Monday, 18 June 2018

Video: Scally - Let's Fuck

Scally - Let's Fuck

Info: Mullingar rock supremo Scally has just brought out the video for his third release 'Let's Fuck'. The bombastic track packs a massive punch as it echoes shades of Rage Against The Machine. Scally states that the track is about "my friend who fancied this chick for ages and he just wouldn’t go over and chat to her, the verses is me telling him to grow a pair of balls and go over and talk to her and the chorus is all the things he wants to say to her but can’t."

Oh matron! Having seen Scally live for the first time towards the end of last year and highly enjoying last single and video for 'Get Ready For War', I have become a fan of both his no frills approach to delivery and the general bad ass sound of his band. Latest single 'Let's Fuck' straddles (yup) a few reference points for me, the Manc swagger of The Stone Roses in the intro and verses, whilst the chorus recalls the hard-rock garage sounds of New Zealand act The Datsuns' uncompromising 2002 self-titled debut. The final 40 seconds is a completely gratifying rock-riffin' blow out too. It might not be to everyone's taste, or land Scally a slot on The Late Late Show in front of clapping grannies, but I'm loving it and the anarchy-craved void it fills.

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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Irish Playlist #030: Dioscó na mbó, Any Anything, ROE, St. Bishop, Marc O'Reilly & more

St. Bishop - Good Intentions
St. Bishop - Photo: Niamh Dolphin

Info: It's not even been a week since our last independent Irish playlist here on REMY but the singles are coming thick and fast from our local acts. This particular selection of tracks is a bit of a standout one for 2018 so far for me, familiar faces releasing some of their best singles to date, and very importantly, a good slew of new acts (to my ears at least) producing high end goods including Galway's Any Anything and Cork's Matthew Corrigan, aka Ghostking is Dead. Enjoy!

1) Dioscó na mbó - 'We Got Love'

What will they do next? Who cares!? Funk, soul, disco, electro maestros Dioscó na mbó's latest single is an absolute banger, hued out of some parallel universe James Brown-fronted Isley Brothers troupe, the duo have shared 'We Got Love' in the run up to Dublin Pride this weekend and it is a shortened version of the track which will appear on their forthcoming EP. Dayum.

2) St. Bishop - 'Good Intentions'

One of the best solo live performers in the country at the moment, Stephen Bishop releases the much anticipated follow-up to previous single 'Porcelain'. On 'Good Intentions' his smooth vocal intro leads us towards some nice grimey beats and his trademark high-pitched and dexterous range, you can never get enough of the 'slam' in his singles.

3) ROE - 'Hey Thomas'

Derry native ROE builds on the success of single 'Wasted.Patient.Thinking' which clocked up 13k plays on Spotify within 24 hours of its release. 'Hey Thomas' is an assertive and defiant response to those who judge others for a variety of reasons, but is tempered by her bubbly electro-pop delivery which hooks you in straight away with finger-clicks and light-hearted guitar rhythm. 

4) Any Anything - 'First Time'

New Galway band Any Anything are comprised of musicians from former local acts such as an old favourite of ours Drown. Their debut release 'First Time' is hard to pin down, there's a small dash of retro sounds here and there but ultimately it's a great foray into a unique-sounding mixture of dream-pop and indie-rock. This could go anywhere on the next releases.

5) Marc O'Reilly - 'Solitary Ease'

Taken from O'Reilly's latest album, L'etre Politique, which opens with one of our Top 50 Irish singles from last year, the bone-crunching 'Enemy Of', new single 'Solitary Ease' sees the songwriter draw together a variety of sounds to create a whole. From ambient and wistful beginnings, the track blends into a pensive guitar-driven finale, showcasing O'Reilly's dual appreciation of both acoustic and electric guitar-playing which is a feature of the LP itself.

Ghostking Is Dead - Lucky Warrior
Ghostking Is Dead

6) Ghostking is Dead - 'Lucky Warrior'

I'm late to the Ghostking is Dead party, but better late single 'Lucky Warrior' featuring Molly Annelle on additional vocals follows the Sweet Boy EP which was released earlier this year to much praise, which is also on the back of a number of years of self-produced releases since 2015. The new single bellows between dark synths and Corrigan's deep baritone vocal interludes, leaving me (a) looking forward to visiting his previous releases and (b) curious as to what's up next from the Corkman.

7) Level Heads - 'City Life'

The band that never stand still, Dublin's Level Heads cook up a rockabilly foot-stomper with 'City Life', just my own personal references in my head I'm getting Creedence, Joe Walsh and Clapton-era Yardbirds. From the psych-garage 60's opening rattle to the rock-pop chorus and the nailed on blues riffs, it's a whirlwind of classic rock sounds and helluva lot of fun.

8) Jafaris - 'Found My Feet'

'Found My Feet' is Jafaris' first single from his forthcoming album, and sounds entirely different to anything he has released to date. Starting with an in your face explosive start it shifts into a real smooth 70's soul sound, with the percussion rooted in traditional African instrumentation. It's a rock solid body-popping dance-inducing burst of energy, and for some reason reminds me of 90's dance act C&C Music Factory in its delivery.

A Winter Light - Changes

9) A Winter Light - 'Changes'

The next track is an interesting piece of work, part of a collaborative effort between artist Mark Garry and a collection of musicians, each of whom composed a song as a reflection of one of his pieces of art - turning the exhibition into a temporary recording studio. On the latest single from the album A Winter Light, the track 'Changes' is composed by well-known Irish actor Cillian Murphy who does vocals and performs instrumentation also. 

10) Amerik - 'One'

Traditionally a bass-player for a number of Northern Irish bands, Adam Booth has undertaken a solo project of ambient electronica under the moniker of Amerik, with his very first single, 'One', released earlier this month. A cinematic build greets us courtesy of piano and soft shimmering plumes of sound, which are so slow in their rise that by the time the track has closed back to isolated piano you never even noticed it happening.

To listen to REMY's previous Irish Playlist, #029, go here!

Album of the Month: Dott - Heart Swell

Dott - Heart Swell
Photo: Alison MW

Info: The word "swell" can be used to describe an injured body part, a feeling of fullness and pride, or it can refer to the ebbing and flowing of the ocean. 

In Heart Swell, the new album by Ireland's garage pop darlings, Dott, the band wear their heart on their sleeve, reflecting on pain, pride, acceptance and personal politics while considering a preoccupation with the ocean. The album sees the band showcase a more confident and powerful sound with walls of fuzzy guitars with layers of addictive melodies and sunshine harmonies. An amalgam of sounds in the vein of Bully meets Broadcast, meets The Breeders, where tenderness and brashness intertwine.

Irish bands continue to surprise me with their own unique renderings and takes on styles of music of yore that many of us have forgotten merely due to the passage of time. Galway band Dott hold up a sign that points to U.S. 90's alternative rock á la Throwing Muses or Veruca Salt on sophomore album Heart Swell, and then pull the sign down just as quick. 

'Bleached Blonde', the title of the opening track, paints a picture of a sun-kissed Venice beach, ripped jeans and baggy jumpers and a mixture of youthful brevity and apathy. In between swooning harmonies we're invited to grunge-out and slip under a rippling wave of rattling guitars riffs and percussion. Muted angst that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Next track 'Like a Girl' feat. Sadie Dupuis zones in more acutely on belly down in the dust slacker nonchalance, muted strumming giving a 3 second pause at 2:30 before they bring it on home on the protest song. The inevitable cranking-up comes on the bristling punk jam of 'Floating Arrows', the to date light and breezy mood slowly turning the screw towards a bubbling intent courtesy of classic punk bass-runs and frenetic riffs. 

The albums title-track sees the four-piece drop back into a lo-fi dream-pop soundscape that is very enjoyably mellow and allows the listener time to disconnect from their surroundings and thoughts. '18' is a key highlight for me on Heart Swell, it's bursting with nostalgia and somehow overrides any fear of tweeness by being emotionally authentic, it's not a happy look-back, it's one filled with compassion and a retrospective guiding-hand for a troubled younger self. 

From where I started with this album, it was a nice surprise to find my favourite track at the very end in 'Wedding Song'. It's rare to find an ode to a loved one nowadays that resonates with me, sometimes you feel like you've heard all of the angles at this stage. But this song takes a new slant with finely crafted lyrics that temper idealism with inevitable future tribulations, and the build is defiantly energising, from ballad to raucous punk blow-out in no time at all. I often mention new albums in the breath of ones that I would absolutely reach for when in certain moods because they encapsulate a genre so well, Heart Swell is one such LP. Dott have done a fine job of staying true to their school as the Beach Boys would say, without becoming repetitive over the 12 tracks, add to that that their 2013 album Swoon is equally impressive and I feel like I've got 2 for the price of 1.

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