Nialler9's New Irish Music: Lisa Hannigan, Hare Squead and more
Plus new music from Richie Egan, Third Smoke, Romes, Grouse and Ships
Elegant elegy: Lisa Hannigan. Photograph: Rich Gilligan
SONGS OF THE WEEK
Lisa Hannigan – Prayer For The Dying
After the tour that followed her second album Passenger, Lisa Hannigan became somewhat unmoored musically. Dividing time between London and Dublin, the singer contributed music to the TV show Fargo, acted in voiceover for the animated Oscar-nominated Song Of The Sea and co-hosted the Soundings arts and culture podcast. A collaboration with The National's Aaron Dessner reignited the spark through time spent in Denmark, London and Cork and a seven-day recording session in Hudson Bay, New York resulted in Hannigan's third record At Swim ( to be released August 19th). The album's first song Prayer For The Dying was inspired by the passing of a friend's parent after illness and the break-up of a long and happy marriage as a result. The song is an elegant country-tinged elegy.
Ships – Around This World
Sorca McGrath and Simon Cullen are meticulous creators whose recorded output as Ships has been limited but impactful. Few Irish acts are releasing music as well-designed, knowledgeable and endlessly listenable. With a forthcoming album (and a crowdfunded campaign for it), the Dublin pair show us once again how to create unique glittering synth pop with a low-slung bassline.
Third Smoke – Man Made Fire
Dundalk-based indie-rock band follow up their idiosyncratic season-focused single Ms. Summer Breeze, Third Smoke push their harmonic ways that are reminiscent of Grizzly Bear with a bit more bluesy chainsmoking going on.
Richie Egan – The Liffey Knew
An album called Starboard Home commissioned by Dublin Port and featuring songs inspired by Dublin city, the Liffey and the port by Paul Noonan, James Vincent McMorrow, Cathy Davey, Duke Special, Gemma Hayes, Jape, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Lisa O’Neill, Declan O’Rourke, John Sheahan (The Dubliners) and Paul Cleary (The Blades) Dublin City and the River Liffey arrives next week, and Jape's Richie Egan's gets the premiere honours with his song The Liffey Knew
ALBUM OF THE WEEK
Grouse - Oslo
Fans of downtempo electronic music will enjoy the third album from Dubliner Ronan Carroll. 11 instrumental tracks taking in ambient, jazz, dub and hip-hop flavours is the takeaway here. Live instrumentation via brass, violins and guitars lend the productions a weightier feel (live shows feature six musicians). Highlights include the cinematic vista of Intervention and the Jazzanova-style of Taking Nothing Seriously.
NEW ARTIST OF THE WEEK
A Toronto-based band made up of half Canadians and half Irish, the four lads in Romes (Andrew Keyes, James Tebbitt, brothers Jacob and Nick Bitove) met while in school in Wicklow. Now operating out of the Canadian city, the four lads' music is very much of the pop ilk and recalls the likes of The 1975 with a zeitgeist twist. Their debut EP Believe is out now.
VIDEO OF THE WEEK
Hare Squead – If I Ask You
After a couple of years of honing their R&B electronic rap pop sound, the Tallaght band come out of the gates swinging for the charts on their first major label UK and Ireland single. If I Ask You is a song that sounds ripe for an established artist cosign and arrives with a slick video to boot.