New artist of the week: Sequence
Plus songs you have to hear from John Grant and Marquis Hawkes featuring Jamie Lidell
Athlone-based artist Sequence, whose music draws less inspiration from American counterparts than Nigerian Afrobeat and dancehall music.
What: Irish dancehall afrobeat pop
Why: While Irish hip-hop and rap acts have been getting their kudos through introductory pieces, placements on Spotify’s newly created editorial scene playlist The New Eire and slots at rap-fronted festivals such as last weekend’s Longitude Festival in Dublin’s Marlay Park, it’s worth noting that it’s more than rap acts who are are part of the new school.
The throwback R&B of Dubliner Erica Cody, the youthful pop of Kildare’s Tebi Rex, the live R&B pop band Super Silly and the afrobeat of Cork’s Jay Ronic are among those offering shades to the idea of an emerging new scene.
One artist that seems to stand apart while being part of the scene, is the Athlone-based artist Sequence, whose music draws less inspiration from American counterparts than Nigerian Afrobeat and dancehall music.
Last year, Sequence racked up nearly half a million views for a cover of Fisherman from the UK rap artist’s J Hus that helped Sequence receive the requisite attention to feature on playlists and websites.
But it’s his own music that is the attention-grabber. Take Stunna, Sequence’s best track so far. Its minimal trap production with deep low-end, dancehall rhythms, autotuned vocals, flute melody and undeniable hook all add up to a song with earworm capabilities.
It’s early days to know where this may go but on early singles like Problem, TNM and a newly-released EP Take Time, the alchemic mix of influences is creating a fresh sound in Irish music, not heard previously.
You have to hear this...
Marquis Hawkes – We Should Be Free feat. Jamie Lidell
The golden soul voice of English singer Jamie Lidell doesn’t get utilised on joyful dance music as much as it should. Which is why this feature on Berlin-based UK producer Marquis Hawkes is such a delight. It’s a seven-minute house track on which Lidell puts on an exalted and transcendental soul singer show. Listen here
John Grant – Love Is Magic
One of the musicians who Ireland seems to hold a strong bond with, John Grant, is back with news of his first album in three years. Love is Magic arrives in October with track titles like He’s Got His Mother’s Hips and Smug C—t. The title track suggests increasing shades of synthesizer pop reoccurring in his often, wickedly humorous dark ballads where “Sade is playing on the radio,” “there’s no milk in the refrigerator,” as the singer explores our need for love and our inability to shoulder it. Listen here