WITH the creative sector slowly emerging from its winter break, news has begun to emerge of what albums to expect this year and guidelines for how we can improve the night-time economy for artists and punters alike.

The biggest pieces of news this week come from artists Somebody’s Child and The Murder Capital. The former is an indie-rock wunderkind, styled in the same stadium-filling drapes of Circa Waves. The latter were heralded as the saviours of guitar music in Ireland alongside Fontaines D.C. before heading into a two-year hiatus following the release of their impressive debut album ‘When I Have Fears’.

‘I Need Ya’ is the latest from Somebody’s Child, and is a semi-heavy indie rocker, filled with huge choruses. It’s also the newest from his upcoming debut album, which will be released on New York label French Kiss Records, the previous home of acts such as Bloc Party and the current imprint for cult-indie favourites Diet Cig and ISLAND.

Singer/songwriter Cian Godfrey said: “This was one of the first songs that defined the sound and pace of the album. We’ve been playing it live for a while now and have been dying to get it out. Some of this album can be boiled down to my chronic fear of growing older. To me, this track in particular is a gentle reminder to stay young for as long as you can.”

The Murder Capital, meanwhile, have continued their sonic exploration outwards with the release of ‘Return My Head’. Their debut was produced by the legendary FLOOD, whose gothic miasma created a wreath of mystery, shadows and dread over the entire release.

Newer tracks have been lighter, if not in subject then in form. Written in a dead-end town of frustration and dirty glances, the band came together to explore more indie sounds, abandoning the post-punk and noise rock that brought them together. The intensity is high, but the sounds are a lot less abrasive. The result is one of their best songs to date. Frontman Gabriel Blake said the song is "a desire to return your mind to a place of peace and stability and the belief that to do so is possible. We shot it in my old secondary school recreation hall. We produced it ourselves. At its best to me, the narrative of ‘Return My Head’ is about coming back to safety.” It’s also the newest single from their upcoming second album ‘Gigi's Recovery’.

In industry news, the year has started off by delivering on promises from the former. The Arts Council of Ireland announced that it would hold its first annual Night-Time Economy forum on January 17 at the National Gallery of Ireland. As a requirement from the Night Time Economy Taskforce, established in previous years to modernise Ireland's late-night creative sector, the forum is open to the public and will focus on, develop and encourage new initiatives and partnerships and new thinking which could include several specific initiatives arising from the sector.

This is also the first week when independent artists are having their say in the release column – and we’re starting strongly. Firstly we have the latest collaboration from rappers TraviS and Elzzz. The subtly titled ‘F**k Off’ s a masterclass in drill. These two have been head and shoulders above their contemporaries from the second they started releasing, and their latest is no change. A propulsive and addictive delivery keeps me coming back to this track.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum is ‘Sing’, which features the vocal talents of Maria Doyle Kennedy and the orchestral brilliance of The NCO. A cinematic track that builds with waves of strings and wind without ever spilling over itself, this is easily one of the most beautiful tracks I have listened to in many a moon.