”This record is a lot more personal than any of our previous work. The songs touch on mental health and well-being themes, a central point being the anxiety caused by stability and instability in your life and dealing with your ability to ‘be ok’. This time the writing is more personal to each of us individually, and from a new stand-point in each other’s lives in comparison to ‘A Different Space of Mind’.”
Thoughts: Strident yet sensitive. Inspiring in its honesty, The Winter Passing’s perseverance is reaping its just reward.
RíRá – Irish hip-hop legend lasts the test of time
What you may need to know…
01. One of the founding fathers of Irish hip-hop, Tullamore man RíRá helped lay the foundations for our homegrown beat game as part of Scary Éire, alongside DJ Mek, Dada Sloosh and Mr. Browne.
02. He’s been more than active since Scary Éire’s initial album-shelving-induced disbandment, with a string of singles, extended-plays and LPs, all self-released. In addition, he’s had countless features on Irish hip-hop releases, most recently of note, his collab with Waterford’s Nylon Primate.
03. Streaming above is the visual for new single Still Around, released on Monday, created and edited by Cras Cassidy.
04. Available for download and streaming now from Bandcamp and iTunes Music Store, if that’s more your bag.
Thoughts: One of the true “lifers” of Irish independent music affirms his commitment to doing things his way, waxing philosophical in his distinctive gritty tones.
Jogging – Dublin post-hardcore lads back from a break
What you may need to know…
01. At last, an excuse to talk about Jogging, a power-trio with a deft way with riffing, alongside belted, barking vocals.
02. While Minutes, released in 2010 on the sadly-missed Richter Collective label/co-op, came in for critical acclaim, its follow-up Take Courage truly shines as one of the best albums of the current of Irish music, a collection of taut, whipcrack broadsides.
03. Streaming above is a live performance from 2012 for the Practice Tapes webseries, where the lads perform Take Courage standout Stand Still with no frills or extras.
04. Appearing next, for the first time in a bit, alongside No Spill Blood and Horse at the Bello Bar on March 31st.
Thoughts: Math-rock-friendly hardcore, with indie-pop sensibilities. If you think that sounds convoluted, just dig in.
01. Farah El Neihum, a.k.a. Farah Elle, is an alt-pop songwriter living and working in Dubland, with a Libyan background.
02. Graduating from BIMM in Dublin, Farah Elle kicked off in earnest in 2015. Debut single So Scarlet was followed by last year’s single Silk, and attendant critical acclaim. Also recently appeared on Bantum‘s Move album, on standout track Feel it Out.
03. Streaming above is Curfew, taken from her appearance at the December installment of Sofar Sounds in Dublin, alongside backing vocalists Cat Smyth and Fiona Harte.
04. Appearing at the 50th-episode special of Headstuff.org’s No Encore podcast, happening at the Workman’s Club on the 2nd of March. Also on the bill: We Cut Corners, Bantum and Windings performing live, and guest appearances from Michael Pope (Le Galaxie) and MayKay (Other Voices/Fight Like Apes).
Thoughts: Ridiculously talented, and with her whole career/body of work ahead of her, it’s surely only a matter of time before Farah Elle hits upon bigger things.
01. Donegal trio Graveyard Dirt are venerable veterans of weighty riffage, as first seen on 1995 demo tape Of Romance and Fire.
02. Reuniting in 2007 after disbanding years previously, the band got straight to work on debut E.P. Shadows of Old Ghosts.
03. Streaming above is the band’s most recent effort, 2015 extended-player My Scourge, My Plague. Available for download solo, or in a discounted bundle with the band’s other digital re-releases.
04. Headlining Galway’s Walpurgis Night VI on Bank Holiday Sunday April 30th, at the Loft Venue, alongside a roll-call of immensely hefty bands, among them TOME, Owlcrusher, Soothsayer, and Genuflection (the artists formerly known as RITES).
Thoughts: Time-honoured and battle-tested doom-metal, seemingly unwearied by the passing of time.
01. Describing themselves as ‘mythical folk’, there’s more than a little modernity to Dublin duo Dowth.
02. This comes as no surprise to eagle-eared listeners: producer Tim Ording is better known as Exile Eye, one-half of trad-inflected hip-hop duo Melodica Deathship, while fiddler John Kelleher makes noise in outfits like Rats’ Blood, Burnchurch and GRIT.
03. Streaming above is their self-titled EP, released last November on digital download via Bandcamp and 12″ vinyl.
Thoughts: Their blurbs and self-descriptions deal in brevity, boiling their sound down to one word: ‘epics’. It’s hard to argue with that assessment – there’s ambition aplenty evident throughout these songs.