what you're going through. Then, when everybody wants to offer you advice in an effort to comfort you, all you really want is for them all to leave you alone so that you can recalibrate.”
Tung In Cheek, 'Rib Cage'
The Dublin four-piece have returned with a gripping new single today, recorded and mixed by Dan Doherty of Darklands Audio, and was mastered by Pete Maher. The newest single from indie-rockers Tung in Cheek (Andy Burke, Eoin O'Shea, Gavin Dunne and Chris Brady) presents the band's first release in over 12 months. This release comes as the debut single to be taken from a 5-track EP, due for release this Spring. 'Rib Cage' represents the band’s more abrasive, post-punk and garage rock elements with coarse effect-soaked guitar tones, thumping distorted bass, and pulsating drums. Frontman Andy Burke’s signature brazen vocals encapsulate a hostile social environment and a turbulent lifestyle through the lens of a protagonist. The song epitomises the development of their refined sound, one that captures the energy and bite of their renowned live shows held in Ireland and London throughout 2022. They're definitely a band to keep an eye on this year, despite the wealth of garage-rock, post punk and inidie-rock outfits coming out of the country's ears.
Dea Matrona, ‘Get My Mind Off’
Irish rock duo Dea Matrona have announced a UK and Ireland headline tour for May and June 2023 with new single ‘Get My Mind Off’. Mollie McGinn and Orlaith Forsythe grew up busking to their favourite rock ‘n’ roll anthems on the streets of Belfast, and rose to online fame after covering the likes of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Homeward Bound’. Following on from their previous single ‘Red Button’, ‘Get My Mind Off’ brings Dea Matrona’s trademark, infectious melodies to the forefront. The track details the frustration of being stuck on someone, is brought alive by rousing guitars. “‘Get My Mind Off’ is a track that has quite an R&B vibe to it," the charismatic pairing muse. "It’s about trying to forget about someone and wanting to stop thinking about them which proves to be hard. We wrote it after a quick jam session and we couldn’t wait to get it into our live set”.
Boa Morte, 'Dark Is'
The Cork alt-folk act return with new album The Total Space today, released Gare du Nord Records. The album sees Boa Morte edge deeper into the woods of ambient, drone and synthesised sound with little to guide them but their innate melodic compass and instinct for unorthodox song. Texan producer Daniel Presley was enlisted to assist with Boa Morte fundamentals: emotive yet unsentimental vocals; a disquieting ease with space and silence; percussive interventions on drum-shell, tom-rim and cymbal-cup; an abhorrence of rhythm guitar; harmonies that add rather than dilute personality, and a bloody-minded patience when it comes to pacing. They also worked with composer Justin Grounds to include elements of modern composition. 'Dark Is' illustrates the delicately beautiful results perfectly.
Leah Moran, 'Under the Covers'
Fresh from her lauded slot at Three's City Stages in Waterford earlier this year, the Dublin singer-songwriter makes her highly anticipated return with a brand new single. The 19-year-old rising stars has already been widely praised for her introspective and deeply engaging songwriting, previously showcased on tracks like 'Infinite', 'What Happened To Us', 'Sense of 17', and 'I Wish'. Hotly tipped for a major mainstream breakthrough, she's not to missed at Sea Sessions this June..
Melanin Tee, 'Real Facts'
The Galway sensation kicks off 2023 with a bold new single, taken from her upcoming EP, Mixed Personalities. The track, featuring a hard-hitting drill instrumental courtesy of 3lackondabeat, was first debuted as a freestyle on Reprezent with Laughta. Showcasing Melanin Tee's growing confidence as an artist, it arrives alongside a lyrics visualiser, set to debut over on her YouTube channel at 7pm this evening. Following the success of her 2022 singles 'Badda Than Who?', 'Act Your Racks' and 'Clap Shake', the new release from Melanin Tee offers a massively promising taste of what to expect from Mixed Personalities – which is set to be released this May.
The artist also known as Shane Clarke returns with a powerful ode to "embracing and loving oneself for the unique qualities that make each person who they are."
The stunningly vulnerable track, released via Pizza Pizza Records, was inspired by a difficult period in the Dundalk indie artist's life, when he was struggling with sickness.
"'Young' is all about loving the unique things that make you you," Elephant explains. "Do you like to dance around the house in your pajamas? Dine out in restaurants alone? Put the TV on just for the company? Are you afraid of the dark, heights, or just being alone? Are you single and nearing 40? Do you want me to stop asking questions?! Love yourself, you're too young to be worrying about all that."
MR PINK, 'Lady In Red'
The Dublin-based alternative rock group continue their run of brilliant new tracks with 'Lady In Red', released during the week. Their second single of 2023, it marks a notable departure in the band's sound, as they continue to push at the boundaries of their musical horizons, and explore their "soft side". The track, which was recorded at lead guitarist Jonah Rennicks' house, follows January's Nirvana-influenced 'Biggin You Up' , arrives alongside a powerful artwork by Kate Murphy.
Originally formed in May 2020, the band have rapidly established themselves as a seriously promising emerging force in Irish music.
Eoin Devereux, 'What A Friend You Were'
Following a busy 2022, which saw him release former Hot Press Track Of The Day 'Set My Eyes On You' and 'Stay In Bed', the Wexford artist returns with his first single of 2023. A fiercely independent talent, Devereux penned and produced the new track at his own home studio. It marks another crucial step on the singer-songwriter's journey to stardom.
"I am really proud with how it turned out," he says of the single. "Hopefully you can relate to this song and enjoy it too..."
Raging Sons, 'Talk'
Having first made their mark on the scene back in 2021, with the release of their debut album, 20:20, the Limerick-based alternative rockers – made up of Fint Tynan (vocal/guitar), Colum Kelly (guitar/bass) and Adam Reeves (drums/percussion) – continue to expand their musical horizons, with the release of their new single. The track finds the trio reflecting on their younger years.
“We push artistically to represent a spirit of youth embodied by rebellion, the abandonment of inhibition and the feeling of unapologetic authenticity," Raging Sons say of the track. "States of being that we grow out of adulthood. ‘Talk’ is a defiant call back to our former selves, it’s 'everything now.'
"The aforementioned themes were not only inspiration for the lyrical content of ‘Talk’ but also for it musically, a conscious shift in gears in our style represented by its raw, gritty, unapologetic sound," they continue. "‘Talk’ represents the feeling of time conspiring against you. It's a nostalgic rollercoaster of innocence that can only be brought to a halt by abandoning inhibitions, ‘Talk’ and take what it is you want.”
The Black Captain, 'Sunday Morning (My Girl)'
Following their well-received singles, 'One Last Summer' and 'Sunshine In My Mind' – which both garnered widespread radio play – the Dublin-based alternative trio are back. Their new single finds the band in a soulful space, as they take a fearlessly vulnerable, Americana-inspired approach.
The single was penned by the band's vocalist and guitarist Paul Rock, before being recorded by David Arkins at Crookedwood Studios in Slane – and demands to be heard in a live setting...
Lydia Ford, 'Sink or Swim'
The indie-pop rising star kicks off her 2023 in dazzling fashion with the release of a brand new single – co-written with Jess Pascal from Morning Midnight, who also co-produced alongside Sam Stevenson. Drawing influence from the likes of MUNA and The Japanese House, the track offers a tantalising taste of what to expect from her debut album, Faking It, out later this year.
"I wrote 'Sink or Swim' in a bleak January when I kept having nightmares about water," she says of the the track. "Every night I fought against the waves and during the day I was sleep deprived, feeling lost and stuck in rut. Ultimately I decided I needed to make a change and the song is the journey to that decision – my only two choices, in the nightmares and in life, were to sink or swim."
Micah, 'Heaven and Hell'
Still enjoying a major buzz following the release of 'Running To You', 'Shatterproof', and 'Stranger' in 2022, the Tipperary pop sensation continues her remarkable rise with the release of a new track. Produced by Cruiser, the single finds Micah exploring the thin line between heaven and hell – while drawing influence from the likes of Kate Bush, Fletcher, Halsey and Sia.
It marks an intriguingly dark departure for the singer-songwriter, as she continues to explore bold new sounds.
Clodagh, ‘This thing called Life’
The acclaimed Cork artist has teamed up with in-demand producer Cian Sweeney for her latest single – which follows a busy 2022 of releases, including 'Holding On', 'All You Do Is', and 'Don't Watch Me Cry'.
Alongside the new release, Clodagh has shared a moving homemade video: "When I tell you I’ve been preparing my whole life for this I’m not kidding around," she remarks...
ELKAE, 'Undo Me'
After being tipped as one of the Hot Press 'Hot For 2023' Irish Acts, the soulful pop artist continues to make her mark on this year with a brand new track – the final single before she releases the full Here Come The Monsters EP on March 31.
"'Undo Me' is about the tumultuous nature of toxic relationships, and the idea of being stripped both physically and emotionally by a passionate partner," she says of the new track. "It draws parallels to the allure of forbidden fruit, where despite knowing the consequences, one craves the rush and the addiction of the experience. The song touches upon power dynamics and the struggle to maintain a sense of control, while still yearning for the affection of the other person.
"Ultimately, 'Undo Me' is about the vulnerability and powerlessness that you can feel when caught in the whirlwind of a toxic relationship."
Gavin Murphy, 'Break Down Every Door'
Written and recorded in his home studio in Sligo, and featuring his 16-year-old son Keelan on keys, the indie-pop artist's new single explores "the frustrations of trying to get your art past the gatekeepers and tastemakers in order to be discovered and heard."
The track finds him teaming up with co-producer Ger McDonnell, whose credits include the likes of U2, The Cure and Sinéad O'Connor, and features backing vocals by Roisin Egan.
Seafoam Green, 'Yesterday's Wine'
The acclaimed Americana-inspired band make their long awaited return with their first new single of 2023. It comes as their first new music since the release of their album Martin's Garden back in 2021.
"Last summer we travelled down to Saunton (a surfing town in North Devon) to link up with our friend and wonderful producer/songwriter Sean Genockey," the band comment. "We had with us a few songs and the idea that we wanted to make something different to our previous two albums. We spent two carefree days making music, laughing and swimming and we loved it. We hope you do too..."
Listen to the playlist in full below.