Sunday, 3 December 2017

Remy's Top 10 Irish: Maria Kelly, HamsandwicH, Silverbacks, Safari, Wastefellow & more

Info: And so another year passes here on REMY, on the Irish playlists celebrating the best new music releases we have reviewed 170 singles over the course of 2017, loved them all for their own unique reasons, and now bring you our final Top 10, until next year!

We begin with an artist whose star continues to glimmer and sparkle with the same humility and brilliance that her music reflects. Maria Kelly's latest single 'Hollow' encapsulates what you take from her live performance, an almost heart-breaking sincerity, it's possibly one of her barest tracks to date and that is something which I feel finally brings the intimacy of her live show to recording, it, like Kelly's music in general, is simply wonderful.

A true groover that we are delighted to have come across is the new single from Cork electro-pop trio Happyalone., 'colours'. Sick bass, sick beat, and a mellow ambient vibe lifts all of the weight from your shoulders. I know it reminds me of something, but I'm struggling to put my finger on it, who cares though, it's bloody great.

HamsandwicH released their latest single 'Bodies' a few weeks ago, it's a lovely contemporary twist on a mixture of 80's pop-rock, taking on board everything from Talking Heads harmonies to joy-inducing Prince funk with a dash of George Michael, giving an overall euphoric gospel 'hands in the air like you just don't care' energy.


Unable to release unlikeable music, Dublin lo-fi indie troupe Silverbacks are back with their latest single 'Just For A Better View', that looping guitar riff and vocals getting quite Lou Reed on our ass. Silverbacks' sound continues to move toward an ever rising better plain, here they have delivered a punchy garage single with a lot more noise than we're accustomed to, and it works a treat.

Limerick's Rory Hall, aka Proper Micro NV releases the final single from his excellent debut EP, Colours, 'Handwriting', and it is absolutely gorgeous and moving in every way. The piano reminds me of Keith Jarrett in slow motion, the air surrounding it is subtly 80's retro, and it never takes off, and you don't want it to either, you just want to stay in the moment that Hall has created and never leave.

Dublin-based trio The Elephant Room released their debut album Body in 2014, followed by the EP Blotch last summer. Now they share new single 'Naive Green' and we dig it a lot, and their sound in general. It's hazy to say the least, vocals, watery electric guitar effects and breezy percussion all combine to scatter the dark winter and put a bit of summer in your brain. Although they've been releasing music for some time, they are certainly ones to catch live in 2018.

Safari - Excuses
Photo: Shannon Cooney

Perhaps Ireland's most prolifically active social media band, currently based in Dublin, via Cavan, the U.K. and Poland, Safari released their debut single 'Excuses' this week. I had the unexpected pleasure of being exposed to their primal surf-rock earlier this year upstairs in Whelan's as they supported Galway's D-Day back in March. Subsequently the boys dropped into The Sound Feed studio for a chat and performance of 'Excuses'. They are currently making mid-60's rock á la Electric Prunes, The Faces, The Beatles and Stones cool again, was it ever not cool? Some people think so, but Safari are here to remind them that they are wrong.

Wastefellow - Enfold You

Dublin's Wastefellow is up next with new single 'Enfold You' which is accompanied by a visually impressive video courtesy of Flann Manning. A dark and disorientating wander around the subconscious presents itself on the dub-house track, it's a little bit Nicolas Jaar and a little bit like a downtempo version of Bonobo, all with thick early 90's house bass-line plodding Elephant-like in tandem with the beats.

Taken from their Adios Amigo EP, the title-track of which is an absolute joy to behold and one of the best Irish singles released this year, KILNAMANA shared latest single 'Let's Go Dancing' last week. In your imagination it conjures placid images of urban nightlife, as the title would suggest, travelling without moving, the soft muted beat and restrained vocal throwing night lights against a wall. It's certainly more understated than the driving force behind 'Adios Amigo', but no less resonant whatsoever.

Dublin's EDEN released single 'gold' a few weeks ago, and there's another one on the way shortly. Taken from his debut LP Vertigo which is due for release in January, at the tracks opening I was torn between a Jack Johnson (who I don't necessarily like) and Tracy Chapman (who I love) cross-roads. 'gold' has already exceeded 2.5m streams on Spotify, his pop and rn'b style resonating once again well beyond Ireland. It's certainly a pop sound I can abide by, dipping its toes in minimalistic electro twirls and a shuddering effect, it's hard to resist.

For our previous independent Irish playlist, head along here to listen to Issue #16 here

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