As many people would be aware, The Ruby Sessions every Tuesday night in Doyle’s in Dublin is one of the best places to go if you want to have a laid back night of beautiful new music. The respectful and mellow feel of the night often allows artists to be fully comfortable at expressing who they are, and it was in this setting that I first became a fan of the Galway electronic singer/songwriter, LAOISE (known to her friends offstage as Laoise Ní Nuallain).
Since that encounter in 2017, I have paid attention to the music being created by the Galway artist since, and routinely it has been nothing short of excellent. There is something truly unique about what LAOISE has been doing that is completely different to everything else that you hear in mainstream pop music at the moment. Her debut EP, Halfway EP, was an excellent collection of songs that demonstrated and maturity of songwriting and direction that marked her out as a figure to watch for in Irish music.
Her set at Electric Picnic 2019 was a further representation of the progression and confidence that the performer was starting to make.
During that aforementioned Electric Picnic set, the Galway performer announced that recently she had found herself moving away from the laid back and mellow sound of her previous tracks to a more poppy and upbeat sound on her next EP. She wasn’t lying, and the results were fantastic.
The Map EP, that was launched on 5 April 2019, would mark another important step forward in the career of the Galway performer. From the very first moment that we heard the teaser single, Again, it was clear that we were in for a treat.
Again, released in late 2018, was one of my favourite songs from last year. A beautifully constructed dance-pop track that looked at the idea of repetitively making the same mistakes in a romantic relationship that you know isn’t going to work out in the end. Infectiously catchy, it helped to whet the appetite nicely for what was to come.
The titular track, and opener on the EP, Mad is already being lauded as one of the best Irish songs of 2019. It’s impossible to not be drawn into this song from the very first listen due to the undeniably energy and fun that LAOISE seems to be having across the track.
The music video is a typically imaginative and interesting offering from the singer/songwriter who seems completely in control of her creative vision and direction. A video uploaded on the performers facebook recently demonstrates the work that goes into creating such a visually appealing artwork.
Despite the shift in tempo on this EP, there are still reminders of the sound that helped to establish LAOISE in the first place, with I Mean… a reminder of the mellow and considered sound from her first EP. The thudding bass and heartfelt lyrics about missing a romantic partner provide a moment of introspection and retrospection that show the ability of the Galway artist as a storyteller.
The closing track Seriously? is perfect way to conclude this collection of songs. Dripping in personality, and successfully mixing the different elements that have made up her sound so far. The subtle spoken interjections throughout and the catchy chorus will keep you replaying this long after the first listen.
Take a bow, LAOISE. This is marvellous.