Tuesday, 9 February 2016

EP: Bordeaux - Bordeaux

Bordeaux - Bordeaux EP

Bordeaux - Sail Tomorrow

Info: Mainly hailing from Cork, but currently scattered between the city, Limerick and Dublin, comes alternative indie / folk four-piece Bordeaux, who released their debut self-titled E.P. at the end of last month. 

I fell in love with the opening track on the E.P., 'Eyes of Another', the word charm doesn't begin to describe it, transfixing is probably a better term. Initially I thought I liked the way it felt like it was recorded in a bedroom with very little equipment, perhaps it was. It reminded me of how all music really starts out, when songs are first brought to life in simple surroundings before they grow, but with 'Eyes of Another' I didn't want it to grow, it was in its own way perfect as it was, the harmonies then took things to another level and I was totally smitten.

'Rain Pours Down' is even more rustic, totally bare, a hint of Finley Quaye meets Alt-J vocally, leading to third track, 'Go Easy (Headful of Blues)', at this point I'm really not sure what type of experience I'm having with Bordeaux, I'm not puzzled or confused, something near it, but I do know I'm really, really enjoying myself, is this borderline genius song-writing? Again I imagine how production might work on the tracks here, but I strongly feel that it could possibly ruin my enjoyment also.

Bordeaux - Eyes of Another

Everything reaches peak-enjoyment on the fourth track 'Sail Tomorrow' (top), the stand out number on the E.P. for me, recent addition to the band Collum Sheehan takes over vocal duties from Seán Whelan here and his baritone voice echoes Richard Hawley and Leonard Cohen. The atmosphere created by the music and his sombre voice is powerful, it's the type of song that stops you from doing anything, moving, thinking, all you can do is listen and no concentration is required. Closing with another acoustic song, 'Passing You By', Bordeaux end as they began, with a warm and well-written classical folk piece. 

Yeah yeah, maybe some production wouldn't go amiss, and I would like to hear all 5 again after going through a studio, but only out of interest, nothing more, I like Bordeaux's debut E.P. just as it is, in fact, I completely love it, and I'm really happy I got to hear them as they've been created, otherwise I would have missed out. 

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Sunday, 7 February 2016

Gig Guide: February & March


Info: A round up of the best gigs coming up over the next few weeks in Dublin, single, E.P. & album launches plus info and getting tickets.

1) Abner Brown's Celebration of Women in Irish Music

Beginning in mid-January, every one of the 6 nights hosted in Abner Brown's Barbershop in Rathmines has sold out so far. Ticket details are announced when they become available on Eventbrite.ie via Abner's Facebook page, and they're free (with a much appreciated donation to the Women's Refuge in Rathmines) as well as BYOB, but they go fast, so to stay in the loop and avoid disappointment Like the page here. 

Remaining dates:

Feb 11 Mongoose , Neev Kennedy 
Feb 13 Sinead White , Saramai 
Feb 18 Carron , Niamh Regan 

Saramai - Fall A While

2) The Clockworks - Feb 11th - The Button Factory, Searchlight Showcase

Searchlight Showcase The Clockworks Button Factory

Galway post-punk revival band The Clockworks feature on a superb line-up in The Button Factory on Thursday, which is free and run by Searchlight Productions. The showcase also features excellent acts such as Wolves of Youth, Gary O'Neill, Tadgh and many more. The Clockworks lads have also organised a return bus for the night from Galway to Dublin which you can find out about here, fair dues! 

The Clockworks - If I Told You....

3) WOLFF - Feb 13th - Upstairs in Whelans

After playing the front bar at Whelan's Ones To Watch last month, trash blues rocker WOLFF returns to the venue to headline, this time Upstairs. It's free before into Whelan's before 10:30pm, €10 after (with access to the club night etc.) and he'll take the stage at midnight with doors opening upstairs at 11:30pm, this one is going to be special.


WOLFF - Flesh, Blood, Skin & Bone

4) Æ MAK - 13th Feb - Jack of Diamonds Presents, Sin É, Dublin

Recent BIMM graduates Æ MAK play Sin É venue on Upper Ormond Quay on Saturday night. I recently caught these guys at Abner Brown's during the week and Aoife McCann and Ellie McMahon were amazing live with their backing band who were all excellent musicians. They will also be playing State.ie's Faces series the night before in Whelan's, see these guys now before they explode (in a metaphorical sense).

Æ MAK - Abner Brown's Barbershop

5) The Skydive Sessions feat. Anderson & Blades Club - 13th Feb, The Bello Bar, Dublin 8

On Saturday February 13th The Skydive Sessions in Aid of the YSPI, will showcase the newest and noteworthy of Irish music in Bello Bar. Hosted by Sounds from a Green Room and The Cavalier, the gig will aim to raise as much money as possible for the YSPI (Youth Suicide Prevention Ireland) with entrance fees on the door going towards the charity. There is brilliant line up for the night Anderson, Blades Club, Wounded Healer, Anna Kerr, Asteroid, and The Cavalier all for only  three euro, but people are free to give more .The YSPI are a charity that provide mental health services for young people and carry out secondary school visits and workshops. They get no funding from the government so a large group of students from UCD are doing sponsored skydives in April with an aim of raising €100,000. We're trying to raise at least 500 for the charity so we'd appreciate if people could dig deep!

Blades Club - Asian Babes

6) Danny G & The Major 7ths - 14th Feb, The Bello Bar, Dublin 8

I've seen Danny G & The Major 7ths a couple of times over the last year or so and I can't think of any better band to provide the backdrop to your Valentines night, whether you've been in a long-term relationship that's going stale, or your just out for the first-time shift....these guys will repair / boost your chances whatever your current romantic situation is. Supreme velvet soul and funk drawing on the spirit of the late, great Marvin Gaye and the funky styles of well, everyone who was anyone, let love rule and pop down to the Bello.

Danny G & The Major 7ths - Good Things (Live on RTÉ's 2FM)

7) Hotel On Mars - 19th Feb - The Grand Social, Dublin 1 - Album Launch

Dublin five-piece Hotel On Mars launch their debut album, Don't Feel Like Daylight, in The Grand Social, which will be available on the night on CD and on super limited edition vinyl (only 250 copies will be pressed) as well as digital download from all major digital distributors the next day. I've had a blast of the album already and it's great, check out below current single, 'Want What You Want', rockin' stuff.

Hotel On Mars - Want What You Want

8) Galants - 5th March, Whelans Upstairs, 12pm

Galants and Borders of Sleep bring the noise to the Midnight Hour Upstairs @ Whelans. Galants is a noise-gaze band from Dublin incorporating the scuzzy pop tones of Teenage Fanclub with the reverberated bombast of My Bloody Valentine. In the summer of 2015 the band released a trilogy of singles, 'This is Heaven', 'Seventeen' and 'Out of Sight', receving praise from Hot Press Magazine, The Irish Times and BBC Across The Line. 

Really like the sound these guys are going for, MBV is definitely in the DNA here but there's a really strong old school Irish rock sound to the music and vocals too.

Galants - This Is Heaven

9) Peco - 16th March - The Loft Venue, Upstairs in Foley's Pub, Dublin 2

I have a soft spot for Kildare folk troubadour Peco McLoughlin, mainly because I strongly believe he is one of the best lyricists in the genre in Ireland at the moment and there's strong observational depth to his music. Secondly because he reminds me of all of the best elements of folk music from times of yore, in a previous review I mentioned 70's Dylan and Waterboy's main man Mike Scott. Definitely an intimate show to be caught next month, additional dates around Ireland & the U.K. below also.

Join Peco and friends for the launch of his debut solo single 'Safe Haven' in the intimate settings of The Loft Foleys. Special guests on the night will include Sean Farrell and more to be announced. Limited number of tickets available (50 Max Capacity) free of charge but on a first come first serve basis. If interested in attending please e-mail info@liveloudmusic.com

Single Premiere: Late Cambrian - Yearbook Photo

Late Cambrian - Yearbook Photo

Info: Brooklyn, New York indie-pop trio Late Cambrian today release their latest single, 'Yearbook Photo', the second release from their upcoming EP, Dark Heart. In slight contrast to their last album, Golden Time, which featured here before their first ever Irish date in Dublin back in September, 2014, the band have delved further into electro-pop territory vs. the more alternative indie sounds of that album. 

'Yearbook Photo' does the simple things well, it's instantly catchy with it's snappy synth intro, the harmony on the vocals between main singers John and 'O' giving it a MGMT meets Passion Pit feel. One of the main things you take away from the new single though is that the band are enjoying what they're doing at the moment. It feels like they are under no pressure to just keep writing songs for the sake of it, and just one third of the way through 'Yearbook Photo' Late Cambrian have transferred the happy excitement of the music to the listener with total ease.

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Saturday, 6 February 2016

Single: VOXX - Glamour Puss

VOXX Glamour Puss
Photo: Joe Conroy

VOXX - Glamour Puss

Info: Last year in February I went along to The Workman's Club to see my favourite Dublin indie band The Journals (now oh joy) and also caught one of the support acts on the night, a disgracefully good rock band called VOXX, whom I've just remembered as I sit down to write this. The band were tight and built up a full head of sultry rock sexiness, when they rocked, they rocked and had a very charismatic front man in Coco.

Tonight the Dublin band launch their latest single, 'Glamour Puss' (above) on 7" vinyl (kudos) in Whelan's for what will certainly be a great live performance in better surroundings than when I last caught them sound-wise. On their site they describe themselves as 'Ziggy & The Spiders from Mars' High Heel Boots, Keith Richard's Hair, Marc Bolan's Eyeshadow, Josh Homme's Tats, Michael Hutchence's Hips, Jesse Hughes' Sex Drive, Alex Turner's Word Play' and there's certainly a T-Rex thang happening on bass and guitars whilst vocals nod to the INXS front-man. 

'Glamour Puss' is extremely gratifying from the get-go, slamming straight down with some old school rock n' roll electric guitar riffage and thumping drums. Their sound is all of the clichéd terms you could ascribe, purple velvet, seductive and outrageously primal, if anyone can impregnate you with sound in this city it's going to be VOXX, these guys have the full package if your thing is glam rock with a twist and 'Glamour Puss' kicks ass, or should that be spanks ass....?

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EP: Cobi Marsh - Legit

Cobi Marsh - Legit (A-side)

Info: Australian hip-hop artist Cobi Marsh released her first mixed-tape back in 2012, in more recent times she has been moving between New York and Melbourne to record her debut EP, Legit, which dropped this week. While she previously fused elements of old school hip-hop, reggae and soul on her original releases, Legit sees her focus more on adding a pop direction to the new tracks.

The title track and lead single (above) presents the reggae influence clearly in her vocals, a touch of Rhianna in some ways, it's a grimey pop number that adopts classic hip-hop beats, breakdowns and vocal effects which combined create a very catchy and chilled mood. Second track 'For Your Love' sticks to this formula but definitely veers closer to a more soul and tripped out sound with swirling electronic effects and sharp snappy beats. 

The third and final track on Legit, 'What's Up', sees Marsh and producer Ryan Ritchie throw everything into the E.P.'s longest track, it's full pelt on the pop front making it an ideal second single that would be a shoe-in for radio airplay. As pop releases go she should be well pleased with a debut which reflects a standard that the genre should be aiming for.

Look / Like / Listen & Follow:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/1LLjBwatyqVbNTlgZzAr4Y

SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/cobimarsh/sets/legit-ep

iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1079630186?ls=1&app=itunes

Friday, 5 February 2016

Live: The Co-Present Returns! on Radiomade.ie w. Panti Bliss & Saint Sister, this Saturday 3-5pm

Saint Sister - Castles

Info: Alternative Irish music radio show and podcast The Co-Present returns to the Radiomade studio this Saturday February 6th. The show which is presented by Dwayne Woods and a colorful mix of music industry co-presenters recently celebrated it's two years of broadcasting and they kick start 2016 with a very special show.

This Saturday from 3-5pm the 'The Co-Present' will be presented by Woods and renowned Author, Musician, Photographer and Broadcaster BP FALLON. Fallon and Woods will be selecting an eclectic mix of modern and classic tracks highlighting the best of alternative Irish music.

The Queen of Ireland aka PANTI BLISS will be in the studio to discuss her sudden rise to International stardom. Keeping in line with the ethos of the show Panti will also be discussing some of her favourite Irish tracks of all time.

Live music and chat will be provided by rising Alt-folk duo SAINT SISTER.

The Co-Present are very happy to be returning to the Radiomade studio for our third year of broadcasting. We would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support thus far and we do hope you can tune into Radiomade.ie from 3-5pm this Saturday.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Introducing: FEELS - If You'd Meet Me Tonight / Weightless

FEELS Weightless If You'd Meet Me Tonight

FEELS - If You’d Meet Me Tonight

Info: FEELS are an electro-pop group from Helsinki, formed by singer and songwriter Sofi Meronen, keyboardist Mikael Myrskog and producer Jooel Jons. They describe their music as epic, gripping and toned with northern melancholy. Their new song 'If You’d Meet Me Tonight' is out right now globally on iTunes and other digital stores.

There are two types of pop music I like, the type that is purely non-thinking bubblegum with a nice and simple formula, recent enough examples would be Charli XCX's 'Boom Clap' or Gotye's 'Somebody That I Used To Know'. Then there's the style that is intelligent and the artist actually writes the song and lyrics themselves. Helsinki trio FEELS certainly fall into the latter category, and I really liked both of these tracks, in particular first single 'Weightless'.

'If You Meet Me Tonight' has an undeniable Scandi-pop tinge to it, disco beats and electronic sounds with vocals similar to a softer version of Lykke Li, there's also a hypnotic rhythm to the track which lulls you into a state of serenity. 

FEELS - Weightless

Then there is 'Weightless', an absolute delight of a track, it's slightly more mystical and sullen than 'If You'd Meet Me Tonight', the analog Moog sounds providing a foreboding dark energy, Sofi Meronen's vocals are also key to how good this song sounds, almost powerfully pushing back against the music, it's an instantly appealing single that ticked all the right boxes for me.

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