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 Axis Of. Words by Aaron Cunningham.
Axis Of – Beach Light
It’s been a long time since we’ve heard from North Coast trio Axis Of, but the legendary band made a surprise return last month with ‘Beach Light’. A powerful single that is understandably an evolution of their harder sound, seven years on from their last full release. Post rock atmospherics mixed in with that heavier edge, ahead of an album release in April. Bella Pacifica is an album that celebrates existence, written as Niall Lawlor overcame ill-health. A hugely welcomed return.
Robocobra Quartet – Heaven
A big day for the parish as Chris Ryan hops from his Sorbet foot back to Robocobra Quartet for a new double single, led by the bold and brilliant ‘Heaven’. Once again wedding elements of jazz and punk into their unique style as Ryan channels capitalist mania to the sounds of sax and thundering bass.
Clara Tracey – Harry Clarke
‘Harry Clarke’ is a sweet and sultry call to the 1920s Dubliner and stained glass artist “Mr Clarke” to melt down his masterpiece and reunite the portrayed lovers. A gorgeous track that rises from subtle pondering to Motown backed chanson and back again. The second of two wonderful releases under the Fermanagh songwriter’s own name.
ferna – Wasting
Long time Chordblossom favourite Hannah McPhilimy releases the first ferna single from a new album later this year. Bringing new elements into her sound, ‘Wasting’ rises into its chorus backed by a distorted bass and beat, with lyrics inspired by Anna Burn’s Milkman novel.
Mark Hegan – Borderline
The latest and possibly best in an evergrowing string of releases from former In An Instant frontman Mark Hegan. Hegan’s emotive vocal style sits at home amongst the song’s big indie sound and lifted choruses.
Kid Apollo – One Right Answer
The closing vignette to Derry songwriter Rory Mullan’s latest EP is lo-fi indie that flits between its soft, twinkling delivery and the hint of a wronged snarl. A slight resemblance to the likes of Eels.