Saturday, 31 October 2015

Album Review: Kingdom of Crows - The Truth is the Trip

Kingdom of Crows The Truth Is The Trip Album


Kingdom of Crows - Dreamless Sleep

Info: Dublin band Kingdom of Crows release their debut album, The Truth is the Trip today, in some ways it's been four years in the making since founder and guitarist Stephen Kelly first began writing material, up until entering the studio this year to lay down the entire track list. The music is best described as ambient dark rock which is incredibly atmospheric, and in my opinion is one of the best Irish albums to be released in 2015. Below is a review of the album followed by a quick interview with Stephen Kelly.

The mood is set with opening instrumental track 'The Sirens of Titan', a powerfully dark two minutes that draws its sound from the nether regions of 80's industrial rock and electronic music. Kingdom of Crows' slow-burning black velvet caress then follows on 'Why?', a sleek rock track which introduces us to the majestic vocals of Kelly's long-time collaborator Lucy Earley, the looped guitar riff and sleepy percussion are hypnotic, and this is something which features succesfully many times across the albums 11 tracks.

Then along comes, like a spider, 'Beauty Is The Witch', this is a no holes barred deep down and dirty late 70's rock throwback along the lines of Deep Purple, with heavy bass-lines and rolling drums creating a tribal feel. The first piece of real magic arrives in 'Dreamless Sleep' (above), having listened to this track and 'Elizabeth' many times I can't imagine anyone else being better suited to creating the effect Earley does with her voice, both tracks are made for her. The song would nod a bit to First Aid Kit both vocally and musically with it's acoustic grounding, a haunting track that grows rapidly on you.




'When We Were Young' is a beautiful piece of folk rock which is like a hybrid of post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac and Joan Baez, if heard in isolation and without any knowledge of what was playing one would be more likely to assume that is was a track from the same era. It's hard to know exactly what to say about the albums eighth track 'Elizabeth', sometimes when you're listening to a song for the first time and it reaches certain points you want it to go in a certain direction, increase pace, intensity, be a bit longer etc. With 'Elizabeth' all those things happen except it exceeds what you want it to do and goes way beyond. It's the epitome of every atmospheric rock song you've heard, painting chaotic pictures and scenes in black, white and grey in your mind, bringing you into a foggy underworld realm and carrying you weightlessly across its waters, again I can't emphasise enough how pleasing Lucy Earley's vocals are here. 

The Truth is the Trip finishes as it began, with the inviting instrumental of 'Memory's Death' and then another one of the albums highlights, closing track 'Call of the Void'. Here we see more range from Kingdom of Crows, it's a psychedelic prog-rock piece of wonder, like the Alan Parsons Project joined a coven of witches, appropriately enough for the day that's in it. It summarises the overall mood of the album as well, haunting, ethereal, fantastical and trance-inducing. There's a ton of scope for KoC's to work with in the future based on this album, one which would easily see it's place on any of the respected international music websites and publications, it would be hard to argue that The Truth is the Trip isn't one of the best alternative Irish rock albums in years.

Kingdom of Crows - Call Of The Void


Remy: You started out as a one man acoustic show back in 2011, this week you finally released your debut album, The Truth Is The Trip with full band, has it felt like a long road, would you have liked to have gotten to this point sooner?

Stephen: Everything was going smoothly, I was recording away with Ken McGrath (drums) and Rob Stanley (bass) under the supervision of Dr Yeates (our engineer) from the Casualty Factory, and we were flying along. Then when it came to finding a singer every rock star in Ireland came forward to audition but mostly disappointed cause not one of them followed through on how much they claimed "they could kill it" ha! So it slowed to a crawl then looking for a singer again, then in late 2013 I was put through to Lucy by a friend who was saying her former band were finished or whatever and we met in Loop Studios to listen to the demos of the album and she was very professional, took notes, loved the tunes and that was it, we got working.

R: There's a very wide range of genres at play on the album, from dark rock to delicate strings, folky acoustic numbers and borderline ambient moments, that's quite an array of sounds?

S: Yeah well between Lucy and I we are just big fans of music, I was brought up on The Pistols and Metallica an I'm currently listening to the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, and Lucy grew up with Davy Spillane and Paolo Conte yet is a big Zeppelin and Doors fan ya know, so within the band there is a very eclectic taste which creeps into the sound of the music I guess.

R: In terms of the song-writing, I'm interested to know how you picture your songs turning out with someone else writing lyrics to go with them, particularly someone with such a gifted voice as Earley, when you were in the studio did you think 'This is what I imagined it would turn out like', or did you think 'Woah!', or a mix of both!

S: Well back in early 2013 when there was no sign of a singer I attempted lyrics and vocals on 'Beauty Is The Witch' but the guards were called and I was formally charged with disturbing the peace! No, Lucy is the lyricist , and melody wise she comes in with a completely different angle that I couldn't even imagine! but I'll be honest, when I first heard the songs demoed with vocals I was thinkin, what the fuck!!?? Me tunes!!! but after a few listens it was clear no one else was meant to sing on these songs. 

Kingdom of Crows - When We Were Young


R: With the album out in the world now, are there any plans to give it a live outing in the near future?

S: Sure we'll see how the album goes down first, never say never!

You can now purchase The Truth is the Trip from today at https://kingdomofcrows.bandcamp.com/


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Webpage: http://www.breakingtunes.com/kingdomofcrows

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KingdomOfCrowsMusic

Bandcamp: https://kingdomofcrows.bandcamp.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kingdomofcrows


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

EP - Streek - Disjointed Exerts

Streek Disjointed Excerpts


Streek - The Ever Changing Life


Info: Streek is the performance name of Dubliner Barry Streek, a one man band who makes his music at home, the fruits of which are his debut E.P., Disjointed Exerts. After moving around between bands over the years, and at one point headlining the IMRO Anniversary show in Vicar Street. After a brief hiatus Streek began work on producing and recording his own music, including playing all of the instruments on the new E.P..

Disjointed Exerts is an interesting proposition, there are times when you feel it may have over-extended itself, but that minor fussiness is more than washed away by the overall charm you feel by its end. Second track 'Nothing Is All' has a really nice shoe-gaze feel to it and a riff that is reminiscent of Gary Numan & Tubeway Army's 'You Are In My Vision. 'In The Dark' is quintessential late 90's Irish indie, simple yet enjoyable chugging bass and guitar are both mood-creating and again dip into shoe-gaze territory. 

Barry Streek Dublin Disjointed Excerpts


'Reminisce' is a sweet track, soft and endearing folk that hints at Elliott Smith, the limited usage of vocals on this one bring the music to the fore and as the track develops it's easy to get lost in the rhythmic guitar plucking. 'The Everchanging Life' (above) stands out on the E.P. for more than one reason, there's a lot more going on when compared to the other songs, but it definitely sounds like the closest thing to a single, there's also a curious mix of Chemical Brothers percussion mixed with late 60's psych on the guitar. I have to admire Barry Streek for creating this collection within limitations, I think a fine job has been done and there's more than enough proof presented that better is to come.

Streek - Reminisce


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EP: Abandcalledboy - www.Com PC World

Abandcalledboy www.Com PC World EP



Abandcalledboy - www.Com PC World


Info: Belfast experimental rock outfit Abandcalledboy return with their third E.P., www.Com PC World, a title which is sure to wreak havoc with Google's webcrawlers as they navigate their way through the back-end of Irish music websites over the next few weeks. Following on from last years self-titled 7-track E.P., this time we're treated to a shorter recording of three songs, but it's quality over quantity and in my opinion a noticeable sea-change in their music.

Opening track 'Pure Nostalgia' is familiar Abandcalledboy territory, with lead singer Ryan Burrowes' unmistakable vocal marching in tandem with droning guitar riffs and ever-building rhythmic drums. It's about a minute and a half into 'Renaissance Man' that something unexpected happens, the music collapses from a height and falls neatly together, something sounds different. Yes the power and distortion of Abandcalledboy is still there but the mood feels at odds with previous material, it's a cliché for sure, and I wouldn't call it growth or confidence, but the music enters seriously solid ground on this track, in a 'been around the block and here you are' kind of way. Even the outro to 'Renaissance Man' is unchartered territory for the group stylistically and it gives you pause for thought rather than just going with the flow as you might on a 3 minute rock powerhouse.


Abandcalledboy


No time to digest these thoughts and you're straight into the whirlwind of 'Choke', a hugely impressive raising of the bar by the four-piece. I've long had a soft spot for the first track of theirs that I heard, 'Cliff Richard', and up until now it was my favourite ABCB number, bittersweetly that is no longer the case. 'Choke' appeals to a wide range of indie and rock tastes I possess, from it's In It For The Money Supergrass intro, to the raucous percussion and incessant guitar riffs, the pace is steady, there's QOTSA, Idlewild, and a highly appealing interlude just after the half-way point. As a whole these three tracks together fittingly provide a start-middle-end (but not the end, the beginning, again!) of Abandcalledboy's career to date, for fans of rock music, shit just got real.


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Monday, 26 October 2015

Single: Oyster Kids - Creepy

Oyster Kids Creepy Single




Info: Los Angeles duo Oyster Kids released their debut single 'Creepy' on the 6th of October, and today sees the official unveiling of the video to go with the track from the dark, indie pop pair. 

This is a video I've been looking forward to sharing since I first got to have a look at it at the start of the month. It's always nice to get a track and video that are both very enjoyable and work so well together. The video, directed by Kamell Allaway, sees two distressingly ghoulish teens (like something out of Spielberg's AI) preparing for a date night together with two mummified minders present to ensure hands are visible at all times. 

The contrived romance is highlighted as both minders abandon their assumed roles and get freaky with each other. 'Creepy' is, needless to say, a more than appropriate track title, the song itself is a highly gratifying slice of indie pop, it's almost nonchalant musically, which matches the personas of the characters in the video, which brings me back to the good old days when music videos added a significant layer to the overall package of singles, one of my favourite of 2015.


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Sunday, 25 October 2015

Trick Mist - 'Jars in Rows' EP Stream Premiere and Interview

Trick Mist Jars in Rows


Trick Mist - 'Jars in Rows' Full Stream


Info: Trick Mist is an Irish electronic songwriter based in Manchester. His music positions the lyrical song within a wider experimental electronic context. An intriguing blend of lyrics, traditional Irish music odes and homemade samples form a sound which aims to move you inside and out.

Jars in Rows EP was written, recorded and mixed over the course of 9 months after a relocation to Manchester from London. It is observational in nature with songs exploring topics of change, love, value systems, escapism, and acceptance.

The Jars in Rows E.P. from Trick Mist is a highly atmospheric and unique collection of five tracks blending experimental electronica with trad music. From the opening strings on 'Tampering Happy' we're brought on a strange, sometimes dark, yet wonderful journey by Trick Mist. The vocals from Dundalk's Gavin Murray are deep in tone, somewhat reminiscent of The National's Matt Berninger, in particular on second track, the excellent 'Tummy Speak' which utilises slightly off-key percussion to great effect.


Trick Mist Gavin Murray Jars in Rows

Proceedings spiral out all around us in full flow on 'Your Brass Angel', there's a sci-fi buzz about this track, floating aimlessly in space with multiple rhythmic layers and beats propelling it along. One of the highlights on the E.P. is 'Cracking Settlement', it's an enchanting piece of music where we find Trick Mist embracing the traditional Irish music sounds he has scattered across the tracks, conjuring an old world mystical soundscape. 

Final track 'Another's Tale' was my favourite of all, it's impossible not to become entranced by the industrial and tribal sound of the beat, it's grey and machine-like and very vivid, bringing a very interesting and expansive E.P. to a close. Trick Mist has presented a strong and very different debut that displays an undoubted ability to conjure up magic, like a conductor bringing order to the potential chaos of the many sounds that have spilled from his head and into our ears.


To accompany the premiere feature of Trick Mist's 'Jars in Rows' E.P., we had a chat about the background and development of the music and an upcoming video series which will align itself to each of the recordings songs.



Remy: Up until this new solo project, Trick Mist, you've mostly been involved in alternative indie bands, this ambient electronica sound is quite different. Is it something you've always felt you wanted to dip your toes into?

Trick Mist: Yeah I’ve always been into electronic music. I studied Music Technology at college and specialised in electronic music composition and went down a bit of a mad rabbit hole recording stuff around the house constantly viewing everything as a sound object. I still get slagged for it but it was a time that really stuck out for me and I did want to delve back into that mindset.

R: One of the things that struck me in a most pleasant way was your adoption of some elements of traditional Irish music, perhaps most notably on 'Cracking Settlement', you may have just redeemed the tin whistle for thousands of Irish youngsters! Was this a spontaneous idea or borne of an exile's heart?!


TM: A bit of both really. Being part of that generation that left, you begin to realise and cling onto your Irishness more I think. So I guess I have become more naturally drawn to traditional Irish music’s charge in recent years. Trying to use it in a different context and push it around a bit was something that made sense to me as someone who doesn't have a deep knowledge of trad. It’s the first music I ever played but I moved onto Drums really quickly and it fell by the wayside. I learned tin whistle and then bodhrán when I was 8 so it was nice to revisit it when embarking on my first venture as a solo artist. I was very aware of the ‘didley-eye’ associations of trad and I guess I wanted to confront that. The instruments were always to hand so it was easy for them to find their way onto the EP. I also miraculously found a violin in a wheelie bin the same week I decided I wanted to start a song based around violin so that was very handy/weird! Some things are meant to be.

Gavin Murray Trick Mist


R: Tell us a bit about the overall process for Jars in Rows, from when you decided to go ahead with Trick Mist to completing the recording?

TM: I decided to build up a portfolio of work. That turned into an EP. I wanted to make a body of work and not worry about how to recreate it live when I was making it. I set about creating a library of homemade samples. I worked sections of audio until I felt comfortable then I’d loop it and start to make up melodies and lyrics on the fly and record them as guides. I ended up keeping lots of intended guide vocals takes which was really nice and natural. I wanted to write about things that interested me and explore things around me. The EP is very observational in nature. I think that’s because I was a new resident to Manchester. Each song on the EP explores specific topics. Change, love, value systems, escapism and acceptance all get a run out. I had this constant image of them all lined up beside each other hence the title ‘Jars in Rows’. I took my time working on the songs and mixing them. It was a new way of working for me so I needed to live with the work I was creating.

R: It's most definitely a modern composition (the EP), a lot of contemporary electronic music has clear 1980's indicators like New Order or Gary Numan to name but two of many, but I'm not hearing any here, are there any artists from say, the last 5-10 years that may have inspired some elements of the song-writing?

TM: Yeah that’s a fair point. I love the original palate of sounds contemporary artists like Jon Hopkins, Patten and Fka Twigs draw from. Having a vocabulary of sounds that is unusual was something I strived for. The majority of samples used on the EP are homemade. It’s a lot of work making homemade samples but I hope that they bring there own imprint to proceedings. I wanted to make music that has a clear electronic vocabulary but that was focused on the song and its lyrical content. From this point of view Villagers songwriting capabilities are a constant inspiration.

R: You'll also be periodically releasing a video to go with each of the five tracks on Jars in Rows, can you tell us a bit more about that?

TM: Yeah I’m doing a video series in conjunction with the EP called ‘Gap Series’. I’ve invited multiple artists to respond to a song from the EP and to make a reactionary piece of video based solely on their perception. It’s a really interesting project as its all about individual perception. I’m not involved in the process so it’s quite different from the path music videos constructions can take (ie musician has video idea and finds people to execute it). I’m looking forward to seeing the completed videos. I’ve got visual artists, filmmakers and a contemporary dancer involved so it’s a lovely showcase for how much diverse and creative talent resides within my peer network. Making music on your own can be a very solitary experience. It was for me anyway at times. I recorded and mixed the entire EP in a tiny walk-in wardrobe in my flat!! And I’m a tall fella!! The ‘Gap Series’ was a really nice way to reach out to others and breathe external life into the songs I was creating. The videos will be released in 2 week intervals over the course of December and January. Before that I’ll be premiering the entire thing at my EP launch show at Fuel in Manchester on Saturday 28th November. I’ll be screening it before the live show on the night so that should be special.

R: On a personal note you've been living in England for roughly the past 5 years between London and now Manchester, has being away from Ireland had any impact on your music and what do you think are the advantages / disadvantages with regard to releasing and promoting yourself as an artist in England vs. Ireland?

TM: I think it’s had a huge impact on my music. I’m not sure if I would have such an attraction to using traditional Irish music in my music if I hadn't of left Ireland. I was definitely introduced to a lot of new music and music making processes in London. Visual art also inspires me a lot. London is amazing in terms of the volume of good art on show. Also living in a crazy city like London the dancing at the weekend becomes such a sacred thing. That definitely turned my head to making music that induces physicality. Manchester is a city where music is part of the social fabric and my experience here has had a direct effect on the content of the EP. With regards pros and cons of releasing and promoting in England vs. Ireland I’m not sure. The UK is bigger so there is more on offer music infrastructure wise but it’s possibly harder to gain attention. Ireland has a comparatively smaller infrastructure but has a supply of extremely talented musicians so competition is high. I couldn't say one is better than the other. I feel I ‘m a bit in between the two anyway so that works for me.

R: Do you see Trick Mist as a temporary or long-term incarnation? Or are you happy to just see where it leads for now and go with the flow?

TM: Long-term definitely. Its been great so far and it’s only just beginning.
R: Finally, aside from the video series which we can look forward to seeing, do you have any plans in the near future to write more music and / or perform live with the new E.P.?

TM: Yeah I’m going to be playing live going forward now. I’ve been figuring out how to play my songs live which has been really challenging and interesting. I’ve got two great upcoming shows. I’ll be launching the EP with a gig and screening night at Fuel in Manchester Saturday 28th November. Also, myself and Video Blue are going to be playing the Spirit Store in Dundalk on Tuesday 22nd December. I’ll planning to get a tour together in the new Year and I’m writing and recording continuously so I’ll be hanging around.


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Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Introducing: Peco

Peco Grace Isn't Easy Folk



Peco - Harbour Master


Info: Peco McLoughlin was born and raised in Kildare but has lived in Dublin for many years. Before going solo he was the singer-songwriter behind folk-rock act Valentine Black. The band enjoyed critical acclaim for their album Desire Lines and the three singles lifted from it. They toured Ireland and internationally on the back of it, including shows around the UK, The US, and Canada.

Well I have to say this is the type of contemporary folk music that I like listening to, grounded in the genres classic origins but with a familiar modern twist. I enjoyed both 'Harbour Master' (above) and 'Grace Isn't Easy (below) for different reasons, the first has a confident swagger to it with Peco's easy on the ear yet forceful vocals riding over the heavy steel strings of his acoustic guitar. The song was a melting pot of Mike Scott, Dylan's 'It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)' in terms of music, and vocally recalling Don McLean with the modernity coming courtesy of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's 2005 acoustic-based album Howl

Peco - Grace Isn't Easy

'Grace Isn't Easy' again nods strongly to Bob Dylan, like a worthy B-Side to 'Like A Rolling Stone', and again I'm getting The Waterboys vibes on this one too. The lyrics impress too, a cynical dreamer who wants to be happier but is weighed down by the folks running the show, McLoughlin observes; 'They're putting hands on bibles, they need it for survival, the irony is not lost on me...it's hard not to digress from god to politics, and our human legacy is a history of domination.' There's something terribly authentic about Peco's music and it has a distinct Irish blas throughout which makes it really feel like he could be the real deal, a strong contender for the local folk throne which will also appeal greatly beyond these shores.

Peco releases his debut E.P., And So I Arrived At The Start in early 2016.


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Sunday, 18 October 2015

Single: Son of the Hound - Pilgrim

Son of the Hound Pilgrim


Son of the Hound - Pilgrim


Info: Son of the Hound derives his name from Mac Cú Ulaidh (Son of the Hound of Ulster), the surname of alternative folk and bluegrass musician Mick McCullagh, and the music certainly has tribal elements to it. 'Pilgrim' (above) is the first single from the Omagh songwriter whose sound has been compared to The Pogues, Josh Ritter and The Decembrists.

As the song title suggests, 'Pilgrim' is thematically steeped in the Wild West spaghetti western traditions you'd associate with a Sergio Leone soundtrack. 'I'm a pilgrim, I walk this lonely road, before my body turns to dust, and the dirt takes my bones, and as long as my heart beats in my chest, I will go where it takes me before I'm laid to rest' McCullagh sings, encapsulating the lonely wanderer striving toward destinations unknown. 

Musically the track is very appealing, from the dark drum beat at the beginning to the uplifting and melodic western whistling, and the brushed rhythm of the snare. At times it reminds me of The Dubliners both vocally and with regards to the story-telling side of the lyrics. 'Pilgrim' is a really strong debut outing from Son of the Hound which presents us with both talented song-writing and lyrical ability, not to mention a great video courtesy of Redcap Productions which adds a light-hearted feel to the struggling protagonists travails.


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Track: The Masks - Chasing Glory feat. Rossi Riko

The Masks Chasing Glory Rossi Riko London


The Masks - Chasing Glory feat. Rossi Riko


Info: London duo LaVeré and Bobby, aka, The Masks, are an electronic hip-hop act who have just released the above new track, 'Chasing Glory', featuring RnB artist Rossi Riko, which they describe as being 'about self reflection and making a change, starting with the man in the mirror.'

There's a lot to like about 'Chasing Glory' from The Masks, which reminds me very much of Kentucky's Cunninglynguists or Childish Gambino musically in terms of beat and sounds employed. The track has a solid groove and Riko's rap vocals are smooth, everything combined works nicely to produce a number that could and should easily reach a wider audience whilst retaining an original and unique feel.

The Masks Chasing Glory Rossi Riko


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Album: Square Revolution - Square Revolution

 Square Revolution


Square Revolution - A Bridge


Info: Square Revolution is a pseudonym of Dublin-based singer-songwriter/producer Dave Thomas. The first full-length Square Revolution album will be released on 30th October 2015 - a follow-up to the debut release, Quartet EP. Square Revolution's music has been featured on national radio stations such as RTE Radio 1 and BBC Northern Ireland. Dave is a regular performer at the esteemed Ruby Sessions in Doyle’s of College Green and has also had the pleasure of headlining the evening. Square Revolution, in both solo and group mode, has played in venues such as Whelan’s and The Sugar Club, as well as opening for renowned acts including The Cribs & Oliver Cole.

It's always a good sign when you like the opening track on an album and what follows doesn't progressively evaporate that initial enjoyment. Opener 'Sugar & Alcohol' provides a summary of sorts of what is to come, with the lush production (courtesy of Dublin electronic musician and producer Eomac) never going too far, the mix of a post-rock sound and electronica working very neatly together. Second track 'Walking Back' shifted gears slightly toward sunnier moods, this is the first hint I took from Square Revolution of Irish influences, in particular Mic Christopher and a small hint of Bell X-1 circa 2003's Music In Mouth, definitely a track I'll be drawn to more after repeated listens.

Square Revolution Square Revolution Album

'Pattern' makes nice use of brass and drum beats to create a sleepy and slightly melancholic atmosphere, like British Sea Power and Broken Social Scene in their more contemplative modes. After a full-on electro powerhouse via 'Baby Blue Tears', Thomas drops the pace on the acoustic 'Camera Shy', you get a sense that this is where is origins are, a folky piece of song-writing which is nice to see as a touching point and understand where he's coming from. Oh how I enjoyed 'Quartet', what an intro, take me away on a string-laden trip of escapism! Although I haven't touched on it yet, the vocals are spot on here as well, as they are across the album, it's evident that Thomas hasn't just popped out of nowhere with an album and has been honing his skills for quite some time.

Square Revolution - Pattern


On 'Leaving (Fall Asleep)' Square Revolution throws all of the goodies into the bag, references to Explosions in the Sky or Califone with extra emphasis on the electronic side of proceddings, the song closes with nice ambient vibes and soothing backing vocals. The self-titled album closes strongly with 'A Bridge' (very top), it's hard not to feel like you're slipping into a (voluntary!) drug-induced deep sleep, it's pretty gorgeous musically, Thomas slowly sculpts an emotive soundscape for us to drift off into while he lays down our happy heads. 

'Square Revolution' will be released on the 30th of October, more info at the below links.


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Friday, 16 October 2015

Track: ELVETT - So Easy To Leave

Elvett So Easy To Leave


ELVETT - So Easy To Leave


Info: Swiss indie-pop duo Elvett formed in January of this year and have amassed a strong following in the underbelly of their native music scene as a result of their unique brand of sleek analog-based indie sounds. Together as a musical duo since 2003, vocalist Lyn and drummer Alain have primarily written music for film up until now, with the release of 'Home' last month and now 'So Easy To Leave', they are moving into new territory, creating music based on sensuous electronica mixed with acoustic instrumentation. 

'So Easy To Leave' is an entirely different proposition to Elvett's last release, 'Home', it's as though they have left home (sorry) and charted a course for the stars, a very spacey soundscape has been created here by the duo, at times grimey and at other times full of soul. Again Lyn's lower tones are reminiscent of Winehouse and jazz vocals but as she reaches higher notes they sound more contemporary. One of the strands of Elvett's music that I particularly enjoy is the African style beats and percussion courtesy of Alain, adding colour to the trippy sci-fi picture they've painted on 'So Easy To Leave', which will feature on their soon to be released E.P.. 


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Live: October Gig Listing

Cassette Store Day 2015


Info: It's a while since I've done a gig listing but there's so much on over the last 2 weeks in October that I'm going to put it all in one place here and will start doing them monthly from now on as November is already shaping up to be a busy month as well, thanks to the number of quality Irish acts we have at the moment, we're spoilt rotten frankly.

1) Cassette Store Day: First up is a Cassette Store Day special event at 12 Little Britain Street in Dublin 7 which runs from 1.30pm to 8pm this Saturday, 17th of October and has been organised by indie labels Popical Island and Little L Records. 'Celebrate the third annual 'Cassette Store Day' in the company of two of Ireland's finest indie labels that sometimes release things on tape. Bring coffee, cola, beer (or whatever the heck you like to drink) and enjoy some funtime pop music courtesy of Popical Island & Little L Records.

Admission is seven euro, but bring some extra pocket money if you wish to take away some souvenirs of the day - Little L Records have several special releases for Cassette Store Day, and both labels will be flogging odds & ends from the merch booth. Performances on the day will come courtesy of the excellent Mr. Rosso, Me and My Dog, Lie Ins, Tobi the Dog, NO MONSTER CLUB, Stephen Star and Oh Boland


Mr. Rosso - This Is Not A Game (There Are No Winners)


2) Noxious Foxes: Fuzzy math rock from the USA arrives in Abner Browns Barbershop in Rathmines this Saturday, 17th of October, in the shape of Brooklyn duo Noxious Foxes. The event is limited to 40 people so it will be first come first served, get there on time around the 8pm mark to avoid disappointment.

Noxious Foxes - Roxious Soxes


3) Concrete Soup Presents: The monthly showcase from improv post-punk Dublin band ¡NO! presents German multi-instrumentalist Alfred 23 Harth and Japanese guitarist and daxophonist (yes, daxophone!) Kazuhisa Uchihashi at 38 Lower Ormond Quay upstairs in Tengu Izakaya (Yamamori). 'The eminent duo will perform upstairs on Saturday October 17th. The night will kick off with a duo performance by Gavin Prior and Shane Clear, followed by ¡NO!, and finally Harth/Uchihashi. Concrete Soup DJs will then take things into the dimming and beery small hours with sounds from a perpendicular universe!' The night of entertainment kicks off at 20:30pm and the full show and after-party is €12.


Alfred 23 Harth - Ich Grolle Nicht


4) Abandcalledboy: Suitors to the Northern Irish rock throne, Belfast's Abandcalledboy, play Sweeneys Bar on Dame Street on Monday, 19th of October before setting off on their U.K. tour for which they will be raising funds on the night, which is free entry. 'The show is FREE so you really have no excuse to miss it as we all know you've already got no plans. We will also have the bands done with enough time to grab the last bus. Donation buckets will be in the venue for those willing and able to get this band on the road.' Support comes from Facing and Bodies.


Abandcalledboy - L.A. Dick


5) Penrose Single Launch: Dublin indie revellers Penrose will perform a headline show at the Academy 2 on Thursday the 22nd of October to launch their single 'Melody' with support on the night coming from two brilliant bands Late City Edition and The Smoking Giants. Doors 7PM. The boys add; 'We hope to see everyone there supporting our self released Single and Independent Irish Music. Peace and Love, Penrose x.' Tickets are only €7 and can be bought via Ticketmaster here


Penrose - Melody


6) Monster Monster E.P. Launch: Guitarist Mick Stuart and singer Ríona Sally Hartman release their eagerly anticipated debut E.P. The City's Ours, having brought us a string of great singles over the last few months, Monster Monster hit upstairs in Whelans on Friday, 23rd of October, to celebrate the release with support on the night coming from emerging Dublin talent and artist Carly Coonagh. Doors are from 8pm and entry is €6 with tickets on sale here.


Monster Monster - You're My Fix


7) Interlude at the RHA: The Royal Hibernian Academy at Stephens Green plays host to a three day festival of music, film and art from the 23rd-25th of October. Music will come via Lasertom, Carriages and Little Xs For Eyes among others. 'The event will be spread between seven of the galleries impressive rooms, and outdoor courtyard. Featuring a live music room, club space, cabaret cinema, cocktail club, craft beer bar, vinyl room and pop-up restaurant, this event promises to fill your bank holiday calendar to the brim with something totally new to the city.' Tickets for the festival are available now from interludefestival.eventbrite.ie and start from €10. In addition, DJ’s playing INTERLUDE include Tom Middelton, Ashley Beedle, The Reflex, Justin Robertson, Get Down Edits, Keep Schtum, The Disconauts, Sam Kinsella, Craig Wrafter, Ruby Cube & Arveene with many more live acts and DJ’s still to be announced.

Carriages - Iron & Fire


8) Red Moon Bayonets present, Six Feet Below Halloween Party:
Six Feet Below is a Halloween fancy dress party with a twist. It will be held in The Bello Bar situated in Portobello Dublin 8 (Below The Lower Deck Pub) on Friday the 30th of October. The night will consist of four emerging Irish musical acts covering a huge field of genres. The acts will include Red Moon BayonetsBlades ClubThe Marcelus Wallas and Patrick Carolina.

The Bello Bar is the perfect location for this event with it's dark yet elegant interior. Throughout the evening the atmosphere will be set with Horror movies projected onto the back wall while acts play, We will also have lots of surprises from beyond the grave. It's a fancy dress party so best dressed will have a spot prize at the end of the night!

This will be the only place to celebrate your Halloween weekend!

First act starts at 8pm sharp!!

Red Moon Bayonets - Bayonets


Red Moon Bayonets Six Feet Below Halloween Party


9) CC Brez Single Launch: Blues and funk maestro CC Brez returns to Whelans following his hugely successful and sold out E.P. launch back in June, this time he'll be presenting new single, 'When It Feels Good' with support from multi-instrumentalists Too Fools. The live show takes place on Halloween night, 31st of October with tickets available at Ticketmaster here for €12 which includes a free CD of the single. 


CC Brez - When It Feels Good


CC Brez Whelans When It Feels Good Single Launch


Single: Gregory Uhlmann - It's Not Your Fault

Gregory Uhlmann It's Not Your Fault


Gregory Uhlmann - It's Not Your Fault


Info: Los Angeles based composer and songwriter Gregory Uhlmann has released his debut single, 'It's Not Your Fault', as he strikes out on a solo path from current band Fell Runner. In Uhlmann's own words; 'The track is an outgrowth of a band I've performed with in LA with another singer, bass clarinet, viola, bass, and drums.  It was co-produced by Tim Carr (The Americans, Fell Runner, HAIM) and features some amazing Los Angeles musicians.'

This first offering from Uhlmann is a real hazy lo-fi number, dipping from bare acoustic to orchestral peaks, there's a classic old world feel to the music. Nods to the likes of Elliott Smith in the guitar and Grizzly Bear in the harmonies. The clarinet adds a lovely texture to the melodies and it's difficult not to come out of the end of 'It's Not Your Fault' with a warm feeling of well-being, a strong opening salvo to say the least.


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Video: Track Dogs - Bon Scott, He Rocked

Track Dogs Bon Scott He Rocked


Track Dogs - Bon Scott, He Rocked


Info: Named after the maintenance teams that work the NYC subway system Track Dogs are a four piece acoustic act based in Madrid, Spain. Made up of two Irishmen; Garrett Wall (Vocals/Guitar/Ukulele/Piano) & Dave Mooney (Bass/Ukelele/Vocals), Englishman Howard Brown (Trumpet/Vocals/ Percussion) and Cleveland, Ohio native Robbie K Jones (Cajón/Banjo/Vocals). The group are releasing their third album, Serenity Sessions, in early 2016, with this tribute to the recently passed away AC / DC frontman, the first offering. 

Showcasing the band's "one-mic" performance and featuring the band’s signature harmonies the video to the song was filmed in Madrid by Oscar Cavaller. This track is a good old school bluegrass jam with feverishly happy sounds coming from both banjo and upright bass in particular, not to mention some bang on the button harmonies from all four members of Track Dogs, a really nice taster in the run up to their February album release. Link to purchase the single on iTunes is below.


Track Dogs Bon Scott He Rocked AC DC



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