Monday, January 30, 2012
I loved White Collar Boy's Solar Midnight EP and 'Capslock' - arguably the best track on it - now has an accompanying video. It comes courtesy of the creative types at 1441, a new collective comprised of DIT students, and it features some nice time-lapsed footage interspersed with shots of Gemma Dunlovely, whose sweet vocals are present on the track itself.
Download 'Capslock' and the entire EP for free now from Soundcloud.
You can also catch WCB live on Thursday February 2nd at The Grand Social.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Solar Bears' debut release - 2010's She Was Coloured In - was a stylish, artistic piece of work that evoked images of distant realms and cosmic notions, bringing the listener on a colourful, sensual journey. Thus, the return of this Dublin/Wicklow based duo is an exciting proposition and buoyed by the beautiful vocals of Keep Shelly In Athens' Sarah P, their new single 'Alpha People' doesn't disappoint. The track debuted on Pithchfork last week, with Eoghan from TPOE analysing the potential impact the site can have on the success and spread of ones music.
It's initially strange to hear such a dominant focus on vocals in a Solar Bears' track but it soon feels second nature. Solar Bears' have oft spoken about their ties to film (their name is taken from Solaris by Andrei Tarkovsky) and the trend continues here. In fact, as that opening keyboard riff rolls into the opening verse it evokes visions of a rogue female in a futurisitic city a la Blade Runner...or is that just me? Either way, it's a truly fantastic track and one that demands continued listens. Despite this, you also get the feeling that Solar Bears' true talent shines best in a collective piece of work, namely their second album which will hopefully be upon us sometime soon.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Be it single downloads, funky new remixes or even bumper gigs - when it comes to getting musical freebies, we're a little bit spoiled for choice in this country. Now, here's your chance to give a little something back. Some of Ireland's most promising electronic beat-makers and visual extraordinaires are coming together and taking their respective treats on the road in what they are calling the Lightbox tour.
The tour will have 7 acts: Bantum, Feel Good Lost, Monto, Reid, Sert One, Simon Bird and Tenaka and will call into Dublin, Limerick, Cork, Galway, Belfast and Waterford over a week at the end of February. There will be interactive workshops before each gig, where people can get a feel for how the audio-visual work on offer is composed, as well as guest DJ slots from Nialler9, Jim Carroll, Logicparty and Ian Malaney.
Obviously, there are costs involved here and this is where you come in. Lighbox have set up a FundIt page where you can contribute to the tour and in return receive a personalised reward such as a special album featuring unreleased material or even a gig in your own gaff. Naturally times are tight at present but whether you can afford a little or a lot, this is a great opportunity to be part of a commendable DIY movement and give a little something back.
There's less than 10 days in which Lightbox must reach their target so get involved and spread the word.
Feel Good Lost Showreel from Feel Good Lost on Vimeo.
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
>>> Part One: 60 - 41
>>> Part Two: 40 - 21
And now...le finalé.
20) Patrick Kelleher – ‘Broken Up Now’
Patrick Kelleher followed up his stunning debut with Golden Syrup, an album which took him and his Cold Dead Hands in even stranger and more intriguing directions. Some of these new ventures worked and some didn’t. Surprisingly however, the one which made the most lasting impression on me was the most simple one; a short and sweet little concoction that's fuelled by anxiety and unsurity.
05 Patrick Kelleher and his Cold Dead Hands - Broken Up Now by Patrick Kelleher
19) Austra – ‘Lose It'
Flourishing in the wake of last year's SXSW festival, Austra's vocal pirouettes captivated many, including myself. Just listen to that voice.
Austra - Lose It by Annie Mac Presents
18) Dog And Panther – ‘Giant Hands’
This song came out of nowhere, gripped me by the heartstrings and never really let go. A stirring, emotive little ballad full to the brim with romantic grandeur.
Dog And Panther - Giant Hands by French Kiss
17) Tandem Felix – ‘Canyons’
Another of my favourite home-grown bands to emerge this year and one deserving of much greater exposure. Taken from their Tweedledee collection, ‘Canyons’ is the pinnacle of a band whose hushed, sweeping sound came to dominate many of my late nights in 2011.
Canyons by Tandem Felix
16) Outfit – ‘Two Islands’
The debut single from this Liverpudlian lot is a dense, enthralling affair, laden with gothic touches and an absolute belter of a refrain. More please.
DD007 A1: Outfit // Two Islands by Double Denim Records
15) Tara Masterson Hally – ‘Down We Lay'
One of my favourite finds of the year. A fledgling Irish songstress whose minimal acoustic laments were lined with cathartic rumblings and a beautiful, soul-stirring voice. On first hearing I described it as “music for the late night walk home, with only shadows for company” and nearly a full year on I still feel this sums it up best.
Down We Lay by Tara Masterson Hally
14) Hush War Cry – ‘Lily’
With nods to both the brooding work of Echo and the Bunnymen and the playful duo-vocals of Wild Beasts, the first track from this Cork outfit is incredibly accomplished. A tantalising debut effort.
Hush War Cry - Lily by echoparade
13) James Blake – ‘The Wilhelm Scream’
Blake’s debut album and I never fully meshed, and only certain tracks did I truly get what all the fuss was about. None more so than on the spectral and haunting ‘Wilhelm’s Scream’. As it transpired this track was in fact a re-working of James Litherland's 'Where To Turn', which Blake's own Father produced back in the day.
James Litherland - Where To Turn by abeano
12) - The Gorgeous Colours – ‘Chopped Heart’ / 'It's OK To Be Normal'
With two fantastic singles this year it was a difficult choice of which Gorgeous Colours’ track to include...so much so that I decided to join them at the hip. ‘Chopped Heart’ is sprightly and warming, while ‘It’s OK To Be Normal' is mournfully beautiful. Enjoy them both, according to your current mood. Needless to say - I'm looking forward to that new album immensely.
Chopped Heart by The Gorgeous Colours
It's Ok To Be Normal by The Gorgeous Colours
11) M83 – ‘Midnight City’
Euphoric and intoxicating; this is music made for the late night dash into town, the city lights luring substance-lined veins closer into its jaws.
Midnight City by M83
10) Tieranniesaur – ‘Sketch!’
If there was an award for the funnest album of the year (and there should be) then Tieranniesaur’s debut effort would snap it up easily. Bursting at the seams with super vibes of the funk, pop and disco variety, it bounced out of the speakers with a strut and a swagger and on ‘Sketch' head honcho Annie Tierney delivers the sassiest of put-downs. God help that person in question.
Sketch! by fihyde
9) We Cut Corners – ‘Go Easy’
'Go Easy' arrived in a year which saw We Cut Corners finally deliver their debut album, winning over many with their melodic and powerful tones in the process. Not bad for a pair of school teachers.
We Cut Corners 'Go Easy' by The Delphi Label
8) Lana Del Ray - ‘Video Games’
Hard as it may be, if we ignore the hype (and the subsequent backlash) then what we are left with is a beautiful track from a beautiful singer. That's good enough for me.
Lana Del Ray - Video Games by editradio
7) The Drums – ‘Money’
Effortlessly simple indie-pop that sticks to your synapses. Not every track on this list is going to alter your perspective on life; some – like this one - just make it a lot better for a few minutes.
The Drums - Money by orchardmktg
6) Spies - ‘Barricade’
Following up on last year’s top notch debut EP, new single ‘Barricade’ (and its accompanying B-Side ‘Weaker Body’) brought more of the same compelling tightness, gushing riffs and startlingly mature lyrical capacity from the Spies lads. New to the fore on this occasion however, was a far greater appreciation for an anthemic chorus - an attribute that should hold them in good stead for a prosperous 2012 and beyond.
Barricade by spiesdublin
5) Moths – ‘<3’
There’s not much else to say about 18-year-old Jack Colleran, that hasn’t already been said. His homespun electronic beats have been written about and digested the world over and if recent developments are anything to go by, big things lie ahead. 'Blisters' is among my most played tracks of the year but '<3' and it’s chilled, summery vibes are the standout. Exciting times.
<3 by MMOTHS
4) Clock Opera – 'Belongings'
This delicate, piano-led lullaby surges, morphs and blossoms into a mesmerising rhythmic flurry…and then you realise you haven’t blinked in 3 minutes. Such a beautiful track.
Belongings by clockopera
3) The Horrors – ‘Still Life’
The sound of a million epiphanies played out by way of a warped, yet euphoric beat. A seminal and life affirming piece of music.
The Horrors - Still Life by The Recommender
2) Wild Beasts – ‘Reach A Bit Further'
The pinnacle of an album where Wild Beasts confirmed their status as one of the most interesting, unique and quite simply best bands in the world. The manner in which the twin vocals tease and toy with each other is simply magnificent. For full effect savour the acoustic version from Paris, c’est magnifique.
Wild Beasts / Reach A Bit Further by Constellations Festival
Wild Beasts, garage session from Télérama on Vimeo.
1) Jape – ‘The Oldest Mind’
The most pertinent example yet as to why Richie Egan is among our most talented and treasured artists. Lyrically it is astute and cerebral, musically it is inventive and challenging. I ached over how to do an album like Ocean Of Frequency justice; re-writing and re-formatting the review numerous times before leaving it in a regretfully growing 'to-do' pile. In short OoF is incredible. It is a bold piece of work that stretches the Jape modus operandi in captivating new ways and rewards the earnest listener with an array of intriguing and absorbing sounds and textures. This track, and this record, mark a magnificent pinnacle in Jape's evolution, and you get the feeling that yet more exciting experimentation and barrier breaking work lies ahead. When you consider the group's humble, acoustic-centred beginnings such an evolution is all the more commendable. In saying that, they can still do the simple thing well – check out the superb 'Lying On A Deathbed’ as reference.
Jape - The Oldest Mind by theyounglion
Monday, January 9, 2012
Following on from Part One - here's the second batch of my favourite tracks of the year - enjoy!
40) Jerome's Law - 'Albedo'
07 Albedo by jeromeslaw
39) Last Days of 1984 - 'River's Edge'
Last Days of 1984 - River's Edge by echoparade
38) Love Inks – ‘Blackeye’
Love Inks - Blackeye by WorkItMedia
37) Bright Eyes – ‘One For You, One For Me’
36) The Dying Seconds – ‘Mora Minn’
Mora Minn by thedyingseconds
35) Come On Live Long – ‘Elephants and Time'
Elephants and Time by Come On Live Long
34) Squarehead – ‘Axes Of Love’
07. Axes Of Love - Squarehead by Republic of Music
33) Goodtime – ‘Behind This Sun’
Behind This Sun by GOODTIME
32) Radiohead - 'Codex'
31) Summer Camp - 'I Want You'
I Want You by Summer Camp
30) Gotye – ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’
Somebody That I Used To Know (feat. Kimbra) by Gotye
29) PJ Harvey – ‘The Words That Maketh Murder’
PJ Harvey - The Words That Maketh Murder by Vagrant Records
28) Bombay Bicycle Club – ‘Shuffle’
Bombay Bicycle Club "Shuffle" (radio edit) by GrillMarketing
27) Wu Lyf - 'Cave Song'
26) Hello Moon – ‘The Calculus Affair’
The Calculus Affair by Hello Moon
25) Land Lovers – ‘The Cinema Bell’
02 The Cinema Bell by LandLovers
24) White Collar Boy – ‘Noah’
Noah by White Collar Boy
23) Tune-Yards – ‘Bizness’
BIZNESS Tune Yards by CristinaBlack
22) Cashier No. 9 – ‘Goldstar’
Cashier No.9 - Goldstar by Pachinko Records
21) Active Child – ‘Hanging On’
Active Child: 'Hanging On' by Ragged Words