Sunday, 14 April 2019

Irish Playlist #055: qwasi, GaniyuTLG, FIELDS, God Knows, Nerves & more

qwasi - Skip
qwasi - Photo: Peggie McKeon

Above and below are a selection of Irish singles which were released in the last week or so that I have taken much enjoyment from. Familiar faces, debut singles, blasts from the past! I hope you enjoy too.

1) qwasi - 'Skip'

Cosmic sonic sparks and flames burst sharply throughout the latest single from Dublin electronic ambient act qwasi on new single 'Skip', rapid-fire clicks and beats are sprinkled with glistening chimes and a mechanical rhythm that is at once both calming and energising.

2) GaniyuTLG - 'Around Here' feat. Klaudia Gasowska

Dublin's GaniyuTLG comes back with a dark and imposing new single in 'Around Here' accompanied by Klaudia Gasowska on additional vox. A reflection on the sinister underbelly of the urban environment, GaniyuTLG strafes effortlessly between rap passages and trap. Its bumpy rhythm is hypnotic and the overall feeling is of a creeping inertia that crawls under you skin and into the veins.

3) FIELDS - 'Border Boys'

A lot has changed in the North of Ireland since the GFA, but I recall travelling as a child to Donegal via the Six Counties and British soldiers ordering our family out of our car before it was hoisted up in a corrugated barracks shed to search for explosives in the under-carriage, it was very intimidating as a child. Even without that personal experience I find the background to FIELDS' new single 'Border Boys' engaging, in the words of frontman Sean O'Brien;

"The song was inspired by a yarn of my Grandfather's about a night in the late 50's where he and a friend were detained by the police at Middletown Barracks, Co. Armagh overnight, after they were meeting by the border junction of Ballagh-bridge, north of Mullan, Co. Monaghan. While there was no wrongdoing at play, such was the climate they lived in where you could be in the wrong place at the wrong time and become complicit in a situation not of your own creation."

It's a gorgeous and emotive ballad that is very timely, once again they excel at relaying story into music so tenderly. The video by Paul Kelly adds perfectly to this sense of tension.

4) God Knows - 'Crown'

Rusangano Family's God Knows released a brutalistic and aurally jarring affair (these are positives) in the shape of new single 'Crown' this weekend. Clunky and haphazard beats swarm his references to local and international hip-hop artists, with respite coming from breaks such as at 1:44. Perhaps the most pleasing thing about this single is how it shines a light on God Knows' personality musically and it's going to be enjoyable to discover more on future releases.

5) Nerves - 'Slow Drive'

Earlier this week we featured the excellent debut single 'Faces' from Dublin trio Nerves, sophomore single 'Slow Drive' builds on that promising introduction with a slick AF moody guitar and heavy bass intro. Here Nerves summon the new wave dark-rock sounds of the likes of Depeche Mode, INXS and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. It's a gloriously enjoyable track which seeps out effortless cool from multiple points, peaking with the grating distortion of the riff at 2:58, the two singles to date suggest something big could be in the offing for the band before long.

6) Will De Burca - 'Dance in the Sun'

Follow the universal praise for his 2017 album Embedded, experimental electronic artist Will De Burca's latest offering, single 'Dance in the Sun' retains the sunshine pop of elements of that album, whilst going hard at it in terms of a colourful and bursting 80's electro-synth homage. The pattern of the music all springs outward from a core of dance and house beats to create an uplifting and high tempo gem.

Daz - Keep It Real
Daz - Photo: Conor McGuinness

7) Daz - 'Keep it Real'

Man am I enjoying the debut single from Dublin hip-hop act Daz in conjunction with producer F.O.B.. There's a lovely easy-going flow to 'Keep it Real', the eternal struggle, Daz uses humour to communicate the anxieties surrounding the decision to be honest about your feelings with those closest to you, or suppress them. A mellow, mellow chorus and tight rhymes that match up with great ease make for an exciting intro to the Tallaght artist's talents.

8) lullahush - 'If Spring Had a Spare Room I'd Rent It With You'

One of the most gifted producers and musicians on the Irish landscape over the last few years having worked with the likes of AE Mak, Elkin and Bad Bones, lullahush shares debut single 'If Spring Had a Spare Room I'd Rent It With You'. I have to admit, that despite it's jovial upbeat delivery, it took me a few listens to fully appreciate the track, I wouldn't expect anything less however from an act who clearly thinks deeply about marrying a variety of sounds and changes in pace. This is what it would sound like if Animal Collective wrote the OST for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. A broader picture will unfurl with the release of his debut album A City Made Of Water And Small Love due out later this year. See below the single's accompanying video directed by Tim Shearwood, it's lullalush. (*I'll get my coat*).

9) Lyndsey Lawlor - 'Eat the Money'

Another debut comes from 21-year-old Dublin songwriter Lyndsey Lawlor's 'Eat the Money'. Inspired by an article she read on how little time is left on the ticking clock of the impact of human behaviour on the planet, a melancholic guitar and earnest vocal set the stage. This unexpectedly gets blown out of the water with a crashing rock grenade and defiant angst-ridden vocal explosion. From early mysterious beginnings, 'Eat the Money' rockets upward and into punk territory, a sonic reflection of an apocalyptic end game.

Lyndsey Lawlor - Eat the Money
Lynsdey Lawlor - Photo: SheBopImagery

10) Cry Monster Cry - 'High'

Cry Monster Cry released the stripped-down single 'High' on Friday, the pair aiming to get closer to the live sound which they feel suits their music better than over-polished production. The result is a swaying dirge dealing thematically with your entire self being subsumed by someone close to you over a long period of time, and the sometimes detrimental effect it can have on your well-being and individuality. Customary sweet harmonies and heart on sleeve emotions run to the fore all across its 3 minutes.