PLENTY of exciting new recorded music and live music for the country to enjoy this week, with fringe stars releasing new albums, exciting announcements from one of the country's biggest festivals, and an Irish artist getting the sign-off from one of the biggest stars in the world.
To begin with, it’s been teased in previous days but this week saw the arrival of a brand new track from Denise Chaila. The Limerick rapper and singer teamed up with Ed Sheeran, following her support slots on his Irish dates, to release a remix of his track ‘2step’. This is huge news for Chaila, whose co-sign from Sheeran will surely bring her music to new heights. On the track, Chaila posted online: “I feel like I’m dreaming or sleepwalking. This has been affirming, emboldening and beautiful and I hope what I managed to do here feels good, and right and does justice to Ed’s heart for this song.”

News also comes from Shoegaze quintet Just Mustard of a special show to celebrate the release of their second album ‘Heart Under’. It comes following the surprise release of their newest single ‘Seed’ earlier this week. The Dundalk band will be performing a free show at The Workman’s Club in Dublin to celebrate the release of their new album and they follow it up with an album signing at Tower Records. Fresh off their dates supporting Fontaines D.C. around Europe, Just Mustard are set to break through their ceiling following the LP’s release on Partisan Records.
In more sombre news, tributes poured in this week following the shocking passing of post-punk and rock musician/pioneer Cathal Coughlan. A driving force behind the influential bands Microdisney and Fatima Mansions, Coughlan was a unique force within Irish and international music, who earned praise from legendary BBC DJ John Peel: “I would listen to Cathal Coughlan sing the phone book.” In the wake of the news, public figures such as Dave Fanning, Tracey Thorn, Bono, Tim Burgess and more paid their public respects to one of Ireland's best songwriters.

Festivals continue to break news of their upcoming line-ups for the summer, with older and more established talent being honoured alongside the announcement of brand-new acts that keep stages fresh and varied. Waterford gathering All Together Now is the latest with its announcements, signalling the arrival of eight-piece funk-soul band Cooks But We’re Chefs and an entire acoustic stage with the likes of Emma Langford, David Kitt, Maria Kelly and Ailbhe Reddy performing on the front lawn of the Curraghmore Estate.
Not to be outdone, the Irish Museum of Modern Art has  announced its annual garden party line-up, this year curated by Homebeat. Taking place over the 15th and 16th of July with a full line-up of food and drinks services and performances from R.Kitt, Æ Mak, Negro Impacto, Ye Vagabonds and more, this is a celebration for those who enjoy a more chilled edge to their festivities.

And, as always, we end this week's column with a spotlight on some of the best independent releases of the last week from Irish artists. Whilst a special shout-out goes to the excellent second LP from Just Mustard, their indie-major signing, unfortunately, disqualifies them from further praise (it is an excellent LP which you should check out, however).

Célia Tiab’s ‘BIBIBI’ is an assured debut – the established guest vocalist is carving a name for herself and we await her next move with interest

Célia Tiab’s ‘BIBIBI’ is an assured debut – the established guest vocalist is carving a name for herself and we await her next move with interest

We first shine the spotlight on Travi the Native and the lo-fi pop of his latest single ‘Ishouldbesleeping’. An artist long known for having a visual theme as much as an audio one, Travi goes electro on his newest. Iridescent keys and synths give this track a colourful vibrancy that is buoyed by warped backing vocals. A supreme slice of contemporary pop music.
Keeping things lo-fi, we were also treated to the debut single from Célia Tiab. ‘BIBIBI’ grabs the zeitgeist, existing on the fringes of lo-fi, bedroom pop, indie and jazz. Already a decorated guest vocalist for the likes of Kojaque, 1000 Beasts and Gaptoof, Tiab’s debut is self-assured and welcoming in the best way. If this is the start, I can’t wait to see where it goes next.