Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Video: Shiftwork - Ode to Tommy

Shiftwork - Ode To Tommy
Photo: Cecilia Lacombe

Info: Shiftwork are a ridiculously charming trio who play quirky, haunting and strangely beautiful songs. Their duelling and harmonising vocals touch on important topics such as three day rollovers, semi-perilous late night cycling and unrequited lust.

Dublin-based alternative-folk trio Shiftwork released the video for their track 'Ode to Tommy' last week, which was originally recorded roughly a year ago. The chap in the song's title is one Tommy Wiseau, writer, director and star of cult drama The Room which was released in 2003. The story behind the film, in a rough nutshell, sees Tommy's character Johnny play the part of a successful banker in San Francisco, who, to him at least, is in an idyllic relationship with beau Lisa. All is not as it seems however, with Lisa, arriving at a point of boredom in their romance, messing around with Johnny's BFF Mark. 

Critically panned beyond any form of redemption, and with rock-bottom scores on online film sites such as IMDB, Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, the sheer disbelief at how bad the acting is and the amateur nature of both the writing and production have turned The Room into a source of intrigue, and major league fandom. Shiftwork capture the black tragi-comedy with aplomb on their video directed by Andy Flaherty, a song I've had the pleasure of seeing performed live twice in 2017, which immediately leads to intrigue about its subject matter.

Off the back of playing Electric Picnic two years on the bounce, as well as this years' Culture Night, the stir created by Shiftwork's live performances to date means a lot more people will be seeing and hearing their music in 2018, I for one am excited to see them take to the stage again in the New Year.

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Monday, 11 December 2017

Single: Jon Dots - Happy Christmas Baby from Me

Jon Dots - Happy Christmas Baby From Me

Info: Dublin Indie-Pop-Pop solo act Jon Dots has released his twelfth song of 2017, much of which has gone under the radar, all of which is the most blissful hideaway and escape from the din and clamour. As I grow older I've learned to hate Christmas, not to be a spoilsport or negative, it has just gradually sucked baubles, the important thing is that I don't allow this seething dread impact on those I cherish, after all, they've bought me presents.

Dots' 'Happy Christmas Baby From Me' is just the tonic to this miserable disposition, if a 20-odd year old Roy Orbison were plonked into a recording studio in 2017 this would absolutely be the song he would record. What is most impressive (as is the case in general with Dots' output) is his remarkable and innate ability to reproduce and improve upon classic sounds. The vocal is so smooth, and the pop elements are kind of a work of art, if there's anyone better at this type of composition in Ireland at the moment I'm yet to come across them. 

What's left to do but thank Dots for saving me from myself this yuletide, and to share with you another one of his singles. My Christmas present to all of you, is Jon Dots.

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EP: Aural Air - The Torpor of Minds

Aural Air - The Torpor of Minds

Info: When Aural Air shared with me her debut A-side 'Edinburgh' / 'The Heir of Indignation' in August of last year I was instantly beguiled, this was a different vocal, a neat and most worthy guitar-playing style, thoughtful lyrics and sudden mood shifts. Last week Laura Rai (see what she has done there?) from Kildare released her debut EP under her moniker Aural Air, The Torpor of Minds, on Little L Records, and I am so glad she has included both of the aforementioned tracks on this collection of songs as more people need to hear how great they sound.

There's an American grunge-lite softness to opening track 'Serpent Speak', it's such a nice rendering of wonky timing and cast-away vocals, with Aural Air emerging from a slumber at 1:56, "Come on..." she whispers and we kick in, and this is what I thought I might be hearing last year, it's 2007, and it's St. Vincent's debut album Marry Me, but we're a bit more forceful in 2017 with regard to Aural Air's music.

That feeling is compounded on second track 'The Vanishing Dove', the song titles are as poetic as the flow of the music. Rai's voice flits gracefully between soft-rock and soul-jazz, today and yesterday at once, and again that controlled power whittles away in an instant like an extinguished candle at track's end. 'Medeina's Dove' comes next, here the off-kilter rhythm and beat is almost disorientating, almost, but it serves to add a wicked theatrical darkness we haven't come across yet. 

So we reach 'The Heir of Indignation', and well over a year later it is still perfection to my ears, the mystique of the vocal and the casual yet stifflingly cool guitar progression which arrives half-way through such a pleasure, here she's more Anna Calvi than Annie Clarke. It's also a moment to pause and admire the lyrical talent; "In the shadows, in the meadows, in the corners of your mind, when you suddenly felt sullenly and soon remember why, that they're watching and they're waiting in their vain hypocrisy, for the terrors that give birth to my stubborn apathy."

The Torpor of Minds closes with 'Edinburgh' another delightful moment to lose yourself in, alongside 'The Heir of Indignation', this song flitted into my head for months after hearing it for the first time, those breaks between eruptive emotion and fading falling stars hurtling to the ground are at work again. A rawness and vulnerability streak across Aural Air's debut EP, but it's not the rawness of starting out or finding your way, it's a sense of working your way through the sounds of the music with a careful, delicate and loving treading. Her star may or may not rise to where it deserves to be in 2018, but it's going to happen sooner rather than later.

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Saturday, 9 December 2017

Photos: Sub Motion, WOLFF & Scally @ The Workman's Club

Sub Motion The Workman's Club

All photos: Remy Connolly

Info: Begorrah that was some show last night in The Workman's Club with Sub Motion filling the venue and rapidly escalating the intensity of their set until a stage-filled finale brought the audience into the fray for some wonderful chaos. Playing all of the favourites including singles 'Decoy', 'Soccer Mom' and 'Headlights', as well as some brand new material, the five band members threw everything into the mix, a stand-out highlight also being their cover of Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'Heads Will Roll'. In support WOLFF swept around the stage for another blues-rock blowout, frontman Johnny Stewart in headmaster mode, cutting out the bullshit of kindly asking the audience to come up to the stage and reminding them they were here for a gig, and not to skulk in the dark at the back of the room, this is not a verbatim recounting but you get the message. 

Before all that Mullingar's Scally and his band The Dirty Rats gave a 1970's punk-rock throwback performance, anarchy on the stage, searing guitar riffs and 50% of the band including the man himself topless with the words 'Filthy Animal' emblazoned across his chest, and a filthy animal he was too as he gesticulated in a sexually provocative manner that had the crowd in shock and led to a cacophony of gasps (this may or may not be true). This was a hard-rock fans line-up, even the music being played in between acts was of the same timbre, (one suspects selected by Sub Motion themselves) and all three bands delivered animal sets, mission accomplished.

(On PC or Mac click on first image to start slideshow)

Playlist: REMY's Top 20 Irish EP's 2017

REMY Top 20 Irish EP's 2017

Info: Continuing our end of year lists here at REMY I'm delighted to share a genre-bending collection of my favourite Irish EP's of 2017, from electronic to folk, rock to jazz, soul to shimmer pop, all feauture across 20 extended play releases from the past 12 months. You'll find our customary Spotify playlist at the end of this post.

20. Gnarkats! - Waves Collide

Although it was released at the end of 2016, Waves Collide was reviewed in 2017 on REMY. There is a lot to like and enjoy on Gnarkats! debut EP, a gentle opening to 'Running From You' is quickly betrayed by the distorted hum of electric guitar sustain in the background at the 10 second mark. Gnarkat! get down to business with a cross-over between lo-fi and classic rock sounds, with, dare I say it, a dash of 70's glam swagger. It's (...) quite a lovely experience from a clearly thought-provoking act who are firmly making themselves part of the growing independent Belfast music establishment.

19. Bob Skeleton - If This Isn't Love

I have to hold my hand up here and admit I found 'If This Isn't Love' a strange experience, all three tracks are very distinct from one another, they don't run naturally into each other in terms of sound unlike previous EP Shade. Somehow this didn't matter or take away from my enjoyment one bit, the surprise was turned into reward, I wouldn't call it a challenge as a whole, as that would infer a negative which does not exist, but it was something new for me to grapple with, and it worked on every level for me, for the second EP running.

18. TUATH - Things I Don't Know

'Things I Don't Know' is doomy and gloomy in all the right ways, ticking all of the right boxes. Opener 'Stoically, I Ran Through The Rubble' mixes late 70's and early 80's post-punk moods with further down the line mid-90's rock, Therapy? meets The Cure whilst chatting to Depeche Mode, and strangely it's darkness is unusually calming. The crux of Things I Don't Know is atmosphere, everything else spins away haphazardly from that central point, and Tuath craft all of those elements so well on their third EP.

17. Thunderblender - Last Minute Panic

'Last Minute Panic' is 100% the type of mood-driven jazz that I would reach for when looking to both zone out and find a bit if headspace. It subtly covers many styles at once and it is so easy to see why these three musicians have received both awards and accolades for their craft, I'm not sure they could have improved on any aspect of this collection of songs. 

16. Sarah O'Gorman - Concrete Rain

'Concrete Rain' is a breath of fresh air, it fills so much of a void in not only Irish music, but even internationally. There is a distinct paucity of bone fide soul music which grabs you and makes you feel moved inside, on her debut EP Sarah O'Gorman achieves this and so much more across its four tracks, which for me combine to make one of the stellar music releases of 2017. 

15. NC Grey - Magic The EP

Oh damn there are so many levels I love NC Grey's 'Magic the EP' on. From the opening bongo beat to the majesty of the upright bass straight away at the 10-second mark I'm in soul-jazz heaven with 'Holiday', and on my first listen, was desperate to peruse the remaining tracks without delay. The curl of Grey's vocal at the end of each chorus line, the shaker percussion, the free-style keyboards and the delightful swing of everything as one is joyous.

NC Grey - Adonis


'Dem Devi' is the apex where all of RMCK's styles converge, the parts which were hitherto locked away and kept in check unleashed in a wild and perfectly off-beat manner, magik. As the EP closes on '7 And Inbetween' you reach the conclusion that the traditional sounds on RMCK's EP were not part of the experiment, but the focal point of it. The banjo is integral, somehow acting as the medium and key that led to these five tracks being created. The labour of love and creative force put into the EP is self-evident, the fact that both contributed to making a great piece of music is unsurprising.

13. Rosa Nutty - Pips

Rosa Nutty is showcasing two things here as well, a vocal ability most people would dream about sounding like, and a highly tangible and ever-improving knack for thought-provoking lyrics, all that is required for her to succeed in an artistic sense is to fully embrace her musical impulses, because everything is aligning so well so far for her and us...'Pips' will simply mesmerise you of it's own volition, and it's very much a being in the moment collection of songs, absorb, disconnect and be rewarded.

12. Fehdah - Like No Other

As a massive fan of 70's music, a decade I feel music was at its ground-breaking creative and experimental zenith, I was never going to not love 'Like No Other', it would have been impossible. But the best thing is knowing that I've enjoyed this collection of songs because they stand on their own in terms of quality, not because they sound like something I might like. I love this EP, and I know I'll find even more reasons to with every listen.

11. Proper Micro NV - Colours

...while many have remarked positively on his vocals before, I do feel it's necessary to commend them here once more, they are such an integral part of how the whole EP behaves and works so well. 'Colours' is electronic composition at its absolute finest, it reminds me of a much much better version of London's Ghost Culture matched with the natural talent of Cork's Bantum, and it's easily one of the best Irish EP's to be released this year, in any genre.

Montauk Hotel

10. Montauk Hotel - Montauk Hotel

I wouldn't quite go as far as saying that the combination of the guitar and vocals are bordering on heart-breaking here, but they come close, and I would struggle to avoid referencing once again that it feels like there is a deep sadness to the music on this particular track, and in small pockets on others. Interestingly, if you zoned out whilst listening to this collection of tracks and just let the music wash over you, you would probably feel quite elated, the music over-rides any sense of melancholy. To misquote Orwell, just like in Oceania, with Montauk Hotel, nothing is quite as it seems, and therein lies the intrigue. It's early doors, but a finer debut EP will be hard to come across before the year is out.

9. Mr. Billy Fitzgerald - An Introduction

It's been a long time since I've heard a collection of tracks where the acoustic guitar is so central yet in the grand scheme of the whole, almost becomes incidental due to the bristling rhythm and nature of the rest of the instruments. I quite simply, really enjoyed 'An Introduction' an awful lot, and tickle me pink, I can't wait for the album to come around now.

8. Pat Dam Smyth - Goodbye Berlin

The wonderful thing about 'Goodby Berlin' and Pat Dam Smyths song-writing, is that he can remind you of artists of yore through mood without really sounding like them at all. I feel like I felt when I first heard The Velvet Underground & Nico, again Leonard Cohen, and Richard Hawley's Late Night Final, but it's just a feeling, a nice one mind. It's atmospheric, a portal to another decade, and a poignant and strong finale to a truly heart-warming and perfectly crafted EP.

7. No Monster Club - Hiccup / Kalimanko

What is this voodoo? To my own utter disgust, despite being told on numerous occasions over the years to check out the music of No Monster Club, the sixth EP in Bobby Aherne's series of 12 for 2017 has been my first introduction to his music, but what an intro for me personally, the within the opening 10 seconds of first track 'Birthday Cake' I felt an even greater personal loss that I'd missed out on his music up until this point.

6. Emma O'Reilly - Fractures

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.

5. Niamh Regan - Niamh Regan

My introduction to the music of Niamh Regan was towards the end of 2015, when she shared her track, 'The Sweetest Drop', listening to it again today has been such a pleasant experience yet again, and I'm not sure I entirely captured just how good it was at the time. Move on 10 months later when Regan released her second single, 'She', and that early soirée started to become something entirely different. The impact rose immeasurably, and the realisation that something really genuine was unfolding made the heart sing. For an artist who is so understated in many ways, the power of her song-writing and inherent talent can be quite breath-taking. 

4. BODIES - Soak

'Soak' is a beautiful and dark construction by BODIES, tender yet soul-stirring, it's music that makes you feel and acknowledge things you would sometimes rather not address, which are easier to ignore, and McGeown certainly knows how to transpose that uncomfortable sensibility through his song-writing.

3. Alex Smyth - The Utopian Dream

One thing you can say for sure about Alex Smyth and The Utopian Dream EP is that he is totally at ease melding different sub genres into the instrumental electronic aesthetic of his music. This is succinctly tied together in the opening track, 'Weathered' (above), where Smyth blends differing types of guitar riffs with both contemporary and 80's synth-pop and electronica, and here they all make perfect sense together.

2. Leila Jane - Decision Maker

I really can't praise this EP enough, the varying moods, the musicianship, production and of course Leila Jane's song-writing and vocals, as well as how it resonates with my own personal tastes all work perfectly in conjunction together. She is without doubt an artist we need to celebrate and her third EP 'Decision Maker' is very easily one of the best Irish EP's of 2017, I hope an awful lot of people hear it.

REMY's Irish EP of the Year for 2017 goes to THUMPER's Pop! Goes The Weasel

A retro 70's sci-fi transmission heralds the opening minute and a half of 'Pop! Goes the Weasel', culminating in a minimalistic ear-bleed. We then tear into first single, 'The Loser', it's unsurprisingly raucous, and we'd be devastated if it wasn't, the chorus line of 'I am a loser baby, lose yourself with me' is simple yet genius in equal measure, and then there's that bass solo at 2:05, Christ on a bike. 

'The Circles' has a very DIY garage-band feel to it, disillusioned grunge and teenage apathy are the order of the day, again THUMPER are keenly aware of when to drop a break into a track and use it as a platform from which to escalate the tempo and mania. Sun-kissed Californian neo-psychedelia rears its head on 'The Part That I Always Leave Out', and at times feels like the closest you will get to previous EP Magnum Opuss. It's a thoroughly enjoyable highlight on this collection, and you start to fully appreciate the overall use of vocal effects at this point. 

We finish with latest single 'Fear of Art', in the review of which I noted that I was getting strong Dandy Warhols debut album vibes from it, it was only a couple of weeks ago but I'm still in that space, and I'm glad I am as it is still a classic album from the Oregon band. Here THUMPER make everything seem and sound so easy, rolling rhythms both musically and vocally get their claws into you with no resistance. Pop! Goes the Weasel wrestles more with the listener than its predecessors, as THUMPER evolve their sound we get to witness distinct changes taking hold, creatively they are a band that refuse to stand still, and we will be the primary benefactors of that defiance.

Want to hear more great independent Irish music? Check out REMY's Top 50 Singles of 2017 here

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

2017 - An Irish Playlist

REMY's Music Blog 2017 Best of Irish Music Playlist

Info: Whilst I didn't reach the heady heights of the amount of posts that 2016 brought, 2017 has still seen in excess of 300 music reviews in 2017, roughly 80% Irish and 20% international. I'm almost tired of eulogising the Irish music scene, almost! but I am suitably excited for what next year brings. Once again, acts new and old I wasn't aware of last year have been at the forefront of bringing me much joy. Over the coming weeks before Christmas I'll also be posting the best E.P.'s, albums and music videos of 2017. I'll also have my Top 20 International Albums, my photo diary of the year and a very special surprise, a new type of end of year list....

Until then, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the Irish bands who have kindly shared their music with me, invited me to their gigs and in general been extremely sound. Without your creativity and kindness there would be nothing to write about. Thank you.

Below are my favourite 50 Irish singles of 2017, the Top 10 I somehow haven't quite managed to murder with repeated listens, these lists are far from easy but that = healthy Irish music scene, I hope you enjoy, Remy.

HappyAlone – colours. 
Hvmmingbyrd – Gozo
WOLFF – Freak Like Me
St.Bishop – Porcelain
Discó na mBó – Are You Busy Enough
Laura Ryder – Moon
Not Monsters – Cleo
John Hynes – Caroline, I’m Yours
Marc O’Reilly – Enemy Of
Good Strangers – Visions In The Dark
Autre Monde – I Want My Enemies To Prosper
D-Day – Movin’ On
Young Earth – Got A Secret
The Clockworks – The World Owes Me A Favour
GaniyuTLG – Shivers
Orchid Collective – Waited on the Sun
Motions – All I’ve Ever Known
Beauty Sleep – Until We See The Sun
Soulé – What Do You Know
Robert John Ardiff – Paint Your Nails
Montauk Hotel – Black Dress
Wyvern Lingo – Out Of My Hands
Bad Fit – Worry Doll
Sub Motion – Decoy
Jon Dots – Favourite Thing
Molly Sterling – Plain Static
Silverbacks – Dirty Money
1,000 Beasts – Got This Feeling (Remix feat. Ryan O’Shaughnessy)
And o I Watch You From Afar – Dying Giants
Junior Brother – Hungover At Mass
Joey Gavin – Rolf Harris Is A Paedophile
Sun.Set.Ships – Marydoyouwanna
This Side Up – Billy No Mates
Maria Kelly – Hollow
Rabble Babble – Joe’s Bust
THUMPER – The Loser
Bitch Falcon – Clutch
Le Boom – Don’t Need It Now

10. Sal Dulu - 'Duluoz Dream'

Sal Dulu featured on two of our Best of Irish playlists back to back during the summer, and regarding 'Duluoz Dream' we enthused; "A real peach of a track comes from new Dublin trip-hop act Sal Dulu, 'Duluoz Dream', it's acid-jazz vibes bring you right back to the best of St.Germain's Tourist album, forlorn sax effects with a zippy beat make for a highly enjoyable listen."

9. Fontaines D.C. - 'Liberty Belle'

With a definitive Dublin blas to be heard in their music, 2018 looks like being the year Fontaines D.C. catapult beyond these shores, watch this space; "perhaps named after the famous 'liberator' aircraft from World War II, or maybe the watering-hole on Francis Street (I'm going for the latter), it's a classic Irish punk track with a Strokesian twinge, whilst also echoing strongly the likes of late 70's Belfast group The Outcasts. Interestingly 'Liberty Belle' belies the youthful exuberance of the band's live shows, where you find yourself going, "Yeah, this is what's missing from stage performances". They could be huge..."

8. Vulpynes - 'Silica'

One of the highlights of 2017 has to have been seeing many Irish bands finally getting signed by record labels, and reading the announcement about Vulpynes joining Berlin label Crownn was one of those really uplifting moments, always deserved, never happening, until now. From August; "The adjustment between sped-up verses and the relatively restrained chorus works well, but the most enjoyable aspect of 'Silica' is the more wall-to-wall sound of the distortion and percussion. You imagine the pair were recorded in a telephone booth with regards to how condensed and all-encompassing the vocals, thick guitar riffs and drums come across as it pounds and bounds across it's just shy of two and a half minutes duration. With each passing single, the harder they rock, the better it sounds." 

7. David Keenan - Cobwebs

There aren't enough kind words I can say about Dundalk's David Keenan, his song-writing is something that comes around once every 20-30 years, you can easily fall in between the cracks of those cycles, but I'm very lucky to have seen this poet live on numerous occasions by mere chance. He's quite simply the best singer-songwriter to emerge from this island in decades. "Keenan delivers a searing verse, from soft to hammer-blow in an instant; 'Long story short, she informed me of my flaws, as Russian dolls smashed against the bedroom wall, come away from the window ledge, you'll catch your death of cold, and you'll be no use to anyone....least of all me'. The music does the painting too, with the electric guitar notes trickling down the strings like the beads of moisture of the title's cobweb."

6. Jafaris - If You Loved Me

A looped track for me, so many listens, it's really the perfect amalgamation of pop and Rn'B from Jafaris. The chorus line of; "If you love me, then I'll love you too" is a poignant oxymoron, but it's weighty, something unconditional becomes conditional in an instant. It's energy is high, measured and euphoric when the chorus snaps in, two listens and there's no turning back.

5. Tanjier - Yu

The trickle of continuously impressive singles from Tanjier in 2017 refused to abate. I'm not sure they even knew how rapidly their star would rise on what has been a steady bell curve over the last 12 months. Multiple festival appearances culminating in not one but two appearances at Other Voices last weekend confirms Tanjier as one of the best acts in Ireland right now. Seeing them perform for the first time as part of the CrowClub sessions in Temple Bar a few months ago brought the live and recorded playing field together with ease. 'Yu' is all of that majesty in one place, still not sick of it by any measure.

4. Just Mutstard - Tainted

Instead of My Bloody Valentine leading you through the wormhole to Dundalk's Just Mustard, it almost feels like the reverse could be true. When they released their self-titled EP last year it was every Irish shoe-gaze fans dream come true. I remember listening to it again for the first time in a few months on the way to see them in Sin É recently and as I crossed The Liffey it clicked again, is this the best grunge-gaze (?) Irish release ever? And then 'Tainted' comes along and shows there is even better to come, when they played it live that night I had a moment.

3. Bad Bones - You

Bad Bones blew me away at Forbidden Fruit this summer, I hadn't heard a single song until then, and was completely unaware of her music, and the performance was immense visually, but the music was quite Earth-shattering, the high-tempo and precision nailing itself to my electronic mast. In a more intimate environment her artistry becomes far more pronounced, it's like nothing you will experience anywhere, and it's indelible. Every single and accompanying video Bad Bones has released to date is art to be admired, like a Breughel in black and white.

2. Sleep Thieves - Is This Ready?

Sleep Thieves' track 'Is This Ready?' fulfils the void left by your favourite dream-pop act from the last few years' creative melt-down, and then exceeds their prime. It has a Tolkien mysticism which slowly twirls like a parasite into your ears and brain and acts like a musical rohypnol. This sounds all too horrid, but it's in fact the best Irish dream-pop single of 2017, dark, moody, but most importantly, it's impact is quite infinite.

1. DAITHÍ - Holiday Home

The single / track I listened to most in 2017, shared and pushed on people, had folks messaging me the next day enquiring, "What was that last song you played on Spotify before you left from that Irish fella with the bodhrán?" 

'Holiday Home' had that rare but wonderful impact, when I first heard it during the summer via the static (not static) video, and the Ogham wobbled to the beat of the the bodhrán, mixed with tinny and sharp electronic effects I was beguiled and dragged away by Daithí's music. Nobody has come close to merging trad with electronic, the stick tapping the rim of the bodhrán with rapid intensity, the dark electronic hum, and most importantly, that under-water and peaking electro-squirm. I'm still listening to it today, and that makes Daithí's 'Holiday Home' REMY's Irish Single of the Year for 2017. 

DAITHÍ - Holiday Home

Photos: SESSION MOTTS & Alien She @ Sin É

Session Motts - Sarah Ryan Photography
Photo: Sarah Ryan Photography

Info: On a brisk and chilly Thursday evening last week we were wrapped in the bosom and warmth of the wonderful Sin É on Ormond Quay Upper at the banks of The Liffey. We were here to see and hear the cultured retro 80's wave of headliners SESSION MOTTS and the trundling primal punk-rock of another Dublin act, the stunning Alien She, by far two of REMY's favourite discoveries of 2017. The night was a huge success thanks to the energetic sets served up by both bands and has merely served to whet the appetite of this gig junkie for more great live shows in 2018. Photographer Sarah Ryan was on hand to capture the moment and the moments with these beautiful shots, to go into gallery mode on PC / Mac just click on the first image.

Alien She - Sarah Ryan Photography

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

News: EHCO @ The Bowery with Alex Smyth & Burial At Sea - 7th Dec.

EHCO The Bowery

EHCO - Raise It Up

Info: Eoin Withfield (ex-Enemies), Jessica Lord, Rob Ried (ex-Croupier) and a handful of others, have teamed up with and taken Eoin's side project MAU and gone full throttle as EHCO. 

If IDM could finger paint algorithms, this is the result.

Picturesque, vibrant electronic danceables that elude through heart plucking emotion, which will stop you in your tracks and keep your body pulsing.
Whilst your body marries every beat, Jessica's soulfully driving vocals bring such elegance to the euphoric journey, that her soft touch leaves you without any comedown, just the itch for more...

This Thursday EHCO takes to the stage at The Bowery in Rathmines with support from Alex Smyth and Burial At Sea along with some post-industrial synth grooves courtesy of Mea Culpa for the aftershow party. Doors are at 8pm and entry is €8.00, tickets can also be bought in advance via The Bowery website here, with the event being hosted by Venture Presents.

Alex Smyth - CXCVII

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Remy's Top 10 Irish: Maria Kelly, HamsandwicH, Silverbacks, Safari, Wastefellow & more

Info: And so another year passes here on REMY, on the Irish playlists celebrating the best new music releases we have reviewed 170 singles over the course of 2017, loved them all for their own unique reasons, and now bring you our final Top 10, until next year!

We begin with an artist whose star continues to glimmer and sparkle with the same humility and brilliance that her music reflects. Maria Kelly's latest single 'Hollow' encapsulates what you take from her live performance, an almost heart-breaking sincerity, it's possibly one of her barest tracks to date and that is something which I feel finally brings the intimacy of her live show to recording, it, like Kelly's music in general, is simply wonderful.

A true groover that we are delighted to have come across is the new single from Cork electro-pop trio Happyalone., 'colours'. Sick bass, sick beat, and a mellow ambient vibe lifts all of the weight from your shoulders. I know it reminds me of something, but I'm struggling to put my finger on it, who cares though, it's bloody great.

HamsandwicH released their latest single 'Bodies' a few weeks ago, it's a lovely contemporary twist on a mixture of 80's pop-rock, taking on board everything from Talking Heads harmonies to joy-inducing Prince funk with a dash of George Michael, giving an overall euphoric gospel 'hands in the air like you just don't care' energy.


Unable to release unlikeable music, Dublin lo-fi indie troupe Silverbacks are back with their latest single 'Just For A Better View', that looping guitar riff and vocals getting quite Lou Reed on our ass. Silverbacks' sound continues to move toward an ever rising better plain, here they have delivered a punchy garage single with a lot more noise than we're accustomed to, and it works a treat.

Limerick's Rory Hall, aka Proper Micro NV releases the final single from his excellent debut EP, Colours, 'Handwriting', and it is absolutely gorgeous and moving in every way. The piano reminds me of Keith Jarrett in slow motion, the air surrounding it is subtly 80's retro, and it never takes off, and you don't want it to either, you just want to stay in the moment that Hall has created and never leave.

Dublin-based trio The Elephant Room released their debut album Body in 2014, followed by the EP Blotch last summer. Now they share new single 'Naive Green' and we dig it a lot, and their sound in general. It's hazy to say the least, vocals, watery electric guitar effects and breezy percussion all combine to scatter the dark winter and put a bit of summer in your brain. Although they've been releasing music for some time, they are certainly ones to catch live in 2018.

Safari - Excuses
Photo: Shannon Cooney

Perhaps Ireland's most prolifically active social media band, currently based in Dublin, via Cavan, the U.K. and Poland, Safari released their debut single 'Excuses' this week. I had the unexpected pleasure of being exposed to their primal surf-rock earlier this year upstairs in Whelan's as they supported Galway's D-Day back in March. Subsequently the boys dropped into The Sound Feed studio for a chat and performance of 'Excuses'. They are currently making mid-60's rock á la Electric Prunes, The Faces, The Beatles and Stones cool again, was it ever not cool? Some people think so, but Safari are here to remind them that they are wrong.

Wastefellow - Enfold You

Dublin's Wastefellow is up next with new single 'Enfold You' which is accompanied by a visually impressive video courtesy of Flann Manning. A dark and disorientating wander around the subconscious presents itself on the dub-house track, it's a little bit Nicolas Jaar and a little bit like a downtempo version of Bonobo, all with thick early 90's house bass-line plodding Elephant-like in tandem with the beats.

Taken from their Adios Amigo EP, the title-track of which is an absolute joy to behold and one of the best Irish singles released this year, KILNAMANA shared latest single 'Let's Go Dancing' last week. In your imagination it conjures placid images of urban nightlife, as the title would suggest, travelling without moving, the soft muted beat and restrained vocal throwing night lights against a wall. It's certainly more understated than the driving force behind 'Adios Amigo', but no less resonant whatsoever.

Dublin's EDEN released single 'gold' a few weeks ago, and there's another one on the way shortly. Taken from his debut LP Vertigo which is due for release in January, at the tracks opening I was torn between a Jack Johnson (who I don't necessarily like) and Tracy Chapman (who I love) cross-roads. 'gold' has already exceeded 2.5m streams on Spotify, his pop and rn'b style resonating once again well beyond Ireland. It's certainly a pop sound I can abide by, dipping its toes in minimalistic electro twirls and a shuddering effect, it's hard to resist.

For our previous independent Irish playlist, head along here to listen to Issue #16 here