• Hands Up Who Wants To Die – Nil All

    For years, Dublin’s Hands Up Who Wants To Die have been obliterating the eardrums of audiences across the continent. Previously led by the nihilistic poeticisms of one Barry Lennon, the group’s amicable split with the formidable frontman allowed the quartet to refocus on composing their third album, with new recruit Rory O’Brien from Ten Past Seven taking over lyrical duties. On the resulting Nil All, the band’s first release in six years since their split with B.O.B, Hands Up Who Wants To Die expand upon the beautifully brutal soundscapes of the band’s previous releases Buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo and…

  • Lankum – False Lankum

    With the title of their fourth record, Lankum evoke the folk ballad of Irish traveller John O Reilly for which they named themselves. As such, False Lankum is a sprawling epic that pays studious tribute to the quartet’s past while progressing into bold new territory largely hinted at until now.  Recorded at the aptly-named Hellfire Studio in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, these twelve tracks possess an eerie otherworldliness that reveals itself from the off, as ‘Go Dig My Grave’ finds Lankum digging deeper into terrifying walls of ambient noise and experimentalism which anchor this collection throughout. In turn,…

  • M. Stevens & The Ghasts – Birds

    David Berman died by suicide on August 7, 2019. He left behind loved ones, countless fans and a lyrical back catalog of unrivaled wit, bite and passion. He was the sort of figure who was impossible to merely “like”; You either loved him or hadn’t heard him. Naturally in the aftermath of this tragedy, a tribute night was held in Dublin for folks to celebrate those syllables and melodies one more time. One such performer that night was Popical Island co-founder Mr. Mike Stevens. Following that night, M. Stevens, Hugh McCabe, Mark Jordan, as well as Ciaran Canavan and drummer…

  • Aoife Nessa Frances – Protector

    In the spring of 2020, Aoife Nessa Frances escaped Dublin for the west of Ireland, relocating to county Clare on a mission to reconnect with nature and rebuild herself spiritually in the aftermath of her much acclaimed debut Land Of No Junction. The result of this journey of restoration and self-discovery is her remarkable second album, Protector. Recorded in the foothills of Annascaul, a small village located on the Dingle Peninsula at the westernmost point of Ireland and Europe, it’s a dreamlike trip that blossoms and evolves across eight tracks of psychedelic folk rock. ‘Way To Say Goodbye’ welcomes us in…

  • Yawning Chasm – The Golden Hour

    Galway’s Aaron Coyne has been making music as Yawning Chasm for over a decade now, but has flown conspicuously under the radar in that time. While some releases have come out via Galway’s low key but always excellent Rusted Rail label, others have simply been self-released on Bandcamp with all too little fanfare, including latest – and seventh – album The Golden Hour. While primarily a singer-songwriter, Coyne’s style steers clear of the generic. His unconventional main instrument is the four stringed tenor guitar, perhaps most well-known these days for its use by Warren Ellis on latter day Bad Seeds…

  • Pillow Queens – Leave The Light On

    Pillow Queens’ sophomore album Leave the Light On smooths the cracks of their debut to unveil a near-perfect follow-up. Where In Waiting documented the rough transition from adolescence into adulthood through fleeting tales of young love and triumphs, Leave the Light On  pushes forward into something more settled. Through elegiac verses and changing perspectives, Pillow Queens construct a metaphorical space that inspects the cracks in its white picket fence. These anthems shine light on the marginalised and lonely as they navigate the mundane and everyday; it’s an album that yearns for the peace of domesticity, in a country that continuously…

  • Lighght – Seodra

    As Lighght, Cork producer Eamon Ivri has repeatedly flipped the script in  becoming one of the island’s most mercurial producers. Marking his return to L.A. imprint Doom Trip, the six-track Seodra is a blitzing trip featuring some of his most lethal (in both senses of the word) club material. And talk about a timely return. Where last year’s Holy Endings offered sublime ambient reprieve in supremely fucked-up times, these six deftly-produced volleys all but proffer hectic times with a rake of good heads. While the searing arps of ‘Rib’ strike a museful tone, peaks including ‘Tactile Love’ and ‘Hang Tight’…

  • And So I Watch You From Afar – Jettison

    After five albums, And So I Watch You From Afar take something of a left turn with their first ‘multimedia album’ Jettison. Produced with accompanying visuals, their usual crushing riffs and frenzied guitar workouts are replaced, at least initially, by gentle chords resembling The Cinematic Orchestra’s ‘To Build a Home’. Strings and spoken word passages from Emma Ruth Rundle and Clutch’s Neil Fallon float in and out, adding new dimensions to the beloved Belfast-based band’s sound The tension racks up though as the album continues, each movement seamlessly progressing into the next as one long continuous piece, at times recalling…

  • NewDad – Banshee

    Young Galway quartet NewDad hit the ground running with the release of their debut EP Waves in early 2021. Its fresh take on hypnotic dream pop and shoegaze sounds captured the hearts and minds of listeners and critics alike. On their follow-up, Banshee, NewDad have kept that momentum going, accelerating toward a dazzling future. Recorded in Belfast and mixed by John Cogleton (Lana Del Rey, Phoebe Bridgers), Banshee sees NewDad dig deeper into their sound, resurfacing with a handful of tracks that see them at their most daring, intense and captivating. Opener ‘Say It’, arguably the band’s most radio-friendly track…

  • Earl Sweatshirt – Sick!

    Penned as a reflection on the world’s weakened mental condition amid the pandemic, and the heightened anger and isolation that came with the near universal inertia and entropy, Sick! is former Odd Future member Earl Sweatshirt’s fourth LP, arriving two years after his FEET OF CLAY EP and almost four years after his last full-length, Some Rap Songs.  With 10 tracks at a running time of just 24 minutes, the album is instantly comparable to its predecessor in terms of its pace. However, where Some Rap Songs is a murky, scattered aural journey, Sick! is comparatively smooth sailing. Sure, the wonky, glitchy…