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May Music Roundup: Our Favourite Tunes This Month

What’s this we’re feeling? Sunshine on our skin? Some semblance of hope? Either way, May brought with it brighter days and a whole host of enjoyable tunes.

Check out our favourite music from last month below, as well as the Spotify playlist at the bottom of the page.

BABA — “Keep You Safe”

A white feather, a lit candle, burnt sage — BABA concocts a witches brew for autonomy and radical acceptance, the ultimate act of self-care. The second single from Dublin neo-soul trendsetter BABA is reminiscent of a simpler time. Her saccharine doo-wop vocals lift and grace down over the chillest of old-school instrumentals, offering the advice that her inner child craves. — Hannah Quearney

Carrie Baxter ft. Jack Tyson Charles — “I Wasn’t Looking for You”

You’ll be grooving along to Carrie Baxter’s latest single within the first few bars. Her smooth vocals are paired nicely with Jack Tyson Charles’ feature and the soulful sound emits pure happiness, elevating the track. Floating on dreamy piano and guitar licks, “I Wasn’t Looking for You” draws you into a story of finding something good when you weren’t even searching for it. — Sophia McDonald

Biig Piig — The Sky Is Bleeding EP

Known outside of her moniker as Jessica Smith, Biig Piig strays from conventional provocation or sing-song hooks as she curates what intimacy means to her. The Sky is Bleeding is a celebration of these discoveries, a dedication to what Smith describes as her “sxc dom phase,” and an expertly-crafted piece of indie-pop. The thematics of the album are reflected in its lush instrumentation — equal parts hushed, brazen, and tantilising. — Hannah Quearney

Cherym — “Listening to My Head”

Derry trio Cherym return with their new single “Listening to My Head,” their first release since signing with British label Alcopop! Records. It’s incredibly catchy, blending the melodic elements of pop music with the heaviness of punk and garage to create a sound that is pretty unique on the island of Ireland right now. — Ellen Pentony

Cosha — “Run the Track”

Cassia O’Reilly, aka Cosha, announced her debut album Mt. Pleasant today with the release of her single “Run The Track,” which feels like an early bid for song of the summer. Fuzzy radio static hums in your ears before a bright beat hops in, immediately getting you ready to groove. Her autotuned voice is quicksilver—shiny, slick, and exquisite. — Clare Martin

Documenta — “Silverwood”

Released as part of the Northern Ireland Mental Health Arts Festival, Documenta’s newest single “Silverwood” will leave you reeling in the wake of its heady atmosphere. The drone-pop seven-piece seem to conjure rather than play music. The song, laced with whispery vocals, oscillates between psychedelia, shoegaze, and jazz, all the while hypnotising the listener. We’ve more to look forward to from the Belfast group, as “Silverwood” is off their forthcoming double LP Drone Pop # 3. — Clare Martin

ELKAE — “Distraction”

“Distraction,” the irresistible new single from ELKAE (Laura Keane) premiered here at Nameless Faceless. The disco- and funk-infused dance track is the second single from ELKAE’s upcoming EP Girls Like You Like Me, set to be released on July 9th. She wants her music to be universal but also specific to a queer audience, so that those who know, know and those who don’t still enjoy it for what it is. — Ellen Pentony

Elkin — “Clothes”

Taking power back from those who take advantage, Elkin’s “Clothes” is a poppy push back against the “sure look what she was wearing” excuse. Driven by rapturous beat, they bring clothes back to what they are, pieces of fabric that don’t imply anything flirtatious. Elkin have produced yet another catchy track and this time capture just what it means to be under the male gaze. — Sophia McDonald 

Fears — Oíche LP

Fears’ debut album Oíche (Irish for “night”) is the culmination not just of over five years’ work, but also several chapters of the artist’s life experiences. All musicians are vulnerable to a certain extent; the act of sharing art is braver than we often acknowledge. Constance Keane, who performs as Fears, takes this vulnerability to a whole new level, though, processing her own trauma over the course of the record and tacitly inviting us to do the same. — Clare Martin

Maria Kelly — “eight hours”

Maria Kelly’s latest single, out via VETA Music, floats on plucky, playful guitar. Her honeyed voice is warm as a fresh cup of tea as she gently insists: “I swear I try, I do / I do, I do, I do.” “eight hours” is another thoughtful instalment ahead of the alt-folk artist’s debut album, which is due out in autumn of this year. — Clare Martin

Pat Lagoon — “DETOX”

Pat Lagoon’s latest single, “DETOX,” will either have you begging for a pint or ruefully remembering your last drunken mistake. Despite its sobering name, it’s the type of song meant to play in the background as a party careens out of control. Every line drips with debauchery. — Clare Martin

Kid Kuba — “Push to Start”

Kid Kuba’s collaboration with Emilio is propelled by a solemn melody and a deep, potent bassline. Heartbreak haunts dark late-night thoughts as the rapper’s flow complements Kid Kuba’s compelling vocals. The duo capture the sadness of post break-up loneliness on a track meant for tear-drenched pillows. — Sophia McDonald 

Les SalAmandas — “Now Is The Time”

Emerging from the cultural hotbed of West Cork, Ballydehob native Julie O’Sullivan and French musician Colyne Laverriere’s debut single “Now Is The Time” provides us with several home truths that probe at our inability to forgive ourselves. Its nectared refrain—“Now is the time for forgetting / Now is the time for regrets / Now is the time to forgive them / Now is the time to progress”—is frank and honest, which is immediately softened by the gentlest of acoustic instrumentals. — Hannah Quearney

Tolü Makay — “Aye”

Tolü Makay’s latest single, “Aye,” bursts with unadulterated joy. Makay, who hails from Nigeria and grew up in the Irish midlands, beautifully blends African pop and dance music with collaborator and producer Enda Gallery. “Aye” is the second song off her debut album, due out in early 2022. Makay draws upon traditional Nigerian percussion such as the conga and talking drum for the track’s stirring sound. — Clare Martin

Jack Rua and Saint Taint — I Don’t Party Enough Anymore EP

Over the course of their collaborative EP I Don’t Party Enough Anymore, Jack Rua and Saint Taint find a sense of much-needed catharsis. Sure, Rua may be singing, “Yeah I just want some kind of contact,” on the opening track “Contact,” but the drop on the chorus keeps you from becoming completely mired in sadness. It’s the same effect as Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own,” except instead of crying in the club you’re crying at home, throwing shapes as you’re lit up by the glitter ball you bought during lockdown. — Clare Martin

St. Bishop — Close EP

Playing with an electronic sound and an indie feel, St. Bishop’s tracks emulate recent Sam Smith with hints of Dermot Kennedy and Troye Sivan sprinkled in. With bouncing rhythms and infectious melodies, the Close EP solidifies St. Bishop’s place amongst his Irish peers. Exploring love and positivity around a person’s identity, there are no bittersweet moments of realisation. Instead, St. Bishop documents the loving and longing that goes hand in hand with the struggles of growing up queer.  — Sophia McDonald

Saint Sister — “Manchester Air”

In the lead up to the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment, songwriter Morgana MacIntyre and harpist/arranger Gemma Doherty were inspired to write “Manchester Air,” an account of a young couple who, like so many before them, travel to Manchester to have an unwanted pregnancy terminated. “From the back of your bike I told you I was late / You said ‘I can’t go much faster’ / I said ‘No not like that,’” they sing. The lyrics are simple and heart wrenching, made all the more impactful by the duo’s soulful vocals. — Clare Martin

Saint Sister — “Oh My God Oh Canada”

‘’Oh My God Oh Canada’’ is the latest single from Saint Sister from their upcoming album Where I Should End. Delicate and poignant, the track opens with soft atmospheric piano chords before picking up pace with electronic synth, drums, and harp. Written while the duo were on tour in North America in 2018, the song explores a well-worn theme for musicians: maintaining your closest relationships while you’re travelling around the world for work. — Ellen Pentony

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