Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Remy's Guide to Forbidden Fruit - Day 2

Forbidden Fruit Festival 2017 Line Up

Info: In the second of our series of Playlists and guide to Forbidden Fruit Festival 2017 we again take a listen to what is in store at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. For Day 2 of the festival, we glance at the main stage and surrounds, as well as the exclusively local, Bulmers One Hundred Percent Irish Artists stage and where you can find yourself winding up in the wee hours on Sunday, 4th of June. Big draw Irish acts are of course going to be the main man himself, Kildare's Aphex Twin, as well as minimal techno act Hybrasil who will play at Opium Rooms on Wexford Street. You can add to that list up and coming heavy hitters Soulé, AikJ, Heroes in Hiding, eve and Ships to name but a few who have been on the radar of Irish music fans for quite some time now.

And how about some Nicolas Jaar action, yes, bloody, please, throw in Fatima Yahama, Moderat and Mura Masa and you've got a party starting up right there. Our final wrap-up and Playlist will be up next Wednesday, and in case you missed last weeks Day 1 tunes, you can find them right hereFor full festival info including details on remaining ticket availability, go to the Forbidden Fruit website here

Soulé - Good Life

Below you will find the full list of acts confirmed for Forbidden Fruit 2017, and if there are any changes or updates, you'll get them right here well before the festival kicks off. 

Aphex Twin
Nicolas Jaar
Mura Masa
Maceo Plex (The Button Factory)
Motor City Drum Ensemble
Kink (Opium Rooms)
Fatima Yahama
Denis Sulta (WahWah Club)
Peggy Gou (Tengu)
Danny L Harle
Hybrasil (Opium Rooms)
Gardens of God (The Button Factory)
eve (Tengu)
Orange Tree Edits
Jack Thompson (WahWah Club)
Al Gibbs
Seany B
Fio 'n' Jio (Pear)

Bulmers Live Stage:

Bad Bones
The Innocent Bystander
Heroes in Hiding

Heroes in Hiding
Heroes in Hiding

Sunday, 21 May 2017

EP: Emma O'Reilly - Fractures

Emma O'Reilly Fractures

Info: From Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, songwriter Emma O’Reilly is often compared to Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Regina Spektor for her imaginative yet refined sound. Dramatic and always evocative, Emma’s music is a fusion of Alternative rock, pop and folk, all informed by her classical training at the piano.

'Fractures' is her second independently produced studio EP, recorded by mixing live and multi-track processes in Arad Studios with Les Keye (Squarehead, Kevin "Herm" Connolly, My Sweet Beloved). The EP features Dennis Cassidy on drums (Selk, Mixtapes from the Underground, Danny G and the Major 7ths, The Record Spot), Kevin Healy on Bass (La Gracia, The Antics) and Reuben Teskey on Guitars. The EP explores a sound much closer to her live shows, and digs into her alternative rock influences. The result is alternately introspective and ferocious, vulnerable and dramatic, intricate and engaging.

If you are looking for one of the most original-sounding Irish EP releases from the past few months then look no further than Emma O'Reilly's truly delightful Fractures. There is no escaping the highly enjoyable mania and drama of single and opening track 'Shake', with an emotion and power that comes across as nothing but genuine, the off-beat yet admirably structured percussion wraps an assertive blanket around O'Reilly's vocals and piano playing.

The jingle-jangle of the acoustic 'Count' provide an altogether contrasting mood, yet you still look from left to right cautiously waiting for another burst from O'Reilly, the force is still there, but shortly into the second track we realise that it's a more reflective moment on the EP. There's such a wonderful balance between 90's influences and a rare spark of a contemporary take on same which just isn't being done by anyone else right now to the best of my knowledge, and so much of it is down to the melodious vocals.

And then, whoosh, magic, 'Cervantes', the father of the novel, 'there's a cost to living with the bones under your skin', it's a scathing line, in some ways the tragedies that befall us are pre-ordained by heritage, DNA, or, maybe just chance itself, goddamn the piano is tortuously beautiful and damning all at once. 

Emma O'Reilly - Shake

The fourth track on O'Reilly's EP, 'Codladh Sámh' is as gentle as its title suggests, 'codladh' being sleep, and 'sámh' being one of those Irish words with multiple translations that all mean the same thing; tranquil, soft, peaceful and serene for example, basically the type of sleep we all crave. A brooding opening bass accompanies a very bare vocal; "Whisper to me, or awake my is dangerous outside in this terrible world". Like its opening track, a power is then unleashed via her vocal, shimmering lead guitar and determined piano, go hálainn.

Cathedral bells chime on final track, 'Geneva', the overlay of O'Reilly's voice provides a dual throwback to a 1950's jazz standard á la Julie London, and something contemporary and rare. The piano sequence enters at 1:55 and you are left gasping for breath, it might be the saddest and most beautiful piano sequence you've heard in a long time, I know it was for me. I can't quite put my finger on this EP, it's too hard to pigeon-hole or describe in a small few words, apart from mind-blown.

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Album of the Month: Sive - The Roaring Girl

Sive - The Roaring Girl
Photo: Brian McNamara Photography

Info: Sive is a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist with a voice that "sweeps along displaying folk and jazz nuances with the confidence of one who knows." Her unique sound weaves together her love for the craft of songwriting with her enthusiasm for experimentation and intricate arrangements.

Sive released her first album of original material, 'We Are Moving', to critical acclaim in 2012. In the years that followed she toured extensively in Ireland, The UK, Europe and New Zealand, sharing stages with the likes of Kila, John Spillane and Gemma Hayes along the way. She was voted viewer’s choice to appear on RTE’s Other Voices in 2014 and has also performed on TG4’s Róisín, TV3’s Ireland AM, ARTE’s Metropolis (Germany/France) and ETV’s Terevisioon (Estonia).

Having run a successful crowdfunding campaign last year, Sive recently completed her second studio album 'The Roaring Girl' which is out now.

From the opening deep hum of strings on 'Turn Down The Silence' we are immediately given an indication of what to expect from Sive on The Roaring Girl. Both the track and album's titles hint at both frustration at an increasingly claustrophobic world and a strong desire to break free and escape to another world. The first foray into that freedom arrives on second track 'Swallow Me', vibrant and bubbling jazz piano and rippling guitar progressions accompany Sive's playful vocals, and as the track progresses they invite us into a dream-like state.

Sive - Wingless Bird

Single 'Wingless Bird' (above video) increases the level of brevity once again, the use of kalimba in particular, chimes and harmonies create a delightful slice of African-fused alternative pop and merriment, again the struggle between desire and reality is captured nicely in the lyrics. 'Water' sees Sive embrace a more traditional country-based folk tone, it's gentle and visually the music conjures up the image of a meandering stream which burst into white-water at its high-points. Like a Victorian ballerina music box, 'If I Had a Home To Go To' brings is back to a ballroom from the era and a quickstep waltz in salubrious surroundings, enchanting and very Lewis Carroll!

The beautiful 'Shoot the Stars' is quite breath-taking, soft clinking piano reminiscent of Debussy provides the backdrop to Sive's heart-wrenching vocals, as percussion and bass join the fray she enters more contemporary alternative pop territory, a little Bat for Lashes and a little Daughter spring to mind, but only vaguely. Another visit to her inner-country folk comes via 'Maude', before we are treated to what is perhaps Sive in her most natural habitat on 'Humans', very stripped back and minimalistic it lifts itself patiently from acoustic to a more rock-inclined crescendo.

The swathe of instrumentation and genre-spinning continues on the jazz-club meets lo-fi funk of 'You Are Only Your Own', there can be no doubt by this point that the artist has fully embraced all of the ideas and thoughts which lead to the writing of The Roaring Girl, and such carefree abandon is a delight to witness. It's never too much or disorientating as a listener, it's the perfect amount of intrigue for what might come on the next track from start to finish. Another vibrant classical piece comes on 'When You Come Down For Me', before the album signs off with a soft refrain in the form of 'Hovrefly'to leave us with that is without doubt one of the best independent Irish album releases of 2017 so far.

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