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 Still Blue. All handily found in our rotating playlist.
Still Blue – Lace
Dublin based Still Blue are set for a big 2023 after signing to Faction Records earlier this year. ‘Lace’ is their second single since they broke the news and is part of an EP out this month. A considered indie pop sound that builds into bigger moments, with an emotional thread throughout based on vocalist Nicole Lyons’ experiences of sexuality and objectivity. A band that’s very much on the up with the quality of their new music.
Havvk – Daylight Robbery
Their first release in a couple of years, the ethereal sounds of their 2021 album is set aside on the hard hitting ‘Daylight Robbery’. Pounding drums drive under grittier guitars and vocalist Julie Hawk’s angered vocals, exploring expectations outside our own safe spaces. A single fitting for their big live sound.
Far Caspian – Own
Leeds based Far Caspian has perhaps gone under the radar at times back here at home but his new singles come ahead of Belfast & Dublin shows in September, and a forthcoming second album. ‘Own’ is a laid back ode to 90s & early 00s alternative with crystal clear guitars and relaxed vocals.
NewDad – In My Head
One of Ireland’s most exciting acts of the lockdown years, ‘In My Head’ is their first release of 2023. A further instalment in their indie dream-pop sound with reverb-laden guitars under Julie Dawson’s sweeter vocals but there’s a heavier shoegaze element in this one.
Sarah Crean – What Do I Know?
‘What Do I Know?’ is the latest single from Dublin songwriter Sarah Crean, her fourth in total since her emergence last year. Crean’s vocals take centre stage on this satirical take on a toxic relationship. The catchy indie pop of the track is lifted by the production and backing vocals.
Sasha Samara – Sobering Up
While Belfast songwriter Sasha Samara evolves her sound on her debut EP, the up-tempo pop of ‘Sobering Up’ retains the fresh faced energy that brought her audiences in Northern Ireland. An endearing pop song with a tongue in cheek outlook.
Rachel Mae Hannon – The Boys
There’s certainly a groove about Rachel Mae Hannon’s latest single ‘The Boys’. Her call out of toxic masculinity gives her free reign with sassy, dynamic vocals over the disco soul & funk feel of the track.
Melina Malone – Lovers Sunday
‘Lovers Sunday’ is Melina Malone’s first solo track since 2021’s ‘No Better Place’. It’s a laid back jam of a track with Malone’s smooth vocals sounding pitch perfect for a summer’s evening. The first release from a forthcoming album.
Aby Coulibaly – Patience
Another smooth track from last month comes in the form of this from Aby Coulibaly. A song about escapism and being in your own world, Coulibaly’s vocals sound warm & soulful wrapped around the quiet R&B of the track. Coulibaly performed at BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Dundee last month.
Conor Miley – Thousand Yard Stare
There’s a sense of grandeur to the songwriting on just the second release from Conor Miley, with an ambitious melding of sounds from rolling drums, acapella choruses, horn sections and a gospel finale. With so much thrown into the mix, the anxiety of the track’s message is heightened.
Feather Beds – Saviour
A fairly unique sound makes up this track from Feather Beds’ latest album released last month. ‘Saviour’ is dreamlike both in sound and in its non-linear composition.
Elephant – Olivia
Elephant’s ‘Olivia’ was penned from thoughts and feelings multi-instrumentalist Shane Clarke experienced through a high fever. The psych-folk finger picking & warbled vocals paired with the track’s interesting movement certainly bears this out.
Pigeon Millers – Windowsill
The stripped back intro of the four-piece’s latest allows emotive, torn vocals to flourish. Gorgeous instrumentation fills the track out, but the intimacy of its dark folk remains.