Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Playlist: Remy's Irish Independent Top 10, Issue #006

The Fontaines Liberty Belle

Info: Another few weeks pass, and another heap of great releases come out from the cream of Irish independent artists, there's just no end to the tide of talent and creativity, long may it continue.

Opening our latest 2017 playlist is debut single 'Liberty Belle' via Dublin thrash-punk glam rockers Fontaines, perhaps named after the famous 'liberator' aircraft from World War II, or maybe the watering-hole on Francis Street (I'm going for the latter), it's a classic Irish punk track with a Strokesian twinge, whilst also echoing strongly the likes of late 70's Belfast group The Outcasts. Interestingly 'Liberty Belle' belies the youthful exuberance of the band's live shows, where you find yourself going, "Yeah, this is what's missing from stage performances". They could be huge...

Next up are the smooth and luscious r'n'b / grime grooves of Lakerama, the Dublin and Cork duo recently released their latest EP, Contactless, a five-track that is brimming with quality. 'Have Your Time' has all of the hallmarks of a classic 90's dance track, recalling the likes of Rozalla or Black Box's 'Ride On Time', Lakerama are definitely ones to watch for the second half of 2017 and beyond. 

The ever-intriguing and entirely unique Dublin funk-rock act Rabble Babble have just released new single, 'Joe's Bust'. Interspersing a combination of Pixies-esque spoken word led by Molly Callan Cassidy, and off-beat funk-rock rhythms, the four-piece continue to delight and surprise on their sophomore single, the follow up to the equally impressive 'You Know Joe, Gal and Fran'.

Pranks - Dinosaur

After releasing three critically acclaimed EP's, Armagh's Silences return with a brand new single in the shape of 'Red Dress'. The new track feels like a perfect amalgamation of their other releases over the past 2 years, matching the quiet calm of the immense 'The Sea' with the slow-building inferno of 'There's A Wolf'. 

Straddling the world between the underbelly and mainstream of quality modern Irish alternative-pop and hip-hop, the charismatic talent of Rocstrong is back with his new single 'Vibes'. It sways and loops rhythmically, with the very faintest hat tips to grime and dark electronic music, Rocstrong shows that there are plenty more strings waiting to be added to his bow on latest outing 'Vibes'.

A track which particularly grabbed me over the last few weeks has been 'Little London' by Longford / Leeds four-piece Cronin. With the glorious bravado and pomp of Scott Walker, and the dead cold stare of Nick Cave, Cronin deliver up an absolute gem of a single. From the orchestral magnificence to the wondrous drumming (listen in particular from 1:03-1:30) and an absolutely bone fide kitsch (compliment) 90's Britpop guitar and keys sound á la (incidentally) London act Rialto, this is a complete peach of a track which will appeal to fans of music from multiple decades.

I've been a huge fan of Dublin pair Pranks ever since they started kicking out the jams, with previous single 'Long Knives' still resonating strongly with me in terms of enjoyment and energy. With 'Dinosaur' (above video), the duo stick to their no nonsense approach to heavy alternative rock, quality riffage and thrashing percussion abound, but they also target a more moody borderline metal at times sound, another solid single to boot.

Elaine Mai Praise in the Cliché
Elaine Mai

Back towards the end of 2014, little-known Irish electronic artist Setline (real name Steve Cash), dropped a beauty of a home-produced electronic EP, These Thieving Streets. 'Speckled' was in our top 20 Irish tracks of that year, and one of my favourite Irish music bloggers Barry Gruff remarked at the time that the resulting output from the mix of acoustic and electronic instrumentation was 'simply gorgeous', and it was. It's been a while, but Cash has just released his sophomore EP, now London-based, he has stayed true to his DIY school on All Our Days of Promise. I've plumped for 'Only Just Found You' from the EP, there's a layer of simplicity floating above very adventurous soundscapes, we're in deep space, but the star in the distance is shining so brightly we're drawn towards it, sometimes minimal ambience is best ambience. 

The long-awaited third EP from Dubliner Elaine Mai, The Colour of the Night, finally arrived on the 19th of May, with single 'Praise in The Cliché' heralding its release a few weeks earlier. Featuring one of our most talented rap acts, MissElayneous, the track melds dub, house and rap and forms a direct transmission between the early 90's and the modern day with ease. 

Wolves of Youth - It's Not For You

Donegal pop-rock quartet Wolves of Youth seem to have stepped into the start of a bit of a streak of writing highly enjoyable and punchy singles with 'It's Not For You', the follow up to last years very successful 'Say Something'. With a balladeering start, the track develops in a way you'd want it to, anthemic vocals, raucous drumming and indulgent rock riffs. There has been a very measurable development in their sound since their earliest releases back in 2015, with each release completing another piece of the jigsaw.

Finally, we have Dublin five-piece VINCI to see us out on a high, from a tender pop-ballad opening, their latest single 'Liars' gives more than it demands. Cello and choruses swarm wildly around the guitars and percussion, and just as soon as they take off they draw back. It's a very interesting mix, on the one hand I hear Dublin peers Heroes in Hiding, a dash of Ed Sheeran, and a 90's throwback to something off Britpop act Embrace's The Good Will Out. 'Liars' is also very well-produced and sure to garner solid air-play, and who knows what might happen from there.  

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Feature: O.ccult - Elephants & Mary

o.ccult Elephants Mary
Photo: Rotem Bahar Rozen

O.ccult - Elephants

Info: o.ccult is a collaboration between electronic design and lo-fi songwriting.
Chen Firsel & AMO collaborated first as part of Memory in plant back in 2014.
at the beginning of 2016 the two have started this new and minimalistic project. This is their child.

Israeli act Memory in Plant always laid the basis of their sound in stark instrumentalism, incorporating psychedelia and ambient escapism to good effect, with the first single from their debut EP as o.ccultSame, they have reached for a richer and more frontal electronic vibe.

'Elephants' is the fourth single from debut EP, 'Same'. It starts with a minimalistic arrangement of sounds and vocals and continues to unknown spaces of synths, time and animals. Meanwhile 'Mary' is a simple fairy-tale, that dives under cold water only to rise again later, peacefully. O.ccult collaborated with Sarai Darmon for some additional smooth vocals, as well with Noy Baskin who created the sheep cover art.

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News: Kevin Nolan To Release Deluxe Edition of Fredrick & The Golden Dawn Album

Kevin Nolan Fredrick & The Golden Dawn album deluxe

Kevin Nolan - Last Days of Harry Carey

Info: Dublin artist Kevin Nolan is set to release a special deluxe edition of his formidable debut album, Fredrick & The Golden Dawn, with two extra live tracks on the 1st of July. The release comes ahead of a new documentary, Hum, about Nolan which will be premiered at the Irish Film Institute (IFI) later this year. Concurrently Nolan has put out a call to producers, musicians and writers to remix /reconstruct some of the tracks, lyrics and artwork on Fredrick, reworkings and interpretations, full details of which are outlined here on his website.

The album, which got a 9/10 review from The Last Mixed Tape and unanimous stellar reviews from all of Ireland's major music websites and publications, was a labour of love which was constructed by Nolan over a number of years.

Hot Press said: Nolan has carved out a world of strange characters and stunning sonic tapestries (...) 'Last Days Of Harry Carey' is a bombastic four minutes of blood and thunder that's worth the price of admission alone. The record takes the listener on a walk on the weird side, telling some diabolically good tales of love and death, spell-binding stuff.

"There’s no doubting Nolan’s ambition as he mixes gruff and declamatory Tom Waits/Nick Cave with softer instrumental interludes and a strain of theatrical musicality along the lines of Brecht/Weill/Lenya, as well as a rather odd but beautiful duet (Aubade) with Irish avant-pop singer Julie Feeney. (...) Impressive." - Tony Clayton-Lea, The Irish Times.

Kevin Nolan Performance

'Hum' trailer

Listen to the original release of Fredrick & The Golden Dawn here; 

Album: Will De Burca - Embedded

Will De Burca Embedded

Info: 'Embedded' is the second album from Will de Burca, recorded over the past 18 months at his studio in Dublin. Expect to hear a fast paced electronic intro followed by a mix of ambient dance, trip-hop and a combination of high intensity psychedelic rock.

Guesting on the album is Aoife Underwater on vocals - 'The Sound Of The End Of The Night' (3) and Ruan Van Vliet on drums - 'Sliced' (8).

On a HBO special this earlier year about the boxer Arturo Gatti, Track 4 Arturo "Thunder Gatti" was featured in the documentary. Gatti's life was cut short at a premature age, later ruled as suicide, Will used many sports commentary samples throughout his career as a tribute to him in this track.

In the past 12 months Will has signed with Tremolo Music who have place several tracks into ad campaigns for Mac Cosmetics in South Korea.

Will De Burca Embedded Album Cover

The first thing you notice about Embedded by Will De Burca is it's sheer force and power, immediately hitting home on opening track 'Madrid', it's like an Eno track shorn of its calm ambiance and injected with a stellar intensity. There's also a sharpness and clarity to the soundscapes De Burca asks us to partake in, on 'It Shall Be Opened' pinging effects and deliberate beats recall Public Service Broadcasting with a solid dash of LemonJelly. 

An early standout track comes in the shape of 'The Sound of the End of The Night' feat. Aoife Underwater, this is a slightly calmer moment on the album, spacey sound effects and Underwater's alternative-pop vocals meld together perfectly to create a gliding experience for the listener. Fourth track 'Arturo Gatti' pays homage to the Italian-Canadian world champion boxer who was tragically murdered in his hotel room at the age of 37 in Brazil on the same day he was due to attend his sister's wedding. With news reporting excerpts, De Burca uses an appropriately fitting musical backdrop to reflect the sad nature of Gatti's death.

'A Dream Within A Dream' does exactly what it says on the tin, at just over two minutes in length, the album reaches its most serene moment, echoed guitar effects and the drawing of breath are nothing but calm-inducing, an ethereal break before hitting the mildly industrial sounds of 'The Weather Inside Our Heads'. There were times during Embedded that Will De Burca let little drips of early 90's house rear its head, and almost as if to confirm that influence we conclude with the wonderful 'Sliced', an airy, and sometimes slightly sinister mood pervades the track, which ultimately leads to a hope-filled conclusion. This is a highly engaging collection of tracks which gently prods the listener in the direction it was intended to take them in, a truly rewarding album by the Dublin electronic artist.

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Thursday, 25 May 2017

News: SLUM Cinema @ MVP

Slum Cinema Bruce Lee Enter The Dragon MVP

Info: Slum Cinema is an exploitation/vintage/trash/cult cinema club run by Anna Davies. It's previous format was a double bill focusing on either a genre,director or actor. With the most recent venue change, only one film is now shown on the night. It runs monthly.


Slum Cinema started back in 2012 and was originally located in the SupaFast Building off Capel Street. Laser video, prior to shutting down, was donating 3 free rentals as a raffle prize. Supa Fast sadly shut down so it was relocated to an artist studio in The Hendrons Building. The club ran for over a year but after not being able to find the right kind of venue it went into hibernation. It has recently been resurrected and has a new location upstairs at MVP. Past press in Le Cool and an Irish Times interview with Tony Clayton-Lea. 


Next up for Slum Cinema is Bruce Lee classic 'Enter the Dragon' on June 7th.

Event Page:

Davies explains;

"I was inspired to run this night because I love film. I love highbrow super serious artsy film but I also really love trashy, smutty, sleazy film that is just enjoyable and easy (sometimes) to watch. I wanted an opportunity to infect others with my bad taste in movies and find like minded people to watch them with me. So I started a cinema night. The night goes like this - I get up and introduce the film giving some fun facts and history on it legacy or production, free popcorn is consumed, audience is encouraged to drink and shout their displeasure at the screen and to laugh wholesomely, film ends, everyone high fives and goes home. It's a simple event but it's like no other cinema club in Dublin. The films being shown are hidden gems, sometimes unknown sometimes cult favorites. They are outrageous and unusual, off the beaten track"  

To find out more about Slum Cinema & future screenings, head over to their Facebook page here

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Remy's Guide to Forbidden Fruit - Day 2

Forbidden Fruit Festival 2017 Line Up

Info: In the second of our series of Playlists and guide to Forbidden Fruit Festival 2017 we again take a listen to what is in store at the Irish Museum of Modern Art. For Day 2 of the festival, we glance at the main stage and surrounds, as well as the exclusively local, Bulmers One Hundred Percent Irish Artists stage and where you can find yourself winding up in the wee hours on Sunday, 4th of June. Big draw Irish acts are of course going to be the main man himself, Kildare's Aphex Twin, as well as minimal techno act Hybrasil who will play at Opium Rooms on Wexford Street. You can add to that list up and coming heavy hitters Soulé, AikJ, Heroes in Hiding, eve and Ships to name but a few who have been on the radar of Irish music fans for quite some time now.

And how about some Nicolas Jaar action, yes, bloody, please, throw in Fatima Yahama, Moderat and Mura Masa and you've got a party starting up right there. Our final wrap-up and Playlist will be up next Wednesday, and in case you missed last weeks Day 1 tunes, you can find them right hereFor full festival info including details on remaining ticket availability, go to the Forbidden Fruit website here

Soulé - Good Life

Below you will find the full list of acts confirmed for Forbidden Fruit 2017, and if there are any changes or updates, you'll get them right here well before the festival kicks off. 

Aphex Twin
Nicolas Jaar
Mura Masa
Maceo Plex (The Button Factory)
Motor City Drum Ensemble
Kink (Opium Rooms)
Fatima Yahama
Denis Sulta (WahWah Club)
Peggy Gou (Tengu)
Danny L Harle
Hybrasil (Opium Rooms)
Gardens of God (The Button Factory)
eve (Tengu)
Orange Tree Edits
Jack Thompson (WahWah Club)
Al Gibbs
Seany B
Fio 'n' Jio (Pear)

Bulmers Live Stage:

Bad Bones
The Innocent Bystander
Heroes in Hiding

Heroes in Hiding
Heroes in Hiding

Sunday, 21 May 2017

EP: Emma O'Reilly - Fractures

Emma O'Reilly Fractures

Info: From Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, songwriter Emma O’Reilly is often compared to Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Regina Spektor for her imaginative yet refined sound. Dramatic and always evocative, Emma’s music is a fusion of Alternative rock, pop and folk, all informed by her classical training at the piano.

'Fractures' is her second independently produced studio EP, recorded by mixing live and multi-track processes in Arad Studios with Les Keye (Squarehead, Kevin "Herm" Connolly, My Sweet Beloved). The EP features Dennis Cassidy on drums (Selk, Mixtapes from the Underground, Danny G and the Major 7ths, The Record Spot), Kevin Healy on Bass (La Gracia, The Antics) and Reuben Teskey on Guitars. The EP explores a sound much closer to her live shows, and digs into her alternative rock influences. The result is alternately introspective and ferocious, vulnerable and dramatic, intricate and engaging.

If you are looking for one of the most original-sounding Irish EP releases from the past few months then look no further than Emma O'Reilly's truly delightful Fractures. There is no escaping the highly enjoyable mania and drama of single and opening track 'Shake', with an emotion and power that comes across as nothing but genuine, the off-beat yet admirably structured percussion wraps an assertive blanket around O'Reilly's vocals and piano playing.

The jingle-jangle of the acoustic 'Count' provide an altogether contrasting mood, yet you still look from left to right cautiously waiting for another burst from O'Reilly, the force is still there, but shortly into the second track we realise that it's a more reflective moment on the EP. There's such a wonderful balance between 90's influences and a rare spark of a contemporary take on same which just isn't being done by anyone else right now to the best of my knowledge, and so much of it is down to the melodious vocals.

And then, whoosh, magic, 'Cervantes', the father of the novel, 'there's a cost to living with the bones under your skin', it's a scathing line, in some ways the tragedies that befall us are pre-ordained by heritage, DNA, or, maybe just chance itself, goddamn the piano is tortuously beautiful and damning all at once. 

Emma O'Reilly - Shake

The fourth track on O'Reilly's EP, 'Codladh Sámh' is as gentle as its title suggests, 'codladh' being sleep, and 'sámh' being one of those Irish words with multiple translations that all mean the same thing; tranquil, soft, peaceful and serene for example, basically the type of sleep we all crave. A brooding opening bass accompanies a very bare vocal; "Whisper to me, or awake my is dangerous outside in this terrible world". Like its opening track, a power is then unleashed via her vocal, shimmering lead guitar and determined piano, go hálainn.

Cathedral bells chime on final track, 'Geneva', the overlay of O'Reilly's voice provides a dual throwback to a 1950's jazz standard á la Julie London, and something contemporary and rare. The piano sequence enters at 1:55 and you are left gasping for breath, it might be the saddest and most beautiful piano sequence you've heard in a long time, I know it was for me. I can't quite put my finger on this EP, it's too hard to pigeon-hole or describe in a small few words, apart from mind-blown.

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Album of the Month: Sive - The Roaring Girl

Sive - The Roaring Girl
Photo: Brian McNamara Photography

Info: Sive is a songwriter, singer and multi-instrumentalist with a voice that "sweeps along displaying folk and jazz nuances with the confidence of one who knows." Her unique sound weaves together her love for the craft of songwriting with her enthusiasm for experimentation and intricate arrangements.

Sive released her first album of original material, 'We Are Moving', to critical acclaim in 2012. In the years that followed she toured extensively in Ireland, The UK, Europe and New Zealand, sharing stages with the likes of Kila, John Spillane and Gemma Hayes along the way. She was voted viewer’s choice to appear on RTE’s Other Voices in 2014 and has also performed on TG4’s Róisín, TV3’s Ireland AM, ARTE’s Metropolis (Germany/France) and ETV’s Terevisioon (Estonia).

Having run a successful crowdfunding campaign last year, Sive recently completed her second studio album 'The Roaring Girl' which is out now.

From the opening deep hum of strings on 'Turn Down The Silence' we are immediately given an indication of what to expect from Sive on The Roaring Girl. Both the track and album's titles hint at both frustration at an increasingly claustrophobic world and a strong desire to break free and escape to another world. The first foray into that freedom arrives on second track 'Swallow Me', vibrant and bubbling jazz piano and rippling guitar progressions accompany Sive's playful vocals, and as the track progresses they invite us into a dream-like state.

Sive - Wingless Bird

Single 'Wingless Bird' (above video) increases the level of brevity once again, the use of kalimba in particular, chimes and harmonies create a delightful slice of African-fused alternative pop and merriment, again the struggle between desire and reality is captured nicely in the lyrics. 'Water' sees Sive embrace a more traditional country-based folk tone, it's gentle and visually the music conjures up the image of a meandering stream which burst into white-water at its high-points. Like a Victorian ballerina music box, 'If I Had a Home To Go To' brings is back to a ballroom from the era and a quickstep waltz in salubrious surroundings, enchanting and very Lewis Carroll!

The beautiful 'Shoot the Stars' is quite breath-taking, soft clinking piano reminiscent of Debussy provides the backdrop to Sive's heart-wrenching vocals, as percussion and bass join the fray she enters more contemporary alternative pop territory, a little Bat for Lashes and a little Daughter spring to mind, but only vaguely. Another visit to her inner-country folk comes via 'Maude', before we are treated to what is perhaps Sive in her most natural habitat on 'Humans', very stripped back and minimalistic it lifts itself patiently from acoustic to a more rock-inclined crescendo.

The swathe of instrumentation and genre-spinning continues on the jazz-club meets lo-fi funk of 'You Are Only Your Own', there can be no doubt by this point that the artist has fully embraced all of the ideas and thoughts which lead to the writing of The Roaring Girl, and such carefree abandon is a delight to witness. It's never too much or disorientating as a listener, it's the perfect amount of intrigue for what might come on the next track from start to finish. Another vibrant classical piece comes on 'When You Come Down For Me', before the album signs off with a soft refrain in the form of 'Hoverfly' to leave us with that is without doubt one of the best independent Irish album releases of 2017 so far.

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Saturday, 20 May 2017

Photos: THUMPER with Chinese Newspaper and Just Mustard


All photos: Remy Connolly

Info: Bag of cans in hand, the first busload of about twelve of us set off just after 7pm from Custom House Quay to an unknown destination, the driver phoned his dispatch office and told them he was about to leave, he was bringing us to see 'some band called Thunder'. Rumours that we were headed to a field in Cavan were dispelled when we arrived at our destination, which I'm still not entirely sure where it was. In a large warehouse-type arts space just past Crosbie's Yard in North Strand at the heart of the Dublin docklands we were ready to settle in to a night of entertainment. 

Two bands I'd really wanted to see on many occasions over the past 12 months, headliners THUMPER and Dundalk's Just Mustard were about to be ticked off the 'must see live' list, and they were joined by the hugely enjoyable hard-rock sounds of Chinese Newspaper, who I had thankfully seen last year in support of Pranks at Whelans. Just Mustard kicked the night off, and how they lived up to my expectations and then some, whilst every song is notably distinct, they somehow blend all into one, seamlessly pulling you under, and half-way through their set you are under full mustard hypnosis.

Just Mustard
Pre-gig Just Mustard

Chinese Newspaper took to the stage next, the Navan trio are an extremely tight operation, loud, order within the disorder, and a cap doff must be made in the direction of drummer Nathan Merriman who should be considered one of the top cats behind a kit in this country at the moment. Alongside his peers in Hot Cops, Brass Phantoms, Bitch Falcon and Chris Ryan of Robocobra Quartet to name but a few, Merriman is a joy to watch. The chaps even treated us to a raucous version of The Pixies' 'Where Is My Mind' which went down very well with all in attendance.

And so to Dublin's THUMPER, a band that have been making waves more than ripples over the last year in particular, since the release of their sophomore EP Magnum Opuss, and inhabit the same relative space in terms of sound as Otherkin and Fangclub. It's always a nice bonus when small snippets of recorded music emerges from your subconscious in a live setting, and this happened frequently during THUMPER's set for me. From past favourites 'Dan The Man' to latest singles 'Fear of Art' and 'The Loser', the band ripped through their set, there were no drawn-out pauses between songs, this was all business. It wasn't long, maybe a third of the way through, when the audience decided it was probably time to go a bit bananas, this abandon and heightened energy transferred to the band, and now I was getting to see what I had heard about many times, the full THUMPER treatment. Great venue, top drawer line-up and a very happy crowd, we're starting to get used to this.

Below photos are in order of line-up last night, Just Mustard - Chinese Newspaper - THUMPER.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

EP: THUMPER - Pop! Goes the Weasel

THUMPER Pop Goes The Weasel

Info: Last week saw the release of Dublin noise-rock n' pop n' punk-garage lo-fi quartet THUMPER's third EP, Pop! Goes The Weasel. The latest extended play hits our ears ahead of their secret location EP launch this Friday night where they will have support from Just Mustard and Chinese Newspaper (event info here). 

A retro 70's sci-fi transmission heralds the opening minute and a half of Pop! Goes the Weasel, culminating in a minimalistic ear-bleed. We then tear into first single, '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, and then there's that bass solo at 2:05, Christ on a bike. 

THUMPER - The Loser

'The Circles' has a very DIY garage-band feel to it, disillusioned grunge and teenage apathy are the order of the day, again THUMPER are keenly aware of when to drop a break into a track and use it as a platform from which to escalate the tempo and mania. Sun-kissed Californian neo-psychedelia rears its head on 'The Part That I Always Leave Out', and at times feels like the closest you will get to previous EP Magnum Opuss. It's a thoroughly enjoyable highlight on this collection, and you start to fully appreciate the overall use of vocal effects at this point. 

We finish with latest single 'Fear of Art', in the review of which I noted that I was getting strong Dandy Warhols debut album vibes from it, it was only a couple of weeks ago but I'm still in that space, and I'm glad I am as it is still a classic album from the Oregon band. Here THUMPER make everything seem and sound so easy, rolling rhythms both musically and vocally get their claws into you with no resistance. Pop! Goes the Weasel wrestles more with the listener than its predecessors, as THUMPER evolve their sound we get to witness distinct changes taking hold, creatively they are a band that refuse to stand still, and we will be the primary benefactors of that defiance.

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Remy's Guide to Forbidden Fruit - Day 1

Forbidden Fruit Festival 2017 Line Up

Info: The advent of festival season is almost upon us here in Ireland, and the most welcome gauntlet is thrown down by the seventh Forbidden Fruit Festival at its customary home in the grounds of the Irish Museum of Modern Art (IMMA) in Kilmainham, Dublin 8. In addition, the festival organisers will also have acts performing at various venues around the city centre for when the sun has gone down (details below). 

Over the next few weeks I'll be providing three individual ready made Playlists for each of the festival's 3 days over the June Bank Holiday weekend. You'll have plenty of time to digest all of the music well in advance of landing at the festival, and be equipped to make both concerted and whimsical stage choices by the time it comes around!

One thing I'd like to highlight is that the festival has added a sixth stage for the first time this year, exclusively for up and coming independent Irish acts. Normally I'd feel a little awkward about being parochial, but the line-ups on the Bulmers One Hundred Percent Irish Artists stage over the three days are top drawer, you'll end up with just as many fond memories at that stage as you will at any of the rest. This stage is also a reflection of the high standard of local music we have been spoiled by over the last few years.

For full festival info including details on remaining ticket availability, go to the Forbidden Fruit website here

Tycho - 'Awake' (Live @ KCRW)

As well as top acts leading the way on the Saturday in the form of Orbital, Booka Shade with Craig Winters and Tycho, there will also be Irish acts Jafaris, Bonzai, Brame & Hamo and the wonderful Trinity Orchestra. On the aforementioned exclusively Irish artists stage, we can expect to see many favourites such as Le Boom, BARQ, Tara Lee and Super Silly

Le Boom - What We Do

So without further ado, enjoy the Playlist, and below is the provisional line-up for Saturday, 3rd of June, which I will update accordingly in subsequent posts along with stage times as they become available. 

Booka Shade with Craig Walker (The Button Factory - Temple Bar)
Hot Chip (with DJ Set) (WigWam - Middle Abbey Street)
Jax Jones
Snakehips (Opium Rooms - Wexford Street)
Mall Grab (The Grand Social - Liffey Street Lower)
67 (The Grand Social- Liffey Street Lower) 
Brame & Hamo
Trinity Orchestra
Jack Dunne
Dan Stritch
Hidden Flux
Ghost Culture (Wah Wah Club - South William Street)
Special Guests TBA @ Yamamori Tengu

Bulmers Live Stage:

Tara Lee
Le Boom
Super Silly

Jafaris Forbidden Fruit

Friday, 12 May 2017

Interview: Jenn Grant

Jenn Grant Interview Paradise
Photo: Daniel Ledwell

Jenn Grant - Galaxies

Info: 'Paradise' is the follow up to 2014's 'Compostela' which earned Grant two Juno nominations in her native Canada - for both Songwriter as well as Contemporary Album of the Year. Grant and husband, producer Daniel Ledwell, took a year in their home studio to craft 'Paradise'. 'Compostela', was written after the loss of her mother and whereas that record was "of the stars" and based on her own personal experience of loss, 'Paradise' points the compass towards the epic and intimate. It marks her most adventurous and deliberate work she's ever done.

Hailing from Nova Scotia, Canada, Jenn Grant is an established contemporary folk-pop act in her home country, with new album Paradise set to earn her new fans from further afield, complimented by tour dates in England, Scotland and three Irish dates commencing on the 23rd of May (details below). The album's opening title-track is immediately attention-grabbing, melding folk guitar with a pleasing ambient soundscape, initially not a million miles away from the quieter moments on Massive Attack's Mezzanine in terms of sound.

Latest single, 'Galaxies', opens with a lovely rolling keyboard progression, it's defiantly a contemporaneous pop track, interestingly the verses lead very nicely into the chorus, and provide the perfect balance to push them forward, and as the track progresses it veers more into euphoric alt-pop territory, across the board it's a well executed and structured piece of song-writing. The rest of Paradise sways between authentic-sounding country-folk such as 'Lion With Me', and beautifully airy sounds and tones like those found on 'Hero' and 'Legacy', as well as the soulful strength of 'Dogfight'.

Jenn Grant - Paradise

Ahead of Grant's three Irish dates in Belfast (Black Box, 23rd May), Dublin (Whelan's, 24th) and Galway (The Black Gate, 25th), we chat about the passage of time between her debut album Orchestra for the Moon (2007) and Paradise, latest single 'Galaxies', and her return to Ireland.

Remy: It's almost exactly 10 years since the release of your debut album Orchestra for the Moon, and since then you've released an additional 5 albums, an impressively consistent output. What do you consider to be the most noticeable shift (if any) in your sound since then up until your new album 'Paradise'?

Jenn: When I look back on my first album, it's like looking back to an old friend. I think it was a good first attempt and I had some great people around me (the heavy blinkers) but I was young and not fully aware of my own voice or what sounds I would really grow into. With each album I feel I've delved a little deeper. Whether it is more into a folk world like in Compostela or with the new sounds of a more electronic, r n b, and still sometimes folk Paradise. The colours of music are darker to me now, more vast, with ten years under them. 

Remy: From your perspective, do you feel that music critics / reviewers have become lazy when it comes to describing the particular genre you operate within, there seems to be a default position of describing everyone as being 'for fans of' Cat Power / Laura Marling / Florence & The Machine? (Agree / disagree?!!)

Jenn: I really like all those artists and would be happy to collide into that shoebox. I've never really tried to fit or fit into any one genre but after a decade that's now maybe becoming my thing and I'm happy with that. 

Remy: You've previously cited the influence and inspiration of your late mother on your music, tastefully captured in the video for your 2012 single 'The Fighter', do you find that source of motivation evolves differently over time?

Jenn: I think that my connection to mother evolves as we are physically separated, and that she continues to be a constant source of strength and inspiration. 

Remy: 'Galaxies', the lead single from Paradise has received widespread international airplay and a very positive critical reception, deservedly so, can you share some insights into both the track and accompanying video?

Jenn: On this song I went to some outer world places to feel the inspiration, and found a far away connection to home. Home is something I don't take for granted and that is sometimes just a little off in the distance. so I went to outer space or to the stars to make that feeling happen in a bigger way. 

The video was directed by Adam Goldhammer who leans to the sci-fi realm in his films and is a collaborator of my brother, Daniel Grant, the cinematographer. This was an amazing opportunity for me to work with my brother who I completely adore and respect. He's got an amazing sense of light and a special sense of me, and they created an beautiful story that now feels was birthed in the song. 

Remy: From a personal perspective, I think that Irish music fans find Canadian contemporary folk so relatable as much of its inspiration is drawn from the landscape, has that been an influence on your own music?

Jenn: Absolutely. I've been very motivated by landscape since I began writing as a child. On Paradise, the song 'Working Girl', is inspired by a sacred Irish landscape that I know. Ireland has become an important place to me and to my creative journey. 

Remy: It's three years since your last live performance at Whelan's in Dublin, what are you most looking forward to from your return visit?!

Jenn: I've got Daniel Ledwell, my producer and husband with me, and my drummer Mike Belyea. They are playing the parts of several people each, while making it look easy, and allowing me to be really free with the songs. I'm also excited to have Hannah Georgas with us. She's a good friend and I am also a downright fan for years. I'm so happy to return to show off Dublin and Whelans to these guys.

Remy: Once the current international tour is completed, what is next on the Jenn Grant horizon?

Jenn: More shows, more planning of more shows, and swimming with my dogs in between.

Tickets for Jenn Grant's three upcoming Irish dates are available at the below links;

Tuesday, 23rd May, Black Box, Belfast - Click here.

Wednesday, 24th May, Whelan's, Dublin - Click here.

Thursday, 25th May, The Black Gate Cultural Centre, Galway - Click here.