Nialler9's New Irish Music: Róisín Murphy, Land Lovers and Robert Grace
Plus new music from The Shaker Hymn, Laoise, Umbra and Planet Parade.
Songs of the week
Róisín Murphy – Ten Miles High
With her forthcoming album Take Her Up To Monto (July 8th), Murphy is exploring a space between her avant-garde and her electronic side musically speaking. The album's subject matter is also concerned with a space, particularly forgotten ones, as the video for the new song Ten Miles High has Murphy spending her time in lifts, tunnels and building sites. Wonderfully weird.
Umbra - Mathematicaster
Jazz music has found a youthful new audience in the last few years, internationally and at home through acts like Badbadnotgood, Snarky Puppy, OKO and Alarmist to name a few.
Chris Guilfoyle is an artist, composer and producer whose name crops up regularly around improvised music in Ireland with an established family pedigree in jazz (Ronan and Conor Guilfoyle). Chris also makes electronic music as Exit Introvert, but his jazz band, the five-piece Umbra are his current focus. Sax, guitar, bass and drums have traditional improvised jazz background but you can detect influences from further afield. “ Aphex Twin and Meshuggah, all played with the energy of a punk rock band,” they claim.
Planet Parade – Face To Face
I'm not sure if the rest of the world has noticed yet but the Kildare duo Michael Hopkins & Andrew Lloyd aka Planet Parade have been making some of the finest music from Ireland of late since returning from their hiatus of four years. In September, their new album Mercury arrives and if they keep knocking out shimmering tropical pop songs like Face To Face, people are bound to notice.
The Shaker Hymn – Sucking It Out
The Cork band take a snaking groove and a love of '90s alt-rock and put it together on the latest track from their Do You Think You’re Clever? Album coming on June 10 on Heavy Noid Records.
Laoise – Come As You Are
Laoise Ní Nualláin is a new artist from Galway who has introduced herself with an downbeat electro pop cover of Nirvana's Come As You Are. A debut EP is forthcoming in October.
Album of the week
Land Lovers – The Rooks Have Returned
Drawing from wide-reaching rock history: Elvis Costello, New Order and '50s and '60s rock'n'roll and new wave, Land Lovers' palette for their third album is musically beefed up by a miniMoog, a grand piano and a sense of melodic urgency. Lyricist Padraig Cooney writes about the pope, historical politicians, spy agents, local teenage gangs and paranoid love songs. Paddy Hanna turns up to read some poetry too. The Rooks Have Returned finds rhe Popical Islanders bringing a new sonic heft to their arched brow jangly indie rock music.
New artist of the week
The Kilkenny singer-songwriter Robert Grace grew up in a household that was immersed in Irish music. His father plays in local trad band Keltic Cats and that influence rubbed off early when Robert wrote his first song at the age of 12. A winner of the Glinsk International Songwriting Award when he was 18, and he ended up writing three songs for the boy band Hometown and co-producing four more. Grace is moving into a solo career of his own. His just released debut EP bears the influence of artists like Jack Garratt, Twenty One Pilots and his industry time with a host of UK pop songwriters like including Blair MacKichan (Paloma Faith, Sia, Lily Allen) and Josh Wilkinson (One Direction / 5 Seconds of Summer).
Video of the week
Saint Sister - Madrid
Directed: Bob Gallagher
One of the best new Irish bands of the last year, Saint Sister have collaborated with one of the best new Irish directors of the last while, Bob Gallagher on their new music video. The atmosfolk duo's song Madrid is one of their highlights and the video stars one of the band's actual sisters Orla MacIntyre in a Little Red Riding Hood meets ITV sci-fi clone drama Humans storyline.