The Beautiful Southwest
The ‘Southwest Allstars’ get a shout out on Who’s Asking?, the superb new EP from Rusangano Family man God Knows.
Once again blurring the lines between rap, R&B and jazz, the remix of the title-track on Who’s Asking? – the latest EP from God Knows – doffs the cap to the ‘Southwest Allstars’. The rapper is joined by Denise Chaila, Hazey Haze, Citrus Fresh, Gavin DaVinci and Strange Boy Nature, who all hail from close to the Shannon.
“I believe in my county; I believe in my country,” G reflects. “Irish music has always punched above its weight on the world’s stage and put its own stamp on popular music – why should rap and hip-hop be any different? This EP is just the first volume and it’s being released on my brother SertOne’s label, Fly High Society. He has always been supportive and we share the same beliefs. Look out for more work by us.”
While there are many excellent young pretenders to his throne, we still reckon
God Knows is among the finest MCs in the country. FLORENTINA SPIRIT
Gary Lightbody, Davy Machett and the rest of the Third Bar crew have unearthed another gem in The Florentinas, a Belfast band whose new ‘Stay’ single strays into Lewis Capaldi, Coldplay and The 1975 territory. Yep, theirs is a big sound guaranteed to reach out to the bleachers. Remarkably the average age of the band is just 16. Expect plenty of interested industry types to be in the audience on March 14 when they open for Brand New Friend and Cherym in Voodoo, Belfast. THE NERVES OF SOME PEOPLE
The A&R Department was very impressed indeed with its first live sighting last fortnight of Nerves, a fast and furious trio of Galway and Mayo exiles based in Dublin. Opening for the wondrous HMLTD in The Sound House, songs like ‘Faces’, ‘Slow Drive’ and ‘Glass House’ chuck Ride, The Cramps, Therapy? and Joy Division into the meat grinder with spectacular results. With Girl Band’s Dan Fox vociferously singing their praises, they could be in for quite the ride. POCKETHOLE LOTTA LOVE
Meanwhile, Girl Band’s era-defining sound continues to influence some of the brightest young talent across the country – including genre-blending Dubliner PDF Pockethole, who released his followup to 2019’s
Sequence 02 this month. Ahead of the release, the masked artist showcased his experimental approach with the new video for ‘Footage Of A Memory’. A musician, filmmaker and podcaster, Pockethole is rapidly building up a cult following on these shores – directing videos for Gavin DaVinci and Junior Brother, and interviewing Irish talent, including our ‘Hot for 2020’ artists TPM and Local Boy, on his acclaimed The Pockethole Podcast.
Catch him in action for yourself on the current leg of the Secret Handshake Tour
– in Vintage Room, Dublin (March 5); The Spirit Store, Dundalk (10); The Record Room, Limerick (12); and Anseo, Dublin (14). COHLE OF THE SEASON
Another name you can expect to be hearing a lot more of in the coming months is Christian Cohle. The Dublin electro-pop artist, who released his debut single ‘Breathe’ on February
21, is already earning comparisons to legends like James Blake and Apparat. Debut album, Holy Trouble, is set for release in the coming months – produced by Cohle, alongside engineer and coproducer Michael Heffernan, who has worked with the likes of Dermot Kennedy, Gavin James, The Script and AE MAK. We’re already tipping him for
major international stardom – so catch him on these shores while you still can at Midnight Hour at Whelan’s, Dublin (March 28), and supporting Columbia Mills at the Button Factory, Dublin (April 24). MARY SITUATION
There’s also big gig news from our favourite Dundalk folk group The
Mary Wallopers. Following a string of successful support slots, and a set at the Fontaines DC-curated Rock Against Homelessness night at the Olympia, the trio have announced a headline show at Whelan’s, Dublin (April 24).
The announcement comes hot on the heels of their appearance on the Tommy Tiernan Show on RTÉ One – not bad for a group who, under their hip-hop guise TPM, went viral with a track called ‘Fuck RTÉ’. HAPPY DAYS
2FM’s Dan Hegarty, RedFM’s Dave Mac, Cork 96’s Michael Carr and 92.5 Phoenix FM and 8Radio’s Ann Marie Walsh are among those showing the airplay love for ‘Shmuck’, the new single from Pretty Happy, a post-punky outfit who impressed at last month’s Quarter Block Party in the People’s Republic. JUST SAY Ó
Fresh from his stellar set with Tebi Rex at Hot Press & Southern Comfort’s Carnival Spirit at Lost Lane, Dublin, Matt Ó, one half of the acclaimed alternative hip-hop duo, has shared a powerful new solo single, ‘Boat Song’. Matt describes the release as the “antagonist” to his solo debut, ‘Lovely’.
“When you’ve been let down by someone you trust – it’s daunting and lonely,” he explains. “Kind of like rowing a boat by yourself.” ‘Boat Song’ features production from acclaimed artist Chris Kabs – whose fingerprints can also be found on JyellowL’s global hit ‘Ozone’. THERES SOMETHING ABOUT JANE
Jane Willow continued her remarkable ascent to the forefront of the Irish folk boom with a stunning headliner at The Cobblestone, Dublin last weekend. The Dutch-turned-Irish artist’s new single ‘Give It Time’ is a moving ode to a friend with bipolar disorder – and further establishes Jane as a thrilling emerging talent, vÜ} ÀiViÌ } «Àwi ÃÕ««ÀÌ ÃÌÃ for the likes of Andy Irvine, Paddy Casey and Aoife Scott... AN ARCHBOLD MOVE
She may be just 16, but Ava Archbold is set to make some major waves on these shores and beyond in the coming months. Tipped as one of our ‘Hot For 2020’ acts, the Clonakilty artist has spent the last few years crafting her sound while performing with her brother at local acoustic sessions around West Cork. Following the release of her acclaimed debut single ‘Mist’ back in December, she’s now back with a jaw-dropping cover of Radiohead’s ‘Exit Music (For A Film)’ – out on March 7... GIRL BAND WANT TO HAVE FUN
Following their much-welcomed return with The Talkies and a stellar run of headline shows, including a US East
Coast tour, Girl Band are set to head back Stateside. The beloved Dublin noise-rock four-piece are heading to the West Coast this time around – joining fellow Rough Trade labelmates Sleaford Mods for a string of dates in April, plus their own headline show in the Moroccan Lounge, LA (April 26).
Girl Band have already proven a hit among American audiences, with coverage in prestigious outlets like NPR, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork and Billboard. But don’t miss them too much – before yoou know it, they’ll be back in Ireland for All Together Now (July 31-August 2).