Dipping into the best of Galway over last year

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

It’s been a stellar year on the Galway music scene – and this is just a handful of the best releases by local artists in the latter stages of 2023. There are internationally acclaimed outfits among them, as well as emerging talents that are making huge steps closer to home.  The Galway scene continues to be littered with diverse and hungry creatives and this list is by no means exhaustive. The community that has been fostered in recent years can take great pride in the ever-growing body of work connected to the city. With that being said, if you’ve missed any of these singles it is worth giving each a listen.

NewDad – Nightmares

Through the second half of 2023, NewDad have been teasing their debut album Madra, which is set to arrive via Atlantic Records on January 26. Nightmares was the latest of their preparatory singles – a hypnotic, alt-pop track that takes inspiration from Massive Attack and offers a taste of the uneasy gloom relevant to the record’s wider theme.

Madra investigates the human condition and focuses on the feelings that follow the band like a dog. NewDad have never hidden their love for pop music and any comparisons to Irish post-punk bands have always felt lazy. The sound emerging from singles like Nightmares though, seems to be embracing their darker influences and encouraging more dissonant moments to counter Julie Dawson’s infectious vocal melodies.

When the album does arrive, it will mark another huge milestone for NewDad. They have been the brightest band to emerge from Galway in recent years and their homecoming show, which took place in the Róisín Dubh at the beginning of the month, cemented that status. Now a major-label act, the excitement that the city has long felt for the band is being replicated on an international level.

Pictured: NewDad…Nightmares a precursor to eagerly-awaited debut album.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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