Every month we take a look back at the best new releases from Northern Ireland in our featured playlist. A showcase for the sheer amount of talent coming out of the North, and a playlist worthy of repeat listening. This month’s cover artist is SOAK. Words by Aaron Cunningham.
SOAK – Last July
A big, beautiful return from SOAK with a new single joined by news of album number three If I Never Know You Like This Again, this May. Building on the more uptempo sound of Grim Town that reflects its full band recording sessions, ‘Last July’ could easily be a Pillow Queens cut. A fuzzed out guitar riff drives the track alongside some memorable lyrics.
Junk Drawer – Tears In Costa
One of Junk Drawer’s best, it found its place on the Irish indie compilation A Litany of Failures a couple of years ago but we’re thankful its been given a wider release. Riffs and rhythms that sit slightly askew, a big chorus and some of the band’s smartest lyrics – ‘at least Heaven’s Gate had an action plan’. Roll on the new EP in March.
Buí – The Sun Shines Down On Me
A beautifully simple and intimate cover released on the late Daniel Johnston’s birthday. An acoustic led rendition that leans on Josh Healy’s wonderful vocals. Taken from an upcoming EP, with sales of the single donated to PIPS Suicide and Self Harm Prevention.
Finding Forests – Bad At Everything
A debut solo single from Darren Hill, formerly of Fox Colony. ‘Bad At Everything’ is a mellow take on self doubt with a quirky heart. Its gentle blend of beats and acoustic rhythms under Hill’s soft voice bring to mind The Postal Service on acoustic guitars (no, not quite Death Cab for Cutie).
Taylor Lally – Bliss-Less Musing Life
The County Down countryside raised songwriter released her first single this month, a hazy, soulful tale of Lally’s dreams and becoming the person she wanted to become. A little bit of late night peace and love in this one.
Foreign Mornings – Sleepwalking
Belfast four-piece Foreign Mornings put a number of releases out into the world over the past few years but in latest single ‘Sleepwalking’ they’ve hit the sweet spot. ‘Sleepwalking’ has indie charm in a charming package, with every line, note and hook falling in the right place.
cbakl – cut off your nose to spite your face
A man in form. Belfast producer cbakl dropped his last track of 2021 in early December and it’s no less of a jam as we head into February. A lover of a soulful cut, cbakl has thrown pitch shifted vocals onto a rich textured jam track with laid back beats.
Sanchez. – Knock Them Down
Sanchez. was born from the mind of Lurgan’s Oisin Magee, who has been living in South Korea the last few years. ‘Knock Them Down’ is a big single that’s full of drama and a classic rock soul.