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It’s a relatively quiet week for new Irish releases, maybe just as well because all I really want to do is listen to New Jackson‘s debut album. The roundup of best new Irish music this week also includes Loah – debut EP out next month – Citog Records from Galway unveil their second compilation, CPNHGN and their guitars return three years after they released their debut album, and Rejjie Snow unveils his new mixtape.

New Jackson – From Night to Night
It’s been a long journey from ‘Shoot Out the Lights’ and his debut Night Mail EP in 2011 to New Jackson‘s debut album, From Night to Night, released last week on Dublin’s All City Records. There have been numerous EPs, 12″ releases, remixes and now, finally, an 11-track LP. Despite house vibes on the likes of ‘Blaze All Day’ and ‘Of A Thousand Leaves’, it’s ultimately a pretty chill album. In a superb interview and photo essay with Rachel Hegarty on thelocals.ie, Kitt says he’s “a vocational insomniac”, that he works best at night (the album title, duh). The fact his studio overlooks Dublin Bay gives the release a geographic base for the imagination. The title track sounds like you’re watching the sun come up. Kitt released an album as ‘David Kitt’ at the start of the year – for a week; it’s getting a proper release later this year – and it sounds like he’s hit a purple patch creatively. He told Totally Dublin: “I’m thinking maybe I shouldn’t sing on this stuff, maybe it should just be completely electronic, because I’m doing so much singing on the other stuff. There’s about 20 or 30 David Kitt songs that are going to come out in the next 18 months, two years. There was a lot of mates chiming in ‘You shouldn’t be singing on it!’ But I think it works for this record. It’s only two songs [with untreated vocals].” ‘Anya’s Piano’, released as a standalone single and 12″, is probably the highlight here, myriad sounds coming together to create a gorgeous and fully textured six minutes. From Night to Night is an album to lay back to, to let it reveal itself in the late-night hours. And it cements David Kitt’s status as one of the best creatives in the country.


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CPNHGN – ‘In Motion’
Dublin/Kildare band CPNHGN released their debut album Inhale Exhale in 2014 and return this week with ‘In Motion’, a song which sees Conor Wilkins proclaim that “everybody wants you to slow down”. It’s a song about coming to terms with your place in life, played out over crashing guitars and searing solos. It’s almost six minutes long – go on a journey with CPNHGN. Wilkins told Goldenplec: “I wanted to write a song about when I lived in Dublin 10 years ago. That turned into a song about taking a look at yourself a decade ago and realising you didn’t have the world figured out, like you thought you did.”


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Loah – ‘This Heart’
‘This Heart’ is the opening song on Loah’s six-track debut EP, out via Ensemble Music on June 16 (she’s already had a launch gig for the release – and it looked amazing!). “Let me introduce myself,” she begins over a chill piano line, before issuing a powerful call to arms. “You can dress up all your pain but it’s not the truth that wears the woman.” Loah says of the EP: “This is a collection of tunes that all deal with similar themes and a similar mood. Musically they bring in lots of influences, but they’re not far apart in an emotional sense. Overall the songs deal with themes of intuition – how an individual relates to their ancestral and spiritual inheritance, and our relationships with both those who are close to us and the wider world.”


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Citog Records – Volume 2: Melancholia In The Mirror
I haven’t had much time with this but Citog Records have good standards so you know you’re gonna find something good within. Citóg Records is an independent artist-run record label and collective based in Galway city, established in 2013 out of the long-running Wednesday night residency in the Róisín Dubh. The opening track from Tracey Bruen is a lovely sliver of pop, Eoin Dolan’s Real Estate vibes of ‘One Girl’ feature, and you might also be familiar with the lo-fi of New Pope. Field Trip’s layered ‘Graveyard of Ambition’ is probably my favourite song, but the quality here is testament to what’s happening in the west.


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Rejjie Snow – The Moon & You
Rejjie Snow is very good at courting attention. Whether it’s justified is probably still up for debate. His new mixtape has some very good tracks but I’m still waiting for Snow, from Dublin but now living in Brooklyn, to reveal his own personality. A lot of The Moon & You sounds familiar – mainly because it sounds like numerous other, bigger rappers. Asked about his Irish accent by the Fader, he said: “I think subconsciously you think about it. I think we [Irish artists] need to make our own sound — like how the UK were like, ‘OK, we need our own thing because we don’t fit on US rap beats,’ so they created grime. That’s what we need.” Rejjie Snow’s debut studio album, Dear Annie, is set for release later this year, and ‘Unborn’, the Joey Bada$$ and Jesse Boykins III-featuring ‘Purple Tuesday’ and the very smooth ‘Pink Flower’ are enough to make me excited to hear it.