Wednesday 29 March 2017

Single: WASPS - Future Endeavours

WASPS Future Endeavours

WASPS - Future Endeavours

Info: Meeting through the Belfast gig scene Danny McCelland and Charlie Cairns bonded over the fact they both have And So I Watch You From Afar tattoos. This got them talking music and they joined forces to create math-rock duo WASPS. The intricate guitar lines and explosive drums came out of them like a firestorm, inspired by the genre and the band their tattoos were after.

WASPS released their first single 'Godzilla is Dead' in December 2016. Word travelled fast and the excitement locally was evident as they were repeatedly stopped in the streets of Belfast to buy their CD’s which they quickly sold out of. For a band less than 6 months old they have been embraced by the Belfast rock scene, already supporting local up and comings Making Monsters, Anto and the Echoes and Sister Ghost.

WASPS' second single 'Future Endeavours' is most certainly an instant attention grabber. Rollicking guitar riffs and pounding percussion provide the backdrop to a track that is straight out of the U.S. underground math-rock textbook. There's a crunching yet cheeky charm to 'Future Endeavours', with the Derry / Belfast pair whipping us up gradually to a finale which cordially smacks us in the face. This all despite the lyrical subject matter dealing with providing a strong glimmer of light when all seems dark. Vocally it's also impressive, with McClelland letting fly with ease and capturing both the intensity and brevity of the song perfectly. This is a band I would very, very much like to see live, and will.

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Tuesday 28 March 2017

Video: MNNQNS - Next Time I Try

MNNQNS Next Time I Try

MNNQNS - Next Time I Try

Info: Our favourite French post-punk, new-wave, rock act, MNNQNS from Rouen have just released a brand new video for their track 'Next Time I Try', from their latest EP Capital, which was released in autumn of last year. Of the track itself I had mused; ''Next Time I Try' is a catchy hook-laden treat, trundling steadily to the percussion and trademark wobble of MNNQN's front-loaded bass-lines, it's an energising piece of fluid indie-rock, a real hip-shaker. The E.P.'s title-track veers strongly towards nonchalant noise-rock, spinning effortlessly through the motions with delightful echoed and watery guitar effects, it's a crunching and arresting moment on Capital.'

It looks and sounds as good as it did back then, MNNQNS exuding cool and a certain joie de vivre in their newest video. Read the full review of Capital, and listen to it here.

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Sunday 26 March 2017

Video: Kevin Nolan - Last Days of Harry Carey

Kevin Nolan The Last Days of Harry Carey
Photo: Nathan Fagan

Kevin Nolan - Last Days of Harry Carey

Info: Kevin Nolan's Fredrick & The Golden Dawn album had a gestation period over over 8 years, like an artist at a pottery wheel, the process didn't end until every nook and cranny in each song was perfectly moulded, and a precise standard had been reached. As part of a documentary on the musician currently in the works by director Nathan Fagan, a number of the songs from the album were filmed on the stage of the Axis Theatre in Ballymun, the latest to be released being 'The Last Days of Harry Carey'. It's a wonderful performance from an individual who can only be considered in the highest regard, as one of our finest song-writers at present.

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 Hum, a short documentary portrait of Kevin Nolan.

For those who want to look further, "Last Days Of Harry Carey" is just the tip of the iceberg as regards the rest of Nolan's critically acclaimed debut album "Fredrick and The Golden Dawn". Go explore it.

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Video: Cat Palace - Peddle It

Cat Palace Peddle It

Cat Palace - Peddle It

Info: Having released two EPs in 2015 to critical acclaim, Cat Palace will release their much anticipated debut album on April 1st , preceded by a music video for album track "Peddle It". Informed and inspired by gutteral feelings of devotion and loss, the album's intent is to build upon and expand the textures presented in the first two releases, simultaneously delving further lyrically into the trappings of mundanity and interpersonal relationships - never failing to see the humour in either.

The album was written during time spent between Dublin and Louisville, Kentucky, and recorded at Ailfionn Recording Studio in Drumcondra. Cat Palace finds Blaney working with longstanding collaborator and bandmate, producer Christopher Barry and drummer Oisín Trench (Enemies, The River Fane).

Cat Palace, the project of Dublin man David Blaney, has been in existence for over 2 years now, since before the release of his debut self-titled EP in February, 2015. With a debut album just around the corner at the beginning of next month, the lay of the land so far has been that he is very well known to frequenters of live music in the city, his releases to date have received high praise from online music critics and websites such as Nialler9 and The Thin Air, and though speculative, this album release could and should be the moment a greater audience emerges.

'Peddle It''s intro is instantly engaging and sparks an interest immediately, the low hum of Blaney's vocal operates underneath rolling picking and light percussion. At its early stages it has an unplugged Nirvana / Pearl Jam vibe both vocally and musically, and I can't believe I'm over two and a half minutes into the track before it escalates, where did that time go? From here on in the track becomes decidedly escapist, reminiscent of one of Spiritualized's more lo-fi numbers. Having listened to the track numerous times, I still feel like I'm getting to know it, it's quite wondrous to say the least, this album is going to be tasty.

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Video: Billy Moon - I Wanna Know

Billy Moon I Wanna Know

Billy Moon - I Wanna Know

Info: Hamilton, Ontario solo act Billy Moon, whose wonderfully joyous and quirky EP, That Which You Can't Throw Away, we reviewed last October, is set to bring out another extended play this spring, with the first single, 'I Wanna Know' dropping a few weeks ago with an interesting accompanying video.

The concept for 'I Wanna Know' is based on the creative power to imagine and the freedom your mind can have when a game is revolved around fantasizing new rules every ten seconds. When there is no limit on a character's imagination, the freedom can either take you on beautifully creative inspiration or mind-bending insanity. 

What starts out as a bit of silly fun, the video for IWK develops into a macabre and unhinged Shakespearian dance with chaos. Musically, Moon serves up yet another lo-fi piece of slacker pop rock. I've always been drawn to the effects he uses on his electric guitar, it's a bluesy nonchalant punk sound which always feels slick. While the overall feel is cool and chilled, the finale to the single matches the madness of the visual, a desperate panicked crescendo, like a scream in the dark, another doozy of a song from Mr. Moon.

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Saturday 25 March 2017

Video: Oh Pep! - Crazy Feels

Oh Pep! Crazy Feels
Photo: Wilk

Oh Pep! - Crazy Feels

Info: Melbourne folk-pop duo Oh Pep! recently released a video for their track, 'Crazy Feels', from their debut album, Stadium Cake. The video is illustrated by digital artist Sergio Pastore – "In creating this video, my main inspiration came from the music and the lyrics of the song. I think the choice of colors - but also the background design - reflects in some way the slightly-tense mood of the music. The storyline, and the way the characters interact, clearly reflects the relationship difficulties of our times."

Oh Pep! further explains "this song is pretty much summed up by the last line: 'You can choose who the first to lose is'. A seemingly inescapable but inevitably doomed interaction." 

'Crazy Feels' is a euphoric musical experience, it's an honest and straight up track from Oh Pep!. If you mashed Bat for Lashes' Natasha Khan with Lana Del Rey, and threw in a bit of First Aid Kit, this is somewhere close to where you would be, and that's probably as close as I could attempt to get to what I'm hearing. Strings with occasional flat key notes, electronic percussion, and massively soothing harmonies all combine to create the perfect happy / sad balancing act. 

Oh Pep! paid a visit to Ireland last year with a sold out show in Whelan's and we do hope they'll return again soon.

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Single: THUMPER - The Loser


THUMPER - The Loser

Info: THUMPER are a noise-pop quartet from Dublin, delivering bubblegum pop through a wall of sonic death. With a reputation for raucous and frenzied live shows, 2 EPs full of lo-fi ear worms (think Sonic Youth vs Abba), and penchant for howling feedback and pounding rhythm, this is a band u'll love 2 love.

THUMPER have played alongside several Irish contemporaries such as Squarehead, Fangclub, Raglans, OTHERKIN & Bitch Falcon (with the latter two featuring on the single "Rent Is Due"), as well as with The Amazons and Rough Trade's The Prettiots. Summer 2016 saw THUMPER release their second EP 'Magnum Opuss' on Little L Records, and appear at several festivals including Electric Picnic (IE), Knockanstockan (IE), Other Voices and TRUCK Festival (UK). 

Magnum Opuss was subsequently featured in the top 10 EPs of 2016 by The Last Mixed Tape, REMY and District Magazine, with the single 'Dan The Man' also featuring in The Thin Air & District Magazine's top 100 songs of 2016.

No, no! You don't need to get a new pair of headphones, your jack isn't dusty brother, it's just the new single from THUMPER. Opening with a riff that sounds like a variation of Status Quo's 'Pictures of Matchstick Men', THUMPER add yet another layer of fuzz and distortion on top of their sound on '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. It's another cracking single from a band who have effortlessly found themselves to be one of the most talked about acts on the Irish music scene at present, and that bass solo at 2:05, Christ on a bike.

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EP: Secret Cameras - Secret Cameras

Secret Cameras EP

Info: Secret Cameras are a new London based indie band whose members in their previous projects have played up and down the UK, been on the Club NME Tour (ultimately headlining at Koko's), toured in the USA, and played at numerous festivals such as Leeds, SXSW in Austin (Texas), and supporting Suede on their comeback tour. 

Secret Cameras have recently finished recording their debut EP, which was produced by Fraser Smith (ex Shed Seven) and mixed by Dave Bascombe (Produced/Mixed Depeche Mode, Suede, Goldfrapp, Placebo, Courteeners).

The band have lately gained airplay on UK radio stations such as Radio X (Xfm), BBC Radio 2, BBC 6 Music, BBC London, Amazing Radio, RTE 2FM and RTE 2XM in Ireland and other stations across the globe.

Yes, yes, yes. I've been a fan of London four-piece Secret Cameras ever since sharing 'It Doesn't Matter' on one of our Playlists earlier in the year. This is indie pop rock at its most glorious and energising. 'It Doesn't Matter' strikes right at the heart of early noughties indie-rock, think Maximo Park meets Hard-Fi, but better, it's a crunching whirlpool of rollicking guitar riffs and percussion that leaves you fully satisfied by track's end.

Following that we have the darker-tinged, semi-electro, 'Going Places', Gary Numan and The National just had a baby people. Arching between pop sensibilities and grungey tones, the track is a powerhouse, and we're already dizzy. To calm us down slightly 'It's Never Over' comes along, again there's that dark hue, a meandering bass-line weaves between electronic drum beats and a swirling guitar progression.

Secret Cameras - It Doesn't Matter

'For You' opens with a delightfully snappy beat, normal service has resumed as Secret Cameras launch into another highly enjoyable slice of indie-pop, at times claustrophobic and chaotic, in all the good ways. Closing with 'When It Ends', any thoughts of a soft landing evaporate around the three-minute mark as the band slowly ratchet up the rhythm and pace, it's a proper indie stomper that you could easily imagine being remixed very well in the right hands. Ultimately we have a collection of six tracks which are nothing but gratifying, Secret Cameras feel like an act you would return to time and time again, and their debut EP is beyond impressive, hooked.

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Single: Heather Stuart - Nowhere You Need To Be

Heather Stuart Nowhere You Need To Be

Heather Stuart - Nowhere You Need To Be

Info: Heather Stuart is an Irish singer-songwriter based in Dublin. Her music is comprised of a mixture of folk, country/alternative styles, with an emphasis placed on self-encompassing, bare and sometimes, brutally honest approach to storytelling. Her major influences include Patsy Cline, Alison Krauss and Daughter. Heather has played in many of Dublin's most esteemed venues including Whelans Main Stage and The Button Factory and has just released her debut single yesterday.

Heather Stuart's debut single, 'Nowhere You Need To Be', is an interesting mix of contemporary country and alternative folk pop. Opening with an echoed electric guitar progression, Stuart's polished vocals enter the fray on the ballad, you are immediately struck by the sharp power of her voice. Staying true to her influences, the heartfelt tale is accompanied by gentle acoustic picking and banjo arrangements. Uniquely Stuart also manages to push our minds back to classic country folk from the 60's, not so much in sound as in delivery. As an opening salvo, 'Nowhere You Need To Be' shows great potential for exploration of a sound which is currently quite standalone in the Irish music scene. 

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Album: Marlene Enright - Placemats & Second Cuts

Marlene Enright Placemats & Second Cuts

Info: Marlene Enright’s solo debut showcases her passions and influences. Written and recorded over a year, the result is a melange of the heavy grooves of RnB, the warmth and nostalgia of great folk songs and the richness of thickly layered harmonies. It is the sound of modern roots music, evolved as it has over decades to something that is unmistakably 21st Century, while still carrying echoes of the past.

The title, Placemats and Second Cuts, a line from the outro of the album's closing song, is fitting, for this album offers depth and introspection. Says Enright; 

"Hindsight has made me realise that it's a much more self-reflective album than I initially realised. It speaks of self-doubt, dancing the fine line between feeling comfortable in your own skin and feeling totally lost at sea, indecisiveness, the battle between strength and weakness, passion and apathy, belonging and isolation and self-acceptance."

With the dreamy opening of 'Alchemy', Marlene Enright takes us on our first steps through her debut album, Placemats & Second Cuts. It's a soulful track, with a distinct folk-blues feel, but we are very soon to find out that this is but one of many strings to Enright's varied bow. Previous single '123' shows up straight after, it's a blissful piece of cherry pop, Enright sounding not a million miles away from contemporary Cathy Davey, looping keyboard progressions creating an upbeat scene for us to slip into with ease. 

Again on 'Bay Tree' we are brought somewhere entirely different, a Dusty Springfield-esque piece of vocal jazz, exceedingly mellow vibes abound on what is, at present, my favourite track on the album. With electric guitar rippling and a hazy percussion, the track moves from the bright to the dark as it progresses, and everything happening here is a pure delight. After the indie-induced 'Shiny', Enright lays her vocals and soul bare on the beautiful 'Sadness'; 'I couldn't see the sun, I was too busy falling at their feet, to see the only ones, who cared where I laid my head to sleep, it's a kind of madness, that keeps us taking on the world at speed...' touches on the sense of apathy and detachment which the artist alluded to in her album description.

Marlene Enright - When The Water Is Hot

Another key highlight comes courtesy of sixth track 'Little Things', with it's subtle hint of Americana country twang, Enright interestingly adopts an almost rn'b vocal, it exudes a confidence and ebullient attitude, a case in point of reversing that earlier detachment and becoming connected with oneself again. 'When The Water Is Hot' (above video), again takes a country hue with the brass adding a warmth and richness to the overall sound of the song, it's a definitive 'pause for thought' moment on the LP. 

'Underbelly' captures the swagger of '123' and 'Little Things' once again, before we move into yet another soundscape courtesy of 'Home (Shiny Reprise)', the electronic effects and Enright's vocal initially making me cast my mind back to Massive Attack's Mezzanine, I didn't see that coming either, it's also yet another sterling track on the album and reaches a most invigorating high as it unfolds around our ears. Placemats & Second Cuts closes with the see-saw of 'We Were In Trouble', at times enchanting and gentle, at others alarming and brisk, Enright's voice carefully navigating its way through short thundering bursts of drums and guitar, it's a finale which ensures both artist and album leave their mark on you in a very accomplished way.

Live Dates:
The Mariner, Bantry - Saturday 25th March - €10
The Spirit Store, Dundalk - Wednesday 5th April
Whelans, Dublin - Thursday 6th April - €12
Dolans, Limerick - Friday 7th April - €10
Coughlan's, Cork - Thursday 13th April -€12
St. John's Theatre, Listowel - Friday 28th April - €12/€15

Thursday 23 March 2017

Single: David Keenan - Cobwebs

David Keenan Cobwebs

Info: An absolute obsession with words and melody took hold of 23-year-old Dundalk folk artist David Keenan at a very early age. Exposed to the writings of Behan, Yeats and Wilde with the soundtrack of Dylan, Buckley and The Dubliners illuminating his formative years. Inspired by the storytelling and character creations of his grandfather, he took the boat over the water and gathered tales and tunes of his own, learning his craft and expressing his love of language.

Having been asked to play alongside the likes of Mick Flannery, The Hothouse Flowers, Damien Dempsey and Glen Hansard, David is fast becoming one of Ireland's most talked about young artists.

I find myself in the unusual position of reviewing a musician for the first time who I have listened to on so many occasions for almost a year, and seen live already many a time. Normally the reverse is the case, where I'd hear the release first, and then go to the live shows and immerse myself in their music. It also feels a bit funny as David Keenan has such a large repertoire of songs at this point, and while he has previously released singles, 'Cobwebs' feels like it is happening at the true beginning of the crest of a wave.

Keenan's song-writing strengths are many, and new ones emerge to my ear on a regular basis. There's the sheer power of emotion, which is delivered via the twin pillars of observational lyrics and his sweeping vocal, which can go from soothing to intense force within the space of one line of a song. There's the romance, in the traditional sense, but also in creating a feeling of nostalgia for people and places we've never met or seen. 

Photo: Remy Connolly

With 'Cobwebs' Keenan does exactly what he says on the tin, taking us through one of his stories, picture by picture, with a smash and grab of the heart. It feels like a story of love, interspersed with moments where the story-teller is briefly distracted by the seemingly mundane if humorous events unfolding around him; 'There's a wino barking at the pan-flute player, at the top of Jervis Street, urging him to get a real job, help out....I smile at the irony'. 

From those colourful anecdotes 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. 'Cobwebs' is short, and it needn't be any longer, at just over three minutes it's plenty to leave its mark on the listener. I've a lot more to say about David Keenan's music, but I'll leave it for another time.

David Keenan - 'Cobwebs' rehearsal at The Liquor Rooms, March 16th.
Video by Rob Benson.

David Keenan is currently on the Never Mind The Mocks Tour, and you can catch him at the following venues around the country;

March 24th  - The Reg, Waterford
March 25th  - The White Horse - Ballincollig, Cork
March 30th  - Bakers Bar, Clonmel, Tipperary
March 31st  - Tricky's McGarrigles - Sligo
April 1st      - McKenna's Bar - Monaghan
April 2nd     - The Spirit Store - Dundalk
April 6th      - John Daly's Pub - Mullingar, Westmeath
April 13th    - The Bowery, Rathmines, Dublin 6

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Video: Hvmmingbyrd - Legacy

Hvmmingbyrd Legacy Ruth Medjber
Photo: Ruth Medjber

Hvmmingbyrd - Legacy

Info: Founded by Deborah Byrne (lead vocals/electric guitar/production) with Suzette Das (lead vocals, synths/keys, production) in 2016, Hvmmingbyrd is a singer-songwriter/producer duo based in Dublin, Ireland. They fuse warm sensual vocals, electronic pulses and shimmering pop sounds with heartfelt lyricism. 

Their first single ‘If Love Was Enough’ was Song of the Week on the Ian Dempsey Breakfast Show, played by all major Irish radio stations and selected for in-store H&M playlists worldwide. They released their first EP Know My Name in September 2016 which was received with wide acclaim. They have performed at several notable Irish festivals such as the Body & Soul stage, Electric Picnic, and Indiependence and have supported established Irish acts The Young Folk and Ryan Vail, and they will be playing Vantastival, YouBloom and several other Irish festival slots yet to be announced. Hvmmingbyrd look forward releasing their second single Legacy and launching it on March 30th in the Workman's Club with support from Maria Kelly and Dreaming of Jupiter.

Event page is here;

Where 'If Love Was Enough' saw Hvmmingbyrd launch their sound high into an anthemic stratosphere of electro-pop bliss, latest single 'Legacy' could be viewed as the loop back down to earth. It is refined, pensive and thought-provoking, with the video, directed by Brian Benjamin Dwyer, lending itself visually to the theme of empowerment and taking control, so we don't live to regret our choices, in particular those borne out of fear. 

To hear the rest of Hvmmingbyrd's acclaimed Know My Name EP, follow them on Spotify here;

Wednesday 22 March 2017

Playlist: Remy's Best of International Playlist - Issue #008

Kraków Loves Adana Beautiful Lie
Kraków Loves Adana

Info: Every few weeks Remy brings you the best of independent international music that is floating the musical boat. In our fifth issue for 2017 we have a another genre-spanning compilation across ten tracks, but this week with a bonus acoustic version of 'Bandit Queen', the title track of Hamilton, Ontario act Sarah Beatty's latest album.

The first track on our playlist from Hamburg, Germany's Kraków Loves Adana, 'Beautiful Lie', is killing me though, it's too perfect, at the end of every year you hope for a track or album in the new year that will give you the feels you had on your favourite releases from the previous one. This song is exactly where I'm at with music in general right now, it's the type of sound that is grooving my soul, and her album is due for release very soon, so more on that when appropriate!

We have our second track for 2017 from L.A.'s wondrous Todavia, an effortless giver of dream-pop that fans of Beach House will melt upon listening to. I was also made a 110% fan of Buckinghamshire indie-pop gem-polishers The Boy Least Likely To, and their latest single, 'Follow Your Heart Somewhere'.

the boy least likely to - follow your heart somewhere
The Boy Least Likely To

For fans of Todd Terje we have Montréal act Le Coleur, funky Gallic dancefloor disco that is wonderfully executed. And then we have I Got That (Part 1) by French act Hervé, a classic house and dance number that brings to mind Groove Armada and Paul Kalkbrenner, juicy. Adding to this tremendous mix of tracks from around the globe are Indianapolis' Future Lover with his track 'Dead Soul Dagger', Bahrain's SHEIKH with 'Fonda', FEELS from Helsinki, and their track 'Gates' (FFO Bat for Lashes / Air), and finally, but not leastly, 'Dwaal' by Portuguese indie act Toulouse.

Kraków Loves Adana - False Alarm

Monday 20 March 2017

Premiere: D-Day - Movin' On

D-Day Movin On

Info: D-Day are a four piece 60s influenced alternative band from Galway. Drawing influence from Thin Lizzy, The Rolling Stones and The Who, brothers Darragh and Keith Whyte invited childhood friends Chris Breslin and Cathal Sweeney to complete the lineup.

Following on from a hectic summer tour in 2016 featuring support slots for Hudson Taylor, Tokyo Taboo (UK), The Riptide Movement, The Strypes and Delorentos, 'D-Day' launched their debut single ‘Misunderstood’ on October 7th, 2016 to critical acclaim.

'Misunderstood' was mixed by Grammy and Juno-nominated sound engineer Mike Fraser (Franz Ferdinand, Enter Shikari and Biffy Clyro) and mastered by Grammy award winning engineer Adam Ayan after their song 'Long Time Gone' was featured on Netflix Original Series 'Club de Cuervos'. Since then, 'D-Day' have been on a non-stop mission to introduce new audiences to their own alternative brand of rock 'n' roll sensibility.

We're delighted to premiere the new single, 'Movin' On', from Galway rock act D-Day here on Remy which is officially released today. There can be no doubt, even at this early stage in their musical career, that D-Day are the real deal and that their firebrand approach to rock will see them quickly enter the public consciousness. 

The Galway band have fused a wide variety of classic 80's sounds on their new single, with 'Movin' On's opening guitar riff recalling INXS or Simple Minds, interestingly, as the song progresses both guitars and vocals recall very early U2 c.1981, but also Depeche Mode (think 'Personal Jesus'). In stamping their own blistering rock imprint on what can sometimes feel like a lost era for rock music, D-Day have managed to successfully make themselves stand apart from the crowd. 'Movin' On' is exactly the type of song you want to hear played on the radio, and I've no doubt that it will feature on plenty of end of year lists as one of the standout Irish tracks of the year.

D-Day play The Loft venue in Galway on Friday, 24th of March, and Whelan's on Wednesday, 29th of March.

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Sunday 19 March 2017

Playlist: Remy's Irish Independent Top 10, Issue #003

Talos Odyssey

Info: Our second independent Irish Top 10 Playlist is chock-a-block with a superb selection of tracks and singles courtesy of the likes of the mercurial Talos, the highly impressive The Key Regimes, Dundalk's finest Third Smoke, the crunching Otherkin, soulful We Cut Corners, a most welcome return from Cork's Neon Atlas and the ever-enjoyable PATHS from Belfast. A swirling mix of electronic, indie, rock, pop-rock and alt-folk from all across the land, oh joy!

Third Smoke Maybe In Time
Third Smoke

Video: FIELDS - 22:22

FIELDS 22:22

FIELDS - 22:22

Info: Dublin-based indie-folk quartet FIELDS have returned with the release of new single '22:22'. The self-released single is taken from the debut album 'Cormorants' which is due out this summer.

Initially the solo-project of Monaghan singer-songwriter Seán O’Brien, FIELDS has blossomed into a full band collective, following appearances at high profile showcases like Other Voices (2015) and Electric Picnic (2016).

'22:22', which was produced by Stephen Lovatt of Little Wolf Records is now available to download and stream on all platforms.

In an exclusive we bring you the lyric video for FIELDS' latest single '22:22', we are very pleased to share the new track, which was officially released on the 3rd of March, and the accompanying visuals from the Monaghan four-piece led by Seán O'Brien. Following the release of the tremendous debut EP, In The Morning, which instantly propelled them into the consciousness of the Irish music community, FIELDS have vigourously toured around the country at both live venues and festivals to keep their strong momentum going.

The act continue to build their sound on top of a foundation of alternative-folk, with '22:22' wrapping itself in rich electro-pop textures which are instantly enjoyable and engaging for the listener, at times feeling completely effortless in their delivery. In terms of influences there are a number of sources at play, at times a little bit Bon Iver, rhythmically like The War on Drugs, and in the electro-indie sense, a calmer version of Wild Beasts. The major strength that is confirmed here is that FIELDS have a knack of writing songs that have dual appeal, both to earnest music fans who crave something new and different, but also pretty much anyone who will simply enjoy upbeat and inviting electronic indie.

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Track: Naoise Roo - Crying (Roy Orbison Cover)

Naoise Roo Crying Roy Orbison
Photo: Laura Sheeran

Naoise Roo - Crying (Roy Orbison Cover)

Info: Dublin's Naoise Roo continues her effervescent streak with a live a cappella version of Roy Orbison's sombre yet much loved hit "Crying". The track was recorded live in Dublin, Ireland last weekend at a fundraising and awareness event hosted by Dublin Digital Radio to raise funds for Strike 4 Repeal. Roo's stunning vocals take this classic track to a new level of gripping intensity.  

Released on March 8th, 2017, in honor of International Women's Day - a global event celebrating women's achievements in all aspects of society, culture, and politics to help promote gender equality, Naoise's spell-binding and hypnotic cover is mesmerizing in its stark retelling, injecting a fierceness and strength that recalls the intensity of both PJ Harvey and Siouxsie Sioux.

"Crying has been covered by so many artists, all touched by it's stark sense of loneliness and heartbreak. It's a song that means a lot to me and considering the various negative circumstances for women in Ireland right now,  I just felt compelled to sing it. It's an emotional outlet, which speaks for itself"

Naoise Roo Whelan's Remy Connolly
Photo: Remy Connolly

Roy Orbison's 1961 release of 'Crying' made the number 2 spot on the Billboard charts upon its release, and was placed at #4 for the whole year by them. A 1981 rcover of the track by Don McLean was probably the most successful, reaching number 1 in the UK that year, a few years later, Orbison himself would re-release the single as a duet with K.D. Lang. Here Naoise Roo certainly adopts a unique interpretation of the track, a soul-baring version that is giving fitting respect courtesy of her immense vocal talent and ability to transfer emotion with great ease.

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Live: Gigonometry Presents - Dreaming of Jupiter, Emma Lou & the Agenda, Farah Elle, ELLYD

Gigonometry Presents - EllyD, Dreaming of Jupiter, Emma Lou & The Agenda, Farah Elle
Dreaming of Jupiter - Light of my Life

Info: The success of the monthly Thursday night Gigonometry Presents… series of showcase gigs (now in its third year in The Workmans Club) has resulted in unprecedented demand from acts and audience alike. The addition of this new weekend gig featuring some of the Gigonometry crew’s favourite acts that have previously performed will go some way to satisfying the hunger for what has become one of Dublin’s most beloved original music events.

Our inaugural event features some fine female-led talent; Dreaming of Jupiter are led by the amazing guitarist/keyboard/singer that is Zoe Gough, Emma Lou & the Agenda are one of the finds of 2016 with front-woman Emma being one of Ireland’s finest voices at the moment, there’s not much to be said about the enigma that is Farah Elle, who has gone from strength to strength since her performance with us last April, and she’ll be joined by her backing band on the night, whilst opening act ELLYD graced the stage with us last Autumn, hot on the heels of her excellent EP 'Rise', and has been picking up fans ever since on the back of it and her relentless gigging schedule.

Emma Lou & The Agenda - One Good Reason

The inaugural Gigonometry Presents showcase begins this coming Friday, 24th of March, with tickets priced at €10 at the door or €8 through online booking (link below), with doors opening at 8pm.

Farah Elle - Silk

Event Links:

ELLYD - If It's Cool

Friday 17 March 2017

Album: VIDEO BLUE - Love Scenes

VIDEO BLUE Love Scenes
Photo: Robin Ball

VIDEO BLUE - Dusk Moves

Info: It's almost two years to the day that Dundalk native, now London resident, Jim O'Donoghue Martin shared his debut EP as VIDEO BLUE with the world, that was More Pop Troubles. It was a strong opening salvo, with tracks like 'Filmic' and 'Talisman' still being firm crowd pleasers today. In the intervening period between that release and his full debut LP, Love Scenes, O'Donoghue Martin's output showed no let up, constantly focusing on the original and forward-thinking experimentation. The inevitable growth over the past two years is noticeable, but not much was required, VIDEO BLUE has stayed true to his DIY school when it comes to honing his mix of electro-pop and indie sounds.

Love Scenes opens with a perky guitar progression and a soft and earnest vocal on 'Dogged Animals', before long his trademark minimalistic beats and pops join the fray, an instant showcase of the bedrock of the sound for those who may be unfamiliar. Next track 'Dusk Moves' (above video) is a peach, and combined with the highly engaging video, stands out as one of my definite favourites on the album. There's a funky disco mood, brought on courtesy of the rapid picking of the guitars bass notes, and the unmissable groove of the beat and effects, all leading to the tracks semi-euphoric conclusion.

As the title suggests, 'Pillow Drift' is an ambient and mellow affair, casting us off into a dream sequence, at times I'm reminded of Hail to the Thief and In Rainbows-era Radiohead, albeit for only the briefest of moments, once again, the vocals are perfect for shaping the atmosphere of the track. A hazy indie-pop style raises its head on 'September and October', where additional vocals are finely provided by Muireann O'Keeffe, overall creating a nice balance between mid-90's and contemporary alternative indie.

VIDEO BLUE - Bombshell

Following the twists and turns of the warm yet slightly dark lo-fi psychedelic pop leanings of 'A Blume', we arrive at the truly joyous 'Bombshell' above, in our review of the single last year we observed; "it has all the elements you'd want from a song of unbridled happiness, a merry rhythm, shimmering electric guitar spurts and of course Video Blue's day-glo vocals to warm your cockles." Indeed it does, it was certainly one of the most catchy songs I had the pleasure of hearing last year.

'Hold Muzik' feels like the bridge between old and new VIDEO BLUE, like a postcard from his past, it has that fast-paced rhythm and pointed guitar riffs, a gravely vocal adding to the nonchalant mood of the track, the percussion and electric guitar are top notch on this one. closing with 'Magpies At Dawn', VIDEO BLUE brings us down to the carnival on a quintessentially English promenade at its outset, before plunging into another lo-fi shuffle. It's both poignant and appropriate that it has his DIY imprint all over it, reminding us that the entirety of Love Scenes was recorded and produced in his flat in Hackney. It's a nice moment on which to wave us goodbye, til the next time, knowing O'Donoghue Martin, we won't be waiting too long before he serves us up another delightful gem.

VIDEO BLUE - Dogged Animals

VIDEO BLue Love Scenes Album

You can download or stream Love Scenes by VIDEO BLUE on the below services:

To follow VIDEO BLUE, go here;