Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Irish Playlist #023: EHCO, Susie Blue, Saoirse, Frankenstein Bolts & more

EHCO - éiclips
Artwork: Rosie Barrett

Info: Wilkommen mein kleines Patricks und Patricias to the latest independent Irish playlist here on REMY ahead of a very special weekend for us all! 

The first track I have comes from Dublin electronic act EHCO, it's their third single now and sees their live show reflected more fully in their recorded music with 'éiclips'. Anyone who has seen them live thus far will know that as their set progresses it goes from full frontal impact at the beginning to an inescapable hypno-state by the end. On a personal note 'éiclips' captures both ends perfectly and a bar has already been set for other local electronic acts to ponder on and aspire to. Vocalist Jessy Lord hammers home the homage to 90's trance music like she invented it too. Bazinga.

Bicurious released their debut EP I'm So Confused the other day and play a headline show in Whelan's this Thursday. In anticipation of said show I've been listening to their previous releases with singles 'T.O.I' and 'Sugar Beats' in particular on loop the last month. For this playlist I've gone for 'Father' from the EP which I'm really enjoying, the duo pull no punches thematically, and rightly so, enough is enough. I love the duality of the lead guitar and drums, how both can whimper and snarl at different points of the track, but ultimately Bicurious lay their ambient-rock on thick and that's the way I like it best.

I'm always grateful, as are my ears, when Irish acts foray into genres we're not normally accustomed to. Dublin soul-pop act Saoirse is a case in point on debut single 'Strong', with a voice that pings Martha Reeves or a young Aretha (this feeling is accentuated by the keys and bass), she blasts her way through its 3-plus minutes, and if you aren't feeling happy by the end of this you might be already dead.

Susie Blue - Didn't Mean To Care

Apart from endless shit jokes about a shortage of bread, the worst thing to happen during the recent storm for me was the cancellation of Derry artist Susie Blue's performance at Drop Dead Twice on Francis Street, I was really looking forward to it, thankfully it's been rescheduled for the 28th of April for her Dublin album launch. There's an understated tenderness to her delivery, which zips from low to boisterous without warning, listening to new single 'Didn't Mean To Care' a myriad of 80's movie scenes flicker in succession until they blur, there's something very special brewing here.

We stay in Derry via Donegal courtesy of indie-punk act Paper/Boy and their debut single 'Guerilla Therapy'. There are a number of things that appeal to me here, notwithstanding my mother was born in one county and grew up in the other. First off I like that it sounds musically like the band aren't even having to try that hard, this comes across as very natural and effortless. Secondly, guitar-wise, there are zero frills, it is how it must have sounded the very first time, this gives a rare honesty and integrity. Essentially the most appealing thing about Paper/Boy's debut is that I can immediately relate, this is no pissing about modern punk-rock, and there's a little hint of Ash's Trailer EP when they started off. These guys just need to keep doing what they're doing and forget the (outside) noise.

Paper/Boy - Photo: Betsy Bailie

One of the most searing indie-punk bands to drop on the Dublin scene over the last few months are Bullet Girl, after releasing the murderous debut single 'Post Atomic Youth' towards the end of last year the quartet take short n' snappy punk to the extremes with a one-minute and 12 seconds follow-up in 'Weh!'. Keep the cotton wool on hand cos your ears will bleed. At times matching the frenetic pace and scorched earth policy of THUMPER, Bullet Girl have lost it in the best way on this track, letting go so we can too.

Frankenstein Bolts - Languages (I Know)

Frankenstein Bolts' Aglow & Spark album from 2017, which received plaudits across the board, took me a few listens to fully appreciate, for once my impatience got the better of me, something I always complain to others about when it comes to an album. But aw jeez, latest single 'Languages (I Know)', when I hear it again now, ticks so many boxes. It's the Simon & Garfunkel, to the Mercury Rev, to the who knows what, it's gorgeous, a lullaby for lost souls from the Wexford duo.

In December last year I reviewed and loved Belfast lo-fi buzzers Buí's debut album Eugene, today they released a single off the LP 'When The Fun Stops', which I rather non-abstractly observed; "presents a charmingly lopsided slice of electro-pop, the upbeat energy carefully pasting over more serious lyrical themes." I definitely should have included that it is a good dose of fun in that musing. They have also released the track as Gaeilge inniu, agus tá sé le fáil anseo thíos, beo are FuaimScamall. 

The wonderfully exuberant Dublin / London band Five Grand Stereo released the latest single from their latest album Sex and Money, 'Anyone Can Be a Star'. It's an interesting twist for me, I grew up with Rubber Soul, The Divine Comedy and Britpop exuberance in my late teens, and it was only when I was older that I truly discovered peak creative The Beatles (Let It Be, White Album, the 2nd half of McCartney I) and 70's Bowie. How about this, bringing all of the best of those influences to the fore with a joyous aplomb that sound their own, loving it and then some.

An act that always manages to walk the tightrope of yearning and placid song-writing is Mayo's Joe Monaghan, aka Train Room, his latest single 'The Lives of Others' throws a belly full of blues guitar at earnest song-writing. It's simple compared to his other singles, but that tinny vocal effect, excuse the pun, resonates, as always, on this sweet number.

To listen to REMY's previous Irish Playlist, #022, go here! https://thebestofmusicandfilm.blogspot.ie/2018/03/irish-playlist-ailbhe-reddy-orwells-84-old-hannah-TADGH.html

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