Monday, 22 January 2018

Irish Playlist #018: Paddy Hanna, Accidents In The Workplace, VLLNS, Sal Dulu & More

A.Smyth - Into The Darkness

Info: It's great to be back in the saddle after the Christmas / New Year break and hearing more wonderful Irish music being made without delay as we get going in 2018, although one or two of these singles were from the tail-end of last year. Without further ado I'm delighted to share REMY's first Top 10 Irish Playlist of 2018, listen on...

Starting with Dundalk funkadelic troupe Accidents In The Workplace and their latest single 'Wake Up' which dropped mid-December, it's an outrageously uplifting tubular voyage through a Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, the intro to Rod Stewart's 'If You Really Want Me', and a brass tacks disco-funk medley. Delicious across it's entire 4:41.

The mighty Paddy Hanna released latest single 'Tolouse The Kisser' last week, and it's firmly my favourite of his most recent batch of tracks. Hanna goes all out on the lively baroque-pop method he is so adept at delivering, this is the track that Roy Orbison ascended to the heavens with in the background to a chorus of angels directed by Wes Anderson (use your imagination here!), Hanna's song-writing is just getting better and better.

This Fresh Hell is the moniker of Dublin based musician, composer and producer Des Garvey and 'Intact' is his debut single under the alias. This Fresh Hell operates as the vehicle for Des' solo work, with a number of collaborators appearing throughout. 'Intact' is the first track to be released from a WIP album which is due to drop in 2018. This is a track and project which excites me from This Fresh Hell, 'Intact' is an intoxicating mixture of far-out thick warbled synths and beats along with a retro-sounding vocal from Niamh McGoldrick, the album will be of great interest around these parts upon release.

VLLNS - The Devil and the Deep Sea
VLLNS - Photo: Sam McCabe

Dublin alternative and blues-rock trio VLLNS shared debut single 'The Devil & The Deep Sea' on New Years Day, and it grows very quickly with each listen. Somehow managing to sound both loose and tight in delivering their sound, the chorus is made ear-catching with its quick-fire bass-lines and thudding percussion, and the final third sees some bang on blues riffs to top it all off.

Dublin producer and ambient electronic act Sal Dulu's single 'Duluoz Dream' was in my Top 10 Irish single releases for 2017, and new single 'Tyko' shows that there is plenty more great chilled-out sounds to come from him in 2018. A lot of acts strive to reach that ultimate blissed ambience in their downtempo music, but Sal Dulu has it in the bag, I would love to see some collaborations with this guy in the near future.

A. Smyth is the moniker of ex-VANN Music man Aaron Smyth who is now striking out on his own. In his quieter vocal moments on 'Into The Darkness' there's a 90's pop-rock sound, and on the pre-chorus it's full modern indie-rock. What makes this single stand out from its peers is the deft dip between pop-rock and darker soundscapes.

I'm loving the debut from the delightfully and curiously named Arms That Fit Like Legs and their single 'You Will Go On My First Whistle'. Their electronic modus operandi here flits between the bubble-gum pop of Peter, Bjorn & John and a more pensive 80's synth OST style. I'm beyond disgracefully late in posting the latest single from Irish singer-songwriter Martha Ffion, who is currently based in Glasgow. Her track 'We Make Do' is taken from her forthcoming album Sunday Best which is due out early this year. Ffion's style is ponderous and engaging, plonking piano and inter-twining acoustic guitar with delicate yet bubbly percussion provide a breezy backdrop to her truly unique voice.

Martha Ffion - We Make Do
Martha Ffion - Photo: Laura Meek

Earlier this month Dublin-based garage and hard-rock trio Stone Sea released their debut EP Vaporizer, and I'm digging it, in particular track 'Swamp', the introductory drumming wouldn't be amiss on the Pixies Doolittle (think 'La La Love You'). The band then get stuck into some heavy riffs and sweeping progressions that carry you quickly until they reach the half-way point which sees them reduce tempo momentarily. I'm liking the spread of influences across the 6 and a half minutes, Metallica and Soundgarden perhaps, and at 5:50 the solo is peachy.

It took me a few listens to fully enjoy Longford four-piece Painted Skies single 'Taking On Water', but every time I listened to it I felt an enduring likeability, and also great promise. They have struck a fine balance between riding the indie-pop train and also scattering enough distinctive musical elements throughout to give that little bit of something extra. You can tell there's a great yearning to express many thoughts and ideas through their music, and that will come with time, but there's more than enough here to suggest they will be fully capable of achieving it. 

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