Saturday, 24 February 2018

Irish Playlist #021: Deaf Joe, Search Party Animal, Luke Clerkin, Stoat & more

Deaf Joe - Where's Your Loving Gone
Deaf Joe - Photo: Paul Hallahan

Info: On the latest Irish independent playlist here at REMY we have some very brand new acts such as Dublin's Classic Yellow who have just released their debut double A-Side 'His Master's Voice / Cheese From Wisconsin'. Also Waterford solo act Deaf Joe who has been releasing music since 2009, currently based in Edinburgh whose third album Stuck came out last month. Receiving a top review in Hot Press, his combined streams of releases to date have reached over half a million plays. We also have a strong singer-songwriter contingent courtesy of Luke Clerkin, Niall Cash and Katie Gallagher.

I am really enjoying the aforementioned album Stuck by Deaf Joe and track 'Where's Your Loving Gone' in particular. Soft electronic tones drift like a morning mist around his spacial vocal, the beat is decidedly hypnotic and overall there's a majorly chilled out and restful feel to the song which benefits from not deviating too far from its chosen path.

Young Dublin bucks Search Party Animal released their latest single 'Get Hitched' last week. It has a Californian indietronica slant, with vocoder in full swing from the get-go. Catchy, upbeat and a dash of moodiness it ticks a lot of the right boxes and has enough of a pop element to dip its toe in earworm territory with ease.

An instantly likeable style and sound is served up on the debut double-A single from Classic Yellow, here we feature 'Cheese From Wisconsin', but really enjoyed 'His Master's Voice' just as much, so do check both out as they are quite different. What appealed to me personally most was that I was hearing two of my favourite artists in their sound here, a slight hint of the crooning Richard Hawley, and a strong dose of mercurial New York post-punk revival wizards The Walkmen. These chaps are quite an exciting prospect methinks.

RUNAH - Bind Me To You

Not a new track, but newly discovered thanks to my boy Rohan Healy. RUNAH is the performance name of Tara May, and 'Bind Me To You' is her debut single from March last year. Of Irish heritage, RUNAH grew up in Manchester and has recently moved to Dublin and is currently working on a debut EP. 'Do you like magic?' she posits on her Facebook page, yes, yes I do, and here we have some in spades. The Celt and pagan DNA shines through the entire track and experience, a traditional vocal style mixed with dark art pop and a humming shoegaze undercurrent.

Meath lo-fi solo act Father! released his debut self-titled EP on Christmas Day, and it's rough around the ages in all the best ways, my favourite track of the four is 'Antigone'. Beat-wise there's a bit of a The Shins thang going on, and Sean Brunswick makes his vocals very withdrawn from the music which is an interesting approach, distant for the most part with the looping guitar riff and percussion strongly to the fore. I'm interested to see what his LP which is due for release in the summer throws up based on this introduction.

Dublin-based folk-rock n' indie-pop trio Stoat released their latest album Try Not To Think About It a few weeks ago and latest single 'Dog King' is a rambunctious affair. High energy, tempo, and a spoken-word style of delivery, it's a manic version of traditional Irish folk with a spritely rock injection รก la The Dubliners meets Horslips or somewhere bouncing in between. 

Luke Clerkin - Will I Fly
Photo: Danni Frotography

Tallaght-native Luke Clerkin has released his first single in roughly a year since debut EP Ink Written Messages. During that hiatus Clerkin appears to have reassessed what he wants from his song-writing, and where he wants to go, and there's been a notable shift. 'Will I Fly?' has more production, fills the spaces of previous releases with sound, and most importantly feels like he's finally entering his creative house with one foot through the door. It's unabashed pop-folk from the Dubliner and the hard work and dedication to his craft is starting to reap the rewards that he deserves.

Dublin's VINCI are an interesting beast, they hover undoubtedly in the hemisphere of 100% guitar-pop, but three singles in, 'Lions' (2016), 'Liars' (2017) and now 'We Are Ghosts', they are showing range where it normally doesn't exist. They're the type of band that can win over cynical music fans, I used to be one a long time ago but thankfully dropped the shackles so I could enjoy well-written pop music without ignorant hindrance. This, for me, is their third solid single on the bounce, and they're not sticking to any formula apart from consistency.

Wexford singer-songwriter and current BIMM student Niall Cash released his latest single 'Tired' last week, a livelier affair than previous release, the tender 'Fire' which we thoroughly enjoyed. Here we have a developing alternative-pop strain, and Cash is a songwriter whose evolution you can envision in a few years time, but will probably surprise you and come up with something entirely different. Right now though the passion is real and palpable.

We close with a singer-songwriter I've heard many plaudits of over the last 12 months, and was curious to hear recorded, Katie Gallagher's 'Man On A Mission' was released just yesterday and it's quite an ambitious mixture. Gallagher swoops relentlessly across the tracks almost 4 minutes, from film score to jazz club moods via piano, her warm, assertive yet soothing voice and a calypso-country combo, there's a lot happening, and it leaves a positive mark.

To listen to REMY's previous Irish Playlist, #020, go here!