Hello there! So this is the start of a new series on Totally Dublin, where we’ll be taking a look back on the month just gone by recalling some of the best music to pop up on our radars during it, mostly Dublin-based or Dublin-linked with a little splash of music from around Ireland thrown in too. We’re kicking off this time out with our favourites from February.
It’s been a busy month for Gash Collective producer ELLLL, whose relocation to Berlin seems to have sparked a wildfire of creativity (or at least coincided with the conclusion of multiple projects, who knows). This month has seen two new releases, kicking off with the Febreeze EP at the start of the month and then moving onto Confectionary EP. Both showcase different aspects of her sound, with Febreeze dealing in jittering, airy electronica while the Confectionary EP sees her dabble in harder, darker and colder dance music. Febreeze is out on All City Records/ First Second Label and Confectionary is released on Glacial Industries.
Sneaking in just at the end of the month was Talk It Through, the second single from Jackie Beverly. And just like her debut Out Of Reasons, it’s another slick synth-pop tune. There’s a little of Bat For Lashes in Talk It Through’s soft dreaminess, but with a sound that’s a little more light-footed, updated to the faster pace of the modern pop climate.
After the sad demise of Enemies a few years ago, the band’s Mark O’Brien returned last year with a new project, Royal Yellow, with a sound that moved towards smooth, chilled neo-soul. Now he’s back with a new single, Aruba, and it continues his habit of knitting together a patchwork of influences from different genres to make something gracefully coherent. You can hear a lot in Aruba, little bits of funk, soul, pop, electronica, jazz all come together and pair with the glorious chorus for a special song.
February was also a big month for Laois artist Host, who finally released her debut EP Adolescent Content. She teased it with one last single this month, Taste Of Your Love. It’s a good taster for what you can expect from the rest of the EP, an enormous, thumping synth-pop banger with a ten-story chorus. Host says: “Have you ever had someone you really care about do something so idiotic that it makes you look at them in a completely different light? Taste of Your Love is that lingering bad impression that I just couldn’t shake, and everything built with this person, this solid foundation, just turned to quicksand. It’s sad really… this idiot, that you still adore nonetheless, has now forced you to cut them out and change your entire life”.
Cornamona’s Maria Somerville is an artist whose music creates an atmosphere of timeless grace, music that seems to stand alone in its own space. Mixing ambience, soft dream-pop and influences from electronica and folk, she’s put together a sound that casts her instantly into her own genre space. She’s already earned praise from international outlets like Gorilla Vs Bear and Kaltblut, and her debut LP All My People, recorded in Dublin, Cornamona and on Inis Óirr, landed on March 1. She plays Bello Bar on March 22.
Main photo: Maria Somerville by Cáit Fahey
Words: Austin Maloney