Sunday 31 May 2015

Single: Canigou - Touch of a Feather

Canigou - Touch of a Feather

Canigou, 'Touch of a Feather'

Info: Canigou are Stockholm duo Emma Lindström and Richard Lindström who have just released their new single 'Touch of a Feather' along with B-side 'This Has Already Happened'. The pair of songs are an extremely impressive release that I'm still trying to fully get my head around after a week. The two emphasise that there is a simplicity to their sound but I'm not so sure as there are many moments of intricacy and it's clear that there has been a lot of thought put into arranging both tracks.

'Touch of a Feather' feels incredibly rich, and possibly the fastest seven minutes of music you'll hear this year, it passes it what feels like no time. The mournful piano introduction leading to tribal drumming and percussion before we hear the first glimpses of Emma's enchanting vocals which sear throughout both songs. Just before the four-minute mark of the song the vocals become otherworldly with some nice replicated harmonies and a nice twangy guitar riff, the drum beat still keeping proceedings moving tightly, it feels like music that should be imitated by others and not the other way around.

Canigou, 'This Has Already Happened'

'This Has Already Happened' is a bit more stripped down but no less enjoyable, I have found it difficult to decide which track I prefer of the two as the quality is so good, and it's hard to imagine it being left off a future album release. It certainly hovers closer to other contemporary acts and at points recalls The XX and what you might get if you put Lykke Li, Bon Iver and Air in a blender together. I think Canigou have hit on a winner and I hope a future full length release will yield the same results.

Canigou Touch of a Feather

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Debut Album: Union Hall - Early Riser

Union Hall - Early Riser

Union Hall, 'Early Riser'

Info: Union Hall is the project name of Irish ambient artist Tom O'Connor who released his debut album on U.S. label Illuminated Paths last month. The album is split with Polish electronic composers Piotr Cisak and Pawel Oleksinski, with O'Connor's work running through the first 9 tracks. Early Riser is the definition of what you want and perhaps need at times when you're reaching for something to completely zone out to, it's sweet in terms of mood and envelops you with a sense of absolute calm. 

From the opening track 'Bridge', which is possibly the most lively with regard to pace, the set runs smoothly into itself slowly pulling you gently under by the end of the album. Second track 'Fuel Shortage' is the taking of the pill that will caress your brain, setting you up for magical waves on 'Inflatable Mattress' and the appropriately named 'Space To Sleep', using minimalist tones and notes O'Connor successfully creates the intended feeling of slipping into a dream-like relaxed sequence. One of my favourite tracks is 'It's 2:48', at this point you're barely aware of yourself and it struck me how appropriate this collection would be as the soundtrack to an independent film. Definitely feeling this album from Union Hall and will certainly come back to it.

Single: Trails and Ways - Jacaranda

Trails and Ways Jacaranda

Info: California band Trails and Ways keep up their enjoyable trend of firing joy-bombs of great quality at us with new single 'Jacaranda', the final release before their new album Pathology is released on Tuesday. It's a hip-moving, ass-shaking, electro-pop slice of deliciousness, from the soft and smiling harmonies to the laid back musical grooves with the beats and synth notes pinpoint sharp once again. 

The band, who are currently on their North American tour with fellow Oakland band Waterstrider, have also released their first video in 2 years for previous single 'Skeletons'. The video features French dancing phenomenon Arthur Cadre with all four band members playing scientists who beam in to observe a post-apocalyptic Earth, enjoy!

Trails and Ways, 'Skeletons'

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Video: King Fantastic - Joshua Tree

King Fantastic Joshua Tree

King Fantastic, 'Joshua Tree'

Info: Behold the latest video from Los Angeles duo King Fantastic from their most recent album The Great Man Theory. 'Joshua Tree' features Killer Reese going on a voyage of discovery, enlightenment and unravelling his mind in the desert location of the tracks title. 'Joshua Tree' was a cited favourite of mine when I reviewed TGMT late last year and is one of the strongest tracks on the album, here's some info on the making of it;

'The video was directed and produced by Aether Films in Los Angeles and Joshua Tree National Park with custom built and modified high tech camera-rigs. Chief of which is a custom heavy lift drone that can raise a RED camera for over twelve minutes with high maneuverability and stability.
The collaboration was born when the Aether team were sophomores at the University of North Carolina in 2012 and invited us to perform. After graduation, they moved to LA and we linked up and began production on their first music video.'

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Saturday 30 May 2015

Single: Neon Atlas - Velocity

Neon Atlas, 'Velocity'

Info: Cork band Neon Atlas have been justifiably been receiving rave reviews for their music over the last year from the likes of Hot Press and established music sites such as Golden Plec describing their sound as '...a batch of warm, fuzzy pop tunes with enough song-writing chops to keep even the most hard to please music listener interested.' 

New single 'Velocity' is a neat rocker with a prevalence for alt-rock tinged guitars and vocals à la Jimmy Eat World, as well as more geographically local nods to the likes of Scottish band Idlewild and Ireland's own Future Kings of Spain from days of yore. There is strong appeal in lead singer Kieran Ring's stylish vocals and the track is carried very nicely by some straight-forward yet gripping guitar hooks and effects, the band's sound is solidly tight and completed ably by the deliberate and prominent bass-lines and drum comping which sees Neon Atlas deliver a most satisfactory full package. 'Velocity' definitely affirms the band's place amongst our top acts at present in the genre.

They coincidentally play Christchurch Cathedral this afternoon at 4pm if you're in the Dublin 8 area or you can catch them in Whelan's on the 16th of July, the Galway Fringe Festival the following night and finally the Pine Lodge in Myrtleville, Cork on the 18th.

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Single: The Absolute - 'Smile'

The Absolute, 'Smile'

Info: Hailing from Los Angeles, California, The Absolute bring us new single 'Smile' and a foot-stomping retro indie sound. Unusually given their Stateside origins, lead singer Philip Ross' vocals are a dead-ringer for legendary scouser Lee Mavers from The La's, and the music at times drifts between (the good stuff) Kings of Leon and Interpol, particularly in between verses. There's some nice lyrics in there too and overall a warm fuzzy feeling of early nineties nostalgia abounds throughout.

The Absolute California

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Introducing: Casual Minds - The Long Road Home

Casual Minds The Long Road Home

Casual Minds, The Long Road Home

Info: Casual Minds are a five-piece indie rock band from Bray, Co. Wicklow who have been knocking around since 2013 and have gigs in Whelans and The Workman's Club under their belt already, they're now setting off into the great unknown with new track 'The Long Road Home' just recorded. Their sound reminds me of the title of the Fine Young Cannibals 1989 album The Raw & Uncooked, there's always something special and slightly privileged about hearing a new band at the very beginning of their musical path. On my initial listens of Casual Minds' music I thought 'yeah these guys can write a tune and it's pretty upbeat stuff and catchy', and I can't understate the latter part of that sentiment. After a few more plays I was starting to hear more and more styles and references, especially on this latest release and I'm not sure if these are conscious influences on the band but there are definite strands of The Specials ska (imagine 'A Message To You Rudy' with lots of electric guitar kerrang) and The Clash's less serious moments (yes, they did have some!) like 'Rock The Casbah', see the 30 second mark above and the lovely bass line a minute later.

There's also some unadulterated throwbacks to Britpop and Supergrass' care-free I Should Coco and strangely a rarity of the era that I kept thinking about in London band Symposium who I never thought I'd mention in a review. In a way, at present, this is what Casual Minds are at, making unmistakably joyous rock music with a knack for writing good pop elements into it , but also with the faintest of hints at what might also be coming down the road toward the end of this song, the really enjoyable faded guitar breakdown as you approach the 3-minute mark. In essence their sound and music leaves you with a sense of enthusiasm and is mood altering in a positive way, I also particularly liked 'I'll Carry On' for these very reasons, check it out on their SoundCloud page. To sum up Casual Minds in one sentence I'd describe it as 'People enjoying listening to people enjoying playing music', and anyone who lists Vengaboys as an influence is alright with me!

Casual Minds are Jamie Brierton (Vocals), Jordan Maher (Guitar, Vox), Alex Byrne (Guitar, Vox), Niall O' Leary (Bass) and Dylan Cassidy (Drums). The band will be playing a number of live dates in June, details to follow on their FB page.

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Thursday 21 May 2015

Double Single: Hot Cops - Decay / Six

Hot Cops Decay Six

Hot Cops, 'Decay'

Info: Well I've been looking forward to sharing these two quite distinct tracks since I first heard them at the start of May, instantly loved both of them and was taken in at first listen. Belfast three-piece Hot Cops have just released their double A-side 'Decay / Six' yesterday, following on from their previous E.P.'s, 2014's Another Teen Age and January's #1 Babes. 

In a funny way I'm kind of annoyed with myself that I didn't make the Weezer connection until I read the band cited their Blue album as one of their influences, indeed I used to cover the lovely 'Say It Ain't So' in a band a long time ago in a galaxy far far away and it still remains one of the most refreshing albums to come back to. The hushed intro and false sense of calm before a thunderous cacophony of noise and lightly distorted guitar are a trademark that Hot Cops have made their own on 'Decay' in particular. 'Decay' gets the adrenalin pumping and the band have nailed the art of see-sawing between pushing forward sonically while alternately easing off on the guitars and giving prominence to drumming, pin-pointed with precision between the one and two-minute marks. 

Hot Cops, 'Six'

'Six' is markedly different in many ways, it's really nice to see a band put emphasis on bass playing here, often seen as a complimentary rather than a prominent part of proceedings nowadays. The song shows some of it's companion track's traits but is also stand alone in itself, (the intro nods slightly to 'The Sweater Song') and expected anarchy is kept at bay. There's something quite unique about the vocals on this track as well, with the higher notes being particularly rewarding, the song marches into Mac DeMarco territory briefly at the half-way point before pulling all of it's elements tightly together and unceremoniously releasing them into a wall of noise. Hot Cops have definitely hit on a mix of unadulterated raucous enjoyment and moments of discreet vocal beauty here balanced perfectly between and within the two tracks. Live dates are below.

Hot Cops Belfast Decay Six

Hot Cops are: Carl Eccles - Vocals / guitar, Nathan Rodgers - bass, Conor Ellison - drums.

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Live Shows:

30/04 - Black Box, Belfast, UK

24/05 - BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend Festival, Norwich, UK

24/07 - Knockanstockan Festival, Wicklow, IE

01/08 - Sunflower Festival, Hillsborough, UK

27/08 - Whelans, Dublin, IE

28/08- The Spirit Store, Dundalk, IE 

Debut Single: Shane Joyce - Those Who Pay Rent

Shayne Joyce Those Who Pay Rent Single

Shane Joyce, 'Those Who Pay Rent'

Info: Shane Joyce is the front-man of Kilkenny Americana / roots band The Midnight Union and debut single 'Those Who Pay Rent' is his first venture into the solo world. This first outing impresses on multiple levels, the initial evident strength comes from the poetic nature of the lyrics which swim with meaning from the very opening of the song. It's rare that the first line of a song immediately engages you to concentrate and listen to the words the whole way through, usually that's a point you reach after a few listens. Joyce sings 'You show me the wound and I'll show you the knife, the hand and the blood and the reason, I'll take your advice, and step away from this life, and leave you to bleed in your pool of treason.' Pretty powerful and evocative stuff.

Musically the undercurrent is that of a late 60's troubadour venturing optimistically into the future while bidding farewell to the scars of the past, although vocally very different I think of slightly sombre take on Don McClean's Tapestry album, and self-professed influences of Dylan and Cohen are also evident, particularly the latters 'Famous Blue Raincoat'. The backing vocals are also very pleasant, half soul sista, half Mama Cass and Michelle Phillips from The Mamas & The Papas they add perfectly to Joyce's gentle and calming guitar playing. 'Those Who Pay Rent' is enchanting and feels very genuine, it's as fine a debut single, or any single within the genre for that matter, that you'll hear from an Irish singer-songwriter this year, future releases will reveal further interesting strands to this new solo adventure no doubt.

Monday 18 May 2015

E.P.: Heroes In Hiding - Decorated Absence

Photo: Courtesy of Tara Thomas Photography

Heroes In Hiding, 'Today, I Mean It'

Info: It's hard to believe it's been over a year since I reviewed Heroes In Hiding's gorgeous E.P. Hush, which contained a barnstorming title track and the still chillingly beautiful 'Star-Crossed'. The Dublin / Cavan four-piece consisting of Joe Carroll, Cian Donohoe, Oisín Jacob and Liam McCabe, thankfully have a new set of songs coming our way on the 5th of June in the form of their new E.P. Decorated Absence, and I'm glad to report things are only getting better.

The new recording kicks off with lead track 'Today, I Mean It' (above), a gentle opening with hushed vocals and nice intertwining of electric and acoustic guitar leads to heartfelt lyrics such as 'Even if I promise that I would never leave, my word is haunted by ghosts that you don't see' before pushing on to some thoroughly enjoyable harmonies concluding with an energetic and uplifting finale. 

The hazy yet fist-pumping 'Casanova' has distinct reference points to The Frames' For The Birds with lead singer Joe Carroll unwittingly sounding very close to our Outspan on the chorus of the song, it takes no more than two listens to fully appreciate and absorb the strength of the track as an immediate crowd favourite that fans of the band from the very beginning will be calling out for at future live shows. 

'Lay Down In The Fire' closes the E.P. and brims with confidence and the modest self-assuredness of a band who are starting to sound like they've already mastered most of the elements of their craft. Like 'Casanova' it's bursting with energy and a very well constructed rock song, the brief heavy bass could maybe hint at an untapped heavier sound down the line to compliment the bands softer leanings. 

Overall Decorated Absence is what you might hope for after previous E.P. Hush, as I alluded to earlier you get the feeling Heroes In Hiding's music has skipped a number of progressive steps and reached a degree of maturity very quickly. It's with no doubt and comfortable ease that I say that they are among the cream of Irish bands currently making music at this very point in time, and this will be reflected in other reviews of the E.P. over the coming weeks.

Heroes In Hiding Decorated Absence

Note: Thanks to photographer Tara Thomas for kindly giving the green light to reproduce the main photo above at short notice, you can view more of her great talents here

Sunday 17 May 2015

Single: For Esmé - You

For Esme You Single

For Esmé, 'You'

Info: Toronto trio For Esmé have just released the new video for single, 'You', which will be on their forthcoming album which lands later on this year. 'You' is an electro-pop dance song that pumps out high energy beats from the very beginning, vocals from singer Martha Meredith are polished and appearance and performance in the video itself are reminiscent of early Madonna when the Queen of Pop was at her zenith. There are some really nice bass-line breakdowns and short guitar solos from Dave Thiel and Nathan Crook repsectively, as well as subtle vocalizing scattered throughout the track. It's hard not to get swept up in the anthemic nature of 'You' and it's euphoric high points, while some elements focus on sticking to simplistic but tried and tested methods, ultimately it's a solid track that will make you want to move your ass from seat to dancefloor, job done. 

For Esmé You

'Poised between nouveaux and nostalgia, reality and the sublime, our new work is about being present in the moment, and ultimately, immeasurably open to joy. The video amplifies the feeling of losing yourself to the beat, and letting go of your inhibitions. A dreamlike adventure through an old school at night, the excitement, secrecy and spontaneity.' 

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Video: Adrian Fitz-Simon - 'YES!'

Adrian Fitz-Simon Vote Yes for Equality

Info: Um, Vote Yes for Equality!

Thursday 14 May 2015

New Track: LUCKY - You Are The One

LUCKY You Are The One

LUCKY, 'You Are The One'

Info: I've been eager to share this track since I first heard it just under two weeks ago from London-based trio LUCKY, it brought me back a little in some ways which was nice but more importantly I really loved the music itself and particularly the vocals from singer Rhia, which are powerful and gospel like, bluesy and soulful, and so easy on the ear. Whilst the vocals are definitively different from Beth Gibbons I was almost immediately drawing comparisons musically to the introduction of Portishead's 'Give Me A Reason', which then veers on to it's dirty guitars and there the similarities end. In many ways 'You Are The One' should be the type of song that straddles very varied tastes in music from fans of trip-hop, pop and modern soul, a radio DJ who doesn't feel the urge to share it with listeners probably shouldn't be a radio DJ. This first release is only in the public domain proper 48 hours, and it's going to be very interesting to see where it leads.

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Single: Astronauts, etc. - No Justice

Astronauts, etc., 'No Justice'

Info: Californian band Astronauts, etc., under the guiding hand of Toro Y Moi's keyboardist Anthony Ferraro, have released a new single, 'No Justice' as a follow up to last months 'I Know'. Starting off with ponderous keys and hypnotic guitar loops, the song digs deeper into the previous single's soulful and mellow vibes. Vocally it sounds like a slightly lower key Smokey Robinson (or Brian Wilson even) performance with subtle modern blends and the grooves kind of wash over you gently like a lapping wave. The ballad itself is described by the band as; 'Sparsely arranged, the song explores what results when nascent love is forced to reckon with tragic circumstances.' That pain is reflected nicely in the chorus line 'There's no justice for the ones who are in love' and the melancholic but lush guitar progression adds to the message. I'd recommend checking out 'I Know' again (below) as well and enjoying the contrast between the two great tracks. Ferraro's on a streak it would seem.

Astronauts, etc., 'I Know'

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New Track: Dijon Babes - Baldys Bolero

The Dijon Babes Baldys Bolero
Photo: Dave Uzell

The Dijon Babes, 'Baldys Bolero'

Info: Play it loud, and if you can, blow your speakers in style, the new number from Dublin's The Dijon Babes, 'Baldys Bolero', is a sonic boom up there with the best of them. The manic, mostly instrumental song fuses punk rock and alternative rock with such ease that it's impossible to not just enjoy every second of it. It's like a hurricane of Hendrix, nineties rock annihilation and Led Zeppelin lunacy spiralling out of control for three and a half minutes. It's not that surprising given the strength of previous song 'Sit Tight Be Right', but it also moves the band toward more confident and relaxed areas in their music and the results lead to an unadulterated predilection toward care-free rock improv. For more of The Dijon Babes tunes and to keep up to speed on other goings on head along to their SoundCloud and Facebook pages below.

Wednesday 13 May 2015

New Video: Waterstrider - Frayed

Waterstrider Frayed

Waterstrider, 'Frayed'

Info: A couple of weeks ago I reviewed Oakland, California band Waterstrider's superb second album, Nowhere Now. They've just released a new video for their track 'Frayed' and it's pretty impressive stuff, 40,000 photographs amalgamated together to make the video by director Marta Dymek and featuring singer Nate Salman, Dymek herself describes the process and concept behind the video, and she has certainly created a unique piece of artwork worthy of the song;

'From the moment I first heard “Frayed” I could tell that it was telling a story of trying to get something one can’t have. Being in the presence of something unattainable. It reminded me of those dreams where something amazing almost happens with someone, but then the mind interrupts it and puts all these obstacles in the way. My dreams rarely have any satisfying ending to them. Using only photographs in the form of stop motion and not your regular video, I wanted to show that broken dreamlike feeling of longing—illustrated beautifully through the choreography by Zander Brown. I teamed up with an amazing photographer Anastasiia Sapon, knowing that she could fully convey that emotion through her photography.

"We shot for two days, shooting only photos and no video. After we were done with shooting, I had close to 40,000 pictures to look through. It was a doozy. Normally, I edit the video and I do color grading at the very end, but for this project I did the color grading first in Lightroom taking advantage of the fact that it’s photos. It took me two days to export all the images in the right dimension and with all the color grading applied to them. From there, I made little nested sequences of each scene and started the editing process from there. It was much more time consuming than just shooting regular video, but it definitely paid off in the end.'

To hear more of Waterstrider's latest album head along to their Bandcamp page here

Tuesday 12 May 2015

Single: Daithí / Tell No Foxx Remix - 'Dust'

Info: What happens when you literally mix the creative talents of a dance musician with that of an ever-evolving electro-rock band? Magic happens, thus it is with acclaimed artist Daithí's remix and single of Wicklow band Tell No Foxx's latest track 'Dust'. When I heard a snippet preview of it at the weekend I was taken right in, slick grooves and atmospheric faded vocals provide the pallet for Daithí's beats and electro workings. It certainly conjures black and white images of dance-floors and slow motion dancing before picking up nicely for the final third when proper swing kicks in, delightful stuff, here's Daithí describing his modus operandi on the track;

"I guess when I came across the original song the first thing that hit me was the vocal melody, it has a really strong rhythmic aspect to it, which I could really see sounding good with a house beat. I like house music with a lot of feeling in it, so I wanted to make the track feel kind of melancholy, but with a lot of energy. I wanted it to sound like dancing through the pain of a break up, in a dark room full of people. It's one of those tracks that just fall into place really naturally, I had the first cut of the track done in one day at my studio in Galway, with all the lights off." 

Et voilà. 

To check out more of Daithí's original work and some other great remixes requested by the likes of Fight Like Apes and Tvvins, head along to his SoundCloud page here

Saturday 9 May 2015

Album: Vault62 - 'Vault62'

Info: Currently based in New York, Derry native Aodhán O'Reilly has released his second album, self-titled under the moniker of Vault62. The ambient and experimental rock album is a beautiful composition full of variety, starting off gently with the ethereal 'On The Bridge' which features some contemplative piano playing and scattered percussion. Second track 'Unicorn' is brash and really reminded me of Four Tet and Mount Kimbie's Crooks & Lovers, the song again melds a soft backing track to wild sonic spurts. One of the undoubtedly best tracks on the album comes in the form of 'Indian Summer (Part II)', moody electronica and assertive drums are mixed nicely with tingling percussion once again creating an other-worldly atmosphere to get lost in. 

'A Pretty Low' is well, quite pretty, with some highly enjoyable and larger than life piano progressions, foreboding strings and really great drum beats, again a firm favourite of mine on Vault62, the track is quite gripping and powerful. The album concludes with the eight minute long 'On His Back', from tender openings marked by tingling chimes, the song in some ways leads you to a contrasting soft landing in comparison to the tracks which preceded it. Vault62 is an interesting album that lifts you through various moods in a controlled way and the instrumentation is very accomplished and alluring for the listener, a fine set of songs.

'Vault62 is the moniker for Irish guitarist/ composer Aodhán O’Reilly. His first album  Seascapes, released in 2012, was a compilation of DIY home and field recordings,  encompassing aspects of post rock, ambient music, and experimental soundscapes. The album was named as one of Indie Rock Mag’s "Albums of the Year".

He released EP1 in December of 2013 showcasing a more electronic and sample-heavy sound.

His second album, and first official release under the name Vault62, was released in April 2015. Simply titled Vault62, the record’s 8 tracks delve further into the Electronica and atmospherics of EP1, while incorporating aspects of his more avant-garde and experimental influences.

O'Reilly identifies certain minimalist composers such as Steve Reich and Phillip Glass as influences, as well as aspects of Free Jazz and more contemporary artists like Kieran Hebden and Fuck Buttons.

Currently based in New York City, he also writes and plays guitar for local bands Helix1 and Black River Manifesto, as well as being an occasional member of a number of other New York City projects.'

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Monday 4 May 2015

Single: Bells Atlas - 'Bling'

Bells Atlas, 'Bling'

Info: A couple of weeks ago I featured Oakland band Bells Atlas' excellent single, 'Future Bones', and they're back again with another great track, 'Bling'. Again featuring an array of vocal and musical textures that mesmerise you so pleasantly, 'Bling' celebrates the more experimental side of the band, moving through their afro-pop bread and butter sound to a mixed electro and rock sonic rush that threatens to overwhelm before it's sudden and soft landing. What's behind the track itself?; 'The lyrics touch on the idea that what we see is not the only reality. The possibility that the physical boundaries between us are more fluid than we might presume, and the thought that there are many invisible but somehow accessible layers of beautiful extra ordinary absurdity everywhere.' 

Personally I'm very excited to get to listen to the remainder of the Hyperlust E.P. release and enjoy more of bands surprises as the variety on display on both tracks is rich and engaging. 

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Saturday 2 May 2015

Single: Known To Collapse - 'Circulated Undercover Ground'

Known To Collpase, 'Circulated Undercover Ground'

Info: In addition to a great lo-fi indie track, Alabama band and San Francisco residents, Known To Collapse, have made a wonderful video for their new single 'Circulated Undercover Ground', I can relate to the storyline's central character in many ways that I'm not going to share! Frontman and song-writer Kevin Lehner's vocals repeatedly reminded me of José Gonzalez on the lower notes and the music had an undoubted mid-90's indie / grunge feel to it. The pointed guitar sequences and drums carry the song along nicely from start to finish and the breaks are nicely timed as well, and unusually I could hear some similarities musically to British shoegaze bands such as Ride. Enjoyable in the least and then there's that video again.

Know To Collapse are currently crowd-funding the recording of their next LP at IndieGoGo until the 22nd of May. The single itself is about searching for love and not finding it, only to have it come your way when you're not looking. The video takes this idea into modern times through the use of emojis as a visual communication tool.  The band has executed these ideas with visionary director Martin Yernazian and his team at Atorrante Films with the video anonymizing the main character behind an emoji mask representing his feelings through this journey, both in reality and fantasy. 

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E.P.: Hawklion - 'Pressure'

Hawklion Pressure EP Dublin

Hawklion, 'Pressure'

Info: Dublin trio Hawklion have just released their second E.P. Pressure following last years debut Gold & Silver which received very positive views in The Irish Times, Hot Press and Nialler9. The title track, 'Pressure', (above) is a soothing piece of indietronica with earnest vocals, slow-burning echoing guitars and drum beats lead to a hopeful conclusion as the songs energy builds and the vocals soar. Second track 'Families' really digs deep into the band's strand of 80's sounds, and self-proclaimed influence of Duran Duran, with slightly subtle dark undertones reminiscent of the Birmingham groups debut album and tracks like 'Planet Earth' and 'Careless Memories'. 

The same can be said of what is one of my favourite songs on the E.P., the slick 'Soldier', which has lovely electronic nods to 80's cult maestro's The Units in parts and some lovely guitar riffage. While Pressure in it's entirety is a highly enjoyable E.P. the best is perhaps saved until last with the completely absorbing 'Africa', a track that a 'quote unquote' established act could easily release to much aplomb as a single. From the get go 'Africa' gets you in the groove, and the small but effective change in vocal tone adds greatly to the song, it's a great drift away and go with the flow musical time-out with the hypnotic beat and synths rippling along so nicely. The band are working on releasing their first full length album in the second-half of 2015 and based on this and their previous E.P. we have plenty to look forward to.

Hawklion, 'Africa'

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