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 Beauty Sleep. Words by Aaron Cunningham.
Beauty Sleep – Go
“Writing ‘Go’ felt like breaking free of any expectations or pressures that we put on ourselves. We kept asking ourselves what a ‘Beauty Sleep song’ sounded like, and that way of thinking just put restrictions on ourselves. This song is about challenging insecurities, and doing what feels right!”
‘Go’ is the result of a band let loose in the studio, having the time of their lives. A meld of sounds propels Beauty Sleep’s pop banger, from weird synths to unique percussion and the odd whistle. Everything comes together for an explosion of fun in the outro. Keep an eye out for the familiar faces in the song’s music video.
ROE & Ciaran Lavery – Destroyer
Two familiar faces and esteemed songwriting talents join together for a first collaboration. A mature, emotionally wrought sound that takes a little of each artist, ROE’s voice is front and centre, but musically it’s rather different to what we’re used to from the Derry artist. Lavery’s influence is clear on a song about a toxic relationship.
SX-70 – Flame
A flickering track that combines a little bit of post-punk darkness with brighter indie-pop, all layered reverbed guitars and kinetic rhythms. ‘Flame’ sounds like a solid leap forward for the SX-70 boys.
trash.man – omw
Belfast based producer trash.man says he’s not confined to genres, and follows his first mixtape of beats with this contemplative single. A very smooth listen of drowned piano and melancholic vocals, with the beats taking a backseat.
Wilfie – Sand Between My Toes
The new single from Co Down’s Wilfie has a wee bit of Foy Vance or Gareth Dunlop (who produced his first album) to it. ‘Sand Between My Toes’ is atmospheric and meditative folk with a modern sound and a slight country tinge in Wilfie’s vocals and the shades of piano and slide guitar. The first single as Wilfie gears up for a second album in 2022.
Red Eye Pariah – At The End Of The Day
A rock track that takes its lead from indie and even a little prog. Built around weaving, driving guitar lines for a solid rock sound. The third release from the Belfast/Antrim four-piece.