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Music Lists

St. Patrick's Day Is Canceled, but Here’s a List of Irish Artists to Add to Your Playlists

Celebrate St. Paddy's day indoors with some Jameson and these great artists.

The parades may not be happening, but not all is lost.

Ireland's treasures extend much further than a yearly parade, infinite green fields, and a superior pint of Guinness. The Emerald Isle has bred an impressive amount of talent in the realms of poetry, acting, sport, and, of course, music.

For an island that occupies such little space on the planet, it has had an immeasurable impact on culture. Enya, a musician born in Gweedore, a district in Donegal with a population of 4,500, went on to sell 75 million records, win four Grammys, and earn a nomination for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe. U2, Van Morrison, and Sinead O'Connor, whose legend-status speaks for itself, are just a few other iconic Irish musicians.

In more recent years, acts such as Kodaline, Hozier, and Dermot Kennedy have all been added to the list of Irish success stories, as they tour worldwide and even appear on Ellen.

For this years Paddy's day, we've compiled a list of five exciting Irish artists for you to check out while you're avoiding crowds and staying safe at home:

Fountains DC

This indie-punk band is truly on the rise, making it on both Coachella's and Glastonbury's line-up this year (before the former was canceled) after the release of their debut album, Dogrel, last April. Thanks to that record, they went from being a significant part of Ireland's underground scene to one of the most exciting indie acts out there. Influenced by an interesting blend of Irish trad music, poetry, and punk, the band creates a romantic depiction of Dublin, with their purposefully rough production and brogue singing. They also recently released a documentary about their journey so far.



Hare Squead

The rap group Hare Squead have been described as a blend of "hip-hop, soul and pop in a way that feels both soothing and full of energy." Their EP, Supernormal, was released in 2016, which led to a collaboration with Goldlink on a remix of their hit "Herside Story." That song, in particular, garnered a significant amount of success outside the local scene.

Since then, the group's had some internal issues, resulting in the trio going from three members to two and taking an 18-month absence from the spotlight. But members Tony and Lilo continued to make music, releasing their single "100 Miles" in 2019, and they're due to release more this year.

Marcus

Marcus is an indie-pop singer-songwriter and the freshest on this list, having only released his debut single last month. However, most artists don't arrive with such a strong debut. The song's poetic lyricism shows Marcus' exceptional songwriting ability, and the unique production and cinematic video demonstrate his artistic potential, confirming he's definitely one to watch.



Biig Piig

Biig Piig, an Irish singer-songwriter whose career started with her drunkenly freestyling at a party in 2015, blends the sounds of jazz, lofi hip hop, and neo-soul. Her two EPs, Big Fan of the Sesh, Vol 1, and A World Without Snooze, Vol 2, are packed with youthful themes such as friendship, romance, and work. She spent her childhood between Spain and Ireland before ending up in London, and she brings her multicultural background to her music by gently transitioning between English and Spanish in her songs.


Kojaque

Kojaque is an Irish rapper who has slowly been building a following since 2015. His first album, Deli Daydreams, highlights the artist's story-telling ability, with each track portraying the life of an average Deli worker, their contemplations on love, the mundanity of working life in Dublin, and a story about escapism. Last year, he was named one of 100 artists to watch by NME, who praised how he "weaves social realist tales that pull no punches, yet his delivery is caramel smooth."

In 2015, Kojaque started a record label with singer-songwriter Kean Kavanagh called Soft Boy Records , which has grown to include a full roster of Irish talent, including fellow rapper Luka Palm.

These artists are just a small representation of the vast musical talent coming from Ireland. But the diversity within this list alone suggests that, as Irish music continues to influence and be influenced by global trends, talent in all genres will continue to appear, with each artist possessing a quirk that wouldn't be the same without their secret ingredient: Irishness.

MUSIC

Weathers Come Into Their Own

The up-and-coming LA boy band talks night drives, inspirations, and the redemptive experience that is a concert where musicians and fans can come together and bond over the shared emotions at the core of being alive.

Weathers have a lot going for them. On February 7th, the four-piece LA-bred band of mostly newly minted 21-year-olds lit up Brooklyn's Knitting Factory with their tightly wound pop-rock, which takes notes from the 1975, M83, and Cage the Elephant while adding its own flavors of millennial existentialism. It's the kind of music that you can dance all night to or blast on a long drive while contemplating the inner workings of human existence. Their introspective lyrics spread the message that it really is okay not to be okay, while infectious drumbeats touch upon on the kind of stylization that's launched boy-bands before them to stratospheric stardom.

Popdust met up with them before the show to talk about night drives, inspirations, and the redemptive experience that is a concert where musicians and fans can come together and bond over the shared emotions at the core of being alive.

POPDUST: You've said you felt you underwent a big change after releasing your first music. What kind of change was it—was it a personal or sonic thing?

CAMERON BOYER: All of the above. You can hear it in our older stuff like "Happy Pills" and "I Don't Wanna Know." We were babies when that stuff came out, fresh out of high school, and we felt like we were someone else's project. After "Happy Pills," we decided to take some time off and wrote music for like a year and a half—which was terrifying, because a major label had signed us and we were telling them, hey, we're gonna change our sound.

That period led to Kids in the Night, which we feel like is a good representation of who we are as people, and will be for a long time.

POPDUST: What caused those changes?

Early on we had this rule where all the songs had to be dark and kind of creepy. But over time, we all kind of realized that we didn't want to flounder around in our darkness, if that makes sense; it's not a fun place to be all the time, especially creatively. We still wanted to have some of those darker tones lyrically, but we also wanted to have fun onstage and let loose and have the music reflect a new, more positive attitude while still keeping who we are through our lyrics.

POPDUST: Is there any specific role you imagine your music playing in people's lives?

CAMERON OLSEN: It could be pretty cool to have kids that listen to us now feel like, hey, Weathers was the soundtrack of our high school experience.

Weathers - Problems (Video) www.youtube.com


POPDUST: Your song 1983 is a love letter to driving in cars, which is such a classic teenage experience. Do you have any favorite car songs?

CB: Nightcall by Kavinsky. It was my number one most listened to track of 2017, I think.

BRENNAN BATES: Night House by Joywave was one of my recent favorites. It's very much a driving song—as well as Outcast by Mainland.

CB: Somebody Else by the 1975 is great too, and Midnight City by M83 is a go-to. I read that they wrote that song specifically based on the feeling of driving through Los Angeles at night.

Kavinsky - Nightcall (Drive Original Movie Soundtrack) (Official Audio) www.youtube.com

POPDUST: Can you talk a bit about your songwriting process? Who comes up with what?

COLE CARSON: Usually there's someone on a computer who's creating the base of a track, and on top of that we start humming melodies, and once we have a track and a vibe we add lyrics.

CO: A lot of Problems was created outside, without instruments, playing catch with a football—we just came up with a concept and lyrics.

CB: Olsen and I worked together on the album, but we've also been writing a lot together as a group.

POPDUST: I love how you guys often emphasize honesty in your songwriting and interviews, especially with mental health. Why is honesty important to you, and what's its role in your music?

CB: If you're not honest with yourself, then who are you? You have to be honest with yourself if you're going to create anything, otherwise it's all going to feel fabricated.

BB: Honesty is a huge part of communication in any kind of relationship, with a loved one or a fan or a friend. Creating this music and building that connection with people is a different kind of communication to harvest, and honesty is a huge part of that.

POPDUST: You've written songs about very personal themes. Is it ever difficult to perform them, or do you find it cathartic?

CB: The only song that gets tough to sing is Secret's Safe with Me; that one's really personal. It's not actually about me—it's about someone else—so that gets tough.

CC: Most of it feels pretty natural. We're proud of the things we've been through that make us who we are. Everybody is going through similar stuff, so it's pretty rad that we can go up there and be like, we're exactly the same.

CB: The first time we ever played any of these songs live was when we headlined the Troubador. Seeing people singing I'm Not Ok, we got that feeling that they're all probably singing about something totally different—but it's helping them just as much as it's helping us.

Weathers - Secret's Safe With Me (Audio) www.youtube.com

POPDUST: Have you had any especially meaningful interactions with fans?

CB: There's a fan who's printing out pictures and stickers to post around Vegas before our first headline show there, and other fans that are making T-shirts for us.

CC: Some fans have gotten tattoos of songs that meant a lot to them.

CO: Someone got Shallow Water, and someone got Take In the View from 1983.

CB: Someone last night asked me to write Nice 83 Vibe on a napkin so they could get it tattooed.

POPDUST: That must be wild—knowing something that you wrote will be on someone's body for the rest of their life.

So you just released a song called Dirty Money. Does that come from a place of personal frustration with capitalism, or is it about something else?

CB: The song has nothing to do with money at all, believe it or not… When you're in a band and you're young and you've got fans, it's easy to lose yourself a bit. The song's about battling egoes and the inner demons that come with being in the industry.

Dirty Money (Visualette) www.youtube.com

POPDUST: Has it been difficult to maintain a sense of self? Have you felt any disjointedness between who you are performing and backstage, or is the transition more fluid?

CB: Onstage is the only place I feel like I get to really let loose. Otherwise, I'm usually pretty quiet or awkward, I don't know. It's really only onstage that I let go.

CC: When I'm onstage I'm definitely a lot crazier than in person.

CB: You really let it shine through the playing of the drums. You let the music do the talking.



Eden Arielle Gordon is a writer and musician from New York City. Follow her on Twitter at @edenarielmusic.


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Janee Releases 'Cinderella, ft. Idyl

The infectious tones and colors of "orchestrap."

Last week, producer Janee released a new single, entitled "Cinderella."

The song features Idyl, finalist on The Voice Belgium, and provides listeners with a foretaste of Janee's soon-to-drop pop-flavored EP, which includes both Casey Breves and more from Idyl. Janee calls his sound "orchestrap."

Prior to his new project, Janee wrote and produced for international talents such as Bob Sinclair, Robbie Williams, Joachim Garraud, and Akon, with his releases accumulating millions of streams.

Idyl, aka Barbara Hermans, appeared on season 4 of The Voice, followed by entering ARE Music's studio to lay down her first tracks.

Janee feat. Idyl - Cinderella (Official Lyrics Video) youtu.be

"Cinderella" starts off on coruscating synths, shimmering and sparkling with bright colors. Idyl's mellow, distinctive tones enter, infusing the music with cashmere tones accompanied by a deep rasp. The verses exude an orchestral-pop ambience that takes on a compelling trap sensibility in the chorus, but rather than feeling like hip-hop, the song takes on the best elements of pop atop a pulsing trap beat.

The lyrics exude a charming, happy-go-lucky attitude toward love and romantic entanglement and an intent on remaining unfettered by emotional baggage.

"I like to dress up like a princess / But I'm waiting for nobody / Up on my heels I'll make the distance / Got my swag on, look at me / I'm a Cinderella / Even after midnight / I don't want to need you / May somebody set me free / I don't wanna need you / I'm a Cinderella."

Follow Janee FACEBOOK | TWITTER | INSTAGRAM | SOUNDCLOUD


Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.


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Elliot Taylor Releases 'New York Will Be Too Empty'

Powerful music graced by a deliciously rasping voice.

Photo Courtesy of Elliot Taylor

Meet Elliot Taylor, a Geordie from Newcastle, England.

Geordie is the tag bestowed upon people from the Tyneside region of North East England and the Old English dialect spoken by its residents. Currently living in Brooklyn, Taylor's soulful voice — a dazzling confection of honeyed tones and rasping timbres — combines the best of Sam Smith and Ray Lamontagne.

He dropped his debut EP, Live from Hell's Kitchen, at the beginning of June 2018, and went on to tour North America with the Pierce Brothers. A raw, beguiling collection of 6-tracks, the EP dispenses tantalizing colors and vibrant energy, inviting listeners on a mesmerizing journey. Taylor's vocal range and nuanced, suggestive intimacy, provide listeners with the luxury of emotional catharsis. Its truly a voice that must be heard to be believed.

New York Will Be Too Empty



"New York Will Be Too Empty" opens with a thumping groove and Taylor's a cappella voice backed by soft vocal harmonies. An acoustic guitar enters, flavored with low-level buoyant energy that ramps up as Taylor's scrumptiously grating tones swell with surging hues. A field of unrestrained passion and sonic pressure emanate from evolving layers of sound.

The lyrics, powerful and mesmeric, relate an emotional commitment that cannot be disrupted. As superb as the lyrics are, it's Taylor's poignant delivery that truly captivates and bewitches the listener.

"Even if you're gone / Just the length of this one song / New York will be too empty / Come home / New York will be too empty / Come home / All the noise and all the people / Somehow I still feel alone / Not enough light can shine on the skyline tonight / New York will be empty / Come home / I'm gonna hold on tight to you."

"New York Will Be Too Empty" goes beyond grand and enters the domain of ineffably splendid. Elliot Taylor's voice and songwriting is exceptional, and you should expect to hear more from this young songwriter soon.

Follow Elliot Taylor Website | Facebook | Instagram


Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.


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RISING STAR | Soft People Drop 'The Absolute Boy'

Cathartic indie-pop from San Luis Obispo, California.

Photo Credit: Shannon Odenthal

Indie-pop duo Soft People will officially release "The Absolute Boy" November 13. Popdust offers you a first-listen today.

Based in San Luis Obispo, California, Soft People is made up of Caleb Nichols and John Metz, a married couple. The two met when Nichols recruited Metz to play the drums in his Oakland-based band Grand Lake. Soft People, formed in 2017, started out as a bedroom recording project in Atlanta, Georgia, and later relocated to San Luis Obispo.

"The Absolute Boy" is a highly subjective song, inspired by Nichols' battle with PTSD, the result of years of abuse as a child. The track is Nichols' attempt to wrap his head around generational domestic violence, and addresses his own abuse as well as the abuse his abuser suffered in his own childhood.

Opening with a pop-lite bop feel, "The Absolute Boy" rides shimmering guitars atop a tight and crisp groove. The flow of the tune, bright and buoyant, belies the dark subject matter. A throbbing bass line drives the tune along, as the drums establish an upbeat cadence. Strident synth accents infuse the music with taut colors, adding sonic pressure, as well as stark passionate energy.

Nichols' high tenor presents tones of utter emotional desolation, as he reveals the sense of psychological tarnish meted out by his abuser. On the chorus, Nichols exposes not only his vulnerability but his attempt at emotional catharsis.

"Before you hit me / Before you clipped my wings / I was the absolute boy / I was him absolutely."

"The Absolute Boy" is absolutely heartrending in its remembrance and elucidation of anguish.

Follow Soft People Facebook | Spotify | Instagram | Twitter

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RISING STAR | DAYVID Unveils 'Sure Of Me'

You can be sure this song will captivate you.

DAYVID just took the wraps off his new single "Sure Of Me."

"Sure Of Me" is the first single off DAYVID's forthcoming album, No Signal, slated to drop in 2019. The song is about a yearning desire for self-assurance, on "Sure Of Me" DAYVID reveals his vulnerability through intimate lyricism: "Two steps back, unraveling, twisted roads and tragedies; I'm just out here dying to find me."

A native of SoCal, the 20-year-old singer-songwriter began writing music at the age of 14. Eventually relocating to Los Angeles, where he worked with Fedde Le Grand and Navarra, DAYVID's inimitable sound blends elements of country, R&B, pop, and EDM into musical treasures.



Explaining his creative process, DAYVID says, "I co-write all my songs, and I am deeply involved in the whole process including production, mixing/mastering, and creation of visuals. I don't imitate anyone, but try to create music that speaks for me."

"Sure Of Me" opens with a potent, infectious R&B-flavored rhythm flowing into a tight, muscular pop tune with tints of dance savors. Exuding beau coup harmonic energy, the tune rides concentrated sonic pulses and glossy dark textures. I love the smoldering passion, susceptibility, and raw sensuality of this tune.

DAYVID's voice, mesmerizing and suffused with rich mellow timbres, conveys luxurious emotional commitment. It's one of those plush voices tailor-made for pop, chock-full of soul and flavored with cool velvety tones, alluring with a gravitational magnetism.

With "Sure Of Me," DAYVID confirms his massive talent. This track is first-rate.

Follow DAYVID Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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