Nialler9's New Irish Music: Pleasure Beach, Sion Hill, Jafaris and more
A round-up of what’s fresh in Irish music this week, freaturing Loris, Montauk Hotel, Party Fears and Joshua Burnside
Retro soul: Sion Hill. Photograph: Jim Rakete
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Party Fears - Party Fears
Maggie Devlin’s debut album as Party Fears was written, recorded and produced by herself but this ain’t no lo-fi bedroom record. It was recorded in Seoul in late 2015, the now-Berlin-based musician has created a pleasing, well-produced record of indie art-pop, taut grooves with nods to the exuberance of The B52s and West Coast American rock. Party Fears needs more parties.
SONGS OF THE WEEK
Sion Hill - Nothing’s Wrong With Loving You
The Mullingar singer-songwriter comes out swinging with a debut song of retro soul vibes complete with a choir and a confident delivery that far surpasses the early demo featured here recently. Currently based in Germany, you can find him on a tour of the country supporting Pete Doherty this month.
Jafaris - Love Dies
A seriously impressive outing from Percy Chamburuka AKA Jafaris. Previously featured in Sing Street, this rapper and singer is a confident cut with a DNA of R&B, soul, rap and pop.
Joshua Burnside – Tunnels Pt.2
The Northern Irish singer-songwriter has been bubbling under for a few years now but this new track from his forthcoming album Ephrataon (May 5th), indicates a refreshed musician inspired by the sights and sounds of Colombia, where the album was recorded. Tunnels Pt.2brandishes that exotic influence with frisson for a kinetic alt-folk trip.
Pleasure Beach - Burning Up
The Belfast group are the closest this island has to an Arcade Fire are brandishing the flame of rock’n’roll ready to engulf a large audience with new single Burning Up. Call the fire brigade! Catch them while they’re hot in Whelan’s Dublin (February 23rd), Limelight 2, Belfast (February 24th), Roisin Dubh, Galway (February 25th) and Cyprus Avenue, Cork (March 2nd).
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Loris - Dirty Bass
Created by Dog Kennel Productions
The Northern Ireland’s trio’s song is a jam that channels trance-style synth energy, cutup vocal samples and pop vocals. There’s a lot going on so the video wisely pares it back to a monochrome palette and a performance in earthquake mode.
NEW ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Montauk Hotel are a new four-piece band making music of a decidedly different era - the 1980s mainly. Claudia, Shell, Aoife and Karima’s debut song Black Dress recalls the sweet and bright rock and pop of the late decade - think The Bangles and The Pretenders. A self-titled debut EP is out March 10th.