EP18 – The Acts You Need to See

Of the 150+ acts lined up to play this year’s Electric Picnic festival less than 40 could possibly be boxed off as ‘household names’. So, Kendrick Lamar, Ben Howard, George Ezra and Dua Lipa aside, who are the acts you should put a tick beside as ‘must sees’?

And of the host of rising Irish stars, who are the ones are shining so brightly you’ll need blacked-out Ray Bans when they take to the stage?

Long renowned as the ‘stage-to’ when it comes to Irish music festivals, Electric Picnic has worn the mantle of #IrishGlasto since the sad demise of Oxegen back in 2013. The star attraction of our Summer fest calendar, EP’s pulling power is on a par with the its Euro counterparts like Reading & Leeds, Primavera, Roskilde & co. No surprise then that each year, artists from across the full musical spectrum pitch up to purvey their wares on the much trod boards of Stradbally.

When it comes to the cream of the local crop though, EP is second to none in helping them rise to the top. In addition to the 2FM Play the Picnic and Other Voices stages, the legendary Body & Soul area returns again to celebrate its 15th landmark year as the innovative hub of the annual Summer hootenanny. Similarly, the Laois-based extravaganza will also play host to some of the hottest ‘on the cusp‘ acts from across the globe. Too many to mention, we give you a mix of the best from both at home and abroad.

Dalkey-native Sorcha Richardson has spent much of the past decade living amidst the clangour of NYC. Now back in Ireland, the Dubliner has spent much of this year gigging with stints at Castlepalooza and Longitude in the mix, along with an upcoming support slot to Saint Sister. At the recent all female We’ve Only Just Begun fest in Whelan’s she was the name on everybody’s lips, so bagging a coveted spot at EP was surely inevitable. With a lot of mileage clocked up on the fest circuit and a new album on the cards, 2018 is looking like a bumper year for the Irish singer/songwriter.  For fans of Daughter, Wildwood Kin, Wyvern Lingo.

The name Gundelach first graced these pages back in Winter 2015 when the Norwegian wove a compelling web in the form of his single Spiders.

Nearly three years later and the Oslo-based curator of club and dance has released a debut album Baltus, partnered on a handful of singles with fellow Norwegian rising star ARY, and played several festivals across Europe; and all that before landing square in the middle of EP 18. Signed to UTA and under the wing of renowned Norwegian manager Glenn Larsen, Kai Gundelach’s star is firmly on an upward trajectory. Norwegians aren’t shy when it comes to their music, and festival goers can expect a strong delivery replete with trademark otherworldliness and arpeggiators.

Hak Baker started in the music game as a a fourteen year old member of the B.O.M.B. Squad grime collective before going solo and taking his music in a completely new direction.

These days the young Londoner is better known for his disarmingly honest lyrics paired with unadorned sounds, delivered with a canny mix of spoken word and boy next door storytelling.

Baker’s line in musical chat is a jumble of influences, taking in everything from ska to reggae and jazz. Bordering on genreless, when paired with the Eastender’s facetiousness and fact-laden story lines his songs veer into colourful musical diary territory. Although his sound delves deep into late 70s, early 80s soundscapes, it remains firmly in the present tense. Living life is front and centre of his schema. Revellers will party hard with this ebullient hard drinking, hard partying MisFit’.

22 year old Londoner Nilüfer Yanya purveys sleek, mellow, soulful indie with a jazz edge delivered with the same cool aplomb as her 80s predecessor Sade. Drawing on much introspection and seared with raw honesty, the young woman’s songs have a ‘nude’ no frills quality, all the more intensified by the rich, dark quality of her no-nonsense vocal delivery.

Already flagged by Guardian Music as ‘one to watch’ in 2017, Yanya gained serious musical currency when she was longlisted for the BBC’s Music Sound of 2018. Watch her ‘In Session’ with our FOTN neighbours BBC Music Introducing.

Nilüfer dropped her four-track Do You Like Pain EP in February from which the track ‘Thanks 4 Nothing’ was released as a single. Direct, no-shit guitar driven jazz-indie fusion. As cool as Winehouse was at her age!

DervSwerve has been channelling our next featured act for over a year now.

Motions, Dublin duo Tom Daly and Dave Nulty, have taken a slowly, slowly approach to their music, drip feeding a small collection of carefully chosen singles before releasing their acclaimed debut The Late Night Calls EP back in February of this year. With support in spades from the doyens at 2FM and its alt side-kick 2XM, it came as no surprise to see these alt-rockers made the final cut of the now legendary 2FM Play the Picnic stage.

Motions produce a slick mix of gritty alt-rock with an atmospheric underlay of moody electronics, perfectly complemented by intense gravel-flecked vocals and life-stained lyrics. Fresh from a sold-out headliner at the Workman’s, expect a well honed performance flush with tight guitar riffs and powerful vocal delivery.

For lovers of sophisto-alt-rock with more than a passing hint of blue-eyed soul.

Shout outs also to two other up and coming Irish acts to have made the lineup – Cork lads The Elation who’ve been featured here before and Ratoath newbies Electric Shore who’ve honed a brand of electro tinged alt-rock to which we’re quite partial.

Gwenno Saunders, who goes by her first name, is a solo artist from Cardiff whose lyrical delivery is spliced between her native Welsh and her second language, the Cornish of her linguist and poet father Tim Saunders. Also a respected DJ and radio presenter, Gwenno, a firm favourite of BBC 6 Music, has been championed by fellow Welsh radio presenter Huw Stephens garnering a healthy dose of airplay on his BBC shows for both Radio 1 and Radio Cymru respectively.

Gwenno’s writing chops are exceptional – the apple didn’t fall far from the tree – but it is the marriage of both keen multi-lingual poesy with her idiosyncratic take on art pop/soft rock that make the Welsh woman’s compositions so special.

With a vibe akin to Cerys Matthews does Fleetwood Mac, Gwenno’s most recent album, ‘Le Kov’ – which means “the place of memory’ – is a masterclass in soft focus, blurry latter-day psych. The album, which is an exploration of Cornish identity, explores topics such as the protection of minority languages and post-Brexit isolation. Don’t expect a full on singalong, most Irish people can barely string three lines of Amhrán na bhFiann together never mind pick up the chorus of a full-technicolour Cornish post-punk psych. What you can expect is a bewitching colour-fest delivered with exquisite vocal precision.

A band that should really need no introduction is Fontaines DC.

Masters of ‘real-life’ rock, their music is intrinsically Dublin with a delivery that mixes Liberties garage with glowering Behan-esque spoken word. Far from morphing into parodies, the Dublin quintet play their muse to its and their best advantage, painting unfiltered pictures of a city past and present, bringing to life many of its colourful characters and not so colourful characteristics through rapier-like lyricism and explosive rock n roll.

Fontaines DC are a force to be reckoned with. Akin to The Pogues & Manics in their vibe and spirit, their take on rock is hard core dark like The Rolling Stones crossed with Thin Lizzy fronted by a 21st C Ronnie Drew. Playlisted by major radio players such as BBC 6 Music and 2FM, Fontaines DC are now also chowing down on music’s bigger stages, having cut their pub gig teeth far beyond the inner Dublin venues where they began. Expect all the superlatives – vital, urgent etc – given a boot up the a**e and then some. Theirs could possibly be the performance of the festival.

For lovers of early Manics when they still had some fuel in the tank.

Getting signed to Heavenly Recordings is always a clear indicator that an artist is on the up and up. Such is the case with Halifax-Liverpool natives The Orielles. Comprising the Hand sisters and their mate Henry Wade, this three-piece has made its mark on the Brit music scene and then some.

With elements of 70s psych, 80s ska, 90s indie and noughties god knows what all criss-crossing over each other it’s hard to pin-point exactly where this trio’s sound lies; but that’s a bloody good thing in our book. Not for them any samey, samey mainstreaminess. Instead they take their full spectrum vibe, add a dash of neo-wave and promptly fit their anything but square peg into a musically androgynous hole.

This year has already seen the release of their debut album, Silver Dollar Moment, tracks from which will doubtless feature heavily in their set list. Expect loctite grooves, catchy vocal hooks, and boundless youthful NRG. Perfect ingredients for a top EP set.

And then …

It should go without saying that Irish acts such as ROE, Brand New Friend, Bitch Falcon, Dermot Kennedy, Hvmmingbyrd, Katie Laffan, Laoise, and Lilla Vargen et al are worthy of your time and support. There’s a raft of homegrown talent being showcased at EP 2018, so do please make some dates in your hectic festive diary to go along to the 2FM Play the Picnic, Other Voices, Rankin’s Wood and Body&Soul stages across the weekend to check out the best of our homies.

We’ll leave you music lovers with our EP Playlist featuring those artists included here plus a host of other mega artists who for reason of scale and sanity we couldn’t fit in here. To those of you travelling to EP 2018, we hope you have a glorious weekend and most of all, we hope you enjoy what is going to be the highlight of the Irish festival calendar. DervSwerve

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HWCH 2018 – The Line Up

The annual showcase and schmooze that is Hard Working Class Heroes returns to Dublin town with a shiny new line up and a cast of conference delegates that will have its Chocolate Factory audience in their savvy thrall.

HWCH returns to the capital, once again taking up its regular parking spot over the last three ‘working’ days of September – Thurs 27th to Sat 29th incl. Its gargantuan appetite will consume the best part of central Dublin, when it takes up residence in five main city centre venues as well as the Chocolate Factory situated in nearby Kilmainham, wherein its conference will take place.

Fifty acts have been announced for HWCH 2018, ROE, AE MAK, THE WOOD BURNING SAVAGES & LAOISE among them. Selected by an independent panel of national and international industry professionals, these are artists deemed to be ‘export ready’. In fact, some like ROE, TWBS and AE Mak have already played international showcase festivals such as Eurosonic and The Great Escape.

The fifty were boiled down from an overall total of 600 applicants who submitted their music through First Music Contact’s ‘Breaking Tunes’ platform. Of the lucky fifty, over two thirds have not previously been showcased.

The Wood Burning Savages

Lives happen on the Friday and Saturday across five venues – Doyle’s, The Grand Social, Tengu, Tramline and The Workman’s.

Festival goers can expect fireworks from the likes of TWBS, Pillow Queens and New Pagans, while at the other end of the spectrum Galwegian Laoise and four-piece Wild Youth will bring their respective brands of alt-electro & RnB/Funk pop to the mix.

Other artists being featured over the two days include serial collaborator 1000 Beasts, eir Other Voices Open Call winner Maria Kelly, Sony-signed Dublin popper Tim Chadwick, bluesy bluegrass aficionado Leila Jane, ambient electro-experimenter Feather Beds and fast rising R&B/Hip Hop artist Damola.

Damola

The festival line up also features semi-seasoned pros such as ROE and AK Mak, both of whom have been raking up the airplays, streams and reviews both at home and across the sea, especially in the UK, as well as thought-provoking lyricist and pared-back instrumentalist Rosa Nutty.

In addition, it ushers in veritable newbies such as Cork three-piece True Tides fresh from a stint at home-county Indiependence and supporting DervSwerve fave Fenne Lilly, BBC Radio fave Kitt Philippa (whose received support from our very own Tom Robinson), and Jeff Buckley vocal-doppelganger, 22 year-old Sam Wickens.

The festival opening night is dedicated to some serious schmooze, with an artist/delegate networking event scheduled to take place in the Chocolate Factory. Skint musicians take note – free gig to all with a Breaking Tunes profile.

Ireland’s largest gathering of music industry professionals, the panel of delegates (announced at time of going to print) includes Molly O’Brien of Beggars Music, Almudena Heredero of Primavera Pro/Sound, Paul Jones of Rough Trade Records, Oskar Strajn of ESNS, Sarah Casey of UTA and Daniel Horitz of Lex Records. The conference will include workshops and panels focussing on key topics at the heart of cracking the tough nut that is the music industry.

For more information on Hard Working Class Heroes, log onto the website at http://hwch.net/ – details of tickets below.

To get to know some of the artists lined up to play this annual extravaganza, tune into our HWCH 2018 playlist here. Don’t forget to give us a follow on Twitter and/or Facebook! 🙂

Tickets via Eventbrite are priced as follows (excluding charges):

Delegate Ticket (Thursday, Friday & Saturday) €55  /  Live Ticket (Friday & Saturday) €35

Conference Ticket (Thursday, Friday & Saturday) €25 / Live Ticket (Friday/Saturday) €25

Single Venue Ticket €12.50 (only available on the door at live music venues)

HWCH18 Venues | The Workman’s ClubTramlineTenguDoyles and  The Grand Social

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/hard-working-class-heroes-2018-tickets-48066392875

It Takes A Body&Soul Village

Body&Soul reveals programme for its legendary B&SVillage including full details of lineup. 

Heading into its 15th year as an integral part of the Electric Picnic festival, Body&Soul has unveiled the programme for its Body&Soul Village 2018 (see our playlist at the bottom of the page). Situated at the heart of the EP landscape, Body&Soul is a diverse creative hub where experimental art meets genre breaking music.

This year’s festival goers are in for rather a treat as on top of the cream of Irish rising stars, the Body&Soul stage has also attracted some of the best up and coming artists from abroad including Nashville-based trio The Brummies and Norwegian electro-experimenter Gundelach, whose music we’ve previously featured here on the blog.

Watch the video of his latest release feat. the gorgeous voice of fellow Norwegian artist ARY, who sadly won’t be accompanying Gundelach to Stradbally! Check out her music HERE.

Flying the flag for Ireland will be a host of bright young things including Fresh on the Net alumnus and Derry-native, pensive but perky-pink-popper ROE, whose music has also been featured by FOTN master-in-chief Tom Robinson on his BBC Introducing Mixtapes.

Hit play to check out this beyond-brilliant take on the evil that is Social Media trolling and online bullying here.

Other rising stars repping Ireland across the Body&Soul area will be turbo-charged Bitch Falcon, beyond eclectic Paddy Hanna, soulful poet David Keenan and synth-tastic Galwegian Laoise, whose electro-pop confections are honey to our musical palettes. Festival goers will also be treated to the evocative vocal of Little Wolf aka Lilla Vargen, indie-punk boss-gals Pillow Queens and the pensive electro-poetry of Ryan Vail.

In total, 100 acts will play across four stages – Body&Soul, EarthShip, Peace Pagoda and The Bandstand. Lucky EP ticketholders will also be able to enjoy the fine musical wines purveyed by the likes of dance-diva Soulé, mesmerising beat-makers Hvmmingbyrd, and dark-around-the-edges Sleep Thieves.

And if all that fails to satiate your appetite, punkitude is a dish best served by Fontaines DC, whose live video for Chequeless Reckless you can enjoy here.

We’ve ripped up a B&S playlist below … Get stuck in!

Here’s the full line up across all four stages located in the Body&Soul enclave:

Body & Soul Stage – Bad Bones / Barq / Bitch Falcon / Bon Voyage / Daithí / David Keenan / Fontaines D.C. / Gundelach / James Canty / Halo Maud / Hak Baker / Hvmmingbyrd / LAOISE / Lilla Vargen / O Emperor / Oscar Jerome / Orchid Collective / Paddy Hanna / Pillow Queens / ROE / R.S.A.G. / Ruby Empress / Ryan Vail / Sleep Thieves / Slow Place Like Home / Soulé / Super Extra Bonus Party / The Blue Notes / The Brummies / The Modern Strangers / Tracy Bruen / YOUNGR

Earthship Stage – 1000 Beasts / Baba / Beauty Sleep / Blackbird and Crow / Bobofunk / Bobby Basil / Dreaming of Jupiter / DJ Eamonn Barrett / Elaine Malone / Erica Cody / Fat Puppy / Happy Alone. / Jah Monk / Jazz Jam / Junior Brother / Kate Brennan Harding / Luka Palm / Mother DJs / Munky / Naughty Party / Parly B / Proper Micro NV / Rub a Dub Hi-Fi / Spice Bag / Soul Badger / Susie Q / SYLK / The Clockworks / Turf Softies / Will Softly / Worries Outernational

Peace Pagoda – AGorilla / Baz Hickey / Cáit / Davy Kehoe / Dream~Cycles / Melly / Maria Somerville / Neil Flynn / No Place Like Drone / Now You’re Swingin’ / R. Kitt / Rob Le Nan / Sarah Rossney / Soft Stone / Wastefellow / Zvuku

The Bandstand – Aine Duffy / As Humans / BIRDWOMAN / Cantina Bop / Cathy Flynn / Ciaran Moran / Club Comfort / Dreaming of Jupiter / Dublin Digital Radio / Generic People / H&G Creations / Jus Damien / Justyna Koss / Little One / Ophelia / Phraktal / PrYmary Colours / Reveller / Rosa Nutty / Supagreen Sound Machine / Tanjier / Trick Mist / VJ Jackson / Zapho

Our Body&Soul @ EP 18 playlist features tracks from a selection of the many great artists playing the B&S Village across the three days of EP18. Electric Picnic runs from 31st August to 2nd September in Stradbally, Co. Laois and is completely sold out.  To those of you with tickets, ENJOY!

All Together Now – Go Wild in the Country

There are just 4 weeks to go until shiny new All Together Now floats itself on the Irish music festival scene.

The new immersive 360 festival will run from 3rd to 5th August in the incredibly beautiful grounds of Curraghmore House, located in Portlaw, Co. Waterford.

With a bill of fare that includes every shade of music, theatre & comedy, a kiddies rave, an Arcadia Spectacular Afterburner, and much more, All Together Now looks set to become the Full Monty of Irish festivals.

Just when we thought Jenny Headen et al couldn’t possibly pack any more into the spectacular setting of the Curraghmore estate, they announce All Curious Minds, a spoken word area that will play host to the likes of British novelist and writer Will Self, renowned beatboxer and comedian Reggie Watts, Madness frontman Suggs and more.  To check out the full All Curious Minds line up, click HERE.

If however, you’re only here for the beer and the music, then get you onto our ATN Spotify playlist to check out some of the great and the good from the music world who’ll be treading the stage on the August bank holiday weekend.

Big hitters include Fleet Foxes, Underworld, Roisin Murphy, Mura Masa and First Aid Kit, while the musical stretch reaches right across the musical landscape. Diversity is one of the key facets of the inaugural ATN line-up. It boasts  genres across the full spectrum, including the contemporary classico-electro of Nils Frahm, the funk/crossover thrash of Thundercat, the electropop of Kelela and the alt-indie of Isaac Gracie to name but a few.

The ATN18 line up also includes revered music veterans Jimmy Cliff, Chaka Khan and Kevin Rowland, the former Dexy’s Midnight Runners frontman who’ll be hitting the decks for his own DJ set.

In addition to leftfield electro queen Murphy, the other acts flying the Irish flag will be Saint Sister, Talos, AE Mak, Brigid Mae Power, Katie Kim, Jape and the wonderful West Cork Ukulele Orchestra.

All Together Now is a festival in the true 360 sense, providing for every taste, mood and size. With its proper good spread of theatre and comedy, kiddie ents, music and melodrama, ATN18 has got you and yours covered!

Weekend tickets are on sale now at €179.50+ from the festival’s website.

22 Irish Acts Will Be Showcased At International Festivals Inc TGE & Primavera

Music From Ireland Announces Names of Irish Acts Being Showcased at Both TGE18 and Primavera Pro. 22 Irish Music Artists Will Line Out for Two of the Biggest Summer Festivals On The Euro Circuit

Music from Ireland has announced the names of those emerging Irish music artists selected to play two of this Summer’s biggest showcase festivals. Of the 22 up and coming acts, 19 have been lined up for Brighton-based The Great Escape while a further three will pitch up for Primavera Pro, the ‘pro-am’ leg of renowned Spanish summerfest, Primavera Sound. Two of the total acts, Le Boom and Fontaines DC will be showcased at both festivals.

TGE18, which will run from 17th to 19th May, will play host to nineteen Irish acts out of a staggering total line up of 450 emerging music artists set to light up the southern seaside town across the three days of the festival. The Irish team lining out for TGE18 is, in alpha order,

Æ MAK | ÁINE CAHILL |   JOSHUA BURNSIDE  | THE ESKIES | 

FONTAINES D.C.  |JEALOUS OF THE BIRDS |  DAVID KEENAN | DERMOT KENNEDY  |

LE BOOM  |  CATHERINE McGRATH | MONCRIEFF  | PILLOW QUEENS  |

REWS | RUTHANNE | TIM CHADWICK | TOUTS  |

LILLA VARGEN |WHENYOUNG  | WYVERN LINGO 

Roe Photo: Hotpress

Music from Ireland will host two Irish music showcase events at TGE on Thursday 17th May – details here:

10.30 – 11.30am Thursday, Networking Brunch (as part of Culture Ireland’s GB18 programme of events).

12.00 – 5.00pm Thursday, Series of Lives The Prince Albert venue, line up as follows:-

12.00 Tim Chadwick

13.00 Pillow Queens

14.00 Fontaines D.C.

15.00 RuthAnne

16.00 Æ Mak

In addition to the 19 artists giggin’ and rockin’ out at The Great Escape, two of those plus a further three are being given the chance to peddle their wares at the Primavera Pro spin-off of the illustrious Primavera Sound. The two lucky double dippers are Fontaines DC and Le Boom, who’ll be joined at PP by singer/songwriters Ailbhe Reddy, Roe and Paddy Hanna.

This is the first year that up and coming Irish music artists have been invited to showcase at the event which is a magnet for (Spanish & South American) industry insiders, tipsters and professionals. We have no doubt that all five acts will do themselves proud and then some. The Irish PP showcase is scheduled for Friday, 1st June at the Day Pro Stage.

All credit to Culture Ireland and Music from Ireland for working together to ensure the funding was put in place to support the promotion of Irish music through expansion into new global territories.

Listen to sounds by all 22 acts on out Music from Ireland – TGE & Primavera Playlist here.

It’s An All-Irish Go-Live for Forbidden Fruit

With a line up that features The War on Drugs, Kieran Hebden’s Four Tet, Warpaint, Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Superorganism, the RHK-based Bulmer’s Forbidden Fruit Festival looks set to be one of the highlights of #summerfest2018. Scheduled to run across the full June Bank Holiday weekend, #FFF18 is a renowned hot-bed for both established and emerging ‘left-field’ music acts. Now, to add fuel to its already scorching fire, the Dublin-based music festival has just announced the return of its All-Irish Bulmers Live Stage featuring twenty Irish acts playing across the three day festival programme.

Rising stars such as Ailbhe Reddy, Lilla Vargen, Erica Cody, AE Mak, the Fontaines and Sylk will join the already stellar cast lined up to entertain the hordes set to take over the grounds of the Royal Hospital Kilmainham from 2nd to 4th June next. To celebrate all things emerging and Irish, we’ve whipped up a short Bulmers Live Stage Playlist to help you get both in the know and more importantly, in the mood for the first big Irish festival of Summer 2018. Listen to it below,

In what is has become an annual feature at FFF, the Bulmer’s Live Stage – 100% Irish Music Artists – is platform that plays host to a selection of emerging artists over the three days, promoting the best in new Irish music

Forbidden Fruit will play host to an array of innovative and off-mainstream acts during its three day festorama over the June bank holiday. With acts as diverse as Four Tet, The War on Drugs, Glass Animals, and Bonobo set to light up its many stages, #FFF18 once again looks set to be the ‘hard-shoulder’ of the Irish festival circuit. Amen to that!

Tickets for Bulmer’s Forbidden Fruit Vary in Package/Price

Monday Day (4th) €64.50

Two Day Weekend (Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd) – €119.00

Three Day (Sat 2nd, Sun 3rd, Mon 4th) – €162.50

All tickets available via Ticketmaster.ie

Listen to the DervSwerve #FFF18 Bulmers Live Stage Playlist here,

A Three-Part Drama : Motions – The Late Night Calls EP Review

Ahead of their first headline show in Whelans on 2nd March, Dublin based alt-rock band Motions have just released their debut EP, The Late Night Calls. Produced by Philip Magee (Kodaline, The Script), it’s a strong, three-track collection that reflects a new level of maturity in both their songwriting skills and arrangement techniques. A subtle blend of artfully crafted, insistent alt-rock and rich, dark electronic atmospherics, Motions’ sound has a polish rarely found amongst their ilk. In fact, it goes beyond ‘straight’ indie or alt-rock, crossing into the more sophisticated realms of blues and blue-eyed soul.

The Late Night Calls EP tracklist: Late Night Calls, Back & Forth, Interlude, Waiting To Tell You

The past twelve months have seen Dublin duo Tom Daly & Dave Nulty slowly evolving their atmospheric brand of bluesy alt-rock. This diligence has paid off, yielding a more sophisticated and tightly woven sound, and while their lyrics remain introspective and at times bleak, the duo has certainly taken their Motions methodology up a level.

Photo Courtesy Whelans Live

“Musical headlights that switch seamlessly from full beam to dip, Motions’ songs are a compelling weave of potent, grizzling guitars, vibrant drum rhythms and infectious, rasping vocals, finished with clever electronic interplay.” 

Creating gritty, yearning soundscapes underscored with defiance is grist to the Motion’s mill and nowhere is that more evident than on the EP title track. A plaintive, mid-tempo fusion of intense guitar grizzle, punchy drumming and rhythmic blues-rock basslines, this paean to loss and the resultant emotional roller-coaster that follows, is trademark Motions. Critical reflection brought to life by Tom Daly’s  powerful, nuanced vocals backdropped by propulsive, dynamic beats and driving Nulty guitars. Watch the Crooked Gentlemen Produced video for Late Night Calls here.

Where the desolate landscapes of Late Night Calls are populated by edgy riffage and potent rhythms, second track in Back & Forth is pure blues-pop condemnation. A more joyous melody line belies the withering wordage and quasi-vituperative tone. A track in which the Graham Gouldman style bass is pushed high in the mix, it’s laced with an infectious blend of percussive elements and gauzy clouds of vocal harmonies. Redolent of the Doobie Bros at their finest, Back & Forth is well-executed blues-rock with all the pre-requisite pop sensibilities intact.

Interlude is literally that; a twelve-second ‘stream’ into an altogether more relaxed state of consciousness. Waiting to Tell You is a song that reflects on the prevarication and missed opportunities at the root of a broken relationship, on which Daly’s hushed vocal delivery evokes regret and sadness without the usual par for the course bitter bite. Spiralling loops of chiming guitars, hazy harmonies, and brooding basslines, build slowly to a dramatic hard stop; and that’s it. Three minutes of sheer soft-rock lushness during which Nulty’s restrained use of his Fender Telecaster is a testament to his adeptness as a guitarist.

Motions blend evocative lyrics and melodies, with powerful messages and mesmerising rhythms. Their innovative twist on alt-rock fundamentals, incorporating fine elements of blues and soul, makes them one of the more interesting and progressive bands of their generation. When you co-join well-honed, insightful lyricism with proficient musicianship, the resultant outputs are going to be of a sufficiently high quality to allow producers like Philip Magee to add their finesse.

The Late Night Calls, is a sleek, classy three-part drama, with a cleverly contrived narrative, set against an ever-changing backdrop painted from a palette of blues, rock and pop, conveyed with a distinct voice clearly identifiable as Motions. It sets an incredibly high benchmark against which any future albums will be compared.

The Late Night Calls EP is out now on all digital channels. Tickets for The Late Night Calls EP launch at WhelansLive on 2nd March, are priced Euro 10.00 – CLICK HERE.

Motions’ Socials:-     iTunes     Soundcloud      Spotify     Facebook     Instagram     Twitter

Liverpool’s Adopted Son Enjoys Some High Times

The master of acerbic vignettes returns with yet another tragi-comic take on everyday life, as he knows it!

Emilio Pinchi is no run-of-the-mill singer/songwriter. He is a master craftsman of highly polished, low-brow narratives set against a backdrop of smutty redbrick buildings and alleyways strewn with last night’s takeaway cartons. A master storyteller of tales of mundanity, profundity and jocundity, Pinchi is a sort of latterday Dickens if you will, except his ‘hard times’ are set against the comfiest of lo-fi post-rock/indie fusion.

A throwback to his Liverpool flavoured Stoke roots, the most telling thing about Pinchi’s lyricism is its witty honesty. It’s not for nothing that Liverpudlians (even adopted ones) are renowned for their razor sharp repartee and facetious one-liners.  In his songs, there is a strong sense of disassociation from the current jaded world view; not for him a glib acceptance of fake news syndrome or social isolationism.

Instead, Pinchi draws upon a keen eye and empathetic nature to sketch his brief vignettes of the streets, pubs, living rooms and bedrooms of Brexit Britain. With a talky vocal twist akin to that of his 90’s predecessor, Sheffield stalwart Jarvis Cocker, Emilio Pinchi’s conversational singing style gently draws in the listener, holding their attention for the few minutes it takes to recount his tale.

Most recently, Emilio has started playing with a full band, and the breadth of colour and warm textures they have brought to his music is palpable on his newly released single ‘High Times’. There’s a more expansive feel to the sound, a tighter hold on production. The idiosyncratic Pinchi hallmarks are still there – mellow acoustic strumming and infectious melodies, but with the added ‘umph’ of some lo-fi electric guitars and delightful marimba/glockenspiel/xylophone/keys xf (multiple choice instruments), all underpinned by some ‘chillaxed’ drumming.

With its happy go lucky vibe and chatty tone, ‘High Times’ has all the living room lax you’d expect from a slacker indie shuffle. Peppered with colourful ‘green’ conversation and spontaneous chuckling, this sharp focus snapshot of the bigger world picture is redolent of the on-point wordsmithery of Cocker, Turner, and dare I say it, Ian Broudie (excl his Three Lions blip!). Like Broudie, Emilio Pinchi cradles the world in a soft delivery whilst opening it up for discussion through ‘screengrabs’ of events and moments in time.

Emilio Pinchi has been mellowing out below the mainstream parapet for a few years now but one gets the feeling that like a periscope, his sights are set on a higher mark. He may not have made the Sound of 2018 shortlist, but this dark horse is certainly one to watch, and carefully.

Emilio Pinchi has live dates coming up shortly – keep a check on his Facebook page for details. His latest single, ‘High Times’ is available to stream or download now. Listen to it here,

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RTE Strike Performance Full House for Choice Music Prize Event

National broadcaster RTÉ has pulled off quite a coup by nailing all ten nominated artists to play live on the night of its Choice Music Prize Live Event in Vicar Street, on 8th March.

The line up for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize event, run association with IMRO & IRMA, was announced earlier this week on 2FM radio. All ten nominees for Best Album 2017 are set to perform in Vicar Street on the night. In case you weren’t already aware of the skinny, here it is:-

  1. Come On Live Long – In The Still (self released)
  2. Marlene Enright – Placemats and Second Cuts (self released)
  3. Fangclub – Fangclub (Universal)
  4. Lankum – Between the Earth and Sky (Rough Trade)
  5. James Vincent McMorrow – True Care (Faction Records)
  6. New Jackson – From Night to Night (All City)
  7. Otherkin – OK (Rubyworks)
  8. Fionn Regan – The Meetings of the Waters (Abbey Records)
  9. Ships – Precession (Ships Music)
  10. Talos – Wild Alee (Feel Good Lost)

Previous winners of Best Album have included Julie Feeney, Jape and Villagers. Last year’s nod went to Limerick hip hop/rap triumvirate Rusangano Family. Also presented on the night will be Best Song of 2017, with Soule, The Academic, Gavin James and Wyvern Lingo among the ten nominees; listen to a playlist of all ten nominated songs here.

Host on the night will be 2FM’s Eoghan Mc Dermott, and the event itself will be broadcast live from 7pm to 11pm on 2FM. A special highlights programme will be broadcast on RTE 2 on 18th March.

Some tickets for the Choice Music Prize Live Event are still available over at Ticketmaster Ireland  priced €28.00 including booking fee.

In case you need any convincing as to which artist to vote for, here’s a playlist featuring selected tracks from the ten nominated albums. With one month to go, anything can happen. To get your votes in for both Best Song and Best Album – CLICK HERE.

Biggin’ It Up – BBC Music’s Festival Quartet Is On Its May

The Biggest Weekend, BBC Music’s four-fold festival weekend is on its way back this May Bank Holiday (UK) weekend. Ahead of this bumper four-in-one festivale, we took a look at the who, the what and the when …

Date for the Diary

BBC Music’s ‘The Biggest Weekend’ takes place across four days, kicking off on 25th May and closing out on 28th. The where might take some negotiation, not to mind a Tardis, as the four x four festival relay takes in Belfast (N.Irl), Coventry (Eng), Perth (Scot) and Swansea (Wal).

Catering for BBC Music fans across the entire British Isles, the festival organisers have excelled themselves with their choice of venues:

Tickets

Over 175,000 tickets will go on sale – but be warned, the bulk of these will be available only to residents in the immediate locale, with the balance being offered to the wider public. For details on how to get your CLICK HERE.

Who’s Doing What & Where?

Naturally, all the ‘talk talk’ is about Princess TayTay. Fan’s of lil’ Miss Swift will need to hit Swansea on Sunday 27th if they wish to get a sight of this bird! And if that wasn’t enough for one Welsh city, Taylor’s BAE Ed Sheeran will be looping the loop on stage at Singleton Park the evening before, Saturday 26th.
So excited to be part of The Biggest Weekend this summer! I’ve always loved performing at Big Weekend with Radio 1 and this year it’s going to be even bigger. Bring it on Swansea!” – Ed Sheeran
BBC Music’s The Biggest Weekend line up boasts some of the biggest names in music; from Beck and Noel Gallagher with his flock of High Flying Birds, to Snow Patrol and Courtney Barnett. At present, the big Welsh name playing the festival, The Manic Street Preachers, are pitching up at the Belfast docks rather than Swansea harbour. However, former uber-group of the 80s, Simple Minds, will be flying the home flag when they take to the stage in Perth.

It’s Not All Guitars!

Not all of the music acts playing across the four-day festival are from the world of rock & pop. Contemporary violinist Nigel Kennedy will pitch up for not just one but two festival slots, as he’s set to play an opening night performance with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra on Friday 25th in Perth, followed up with date with the BBC Concert Orchestra on the closing night in Cov.
Speaking of the festival, the icon of new-wave classical commented: “I’m inspired by all kinds of music from across the world. I’m also inspired by people and by passion. Music should not be pigeon-holed and I have always believed that. So it’s great to be involved in an event which celebrates diversity across live musical genres with artists new and old. In Perth, I’ll be performing Bach and Gershwin with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and in Coventry, Highlights of the New Four Seasons and Hendrix with the BBC Concert Orchestra.”

And There’s More 

There are more names still to be added to this ridiculously good line up, including a plethora of emerging artists from the ranks of BBC Introducing. Elsewhere, the BBC Big Four – BBC Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and 6 Music will be on curation duties.  They’ll be providing extensive coverage of the festival over the four day period. Further coverage will be provided by 1Xtra and Asian Network.

Finally,

Ticket for BBC Music ‘The Big Weekend’ will go on sale Monday 12th February, 2018. The demand will be massive so make you get in on the action early doors. For those of us unlucky enough not to be in a position to attend any of the four days/locations, there will also be extensive TV coverage on BBC One, BBC Two and BBC Four. The festival will be available to watch via BBC iPlayer, mobile and online.

For more details follow BBC Music on Twitter,

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PS Before we go, we’ve whipped up a wee #TBW18 playlist for you. We’ll add to it as additional acts are announced.