Monday, 18 February 2019

Single: Sara Ryan - Lost

Sara Ryan - Lost
Photo: Martin Blake

County Kildare and now Cork city resident, singer-songwriter Sara Ryan has today released a music video to accompany latest single 'Lost', taken from her debut 2018 EP, Glitter Skies. Ryan wrapped up 2018 with support slots for Mick Flannery and Jack L, and is currently working on her debut album release due this September.

In our previous review of Ryan's EP Glitter Skies, regarding new single 'Lost' we noted; Closing track 'Lost' has a magical and alluring twinkle in its eye, and now that it's clicked with my ear for possibly the third, brief time, it's worth mentioning there's a bit of TLC hovering ever so subtly in Ryan's vocal. As the song reaches its final third her vocal soars, and feels like it's in its most natural state...traversing between different vocal styles, jazz, soul, pop and rn'b is a credit to both Ryan's diversity and her dexterous intonation." 

EP: Lōwli - Feathers

Lōwli - Feathers
Photo: Olga Kuzmenko

Lōwli is Roisin Lowry, a musician and songwriter from Galway, Ireland. She creates a unique sound of ethereal vocal melodies, expressive lyrics & rich, orchestral textures.

Only two years into her solo project, she already has several notable shows under her belt, including performances at Sounds from a Safe Harbour and Whelan’s Ones to Watch. She has been listed as one to watch in 2018 by and Whelan’s and her music has received praise from various sources including The Irish Times.

Opening with its title-track, Feathers, the debut EP from Lōwli is a soothing collection of contemporary folk ballads for world-weary souls in need of balm. Retaining the contemplative demeanour of previous releases, 'Feathers' has an airy personality, a rhythmic melody that bounces us along with a controlled glee, like a flighty ball across its 3 minutes. 

'Fading' almost apologetically tugs at our sleeve, a twinkling old piano intro, Lowry channels a painful sense of melancholy through her gentle singing, it's a slow absorption which never fully clenches its grasp, letting go despondently by track's end, I'm glad that the easy choice of an optimistic crescendo is avoided. Closing track 'Colourless' finds Lōwli finally overcoming the weighty themes of Feathers, but only to a degree, it's a very enchanting dirge, deft strings and keys giving it a mythical old-world quality. 

The two defining qualities of Lōwli's song-writing for me are (a) the avoidance of clichéd song endings and (b) a genuine sense that she has written these songs to herself, not for herself, nor for others. Both leave a lasting impression of authenticity in how she delivers her craft, making Feathers an important first footprint on her musical journey.

Lōwli will launch debut EP Feathers at The Bello Bar this Saturday night, 23rd of February, with support from Laura Ryder Ampersand. Event info is here



Lowli - The Bello Bar

Premiere: JOOCE - Lazarus / Disarray

JOOCE - Lazarus - Disarray
Photo: Ellen Conn

REMY is delighted to premiere the double A-Side single 'Lazarus / Disarray' from Dublin duo JOOCE. With the band having gone through a significant line-up change and stripped down to two members in Sean Ryan (bass / vocals) and Edward O'Mahony (guitar / lead vox), the re-direction of their sound has been dramatic, unnoticeable from earlier releases.

The first notable characteristic of this new format is their inkling towards high-energy psychedelic rock, one foot firmly in the modern age, and the other (perhaps a toe) bound up in classic psych. It's an interesting mix, taking 'Lazarus' first, it has a very antipodean indie-rock sound, not to mention I can't shake Panda Bear when it comes to the vox on the tracks more trippy moments. As they drop tempo half-way through they are in grandiose David Gilmour guitar territory, loving the elongated guitar solo which grooves its way from the 2-minute mark onwards.

'Disarray' has the sweetest of alt-folk openings, if 'Lazarus' was solo Gilmour, 'Disarray' unashamedly brushes up against Floyd's Atom Heart Mother, think a less theatrical, but more vibrant take on 'Fat Old Sun'. These are mere touch points however, JOOCE making maximum use of their 6 minutes here, as the rhythm fully kicks in at 1:33 we set of on a mini psychedelic opus. Another shift at 3:38 and the pair suck you right down their kaleidoscopic rabbit hole, and it's these seamless changes of both sound and mood that make JOOCE v.2 a very exciting prospect. The musicianship is more than accomplished, and I would love a full LP of bizarre and unbridled psych-rock curios which disregard the rules, but flows as easy as these two tracks.

'Lazaraus / Disarray' by JOOCE is released today and will be available on all popular streaming platforms.