Welcome to ‘Top 10 Tracks’, the essential weekly round-up of the best new music.
At the end of each week, we count down the ten essential new tracks you need in your rotation. Ranging from rappers in the Emerald Isle to boundary-pushing, experimental producers and everything in between, it’s all hits, no filler.
This week, we’ve got two Irish heavyweights teaming up on an inspired new cut, a single from Greentea Peng’s forthcoming album and a song that announces Strange Boy as one of Ireland’s great modern storytellers.
Couple unachievable standards of wealth and beauty projected on social media with a jading culture of productivity hacks and predatory self-help resources and the internet has created a mental health disaster.
With businesses more concerned with profiting off people’s insecurities, navigating the pitfalls of adulthood can be a tricky ordeal.
Burner Records co-founder Local Boy has highlighted the absurdity of the neoliberal dynamic in ‘Thoughts’, a relentless record that wrestles with these wider problems through the lens of his own experience.
Ahead of her as-yet-unnamed debut album, Dubliner alt-indie singer Orla Gartland has shared another cutting single in the shape of ‘Zombie!’.
Using a zombie as a metaphor for the kind of male emotional repression that is all too common in Ireland, Orla introduces the track with a roar that highlights what happens when you bottle up your feelings.
Speaking on the track Orla said, “‘Zombie!‘ is about repressing emotions until one day they burst out of you all at once. Specifically it’s about a very common, very male kind of repression I witnessed in a boy I loved once – I could see that he felt things but there was a barrier stopping him from expressing them. I hated that for him, it made me so angry at the societal pressures that led him to that place.”
Providing a vivid vignette into his own heartbreak, Terry Presume has introduced himself as a genre-agnostic storyteller with an ear for melody on his new single ‘Did Me Wrong’.
Born in Naples Florida, the singer and producer grew up on a diet of Haitian Kompa music and hip hop and by the age of eight, he was writing poems of his own. The years of honing his craft resulted in a sound that meanders between the pop-leaning tendencies of Dominic Fike and the bounce of Anderson .Paak.
With a EP on the way ‘Did Me Wrong’ has announced Terry as one to watch this year.
Biig Piig continues an exciting evolution with ‘Lavender’.
The lackadaisical late night summer anthem sees the NiNE8 Collective member deliver deflated vocals at the casual pace of someone ordering a pizza over the phone. The drawn out delivery is the perfect soundtrack to the longer stretch in the evenings.
If their first release ‘Terrified‘ was an exercise in meditative, Bonobo-inspired vulnerability, then ‘Pressure’ explores the darker realms of the human psyche.
Featuring claustrophobic instrumentation and relentless spitting with a whiff of desperation, it’s signposting the release of one of this year’s most exciting albums.
NEOMADiC have opened the windows and aired out their usually smokey style on ‘WAVES’.
Armed with an additional punch, Kaytranada-esque synths and soulful inflections from shiv, the duo’s decision to take the path-less-travelled is a an exciting turn for a group unafraid to deviate from their trademark sound.
Sitting at 5 minutes and 26 seconds, ‘Times’ by Wu-Lu is a cut unconcerned with trends or traditional conventions.
Featuring drums from Morgan Simpson of Black Midi and guitars that leave any chance of a quiet and considered listen at the wayside it’s a certified rager.
With her debut album in the cross hairs, BBC Sound of 2021 nominee Greentea Peng shared the kaleidoscopic anthem ‘Kali V2’.
A nod to the Hindu goddess Kali Ma, the cut is laced with hypnotic and textured instrumentation and sees Peng surrender to the idea of life after death.
Flying under our radar initially, ‘Body’ landed on on our plate through its show-stopping video.
Russ Millions and Tion Wayne as solo artists have broken the mainstream and etched their name in the upper echelons of drill’s hyper-competitive landscape without compromising their sound. Moreover, as a duo they’ve proven already proved a winning combination with their internet-breaking remix of ‘Keisha & Becky’. Their latest offering, ‘Body’ feels like the pair have returned to finesse some unfinished business.
Toasting to their success, but keeping their opposition at arm’s length, Tion sends out a warning saying “got more than a mill in savings, but you can still get shaven” before Russ comes through with his trademark flow over an earth-shattering instrumental.
Coupled with nods to Megan The Stallion and their past link-up, the track keeps one eye on the past and stays true to their origins whilst simultaneously providing the party anthem to soundtrack our post-pandemic glow ups.
Limerick artist Strange Boy is ripping up the rulebook when it comes to preconceived notion of what it means to be a rapper.
Pulling influence from traditional folk sounds and biting lyricism of trad music, Strange Boy is developing a sound that’s been centuries in the making and feels wholly authentic.
Following the release of ‘The Pope’, ‘Waiting’ is a vignette into the mind of the next great storyteller in Ireland’s rich history.