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 Chalk. Words by Aaron Cunningham.
Chalk – Asking
Belfast three-piece Chalk build on their growing success with the latest single taken next month’s debut EP. A melding of genres, it’s another dark dose of post-punk with elements of heavy electronics and Ross Cullen’s deep vocals. Building on the likes of Gilla Band and The Murder Capital, the band that have carved their own niche and success in a short space of time.
Problem Patterns – Who Do We Not Save
Queer punks Problem Patterns set their angered sights on the privatisation of healthcare and the NHS on their latest, which comes with the news of signing to Alcopop! Records, and a debut album later this year. Incendiary and shouty with no let up.
Jealous of the Birds – Morse Code
The first new music from Jealous of the Birds in a hot minute. Announced alongside album number three next month and a string of tour dates, the acclaimed songwriter radiates positivity on this bouncy new single and attempting to look past the complexities of life.
Nathan Connolly – Fires
Snow Patrol guitarist Nathan Connolly enlists the help of Biffy Clyro’s Simon Neil as he kickstarts his first solo project with ‘Fires’. Co-written with Neil, and Dave Magee of previous side project Little Matador, ‘Fires’ is a euphoric sounding mix of big guitars and dual vocal harmonies. An album The Strange Order of Things, recorded with Rocky O’Reilly, releases 21st April.
Rachel Craig – The Ghost of You
Derry songwriter Rachel Craig continues her recent achievements with ‘The Ghost of You‘. A heavy track where the sparse production and cold toned guitars combine with Rachel’s searching vocal for an emotional gut punch.
Conor Mason – Sooner or Later
Derry songwriter Conor Mason’s first single in five years, ‘Sooner or Later’ is a reminder of his deft songwriting talents. The PORTS pianist pulls out his acoustic guitar and soft vocals to great effect on this delicate number.
Dander – 4am, landing
Another Derry release this month and it’s a gorgeous debut from Derry six-piece Dander, fronted by Kevin Brown and Jennifer Hughes. The pair’s lyrical vocals combine over the soft jaunt of acoustics on this delightful first single. A debut EP recorded with George Sloan at Half Bap Studios is promised soon.
Cavalier Attitude – Transatlantic
The first release of 2023 from four-piece Cavalier Attitude, ‘Transatlantic’ is an energetic slice of modern rock and punk about the difficulties of maintaining relationships when moving away from home. A song that builds to a big ending, the band launch the single this Friday in Laverys, Belfast.
Eilís – Cold
Eilís Mulholland, simply known as Eilís, takes a big step into new sounds on her latest single ‘Cold’. Her powerful and dynamic vocals sit amongst pulsating strong beats and basslines, with the usually prominent piano taking a step back.