Thursday, 31 August 2017

Album of the Month: Hot Rod Hearse - One Time, Pappie!

Hot Rod Hearse - One Time, Pappie!

Info: Fusing together Swamp blues, Rockabilly, Folk and straightforward Rock into a sound they call Thrift Shop Rock, Wexford  duo Hot Rod Hearse have just released their debut album, titled 'One Time, Pappie!' which dropped on the 27th August 2017. 

Having played the Strawberry Roots Festival in Enniscorthy, the Free Fringe Festival in Leitrim and the Dublin Rock 'n Roll Festival, Hot Rod Hearse now be release their first full album. An Irish tour is in the pipeline, as well as thereafter taking their music to the UK, Europe and further afield. 

It's no secret that I love, love, love the blues, the dirtier and rockier the better, from Rory Gallagher to Johnny Winter, from Son House to Jeff Beck, and from Peter Green to Albert King, that's when I'm in musical nirvana. Whilst we don't have as many blues artists in Ireland as in some other genres, the ones we have are of a very high standard, quite possibly because not just anyone can pick up a guitar and / or sing the blues, either you have it or you don't.

With all that in mind I was excited to come to grips with Wexford duo Hot Rod Hearse's debut LP, One Time, Pappie!. Having enjoyed the singles to date, and felt the authenticity of what they were creating, I knew I'd be fond of this album, but it even went beyond standard pleasure for me. You're straight into it with 'Broken Bones Man', an up tempo and light-hearted tranche of chaotic bluegrass which slides you toward that very first piece of sweet blues guitar at the 1:30 mark all the while enveloped with the ghost of Johnny Cash. We get knee-deep down and dirty with second track '1973', with Hotrod Suzi slowly dragging us willingly over the coals of her powerful and soulful vocal, the mood is chill and it's a lovely homage to 70's folk-blues, with an altogether appropriate title.

That folk infusion continues with the visual 'There By The Road', like a baptist preacher who has lost his way, guitarist and vocalist Zeff Ryder takes you all the way back to the delta in the 40's / 50's before throwing some more delicious blues riffs from a few decades later into the mixer. 'Ballsbridge to Ballymun' is probably like what an early The Who would sound like with Joan Jett fronting them, it's a swinging 2 minutes that adds a another dimension to the album. After the Ziggy Stardust-inspired and theatrical 'Roberta (Sweet N' Low)', we get hit up by another strong highlight on the album in the form of 'The Ferryman', vocally residing in the middle-ground between Cat Stevens and Neil Young, it has a blissful mid-60's feel to it. 

After the punk and glam-rock stylings of Spanner Valley comes '100 Year Old Elvis Grease', bringing you to neon-lit mid-western bars off a desolate highway some time in the 1980's. One Time, Pappie! closes with a live recording of 'Road River Road', it's quite a fitting end, with its high-energy and a healthy lashing of blues-rock riffage and attitude, it's really what Hot Rod Hearse are all about, re-interpreting the music that influenced them and stamping their personality on it. I guess the big boon for me with One Time, Pappie! was the musicianship, a clear obsession with blues-rock shining through and the unexpected mix of genres all placed on top of that blues foundation throughout whilst making them workable. 

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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Single: Panoplea - Slow Dance

Panoplea Slow Dance

Panoplea - Slow Dance

Info: Irish duo Panoplea have unveiled their debut single 'Slow Dance'. The ambient ballad, laced with electronic intricacies, is a tonic to the instantaneous demands of the current music-market. 

Speaking about the track, Trîps said: "We have written and performed under different guises, and one thing a number of labels - both major and independent - seem to do is generalise and 'undersell' the listener. More than ever I hear how music has to be instantly gratifying. If an intro is longer than 5 seconds, the listener will supposedly skip. If the chorus fails to come before 50 seconds, 'it isn't for radio'. I feel this mentality hinders and stunts so many writers and creatives. For a number of them, they feel compelled to create within these confines, and yet the majority will fail to break into any mainstream. We didn't write this as an antidote to the music climate though, we wrote it because we enjoyed it. And we're releasing it because we want the listener to share in our search for something more - the best journeys are never straightforward, are they?"

Finding myself in total agreement with Panoplea's statement about their debut single 'Slow Dance', as a listener I am more than willing to submit to both the mood and pace of their first track together. There should be no rules, constructs or fear when it comes to creating art, when you place restrictions on creativity it withers and dies and everyone loses. With 'Slow Dance' you voyage slowly yet steadily through the atmospherics which are on display, star-gazing at sonic clouds which discreetly snake their way around your auditory canal and imagination. It is beautiful and moving, but places no demands on you.

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Playlist: Remy's Irish Independent Top 10, Issue #011

Jafaris - If You Love Me
Jafaris - Photo: Arman Jose Galang

Info: Once again REMY brings you a round-up of the best independent Irish releases from the last few weeks. To coincide with the release of his latest video, we open with the glorious track 'If You Love Me' from Dublin rap artist Jafaris. The video, directed by Nathan Barlow and Cian Hamilton, is a triumph of combining the raw power of the single with some top-drawer visuals and story-boarding and is easily one of the best produced Irish music videos of 2017 (watch below).

Jafaris - If You Love Me

Dublin's Autre Monde released new single 'Village of Loomers' during the week with a premier over on The Thin Air. The four-piece, made up of members of No Monster Club, Land Lovers, Ginels and Paddy Hanna cast our minds back to the wonderful heady days of late 90's / early 00's Irish indie-rock with a 2017 blanket thrown over it. Ahead of the release of her debut album Vestigial, indie-folk act Laura Ryder released her latest single 'Moon' on Thursday .Her animated and highly entertaining live performance style recaptured here on a recording that features bouncing piano progressions and an uptempo pop beat that is hard to ignore.

After sharing the video for his single 'Rolf' last week, we share the second part of the double A-Side release from THUMPER's Joey Gavin, 'Run'. It's another high-energy affair from Gavin, blending care-free indie-pop with fuzz-rock undertones and his uniquely versatile vocal. Belfast's And So I Watch You From Afar are back with a bang with new single 'A Slow Unfolding of Wings' which is taken from their forthcoming LP The Endless Shimmering, out 20th of October. Their first ever music video accompanies the album's lead single, musically it's what you would expect if Weezer's Brian Bell dropped into the studio to jam with Mogwai, rolling bass-lines and squealing guitar riffs echo across some heavy percussion, and it's perfect.

ASIWYFA - A Slow Unfolding of Wings

Indie-pop and electronic Limerick duo A Dream, The Night dropped their debut single and music video for 'Sick Day', like a metronome that has become self-aware, the track flickers between sharp electronic effects and Julianne Murray's chilled out vocal performance, the overall ambience of the song conjuring up some serious nostalgia for late 90's downtempo choonage. 

Cork contemporary folk solo act Cormac O'Caoimh shares the latest single from his fourth album shiny silvery things which was released at the start of the summer. As always we are surrounded by the warm glow of O'Caoimh's vocals on 'Silence and Sound', strings and rhyme provide a soft place for us to rest our heads and drift off; "Time is like a church / Its signs remind me / A choir of ghosts sing rhymes / A bell tower chimes / Statues stand still in lines / Silence and sound remind me." 

Tribal Dance - Flongo

Yeah, yeah, yeah! A while ago we featured a set of live recordings from Dublin math-rock outfit Tribal Dance, and now we finally have a studio recording of their debut single and video 'Flongo' (above). It's dizzying and all over the shop in the very best of ways, those snares take a right pounding and the bass and wobbling guitar effects pack an almighty punch, add to that some Beastie Boys-esque rhyme spitting and we have a serious first outing from the trio on our hands.

Dublin indie-rock four-piece Fruitz released their debut EP, the appropriately named 5 a Day, a few weeks ago, and we're digging the third track 'Alicia' especially. A dreamy opening guitar riff and vox make way at the half-way point to an invigorating crescendo of good ole rock n' roll lead guitar and thrashing drums. We wrap up with some 60's infused psych folk-rock courtesy of Music for Dead Birds and their track 'Swim With Me' from their recently released EP, Nail & Tooth. The Galway pair deliver some highly enjoyable lo-fi rhythmic vigour across the track, and indeed the EP itself.

For our previous independent Irish playlist, head along here to listen to Issue #10

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Video: Ryan Kelly - G.O.N.E

Ryan Kelly G.O.N.E.

Ryan Kelly - G.O.N.E

Info: Dublin solo act Ryan Kelly recently released his second single with accompanying video for 'G.O.N.E' (above). The track is a gentle and heart-felt ballad which rather endearingly reflects on the joy and pain package which comes with youthful romance, almost always destined to end poorly for at least one party. Musically the track moves between swells of elation and disappointment led by a crescendo of guitars and cymbals and brought back down to earth with Kelly's emotive vocal and soft piano playing. On 'G.O.N.E' we see him displaying a keen awareness of delivering feeling in tandem with his music and plenty of scope for expanding and experimenting with his sound on future releases.

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Video: Nousom Knots - Horizons

Nousom Knots Horizons

Nousom Knots - Horizons 

Info: Following on the success, great reviews and widespread air-play of the Dublin singer-songwriter's debut release 'Landslide' (Dublin Town) in December and 2nd release 'Midnight' in April, both receiving over 10,000+FB plays in the 1st 48hrs, Nousom Knots will releases 3rd single and video for latest track 'Horizons'. 

Mixed and co-produced by New York based Óisín O'Malley who has co-produced with the likes of Jerry Harrison of Talking Heads, this upbeat song about the unattainable pursuit of desire is accompanied by an exciting and thought provoking new video, filmed in Dublin. 

The video for 'Horizons' was released to the public on August 19th with the single to be officially released on August 26th and will be available in iTunes and all major digital distributors.

To back the release Nousom Knots will play a headline concert, with full backing band featuring some of Ireland's and the U.S.' finest musicians, in Whelan's (upstairs) on Sat August 26th. Included in his lineup is the ex lead-guitarist for Enrique Iglesias and Mr. North.

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

The VidList (International): Tusks, Weaves, Japanese Breakfast, Gordi

Tusks - Dissolve
Photo: Jodie Canwell

Tusks - Dissolve

Info: On our latest International VidList which brings you the best independent music videos from outside of Ireland, we kick off with London solo act Tusks, the moniker of dream-pop artist Emily Underhill. 'Dissolve' is the title-track from her debut album which will be released on the 13th of October on the One Little Indian label. 

We instantly delighted in both the song and video for 'Walkaway' (below) from Toronto indie-pop troupe Weaves, an injection of happiness coupled with contemplative tones for the win. The single is just released today and is taken from their forthcoming album Wide Open which drops on the 6th of October. 

Weaves - Walkaway

Our next vid is wonderful and pleasantly bizarre and it comes from Philadelphia's Japanese Breakfast (Michelle Zauner) via the single 'Road Head'. The video has an 80's retro horror feel, but with a seemingly willing and collaborative victim. It comes from Zauner's sophomore album, Soft Sounds From Another Planet, which was released just last month, and is getting plenty of headphone play from us over the last few weeks, also check out previous single / video 'Machinist' if you like what you're hearing.

Japanese Breakfast - Road Head

We wrap up with one of our favourite Australian artists, the amazing Gordi, all of whom's single releases in the lead up to the launch of her debut album Reservoir, which is out this Friday, 25th of August, have turned us upside down inside. 'Bitter End' caps a wonderful lead up to the debut LP, wrought with powerful emotion and one of the most unique voices in contemporary indie-folk, we're just in love with her sound, simple as that.

Gordi - Bitter End

Single: Orwells '84 - Eye For An Eye

Orwells '84 - Eye For An Eye

Orwells '84 - Eye For An Eye

Info: Dundalk act Orwells '84 create a sound of post pop psychedelia washed with influences from the roots of blues with a reverb laden backdrop. Their debut release has been anticipated by their peers on the Dundalk music scene for some time. The single 'An Eye For an Eye' is due to be released on the 3rd of September and will be available on all major streaming platforms including Spotify and Deezer. Led by Damien McKenna, Orwells '84 plan on following up the release on the 3rd Sept. with a vinyl and video combo to accompany the single.

Combining late-70's / early 80's ska with a tinge of neo-psychedelia, Orwells '84 introduce themselves with a vibrant and catchy debut single in the form of 'Eye For An Eye'. There are enough elements across the track to pique interest, and more importantly, the first buds of something which perhaps might grow into something special, all they need to do is let fly.

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Single: Will De Burca - It Shall Be Opened

Will De Burca - It Shall Be Opened

Will De Burca - It Shall Be Opened

Info: Dublin electronic artist Will De Burca released his second album, Embedded, at the beginning of May this year, and it was widely received with open arms by the online and offline music community. Counting among his fans 2FM's Dan Hegarty, and The Irish Times' Jim Carroll, last week DeBurca released a new single from the LP, 'It Shall Be Opened'. In our own review of the album we had described the track as having; "...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."

You can read the full review here and listen to the entire album at the links below.

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Playlist: Remy's Best of International Playlist - Issue #014

Public Service Broadcasting They Gave Me A Lamp
Public Service Broadcasting - play The Academy, Dublin, on the 24th January

Info: On our latest International Playlist we find ourselves in an unusually narrow space geographically, with an almost 33% equal split between our neighbours in the U.K., Scandinavia and the United States. We open with a remix via Plaid of London duo Public Service Broadcasting's single 'They Gave Me A Lamp' from their latest album Every Valley, an homage and historical recognition of the Welsh mining community from days gone by. 

We're off to the Northern Hemisphere next and Ólafur Arnalds' collaboration with Janus Rasmussen on the duo's track 'Blurred' under the moniker of Kiasmos. In addition there are amazing tracks courtesy of Sunni Colón's 'Little Things' produced by Kaytranada, Rome's London-based duo Malihini give us the immensely enjoyable 'Drums Rock and Roll' and The Anatomy of Frank from Virginia, USA provide a joyous and care-free number via their new single 'The Sunken Coast'.

PSB - They Gave Me A Lamp (Album Version)

Much intrigue and joyously bending guitar effects are to be found on Argentinian-based-in-London Malena Zavala's 'Should I Try', it's so nonchalant you may as well be laying on a bed of cotton as it washes over you. Oakland-based indie and dream-pop act Madeline Kenney who has featured her previously in the past, releases hazy new single 'Big One' from forthcoming album Night Night At The First Landing which is out on 1st of September, and we can't wait to dip all of our toes in it.

A track that drew me in straight away with it's lush retro 80's aesthetic was the new single from Finnish ambient electro-indie band Typeface 'Someone Else', it is in fact glorious and probably my favourite international electro-pop release this year. Gothenburg's Holy Family shared new single 'Empty Gestures' not so long ago, and another single is coming this week, but I'm really digging their anthemic and visual sound, with tiny strands of their compatriots Kent, Holy Family create a most uplifting and exhilarating experience for the listener. 

Finally someone whose sound and overall package has me very curious and desiring more, from Mississippi and currently located in L.A. we introduce your ears to Dent May and his new single 'Picture On A Screen'. It has a silent movie comedy feel, you can imagine Charlie Chaplin goofing to this song with little vexation. May is probably going to be everywhere at some point in 2018.

Listen to Issue #13 of our best of independent International Playlist right here

1. Public Service Broadcasting - They Gave Me A Lamp (Plaid Remix) - London
2. Kiasmos - Blurred - Ólafur Arnalds - Reykjavík (Iceland)
3. Sunni Colón - Little Things - Los Angeles (USA)
4. Malihini - Drums Rock and Roll - Rome (based in London- UK)
5. The Anatomy of Frank - The Sunken Coast - Virginia (USA)
6. Malena Zavala - Should I Try - (Argentina - London-based)
7. Madeline Kenney - Big One - Oakland, CA (USA)
8. Typeface - Someone Else - Jyväskylä (Finland)
9. Holy Family - Empty Gestures - Gothenburg (Sweden)

10. Dent May - Picture On A Screen - (Mississippi - Los Angeles-based) (USA)

Album: Ger Fox Sailing - Ger Fox Sailing

Ger Fox Sailing Album

Info: Ger Fox Sailing is a rock band from Wexford made up of singer/songwriter/guitarist Johnny Fox, bassist Richie Mason, guitarist Derren Dempsey and drummer Marc 'Harvey' Hillis. 

The four members' mutual musical relationship dates back to the early 00's when Johnny and Richie were learning their trade with Bengie while Derren and Harvey were melting people's faces with Laminate. Both Wexford bands shared a lot of similar tastes which would see members amalgamate and together and separately pass through other local bands The River Fane and WOLFF.

Ger Fox Sailing is a continuation of this story. The old influences continue to rear their ugly heads (Nirvana, QOTSA, Helmet, Fugazi etc..) but as some of the angst makes way for contemplation and the riffage and precision is combined with increased texture and subtlety, the band is bringing the conversation into new and unfamiliar territory. 

Opener 'Killing Time' certainly echoes back to a late 90's / early 00's sound as it bursts out with rolling guitar riffs and stomping percussion, with a Foo Fighters circa There Is Nothing Left To Lose hard edge, or even further back, Minneapolis alt-rock band Sugar's classic 1992 album Copper Blue. 'What It Is' shifts sound immediately from that starting point however, with a more anarchic post-punk intro before settling into a melodic run of verses. 

With 'Wood From The Trees' Ger Fox Sailing take the foot off the pedal, Johnny Fox's softly-delivered vocal leading us with great calm down a shimmering and meandering stream of subconciousness. After the rapid-fire of 'All That Will Protect' we are drawn once again into that calm slumber on 'Nowhere Without You', as the track develops it comfortably escalates itself onto a higher atmospheric plain that becomes all-encompassing.

'Give Over' is a highlight on the LP, lovely opening guitar riffs and an unusual yet working mix of dark 80's tinged vox with 70's psychedelic folk create an abstract and cinematic mood. On '2017' we are given an 8 minute opus which reflects on the dramatic shifts occurring worldwide presently, reflecting on anxiety, hopelessness, confusion and perceived anarchy on the horizon. The track captures the see-saw between disillusionment and apathy very well, and from it's midway point really kicks in ever so nicely to a rock jam that is captivating.

Closing with 'Best Friend', Ger Fox Sailing unleash the most powerful and energetic moment on the album, insanity and chaos abound, hard bass-lines and guitar progressions tower over a suffocating vocal, and it's bloody wonderful. 

My only reservation about the album is that I'm not sure how it flows from beginning to end, the quality of the musicianship and production are beyond question, but there were points where I felt a bit lost, mainly in its first half. I felt a lot more at home and into it from 'Nowhere Without You' onward where there was much more space for the listener to settle in over consecutive tracks. 

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Saturday, 19 August 2017

Single: Joey Gavin - Rolf Harris Is A Paedophile

Joey Gavin - Run Rolf Single

Joey Gavin - Rolf Harris Is A Paedophile

Info: "Run/Rolf" is the latest single from Irish experimental rock artist Joey Gavin, a two track 7" which sees a release on Irish DIY label Little L Records. Joey Gavin's established himself as a local favourite in the Dublin scene, as a member of noise-pop band THUMPER and also as a solo artist, playing with home-town staples such as Otherkin, Cathy Davey and Paddy Hanna.

"Rolf Harris Is A Paedophile" is a cutting diatribe, musing on Rolf Harris' murky actions and the disillusionment which comes with an influential figure's fall from grace. Musically, Gavin blends influences everywhere from King Gizzard And The Lizard Wizard to Nick Drake - creating an acid-drenched psych-pop number to lose faith in society to. The music video paper mache critique of the man himself, appearing in marionette form. 

With it's Strokesian intro, Joey Gavin's new single 'Rolf Harris Is A Paedophile' quickly settles into a bedrock of mid to late 1960's psychedelic rock, we're thinking The Electric Prunes' I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) and Love's Forever Changes. One thing you find with Gavin's vocal is that it seems like a morphology of so many different artists from the past, he has a dexterity that can be enjoyed with ease, best experienced in a live setting.

Thematically the track questions why did it take until recently for accusations to emerge, with the video satirising the celebration of an individual who moved in the highest circles, and ultimately, has gone on to continue life with minimal repercussions as we see in the video's closing sequence. Gavin also draws parallels between the individual and the many, and closer to home; "800 baby skeletons in a septic cell, the Magdelene Sisters, got nothing on that Hell, who's thinking of the children, who could they have been?" It's a wonderful single in every sense, and comes from an artist you sense can impulsively switch between contemplative subject matter and more forthright musings, darkness and light, and back again, without a second thought.

'Rolf Harris' is released as part of a double A-Side with 'Run', which you can buy here with a limited edition run on vinyl via Little L Records

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EP: Fehdah - Like No Other

Fehdah Like No Other
Photo: Moira Reilly

Info: Fehdah is an eight piece future afro soul band led by Emma Garnett. The music combines Emma’s African roots with her and her band’s irresistible hip hop and funk forays to create a sound that’s simultaneously forward looking and referential to the past.

Known previously for lending her smooth vocals to the likes of Manden Express, RiZA, and Loah, and her collaborations with Ben Bix, Emma is joined by a star-studded lineup featuring members of Meltybrains?, Danny G & the Major 7ths, Tig Linn and more. 

Maynooth, Co. Kildare act Fehdah released her debut EP, Like No Other, on Hipdrop Records last week. Opening with the gorgeous and mellow sounds of its title-track, we are treated to multiple genres in one place, from soft soul to hip hop and Afro-beats, it's a transcendental journey that effortlessly blends into itself. Contemporary sounds recall Michael Kinawuka's backing band and surprisingly a dash of Fever Ray's 2009 self-titled album (specifically 'When I Grow Up').

Second track 'Money' affirms that mellow vibe, slick acoustic picking and an instantly appealing groove sound elicit strong feelings of happiness in the listener. Once again Fehdah and band control the direction of mood and tempo with absolute precision, keys and bass are particularly to the fore in providing the funk to go with the groove and it's another very strong track.

'What Have I Done' dives deep into 70's soul and funk with a contemporary pop and rn'b twist. Garnett's vocal is understated but powerful in its own way here and I'm conscious of overusing the term mellow at this stage. Closing with 'Kathmandu', Fehdah ensures a strong finish is on the cards, this is more than just soul, funk, and rn'b, it's also bone fide disco that demands to be danced to, the sway is natural and there's a very healthy dose of romance about the track. 

As a massive fan of 70's music, a decade I feel music was at its ground-breaking creative and experimental zenith, I was never going to not love Like No Other, it would have been impossible. But the best thing is knowing that I've enjoyed this collection of songs because they stand on their own in terms of quality, not because they sound like something I might like. I love this EP, and I know I'll find even more reasons to with every listen.

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The VidList (Irish): REWS, OTHERKIN, Morrissey & Marshall, Train Room

Rews Shine

REWS - Shine

Info: In our latest issue of TheVidList we have some very hot off the press videos which were just released in the last 24 hours. First off we have Belfast / London based rock duo REWS and their newest single, 'Shine', we've been big fans of their sound for quite some time now, and are certainly not alone in that. 'Shine' sees the pair ramp up their traditionally hard-rock modus operandi with in your face guitar riffs and stomping percussion which has a Soundgarden / Audioslave tint, with impactful tracks like this they'll continue to make a lasting impression on fans old and new.

OTHERKIN - Come On, Hello

Ahead of the official release of their latest single, 'Come On, Hello' which will feature on their debut album, OK (out 29th September), Dublin grunge-pop quartet OTHERKIN have shared an accompanying video. Featuring footage from their support slot for Guns N Roses at Slane this year, as well as snippets from shows in more intimate surroundings. Encapsulating their chaotic live performances, the video takes the music diary approach, condensing what has been a hectic 2017 of touring so far into a neat 3-plus minutes.

Morrissey & Marshall - Hangin' Around

Although the video for their single has been available online since earlier in the summer, London-based Dublin pair Morrissey & Marshall officially released 'Hangin' Around' (taken from their album We Rise) just yesterday. The video features the iconic comedian Hugh Cooney who is a hero of ours (and also directed and animated the vid), and the track is a perfect mix of innocent 60's pop-rock and uplifting psychedelic bubblegum. If you haven't listened to their sophomore album, We Rise yet, do yourself a favour and give it a spin here.

Train Room - Delicate Bones

After just two listens we are feeling very warm and content inside courtesy of the new single from Mayo's Train Room (Joe Monaghan), 'Delicate Bones'. Monaghan's vocals always impart a feeling of contentment and the track from his forthcoming debut EP gives all of the right feels. With little strands of early Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver wisping musically around his voice, it certainly whets the appetite in advance of the extended play's release.

To watch our previous VidList, head over here

Interview: REMY on Dublin City FM's Irish Music Business Show

Sub Motion The Sound Feed Sin É
Sub Motion @ Sin É for The Sound Feed

Dublin City FM 103.2 - Interview with REMY on the Irish Music Business Show

Info: I had a really enjoyable chat with Rohan Healy during the week about how this whole blogging malarky began on Dublin City FM for his Irish Music Business Show. We also talked about the general state of the Irish music scene at present, where it's headed and the work I do over at The Sound Feed, including our first monthly show in Sin É which kicked off the Dublin Quays Festival on Thursday night. Big thanks to Rohan and Al for having me and putting this together.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Photos: The Sound Feed @ Sin É - Vulpynes & Sub Motion

Sub Motion

Info: Last night The Sound Feed hosted our first in a series of monthly gigs in collaboration with Sin É as part of the inaugural Dublin Quays Festival. To kick off we had two bands who have previously visited our studio in Stoneybatter, Vulpynes and Sub Motion. Both bands raised the roof on the night in a packed out venue with their distinctive brands of punk-rock and grunge and thankfully (but not surprisingly) it ended up being one of the best live shows I've seen this year.

(All photos: Remy Connolly)

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Interview: 5th Element

5th Element

Info: Ballymun hip-hop duo 5th Element have had a bit of a crazy old time over the past year or so, festival slots at Electric Picnic, KnockanStockan, and Vantastival to name but a small few, their State of Mind 2.0 debut album release, and a slew of film projects. The latest of which is their short documentary feature with STACKD TV, a platform which showcases the new generation of artists and alternative underground global culture.

REMY caught up with 5th Element pair Ryan 'Linco' Lincoln and Ger Kellett to discuss their highlights on this journey so far, how they view the health of the Irish hip-hop scene, and their long-term plans in both music and film.

An awful lot has happened over the past year and a half for 5th Element, playing at Electric Picnic and multiple other big name festivals, the release of your 'State of Mind 2.0' album with Doublescreen (which got Album of the Week in The Irish Times), being part of a number of film-making projects, what have been the standout highlights for you guys?

GER: For me personally, one of the stand out moments over the past 18 months has been the album release show in the Academy. The mix of people on the night, who genuinely liked the music and appreciated the work that went into it was incredible. It's one of those gigs that will stick with me forever.

LINCO: I have to agree with Ger the Album Launch felt like our first official gig that the crowd was genuinely there in anticipation to catch one of our shows. Taking it back a bit further, KnockanStockan Festival was one of my favourite moments in music, the stage was invaded as we were joined by a bunch of strangers who liked what they heard!  

On top of all of that 5th Element were recently the subject of a documentary by the wonderful folks over at STACKD TV, which was released on the 10th of August, tell us about the content and how it came about?

GER: The people over at STACKD got in touch a while back. They were formally known as Tir Na Nog Media and were beginning the re branding process. They wanted to launch their new operation STACKD and link in with some artists on the urban music scene here. We liked the direction they wanted to take the doc in, and could tell how passionate they were about creating a nice and professional piece of work.

They travelled out to the studio and to some gigs to get a taste of what 5thEL is like when creating music. The also travelled out to our hometown of Ballymun in north Dublin and we gave them the tour of the place. They captured the area in a nice light I feel. It showed it for what it is. A place that may be given a bad name at times, but its also a place that believes in its community and the people.

LINCO: It’s probably no secret but Irish Hip Hop isn’t always necessarily portrayed in the best of light in this country so we are always weary in making sure that the people involved have a genuine interest in the subject matter and will tell an authentic story. The lads approached us openly about what they want to do and what they are about. After meeting a couple of times and chatting some stuff, we found that we agreed on a lot and were on the same page so it made sense to work together on this short project. Then it’s out into the world for people to make their own minds up about it.

5th Element Vantastival
Photo: Joshua Byrne

With the Irish hip-hop scene exploding to the surface over the last couple of years, do you feel like 5th Element are a central part of the movement, whilst not looking to be specifically? Also, do you think there is still a bit of a way to go before Irish hip-hop gets on an equal footing with other more long-standing genres on the 'scene'.

GER: The scene is definitely getting a lot more recognition from the people in recent years / months. We pride ourselves on trying to make the best music and creative content we can at that time. We’ve been shown so much love for certain releases that it gives you that energy to get back in the studio and make more tunes.

For me personally, I want to leave behind a collection of work that people will respect, and that they feel holds up and is something they can use as inspiration to go on and create something for themselves. People are always gonna argue over who’s the best emcee, what’s the best track, who’s the best group. If people are throwing 5thEL around in those conversations, that’s an added bonus that I thank those people for. It’s very much appreciated.

LINCO: If people think so then that’s great, if they don’t then we’ll just keep grinding. I don’t like to approach this with the sole goal of being in the forefront but if the music and the work gone into it speaks for itself then that’s what I’m aiming for. We are relatively new in this music scene, about 5 years now, there have been many before us but if we somehow contribute to it and help move it forward just by doing our thing with a passion, then I’m delighted. I think that’s what will bring the scene forward as a whole, if people concentrate on their lane then the whole thing moves forward. It still has a ways to go, so a good community and some mutual support is also essential for it to thrive, which I think we are beginning to see with so many different styles emerging.     

5th Element & DoubleScreen - 00's

Those with their ear to the ground will be well aware of many of the big acts on the Irish hip-hop and rap circuit, which new acts do you see really breaking through over the next 12 months, any tips?!

GER: There’s a lot of really good artists out there, the competition is definitely heating up. I can only speak for myself, as peoples taste in music varies so much. The obvious ones who are killin' it right now are Rebel Phoenix, Jafaris, Rusangano Family, Lawrii Craic, Red The Future and Kreo Ghost.

In the next 12 months or so I can see acts like Creative Crime, Flynn Johnson, Backshed INC and Mango putting out some material that really grabs people’s attention. The genre is in a really healthy state right now in regards to the music that is being made. We just need to get the material heard more frequently, because some of these acts have songs that I honestly believe could do well in Irish music charts and international playlists on Spotify etc.

LINCO: It changes all the time haha at the moment there are a few heads on their game. Mango and Mathman are doing some big things, Flowstate Movement, Flynn Johnson, Jafaris, God Creative, Bitter Roc is always popping up with some new good shit, Lethal Dialect although doing less strictly rap oriented stuff, I see his new project as Paul Alwright doing well. A new guy I have been listening to called Dania, some slick African-Irish jams check him out. You would know this dude is from Dublin!

Finally, with all of the projects 5th Element have been involved in over the past 18 months, do you think the film / documentary side of things is something you'll both want to keep working on in tandem with writing music?

GER: I don’t think we’ll ever stop making music. Its only natural that 5thEL might take a back seat from time to time while we work on solo material, but I think you could be hearing a 5thEL album in 2050 if we had our way haha
Both of us have actually been writing scripts and screen plays etc for a couple of years now. A lot of people don’t know that because it’s a long process and the music thing has always been the no.1 priority.

I’m a huge movie nerd and I’m always on the hunt for a new series to get stuck into, so I’ve set myself the challenge of creating my own haha. We’ve met a lot of film heads through the music scene, so there is definitely enough connections and motivation to get a first ever 5thEL production in the works. Maybe 2018, you never know.

LINCO: Most Definitely! I made my first acting debut this year in the Irish film Cardboard Gangsters, it was one of the most memorable experiences of my life, so yes I am interested to see where the path leads. There is always something in the pipe line but with film things take a little more time and can be a little more on the DL, when they are ready is when you will see or hear about them, keep the ears and eyes peeled.

I find this and music goes hand in hand, it’s all creative, it’s all writing, it’s all performing and it’s about rocking out with all you’ve got. That being said sometimes other things in life warrant focus and attention, or simply sometimes just need a step back to recharge and find some inspiration. Look out for that album release in 2050.   

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