Sunday, 4 March 2018

Irish Playlist #022: Ailbhe Reddy, Orwells 84, Old Hannah, TADGH and more

Ailbhe Reddy - 'Nothing to Doubt'

Info: We open our latest Irish independent playlist here on REMY with the wonderful new single 'Nothing to Doubt' from Ailbhe Reddy. With flickering electronic lights at the beginning and a morose guitar riff, Reddy casts a forlorn shadow of introspective musings and regret, in her own words; "I wrote 'Nothing to Doubt' about a relationship; about all the meaningful looks & kind gestures, paired with the missed connections and the things left unresolved. When I think back on it, I’m always so frustrated by the thought of never saying what I wanted to, and always knowing that I won’t get the chance". One of Reddy's greatest strengths has always been her ability to clasp you with her voice, sincerity and emotion dispatched in a gripping manner at all times making her stories believable.

Dundalk's Orwells '84 continue their voyage back in time with second single 'Broken Glass', where debut 'Eye for an Eye' drew on ska and psychedelia, here we have a more mid to late 60's rock sound, with the psych still hanging around. Bopping around in the middle of a The Seeds, Sonics and Monks venn diagram, Orwells '84 let the tremolo wobble with a care-free abandon, and at the 2:15 moment you are taken right back to a golden era, delicious stuff.

Old Hannah - Follow

Dublin / Sligo four-piece Old Hannah release the latest single 'Follow' from forthcoming album Borealis which is due out on 15th March with a launch in The Grand Social, Dublin. The single is refreshing and highly enjoyable, the mood and sound very much echoing post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac, in particular on the harmonies. There's a glowing warmth to the whole track, with it's optimistic message carried effortlessly by the rhythm, vocal performance of lead singer Lucie Crichlow and some damn fine banjo playing via Leo Morris.

I'm a big fan of BIMM psych-pop quartet JOOCE, their first single 'Nostalgia / Trip' was an eye-watering open salvo, and now 'Flat Circle' compounds that feeling. These guys seem to just do gratifying ear-honey on demand, and you have to love lead singer Edward O'Mahony's soul-filled vocal, the bubblegum guitar jams and general funky aesthetic of their sound, the kind of track that if you heard it on the radio you'd tell the person next to you to shut up so you could find out who it was. Candy.

Speaking of funk, Dublin pop and soul maestro TADGH returns with another complete doozy in the form of latest single 'Who Do You Think You Are?', a tiny side-step from 70's disco on previous releases to 80's funk-pop, it's more Prince than Doobie with a dash of The King of Pop. What I always enjoy with TADGH's sound is that he doesn't hold back and machine-guns the pop bliss out of his rainbow gun like his life depended on it.

Philly Jnr.

Brand new music producer and electronic act from Dublin Philly Jnr. who some may remember from electronic group Cove, shared the first track from his forthcoming debut EP last week, 'Heart So Wide'. I instantly fell in love with this track, 5 seconds in and I was like; 'Aw yeah', it's a perfect blend of modern pop-vocals and buzzing synth-heavy soundscapes. The groove is strong, very strong, and at times I felt there was a French electro sound á la Air or Daft Punk, but whatever, this is a quality debut from the classically trained producer.

Dublin alt-rock trio VLLNS released their 2nd single of 2018 on Friday, 'Talons', retaining the grit of last single 'The Devil & The Deep Sea' whilst at the same time taking a more laidback approach to their delivery. A grinding and durty blues rock riff snarls constantly throughout, sounding like a studio recording of Black Rebel Motorcycle Club back at their early beginnings, 'Talons' casts its smokey eyes at you in a flirty manner and you're almost waiting for a bombastic explosion to arrive, it doesn't, but this has you wanting more.

TOUCAN - We Fell For Miles

Another debut single comes courtesy of funk-pop duo TOUCAN, comprised of singer-songwriter Conor Clancy and Martin Atkinson Borrull, they shared 'We Fell For Miles' (above video) ahead of the release of their first EP on the 16th of March. With soulful rn'b vox and an appropriately exotic brass arrangement the track is brimming with good time feels and old school funk, think a Michael Kiwanuka and Stevie Wonder duet with Alabama Shakes providing the backing band and you'll start to get the picture. 

A.Smyth released his second single 'Be There' this week, and it couldn't contrast more than debut 'Into The Darkness'. Where the previous single had a classic pop-rock edge, 'Be There' dives more into the indie-folk pool and I'm preferring this style a lot personally. If had to point in any direction it might be Sufjan Stevens, although we probably won't need a bag of uppers to get through this. The track builds very nicely towards the lead guitar solo at 3:35 and it seems as though Smyth is starting to fully unfold those wings already.

Ferals - Brendan Rodgers
Belfast's Ferals

Our final track on the playlist arrives from Belfast four-piece Ferals whose debut single 'Brendan Rodgers' premiered on The Thin Air on Friday. Based around their anger towards football managers, I can relate, Señor Rodgers brought me both joy and intense pain and frustration during his time managing my beloved Liverpool. Ferals' sound is truly built around the Northern Irish rock momentum we've witnessed over the past few years from the likes of Abandcalledboy, Junk Drawer and WASPS. Everything here suggests that they will be a worthy addition to this movement, they've got the power-house rock sound down and it will be exciting to hear what's coming next.