What We’re Listening To: Hey Rusty, Wastefellow And More

Posted May 10, 2019 in Music

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What We're Listening To
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We’re 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. Here are our favourites from April.

The good folks over at Dublin Digital Radio have been at it again, translating the sound and aesthetic that echoes out from their station into something more physical and permanent in the form of their second compilation. Featuring everything from experimental compositions to techno and house from a range of talented producers, it’s a great snapshot of the station’s output and the scene it reflects. And with all proceeds going to Inner City Helping Homeless, there’s no excuse not to support.

If you’re going to write a scruffy ballad, there’s probably no better name for it than Maggie Cassidy, a song title that could have belonged to any of a long line of troubadours stretching back to Dylan. This song belongs to up-and-coming artist Hey Rusty, aka John Ahern, another one from Limerick’s thriving DIY scene. Maggie Cassidy is a lazily pretty love song, sadness and shyness blended up in a piece of scrappy, shuffling acoustic indie. Ahern says “I didn’t really know what this song was going to be until we sat down to record it. I wrote it last summer, I think in about half an hour on my sister’s guitar. It was when Steve Savage put the drums down on it and I put the doubled 12 string down that it revealed itself as the stand out song from the EP”. Hey Rusty’s EP Lady’s Lane is out in May.

Wastefellow, with his name like a Victorian insult, has done it again. The Soft Boy Records producer has produced a new single entitled Fizzy Lifting Drinks, and it’s a suitable title, because it sounds like a pop song left sitting in a glass of coke till the boundaries dissolve and fray. With dancefloor wiggle paired with snakes-n-ladders melodies and screwball production, it’s a song that manages to be both immediate and experimental at once.

Dublin six-piece Thumper have to date generally kept their music either in the indie-rock or noise-rock categories, but their new single In My Room manages to keep a foot in both. In My Room sounds like an indie-pop song given an industrial scouring, zippy and catchy but backed by heavy force and given a roughing-up in the production to make it abrasive and spiky. They pull the genre-tightrope act off with ease, making In My Room their best outing yet.

Whatever the obsession of instrumental bands with having daft, overlong names is caused by, Arms That Fit Like Legs are another group that’s fallen victim to it. Luckily, their music makes up for it. The trio’s new album Legwork came out at the end of March, and it’s full of delicately composed, superbly interlocked compositions, mixing floating and flashing guitars with even a little Todd Terje-esque disco flair.

Words: Austin Maloney


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