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 Problem Patterns. Words by Aaron Cunningham.
Problem Patterns – Y.A.W.
A statement return from Problem Patterns as part of this year’s Scratch My Progress programme. An acronym for “yes all women”, ‘Y.A.W.’ is full of righteous anger that exposes misogyny and doesn’t hold back a single bit. A powerful new single.
Mob Wife – Cutting Teeth on Suburban Curbs
The latest from three-piece Mob Wife is a cutting rumination on modern anxieties and working life. A further step along the band’s rich vein of form as they lead up to their debut album on 29th April. Hard hitting cinematics thud from quiet contemplative verses into the sharp riffs and hooks.
Beauty Sleep – I Love It Here I Hate It
A very different vibe to Beauty Sleep’s last single, the sparkling production here leans towards the soulful more than the pop. ‘I Love It Here I Hate It’ contains some of Cheylene Murphy’s best and warmest vocals, a real thing of beauty amidst swirling sonics.
ROE – I Dare You
ROE returns with a big new single that unmistakably heralds a new period in the Derry songwriter’s career. Moving towards a more organic sound with a live band, ‘I Dare You’ boasts a vibrant chorus that calls for emotion and release.
Coastal Trees – Still Life
A slow burning and smooth track that marks the first release from new four-piece Coastal Trees – described as “a bunch of aging guys from Belfast”. Putting aside the background, ‘Still Life’ has crystal clear guitar, gentle percussion and the slightest touch of brass underlying Michael Orr’s vocals for a strong and soft first single.
Chalk – Them
A debut release from Belfast band Chalk, recorded with producer Chris Ryan [Robocobra Quartet, Sorbet]. ‘Them’ leans heavily into the wave of Irish bands spawned by Gilla Band. Dark, shuddering electronics drive the track’s frantic heartbeat with explosions of noise and frustration.
Emét – Sticky Floor Serenade
The latest in Emmét McGonagle’s troubadour tales, ‘Sticky Floor Serenade’ softly recounts drunken nights with scouse musician Paddy Clarke. The Derry native finds himself in Calgary these days, as he awaits the release of his debut album, recorded in Belfast’s Half Bap studios and released next week.