Roisin Murphy, The Limelight, Belfast, Wednesday, & Olympia, Dublin, Thursday.
One of the standouts at last year’s Electric Picnic, Roisin Murphy is taking her glitterball house and electro-pop show back to the clubs where it belongs.
The former Moloko star’s third solo album Hairless Toys is her best yet – shape-shifting from Ruby Blue’s jazzy inflections and the shiny nu-disco of Overpowered.
Hairless Toys gives Robyn a run for her money – intricate and sleek electro-pop, jazz passages and hints of Prince-style funk, with with Murphy’s breathy vocals pinning it down as always.
She nails the live show as well – expect a few costume changes that veer into Grace Jones territory.
Joe Jackson, Olympia Theatre, Dublin, tonight
After nearly 40 years, Joe Jackson is still one of the sharpest new wavers still on the go, and he’s hitting the Olympia tonight after playing Limerick last night.
For his new album Fast Forward he recorded in New York, Amsterdam, Berlin and New Orleans with different musicians at each leg – with a restless zeal that proves he’s not some nostalgia act.
But expect him to dig deep tonight – he’s starting with a solo piano mini-set before being joined by his band.
And as well as the new songs expect his classic pop standards like It’s Different For Girls, Stepping Out and Is She Really Going Out With Him.
Daniel AVERY + KASSEM MOSSE (LIVE), District 8, Dublin, tomorrow
Now that January has been kicked back into its corner, we can get down to business at District 8, with the biggest booking of the year so far.
Daniel Avery is city-bound after headlining the first edition of Boxed Off Festival at the Fairyhouse at the tail end of last summer, with a Kassem Mosse live show the icing on a pretty sweet double-header.
Both acts engage in deep ‘headspace’ sound design that doesn’t shy away from the dancefloor. English producer Avery’s debut album Drone Logic is a tribute to electronic music’s classic signifiers like acid house basslines, 808 handclaps and Detroit synth soul.
German Gunnar Wendel aka Kassem Mosse has a delicate, hazy take on techno and deep house, challenging but not wilfully oblique. He’s not afraid of tense melodies and earworm twinkles to guide you through the fog.
Youth Lagoon, Whelan’s, Dublin, tomorrow
US indie-pop star Trevor Powers retiring his Youth Lagoon alias is hardly Bowie killing Ziggy territory, but here’s your last chance to see him in that guise.
Powers tweeted this week: There is nothing left to say through Youth Lagoon. It will exist no more,” calling time on five years and three albums worth of melancholy minor key dramas.
Powers’ delicate bedroom ambience will be perfect for the small room vibe of Whelan’s, with a chance to huddle round for his latest album Savage Hills Ballroom.
Foals, 3Arena, Dublin, Wednesday
BACK in 2008, Foals were the least likely new kids on the block to hit the arenas – with their lurching math-rock tendencies on Antidotes and their seeming aloofness amid the fading landfill indie acts at the time.
But over the years, impenetrable shouty verses, high-fret ska and afrobeat touches have rounded out without overdoing it on the catchy dial.
2013’s Holy Fire was a mainstream breakout of sorts – throwing Janes Addiction shapes all over Inhaler, and My Number becoming one of the catchiest singles of the year.
What Went Down sealed the big league deal – their heaviest yet without hitting cheesy metal terrain. All the better for frontman Yannis’s traditional journey into the crowd after some serious stagediving.
Original version in Irish Star