WITH the majority of the country sunning themselves in the embers of the summer holidays in a council field somewhere this week, Ireland’s artists have made sure that there's plenty of new music to add to the playlists. Rather than get bogged down in festival lines-ups this week, Northern Winds curates your perfect end-of-summer playlist with new records and tracks from some of the best independent homegrown artists that we have on the scene.
ROE: Cut My Teeth
The newest single from her debut album due out this September, Derry’s ROE has been introspective on her last few records. This track follows the formula but adds a new twist, with beautiful string arrangements paired with a raw vocal/piano performance. Always a songwriter who could make the personal universal, ROE’s latest has some throwback elements to the ballad dominance of pop in the mid-2000s and is the strongest yet from her burgeoning album campaign.

Ailbhe Reddy: Shoulder Blades
Reddy is another amid a strong campaign of new singles. Shoulder Blades, fittingly, places a lot of the prominence of the track on the songwriter. A sparse arrangement of keys and house-esque electronic rhythms lets Reddy’s talent as a songwriter take front and centre on the track. It works, swelling into a wave of complementary backing harmonies that complete the alt-pop outlook on the single.

Ailbhe Reddy adopts an alt-pop outlook

Ailbhe Reddy adopts an alt-pop outlook


Anna Mullarkey: Falling
Mullarkey is a respected electronic composer, one who deserves every credit that’s come her way. Her latest release, Falling, is a confrontational composition, a swirling meld of neo-classical string arrangements, stark and abrasive synths and an ethereal vocal performance. “You’re not worth my time any more,” she whispers over the instrumental. Not true of this track.
Carrie Baxter: Satellite (feat. Jafaris)
Pop singer teams up with Dublin rapper on this late summer swinger. Swooning synths and upbeat rhythms give this track no small amount of bounce. Jafaris and Baxter have great chemistry, neither dominating the track and complementing each other gracefully on the choral melodies.

TraviS: Faith
A co-founder of the Gliders collective, Irish rapper TraviS is a fast-rising star for a reason. His greatest weapon, a unique delivery and vocal quality that separates him from peers, is on full display in this number. A noticeably vulnerable track that takes stock of relationships gained and lost through the last few years, TraviS displays growth as a song crafter on Faith.

Rory Sweeney, EMBY: New Faces (Pagan Remix)
Producer Pagan gives a new spin on the collaborative track released last year. Now infused with garage and grime elements, the track has an undeniable underground energy to it. There are not many MCs in Belfast that can command a track as EMBY can so enjoy what’s on your doorstep.
F.R.U.I.T.Y.: BT9
A bright slice of hyper-pop, lo-fi electronica and alternative creative directions, F.R.U.I.T.Y. is as idiosyncratic as it gets this summer. For an undemanding three-minute romp through colourful melodies and danceable beats, look no further than this track.
Ciaran Lavery: Communion
Lavery is a longtime Northern Winds favourite and seems to have entered his Sufjan Stevens era, which we’re totally fine with. Communion has enough bog-Gothic lyricism to keep the gentiles happy but is also subtle, delicate and intricate in its composition. Biting as always but not necessarily with fangs, Lavery’s latest is perfect for that sandy drive home.
Ferals: Simple Lives
Living on the north coast has always coloured the sound of the music from there and Ferals are no exception. In the traditions of And So I Watch You From Afar and Axis Of, but with an alt-rock vocal twang (think Hybrid Theory meets Coleraine), Simple Lives goes hard and doesn’t look back.

Columbia Mills: Momentum
Paranoid electro-rock is the flavour of the day for Columbia Mills. Harkening back to the tightly wound industrial sounds of the Gothic late-80s, Momentum is expertly recorded and produced. Elements of dance, Goth and alt-pop all play their part on this unique track.