Saturday, 11 November 2017

Remy's Top 10 Irish: Anna Mitchell, Not Monsters, St. Bishop, LNT, Able Archer & more

St.Bishop - Porcelain

Info:  In our latest round-up of the best Irish tracks to be released over the last fortnight, we cheat a little once again and (kind of) go to 11 as we include the bi-lingual version of Sligo's ambient dream-pop act Nocturnes' gorgeous new single 'Humans' / 'Duine de Chruach'. As usual we will be throwing in a few great videos which have accompanied some of the singles on the playlist including Anna Mitchell's 'All These Things', Able Archer's 'Driving With The Lights Out' and the mesmeric visualisations of LNT's 'In Circles' directed by the hugely talented Olga Kuzmenko.

'All These Things' is the second single to be taken from Anna Mitchell's forthcoming self titled second album which is set for its Irish release in January 2018. Mitchell's vocal is immediately striking as it towers over the bluesy musical backdrop, delivering the fraught emotion of its theme of paralysing self-doubt with aplomb. It's an exciting glimpse into the depth we can expect from her sophomore LP with accompanying video being directed by the artist herself alongside videographer Robert Guiton.

Anna Mitchell - All These Things

Monaghan and currently Dublin-based alternative Rn'B solo act St.Bishop released his debut single 'Porcelain' just two weeks ago, it is taken from his forthcoming EP which is expected in early 2018. A first appearance at Electric Picnic and two headline Dublin shows have set the scene for his first Irish Tour to accompany the extended play release. As far as debuts go, St.Bishop has nailed it, it's a highly impressive introduction to Irish music fans (and should be for those further afield). Addressing the fragility of feeling following finally coming out to those close to him, the sense of both relief and empowerment are palpable and he injects this directly into his music most naturally.

"Cleo's got her shoulder, nestled in the small of my back, she's giggling and giddy for the snap, graceful in the moment right before the final collapse, her nailprints crescent in my wrist, she swears i'm overreacting", a wonderfully descriptive opening to the latest single 'Cleo' by Dublin's Not Monsters. Capturing the dual bemusement and fear of an over-zealous muse, Not Monsters' penchant for character exploration and turning our every day behaviour into something darkly sinister wins out again. "We pray for The Liffey to swallow the city" is belted out with hard-rocking anguish from those soft opening lines, turning 'Cleo' into our favourite single of theirs to date.

LNT - In Circles

Indie-rock five-piece LNT have just released their first single 'In Circles' which will be taken from their debut album due for release early next year. An almost operatic opening, recalling Amnesiac-era Radiohead the track builds and builds dramatically before reaching a crunching distorted middle and closing finale. The blend of indie and dark nu-metal mood-swings you'd associate with Korn or Linkin Park captured beautifully in the accompanying video to the track.

There are many things we are loving about the new single from Pearse McGloughlin, aka Nocturnes, starting with the gorgeous soundscapes on new single 'Humans', his high vocal pitch conducting lush wisps of electronic synths and beats through the air like a multi-coloured potion of neon cloud that fills up all of the space around our ears. Releasing the track simultaneously as Gaeilge, we have included the Irish version here too, 'Duine de Chruach', which translates directly to human of steel. As a lapsed Irish-speaker myself I can fully appreciate the difficulty in retaining the lyrical flow and rhythm from English to Irish, the result of the sheer difference between both tongues, kudos to Nocturnes to making it sound easy, it's not!

Able Archer - Driving With The Lights Out

After an almost 12 month hiatus, Dublin alternative rock band Able Archer return with what struck me straight away as a most welcome new string to their bow on latest single 'Driving With The Lights Out' (above video). It spreads its musical and vocal spectrum as far back as Suede and Pulp, all the way up to The National, but has a discerning Irish rock characteristic. It's a dynamic and impassioned comeback and were looking forward to hearing what other surprises they've been working on over the past year. They play The Underground on Saturday the 18th of November which will be a good opportunity to get said sneak peek.

Dublin alt-pop singer-songwriter Beany released her debut single 'Weathervane' only yesterday. Real name Caitriona Fingleton, she traverses many genres on the new track, from popular folk, to soul and a jazz-influenced vocal. 'Weathervane' is a dreamy and delightful first glimpse at Beany's music, from smooth vocal tones to an old school jazz-hall affection, you feel like she could go anywhere and everywhere with future releases.

Long-term blog favourites Oh Joy released their latest single, 'So Swell' on the 1st of November with a headline show in Whelan's. After a pensive and atmospherically withdrawn beginning, the three-piece thrash down almost bang on the one-minute mark, melting distortion and high-pitched vox are like an uncontrolled explosion, before reverting back to the initial calm. It's great to have Oh Joy back in the saddle with new material and more to come soon.

Belfast singer-songwriter Owen Denvir's new single 'Jackhammer' was released last weekend alongside bonus track 'Green Light'. There's a discerning honesty to the delivery of his latest track, standing above your standard singer-songwriter ballad by shifting from the stripped-down bare verses to subtle orchestral movements on the chorus. Add to this a mixed feeling of genuine emotion and fetching hooks and it is easy to see why Denvir's music has been quickly gaining popularity.

We finish off with the newest single from Dublin indie-pop troupe Penrose and their track 'Better Man', swooping from late-60's Beatles to Brit-pop era indie sounds, the track is an introspective from lead-singer Darragh McGrane on the new phase that fatherhood brings to the fore. As always, Penrose meld catchy pop choruses with rhythmically pleasing rock verses both of which have seen them garner a loyal fan-base on the Dublin scene over the past two years.

For our previous independent Irish playlist, head along here to listen to Issue #14 here

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