Updated: Apr 11, 2021
Two worlds collide and spark a new sound - Éire Wave
It's not often that you hear a new song and it stops you dead, grabs your ears and makes you listen. Actually listen, rather than the half-engaged hearing while doing a hundred other things which makes up too much of my day. It happened to me when Relax by Dublin/London duo Nixer first burrowed into my unsuspecting synapses via the auspices of Dermot Defaoite's excellent Where's Me Jumper Radio Show.
Nixer are an electronic dance duo made up of Seán Keenan and Gearóid Peggs from Drogheda and Dublin respectively, although Seán now lives in London. It began as an online chat between two friends and what seemed like an everyday catch-up in April 2020, turned into something quite unsuspected. Peggs - electro, synths, dance, 808s*. Seán - curly of hair, guitars, indie bands, distinctive vocals. Smash them together in a Covid inspired collider and you get a very distinct sound demanding the attention of many ears, not just mine.
As Sam Greenwood, head of FOUR FOUR magazine puts it “there’s something unique, yet reassuringly familiar with Nixer. I think the Irish accent for me alongside these new wave inspired sounds has me really fucking keen to hear more. It’s a sound and style I’m familiar with, but hearing accents I’ve not traditionally heard alongside these sounds is just fucking brilliant. I want to hear a Nixer album!"
All Nixer songs are written, recorded and produced remotely by Seán and Peggs in their DIY bedroom studio setups in London and Dublin respectively. These lads have some serious chops and work ethic. Despite being on opposite sides of the Irish Sea, in the middle of a pandemic, they have managed to release four banging singles, record an official video for True Romance, garner great reviews and given me something to look forward to in 2021. And I've seen their release schedule for this year. It makes Billy Whizz look like he's overdone the valium.
There's definitely a Nixer sound. It might be described as ‘New Wave’ and is a fusion of vocals, guitar and synths. The duo cite influence in their music from acts such as diverse as Boy Harsher, Molchat Doma, King Krule, Fontaines D.C. and The Stone Roses. What's definitive is that their sound is a fusion of influences from two people coming from two very different musical backgrounds, whose paths normally wouldn’t cross. This puts Nixer in a position which is truly unique and original and makes them credible contenders for the sound of 2021.
*The Roland TR-808 was 40 years old in 2020. My favourite 808 fact - Marvin Gaye's album 'Midnight Love' features the 808 on every track including bedroom favourite Sexual Healing.