Tuesday, December 13, 2011
My how time flies. I first introduced White Collar Boy back in January of this year but quite a lot has changed since then. What began as a one-man show has now evolved into a duo, with fledgling beatmakers Gavin White and Mark Cummins teaming up having met at the Primavera festival in Barcelona. It may be a result of the pair's natural synergy - or even just an inevitable refinement of the original sound - but these latest tracks glisten with confidence; feeling fuller, more assured and more complete. The loose, flowing rhythms and funky finale of 'Noah' make it an obvious standout but the real pinnacle is 'Capslock' - as Gemma Dunlovely's super sweet vocals do battle with some assertive beats. It's really promising stuff overall and there's enough clever ideas on show here to mark the pair out as a very exciting proposition.
Download the tracks for free now from Soundcloud and find White Collar Boy on Facebook.
A first single is pencilled in for early next year but for the moment you can catch them every second Thursday in Pygmalion, where they host live shows and DJ sets.
Their next proper live show proper is a headline slot with Bouts, Futures Apart and Ginnels in Crawdaddy this Sunday (December 18th).
Solar Midnight by White Collar Boy
They say Christmas is a time for giving and Squarehead certainly aren't ones to break with tradition. As a thank you to all those who "came to the gigs, bought our album or just 'liked' our Facebewk" the lads have covered Darlene Love's festive classic 'Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)' and made it available to all (good or bad) as a free download. Complete with backing vocals from the newly enlisted 'Squarettes' - Saileóg O'Halloran and Lucy Smyth - it trumps any Lynx boxset or last minute Kris Kindle gift that's for sure...
On a similar note The Gorgeous Colours also posted a cover this week - trying their hand at John Lennon's 'Real Love' on the anniversary of the great man's death. A fitting tribute.
Squarehead - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) by Richter Collective
Real Love by The Gorgeous Colours
Saturday, December 10, 2011
So here we go again. Another year over means another 365 days (give or take) of musical output has to be recollected, distilled and ranked. I have something of a love/hate affair with these sort of lists because as much as I enjoy looking back on the treats the year has produced (and 2011 has delivered plenty) I find the decision process itself to be a difficult one. Songs have little personalities of their own and our view of them is constantly shifting according to time, occasion and place. A one-time classic quickly becomes jaded with repetitive plays, while a relatively recent discovery is still basking in the after glow of its emergence. On the whole however, I'm pretty confident that this batch of tracks are an accurate account of the year's best music according to my ears and these pages.
Unsurprisingly it is again dominated by the home-grown contingent - with 2011 besting a 2010 that was oft-defined as the best ever for Irish content. It's genuinely exciting to think that this time last year an artist like Moths was just messing about in his bedroom, making the tentative steps on songs that have now been blogged about the world over. As I trace the soundtrack to my 2011 what really excites me is the mound of great Irish music that I know I'll be writing about over the course of the next year. Anyhow, here's the first instalment with the final list to be completed in the coming days...
60) The Ambience Affair - 'Weeds'
The Ambience Affair - Weeds by statemagazine
59) No Monster Club – ‘Who Wants A Man'
Who Wants A Man by No Monster Club
58) The Eulogys - ‘Bouquets'
Bouquets by TheEulogys
57) Nouveonoise - 'Believe'
Nouveaunoise - Believe by nouveaunoise
56) Tracksuit Warrior – ‘Suit Up and GO’
03 Suit up and GO by Tracksuit Warrior
55) This Club – ‘I Won’t Worry’
I Won't Worry by This Club
54) Leaders Of Men – ‘Up Against The Wall’
Up Against The Wall by leadersofmen
53) Ghost Estates – ‘Paris'
Paris by GHOST ESTATES
52) British Sea Power –‘Mongk II’
British Sea Power - Mongk II by Brett Chapman
51) REID – ‘Genesis'
Genesis by REID
50) SOnance HOtel – ‘Living Is For Dreaming’
Living Is For Dreaming by sonancehotel
49) Patrick Wolf – ‘Time Of My Life’
Patrick Wolf - Time Of My Life by infinityyeah
48) The Vaccines – ‘Post Break Up Sex’
Post Break-Up Sex by The Vaccines
47) The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart – ‘Heart In Your Heartbreak’
The Pains of Being Pure At Heart - Heart In Your Heartbreak by Slumberland Records
46) Bibio – ‘K Is For Kelson’
Bibio - K is for Kelson (taken from 'Mind Bokeh') by Warp Records
45) Millionyoung – ‘On and On'
MillionYoung - On On by DBF Music
44) We Are Losers – ‘Sunset Song’
We Are Losers - Sunset Song by i-con
43) The Minutes - 'Black Keys'
Black Keys by The Minutes
42) Oh Land - 'Sun Of A Gun'
Oh Land - Sun of a Gun by infinityyeah
41) Dogs – ‘Underbeats'
Underbeats by DOGS
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Their last single - 'It's OK To Be Normal' - was something very special indeed and Dublin outfit The Gorgeous Colours have only gone and bettered it. 'Chopped Heart' is as delightful as it is uplifting - the kind of song that you'll like immediately but will then spend a dozen listens trying to figure out exactly why. In short, this is perfectly constructed, joyous pop music and if the scene was an overdue reunion with your closest mates this would be the ideal soundtrack.
Download it now for free from Bandcamp.
Chopped Heart by The Gorgeous Colours
Monday, November 21, 2011
Taken from their hugely enjoyable debut album Only Count The Sunny Hours, here's the official video for Hello Moon's 'Sievehead'. Directed by the inimitable Myles O'Reilly, the video is a continuation of the album's sleeve with O'Reilly citing Spike Jones' Where The Wild Things Are as his main inspiration for the piece.
Treat yourself to Only Count The Sunny Hours now from Any Other City Records.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
When I introduced Tara Masterson Hally back in April, I was captivated by the contrast between her standout voice and the spacious, minimal arrangement. Since then anything she has put out has only heightened such admiration. The latest example is a basement shot video by the creative types over at Havagawk which captures the barren beauty of the original track perfectly. The video was directed and edited by Finn Keenan.
Find Tara Masterson Hally on Facebook and listen/download her music on Soundcloud.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
He was introduced on these pages a few months back and now talented Irish producer REID has decided to remix Twin Sister's 'Kimmi In A Rice Field'. It doesn't veer too far from the original template but it succeeds in sculpting some interesting sounds out of what is already a haunting little tune.
The remix is available to download for free from Soundcloud and it precedes the official release of Genesis on Blah Blah Blah Records as of November 28th. Full details here.
Twin Sister - Kimmi In A Rice Field (REID Remix) by REID
What do you get when two of our most exciting and promising artists come together for a collaboration? A smashing split 7" and a stupidly funny piss-take video it appears. Both Squarehead and Patrick Kelleher have been constants on these pages since it started so to have them bash out some tracks together is rather exciting. I was expecting something a bit more manic but the resulting tracks - 'Just A Tragedy' and 'Attention To Detail' - go down easy and are both breezy, laidback tunes with neat 80's/doo-wop inspired touches.
I'm a bit late to the game on this one so the launch party has been and gone sadly. However, you can still get your mitts on the limited edition vinyl (via Popical Island) from selected record stores or alternatively, you can stream/purchase it online here. The aforementioned mockumentary is also below.
Monday, October 31, 2011
A beautiful official video for Goodtime's 'Behind The Sun'. Filmed by Richard Gilligan and coloured by Andy Clarke, the picturesque shots suit the delicate, flowing melodies beautifully. A perfect combination.
Goodtime is currently supporting Jape on his Ocean Of Frequency tour.
Download the track for free now from Bandcamp.
GOODTIME - Behind this Sun from Temporary Secretary Recordings on Vimeo.
Behind This Sun by GOODTIME
Posted by Bryano at 5:28 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Having been somewhat underwhelmed by their debut EP, I'm happy to report that Jerome's Law have gone back to the drawing board, shaken things up a bit and delivered a very impressive new single. A wistful little ballad full of dreamy O Emperor styled touches, 'Albedo' is taken from the Dubliners' forthcoming debut album.
Download it for free now from Bandcamp.
Posted by Bryano at 6:38 AM
Monday, October 24, 2011
The month of September saw me finish my Master's degree, hand in my thesis and leave Ireland to travel this globe for a bit. The result was a distinct lack of updates on these pages but I'm glad to be kicking things back into gear with the second volume in The New Wave series of free mixtapes.
The reaction to Volume 1 was excellent and the formula is the same again here - ten tracks from my favourite Irish artists of recent times, thrown together for you to digest and (hopefully) fall in love with. While Volume 1 was all cheery pop-hooks, Volume 2 has a slightly darker edge, connected as it is by some sparse acoustic pickings (Rory Grubb), sultry 80s vibes (Patrick Kelleher), eerie desolation (Tandem Felix) and a wide range of other moods and shades that suit the oncoming winter months perfectly.
Again it's all free and for the good of the bands/your ears so please do your very best to support the artists involved by going to their gigs and buying their music!
Volume 3 will follow in the coming weeks...
1) The Gorgeous Colours - 'It's OK To Be Normal'
2) Patrick Kelleher - 'Contact Sports'
3) Solar Bears - 'Primary Colours At The Back Of My Mind'
4) Halves - 'Growing & Glory'
5) Tandem Felix - 'Canyons'
6) Tara Masterson Hally - 'Down We Lay'
7) Conor Furlong - 'Are You Gonna Sleep Tonight?'
8) The Eulogys - 'Bouquets'
9) Sacred Animals - 'Chosen Seed'
10) Rory Grubb - 'Take Your Own Advice'
STL: The New Wave - Vol. 2 by StopTheLights
Posted by Bryano at 8:04 AM
Friday, September 2, 2011
In the run up to this year's Electric Picnic, the good folk over at Cock and Bull TV have been asking their favourite Irish artists to cover a track by someone else on the bill at this year's festival. The pick of the bunch is The Dying Seconds' take on Santigold's 'L.E.S. Artistes' which incorporates what appears to be a ukulele and a xylophone, yet still manages to sound a touch darker than the funky original.
The Dying Seconds play Electric Picnic tomorrow (Saturday), on the Body and Soul Main Stage at 3pm.
Santigold plays tonight (Friday) in the Electric Arena at 9pm.
Posted by Bryano at 2:49 PM
Monday, August 29, 2011
Over the last two weeks 16 home-grown bands have battled it out in the heats and been whittled down to just four finalists, each of whom will perform at the final of Heineken Music's Pick for the Picnic. Taking place the day before the festival itself, September 1st, in Crawdaddy, the winning band gets the excellent opportunity of opening the Crawdaddy stage down in Stradbally.
This year's finalists are Tandem Felix, Eatenbybears, The Depravations and Leaders of Men.
It's completely free in and as if that (and the mounds of amazing Irish music on show) wasn't enough to tempt you out - your first drink is also free courtesy of Heineken. What more could you want?
In Horseshoes & Hand Grenades by Tandem Felix
Tonight by The Depravations
Spite Houses by Eatenbybears
Bite Your Tongue by damaged_audio
As posted last week Jape's eagerly awaited new one Ocean of Frequency is out on September 30th and here's a new track from it to whet your appetite even further. 'The Oldest Mind' is a slow-building gem of two halves; one part fragmented, solemn reflection and the other a euphoric little burst of realisation and acceptance. And all this before the memorable refrain of 'Celebrate What It Is To Be Young' plays us out. Kids - listen to the man.
via No Fear Of Pop
THE OLDEST MIND by Jape
Friday, August 26, 2011
If you like your music dark and twisted, yet infused with a sultry, beat-driven edge then Swedish artist Karin Park is the one for you. Originally a popstar in Norway some years ago, her current work is of a very different variety and the fact that these songs were recorded and produced by Christoffer Berg (The Knife and Fever Ray) is recognisable from the off. Such artists give a strong indication of what to expect on entrancing new single 'Tiger Dreams', which also shows flashes of Bjork amid a swirling industrial synth-pop medley. Check out the official video below.
Her forthcoming album High Wire Poetry is out in 2012, and is preceded by the Tiger Dreams EP on September 19th.
Karin Park - Tiger Dreams by flagstone
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Of the mountain of new music emerging from Ireland not so much of it is of the piano-led variety. It's refreshing therefore to sample The Eulogy's debut EP Ambergris & Tiger Blood, comprised as it is of three orchestral-tinged laments with talented pianist Kenny Hyland at the helm. Each of these tracks is excellently crafted and bears some truly beautiful flourishes, with Hyland's voice successfully reaching for the stratosphere throughout. In parts it reminds me of Mercury Rev but there's no denying that this is entirely it's own beast and for that, you have to give Hyland credit. A thoroughly enjoyable debut offering.
Download Ambergris and Tiger Blood for free from Bandcamp now.
Find The Eulogys on: Bandcamp // Soundcloud // Facebook // Twitter //
Bouquets by TheEulogys
Trees in the Painting by TheEulogys
De Profundis by TheEulogys
Directed by Bob Corish (who taught in my old school for a short time incidentally) and produced by Tidal, here's the official video for The Gorgeous Colours' latest single 'It's OK To Be Normal'. I loved the track when it emerged recently, and the excellently crafted video only adds to its splendour.
The band play the Body & Soul main stage at this year's Electric Picnic festival.
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
It's hard to believe that it's 3 years since Jape's third album Ritual first leapt into my consciousness. It's also a testament to its invention and quality that it still sounds as vibrant and fresh to this very day, and it remains one of the best Irish releases in recent history. Since then, Richie Egan and his Jape ensemble have crafted and perfected a dozen songs for the eagerly-awaited follow up - Ocean Of Frequency. The album, Jape's fourth studio release, is out on September 30th through music/is/for/losers.
I've heard just over half of the songs through live appearances and they make for an interesting listen, with Richie pushing the sound in some bold new directions, while still showcasing his penchant for a killer hook. I'm particularly excited about 'The Oldest Mind'; an entrancing ode to embracing your youth and the soothing acoustic number that is 'It's Shadow Won't Make Noise'. When you can afford to leave tracks like 'Hands Of Fire' and 'Lying On My Deathbed' off your new record you know it's going to be something special.
The first single, 'You Make The Love', is released on the same day.
In Richie's own words:
“I had thought that the follow up to Ritual was finished about three times so far, but I kept getting drawn back to writing more and more songs, trying to push my songwriting
as hard as I could and see how many different styles and moods I could try out, to feel
out the album. Eventually, I realised that you could just keep on doing that forever so I
decided it was time to start letting these songs go for a walk around the place
The idea for the title, Ocean of Frequency came from an interview I saw with Michael
Talbot. He was an American author who wrote some books linking science with
mysticism. I feel the answer to religion lies somewhere in science and I like to think that
we all float about in an ocean of frequency that we can't understand. People always go
on about the difference between science and religion, in my opinion there is an unending
spiritual beauty in the order of science.”
TracklistHere's a rough demo of 'Its Shadow Won’t Make Noise':
1. An Hallucination
2. Please Don’t Turn The Record Off
3. The Oldest Mind
4. Too Many People
5. One Of Those Days That Just Feels So Long
6. Borrowed Time With Peace
8. You Make The Love
9. Internal Machine
10. Its Shadow Won’t Make Noise
11. Na Niotancullah
12. Ocean Of Frequency
Its Shadow Won't Make Noise by Jape
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
I introduced Miss Tara Masterson Hally a few months back and since then my love for her initial couple of tracks has never threatened to wane. Her latest effort 'Lingering' is another beautiful addition to the fold, and proof that those debut efforts were indeed no fluke. Again the mood is withdrawn and somewhat desolate, with the hauntingly airy vocals accompanied only by delicate instrumentation and the occasional celestial imprint. It's a touching little creation and that final line ("I've travelled across the sea / But I'll always wonder - would you do the same for me?") serves as a fitting final riposte.
Also below is 'Beholder' - another recent creation that carries more of the same understated charm. You can find Tara Masterson Hally on Facebook.
Lingering by Tara Masterson Hally
Beholder by Tara Masterson Hally
Monday, August 22, 2011
Last year's 'Cinnte' was one of my favourite tracks of the year and now Dublin beat-crafters Nouveaun have uploaded a brand new track, which you can also download for free. As with all of the duo's work it's brimming with neat ideas and invention, as a complex smattering of sounds and samples are carefully intertwined before building up to a female-led chorus-of-sorts. Nice.
The track is taken from Nouveaun's upcoming new EP Sequence Consequence, a sampler for which is also below.
[Edit: Apparently the lads stripped their name back from Nouveaunoise to just Nouveaun...interesting!]
Believe by nouveaun
Nouveaun - Sequence Consequence EP Preview by nouveaun
The general consensus regarding Irish music is that we've entered something of a golden period and I'm in full agreement. In fact, I find the music to be that consistently brilliant that I want to do all I can to spread the sounds of this new wave to as far as possible. Hopefully my scribbles here do that a bit but I feel a collection of free-to-download mixtapes - each packed with the best Irish artists of late - are an even more effective way to invade your ear canals and convince you of their worth.
This first volume probably falls under the general indie tag but within that is a broad range of styles, such as Spies' brooding undertones, We Cut Corners' powerful melodies and Jape's synth-fuelled splendour.
Enough talking - more listening. Click the small downward arrow on the right hand side below for your free download of the mix and keep an eye out for another volume next week...
________ Tracklist_________1) Spies - 'Liars Call Me King'
2) Jape - 'Hands Of Fire
3) Squarehead - 'Axes Of Love'
4) Land Lovers - 'Cinema Bell'
5) Hello Moon - 'Vanity'
6) No Monster Club - 'A Morbid Fascination'
7) Kid Karate - 'Feel For You'
8) Come On Live Long - 'Animal'
9) We Cut Corners - 'Go Easy'
10) Leaders Of Men - 'Up Against The Wall'
* Disclaimer: This is all being done on a goodwill basis and if you like what you hear please try and support the artists involved by buying some of their music/going to a gig of theirs! If any of the artists featured would rather their music was not involved just get in touch.*
Friday, August 19, 2011
I don't know much about this lady. I don't know if she's signed to a label, if she's touring here soon, if she has an album on the way and I'm not even 100% sure where she's from. Why? Because in the 30 minutes since I first heard this track I've been too captivated by it to go searching for details. That can come later. For now, I just want to focus on what I do know - namely that this is a heart-melting, achingly beautiful piece of work that plays host to a set of honey-dipped vocals that possess the power to ease a life's worth of woes in a few flat minutes. A stunning song and one to be savoured. Expect to be hearing a lot more from her soon.
Find Lana Del Rey @ Facebook // MySpace // Twitter
Big shout to Mr Sean Early and his impeccable taste for the tip off!
A really clever stop motion video for Cashier No.9's new single 'Lost At Sea'. The track itself is intelligent and accomplished with a sweeping chorus that warms the spirits and it underlines just why the Belfast outfit have been enjoying growing attention as of late. You want more? Have a listen to 'Goldstar' below - a certainty for many 'Best Of..'. lists come December.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Ever so slightly late to the game with this one but Love Inks' E.S.P. album has captivated me for too long to go without a few words. A trio from Austin, Love Inks deliver a sound that's simplistic yet infectious, full of endearing vocals and a hazy, laidback nature. It reminds me greatly of Broadcast's superb Tender Buttons LP, and is laced with more than a dash of Beach House's dream-like qualities throughout. 'Blackeye' is the obvious highlight - a minimal and melodramatic little number that excels despite its repetitive nature but the entire album is a slow-burning gem and one that will come to dominate your most-played list in no time...
Attention: the feel good hit of the summer has just arrived. This Club (formerly Hoarsebox) have rebounded from their name-change with debut single 'I Won't Worry' - a colourful, carefree and blindingly upbeat indie-pop anthem.
An effervescent chorus, hooks-a-plenty, handclaps and funky arrangements - this insatiable debut offering has the lot and the video is just as high-spirited, showcasing the cheeriest bout of busking I've ever seen. They'd make a fortune on Grafton St. that's for sure.
'I Won't Worry' is available now from iTunes, while their debut album - recorded with producer Dennis Herring at Sweet Tea Studios in Mississippi - will follow in 2012. By that stage you're likely to have heard much more about this track...
Monday, August 15, 2011
'Someone Like You' is the most popular song of the year - end of. For a long period of time it was simply inescapable and by result I eventually grew weary of it. This cover by James Vincent McMorrow is special though, as the Dublin native strips it back to just tender guitar plucks and then applies his beautifully fragile vocals on top, breathing new life into the track in the process. James V. is one of our most talented singer-songwriters and is finally getting the kind of exposure he deserves. Last year's Early In The Morning album was among the year's best and if you've yet to sample his work, then listen to 'This Dark Old Machine' below and prepare to be wowed.
Big thanks to Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff for the tip-off.
Seriously impressive line-up for the next instalment of Future Bright - the monthly show that aims to highlight the best in new Irish music. Curated by Nay McArdle of stellar Irish music blog Harmless Noise, the night will feature live performances from much-lauded Cork producer Toby Kaar, Last Days of 1984 who have been receiving much attention as of late, as well as Low Sea, VerseChorusVerse and Bantum, plus DJ sets from Le Galaxie + Logikparty. The fun kicks off in Crawdaddy next Thursday the 25th August with tickets priced at a wallet-friendly €5.
Great home-grown music, great price and apparently there may even be some nifty drinks promos...what more could ye want for a fiver, eh?
Get your tickets in early from here: entertainment.ie/tickets
Bread by TobyKaar
▲▲L▲ST D∆YS OF 1984▲▲ - RIVER'S EDGE by ▲▲L▲ST D∆YS OF 1984▲▲
Slide by BANTUM
Alex by low_sea
VerseChorusVerse - Inches From A Fairytale from Bandwidth on Vimeo.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Continuing the slow assimilation of Australian content (I'm headed there soon for the guts of a year) - here's Adalita, who in short, appears to be the Aussie version of PJ Harvey. It's a lazy comparison no doubt but with a formula of powerful melancholic inflections and sparse linear riffs - the similarity is undeniable. 'The Repairer', her debut single, may not be quite as affecting as Harvey's incredible recent effort (Let England Shake is undoubtedly album of the year territory) but it's a strong, haunting introduction to the former Magic Dirt front-woman and you can consider my interest in this lady piqued.
'The Repairer' is released on September 5th, with Adalita's self-titled debut album to follow in 2012.
Formerly known as The Strutts (cursed legal wranglings...) The Statics are a four-piece Dublin outfit with a penchant for a jangly hook and a leaning towards 60s infused pop melodies. 'Had It Too' is a particularly catchy treat, bearing a sprightly rhythm and excellent vocals that hark back to the The Las, while 'Easy To Forget' is a good-vibe tune which the band launched a new video for just last week. View this nifty new video below and be sure to check The Statics out at the follow places:
Facebook // Breaking Tunes // Twitter // MySpace
The Statics - Had It Too from Andrew Norton on Vimeo.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
This year's Pick for the Picnic showcase will again see 16 emerging Irish bands battle it out across four heats for a spot at Electric Picnic. Each heat will see an eclectic mix of talented acts playing for FREE in Crawdaddy on Wednesday 10th, Thursday 11th, Wednesday 17th and Thursday 18th of August. One act from each heat will then go into the final on Thursday 1st of September, the eve of the Electric Picnic festival. Doors open for each gig at 7.30 pm.
Last year's winners Cloud Castle Lake have been on a steady ascent ever since and making it to the heats is a general indication that you're doing something right! There's some seriously strong competition this year and I could pick half a dozen bands who could easily romp home. I'm looking forward to seeing some personal favourites like Spies, Come On Live Long, Tandem Felix, Leaders Of Men and The Casanova Wave perform, as well as checking out the bands I'm less familiar with. Be sure to pop along to at least one of the gigs though - it's free and is the perfect opportunity to sample the country's finest emerging bands.
Wednesday August 10th
Come On Live Long
The Razor Ball
Thursday August 11th
The Casanova Wave
Women's Murder Club
Wednesday 17th August
Fox Jaw Bounty Hunters
The Midnight Phil Eoin Callers
Fred and Bob
Thursday 18th August
Leaders Of Men