Tuesday, 31 July 2018

Video: Manic Street Preachers - People Give In

Manic Street Preachers - People Give In

Manic Street Preachers - People Give In

Info: Manic Street Preachers round off the summer and one of their busiest years to date with a new single and some very special shows.  ‘People Give In’ is the opening track of their latest album 'Resistance Is Futile' and is accompanied by a video showing some of the highlights of their touring over 2018. The band also have been announced to play the Radio 2 'Live in Hyde Park' show in London on 9th September and the Absolute Radio 10th Anniversary Show at Shepherds Bush Empire on 25th September.

Since the release of their first single ('International Blue') from their 13th album at the end of 2017 the band have been relentlessly playing and promoting the album. They played their own headlining arena tour in April and May, performed in Europe with Guns ‘N’ Roses, were chosen my The Cure's Robert Smith to play the Meltdown Festival in London’s Southbank, appeared at the Isle of Wight Festival amongst many other shows. The singles from the album have dominated the airwaves with all being a-listed across the board including Radio Two, 6Music, Absolute, Radio X and Virgin and they’ve performed on the likes of Later With Jools Holland and The One Show.  The band adorned the cover of Q Magazine and the album received glowing reviews all over the press. 

‘Resistance Is Futile’ was received as a classic Manics album and covered topics as diverse as Dylan and Caitlin Thomas, the Hillsborough disaster, David Bowie and the artist Yves Klein and reached No. 2 in the UK charts on release.

Of 'People Give In' Nicky Wire described it as: "One of the most open lyrics I've ever written. I wouldn't exactly call it a rallying cry, it's more about the idea that at least 80% of life is just really mundane so why don't we all just lower our expectations and try to get to the other side as painlessly as possible. We're all looking for universal panaceas all the time – if we expected a little less, we’d probably be happier The chorus is "there is no theory of everything/no immaculate conception, no crime to forgive”. If you can't do any good, do no harm - that's my fucking motto!"


17 August - RIZE FESTIVAL, Hyland Park, Chelmsford
18 August - BEAUTIFUL DAYS, Escot Park, Devon (headline)
 9 September - RADIO 2 ‘LIVE IN HYDE PARK, Hyde Park, London
25 September - ABSOLUTE 10TH ANNIVERSARY, Shepherds Bush Empire, London


Monday, 30 July 2018

Single: A Ritual Sea - Seasons (Like You)

A Ritual Sea - Seasons (Like You)
Photo Credit: Loreana Rushe

A Ritual Sea - Seasons (Like You)

Info: A Ritual Sea formed in 2016 over a love of film, dream pop, shoegaze and all things esoteric. The four-piece from Dublin and Paris, released their debut single 'Serpentine' in late 2016, going on to support the likes of Manchester psych-folk artist, Jane Weaver and Berlin drone merchants, The Underground Youth, among others in 2017.

Their new single 'Seasons (Like You)' is the second track from their forthcoming debut album, due for release in early 2019. It explores the themes of fear, paranoia and falling in love, while the self-made video invokes a dream-like elemental state of colour and confusion.

One of the best things about listening to a lot of Irish music throughout each year is knowing (especially these days) that you are guaranteed on more than one occasion to fall in love with great ease. A Ritual Sea's debut single 'Serpentine' was a complete show-stopper, and newest track 'Seasons (Like You)' has exactly the same instantly arresting quality. 

Whilst Irish shoegaze and dream-pop are both relatively new in the grand scheme of things compared to other genres, their popularity are without question. It is still however, a territory with plenty of room for more acts, but it's the ones that are leading the way which give fan of these genres great hope locally.

'Seasons (Like You)', when taken in conjunction with their debut, firmly puts A Ritual Sea to the forefront. I can tell that a lot of work went into getting the new single to the place it is now, this was no throwaway hurried release, so much thought has gone into every little element. The song opens unapologetically apologetic, you're asked to listen, but it matters not if you choose otherwise.

The balance between prominence of guitar, seemingly taking its cue from the vocalist as to when it is allowed enter, the bass is so light-touch, and for a song of this ambience that's exactly as it should be, complimentary. Add to all of these strands a percussion that sounds like it is not conscious of what is going on around it it becomes hypnotic, and we have ourselves a very, very important Irish single release for 2018 in our midst. There's an album due in 2019, and I don't know how I'd cope with that amount of splendour, but I'm very happy to go with it.

The band will launch their new single on Thurs 9th of August, in Drop Dead Twice on Frances Street, Dublin 8 – FREE admission, alongside the fantastic Hostess (ex CAP PAS PCAP) and Father! More info here.

Like / Listen & Follow:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARitualSea/

Bandcamp: https://aritualsea.bandcamp.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ARitualSea

Irish Playlist #033: TabloidTv, King Kong Company, Deep Sky Objects, 1,000 Beasts and more

King Kong Company - My Name Is Now

Info: It's been a couple of weeks since the last Irish independent playlist here on REMY, and as a result, we've squeezed in an extra few new singles on this occasion! We also have new music videos from King Kong Company for their single 'My Name Is Now', 1000 Beasts 'Every Line & Curve' feat. Jacob Henley and Rosborough's 'Fall To Earth'.

1) TabloidTv - 'Frobisher'

Dublin indie-rock quintet TabloidTv release a rapid-fire post-punk infused swinger in the shape of 'Frobisher', it's infectious and has been getting repeated spins around here. Strong elements of Joy Division flow throughout, and this adds to my personal enjoyment of what is their best single to date in my opinion.

2) Bullet Girl - 'Wasted'

Not ones to shy away from carving your ear drums up, Bullet Girl smack home a frenetic high-paced wedge of rollicking punk, file under Ramones 'Beat On The Brat' x 5.

3) Zola Daze - 'Sun Bleached'

Aaagh. I am in love with the debut single from Zola Daze, aka Waterford's Andrew Martin. Take me off down that rabbit hole of psychedelic sunny blissfulness and I probably will never return.

4) Shaky Shack - 'Selfish Fever'

Another bomb of a debut single arrives via Dublin funk-pop pair Alex Winter and Mateusz Kosnik, who are Shaky Shack. The grooves, the laissez-faire acoustic guitar jams, honey harmonies and the funky chill make for a tropical cocktail that puts life into cruise control. Sweetness.

5) Deep Sky Objects - 'Desire'

From their excellent debut self-titled EP, Kerry alternative-rock act release latest single 'Desire'. Hard rock opening and smash and grab percussion, this is a song I need to see live, and I think Kevin O'Brien could be one of the most personable vocalists I've heard in an Irish band in an age, I love this guys voice. You can't play nasty bass and drums without a face-melter coming up at some point, and so it does on 2:11, zinger.

King Kong Company - 'My Name Is Now'

6) King Kong Company - 'My Name Is Now'

Cult live show radicals King Kong Company are back with phat new single 'My Name Is Now', thub-thumping with a mechanical groove and beat that gives a small sonic redux to what we're used to, plus some on-point vocals, see KKC add another live belter to their repertoire.

7) 1000 Beasts - 'Every Line & Curve' feat. Jacob Henley

The latest collaboration from 1000 Beasts sees him partner up with Jacob Henley, it's easily his most unadulterated piece of electro-pop blissfulness, with Henley providing a solid vocal performance that has plenty of smooth soulfulness to keep the chill-train in full motion.

1000 Beasts - 'Every Line & Curve' feat. Jacob Henley

8) Aislinn Logan - 'Fair Game'

Logan's last single 'Spree' which she released in April was grandiose in many ways, sonically looming large on atmospheric moods. With 'Fair Game' there is still a grand power pushing through the track, but she seems more self-assured and determined here, less overwhelmed than the protagonist of the previous single. Most importantly though Logan is coming to grips very quickly with manipulating the darker worlds of dream-pop and I wouldn't be surprised if the next single will throw up yet another different angle of exploration to this end.

9) Rosborough - 'Fall To Earth'

The new single from Derry's Rosborough 'Fall To Earth' is perhaps his most bolshy effort to date in comparison to previous releases. The beat and guitars remind this listener a little bit of The Clash or The Jam, there's a swagger and stomp here that fit perfectly with Rosborough's as ever impressive voice.

Rosborough - 'Fall To Earth'

10) Dylan Murphy - 'Anxious Times'

If mid-60's psychedelic garage and blues rock are your bag, as is mine, then you will really enjoy the musical stylings of Galway-based Limerick-man Dylan Murphy's new single 'Anxious Times', a reflection on the increasingly uncertain times we live in. Bit of early Kinks, The Monks and The Yardbirds all pepper his strident latest release.

11) True Tides - 'Automatic'

Indie rock with a shedload of ultra-pop is served up on the latest single from Cork brothers (now Dublin-based) True Tides in 'Automatic'. The band do a number of things to stand outside the norm, firstly the intro is a hook on dual levels, the chorus is a flagrant appeal to 80's chart pop, the mini-pause before the harmonies in the pre-chorus and then the drive home. Pure indie-pop.

12) Liers - 'Host'

Of all their self-professed influences, Dublin alternative-rock act Liers channel both Foo Fighters and Feeder through new single 'Host'. The four-piece are one of the most adept interpreters of 90's rock and grunge in the country at the moment, and here they give just the right amount of nostalgia whilst keeping the overall sound on a contemporary footing.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Album: Kevin Nolan - Absent At The Moment When He Took Up The Most Space

Kevin Nolan - Absent At The Moment When He Took Up The Most Space

Info: Dublin-born singer-composer-author Kevin Nolan is known for a dark, theatrical style, and dramatic tour de force. After the success of his debut album Fredrick & the Golden Dawn, released in 2014 to European critical acclaim, Nolan returned to his studio to make his next album. However, knee-deep into the second album, he decided to pause and cast his eye back at the recordings he made before Fredrick, that he himself had not listened to since he began work on the debut in 2006. 

Pre-internet self-taught and recording everything on his own, “Absent At The Moment When He Took Up The Most Space” is a selection of recordings Nolan made between ‘97 and ‘05. The thirty eight songs that make up this album are taken from Nolan’s archive of over 150 recorded during that period; none of which were ever released. 

"It's been over 20 years since the earliest of these recordings. In that time, I have learnt more and more about my process and the different ways I have tried to understand it over time. I see these songs as a significant part of my growth as an artist, I simply would not be the artist I am without first being the artist I was. And so in a way, I am paying my respects to a former self. I see this time as an immensely significant part of, and integral to, any reading of my work as a whole thus far, first and foremost for myself."

Kevin Nolan - 'Slow Boat'

Kevin Nolan is an artist I've long admired, there are no conventions, no parameters, his song-writing resides in an infinite open space that will never be fully filled. His debut album Fredrick & The Golden Dawn was an entirely unique addition to the Irish music catalogue when it was released, and rightfully received high-praise from all and sundry, The Irish Times, Hot Press, and no more than 7 well-known Irish music websites and blogs.

This week he has released a sprawling collection of 38 tracks which are incredibly somehow a microcosm of recordings from between 1997 and 2005 in the shape of Absent At The Moment When He Took Up The Most Space. Scattered among the tracks he expresses his penchant for brief snippets of sonic explorations, warped tunnelled vocals as heard on opening track 'Chemical Truce Overture', the majestically cosmic dream-state of 'Letter to the Future Overture' and 'Mistaker'. Indeed, of the 38 songs on the album, only 3 of them clock in at over 3 minutes. Much of the album can be imagined in a metaphorical sense as isolated verses of a poem or song which you will never hear the full version of. This is interesting to me as it made me wonder where each piece of music may have begun or ended in its non-existent entirety.

Kevin Nolan - 'Pick Up A Smile' (Artwork by Susanne Wawra)

Second track 'Landslide' has an old world Californian folk-pop vibrancy that is as bright as it is cheery with a soul-lifting bluesy guitar interlude. A dark and unsettlingly warm moment arrives on 'Way of the World', and like much of the album contains admirably personal lyrics and lived experiences from Nolan. That contrast between the mood of the music and themes starkly show up on 'The Ballad of the Pallbearer' which contains the comi-tragic line "He's so fucked up, they got him locked up, and my mother doesn't know, and my father doesn't know, everybody knows, but me".

On 'The Way I Feel For You Tonight (For S.C.) we get a modern re-working of the early years of 60's pop-rock, this is With The Beatles or The Turtles territory, a wry ode to that dewy-eyed era. The theatricality of Fredrick and Nolan's habitude for plonking bar-room piano moments is in full swing and pomp on 'Come Over Tonight'. It's hard to not think of Elton John behind the keys on this one which also shows up in a more Magical Mystery Tour manner on 'Dog Daze' later on in the album.

Though there are many, a big surprise for me came on the wonderful 'The Wolf Who Cried Boy', a sound and delivery I would never expect from the artist, it's more folktronica than anything else on Absent At The Moment When He Took Up The Most Space, cheery Lemon Jelly vibes abound! There is a lot of ground to cover on the album, and although it should be disjointed, it's almost impossible that it isn't, the whole experience combined feels like stroll side by side with the past Kevin Nolan. Like a tour guide in a 19th century art gallery or museum, he stops at each song and explains each moment to us, pointing out the most interesting elements of each story.

Other highlights for me were; 'Francy', 'Wonder Why', 'Carrie', 'She Left New York' and the escapist choral mystique of closer, 'Caveat Emptor'.

New Album Releases: August - Elephant, Thee Oh Sees, Mitski, Anna Calvi, Death Cab for Cutie & more

Info: REMY's monthly new album releases round-up returns for August, featuring singles already released from albums coming out over the next four weeks in the above playlist.

We begin with the superb new album from Irish artist Elephant, titled 88, our latest Album of the Month, whilst it officially released just last week, we include it here by virtue of falling in between our July and August new album releases, and well, it already comfortably making our own AOTY list for 2018.

Waaay back in 2008 when Texan psych-rockers White Denim released their debut album Workout Holiday I had it on perma-spin. I was such a fanboy I emailed them to ask them if they had any plans to play in Ireland, and frontman James Petralli kindly took the time to reply saying they had just played Oxegen and their time in Ireland was too short and they would be back depending on how well the debut LP was received. 8 albums later, they needn't have had any anxiety! Latest album Performance is out on the 24th August and they get all Marc Bolan on our asses with single 'Magazin', nice.

Sticking with psych-rock, one of the best bands of the last decade, San Francisco's Thee Oh Sees return with album #16, Smote Reverser. Their output since their 2006 debut has been pretty phenomenal, and 2015's Mutilator Defeated At Last was easily one of my albums of the year that year. Single 'C' simply kicks ass the way only they know how.

Tomberlin - 'Self-Help'

A brand new discovery comes via Kentucky's Tomberlin, her debut album At Weddings was originally released in September last year, and thankfully gets a fresh jaunt on the 10th of August, I'm really loving the lo-fi dreaminess of latest single 'Self-Help' (above video) a lot. Japanese, New-York based Mitski releases the follow up to 2016's critically acclaimed Puberty 2 in the form of Be The Cowboy, and the early sings are that album number 5 could be here best yet.

It's been a five year wait for the third album from London's Anna Calvi, on a personal level, everything she touches is gold, 'Suzanne & I' from her 2011 debut is still one of my favourite tracks of all time. New single 'Don't Beat the Girl out of My Boy' from Hunter which is out on the 31st of August is equally as immense, I can't wait for this album, Calvi plays Dublin's Tivoli Theatre on the 28th of September, tickets here.

Anna Calvi - 'Don't Beat the Girl out of My Boy'

Death Cab for Cutie's last couple of albums have received see-saw reviews from critics, but album 11, Thank You for Today, based on singles released thus far including 'I Dreamt We Spoke Again', should see them back on the saddle of more familiar territory of deserved acclaim. 

Other new album releases for August that might be of interest to you are Nicki Minaj's Queen, Interpol's long-awaited Marauder, Amanda Shires' To The Sunset, Super Furry Animals bassist Guto Pryce and Lindsey Leven deliver glorious psych-pop as Gulp with album All Good Wishes, and there's an inescapable charm from Indiana's alt-folk rock troupe Houndmouth's Golden Age album, chanelling some inner-Mr.Big on the above single 'Modern Love'.

Release Dates:

Elephant - 88 (out now)

3rd August

Amanda Shires - To The Sunset

Gulp - All Good Wishes

Houndmouth - Golden Age

10th August

Nicki Minaj - Queen

Tomberlin - At Weddings

17th August

Death Cab for Cutie - Thank You For Today

Mitski - Be The Cowboy

Thee Oh Sees - Smote Reverser

24th August

Interpol - Marauder

White Denim - Performance

31st August

Anna Calvi - Hunter

Our previous 2018 New Album Releases:

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Photos: Dublin Quays Festival 2018

Girlfriend - Dublin Quays Festival 2018
Photo: Billy Cahill

(Click on first photo to begin full screen slideshow)

Gabriel Paschal Blake - Live @ The Sound House - Dublin Quays Festival

Info: In an ever congested festival calendar which now seems to run for most months of the year bar maybe February and March, and of course peaks in the summer months, it takes something special and well organised to jostle capably for position. The second Dublin Quays Festival did just that, a take over of venues straddling the north and south banks of The River Liffey, from Thursday 19th to Monday 23rd of July in Sin É, The Sound House / The Wiley Fox, The Grand Social, The Workman's Club and The Liquor Rooms. The standard of acts performing was incredibly high, and it was run like clockwork, it really was easy to get from venue to venue within a short time too. On the Friday night I managed to get from The Sound House down to The Grand Social in 5 minutes, and from there across the river to The Workman's in roughly the same time, ensuring I got to see 3 headline acts in one night.

I was only able to make the first half of the festival due to other non-music related commitments (ugh), but managed to keep abreast of what was happening online for the remainder. Below are a selection of photos from the first two nights, a massive thanks to photographer Billy Cahill for sharing his amazing photos with me, you can see his full sets on the Dublin Quays Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/pg/DublinQuaysFestival/photos/

Also gratitude to Sarah Ryan for snapping The Murder Capital on the Thursday night, they were amazing, I'm comfortable admitting that their set was so intense I was scared at times. I really, really enjoyed every band I saw, they were all 'into it', as a punter that's all you can ask for, kudos to Andrea and Karen the festival organisers for putting on such a fantastic spread.

(Photos: Billy Cahill (Girlfriend, Tanjier, ELLY D, FXY, The Stasi), Sarah Ryan (The Murder Capital), and Remy Connolly (Silverbacks, Megan Nic Ruairí, Gabriel Paschal Blake, Gemma Bradley, and others where specified!)

Photo: Remy Connolly


Silverbacks - Remy Connolly - Dublin Quays Festival


The Murder Capital - Dublin Quays Festival - Sarah Ryan Photography

The Murder Capital - Dublin Quays Festival - Sarah Ryan Photography

The Murder Capital - Dublin Quays Festival - Sarah Ryan Photography

The Murder Capital - Dublin Quays Festival - Sarah Ryan Photography
The Murder Capital - Photos@ Sarah Ryan

Elly D


Gabriel Paschal Blake - Remy Connolly - Dublin Quays Festival

Gabriel Paschal Blake

Tottenham Hotspur - Erik Throsvedt - Gabriel Paschal BlakeGabriel Paschal Blake

Megan Nic Ruairí
Megan Nic Ruairí

The Stasi - Dublin Quays Festival
 The Stasi - Billy Cahill

The Stasi - Dublin Quays Festival - Billy Cahill

Photo: Remy Connolly

Photo: Remy Connolly

 Gemma Bradley

Remy Connolly - Gemma Bradley - Dublin Quays Festival

PowPig: Photo: Billy Cahill

 PowPig - Photo: Remy Connolly

Monday, 23 July 2018

Video: Runabay - Blink of an Eye

Runabay - Blink of an Eye

Runabay - Blink of an Eye

Info: Hailing from the Glens of Antrim, Runabay is a six-piece band. They have been described as alt-folk or indie, but the intricate and adventurous nature of their songwriting means they rarely fit into predictable pigeonholes. Since the bands formation in 2014, they have strived to constantly evolve and develop their sound. To that end, this new track is a departure from previous releases, with a shift in sound and a changing aesthetic. Recent influences ranging from Daughter to Public Service Broadcasting have informed and modified their sound which now consists of shades of electronic, folk and indie culminating in a soundscape of intrigue and beauty. Right from the off, the riff from the new single grabs the listener and commences a journey through emotion and euphoria towards an epic conclusion. 

"Blink of an Eye is essentially about putting yourself out there and getting shot down whilst trying to keep a brave face" explains frontman John McManus. "It's a serious song with a kind of self-deprecating edge to it. The narrative is reminiscent of that old adage, 'If you didn't laugh, you'd cry'". The video concept was borne out of the narrative that people have various personas they employ throughout the day, as a means of creating a barrier to their inner struggles. In this Insta-age, where people strive to convey a perfect public perception, this video seeks to address this notion and makes the point that rarely are things as straightforward as they appear through the lens of a camera.

'Blink of an Eye' by Runabay is due for release on the 3rd of August.


American Bar, Belfast - 26th July // Sunflowerfest, Co.Down - 27th July // Stendhal Festival, Co.Derry - 11th Aug // Moira Calling, Moira - 8th September


Sunday, 22 July 2018

Album of the Month: Elephant - 88

Elephant - '88 - Album Review

Info: In his notes for sophomore album 88, Shane Clarke, aka Elephant, invites us to enjoy his expression of nostalgia and hopes that "it plays like a movie in your head". For him it's a cathartic reflection of hurt and loss, a soundtrack to his childhood and young adult life, but he's at pains to encourage you, the listener, to let 88 become whatever it is that your imagination desires.

'Summer' starts off the timeline of our journey, and in some ways it feels like a wave goodbye to the folk roots of his debut album HyperGiant, it's a gently morose and wistful piece, but then, the door opens, and the bright lights of 88 lay inside. You imagine Clarke being sucked through a cosmic tunnel and being dropped unceremoniously onto a new and strange landscape.

After 'On Bended Knee''s opening monologue, both hands reach deep inside my head and heart and lift every feeling inside me to a heavenly plain. I am desperately fond of, and in love with, the retro synths and grandiose guitar moments here, and this will be repeated throughout the album, shaping different types of feeling and acute moments of elation.

Elephant - 'Waiting Game'

Single 'Waiting Game' was by far one of my favourite tracks of last year, it, long with it's companion 'Waiting Game II', indulged my inner love for Bryan Ferry and Roxy Music without sparing a single drop. With 'Waiting Game' it seems not so much that a logical next step has occurred, but a grand swoop, head-first into the middle of an ocean of creativity. I'd previously reflected in a review; "Here we have a complete gem of a track, an outstanding Irish single that will echo far beyond 2017. Yes it has the pace and mood of 80's Bowie, and the guitars hint at the more glam moments of Prince's repertoire, but ultimately, this is an Elephant track in every sense, this magic was always going to arrive from him." 

If that single was gratifying, the most recent one 'Happy' feat. Just Mustard's KT Ball somehow went deeper, and put the 80's electric guitar riffs and neon synths right up to the front. Ball's vocal lending the neon in spades, Kavinksy's 'Nightcall', Beach House's Teen Dream, Fever Ray's 'If I Had a Heart' spring to mind, but this is so much brighter than any of them. Another kaleidoscopic electro rush from the mind of Clarke.

Elephant's fragility is never more exposed for all to see than on 'Lie Fallow', it's sincere, authentic and his vocal powerfully delivers a sadness and emotion that registers with me, all accentuated by that ponderous and weeping sax line. It also concludes with an unsettling macabre march to the end. In contrast next track 'Mirrors' vibrates with shuddering movement, it didn't click with me the first time I heard it, but the industrial electro-grind and drum-beat from the 3rd to 4th minute of the track momentarily recalled a sliver of something you might have come across on The Prodigy's Music for the Jilted Generation, and how about that War of the Worlds outro!?

Vulnerability looms large once again on 'Human', it also has that celestial feel that the closing of 'Summer' had, and it's another example of how Elephant has pushed his vocal, as required, to a place very far from his past music. A huge highlight on 88 arrives in the shape of the aforementioned 'Waiting Game II', it's wildly visual and goes big on retro atmospherics. The feeling I had upon the singles release remains steadfast; "..this is a most luxurious velvet cloth of 80's-inspired new romanticism. Bryan Ferry is standing outside in the dark with his ear pressed against the window as Clarke pulls this one out of the bag on the inside."

Elephant - 'Stay With Me'

A warm and fulsome keyboard progression opens up 'Stay With Me', Clarke's vocal is more to the foreground here than on much of the albums other tracks, giving it a more direct and personal connection between artist and listener. The lyrics are lucid; "The book about an old man high up in the tree, and he's looking for his old hat, he finds it in the densest thicket of the branches, extends his arm in reach, buried under kingdoms and more than one opinion, what sense is there in stories? The old man and his glory had time enough to teach."

The fervour is whipped up on 'Time Will Tell', the video for which featured contributions from over 20 local artists from his hometown of Dundalk via a visual-lyric medium. It's a rare heavy rock moment on the LP, peppered with cinematic breaks, both brooding and euphoric. Elephant provides us with one last opportunity to switch off, drop out and submit ourselves to a final escapist resting place on 'All These Dragons', the man carves beauty and tenderness out of every second of the song.

88 is like a novel, and the words on the pages will change with every listen, where you're taken with your first listen, you may never return to again, because every time you put on this record, Elephant will change the course of the story. It is also an album that will serve its purpose for many moods, you can be happy, sad, indifferent, and it will resonate with whatever colour you are feeling at a given moment. An Irish masterpiece on so many levels.

88 is available on 180g vinyl double LP, and all major streaming platforms via Pizza Pizza Records or directly through Elephant's Bandcamp page below here https://elephantofficial.bandcamp.com/

Elephant - '88 - Album Review - Remy Connolly

Thursday, 19 July 2018

Interview: The Stasi

The Stasi - Interview - Dublin Quays Festival

Info: In our final interview here on REMY before the Dublin Quays Festival kicks off (in an hour!), we speak to Dublin duo The Stasi, who will be taking to the main stage at The Grand Social tomorrow night, 20th of July at 10:15pm.

REMY: First off, and it’s a question I usually avoid asking, but as a history lover I’m intrigued! Your band name conjures up images of grey concrete sprawl, flashbacks to scenes from 2006's Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others) and general Orwellian terror (which I’m sure is not the intention), how did you settle on The Stasi as your moniker?

The Stasi: We would love to be able to say it wasn’t just because of a trenchcoat. Although as children of the 80's we do have a certain nostalgia for Soviet chic. Ironically we have had a couple of people cry offence on social media, which Stewart Lee once described as "a Stasi run by gullible volunteers." We offered to take them for dinner in Mao's to apologise.

REMY: I believe you were both heavily involved in music in some shape or form for quite some time before you formed The Stasi in 2016, was the current band set up of deep down and dirty rock something both of you had always wanted to dip your toes into at some stage or did it just happen?

The Stasi: I think we always knew we wanted to make music with a bit of swagger. If you’re gonna do that then you probably need a few pretty guitars. The idea was to marry that with a smokey, sardonic female vocal - thus adding to the overall sense of swag.

The Stasi - 'Struggle Up' (Live)

REMY: Listening to your latest EP Screaming at the Void which you released in May, it instantly struck me that your music is pushed straight up against the glass across all three tracks. Drums and guitar in particular are right up the front and sounding sharp, no flighty build-ups or winding arches here, just bang! Is that the kind of impact punters can expect from one of your live shows? 

The Stasi: We definitely wanted the first three tracks to feel like a bunch of mule kicks. But we do have a softer side. One of our mellower offerings tells the true story of Marlon Brando, Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor taking a road trip out of New York on the morning of 9/11. Another is an acoustic re-imagining of the Stagger Lee trope in the voice of one of his girls.  We also end the show with a stately Sinatra-esque Orbinsonathon.

REMY: Your lyrics, themes and even release titles, such as forthcoming album Love in the Age of Narcissism suggest a strong interest in literature, would that be a fair assumption? And if so, what works would you say have most formed your thoughts when you are engaged in song-writing, either directly or indirectly?

The Stasi: The lyrics came about fairly organically, though there are direct nods to Rupert Sheldrake, Adam Curtis, Colonel Gaddafi and Noah Yuval Hari. What we really wanted was to write songs with a bit of intrigue - ideas and allegories that bear a second listen. To that extent they probably owe more to Dylan and Cohen than any books we could name.

REMY: Tell us a little bit about the new LP, what plans do you have regarding the release and have you chosen a rough date yet?

The Stasi: Much like Danny Ocean we have found the magic number to be eleven, and are now tasked with curating their various personalities. First and foremost we wrote these songs to be a live show so whatever recording we do will have the real feel of a room. As for any release date, we are endeavouring to hit the stocking filler deadline.

REMY: As a relatively new band (albeit experienced in your craft), can it be a bit daunting stepping out into the current Irish music scene and carving a path through the large volume of bands and acts that are all competing for space, or are you just concerned with doing your own thing and nothing else?

The Stasi: You only ever have your own career. There’s no point comparing yourselves to other people.

REMY: Finally, aside from the new album, and your upcoming show at Dublin Quays Festival in The Grand Social on Friday, what other plans might you have afoot for the future?!

The Stasi: Nothing’s set in stone, but we hope to have had a couple more festival appearances and our first TV performance by the end of the year and then drive it like we stole it in 2019.

The Stasi play at The Grand Social on Friday, 20th July as part of Dublin Quays Festival. ALL events are FREE entry. 

Check www.facebook.com/dublinquaysfestival for full lineup.

Dublin Quays Festival 2018 Line Up