Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bipolar Empire - 'Why So Sad?' [Red Radar Video]

Fresh from delivering an excellent debut album in the form of Feel That You Own It, Bipolar Empire popped into Red Radar and delivered a lovely acoustic rendition of 'Why So Sad?'

As with the album version this is uplifting, vocally outstanding and harmonious to nth degree.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Introducing - Solar Taxi

Jayses, when did Waterford get so sexy? With fellow natives O Emperor purveying a sound that, although outstanding, isn't likely to rival Marvin Gaye in the seduction stakes, here come Solar Taxi with sultry, tug-at-the-ears, disco-vibes.

Fronted by Aisling Browne, this Waterford foursome have received growing attention since they came to life early last year and released their intriguingly titled She Dies With Beautiful Teeth EP a couple of weeks back. Think Scissor Sisters (when they could belt out a decent disco-pop tune), coupled with the occasional muscular riff and a hearty layer of Goldfrapp's sheen and you're somewhere close. 

She Dies With Beautiful Teeth is available in physical format now via their official site or as a download through iTunes.

Official Site // Facebook // Breaking Tunes 

  She Dies With Beautiful Teeth EP by Solar Taxi

Little Tybee - 'Nero' // Paper Garden Records

Sometimes it's nice when a track can't decide what direction it's heading in. Seemingly uplifting, and yet tinged with a trace of the morose, Little Tybee's 'Nero' is a fine slice of light orchestral pop and one that is elevated indefinitely by the sterling vocals; as they jump between the serene and the epic. 

Little Tybee are part of the extremely noteworthy Paper Garden Records from Brooklyn. Never heard of 'em? Then check out their smashing Mixed Greens mix below and treat yourself to a free download of all the tracks by clicking the little downward arrow

Who says you don't win friends with salad, eh?

  Paper Garden Mixed Greens (tape) by Paper Garden Records

Friday, May 27, 2011

Justice - 'Civilisation' [New Video]

After its appearance on that Adidas ad here's the official promo video for Justice's comeback single - 'Civilization'. With the video centered around an impressive theme of destruction and wild animals, the song itself is sadly a bit tame. Sure, the chorus packs a punch but having been subjected to that overlong, plodding intro you'll have probably drifted off by then. Fingers crossed for a decent remix.

Free Download: New Jape Double A-Side

Rejoice, Jape are finally back with new material! This double A-side is taken from the Ocean of Frequency LP, which is due for release in September. 

'Hands Of Fire' has been a mainstay in Richie's live shows for some time and its thumping, swirling core sounds just as impressive here. The introduction of a few glitchy riffs and backing vocals is masterfully done though, further highlighting Richie's nous in terms of production and arrangement. 

'Lying On A Death Bed' on the other hand is a quiet, nostalgic ramble through adolescence in the mid 80's. There's always been something special about Richie's ability to draw on the everyday with a special eye and this is particularly evident here as he references everything from first meeting his wife to shunning secondary school for a band "with an awful, awful name, who were so full of spunk". Who else could make that sound so heartfelt?

Listen here and download for FREE via the widget below.

Hands Of Fire / Lying on a Deathbed by Jape


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Popical Island #2 - New Grand Pocket Orchestra/Goodly Thousands tracks

As mentioned last week, the lovely people over at Popical Island are back with a new collection of the country's finest musical talent. In the run-up to the 18-track release, here's a sneak-peak at two brand-spanking new tracks from Goodly Thousands and The Grand Pocket Orchestra.

Make sure you head along to the FREE all-day launch gig that's a-happening Upstairs@Whelan's on June 25th too. It will feature most/all of the bands involved and kicks off from 2.30 pm.

03-Goodly Thousand - Kiss Me Upside Down by popical_island
12-Grand Pocket Orchestra - MrImaginative by popical_island

Monday, May 23, 2011

Stream: Brand New Arcade Fire Tracks

Courtesy of Listen Before You Buy, here's the radio-rip of two brand new Arcade Fire tracks - as premiered by Zane Lowe earlier tonight. ‘Speaking In Tongues’ featuring Talking Heads’ David Byrne, and ‘Culture War’ are both part of the deluxe version of The Suburbs, which is set for release on June 27. Hard to tell from first listen but 'Speaking In Tongues' seems the more interesting of the pair. What's everyone's verdict? 

  Arcade Fire - Speaking In Tongues by ListenBeforeYouBuy 

  Arcade Fire - Culture War by ListenBeforeYouBuy 

Moths - 'Summer' [New Video]

If you haven't sampled 18-year-old Jack Colleran's amazing work yet then you're missing out. The talk of the town thus far in 2011, the innovative beats he has spun under the Moths moniker have marked him out as one of our most prodigious talents. This beautiful, hypnotic video for 'Summer' was directed by Feel Good Lost.

Listen to Moths' other work now via his Bandcamp.

Moths // Summer from Feel Good Lost on Vimeo.

  blisters by MOTHS

Sunday, May 22, 2011

KnockanStockan 2011 - Free Launch Party with Live Performances

KnockanStockan Independent Music Festival is back for 2011. The festival, which is much lauded for its DIY ethos and focus on emerging Irish talent, will again take place on the shores of the Blessingon Lakes on the 22nd, 23rd and 24th of July. Festival lovers can expect three days of the very best in Irish music, as well as an array of quirky festivities, art and fun, with 3-day camping tickets available for €75.

A FREE launch party will take place this Tuesday May 24 from 6pm in The Grand Social, Dublin, where a few acts from the line-up will be performing on the night, including The Hot Sprockets, Sounds Of Systems Breakdown, The Cujo Family and Ross Breen.

The full line-up will also be announced at the launch and having seen a glimpse of it, I'm certain it's going to be a good one...

Latest tracks by Ross Breen

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Casanova Wave - 'The Casanova Wave' [Official Video]

With The Casanova Wave fun is always the order of the day. With a debut EP that was "a positive blend of chirpy beats...hand claps and smiley faces" the official video for the title track brings sunshine, lots of colour and a mass pillow fight - in short, a perfect representation of the track itself.

Do yourself a favour and grab the EP now over at Bandcamp.

Modern Tapes - 'Caroline'

Having 'formed in a bomb shelter on the outskirts of Tel Aviv' the last thing you'd expect from this Israeli outfit is a toe-tapping, hip-swaying, positive little number. Nonetheless, that's what you get with 'Caroline' - a sunlit eighties anthem; complete with lovely euphoric touches and a playful bounce throughout. There's indie and then there's indie done well. Thankfully, this is most definitely the latter.

'Caroline' is taken from their self-titled debut EP and you can find them on Facebook.

MODERN TAPES - CAROLINE from Nir Ben Jacob on Vimeo.

Via Indiehere 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Interview: The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart

For the current edition of Hot Press I interviewed Kip Berman, front man of New York's The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart. Tremendously nice guy, interesting band and their new album  LP Belong is a smashing album and a loving throwback to the '90s. Belong is out now and you can catch POBPAH at The Button Factory on June 1.

With the follow up to their acclaimed debut album The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are threading that fine line between pursuing a bigger sound and alienating their existing fan base. Can they pull it off?  
Words: Bryan O'Hanlon 

Having won over many a hipster’s heart with their slow burning gem of a debut, New York five-piece The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart are back with Belong - a fuller, poppier and altogether more immediate album.

Describing it as ‘a big step forward’, frontman Kip Berman notes the presence of renowned production duo Flood and Alan Moulder as a major influence on proceedings.“It’s pretty rare for a band like us to get a chance to work with people like them,” he admits. “They’ve made some of the greatest records of the last 25 years but they were excited about working with us and they helped us achieve the sound we wanted.”

Despite the enlistment of a pair who have worked with the likes of U2 and The Smashing Pumpkins the band remain on a small, indie label, something which Kip believes is ‘a cool contradiction’. Regardless, he’s well aware that certain fans feared the move. “It’s a legitimate concern,” he says. “Suddenly we’re working with these guys who normally make a huge stadium rock sound but once people actually hear the record they’ll see that it still sounds like us. They actually really liked the weirdness of our band!"

Such ‘weirdness’ saw a ream of comparisons surround their emergence in 2009, with everyone from The Smiths to My Bloody Valentine cited in an attempt to classify their sound. Surprisingly, Kip and Co. are not opposed to such pigeon-holing. “We never feel bad about being compared to bands that are awesome”, he says and lists off an impressive encyclopaedic knowledge of their influences. “We didn’t invent music, anyone that goes around thinking that is just stupid. We try to create a sound and a feeling based on the music we grew up loving.”

Though their strikingly earnest name may conjure up desolate images of an outsider looking in, much of the new album is in fact, quite positive. The trashy early ‘90s vibe of the title track comes with a charming lesson in acceptance, while ‘Heart In Your Heartbreak’ shuns self-pity for a tremendously dancey love-lorn tale. With many still bemused by their melancholic title, is Kip aware of this contradiction? “Yes but we try to write about our lives and I think most people’s lives are like that,” he reflects. “There’s upbeat days and days where everything sucks. If we wrote about how we have picnics everyday and fall in love, or vice-versa, well that’s just bullshit, real life is somewhere in between."

If their eponymous debut can be defined as an awkward teenager of a record; full of endearingly jangly indie tunes, then this new instalment is its older brother; a confident, brash and more vocal twenty-something

Despite this, Kip admits they’re anything but sure of themselves and the ironic truth is that, at it’s heart, Belong is very much the sound of a band still finding their feet. “I think it’s natural for us to make this big sounding record and then have doubts,” he admits, noting the balance between progressing and veering into ‘stadium rock territory’. “We’re trying to have it both ways and we might suck but at least we’re going about it the way we want to. Our aspiration isn’t to be the biggest band in the world. We just want to make music that means something to us and means something to people.” 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Popical Island #2 Teaser Trailer

One year on from their much loved debut compilation, the Popical Island collective - comprised of some the country's finest bands - have announced details of the follow up. Featuring the likes of Land Lovers, Retarded Cop, We Are Losers, Hello Moon and loads more, it promises to be another perfect snapshot of a vibrant independent scene and judging by the little snippets on show in the teaser video - it's going to be a belter.

Volume #2 is out on Saturday June 25 and as with last year there will be a free all day gig in Whelan's featuring all/most of the bands involved  - on the very same date. Lovely stuff.

Introducing - The Pacifics

It's not often you get to write about a new Irish band and mention the likes of Little Richard, Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry in the opening sentence but with Dublin quartet The Pacifics and their debut EP it's simply unavoidable. With the sounds of the 80's and 90's being continuously pilfered by modern acts it's refreshing to see an outfit jump back a further couple of decades and seek refuge in the cream of the sixties for their modus operandi. As the title may suggest the Play Favourites EP is a collection of their favourite songs from the aforementioned artists; all recorded in authentic mono and embellished with a gutsy rock n' roll swagger. I'm very interested to see how all this is translated into original recordings but for now, this will do just nicely.

Play Favourites is out on June 10th through their very own Mistkäfer Records and The Pacifics will be having their official EP launch at The R.A.G.E. (brilliant little place and well worth investigating) on June 11. Tickets for the gig will be free and available in the shop from June 1.

Bandcamp // Soundcloud  // Facebook


Gig News: Me & The General to headline Whelan's

Promising Tallaght five-piece Me & The General are set to play their biggest gig to date when they headline Whelan's next Thursday May 26. Their unique brand of surging electro-indie tunes will be perfectly complemented on the night by the rather lovely The Stoney Brokes, as well as Radio Room and Hali.

The night is being organised by Rock Out promotions with tickets only €5 and all profits made on the night will go to the Orphan Ministry Project in Kenya. 

Good price, good cause, good music - get on it. For full event details see here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Video: O Emperor - 'We Were Young' (New Song)

At the Bulmers Music Trail launch on Friday I was lucky enough to catch Waterford's O Emperor pop in for a lunchtime gig in Dublin's South William Bar. Among a set that included the best cuts from their incredibly accomplished debut Hither Tither they also played a new track called 'We Were Young' and what a charming little serenade it is too. Apologies for the less than perfect quality - this blogging business hasn't paid enough for a proper camera just yet!

The Bulmers Live Music Trail which will see the likes of Bryan Ferry, Cathy Davey and The Undertones play various Waterford venues for FREE from June 30 to July 2. More info here as it arrives.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Music: We Are Losers - 'Moany'

This new track from We are Losers is a less-than-two-minute burst of shouty vocals and jangly, frenetic riffs. Sure, it doesn't stray too much from their original formula but when it sounds this good there's no reason for it to...

Moany by wearelosers

White Collar Boy - Debut EP Launch Gig

I've been digging the work of Dublin newcomer White Collar Boy since he first emerged a few months back and now he's now gearing up to release his debut EP - The Abbey Tractor. The launch gig will take place in The Grand Social at 8pm on Thursday June 9th, with support from Tadgh O Sullivan aka Harbourmaster - and it's all free!

From the Orbital-like flourish of 'Here We Go again!' to the sprawling electro vibes of 'Howl' there's genuinely much to admire here - each song laden with numerous hooks and all seemingly tailor-made to dominate your grey matter.

Have a listen for yourself below and for full event details see here.

  The Abbey Actor by White Collar Boy

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trophy Boyfriend Remixes Jewdward's 'Lipstick'

As the Über-quiffed pair prepare to take on the rest of Europe, Gregor Ruigrok aka Trophy Boyfriend has morphed their incessant pop-tune into an 'emotional Eurovision' power ballad. Crank up those wind machines because this is brilliant. The stellar cover art is courtesy of Alan O'Regan. 

  LIPSTICK - Trophy Boyfriend vs Jedward by Trophy Boyfriend

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Gorgeous Colours - 'It's OK To Be Normal'

Photo by Emma Rönnback
And just like that a dreary Monday got a whole lot better. Upon listening to the new one from The Gorgeous Colours my mind is awash with words such as lovely, beautiful, charming and other such terms normally spewed by a love-struck, smitten teenager. To be frank though, associating 'It's OK To Be Normal' with anything else would be a blatant disservice to such a deserving track.

Effortlessly compelling and hopelessly endearing, it glides along perfectly; entwining melancholic strings and solemn vocals to create a carefully packaged, utterly romantic track. This is not the sound of the latest 'It' band or of a group over-reaching in pursuit of past glories - rather, this is the sound of a band at ease, doing what they do best, and creating beautiful, beautiful music in the process.

The release party takes place in The Workman's this Thursday. Get on it.

[Via the Torture Garden (amazing blog, check it out)]

It's Ok To Be Normal by The Gorgeous Colours

New Video: Miracle Bell - 'Light Shape Sound'

The title track from last year's debut album, 'Light Shape Sound' sees the Kildare three-piece deliver another fine slice of catchy synth-led pop.

Miracle Bell have confirmed a very special all ages show on Sunday May 29 (3pm), with tickets priced €12 on sale now (for more details click here), while the band will also be making a number of festival appearances this summer:

May 12 – Clockwork Apple Mini-Festival (Whelans)
June 3 – The Courtyard Festival (Leixlip)
June 4 – Cold Pro Surf Festival (Clare)
June 6 – Happy Valley Festival (Thomastown)
June 10 – TempleHouse Festival (Sligo)
July 31 – Indiependence (Mitchelstown)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Delorentos - 'Bullet In A Gun'

A sweet little acoustic video of a new Delorentos song called 'Bullet In A Gun'. Shot on the streets of Madrid during their recent Spanish tour, the song is likely to appear on album number three which the band begin pre-production on next week, with Rob Kirwan of U2, Editors and PJ Harvey fame taking the helm this time. Via elDEANTEMANO.

Introducing - Come On Live Long

Come On Live Long are a five-piece from Dublin, and despite only forming late last year there's already much to admire in their debut EP - ComeOnLiveLong. 

Opener 'Animal' is a mature creation. Infused with a smoke-like fog, it sounds like faded memories and bad decisions - a pensive guitar lick giving way to a lovely surge before retreating back into the mist. 'Waiting', on the other hand, is a catchier, more immediate affair, with synth-led riffs building and bursting beautifully alongside a memorable refrain. Impressive stuff.

Come On Live Long play Saucy Sundays tomorrow in the Grand Social which is free in and you can also grab the EP for free now via Bandcamp.

Find Come On Live Long on Breaking Tunes // Myspace // Facebook


Thursday, May 5, 2011

New Video: Wild Beasts - Acoustic Session

Much props to Daniel over at Electric Whipcrack for this gem. As part of 'La Garage Session' you can watch Wild Beasts perform a stripped down acoustic take on three numbers from their new album Smother - 'Reach A Bit Further', 'Bed Of Nails' and 'Deeper'.

Smother has been worming its way into my bones over the past few days and it just gets better and better with every listen. After the 'dancing cocks', wanton lust and general debauchery of Two Dancers, this new record is a soothing antidote; the calm after the storm. Perfectly measured and impeccably produced it's a stirring, emotive and accomplished piece of work from a band now showing incredible depth and promise far beyond that of their initial brave and bulging debut.

Smother is released on Friday and is currently streaming over at Domino.

Wild Beasts, la garage session from Télérama on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

More additions to the Forbidden Fruit Festival

Not content with already boasting one of the best festival line-ups this side of Glastonbury, Forbidden Fruit has added another batch of names for their inaugural June Bank Holiday soiree.

On Saturday June 4 the likes of The Flaming Lips, Bombay Bicycle Club and Wild Beasts will now be joined by mental beat-boxer Beardyman, Belgian electro-heads The Subs, and London producer Rory Phillips

On Sunday June 5, joining Caribou, Battles and Aphex Twin will be Carte Blance (DJ Mehdi and Riton), French electro pair Logo and Brooklyn's Favourite Sons, while The Trinity Orchestra will open proceedings with a full orchestral performance of Daft Punk’s Discovery (amazing video below).

While it's obviously great to see such mega international names on board, you also have to give the organisers credit for showcasing the very best in Irish talent at the same time. Kid Karate, Ham Sandwich, Bipolar Empire and Spies are all playing the Lighthouse Stage on the Saturday, while The Richter Collective will be curating the same space on the Sunday bringing the likes of The Cast Of Cheers, Enemies and Squarehead with them, while I also can't wait to finally catch Solar Bears' live show.

FF takes place in the grounds of the Royal Irish Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin and tickets priced €49.50/day or €90 for the weekend are on sale now. Full line-up and tickets: http://www.forbiddenfruit.ie

I plan on doing a proper preview post on the pick of the line-up soon but for now have a listen to some of the acts below:

  Beardyman live @ Reading Festival 2010 by Beardyman  

  Wild Beasts - Albatross by DominoRecordCo  

  The Subs - Mitsubitchi by THE SUBS 

  Safe For All Seasons by FavouriteSons

  Spies - Barricade by spiesdublin  

  Solar Bears-Primary Colours At The Back Of My Mind by demiliv 
  Tip Of My Tongue by Bitches With Wolves music  

  Pass Out (Tinie Tempah Cover) by Kid Karate 

  Feel That You Own It by Bipolar Empire

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Introducing - Echo Tongues

Hailing from Seattle, Echo Tongues is the brainchild of young musician Gary Wilson. Steeped in a dream-like quality throughout, Wilson and Co specialise in reflective, soothing and enchanting tones - think of the lush landscape domineered by Deerhunter and you're half way there. Their latest eponymous EP is a hypnotic lullaby of a record - with 'Airbornes' and ''No Expectation' standing out as particular revelations - while debut single 'Lost Found' holds a similar delicate charm. Speckled white on blue  - this is music tailor made for watching clouds drift by.

Both the Echo Tongues EP and 'Lost Found' are available for free download now.

You can also find Echo Tongues on // Facebook // 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Meles Méles - Random Acts of Colour Part 1

A multi-coloured, vibrant mesh -  Meles Melés' cover art is the perfect representation of the music they produce. This debut EP is full of funky, rolling rhythms, with the Naas lads pitching a tent somewhere close to the jittery post-punk work of The Cast Of Cheers and others of such ilk. Although it fails to reach the same giddy heights of the aforementioned it's still worth a punt - listen below or grab it now for free from Bandcamp.

Regina - 'Jos Et Sä Soita (If You Don't Call Me)'

The wonderful Bitzl Bitzl R tipped me of about this gem - an infectious, hazy nugget of unashamed bliss. The soundtrack to immersing oneself in a colourful and sweltering Mexican town; this tune actually comes courtesy of Regina - a Helsinki-based trio. Geographical confusion aside, this remains the perfect way to start your day. 

  Regina - Jos et sä soita by Universalfi