Nialler9's New Irish Music: I Have A Tribe, Elm, Katie Dineen and more

Plus new music from John Blek & The Rats, Carly Coonagh and Ocho

 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Elm – Concentrate

Directed by Vincent Gallagher
The “alternative baroque pop” of Dublin band Elm relies on spacious orchestration, Dylan Walsh's falsetto and an alternative rock styles. The band's new one puts those raw materials to good use on a song (and video) which addresses transgender matters of the heart and the personal struggle those making sense of being transgender feel (“In this skin, in this body, I don’t know which side will win”). The accompanying video by Vincent Gallagher shows that physical transformation too.


SONGS OF THE WEEK

Carly Coonagh – Dream Away
This experienced Dublin singer-songwriter has performed with Booka Brass Band and Zaska as a lead vocalist, been a long-time member of the Dublin Gospel Choir and has backed up The Riptide Movement too. Her debut song takes a leaf out of the Hozier songbook with a progression that recalls Take Me To Church but Coonagh's feminine vocal energy brings the song to a different, yet no less pop-friendly place.


John Blek & The Rats – Dead Friends
The increased acceptance of mental health has not yet been matched by a reasonable increase in governmental financial support, so many will continue to succumb to the problem and many will left to cope. The elegaic Dead Friends by  Cork band John Blek & The Rats is written from the perspective of someone left behind who is seeking solace after the loss of a loved one.


Ocho – Vines (Darshan Jesrani Vocal Mix)
The Goldfrapp-esque electronic soul of Dublin band Ocho is transformed into an electro-bass-assisted slice of Balearic-esque dance music by one-half of Metro Area. The remix is from a Bodytonic Music release out Friday.

ALBUM OF THE WEEK
I Have A Tribe – Beneath A Yellow Moon

Patrick O’Laoghaire confirms his status of one of Ireland's most interesting singer-songwriters with his just-released debut album that comes after two fine EP releases. I Have A Tribe's piano-set compositions are emotionally drawn and imbued with classic songwriting touches. That means largely, the songs are dramatic affairs, rolling on their own path, revealing more of their substance as they grow. O'Laoghaire has a talent for writing songs that take you along with them. After We Meet is a brittle ballad that never feels static. Ditto for Casablanca despite the 9-minute track time. The best songs on the album come towards the end – Buddy Holly is a stirring arrangement of piano, guitar voice and drums while Scandinavia, a song from an early EP, remains his most affecting composition. Beneath A Yellow Moon is the result of a talented musician and it suggests what's to come under future moons may be his most illuminating work.


NEW ARTIST OF THE WEEK
Katie Dineen

While the songs of Tralee singer-songwriter are nascent in their feel, there's enough magnetism and command in her voice and style that should be encouraged. A debut EP, Great Escape, includes a cover of American folk song Make Me Down A Pallet and the consuming style of the title track.

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