A diverse landscape of music has developed in Ireland; dance music blurs into progressive rock, punk, and metal, and folk takes on ethereal and intricate qualities. Labels such as Richter Collective and Out On A Limb, as well as the turntable collective Community Skratch, have exposed some of the country's most interesting music.
Naomi McArdle of the music blog Harmless Noise teamed up with Galway, Ireland's Wingnut Records record store to curate a playlist of ten songs from Irish artists that are all new to Epitonic:
Ten Past Seven "Johnston's Cows"
County Kerry lads whose songs are built upon the live experience and so are stabilized between smooth glides and thrilling power. The way this track insolently lashes out after such a saunter of an intro is irresistible.
Cubs "Blackberry Lane"
Comes with a video that is definitely not for kids. This song is beguiling and malevolent, the guitar just won't let up. I think Cubs are a collective of musicians who all know one another and so there's an informal feel to the songs, as if they just tumble out and take form.
Deviant & Naive Ted "Overheard"
Insane interpretation is the norm amongst the Community Skratch crew, but Deviant & Naive Ted took Irish music to a new level with "Overheard," gleaning the best from traditional music's haunting beauty by using loops and turntables to pull them into the gorgeous here and now.
Adebisi Shank "Genki Shank"
Hearing vocals on the second Adebisi Shank album was weird. But things get a lot weirder than the vocoder on "Genki Shank." Rolling out with a funky attitude to the rock furore they create, as the bass ducks and guitar leaps you can hear what makes them the longest-legged band in Ireland.
Owensie "Cat and Mouse (Sacred Animals Remix)"
Really distinctive Sacred Animals slant to Owensie's personal best, "Cat and Mouse." It falls between chillwave and trip hop, the heavy edge assuaged by light bells.
Windings "Embury Greenway"
Tongue in cheek, unpredictable folk-pop from Limerick's Windings who make ameliorating life music from a background crew who drew together from dark jazzy, punkish corners. In the video for this song guitarist Steve Ryan spots a Slayer t-shirt while the title "Embury Greenway" itself is a nod to to Napalm Death. Very unpredictable folk.
BATS "Gamma Ray Burst (Second Date)"
Disaster blown up to Roland Emmerich's monster scale in four minutes' flirtation with mortality. Singing about science, with three guitars. BATS are like dork metal, heavy on the melody with precision-tuned timing.
Rites "Iron Shrimp"
There's an old joke about hedgehogs having sex very slowly, and if this is the case, Rites' slow sludge metal could be some couple's bedroom song. Focused and structured from an early stage, there's a tinge of the blues to the vocal that goads it along.
Cian Nugent "Sixes and Sevens (Excerpt)"
An uptempo snippet from the instrumental side of Cian Nugent's Doubles album. There's a free, roaming and independent quality to guitarists, best defined by the image of a blues player, but far from brokering a rough or raw style, Nugent's development is sophisticated and mature.
Katie Kim "Your Mountains"
The acoustic version of this song "Your Mountains," captures how, behind the frames of reverb, Katie Kim's voice rings out steady and clear in her new album Cover & Flood.