Summer may be passing by in a haze of rainy days and grey skies, but at least there are some great new Irish songs to inject a dose of sunshine into our lives.
Here are five new tracks by Irish acts that you should check out this month.
LOAH – 'Birthmark'
Sallay Matu Garnett was due to emigrate to New York the week that lockdown was declared – but Ireland gets to keep her a bit longer. The Kildare native has most recently been collaborating with Cork producer Bantum on a string of songs, but this time she has linked up with New York rapper Bas for this gorgeous track, which was part of Jameson's 'Stay Inn' series. To be honest, we'd listen to anything she does – but this slinky nu-soul number happens to be outrageously good.
SOAK FEAT. GEMMA DOHERTY – 'I'm Alive'
Her brilliant second album 'Grim Town' came out last year and exhibited a different side to Bridie Monds-Watson's creative ouevre. Now she's trying something different again, with this spoken word track. A collaboration with her fellow Derry native Gemma Doherty (one half of Saint Sister), it's a seriously evocative piece that centres around the feeling of coming out of a bout of depression and beginning to feel hope again. It's really affecting stuff – and the accompanying short film is equally lovely.
THE JAPANESE POPSTARS – 'Checking Out'
If you're looking for a dose of stimulating electropop to start off the month, this Northern Irish duo's new single is here to provide it. This punchy punk-rock-meets-electronica number is their first new song in six years and features Martin Corrigan of Alloy Metal on vocals, with themes of inequality and segregation that are particularly prescient right now. A blast of energy if ever you needed it.
SONG SUNG – 'Testimony of Tears'
Una and Georgina McGeough are identical twins from Monaghan who have been based in New York for over a decade. A chance introduction to David Holmes several years ago led to the creation of their newly-released debut album 'This Ascension is Ours' – a record for fans of hazy, atmospheric, shimmering electronica. This track is one of the most uplifting on an album that makes a big impression.
SOPHIE DOYLE RYDER – 'Too Much'
This 17-year-old from Malahide in Dublin has already earned comparisons to Rihanna, and it's easy to see why on tracks like this one, where there are parallels in both the vocals and the heartache-infused r'n'b soundtrack. Not that that's a bad thing; Ryder clearly has an ear for melody and a voice to be reckoned with as she joins the ever-growing legion of Irish acts putting their mark on hip-hop and r'n'b. One to keep an eye on, for sure.