Monday, 30 October 2017

Gig List: Not Monsters, Oh Joy, Young Earth & Gigonometry

Not Monsters - Cleo
Artwork: Kevin Goss Ross

Not Monsters - Cleo (Directed by Hazel Coonagh)

Info: REMY brings you a round-up of the best live shows to catch over the next two weeks in Dublin including Not Monsters, Oh Joy, Young Earth and the Gigonometry Winter Special.

Wednesday, 1st of November: 

Oh Joy - Whelan's Upstairs, Wexford Street, Dublin 2.

Indie-rock Dublin trio Oh Joy will be launching their split single, "So Swell / Apple" on 7" vinyl in Whelan's on Wednesday with support from Robert John Ardiff. 

Tickets are priced at €8 and can be bought here

Saturday, 4th of November:

Not Monsters - The Underground, Dame Street, Dublin 2.

Dublin alt-rock four-piece Not Monsters celebrate the release of their latest single 'Cleo' which will be out on the 3rd of November with a headline show plus plenty of support including Slackers Symphony at The Underground on Dame Street. The video for the track dropped online today and was directed by the hugely talented Hazel Coonagh, admission on the night is €5 or €8 with a copy of the single, which can only be purchased at the live shows, and the event page is here

Young Earth Frequency Illusion

Friday, 10th of November:

Young Earth - The Academy, Middle Abbey Street, Dublin 1.

Rock pop and roll band Young Earth release their eagerly awaited debut EP, Frequency Illusion with support from exciting Cork band Dry Roasted Peanuts. Tickets are priced at €10 and can be purchased here via Ticketmaster

Gigonometry Winter Special - The Underground, Dame Street, Dublin 2.

Also on Friday the 10th of November the lovely folks of Gigonometry are hosting their final quarterly 'Best Of' showcase at new venue The Underground beside Peadar Kearney's Pub on Dame Street. On the night the line-up will include KEVYN, Protobaby, SCOOPS and Cat Dowling. Admission is €10 and the event page is here

Single: Names - Limb By Limb

Names Limb by Limb

Names - Limb By Limb

Info: 'Limb by Limb' by Pembrokeshire-based duo Names is the follow up single to ‘Backs Turned’, a song that has already been included in BBC Introducing Wales list of songs of 2017. It was also described by 'From the Margins' as a "wintry soundscape with all the fluency, space and atmosphere of Mogwai's Les Revenants soundtrack". 

'Limb by Limb' musically and lyrically perfectly depict the contrasting moments of clarity and internal isolation one feels holding on to a dying relationship. The sense of calm in the release, yet claustrophobic panic of the unknown. As with Talk Talk’s majestic 'Spirit of Eden', Names are quickly becoming masters of the intimate, unseen but deeply felt moments we share. Their music explodes on to a cinematic canvas full of flowing chords and echoey melodies. 

Welsh duo Names' latest single which was released earlier this month is certainly a refreshing addition to the indie-pop music being released right now by their peers. The hypnotic and enchanting motion of both piano and percussion give a lackadaisical mechanical rhythm and beat which underpins singer and pianist Ioan Hazell's celestial vocal. Whilst the sound is wholesome and vibrant where required, it also has a pleasantly calming effect on the listener. Most importantly though, Names are carving out a style all of their own and there is a clear progression to be heard on 'Limb By Limb' since debut single 'Backs Turned'.

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EP; Phil Cosby - Blue Daze

Phil Cosby - Blue Daze

Info: 'Blue Daze', a breathtakingly emotive record, sees Cosby effortlessly drawing on late 70's / early 80's youth nostalgia, resulting in a truly immersive soundscape. Collectively the five tracks juxtapose themes of hope and loss over powerful, melodic rhythms. He details the EP: "I took inspiration from the Tangerine Dream track – Love On A Real Train, heard in the 80's movie 'Risky Business'. The track’s evocative and unique quality sparked my interest in nostalgia, and the idea that this emotion in music, might be more than just a ‘time and place’ association personal to the listener – that certain music has in itself a nostalgic quality."

For the recording of 'Blue Daze', Cosby assembled a band of notable musicians. On bass – Simon Edwards (Talk Talk), keys – Mikey Rowe (David Gilmour), on drums – Malcolm Catto (DJ Shadow, Floating Points) and Martyn Barker (Goldfrapp). The album was engineered by Phill Brown (Talk Talk, John Martyn), and mixed by Malcolm Catto of The Heliocentrics, at his vintage analogue studio – Quatermass Sound Lab, in Dalston, London. 'Blue Daze' has been mastered and cut for vinyl by John Dent (PJ Harvey, Portishead).

Phil Cosby - 'The Days We Were Young'

From it's soft beginnings on 'MEM#01', Phil Cosby's new EP Blue Daze which was released last week hones in on creating an introspective atmosphere, there's that meandering build you'd expect from Mogwai, echoing guitar notes drift off into the distance while the low-hum of the bass stays nearby. In both title and sound second track 'Star Rider' conjures images of 70's funk and prog-rock, there are some really neat and enjoyable guitar effects at play here and Cosby goes big on building a truly exhilarating crescendo up to the half-way point before dropping us back into those airy instrumental calms once again.

Before third track 'Mirari' even arrives I'm right down with the artist's groove, and this is a mellow mellow piece of twinkling blues psychedelia, there's an almost invisible yet wholly in tandem relationship between all of the instruments here, ten minutes of this wouldn't have been too long in my book. Following the similarly serene 'The Crash', Blue Daze closes with 'The Days We Were Young' (above video). Cosby opts for 80's electro soundscapes on what is equally the most current song on the EP, once again using a carefully delivered rising tempo which never over-reaches itself, but still leaves us with that same sense of vitality we experienced on 'Star Rider' earlier. Ultimately Blue Daze is a captivating EP release from Phil Cosby which is consistent in its flow and sound and a really enjoyable journey courtesy of the Wicklow man.

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Album: Jacob Faurholt - A Lake of Distortion

Jacob Faurholt - A Lake of Distortion

Info: Jacob Faurholt is one of Denmark’s most prolific songwriters. Now based in Copenhagen, Faurholt releases music both solo and under the moniker Crystal Shipsss. His music ranges from lo-fi home recordings, 90's inspired indie-rock to ambient drone metal.

'A Lake of Distortion', Faurholt’s 6th solo album, is a collection of fragile folk songs and fuzzy lo-fi pop carefully sequenced to work as a whole. It consists of 10 twisted love songs filled with joy and anxiety. The album was mainly written, recorded & mixed in Faurholt’s bedroom (in between work and other daily obligations) and the intimacy and urgency from that setting is apparent throughout the album. 

The albums short, melodic and fragile songs draw references to 'Bee Thousand' era Guided By Voices, early Sparklehorse, and Daniel Johnston who is name-dropped on the albums last song "Listening To Devil Town".

At the beginning of last year we reviewed Copenhagen solo act Jacob Faurholt's fifth album, Super Glue, and before that we fell head over heels for both the animated video and single 'Floating In Space'. Last week Faurholt released his latest album, A Lake of Distortion, and we're glad to report that all of the wonderful feelings we got from the last LP have returned once again.

We are indulged with a true guy, his guitar, amp and distortion pedal scenario on first track 'Sugar', lo-fi and flippant fuzzed out guitar-pop, it's a short and entertaining piece of fun, and while Faurholt revisits this abandon later on, A Lake of Distortion has a more serious side. Following the 80's pop sounds of 'Fear Is Also Love', we come to the truly heart-stopping 'Something Strange'. Like a Leonard Cohen dirge delivered by candlelight at an open fire, this song couldn't contrast from the album's opener any more in terms of mood if it tried; "They don't love me, they're like ghosts in a silent film about me...there's something about you, something strange, it hurts me to see you in pain".

The see-saw between distortion-drenched lo-fi rock and gentle folk emerges again on the album's title-track, it's a casual piece of slacker-rock with a subtle amount of attitude. On 'Before It Starts To Rain' we drop right back into a psychedelic folk zone reminiscent of something you might find on Love's Forever Changes, whilst at the same time having a quintessentially British folk feel to it.

Faurholt ups the ante on sixth track 'Go', a bubbling grunge-pop number, and it's the type of joyous Scandi-pop that he excels at, straight up and no frills guitar-driven happiness. 'Empty Room' is spacial and atmospheric with a seamless blend of alternative folk and dream-pop combining to lull the mood  into a sleepy contemplative haze. 

The reaching styles of A Lake of Distortion arise once again on 'The Stars Hang Low', with 80's sounding synths dropping into the middle of a track you could describe as carnival-folk. Final track 'Listening To Devil Town' sees the album finish on a high note, something Jacob Faurholt does well is bring contemplative emotion into his song-writing through the dual use of heartfelt vocals and sombre music. While some might find the at times abrupt shifts between genre styles on A Lake of Distortion that can disrupt the flow of the album occasionally, overall it is a fine collection of contemporary tracks which display an artist with an ever-widening experimental palette.

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Saturday, 28 October 2017

Single: GaniyuTLG - Nandos ft. Skilyt (Prod. by PlantFood)

Ganiyu TLG - Nandos ft. Skilyt PlantFood
Photo: Mike Lawal

GaniyuTLG - Nandos ft. Skilyt (Produced by PlantFood)

Info: Long-term Dublin hip-hop collaborators GaniyuTLG and PlantFood have hooked up once again, this time being joined by Tallaght rapper Skilyt on their latest single 'Nandos'. One of the previous singles the pair worked on 'Shivers' featuring HUVA was selected for Nialler9's 'New Music' section in The Irish Times' banc in January. 

On 'Nandos' the duo go for a more mellow vibe in comparison to 'Shivers', and PlantFood has added a decidedly more ambient electronic sound to accompany GaniyuTLG and Skilyt's rapping. The production is slick and the track is a very timely exemplar of just how far Irish hip-hop and rap music has come over the last couple of years. We're finally reaching a point thanks to a number of acts such as Mango & Mathman, 5th Element, Rusangano Family and This Side Up to name a small few of the many, (and now the trio here on 'Nandos') where we can cast off comparisons to UK and US acts and they are carving out their own local sound. And how about that bike chain movement, could watch it all day!

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Thursday, 26 October 2017

News: R.S.A.G - OFF THE RECORD @ Sin É 28th October

RSAG Off The Record at Sin É

Info: Off The Record is a new series of high profile live events being held in the intimate setting of the 200 capacity venue at Sin É, Ormond Quay, Dublin. The live series will profile some of Irelands best live acts in a rare close up setting at Sin É. The performers on the night will not be released until a mere 3 days before the show! So keep this one ‘Off The Record’! 

The first one of the series begins October 28th with Rarely Seen Above Ground a.k.a, R.S.A.G, a.k.a Jeremy Hickey is a Irish multi-instrumentalist who has gained the reputation as one of Europe's leading drummers. He's been hand picked by various international acts including Grammy Award winning Xavier De Rosnay (Justice) and Cosmo Vitelli (I'm A Cliche label) as well as leaving an explosive trail on festival circuits at home and abroad. 

R.S.A.G. has been making waves since 2008 as one of the countries most talented solo artists with his organic, electronic, percussive sound. Live he experiments with a virtual band while his drums, vocals and sampler are mixed with an array of hypnotic imagery and silhouettes projected on-screen. His debut album 'Organic Sampler' received a 5 star review from The Irish Times as well as gaining a Choice Music Prize nomination.

Book your tickets @

For more information head over to Sin É's website here

Single: Molly Sterling - Plain Static

Molly Sterling - Plain Static
Photo: Adam Synnott

Info: "Writing 'Plain Static' was a liberating experience. This song is a constant means of reminding myself that I do not deserve to feel suffocated by shame. I don't deserve to feel shame about my body or about how others have treated my body. It explores how physicality and the mind are intrinsically linked, and when someone breaks into your body, they break into your mind, stealing something precious in a selfish, harrowing manner. The song explores how a body is constantly seen as something consumable and how people often dismiss the person within that body.''

'Plain Static' feels like it came from somewhere ancient, a world deep down at the bottom of a black sea, there is no light, and no life, but there is an isolated beauty in this dark unseeable void. Lines such as "I've seen the mountains, I've seen them cry, they have eyes and so they're petrified, if they had lips and a tongue to be cut out now, would you tell your own daughter, there's nothing to cry about?" accentuate that feeling of beauty mixed with hurt which Molly Sterling's pained voice delivers with great dignity. 

Musically (and at times vocally) her debut single echoes Sigur Rós, in particular in the latter half when the piano is joined by the sad hum of cello and trembling bass drum. Few singles will leave as powerful and long-lasting an impression on listeners this year, there's a desperate and relatable sadness and Sterling connects with us so well through her vocal and vivid lyrics. Whenever her next single is released expect quite a stir, I personally cannot wait to hear what's next because 'Plain Static' is quite stunning to put it mildly.

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Video: Little One - The Habit

Little One - The Habit

Little One - The Habit

Info: Little One are a post-indie group formed in Dublin. The collective made their Glastonbury and Electric Picnic debuts this past summer, following the success of singles "Corner" and "L/0", as well as a string of successful London shows. As a band, Little One strive to amalgamate their music with the best vocal talent the Irish music scene has to offer, with collaborations featuring Alannah Hewitt (James Vincent McMorrow), Faustina Finnerty (Pockets) and Catherine Smyth (Vernon Jane & Farrah Elle) already completed, with other prominent vocalists set to feature. The result of which, culminates in a unique mixture of electronica, neo-soul, post-rock and folk, with the outfit's influences stemming from Radiohead to Elliott smith, Alt J and Robert Glasper.

I'll come straight out with it, Little One are the band live music fans need to see straight away, because 2018 will see them jet-pack into the ether, I've never 'tipped' an act before because it's subjective, but I'm quite happy to do so with this Dublin band. I need to back that up though, grand pronouncements require grand evidence after all. 

Firstly is their debut single 'Corner' featuring the wonderful Cat Smith (below), secondly is 'L/O' which came out in July and I love a little too much, and now there's third single 'The Habit' featuring vocals from Alannah Hewitt which the song benefits immensely from. And there is also a fourth reason, the producer of their latest video is none other than the jaw-dropping electronic solo act Bad Bones, a bit of an artistic genius by any measure.

And so to 'The Habit', with a gorgeous twinkling sound and opening hum that gets over-ridden but not subsumed by a temporary crash of instrumentation, Hewitt's entry draws us into that placid settled water with a lull that is broken once again by the energetic splash of guitar and percussion. What works well here is the suspense of thinking that that momentum is just about to happen again, but Little One hold off, teasing, holding back, until the final 30-odd seconds, it's a euphoric moment that is built up to perfectly. 

Little One play Tramline on Hawkins Street, Dublin 2 on Friday 3rd of November with support from another hot ticket Sylk and Susie Blue. Event page is here

Little One feat. Cat Smyth - 'Corner'

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EP: Kieran Mulvihill - From the Outside Looking In

Kieran Mulvihill - From the Outside Looking In

Info: Kerry native Kieran Mulvihill released his debut EP today, From the Outside Looking In, following launch nights in Listowel's Mike The Pies and The Cobblestone in Dublin, which he now calls home. 

Ah this makes me happy. There is so much warmth and the familiarity of an old friend in Mulvihill's first sharing of his music across these five tracks. 'It's Alright' strafes across so many bands and solo acts I have enjoyed over the last 15 years, both Irish and international. There's a wee hint of the deep-toned but equally soft vocals of fellow Munsterman Cormac O'Caoimh, and looking further afield it's like a less melancholic Keaton Henson. 

Second track 'I'll Be Your Man When The Sun Goes Down' pins to my ears like a song from Mundy's youthfully exuberant debut LP Jelly Legs on its opening bars. The rhythm and beat are strong on this one, if you were expecting a stripped down collection of tracks, that idea gets turned on its head pretty quickly here, and a talented song-writer is already fully revealed. 

The EP's title-track is observational and possibly reflects Mulvihill's personal experiences since moving to Dublin a number of years ago, the bizarre dual proximity and distance between people all at once. The nostalgia floods through on this track for me musically, I'm all Pearl-Jammed and it's a sunny summer in 1991 again. 'No Fruit To Bear' lifts us away from urban environments and off to the calm of a country childhood that grew up too fast. The skilled acoustic guitar playing I've enjoyed up until now deserves a mention at this point, as do the highly visual lyrics. Here they are quite sad, gnawing almost apologetically at the auld heartstrings, 'No Fruit To Bear' can be interpreted in so many ways to different individuals.

Closing with 'Daydreamin'', Mulvihill makes lyrical references to Elliott Smith and Mic Christopher, and it's quite nice that he doesn't mimic them in sound, these are his songs after all and they're more than capable of standing on their own two feet. I have to admit I went through a long period of being slow to engage with the music of Irish singer-songwriters following the dearth of acts that followed the late 90's. But just like all across the board in Irish music right now, the quality has risen so high I no longer feel that way, faith has been restored through both impressive musicianship and song-writing, and most importantly, not sounding like anybody else. Kieran Mulvihill is certainly in this cohort based on the songs he has chosen to share through From the Outside Looking In, and I can't get the idea of him in a concert hall with a full string section behind him out of my head, I would be there in a shot.

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Sunday, 22 October 2017

Album of the Month: Emma Langford - Quiet Giant

Emma Langford - Quiet Giant

Info: Following the huge success of her self-titled EP in 2016, praised by Hotpress Magazine as "angelic", Emma Langford returns with her debut album 'Quiet Giant' set for release this Winter. The album showcases ten tracks, set against a stunning backdrop of strings, percussion and piano. The songs 
dance lightly between genres, weaving a coming-of-age narrative that explores love, heartbreak, and wrestling with self-doubt.  

'Quiet Giant' was recorded amidst the rolling pastures of Portlaoise at Golden Egg Studios, with Grammy nominated producers Graham Murphy & Chris O'Brien of the Production Suite in Dublin. The album lands just as Langford embarks on a tour of Germany and Switzerland throughout October and November with the Irish Folk Festival. Full-band Irish and UK tour dates to follow. 

From it's very beginning Limerick artist Emma Langford's debut album Quiet Giant will whisk your mind and soul away to places they've always yearned for. The self-titled track is an arresting start, her vocals nodding to one Joni Mitchell on the softer moments and then soaring on to unique heights as the swell gathers. 'Sandman' has a delightfully moody jazz-swing feel to it, Langford gently whispering in our ears on the verses and then becoming more forthright as she hits the chorus, piano and strings dance together, accentuating that 1930's dance-hall vibe. 

With 'Closed Book' the energy that has been building thus far breaks into a thumping stride, locomotive percussion and frenetic string arrangements thundering around her powerful voice with stunning force. As the track reaches it's break around the 2:05 mark I'm visualising Nina Simone on a grand piano soulfully delivering a heartfelt dirge. 'All You Want' tilts inwards towards a more traditional Irish folk sound, the tempo is pulled back, but the power is nonetheless retained deftly by Langford.

Emma Langford - 'Closed Book'

The sign of any great album is that it can temper unbridled joyous exuberance with moments of measured melancholy, the most powerful reaction a listener can have when executed to a high standard, such is the case with the beautiful delivery on 'Bear This Child'. Lines such as; "I never chose to bear this child, it just sort of wouldn't go away, and oh but I thought "well, wouldn't it be nice?" ‘til it was here one day" and "I never chose to keep your life but you wouldn't let me be, cries in the night as I'm drifting off, you've used up all of me and now I can't break free..." may feel cutting, but are unspoken and only thought, forbidden even.

Following the equally emotive "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" Langford ratchets up the dynamism we experienced at the beginning of the album on "6 Foot 4", a satirical dart at a lofty character who has notions of grandeur which are adorned by the unquestioning loyal company he surrounds himself with, our protagonist fantasises about a hard and heavy fall from grace. On "The Seduction of Eve" we find Langford in full-on classical folk territory, her lyrical ability on full show for all to see, and it's highly impressive. Thematically telling the story of shattered futures, broken trust and the over-powering emotional disappointment and trauma that follows. The lyrics are poetic and very visual; "And I surrendered all too quickly to a man of many names, who had plotted excavations where my thoughts were, and I wondered now and then if things would ever be the same, or if anything remained beyond the water"

The benevolent caress of yet another gorgeous track in the form of "The Belle and the Ruin" leads us to Quiet Giant's final piece of wonder in "Tug O' War". The closing song confirms Langford as a song-writer of exceptional talent, I was 100% convinced this was an old soul classic I had heard before, but no, this is straight from her own hand and mind. It's a moving and thoroughly enjoyable piece of gospel soul, and once it ends there is nothing left to do but sit back and say "Wow". To cross-over so many genres with such ease, from jazz to soul to folk, tie them all together as if they were the one, and write such competent poetry into them is a joy to experience as a music fan. The stories Langford shared with us on Quiet Giant leave you wanting more and that is what will lead to great anticipation of her future releases, and critical acclaim for this one.

'Quiet Giant' will be officially launched on the 2nd of December at the iconic Dolan's Warehouse in Langford's home city, tickets are available here, and are priced at €12.00

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Remy's Top 10 Irish: Leila Jane, Good Strangers, Robert John Ardiff, Peppy & More

Peppy - I Don't Think You Understand

Info: In our latest round-up of the best tracks we've come across over the last few weeks we of course have mostly hot of the press numbers, but also one or two acts which (thankfully) only came to our attention in the last week and a song which we definitely thought was worth another outing. 

We open with Leila Jane's 'Look Away From Our Creation' from her EP Decision Maker which has quite frankly been blowing our socks off across it's six tracks, this is a collection of songs you need in your life and ears right now, you can hear the rest of it and read our review here. Mullingar act Good Strangers are up next, and we have their last single 'Visions In The Dark' which was released in August, a new one is imminent and you'll catch it here in the near future. With Good Strangers you know you are getting a sound that is borne from equal parts passion for their craft and very catchy synth-pop elements.

Good Strangers - Visions In The Dark

Robert John Ardiff's 'Paint Your Nails' pinged Sufjan Stevens' Carrie & Lowell to me in many ways, but it's so nice to get that feeling of an album you love, only to drift away from it after a few listens, it wanes and Ardiff's single stands entirely on it's own. It's a very beautiful piece of song-writing that etches itself on you with great ease, like a toothbrush on your heart, it's with curious interest that we look forward to future releases.

Next up we have an act from Mayo that I was lucky to catch in Whelan's during the week in the form of Peppy. Just as much at home behind the piano as he is with guitar, Peppy's pop vocal and delivery is a noticeable notch above the vast majority of his peers here in Ireland. 'I Don't Think You Understand' packs its emotion and energy tightly into its 4-plus minutes, rolling keys and layered vocal harmonies really make the track stand out for me.

Like a well-produced but raw-sounding version of early Black Keys, Dublin trio Heavy Soda released a double single last week, the A-Side of which we feature here, 'Elephant', (to check out its accompanying track go here.) It's a smooth and dirty blues-rock inspired number and as it progresses nods it's head to an old school Happy Mondays / Primal Scream mash-up, lovely.

Wyvern Lingo - 'Out Of My Hands'

One of our favourite electronic acts Will De Burca released his latest single 'Madrid' earlier this month, the opening track from his wonderful Embedded album which came out earlier this year. In our review of his self-produced album back in May we noted; "The first thing you notice about 'Embedded' is it's sheer force and power, immediately hitting home on opening track 'Madrid', it's like an Eno track shorn of its calm ambience and injected with a stellar intensity."

Not much of an introduction required for Bray trio Wyvern Lingo who shared new single 'Out Of My Hands' with video (above) earlier this month. The track is inspired by and captures very well, the ongoing and seemingly never ending social issues afflicting Ireland such as homelessness and women's rights. The song's protagonist is representative of those who acknowledge and see injustice daily but have become numb to it, personal tragedy no longer impacting on them. It's a powerful video and theme that Wyvern Lingo have addressed, and as mentioned in a recent post about Derry band The Woodburning Savages and their anger at the state of affairs in the six counties, it's something I would like to see more of in Irish music.

Emma Lohan - Wander Free
Emma Lohan

This autumn sees the launch of two exciting new Galway artists Emma Lohan and Anna Mullarkey as they embark on The Black Atlantic Tour. Lohan, based in London, in preparation for releasing her debut album Black Atlantic has teamed up with Mullarkey to launch their distinctive sounds to new audiences across the UK and Ireland. 

The duo simultaneously shared two new singles from their respective forthcoming albums, Lohan's 'Wander Free' and Mullarkey's 'Baby Dragon' on Friday. 'Wander Free' is airy and uplifting with its title being entirely appropriate for the sense of insouciance it imparts on the listener, whilst Mullarkey's 'Baby Dragon' is a dark and atmospheric slice of downtempo electronic escapism. The duos tour kicked of earlier this week in the U.K. and upcoming Irish dates include The Black Gate in Galway on the 25th, Anseo on Camden Street on the 26th and will finish at The Cobblestone in Smithfield on the 29th.

We finish our latest playlist with another Galway solo act New Pope who's latest single 'Boys Can Be So Cruel' really is one to drift right off into with it's lo-fi mood sprawling across almost 8 minutes that you really don't notice going by at all. Fans of Death Cab For Cutie or The Shins will enjoy this one a lot. The moniker of songwriter David Boland, New Pope has released two albums: Youth (2015) and Love (2016), both of which were named as The Irish Times' 'Release of The Week' and received widespread critical acclaim.

For our previous independent Irish playlist, head along here to listen to Issue #13 here

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Guide to Metropolis 2017 - Part Two

Metropolis Festival 2017

Info: The award-winning Metropolis Festival returns for the third year this coming October bank holiday weekend, kicking off on Saturday, 28th of October at the RDS in Dublin 4. Ireland's largest indoor festival will be spread across six stages and feature a mix of international household names such as Leftfield, Laurent Garnier and Richie Hawtin, as well as rising local heavy hitters. The two-day music extravaganza has been a massive success since its inaugural outing in 2015 which was a sell-out, previously hosting the likes of DJ Shadow, Grace Jones, The Sugarhill Gang and Hot Chip, it gives music fans in the capital one last hurrah to see out 2017 in style. 
The Sunday night of Metropolis 2017 is going to be chock-a-block full of quality acts with the likes of Norway's finest export Todd Terje leading the way, synth-funk London duo Jungle, the immense Mount Kimbie and the hugely popular local Dublin pair Le Boom as well as Cork's ELLLL being a particular one to watch out for. The festival organisers have also announced the timetable and venue location for the After-Party gigs on both nights which will take place around the city centre at The Button Factory, Hangar, Tengu, Wigwam, Wah Wah Club and The Chelsea Drugstore. There will be very limited tickets at the door of each venue but these are strictly only available to those who have attended the festival on production of a valid ticket and / or wristband.

Saturday 28th Oct.:

Button Factory
Laurent Garnier + eve
Mix & Fairbanks + Orange Tree Edits + Long Island Sound
Krystal Klear (all night long)
ELLLLL + Tommy Holohan + Jake Nolan
Wah Wah Club
Richard Fearless (Death In Vegas)
Chelsea Drug Store
Special Guest

Sunday 29th Oct.:

Button Factory
Special Guests
Adam Beyer + Jack Dunne
Peggy Gou + DJ Deece
The Grand Social
Jeremy Underground & Hubie Davison
Wah Wah Club
Or:la + Jack Thompson
Chelsea Drug Store
Tara Williams
Bingo Loco

Dublin local heroes Le Boom

With the festival kicking off at 4pm this day next week there are still a very limited number of tickets remaining with all of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 weekend tickets now sold out, to check full availability and book yourself a ticket head over to the Metropolis website here

The festival organisers have also revealed that there will be more exciting announcements to be made during the course of the week so keep an eye on their Facebook and Twitter for updates.

Check out our Guide to Metropolis 2017 - Part One here

Premiere: John Hynes - I'm Gonna Try

JOHN HYNES - I'm Gonna Try

John Hynes - I'm Gonna Try

Info: REMY is very proud to premiere the second single from Kildare singer-songwriter John Hynes, 'I'm Gonna Try', which officially launches on the 17th of November, followed by a live show on the 1st of December in The Workman's Club, Dublin. Once again Hynes perfectly captures the era when pop music was transforming from purely youthful innocence into more thoughtful themes and lyricism. The stage that was set by the likes of Del Shannon and Buddy Holly developed into something deeper by the time Roy Orbison was hitting his peak with his own brand of baroque pop in the mid-60's.

At a time when it appears that the depth in pop song-writing is once again in reverse, solace can be found in the releases by Hynes to date, with 'I'm Gonna Try' being a brutally honest introspective; "I still feel like a coward when I talk my way out of a fight, I get tired of acting, the strong silent type I won’t survive any wars, I dreamt I’d be a hero, who’d risk it all for a cause". In addition there is much pleasure to be drawn from the pace and comforting sound of the music which tempers the emotion most well and allows Hynes to deliver his rousing optimistic finale.

Inspired by his own journey from accountant to artist and the role of men in the modern world, 'I'm Gonna Try' is a slice of timeless pop from the Kildare singer-songwriter.

Growing up, John idealised James Bond, cowboys and footballers. 'I'm Gonna Try' comes from questioning whether men can still embody the traditional roles as well as learning to be more emotionally expressive. It's a song about change, maturity and the acceptance of one’s own limitations.

Spending his formative years working in his father's hardware shop in Leixlip, John studied finance and worked in 'good pensionable' jobs for a number of years. During this time his musical aspirations were hidden from the world, but he kept writing songs and learning his craft. 

Having attended therapy and gaining new insight and confidence in himself, John released his debut single 'Caroline, I’m Yours' to great acclaim earlier this year. 

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Thursday, 19 October 2017

EP: Leila Jane - Decision Maker

Leila Jane - Decision Maker

Info: Leila Jane grew up in both London and Donegal and began writing songs at age 15, after listening to the full recordings of the 1930’s blues player Robert Johnson. Following an appearance at the Cambridge folk festival in 2013, Leila Jane was described as "Somewhere between Janis Joplin and Sandy Denny’". Since then Leila has been gigging widely and travelling to the USA to pick up inspiration for her songs. She embraces the magic of the Delta Blues, combined with the sweet-sounding tones of 50’s rock’n’roll and country music with a modern twist. Her raw and heartfelt lyrics display a deep emotional intelligence that portrays an old soul despite her youthful years.

After coming to the attention of Imelda May in 2015, Leila received the Imelda May scholarship to study songwriting at BIMM Dublin, where she would go on to  recruit her band, Leila Jane & The Healers. 

It's a haunting opening to Leila Jane's Decision Maker with 'Look Away From Our Creation' as she instantly delves deep into her musical influences, reproducing them with a natural ability that is impressive to say the least. A controlled and trembling vocal that sounds like it could reach any height required, accompanied by an almost surf-rock musical backdrop, plonks you right back to those 1950's roots that inspire her.

'Woman Blues' flips over to the country blues plain, this reminds me so much of when Led Zeppelin went full country and blues rock on Physical Graffiti with tracks like 'Black Country Woman' and 'Boogie With Stu'. The guitar is immaculate and at the 2:14 point I'm in heaven, this is 100% connecting to my favourite era of music, it's honky tonk blues magic.

'Except Henry' is simply stunning, it's hard to fathom that here we have just Leila Jane's vocal with piano and some very distant but essential strings, it is fully wholesome sound-wise, and again makes you wonder is there a vocal style or musical era that's out of her reach. The EP's title-track is perhaps the most contemporary in terms of direction, a little bit First Aid Kit and a little bit Angel Olsen, without immediately sounding like either, and at this point I'm trying to think of an Irish vocalist currently operating whose delivery I enjoy more.

We're cast way back to an auditorium or old world club with 'I Got Feeling', brimming with soul and assured playfulness bringing a good ole' skiffle jam to mind with a bit of Dusty Springfield theatrics thrown in for good measure. Decision Maker closes with 'Lonely The Day', we've been treated to plenty of lively moments to this point and it is a nice manner in which to finish, allowing Leila Jane's singing to softly wander through our ears while we reflect on the whirlwind tour she's brought us on.

I really can't praise this EP enough, the varying moods, the musicianship, production and of course Leila Jane's song-writing and vocals, as well as how it resonates with my own personal tastes all work perfectly in conjunction together. She is without doubt an artist we need to celebrate and her third EP Decision Maker is very easily one of the best Irish EP's of 2017, I hope an awful lot of people hear it.

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