New Releases of the Week (20 May 2022)

The Olllam

New Releases of the Week (20 May 2022)

A round-up of recent releases including Aoife Nessa Frances, Ye Vagabonds, Sean Carpio, The Olllam, Mama's Broke, SOAK, and Paper Tigers. To submit your music for inclusion, please email [email protected]

Aoife Nessa Frances – Emptiness Follows
Singer-songwriter Aoife Nessa Frances has recently released a new single, ‘Emptiness Follows’. The release comes with the announcement of the artist’s signing to Partisan Records (Fontaines D.C., Just Mustard), and is the latest track since her debut album Land of No Junction was released in January 2020. ‘Emptiness Follows’ is four minutes of lo-fi, psychedelic alt-folk. The opening bars of synth and shimmering, wispy percussion could be mistaken for a Jefferson Airplane song until Frances’ vocals sing the opening lyrics ‘The weight of the water / it holds you and tortures time away from you’. ”Emptiness Follow’ is about the intimacy and deep emotional connection of friendship,’ says Frances. ‘The song captures these moments – the water as the weight of the emotional connection we share, the small details we remember … The movement and colour of the music, the harp constantly flowing throughout, are emphasising a profound importance in acknowledging an eternal kind of love. I wanted my voice to be close and up front and vulnerable like Serge Gainsbourg’s Histoire de Melody Nelson’. Visit:

Ye Vagabonds – Nine Waves
Ye Vagabonds, the folk duo of brothers Diarmuid and Brían Mac Gloinn, have just released Nine Waves on Rough Trade’s River Lea Records – their second album with the label. The eleven-track album was produced by John ‘Spud’ Murphy (Black Midi, Lankum) and is a mix of traditional and original songs and tunes including the previously released ‘I’m a Rover’, the downtempo ballad ‘An Island’, and ‘The Munster Jig/Tell Her I Am’. Nine Waves sees the duo collaborate with a number of guest musicians including Kate Ellis on cello, Caimin Gilmore on double bass, and Ryan Hargadon on piano and saxophone. The record also features concertina from Cormac Begley and harmonium from regular touring Ye Vagabonds member Alain McFadden. These additional layers build a rich sound around the pair’s distinct style of softly sung vocal harmonies. ‘In March 2021, surrounded by plants and instruments at Brían’s place in Wicklow, a shape started to emerge from writing we’d done over the course of two years. Small birds kept tapping on the windows of the house while we wrote and recorded demos. The following September, Spud helped us to capture and craft the nine songs and tunes on this album. “Tuaim” and “Fuaim” were improvised in-studio by Alain, Kate, Caimin and ourselves. At any other time, for various reasons, we couldn’t have written these songs. We might have written others but not these.’

To purchase Nine Waves, visit

Sean Carpio – Ancestral Love
‘Ancestral Love’ is the first single from an upcoming solo album, Waves of a Present, by jazz drummer, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Sean Carpio. This will be Carpio’s first full release as a vocalist and lyricist. ‘Ancestral Love’ is an ethereal track with a video created by his brother Max Carpio and visual artist Cian McKenna. The song revolves around the idea of how humanity is so ‘high on each other’ that we can’t see a greater vision for ourselves. Waves of a Present will be released on new Irish label Ten Spot Records and features additional vocals by Aoife Nessa Frances and bass clarinet by Robert Stillman. The album follows Carpio’s 2013 album Wowos and his work on the acclaimed Enda Walsh play Medicine.

Waves of a Present will be released on 15 July. To pre-order on vinyl, visit

The Olllam – elllegy
It is ten years since The Olllam released their debut album. If you watch the video (below) about the making of that record, you learn that the group is a rare meeting of talents: Belfast piper John McSherry, American piper and producer Tyler Duncan, drummer Michael Shimmin and bass player Joe Dart, known for his work with Vulfpeck and the pumping bass solos that appear on your social media feed. Ahead of a five-date Irish tour in June, the band have now released a new album elllegy. Their debut worked so well because of the fresh new tunes and Duncan’s production which regularly played with the rhythmic centre of the pieces (notably on ‘the belll’) and used the jazz and funk backgrounds of Schwimmin and Dart to great effect. elllegy is similar in ways with tracks such as ‘lllow the sun’ and ‘an exillle’s dream’, but there is also a burning Fender Rhodes solo from Joe Hettinga on ‘stream of silllver’, an East Wind feel to ‘with pure crystalll teeth’, and an expansive slow track with ‘the burialll stone’. It’s definitely worth catching The Olllam in concert and hearing these finely crafted funk/Irish traditional music compositions live. Hettinga and Sean O’Meara on guitar will join the group. Their tour begins at the Doolin Folk Festival on 11 June, then Cork, Galway, the Tradition Now festival at the NCH, and Belfast. For links to tickets, see

To purchase elllegy on CD or vinyl, visit

Mama’s Broke – Narrow Line
Canadian folk duo Mama’s Broke have recently released their debut album Narrow Line on Free Dirt Records. The pair – Lisa Maria and Amy Lou Keeler – are both from travelling communities focused on music and protest, and the two credit much of their influence with the way in which they travel the world, as well as DIY culture and activism. Having toured extensively across North America, Ireland, the UK and Europe, they have taken inspiration from all in the music they create. Irish folk ballads, mountain music in Appalachia, sea shanties in Nova Scotia, and Ukrainian folk songs have all contributed to the sound of their music. Travel restrictions during the pandemic forced the duo to stop moving and take time to record this album, which features tracks such as the banjo-strummed ballad ‘Between the Briar & the Rose’ and ‘Oh Sun / Pale Night / Forgetting Reel’ – a trio of works with upbeat strings and double stops. Mama’s Broke will tour Ireland this summer with dates in Leitrim, Belfast, Cork, Kerry, Clare, and Dublin. Visit: 

SOAK – If I Never Know You Like This Again
If I Never Know You Like This Again is the latest album from Derry singer-songwriter SOAK. The album, released on Rough Trade, is the artist’s third, following their 2015 debut Before We Forgot How To Dream, and Grim Town in 2019. Having taken part in the BBC Music Introducing initiative at age 15, signing with Rough Trade, winning the RTÉ Choice Music Prize, the Northern Irish Music Prize and being the youngest ever Mercury Prize nominee, SOAK has taken their music in a new direction with this record. It’s more grunge and dream pop than the previous two albums, while still having a certain lightness. ‘Bleach’, ‘Pretzel’, and ‘Swear Jar’ are highlights. Visit:

Paper Tigers – Graceless
Graceless is the debut EP from hard-rock quartet from Belfast, Paper Tigers. The five-track collection features previously released singles ‘Blue Light Trails’, ‘Moloko’ and the title song. It rattles with crashing percussion, loud vocals and distorted, thick walls of guitar noise, building a sound that is heavy and fast-paced. The band recently received funding from Arts Council Northern Ireland, allowing them to record with Ryan McGroarty from alt-pop band Beauty Sleep at Start Together Studios in Belfast. Robin Schmidt, who has worked with The 1975, Wolf Alice and Placebo, produced the EP. Commenting on Graceless, the band said ‘The EP is called graceless so each song ties back to either yourself, someone else or an external force or influence making you feel graceless… Be that a partner, social media, your own mental health issues with anxiety or depression pulling yourself apart. It’s the red thread that runs through each of the songs.’ Visit:


To submit your music for inclusion, visit:

Published on 20 May 2022

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