Monday, August 29, 2011

Free gig: Pick for the Picnic Final this Thursday in Crawdaddy

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

New Music: Jape - 'The Oldest Mind'

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 


Friday, August 26, 2011

Introducing: Karin Park - dark electro pop from Sweden

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

EP Review: The Eulogys - Ambergris and Tiger Blood

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 

New Video: The Gorgeous Colours - 'It's OK To Be Normal'

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

New Release: Jape return with Ocean Of Frequency on September 30th

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.”

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
7. Scorpio
8. You Make The Love
9. Internal Machine
10. Its Shadow Won’t Make Noise
11. Na Niotancullah
12. Ocean Of Frequency
Here's a rough demo of 'Its Shadow Won’t Make Noise':

  Its Shadow Won't Make Noise by Jape

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New Music: Tara Masterson Hally - 'Lingering'

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

New Music: Nouveaun - 'Believe'

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

Free Mixtape: The New Wave Vol.1 - The best in new Irish music

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

Lana Del Rey: 'Video Games' - A voice to ease a life's worth of woes

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!

New Video: Cashier No. 9 - 'Lost At Sea'

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

Introducing: Love Inks - minimal, melodramatic dream-pop

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...

New Video: This Club - 'I Won't Worry'

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

James Vincent McMorrow covers Adele's 'Someone Like You'

'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.

Gig News: Future Bright curated by Harmless Noise

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: 

  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

Introducing: Adalita - the Aussie PJ Harvey?

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.

Introducing: The Statics

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

Gig Preview: Pick for the Picnic 2011 - Listen to each of the finalists

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

Tandem Felix


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 

The Depravations

Fred and Bob


Thursday 18th August

Zombie Computer

Leaders Of Men

Cheap Freaks


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Gig News: Spies to play free date in Whelans

Super line-up for this one. Having impressed hugely with their Forbidden Fruit performance, Spies return from their summer hiatus with a FREE gig at Whelan's next Tuesday the 16th of September and they've brought a stellar supporting cast with 'em.

As this recent post shows I've been all over Tandem Felix lately, with their reflective, melancholic tones serving as the perfect soundtrack to my desperate late-night thesis scribblings. We Arrive Alive are another fine post-rock outfit who I'm looking forward to checking out live, while Girl Band sound like an interesting proposition from their first upload.

Did I mention it's free? Get on it! Full event details here.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Introducing: The Strypes - Ireland's answer to The Beatles

This is amazing. At a younger age most people's musical choices tend to shift between the ridiculous and the embarrassing but not so for The Strypes. Describing themselves as a 'four-piece beat group', these talented Cavan youngsters utilise their love of retro sounds by covering the cream of the 60s in style. They may be young but they've sure got taste - dipping into the back catalogue of The Kinks, The Beatles, The Who and Billy Boy Arnold among others. Their debut single is a cover of The Beatles 'You Can't Do That' - complete with a wonderfully authentic video - and you can grab it now from iTunes.

The group play their debut Dublin gig on Saturday October 1st at the Retro Revival Club.


Introducing: Tandem Felix

I first caught Tandem Felix when they supported Spies in Whelan's in May and was immediately impressed by just how accomplished they were. There's a definite sense of the otherworldly about this gang and the similarity with fellow newcomers Cloud Castle Lake is undeniable. Expansive and astral, every track here flickers beneath the surface in its own peculiar manner, with each listen revealing another intriguing layer and moment of interest. 'Canyons' in particular is a solemn bundle of brilliance with more than a hint of Thom Yorke off the vocals, while the excellently titled 'The Sky Looks Like a Sheet of Sugar' - and its triumphant horns - is another highlight. The band insist that these set of tracks - dubbed Tweedledee - do not form any semblance of a proper release but whatever they may be - they sound great to my ears. 

Download Tweedledee for free now from Bandcamp.

Find Tandem Felix on: Facebook // MySpace // Bandcamp // Breaking Tunes


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Introducing: The Young Folk

Dublin five-piece The Young Folk were on my radar at KnockanStockan recently and they impressed me quite a bit. Rattling through their set, they performed with a level of confidence and assurance that befits only a group of extremely talented, like-minded musicians and the crowd lapped it up. 

Anthony Furey's vocals are the linchpin of the operation here, his smooth and powerful tones wrapping themselves around a number of folk anthems, each imbued with a slight country twist and a general fondness for a stirring, throat-clearing melody. They're more than capable of making a nice breakthrough with these tunes.

Both of these tracks are taken from the album I've Been Here Before... which is available now from Bandcamp.

Breaking Tunes // MySpace // Facebook 

  Sad Day by TheYoungFolk 

  Way Down South by TheYoungFolk

Video: Gotye - 'Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra)'

Nialler9 posted this interesting little track from Australian musician Gotye this morning and I've been hitting the repeat button ever since. The vocals are beautiful throughout, with that pin-pricked, gentle build up leading to a powerful chorus and finale. The video is another stop-motion affair, full of naked body parts and nifty results, while the female vocals belong to Kimbra.

I'm leaving these shores for Australia soon myself so expect some more musical treats from the 'land down-under' very soon and as ever - recommendations are welcome.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

New Video: The Dying Seconds - 'Mora Minn'

Interesting new video from The Dying Seconds for their new single 'Mora Minn'. Directed and Edited by Jack Quilligan, the clever use of repetition in a confined space complements the hauntingly beautiful track perfectly. I caught the end of The Dying Seconds' set at CastlePalooza over the weekend and was kicking myself I didn't sample the whole thing as it sounded extremely promising. They closed the show with 'Kid Logic' which you can also stream below, while the single launch takes place in Crawdaddy on August 12th. Stirring stuff.

Both tracks are available on iTunes now, with new album Glimmerers to be released in early 2012.

Glimmerers prerelease tracks by thedyingseconds

Drew Barrymore directs new Best Coast video - 'Our Deal'

New video for Best Coast's 'Our Deal'. It's a sumptuous little pop track and the video - directed by Drew Barrymore none-the-less - is a surreal Romeo and Juliet/Dirty Dancing type affair involving rival school gangs and a less than happy ending...

Best Coast play Electric Picnic this September.

via The Fly 

Best Coast

New Video: We Cut Corners - 'Go Easy' {NSFW}

Directed by Nico Casavecchia, this is the risqué new video for We Cut Corners latest single 'Go Easy'. The track will feature on Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards, We Cut Corners much anticipated debut album, due out later this year. The Dublin duo make an incredibly rich sound for a two-piece and thanks to an extra large serving of their distinctive soaring melodies - this is their strongest track to date.

'Go Easy' is available as a free download from their Bandcamp now (or below), along with two other tracks.

GO EASY from Nico Casavecchia on Vimeo.