What: R&B and Soul music from a pop perspective
Why: One of the more well-rounded and accomplished new artists from Ireland this year, was Fia Moon, a Dublin-raised singer and songwriter who makes soul music from an R&B and pop perspective.
On four songs this year, Moon has demonstrated a honed identity inspired by modern R&B artists like Banks, Jhene Aiko and Nao while finding inspiration in the phenomenon of Dua Lipa.
At the backbone of Fia Moon's music is an artist who has been performing since the age of five and was singing at weddings at the age of seven. Moon's parents were both jazz and classical musicians so Nina Simone and Ella Fitzgerald were part of her vernacular.
Clearly an artist with ambition, Moon has been dividing her time between London and LA on recording and writing sessions with producers Dan Dare and Ryan Keen, who have helped develop her sound.
Highlights of the tracks released so far include Settle Down – an earworm pop song built on a chiming melody hook with flutes and Moon's sweet vocal runs. Water Runs Through is made with a knowledge of jazz but is a head-nodding R&B song about confidence with warm tones and lyrics like "you can be a woman/the fire is in you/you can't stop the river the water runs through".
Elsewhere, Take has electro- pop tendencies while The Fall is a Rhye-esque ballad.
Fia has the customary Spotify support and playlist placements going into what she promised will be a busy 2019.
Catch Fia Moon in Dublin at Bello Bar on Thursday December 13th
You have to hear this
Anderson .Paak – Cheers featuring Q-Tip
That Oxnard, the LA artist Anderson .Paak's album, his big major label breakthrough doesn't land and has some questionable lyrics, is a disappointment, only because .Paak is one of those polymath artists who is capable of so much more.
Yet, Oxnard does feature some standout tracks. Cheers, a cautionary song about living in the fast lane that references Mac Miller and Q-Tip raps about sending flowers to the mothers of his dead friends too many times in his life.
It’s Paak at his best – a soulful song that has him showing off his superpower to create jazz, funk and pop in one song.
The Redneck Manifesto – Head Full Of Gold
Releasing easily one of their best albums is a perfect way to mark the 20th year of existence of The Redneck Manifesto.
The Dublin band of friends released The How last week and halfway through it, Head Full Of Gold's slow-building synths, throbbing low-end and percussion give way to the familiar Redneck guitar tones and a full band performance that affirms the idea of continuing to show up.