IT’S a mixed bag of announcements and emotions for this week’s Northern Winds. The short and long term effects of the Irish Government’s confusing decisions on the arts continue to manifest but there are new performances and releases to be excited about in the final quarter of this year (and the first of next).
The week began with the latest sobering blow to the Irish nightlife industry, as iconic club-space Electric in Galway announced that it would close its doors for good. Citing struggles in the last 19 months related to the pandemic and the harsh restricts placed on them, the three-decade-old institution released a statement for its patrons and hoping for a better future for Irish electronic clubs.
“We hope that this house will continue as a place for dancing and find a new owner with the same enthusiasm for bringing people together. Even though we may not be the ones to reap the rewards, we hope a brighter future lies ahead for Irish nightclubs.”

Further north, another staple of the Irish DJ and producer landscape had better news to deliver. The Maiden City’s premiere gathering, CELTRONIC, announced that they would be returning for their 21st year with arguably the biggest line-up to date. Taking place in a host of Derry venues and boasting a headline international line-up from the likes of Gerd Janson, Overmono, Sunil Sharpe, Or:La, Kink and more, not to mention a host of native talent from the Derry area, CELTRONIC continues to satisfy the needs of the many. Tickets are on sale now from their website, and are usually gone in days.
Following the celebration of last week’s NI Music Prize, RTÉ announced several  important dates in relation to their own awards itinerary.The Choice Award brings together some of the most successful and significant talent in Ireland every year, with previous winners including Denise Chaila and Lankum. Featuring a host of awards split by live performances, the ceremony will be held at Vicar Street on March 3, 2022, with the shortlist for best album and best song revealed on January 5 and January 26 respectively. Furthermore, it was announced that ‘Conversations’ – an international music forum designed to encourage frank exchanges amongst panel and audience – would return this year on November 30.

Slow-burning, visceral arrangements are a feature of the latest track by Enda Cahill, ‘Vicegrip’

Slow-burning, visceral arrangements are a feature of the latest track by Enda Cahill, ‘Vicegrip’

On the subject of Chaila, the Irish rapper and singer returned this week with her newest release ‘It’s A Mixtape’. After a relatively quiet year following her cultural domination during 2020, this five-track EP features label mate MuRli and is released ahead of her headline performance at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin next February. Of that release Chaila said: “I was thinking about what it means to relax, to be free, to do what makes me laugh, to do what makes me cry, to fly in the face of convention and just... do what I want.”
And whilst our established artists continue to shine, the next wave of talent is eager to have their words heard. Take Dublin spoken word artist Lyndsey Lawlor. The poet teams up with producer Gary O’Reilly on her debut track ‘Bottle & Chain’ and it tackles some heavy topics that set the emotional tone of her anticipated debut project in 2022. The latest in a host of artists such as For Those I Love, Lawlor keeps the rich bardic traditions of Dublin’s underground scene alive.
The spotlight this weeks shines on Molly O’Mahoney and her newest track ‘Brother Blue’. A spellbinding take on delicate acoustic music that takes in elements of indie, country and folk along the way, this was an immediate playlist add. Not to be outdone is the slow-burning visceral arrangements of Enda Cahill and his newest track ‘Vicegrip’. This is an intrepid dive into Cahill’s psyche.