EFÉ, ‘Loving Girl’
22-year-old Anita Ikhar, aka EFÉ, has shared another cut from her upcoming new EP Vitamin C – titled ‘Loving Girl’. The Dubliner’s sophomore EP arrives on August 3rd, following fun previewed singles ‘KIWI’ and ‘LIME’. Her new down-tempo indie/R&B jam showcases a different side to EFÉ, tracing someone with attachment style issues who wants to give a relationship with a try. A compelling guitar riff carried a slowed down drum beat, but the emphasis is entirely on EFÉ’s smooth vocal power. It’s also the first track where she tried production, and it absolutely pays off. Talent for days, this one.
“You know that I wanna be at home/I hurt everyone but myself/That’s why I get so alone/Don’t wanna hurt nobody/But that’s the same,” she croons. “My loving don’t make sense/So I’ll be out late.“
Kynsy, ‘Love of Your Life’
Dublin based musician Kynsy (Ciara Lindsey) has announced the release of her forthcoming EP Something To Do With Love – out September 14. The five-track EP will feature tracks previously released tracks ‘New Year’ and ‘Point of You’, plus Kynsy’s fresh drop ‘Love of Your Life’.
This new track from the skyrocketing artist is both sweet and sensual, with an almost bluesy-indie feel. Kynsy’s haunting vocals are backed by a sweeping string section with peppered keys and a beautifully soulful beat. Speaking about the track’s meaning, Kynsy explains: “Love of your Life is an expression of that feeling and thought process you go through when you first meet someone you really like. When you’re in the early stages of infatuation with them and you fantasise over what the two of you could possibly become in the future.”
Oisin Mod, ‘Luminator’
25-year-old Galway singer-songwriter Oisin Mod has unveiled the second single from his debut album Honeycomb, a down-tempo alternative gem titled ‘Luminator’. The enthralling album was produced by The Coral’s Bill Ryder-Jones at his Yawn Studios on The Wirral and is due to arrive on August 19.
Beginning with a sparse guitar melody, brooding offering ‘Luminator’ adds drum percussion underlaying Oisin’s quietened, confessional vocals. Focusing on loneliness, the simplistic but cinematic song wouldn’t be out of place in a particularly downcast, introspective moment of a Peaky Blinders episode. “Would you turn me right side up when I’m dreaming of a time/When they’re all too busy living/Would you lend a silver line?” the track opens.
Irish composer and songwriter has unveiled her compelling new single via Veta Records. Combining elegant piano tones with cinematic strings and haunting vocals, ‘Otherworld’ is a beautifully bittersweet slice of ambience. Intermingling elements of neo-classical, dark-pop and folk, Lōwli’s work is influenced by artists such as Agnes Obel and Olafur Arnalds, to name a few.
Speaking about the single, Lōwli elaborates, “Otherworld’ explores the idea of searching for contentment and happiness, and while doing so, losing sight of the bigger picture. It explores the idea of lost time whilst searching for a better situation, when in reality, we often have exactly what we need already.”
Maija Sofia, ‘O Theremin’
The Galway singer-songwriter has dropped her first new music since 2019’s critically lauded and Choice Award nominated album Bath Time. Written during a state of winter isolation in a drafty 300-year-old seaside house in Ireland, ‘O Theremin’ was inspired by Leon Theremin, the Russian inventor responsible for the first audio surveillance devide. ‘O Theremin’ is an uncanny ode to the feelings of loneliness and estrangement brought on by spending too much time alone, traipsing down internet rabbit holes. Sofia’s full band arrangement departs from the nocturnal folkloric tones towards experimental pop (think Cate le Bon).
Speaking of the single Sofia explains, ‘O Theremin was written after a prolonged period of isolation. I was living alone all winter in a very big old house so close to the sea that at night it felt like the waves were lapping against its walls. I think the loneliness we collectively experienced over the last two years was exacerbated by the strangeness of life on the internet, where everyone is simultaneously watching and being watched.” The video was directed by M(h)aol’s Zoe Greenway in Kinsale.
Molly O’Mahony, ‘Her Song’
The Cork singer-songwriter has shared the third single from her upcoming debut album, The House of David, arriving October 20th. Molly describes ‘Her Song’ as “a celebration, a bop, a monument, Dublin in the sun. It’s joyful, loud, hopeful & proud; queer as you like. A big, gay love song.” Full of warmth, it’s a fixture of O’Mahony’s ability to tell a story with her own unique essence.
Molly spent the past decade writing and performing with art-folk group Mongoose, who have been a fixture of the Irish music scene since their formation in 2012. The band have released two albums and two EPs in that time and have shared stages with the likes of Glen Hansard, Mary Coughlan, and Eddi Reader. She returned to her family home to Ballydehob, West Cork, in March 2021 to begin work on her debut solo collection. The first single ‘Remember to Be Brave’, was released last June, followed by ‘Brother Blue’.
Fizzy Orange, ‘Cafe Continental’
The Dublin soul sextet are back with another banger, their self-professed “Dublin Odyssey, our Stay Fizzy special”. The single was recorded at Sonic Studios Stoneybatter with Dan Fox of Gilla Band, plus Karl Barnes on mixing and mastering duties. The independent grassroots project are based between Dublin and London, but will all be in the same place this Sunday, July 31st at 7:15pm on the All Together Now stage.
‘Cafe Continental’ is all nostalgia and retro good vibes. Opening with a simple guitar riff and peppy piano chords, imagine Thin Lizzy’s ‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ got an injection of soul and funk gloriousness. Lo-fi instrumentation and textured vocals give it a feel of DIY from the ’60s and ’70s. If their Workman’s Cellar performance was anything to go by, this six-piece are definitely going places.
Nuala, ‘Lay Down My Gun’
A singer and storyteller with one foot in the Irish mystic and one foot on the dark streets of London, Nuala writes dream pop songs that coruscate and captivate. She was discovered by producer John Reynolds, a collaborator with the likes of Sinead O’Connor, Damien Dempsey, Natacha Atlas and Indigo Girls, who first heard Nuala’s songs online.
Nuala first came to prominence with her 2019 EP Lay Down My Gun, which was later remixed by Brian Eno. Dreamy second track ‘Bat’ begins with gorgeous acoustic guitar and string instrumentation. “My heart beats strong/my heart beats slow/but I’m afraid of what it knows,” she sings, her hushed, ethereal vocals crystal clear. Something about her lyrics and delivery bury deep into the listener’s psyche. A massive talent, hopefully the industry – and the public – take note of Nuala’s body of work.
Two Door Cinema Club, ‘Lucky’
Synth-pop banger ‘Lucky’ is the latest preview of the Northern Irish trio’s fifth studio album Keep On Smiling, which is due to arrive on September 2 (physical versions will come out on November 4). Their latest jam still has the band’s trademark addictive melodies and punchy bass riffs. “We’re running out of luck/I can feel the change/holding onto little pieces of what remains,” they croon, with Hot Chip-like textures.
“‘Lucky’ is a reflection about how fast things change. Lamenting the loss of points and moments in culture,” the band explained of the shimmering, synth-heavy song in a statement. “We live in such a disposable society, we just need to take the time to think and reflect about why things are there in the first place.”
An official video for ‘Lucky’ is set to premiere on YouTube at 7pm BST today (July 29). Two Door Cinema Club have already previewed their new record with the single ‘Wonderful Life’. Keep On Smiling was written and produced by the TDCC both during and coming out of the COVID-enforced lockdowns. It features additional production from Jacknife Lee and Dan Grech Marguerat.
If Tom Misch and Conor Albert are your type of vibe, you’ll be all over JNR’s debut single. Renowned session musician Jake Richardson is stepping into the limelight with his new project under the JNR moniker. Richardson has worked with Dermot Kennedy, Lyra, Mark Feehily, Robert Grace, Ryan Mack, Tim Chadwick to name a few. ‘Fallin’ is an infectious upbeat alt pop number. “It’s about investing too much of yourself in someone too early when you’re not sure if the feeling is mutual,” Jake says. JNR’s sound is grounded in pop infused with jazz, influenced by Honne and Bruno Major. The talent has carefully crafted and honed his own sound through years of being one of Ireland’s ‘go to’ session musicians.
Local Boy, ‘Crazy Stupid Love’
Following recent single ‘Milkshake Pilltaste’, Dublin musician, producer, singer, and Burner Records co-founder Jake Hurley is back with a new indie anthem, fresh with infusions of pop, funk and soul. Hurley describes how much he’s got in common with a new partner (even putting on their Vans), he says there’s no need for petty conflicts. “We share all the same interests when we barely getting a slice,” he says, noting how the system’s rigged towards whoever holds the pie. Eat the rich, etc. He’s giving a similar punchy, idiosyncratic feel to Remi Wolf and we’re more than here for it.
Local Boy has racked up millions of streams on Spotify, and has been added to influential Spotify editorial playlists. His EP released in 2019 was titled Local Boy Ruins Everything. His LP was then titled Local Boy Helps Himself, released in 2021. He aims to complete this trilogy with his next release.
modernlove., ‘Oh My Mind’
Following a wave of singles over the last few months, Drogheda indie-pop-rockers modernlove. have delivered their eagerly-awaited new EP Oh My Mind through Akira Records. The shimmering title-track perfectly reflects the rich and dynamic direction the band have been exploring throughout this new EP. Focusing on the mental health struggles that have arisen in a post-pandemic world, their newest gem is a warm and inviting pop-rock delight that builds upon their glittering aesthetic to date.
“Oh my mind explores the modern day neuroses of young people and the mental health challenges brought upon them by pop culture, the internet and most recently, the coronavirus lockdowns,” the band explain. “I think we all went a little mad over lockdown and most of this EP was written in that state of social isolation. Without distraction or release from cycles of negative thought you can begin to spiral to the point of derealisation and being in a constant state of panic.”
Thom Southern, ‘To Be Loved Like A Fool’
The grungy indie-rock track is taken from the former MMODE musician’s new EP of the same name, which features previous single ‘My My Honey’ and ‘Strange Invitations’ – plus ‘Sad Rose Of All My Days’. ‘To Be Loved Like A Fool’ sees Southern declare: ‘Every time I look into your eyes I feel insecure.” The static, noise-filled number sees Thom continue his journey of lo-fi, unique instrumentation. It has elements of Kasabian, but is totally his own style. The Northern Irish artist’s self-produced debut album, Plaza, landed on February 11 this year.
Thom Southern started his musical career busking in Belfast city center aged 16. After winning a Belfast Busking Competition he played a run of concerts in the Belfast Nashville Festival supporting Foy Vance, Iain Archer and Nanci Griffith. Through the festival Thom was awarded ‘Songwriter of the Year’ by the Belfast City Council. He later teamed up with his sister Lucy to form the band Southern and in 2012 they signed to Marathon Artists.
Pop-rock quintet Sparkle hail from Cork, consisting of vocalist Caroline Bailey; Jen Bowler; Greg Murphy; Ian Carey and Tadgh Sheehan. The band originally started out as a two piece, making videos online in 2017. Their cover of Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on The Hill’ went viral and gained them radio support from Cork’s 96FM. The band have performed alongside acts such as Kodaline, Gavin James and Stephanie Rainey.
For fans of The Coronas, Fleetwood Mac and Paramore; ‘Run’ has a big sound behind it. Their first release of the year and seventh single overall, ‘Run’ is about trying to escape from depression and anxiety, always reaching for that glimmer of light and hope. It was written during the Covid pandemic.
Arthur Valentine, ‘Focus’
Following the success of his recent collaboration with 1000 Beasts, ‘Glass Magic’, space-age single ‘Rocket Fuel’, a sell-out Dublin debut and Irish tour with his Hausu labelmates; Cork’s Arthur Valentine is back with an explicit, sexy R&B cut. Full of subtle electronic flourishes, warped electric guitar, sharp percussion and lush, harmonised vocals, ‘Focus’ is smooth enough for any smoky dancefloor. Taking inspiration from Dominic Fike, Toro Y Moi and BROCKHAMPTON, Arthur Valentine cooked up the song with long-term collaborators Actualacid, Automatic Blue and Matthew Xavier Corrigan.
“I think writing ‘Focus’ might’ve been the most natural any song has ever come to me,” the Cork-based artist offers. “It all felt very stream of consciousness when writing it and I didn’t have to overthink any of it. The song just reflected whatever was on my mind at the time. That’s why when Jack, Drew and I came to producing the track, we didn’t want it to feel over produced. We wanted to keep the foundation of the track more minimal and stripped back and then to inject little elements of explosive instrumentation and production in the spaces and gaps where the song called for it.”
The Irish alt-pop artist is back with frenzied hyper-pop goodness. April’s new single ‘54321’ was co-written with Matt Maltese and produced by Danny Casio (Joy Crookes, Griff), and follows recent track ‘That Feeling’ and 2022 EP When It Comes To You. The song is about not wasting your time anymore, with a fierce bassline and exciting, forward-thinking electronic production. Her slick, angelic vocals sound perfect with the hypnotic beats.
April shares, “‘54321′ is more about me knowing what I want from someone rather than being hopeless and helpless in love. I wrote the melody and lyrics, recorded vocals on my phone because my interface wasn’t working, and sent them back to Danny to produce it up. He emailed it to us a few days later and I was like ‘woah, time to shake some ass I guess!’ It embodies the more playful, electronic sound I’m mixing in with my songwriting, and is my take on the drum ‘n’ bass trend that’s returning to music right now, inspired of course by artists like PinkPantheress.”
The Irish contemporary harpist and singer-songwriter has revealed the second single to be taken from her debut album BRÍDÍN, out on September 20th, after the beautiful ‘Empty Room’. Using a similar theme, ‘Hideaway’ welcomes you into a state in which you find yourself when writing music in your safe space. Single notes strung on the harp open up the track, layered with beautiful broken chords on the harp. BRÍDÍN layers her soprano style, contrapuntal vocals which create a feeling that you’re entering her world of creativity, being both dramatic and heavenly. The musician employs close interaction with the electric guitar (Jake Curran) and fiddle (Clare Sands).
Susan O’Neill, ‘Now You See It’
‘Now You See It’ is a startlingly beautiful track showcasing Susan’s inimitable vocals, written on the road with Mick Flannery in the US last year. Joining forces again with West Cork director Christopher Luke, who has made a heartwarming video to accompany the song. The song is the title track from the Clare musician’s upcoming EP, out September 14th. The project sees Susan working with Tony Buchen – producer of In The Game, Sam Kassirer and her fellow bandmates, brothers Cillian Byrne and Lorcan Byrne.
“Even if we lived to be 150 years old it would still just be a micro blip in the ripple of space. This song is looking from an in-between state of consciousness, neither dead nor alive anymore but someone that has lived, a mind looking at the world for what it is (and was) while on earth in the 21st century. It is fleeting and in constant decay which is part of the beauty. We endeavoured to show a bit of that transitory nature.”
Loud Motive, ‘Assets’
‘Assets’ follows the trio’s previous 2022 offering ‘Astronauts’, and builds up a retro funky beat, blending genres with charisma and ease. Loud Motive’s Marvell delves into everyday issues and scenarios the young Dubliner has dealt with as he and his longtime friends try to assert themselves as Hip-Hop heavyweights in the ever-growing Irish Urban community. The band have acquired a wealth of talent behind them, including world-renowned producer and musician Danny Saber. They draw musical influences from Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Miles Davis, Kendrick Lamar, Red Hot Chili Peppers and 50 Cent.
“Our mission is to showcase a different side of the musical talent that is on display here in Ireland and to take it to the world stage, at a new height where we can be proud to say we have played a fundamental part in the growth of Irish Urban music and art,” explain Marvell, Ridler Tempo and Dano.
The latest song by the Manchester-based artist is a masterclass in gauzy pop production, glimmering with balmy rhythms that are as sleek as they are lo-fi-tinged. Solis wrote this song “when I realised there’s always an option, always a way out, the hardest part is realising that.” ‘Jungle’ is taken from her new five-track EP Open, which also includes the earlier singles ‘Be Together’ and ‘Jigsaw’.
“The EP as a whole was written from a place where I didn’t feel I belonged and was dreaming of something else. ‘Jungle’ and ‘Osmosis’ in particular are about living in the city and being part of the rat race, the never ending cycle of work and spend and very little time for living,” she said.
Carron, ‘Lights Up’
The pairing’s empowering new single comes with news of a Workman’s Cellar gig on September 23rd. An uplifting pop single that infuses Celtic elements, the piercing vocals and intense lyrics combine with a dramatically soaring chorus. The siblings work alongside guitarist, violinist, and co-writer Darragh McGrath, who aided their 2016 EP Roots.
A band that first began as a healing process between sisters Méabh and Mella Carron during a period of extensive hospital treatment, CARRON have since evolved to become a unique harmonic treat, with incredibly written lyrics and complicated melodies. Inspired by artists like Florence & The Machine, Lyra, and Fleet Foxes, the sisters’ announced at a recent show that they’ve been working on an album which they hope to release soon.
SOAK & George FitzGerald, ‘Rainbows and Dreams’
The English producer has tapped Derry musician SOAK for an exciting, atmospheric new single ‘Rainbows And Dreams’. Forthcoming album Stellar Drifting is George FitzGerald at his most open, and his latest single exemplifies his distinctive approach. The bubbling, house-inflecked electronics carries a palpable sense of melancholy. The breathy vocal, warped and half-submerged in effects, sees SOAK act as the ideal counterpart to FitzGerald’s audio engineering.
For their part, SOAK stated: “I worked on some songs with Joel Pott (legend) a couple of years back, then recently enough this surprise song just arrived in my inbox out of the blue. It was an unreal surprise and not at all the life I’d expected those stems to have. I love what George has made out of them and I can’t wait to see this song out in the wild.”
Dave Nulty, ‘Signals’
Following his debut single ‘We’ll Be Alright’, released in April this year, Dave Nulty signed a publishing contract with Irelands’ Sticky Songs Publishing and has been approached by a number of European electronic labels with interest in the project. The musician receiving national airplay and support from a host of Irish DJs, along with widespread coverage at home and abroad for the track. The writer/producer has returned with his second track ‘Signals’, a sonic interplay of keys, synths, arpeggiators, guitars and vocal chops, which open out into a euphoric release of emotion.
Speaking of ‘Signals’, Dave said, “I wanted to write an expansive and euphoric melodic house track, something uplifting that you can both chill and dance to.” He’s achieved that, and more. The steady build op of beats and synths curated a warm soundscape that fills your ears with swirling magic.
Tim Chadwick, You’re (Still) In Love’
The Dublins singer-songwriter was just getting on his feet, ready for a sold out Whelan’s headline show, when Covid hit. Released back in 2017, his debut EP Early Days was a folk project with smatterings of pop elements. His 2021 Timothy follow up EP was equally special, and came after a string of gorgeous singles over the course of 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. ‘If You’re (Still) In Love’ tracks the realisation that there’s “no room” in his lover’s heart for a new person, if they’re still caught up in their past. It doesn’t take a sixth sense to sense the ghost of someone still present. With metaphorical lyrics and stunning vocal power, the soft but raw pop-inflected indie track is an absolute winner.
Lost Boys, ‘Stay Where You Are’
This new drop from the Limerick outfit showcases has an undercurrent of powerful electric guitar coming to the forefront during chorus sections. The lads are seemingly barreling towards an edgier sound, leaning towards indie-rock instead of their usual upbeat sweet-indie sound. Traces of My Bloody Valentine and The Stone Roses can be felt in their DNA. The release of ‘Stay Where You Are’ follows the boys’ premiere Irish tour, seeing the quartet travel across venues in Limerick, Cork, Galway, and Dublin. As well as marking a change in sound for the band, this track marks an actual change to the band’s line-up.
Speaking about the track, Lost Boys said: “’Stay Where You Are’ was written over lockdown. It’s all about the aftermath of a breakup and how feelings can amplify in isolation. It speaks to mixed feelings you experience after losing a best friend. You feel alone and stupid for making the same mistakes again and again. No matter the circumstances, there is always an urge to call them and try again. Not doing this on a daily basis is a battle.”
Garrett Laurie, ‘Have Fun’
‘Have Fun’ is about navigating relationships as a queer person- romanticising online interactions and exploring the loneliness of queer life behind the facade of them. The enchanting Belfast singer-songwriter recorded this song back in January 2020 and released a very early version at the height of the lockdowns. He’s since re-jigged it, with brilliant results. The follow up to ‘Mississippi Jesus’ makes use of haunting harmonies and echoing instrumentation.
“I feel like I have grown so much as a writer, singer and artist since then, and through having some time with the song, I feel like it has become everything I wanted it to when I first wrote it,” Garrett wrote on Instagram. Thank you, to anyone has maintained interest since way back, I am proud of where we’ve landed.”
The Swedish Railway Orchestra, ‘The Ballhaus’
The Swedish Railway Orchestra (TSRO) is the brainchild of Dublin musician and producer Rob Smith. In 2020, TSRO’s self titled third studio album, featuring the single ‘The Freaks Come Out At Night’, became a mainstay on Irish radio. Now Smith is back with a new album, Dance To The Drum Machine. Opening track ‘The Ballhaus’ has glittering synths and electronics, creating a sci-fi sonic arena that somehow doesn’t distract from his eerie lyrics. Alternative electronic, house, disco, experimental dance-punk and electronic rock; it’s all here. Never too in your face, his new album is a truly striking melodic offering.
Listen to the playlist in full below.