Thursday 29 September 2016

Live Review: This Side Up - Tivoli Backstage, Dublin

Photos: Remy Connolly

This Side Up - True School

Info: Last night at the Tivoli Backstage bar on Francis Street in Dublin 8, Sligo hip-hop and rap act This Side Up put on a very special preview show for their very soon to be released debut album. Full Fat is only weeks away now from being made available to the public's ears, and trio Myster-E, Shaool and Noone treated a packed house to a full set of songs which will be featured on the new album. The crowd were loving it, there was no requirement to coax them to the front of the stage which filled up immediately once proceedings kicked off. 

If This Side Up were feeling anxiety over the past few weeks with all the stress and relentless work that comes with putting a full LP out, it was not visible in the slightest, the guys were having a ball, we were having a ball and everyone was happy out. Personally, I cannot wait to hear Full Fat, I've enjoyed all of the singles and videos they've released to date and it's a cliché, but an appropriate one, these peeps are 110% all about the music and nothing else, no distractions, no bullshit, just passion, and a credit to the community they represent so well.

This Side Up - Offhand

Note: Massive thanks to photographer Rémi Parnaud for the use of his lens on the night, and photo number 2 below! And of course This Side Up for having yours truly.

Monday 26 September 2016

Live: The Ríona Sally Hartman Band @ Arthur's, October 5th

The Ríona Sally Hartman Band Live

Ríona Sally Hartman - Handholding

Info: Dublin jazz / blues artist Ríona Sally Hartman will be playing at one of Dublin's most intimate, and up until recently, best kept secrets for live music fans, Arthur's on Thomas Street in Dublin 8. With her live band she will perform a night of acoustic music lush with vocal harmonies, accompanying surrealist stories and guaranteed one hundred percent accurate fortune telling for everyone in the audience! With Cormac O'Brien on double bass, Julien Colarossi on guitar and Filipa Quintino on backing vocals. 

Hartman is one of those rare treats whose recorded repertoire is matched and beaten on a live stage consistently, a music fan of all genres who makes music for music fans, and of course, to give life to her stories and imagination. Think of those sunny summer holidays as a child, discovering caves on beaches, or venturing into the woods, that you now doubt even ever happened as an adult, that feeling of adventure and being carefree is rekindled through Hartman's songs and last year's debut album, Big Starving Thing.

Ríona Sally Hartman - Frida Kahlo's Delight

The gig takes place on Wednesday, the 5th of October, tickets are only €7 and can be purchased on her website or on the door at Arthur's on the night.

"A rising star" - Lyric FM

"The craft of the songs draws you in - delicate vocal harmonies and sparse acoustic settings, fresh and unclichéd" - The Irish Times

Thursday 22 September 2016

Single: Low Hum - Strange Love

Low Hum Strange Love

Low Hum - Strange Love

Info: I'd say about ten times tops per year, I hear the opening salvo or bars of a song and know instantly I'm going to like it, but rarely do you get to the very end and had that initial feeling sustained the whole way through. The latest single from L.A.'s Low Hum, 'Strange Love', is one of those moments, its opening fuzzed-out bass is commanding, like an army general it dictates and orchestrates the movement of the music. 

The solo artist (Collin Desha) reminds me of wildly different acts, from Primal Scream, to Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, to Beck, and there's even a small snippet of Brian Eno's Another Green World for a joyous break of 25 seconds starting at the 1:50 mark. This interlude is broken again by the purposeful bass-line, with Desha's vocals mounting themselves over unabashed psychedelic guitar riffs, all leading to a rising cresecendo which not so much crashes to a halt, but more says; 'I think that's enough now, goodbye'. 

The first time I listened to 'Strange Love' I was convinced it was only three and a bit minutes long, nowhere near it's almost five minutes, a testament to the pace and energy and a nice contrasting balance of styles to previous single 'Sunburns' which featured on our Playlist here recently. Quality and very enjoyable stuff from Low Hum.

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Single: Girl Band - Paul

Girl Band Paul

Girl Band - Paul

- Review by James McGregor

Info: The third release off last year’s album, Holding Hands With Jamie, is 'Paul', another clear reminder that Girl Band are continue to provide one of the most refreshing sounds in music at the moment. This one opens with what can be loosely described as a bassline, and a strict, Tom-based 4/4 drum beat. This song is a fantastic example of how a rhythm section can hook the listener with trance-like repetition. Singer, Dara Kiely, then delivers some of his most poignant lines, including the eerily bizzare "How many bulbs does it take to screw a light in?"

The song takes you on a 7-minute rollercoaster through anticipation, with the long build up at the beginning, through anxiety, with the screaming guitars at roughly the 4-minute mark, with Kiely forcing the realisation of the inherent absurdity of daily life upon you in a tone that flits between apathetic and ferocious.

The emotional element is really where the beauty of the band lies for me. Kiely said in an interview he gave that; "there are no throwaway lyrics", and this transforms the seemingly ridiculous stream of consciousness into a verbal articulation of a young Irish man’s meltdown. This isn’t in the sort of pseudo-deep, but actually garbage, way that seems to be so prevalent in music these days. This is much more real. If we don’t understand it's because Kiely doesn’t expect us to, because we haven’t gone through his experience, and so he warns us at the beginning; "better not ask".

Sunday 18 September 2016

Playlist: Canalaphonic Festival - 23rd / 24th of September

Canalaphonic 2016 Festival
Photo: Remy Connolly

Info: The second Canalaphonic Festival is just around the corner this weekend after the huge success of last years inaugural celebration of Irish music and culture. So, what do you need to know? Well first of all, just like last year, all events are free spread across venues from the top to the bottom of Rathmines, following the Grand Canal route through Portobello and ending at Whelan's of Wexford Street. Unlike last year, it ain't bring your own booze, but there will be bar facilities at the Main Stage area at The Leinster Cricket Ground in Rathmines, and obviously there are rumours the pubs will be serving alcohol too!

Who's playing and where? The organisers have put together two easy to follow guides for the Friday and Saturday and you can print them off below, or save them on your phone for ease of planning on the day. I myself will be working on The Sound Feed stage at The Barge on the Friday night so be sure to pop in and say hi to me and the team and check out the three acts we have lined up for our stage, Aural Air, TADGH and The Statics. Also check out my Spotify and SoundCloud playlists below covering almost all of the acts involved in the festival.

For all the most up to date info you can visit the official Canalaphonic website here or swing by and Like the Facebook page here, or if Twitter is your thing, so here!

The Story Behind Canalaphonic

Canalaphonic grew from the proverbial little acorns when Dublin musician Sid Daly, guitarist of psych-rockers Mother Mooch, had a brainwave which involved sparking life into a vibrant but somewhat listless part of Dublin city centre, around the Portobello area of the canal, a small music festival. Through his friend and fellow musician, Jem Mitchell, he got in touch with innovative barber David Judge (Abner Brown) who was himself in the middle of creating a mini-music Mecca at his barbershop in the village. Daly and Judge turned small into large, catching everyone by surprise, no moreso than themselves, Daly recalling that it; 'turned into something absolutely amazing with something like 120 bands from all genres playing over 25 venues throughout Rathmines and Portobello, and somewhere around 4,000 people watching bands play on top of a barge at the Harbour!'

Abner Brown David Judge Canalaphonic
Photo: Remy Connolly

For anyone who somehow doesn't know, the other man behind the magic of Canalaphonic is the legendary Dave Judge, or as most people fondly know him, Abner Brown. Starting a few years ago with musicians coming into Abner Brown's Barbershop on the Rathmines end of the Rathgar Road, the intimate venue has now become one of Dublin's most iconic music locations. To find out a little bit more about the man, check out the trailer for the documentary More Than A Barbershop which is currently screening at film festivals around the country.

And oh yeah, so how about some of the acts then? Well I've got you covered there too! Enjoy!

Festival Time-tables - Click to Enlarge!

Canalaphonic Festival 2016 Dublin Line Up Bands

Canalaphonic Festival 2016 Dublin Line Up Bands Saturday

Video: Sundara Karma - She Said

Sundara Karma She Said

Sundara Karma - She Said

Info: Sundara Karma have just released the video for their new single 'She Said', the latest single from their debut album Youth Is Only Ever Fun In Retrospect which will be out January 6th. The band's previous single release 'Flame' has already clocked up well over 2 million plays on Spotify as their legion of fans grows.

The Reading four-piece have created an absolute belter of an alt-pop tune in 'She Said' whilst they currently embark on their U.K. Tour. Both video and track are nothing but sublimely catchy fun with killer guitar hooks and percussion. The most interesting aspect of the song is how it surrounds itself in so many genres, there's a hint of T-Rex glam, 90's Britpop and early 21st century indie rock like Kaiser Chiefs or Hard-Fi. No doubt further single releases will be peppering the UK charts and further afield before long.

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Video: Kevin Nolan - Drowning

Kevin Nolan Drowning

Info: Above is the debut music video from Irish songwriter and composer Kevin Nolan. The video was directed by the award-winning filmmaker Nathan Fagan and filmed in the Axis Ballymun theatre. It captures a live performance by Kevin, his unique and dramatic delivery is fully realised and well captured by the Irish-Canadian director. Nathan Fagan is in the process of making Aubade, a short documentary portrait of Kevin Nolan.

Taken from Nolan's epic debut album, Fredrick and The Golden Dawn (stream here) 'Drowning' was and still is my favourite track of his, so I was delighted to find it was chosen for the above music video. It's no easy task having a 'favourite' song from Fredrick as it contains not one second of irrelevance and all of the tracks are special. 

My own thoughts at the time of it's release were as follows; "'Drowning' (...) is undoubtedly my favourite, foreboding, disturbing and beautiful, both bass and piano are extremely complimentary as a background to the lines;

 'Like a switch-blade to my heart, there she was, she was every song I heard, she held a match to every word, I was a saint among the herds...but now I'm drowning'. 

Nolan concludes with the inevitably blunt line, 'drowning men are never found.' To add to the atmosphere and in case you had forgotten, the piano toward the end is like a march of death reiterating the protagonist's final words."

The video itself is simply stunning, and so beautifully shot by Fagan, to the point of being a tantalising glimpse of the forthcoming documentary Aubade, a short documentary portrait of Kevin Nolan. Nolan is without doubt one of the most gifted song-writers of our generation so be sure to check out more of the Dubliner's music if you enjoyed the above video.

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Single: The Living Stream - Grand Canal Dock

The Living Stream Grand Canal Dock

The Living Stream - Grand Canal Dock

Info: September 2016 sees the official launch of one of the most exciting and unique new Irish acts for quite some time, The Living Stream. Having won IMRO's coveted Emerging Competition back in January (without having played a gig!) The Living Stream went on to support The Fureys at TempleBar Tradfest - where they instantly impressed. 

When asked about the origin of the debut single, 'Grand Canal Dock' which was released on Friday just gone, Brian commented that he "wanted to try and capture the overall tone that pervaded the country post-crash - the sense of uneasiness and frustration that was felt by so many". But he didn't want it to be angry and finger pointy he insists.

Indeed there is a serene calmness to 'Grand Canal Dock', even with such a heavy theme, like the name of the band itself, you do have that sense that you are moving slowly downstream. The track is steeped in the classical Irish trad custom with Kelly's vocals, the tin-whistle and mandolin playing in particular harking back to the days of The Dubliners and Planxty in the 70's and 80's, but musically The Living Stream is set apart from such acts as a result of their more refined pace and gentleness. No doubt the upcoming album will get a great reception and launch TLS further into the public consciousness.

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Single: Canigou - Owl

Canigou Owl

Canigou - Owl

Info: Swedish duo Canigou (Richard and Emma Lindström) released their latest single, 'Owl', last month, which is taken from their forthcoming album due for release very soon. Opening with the repeating line, "Illusions of the mind, pollution for the body" as always Canigou's harmonies are perfect. When the gentle guitar riff enters the fray we are already on an upward spiral into the pairs daydream world. Everything slots carefully into place with the added trumpet by Per Larsson adding to the dream-like state we find ourselves in. A beautiful and wholesome ambient dreampop single from the double act, roll on the album release!

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Saturday 17 September 2016

Music of Wales: Soft Hearted Scientists - The Creeps / Zeds

Soft Hearted Scientists The Creeps

Soft Hearted Scientists - The Creeps

Info: Continuing our cultural music exchange (or Celtic Blog Exchange as Aled puts it, which sounds so much better!) between Ireland and Wales, here's a double-release of tracks I really enjoyed from our partner site, Music Blog Wales, by Cardiff psychedelic troupe Soft Hearted Scientists, and their single, 'The Creeps'. Review courtesy of Music Blog Wales;

Double A-sided single 'The Creeps '/ 'Zeds' was released on 12th August, and is lifted from legendary psych act Soft Hearted Scientists' new 26 track double album Golden Omens.

A-side "The Creeps" is a insidiously brilliant dark-psych-pop song about, dread, premonitions, armchair time travelling and "Cretaceous childhood memories". Inspired by the realisation that as soon as a day is finished it is as over as the Roman Empire, or the dinosaurs that used to roam around Bethnal Green. Containing a tip of the hat to Moon Safari era Air, with added Greek chorus choir, and BBC Radiophonic workshop sound effects.

"Zeds" is a ridiculous surreal chiming, pop stomp, name checking Oedipus, The Sphinx, and how hideous British winters trigger an instinct to hibernate from November to April in a large cardboard box, like a bitter human tortoise, saving a lot of money on bills, and bypassing the rubbish weather.  It’s possibly the only song by Soft Hearted Scientists with a middle section equally as influenced by “Smile” era Beach Boys, and the preposterous 1980s novelty hit "I eat cannibals" by Toto Coelo.

Soft Hearted Scientists are purveyors of timeless folk tinged psychedelia. Forged around the songwriting partnership of Nathan Hall; Dylan Line in 2001, Soft Hearted Scientists started life as a garden shed experiment on a low budget involving, acoustic guitars, antique synthesizers and pots and pans.

Soft Hearted Scientists - Zeds

Releasing their debut album Uncanny Tales From the Everyday Undergrowth in the heady summer of 2005 on my Kung Fu Records. They were joined by bassist Mike Bailey and Paul Jones with his 12 string acoustic guitar, banjo and mandolin skills for the second album Take Time. The group have released six albums in all of their timeless brand of personally inflected, magic realistic, folk tinged psychedelia that’s influenced by everything from The Byrds to the Incredible String Band to Kraftwerk. As BBC Wales’s Adam Walton puts it: 'Their music is hidden waterfalls, owls hooting over mountain lakes, gloaming folktales told to campfire embers, all illuminated by meteor melodies and stardust arrangements.' The Scientists have consistently earned rave reviews from the likes of NME, Penny Black Music, Shindig and received airplay on Radcliffe and Maconie’s Six Music show. They’ve beguiled practically everyone who has clapped ears upon their music, yet still, they are tragically undiscovered treasures to those who aren’t in the know.
This summer, Soft Hearted Scientists release their seventh album Golden Omens, a sprawling double album, a mixture of lyrical songs, instrumentals and interludes divided into four parts. It could be viewed as a sister album to their last long player The Slow Cyclone as it’s entirely homemade, at times, deliberately unpolished. But it is also a stand alone album that is not weighed down by some ponderous, dreaded concept.

Sonically the songs are a glorious tapestry of psychedelia, haunted midnight ghost folk, baroque pop, gallows humour wonky show tunes that will never trouble Broadway, and even an unexpected one off shock turn down Dick Dale Avenue. Acoustic and electric guitars blend with home made percussion, vintage keyboards, and electronic underwater/outer space/nature sound effects, to add colour and texture and hopefully transport listeners out of their living rooms out of the mundanity of their everyday lives and make them feel like they have been on a short, revitalising holiday by the end of the album.

Golden Omens holds a mirror up to the beauty, horror, mundanity, wrong turns, tiny delights, rubbish and brilliant aspects of life and,  the ongoing (doomed) struggle to make some sense of it all.

Single: Tycho - Epoch

Tycho Scott Hansen

Tycho - Epoch

Info: 'Epoch' is the latest single from Scott Hansen's continually expanding project Tycho and the keystone of the forthcoming album. The new album is at once a departure and an evolution for Tycho; honing the sonic aesthetic of Dive while drawing on the kinetic energy of Awake, it explores darker themes and new musical territory.

As we move ever closer to the long awaited (well, it was only 2014 when Awake came out, maybe we're just impatient) release of Tycho's fifth studio album, the second single release has just come out following on from July's drop of 'Division'. Where the previous single was fast-paced in terms of intensity, 'Epoch' is carried by it's own steady forward momentum. There are suggestions of an increase of movement many times across the track, but it remains restrained, with Hansen opting for a focused rhythm which is encompassed by wildly swirling sonic sunbursts. Like most of his work, Hansen aims to provide the listener with (a) an experience and (b) ensure they arrive at the destination they desire by the end of the track, he is incredibly skilled at achieving both, and that is why he is one of the best electronic artists in the world today.

Tycho US Tour Dates 2016
Tycho U.S. Tour Dates

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Playlist: Remy's Best of International Playlist - Issue #002

Cancer DK Die One More Time
Copenhagen duo Cancer.

Info: This weekend's playlist is rammed full of quality (and I ain't just saying that - proof is in the puddin!) and a wide mix of genres from ambient, electronic, alternative rock and more from Dublin, Copenhagen, Brooklyn, Melbourne, California, London, Nashville and Canada, proper aural globe-trotting!

Previously reviewed and excellent second single from Dublin band Kevyn kicks things off with 'The Black and the Blue'; "'The Black and The Blue' is a song inspired by the feeling of crippling self doubt and struggles with anxiety. Songwriter and frontwoman Karla Chubb wrote the song as a figurative middle finger to those who have held her back and hindered her confidence and pursuits..." 

One of our favourite U.S. acts since, forever, are Cali alt-pop geniuses Oyster Kids and their thirds single 'Gum (Everybody's My Friend)', which is a dizzyingly joyous track, we're really looking forward to the next single which is due out next week! Australian solo artist Ainslie Wills brings us a power-house pop-rock number in 'Drive', a slick rocker that hints at OK Computer-era Radiohead, Wills is touring the U.K. from the 24th of September hitting up London, Manchester and Glasgow.

Ainslie Wills Drive UK Tour
Ainslie Wills

A track I instantly enjoyed due to it's mellow simplicity comes courtesy of Dublin solo instrumentalist Alex Smyth and his ambient track 'CXCVII', conjuring some Tycho-esque majesty that Scott Hansen himself would be proud of. We also have some indie guitar-funk courtesy of London four-piece Cocoa Futures and their catchy new single 'The Blue' released on the Lost In The Manor label.

Ahead of the release of their debut album, Totem, Copenhagen's Cancer release beautifully trembling single 'Die One More Time' which has been rightly receiving rave reviews, particularly for live performances, 'a song about the sorrow that comes with losing loved ones and how the experience stays with you forever.'

Oakland's Trails and Ways make the Playlist for the second week in a row with their great new single 'Get Loud', effortlessly churning out hit after hit in the lead up to their new album Own It which is due out next month. Canadian band Native Other have released the first single, 'Palms' from their debut EP which is out on the 7th of October; 'If I Can Keep It Together' is an accumulation of our diverse origins and experimentation while the content tells tales of growth and discovery of our identity, romantic perspectives and lustful encounters. As we write personal reflections, sonically we construct our own unique sound.' We've been graciously afforded a sneak peak at the new EP here and it is sounding rock solid.

The Fantastic Plastics TV Head

Brooklyn-based The Fantastic Plastics (above photo) also have a new EP due out on the 7th of October and release single 'TV Head' in advance, an observation on societies obsession with having our heads glued to screens (guilty as charged Your Honour!). It's like Gary Numan meets Talking Heads wry humour across 3 and a half minutes of future wave bliss, nice! Finally we have a lovely single, 'Giving Up' from Nashville solo act Jake McMullen, so much happening on this one that works so well, there's bits of Arcade Fire vocally, Bon Iver musically and a pinch of Peter Gabriel running through both.

Friday 16 September 2016

Video: Gráinne Hunt - Little Bird Sing

Grainne Hunt Little Bird Sing

Gráinne Hunt - Little Bird Sing - Declan Sessions

Info: Dublin folk artist Gráinne Hunt has released a new song and an accompanying live video has been made by the Declan Sessions, a wonderful idea where Declan, who is a 1985 VW Camper-van, travels around Ireland filming musicians performing from his comfy couch showcasing the best Irish songwriters. I think this may be my favourite song of Hunt's, and I'll be digging out her debut album Firing Pin again over the weekend just to be sure!

On 'Little Bird Sing' it feels like poetry how it should be read, a story with discreet levels of emotion, this has come straight from the middle of Hunt's heart and swayed back and forth between how I feel when I listen to Joni Mitchell or Mic Christopher's Skylarkin', a beautiful new release.

Thursday 15 September 2016

Video: Beck - Wow

Beck Wow Giddy up

Beck - Wow

Info: New single "Wow" available now:
Listen on Spotify:

Director: Grady Hall, Beck
Producer: Allan Wachs
Executive Producer: Haley Moffett

Giddy up, giddy up
Giddy up, giddy up

Wanna move into a fool's gold room
With my pulse on the animal jewels
Of the rules that you choose to use to get loose
With the luminous moves
Bored of these limits, let me get, let me get it like

It's like right now
It's like wow!
It's like right, right now
It's like wow!
It's like right now
It's like wow!
It's like right now
Oh wow

It's my life, your life
Live it once, can't live it twice
So nice, so nice
Smooth like a tidal wave, take you on a getaway
My friends, your friends
Living every day like it's just about to end
Now we're pissin' in the wind cause it's so pine fresh
Right now
Yeah I, I wanna get it like

It's like right now
It's like wow!
It's like
Giddy up!
It's like right now
Oh wow, it's like right now

It's your life
Falling like a hot knife
Call your wife; secular times, these times
My demon's on the cell phone
To your demons, nothing's even right or wrong
It's irrelevant, elephant in the room goes boom
Standing on your lawn doin' jiu jitsu
Girl in a bikini with the Lamborghini shih tzu

It's your life
You gotta try to get it right
Look around, don't forget where you came from
It's just another perfect night
We're gonna take it around the world
We're gonna take it around the world
Ride these wild horses
Ride these wild horses
We're gonna take it around the world

Wow, wow, wow
Giddy up!
Giddy up!

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Wednesday 14 September 2016

Single: Dreaming of Jupiter - Light Of My Life

Dreaming of Jupiter Light of my Life
Photo: Emmanuel Hammond

 Dreaming of Jupiter - Light Of My Life

Info: Following a busy summer of gigging, including Whelan's Summer Ones to Watch, Dublin alternative-pop trio Dreaming of Jupiter are set for their first headline show in Sin É this Friday night (event details here), which will be followed in quick succession by an appearance at the next Gigonometry session at The Workman's Club next week. With their debut album due shortly, they will also be launching the first single from the LP, 'Light Of My Life' (above) in Whelan's in October, a busy schedule indeed.

Everything is under wraps until then, but I was lucky enough to catch DoJ at Whelan's in July and can say that their range is happily varied. 'Light Of My Life' harks back to the more thoughtful songs that scattered the US and UK charts in the 80's and early 90's, with lead singer Zoë Gough's vocals unusually sounding like a mix of Pat Benatar, Annie Lennox and Cyndi Lauper, all sliced up in thirds and put back together again, but without sounding like any of them individually. Something I have become more and more aware of lately is how Irish acts are reshaping how alternative and electronic pop music sounds, and they're doing it very well, we can expect to see the full suite in action on Dreaming of Jupiter's debut album if their live shows are anything to go by, a band well worth checking out on stage.

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Interview: TADGH @ The Sound Feed

TADGH Remys Music and Film
Photo: Shauna Dowling Photography

Info: With a fresh, original take on a number of genres like R&B, Hip-hop and general funk, TADGH's dynamic lyrics and sound coupled with eye catching style captures an audience’s attention and imagination from the moment he steps on stage.

In advance of his performance at The Sound Feed’s Stage at the Canalaphonic Festival 2016, TADGH dropped in for a chat about his first forays into music, recent festival appearances and upcoming plans for the near future. Check out his amazing performance below.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

EP: Ofelia K - Chaos Cave

Ofelia K Chaos Cave

Ofelia K - Another World

Info: L.A. solo artist Ofelia K has just released her second E.P., Chaos Cave, her second E.P. in as many years following 2015 debut four-track Plastic Flower. The impact has been huge in such a short space of time; With spins from Annie Mac at BBC Radio 1, over 2 million Spotify plays, and features on multiple television shows, the world heard her starry eyed songs and asked for oh-so-many more.

Regarding the EP, Ofelia adds, "Chaos Cave was recorded at a couple studios in Burbank as well as at my house in Box Canyon. Massive amounts of La Croix sparkling water were consumed. My producer Andy Rosen and I both have some OCD tendencies that get compounded when working together, so there’s a lot of attention to detail throughout. We worked in Ableton, which really influenced the soundscapes we were able to achieve and allowed for quite a bit of creative freedom. My attitude is always that of letting each song go where it wants to and not feeling strictly limited to one genre, so each of the five songs brings a different mood and style to the body of work."

And so the proof is in the pudding in terms of her 'OCD', it's unusual for a pop extended play to contain 4 tracks out of 5 comfortably in excess of 4 minutes length, a testament to the fact that Ofelia K wanted to leave no stone unturned when it came to fully expressing the music she had created, space was required and speace was given. Back in March I described early single 'Cinco' as; "my kind of contemporary pop, instantly captivating, with hammer-blow beats and keys laying down the law either side of Ofelia K's polished vocal performance. Everything is sharp and cut so neatly to the extent that there are points where the music takes you aback."

Ofelia K - Cinco

In contrast, follow up single 'Bad Boys' stayed true to her sound, but brimmed with a slow burning yet classic 80's anthemic feel, like a restrained version of Kim Carnes' 'Bette Davis Eyes', not so much New York snow, more L.A. sunshine mellow, a soft and caressing pause on this collection of tracks. A track like 'Killing Me' showcases Ofelia K's broader horizons when it comes to song-writing, it's a well-working and very different amalgamation of contemporary singer-songwriter / pop driven and carried by spritely electronic sounds.

'Another World' imbues a more discerning approach, the latest release fittingly feels like a personal retrospective and perhaps joyful relief that the latest phase of her music has been completed. The fourth track, the no doubt sincerely titled 'I Love My Lawyer', mixes full frontal pop with an electronic engine once again, tongue in cheek? Quite possibly! The key point to be taken from Chaos Cave is that as a whole it deliberately strays outside of saturated pop conventions and in fact rejects them to the point that it feels consistently fresh across all five tracks. There's no sign that Ofelia K will be resting on her laurels following this latest release and will gravitate further toward those special moments on future recordings.

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