Every month sees more and more great Irish music released to the world. Aaron Cunningham selects some of his favourite releases of last month, including cover artist Ellen Sleator. All handily found in our rotating playlist.
Ellen Sleator – Loving in Lilac
The second release from Westmeath based songwriter Ellen Sleator fully captures her idiosyncratic and sweet vocals. These lend itself to Alice Phoebe Lou comparisons, but there’s a mix of rhythmic styles with bass lines that cut through and dreamy inflections of piano and guitar which all contribute to the hazy, uplifting atmosphere.
Pio Hartnett – When I Go There
Taken from his debut nine track EP Cargo out this month, this is the track that caught our ears from Galway songwriter Pio Hartnett. A track with a softer side which builds on simple piano and vocal into something bigger and more varied for its final release.
Heart Shaped – Felt
Recorded via our Kickstart competition, this latest single captures everything we love about Houston born, Belfast based Heart Shaped. Understated dream pop that allows Kendall Bousquet’s vocals to shine amongst a bed of guitars and synth.
Big Sleep – Shivering
A first release since 2022’s debut EP suggests it’ll be a good year for Dublin group Big Sleep. Big on hooks and gratifying guitar parts which carry this tune on disassociation in a relationship. Those heavier themes don’t seem so bad when delivered through infectious indie pop.
Trophy Wife – Scully
Songwriter Ruby Smyth aka Trophy Wife channels the X-Files as she evolves her sound on latest single ‘Scully’. There’s an edge to the quiet/loud make up of this single echoed by Smyth’s vocals rising from ambivalence to passionate alongside thrashing guitars and percussion.
The Amniotics – Boomerang
Four-piece The Amniotics shout out their frustrations with the Dublin arts scene on debut single ‘Boomerang’. Shades of punk and Riot Grrrl in the riff laden attitude or the more hook laden vocals of Wet Leg.
whoisdays – Everything (About Her)
An immediate hit of guitars and beat introduces the latest from whoisdays. The obvious inspiration comes from late 1990s/early 2000s rock with the dirty guitars and big disco beat. ‘Everything (About Her) marks a new period for the artist formerly known as DAY_S.
AE Mak – Bluer
The final track on Berlin, her first release since a move to Berlin, and released alongside last month’s Irish tour which included a date on Belfast’s The Barge. ‘Bluer’ is infectious and pulsating that showcases AE Mak’s artistry including big vocal moments.
Nealo & Morgana – Forest
Nealo’s first single in two years sees him join with Saint Sister’s Morgana on ‘Forest’. Written during a period of struggle that followed his acclaimed debut album All The Leaves Are Falling. Morgana’s soulful vocals lift Nealo’s heavy lyrical verses that race through personal strife and Ireland’s bigger systemic issues in this strong collaboration.
Conchúr White – Atonia
Conchúr White’s first new music in a couple of years comes with news of signing to record label Bella Union. It may be no surprise on first listen to ‘Atonia’; an absolutely gorgeous sounding track that makes full use of White’s soft vocals in a dreamy lament. The new chapter is off to a great start.
A.S. Fanning – Pink Morning / Magic Light
A.S. Fanning’s deep croon shines through on the second release from the Berlin based songwriter’s upcoming album Mushroom Cloud. The stripped back soft folk textures and solitude of the song are given life by lush but slightly mournful strings. Shades of Nick Cave and The National.
Junior Brother – Junior Brother’s Favourite
Amongst April’s releases it’s hard to ignore the near twenty minute weaving folk of ‘Junior Brother’s Favourite’. The first time the acclaimed songwriter’s new band have featured on record yet it marks the final chapter of his first releases. A sprawling effort with movements that range from stripped back pensiveness to idiosyncratic prog-folk. One of a kind.