Fallen Lights – Another Midlands Music Success Story

There’s obviously something in the Midlands water supply that isn’t on tap for the rest of Ireland, as heartland hotspots such as Mullingar keep churning out new acts, one after the next. Each as good if not better than the previous.

Current ‘Gar torch bearers Fallen Lights are currently showering in a stream of successes, the most recent being their Philip Magee (Kodaline, The Script) produced single, Pricetag.

The lead track from their upcoming 5-track EP due later this Autumn, Pricetag is a soaring youth anthem set around the theme of young love and the inherent problems that come with it. It’s an indie-rock guitar breezer with catchy melodies and just the right amount of pop sensibilities to appeal to both rockers and poppers alike.

The just released black & white visual, which was shot on location around Dublin’s coastline, was directed by Craig Moore of cleverly named Moore for Less Productions. The storyline follows the theme of the song; young, broke, and broken-hearted finds new love when least expecting it – new love without a pricetag.

The Fallen Lighters have had a pretty busy 2017, scoring 32 live performances in 32 counties in as many days for their ‘Mind Your Mind’ tour. But the aptly named tour was not just a promotional vehicle. It also had the purpose of creating awareness of mental health issues, and some €2,000 of the proceeds from the tour were donated to Irish mental health charity, Inspire.

In other news, the lads’ fun-filled take on the legendary Father Ted, My Lovely Horse, complete with its very own Dougal, went viral, notching up 3.5 million views on social media.

Fallen Lights just played to a sold out Whelans on Saturday night. With radio and chart success, sell out shows, support slots with The Academic, Paddy Casey and their own Bressie with The Blizzards, as well as a second EP in the mix, the future looks brighter than rosy for the four Midlanders.

Check out Fallen Lights over on FB – you can watch the video for Pricetag here. DervSwerve

Fallen Lights is Graham Dowling – Vox/Rhythm guitar,  Andrew Cody – Vox/Bass,  Jay Wiley – Lead guitar/ BV’s,  & Joey Murray – Drums

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Huw Stephens & May Kay Set To Present Most Disparate Other Voices @ EP Line Up Yet

Stalwart Electric Picnic-ers will be delighted to learn that firm fan fave, the Other Voices stage returns to the Stradbally woods with an eclectic line up as disparate as it is exciting.

A blend of Irish and international artists will perform in EP’s most intimate setting, and judging by the breadth of talent due to take to the OV stage, festival-goers can expect all kinds of everything and then some.

Details have just been released of the latest additions to the Other Voices roll call with the extended line up being made up of a balanced mix of both established and emerging artists. Here’s a flavour of some of the artists that’ll be showcasing their wares in this most special of silvan settings:-

Making his Irish debut will be Berlin-based, Oxford native singer-composer Tom Adams who recently performed as part of the Other Voices Berlin Irish music showcase. His 8-track mini album Silence, which was released earlier this year, is simply breathtaking.

The much anticipated set of rising star Eoin French’s Talos project, which only recently released the stupendously gorgeous Brendan Canty visual for his single This Is Us Colliding, should see the Cork man focus on tracks from his highly acclaimed debut album Wild Alee.

Fresh from successful slots at TGE and Body & Soul, Fresh on the Net and Tom Robinson Fresh Fave Ailbhe Reddy makes her EP debut. Her dynamic vocal ability and insightful lyricism are guaranteed to captivate.

Booka Brass, who do exactly as it says on the tin, make a welcome return with their sometimes sexy, always sassy, innovative take on infectious contemporary jazz sounds.

Music vet David Kitt is set to introduce his New Jackson electro-project. He also togged out for OV in Berlin and you can expect more of the same, with a Night to Night fuelled set for his ‘woodland’ slot.

Livening things up a little should be alt-rock outfit Bitch Falcon who hopefully won’t be too Castlepalooza’d out of it to provide some ‘feist’ to the pastoral with their grungy gargantuaness.

If you like your R&B dope, then Hudis, Grvz, SolBas, and Glory aka funk-trap outfit Super Silly are the go-to act for you.

And when the cobwebs, and hopefully not the clouds, are beginning to gather, all girl four-piece Pillow Queens will help shake things up with their fresh brand of ballsy neo-new wave. Think grrr with a touch of purr.

Other acts set to mix it up and shake it down are dreamy voiced British electro-popper Pixx, poet Stephen James Smith, Portadown native Jealous of the Birds (the North’s top tip for the big time!), and post-punk quartet Slow Riot. They’ll join the likes of Katie Laffan, Jafaris, Saint Sister, Laoise, Soulé and more .

Other Voices at EP will be presented by the Beeb’s Huw Stephens along with May Kay of Le Galaxie and Fight Like Apes fame. Full details of Other Voice @ Electric Picnic can be found here.

To whet your appetite, which of course can only be fully sated by devouring the full Electric Picnic menu, we’re signing off with an Other Voices playlist – think of it as an amuse bouche to the table d’hote.

Wyvern Lingo – That Love For Sadie Just Keeps A’Growin’

Such has been the success of their latest single, I Love You Sadie, that gawjus gals Wyvern Lingo have now released their mucho bueno acoustic version, and it’s available now via Rubywax Records on all digital platforms!

The stand-out track, which the trio performed on RTE’s Saturday Night with Miriam has been a runaway favourite with radio-heads, journos and fans alike, with everyone raving about its exciting fresh folk-take on R&B as well as it’s colourful, uplifting verve.

The girls describe the track as being about “loving the feminine qualities of a man, and encouraging him not to worry about fitting into the male stereotype and just to be himself”. There you go now Paddy, find your inner Patricia and let her rip!

Fresh from their much raved-about performance at Longitude Fest, Wyvern Lingo have announced a Party and then a post-party-party after the original launch party! Confused much? Pay attention grasshopper.

WL will host a Launch Party for their new single I LOVE YOU, SADIE – the lead track from their forthcoming debut album, due early 2018 – at Dublin’s Grand Social on 25th August.

This will be followed by (dramatic pause), an after party in a SECRET LOCATION 😱 .

What can you expect on the night?  DJ sets from the Lingo ladies, as well as RTÉ 2fm presenter Tara Stewart – and FREE BEER TASTING from Bray’s O Brother Brewing on arrival at the after party.

Full details on FB events here with limited tickets still available via Ticketmaster.

PARTEEE!!! DervSwerve

Wicklovians Wyvern Lingo are Caoimhe Barry, Karen Cowley and Saoirse Duane 

Will Gregory To Moog The Night Away At NCH

News has just filtered through that the Will Gregory Moog Ensemble are to play a unique concert at Dublin’s NCH on Sunday 1st October ’17.

The show, which is a Science Gallery (TCD) Dublin collaboration, will see Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, and Adrian Utley of Portishead fame, bring their unique synthesiser-showcase to the NCH stage.

Will Gregory is an innovative creator and re-imaginer who together with Utley, pushes the boundaries of composition using Moog synths. The duo together with their ensemble, add their own flavour to music from pop culture and films, whilst also showcasing new works side by side with fresh interpretations of classical compositions.

To mark the tenth anniversary of synth-innovator Robert Moog’s death, Will Gregory will premiere a new piece of music. The composition features a new clocking device that enables the syncing of all ten synths, resulting in a new, idiosyncratic soundscape.

This unique event should make for the perfect confluence of old and new, and a truly inspirational as well as well as hugely entertaining evening.

Portmanteau fans can chew over the Portisfrapp and Goldhead options during the interval!

Will Gregory (Goldfrapp), Adrian Utley (Portishead) and ensemble. NCH, Dublin, Sunday 1st October 2017

Room: Main Stage 
Prices: €30, €25

Tickets from NCH Box Office Tel: 01 417 00 00 or Nch.ie

 

Gash Collective : Moving the Needle to Equalise Music

Ellen King Courtesy of Irish Times

When the line-ups for the three biggest Irish festivals were announced earlier this year, there was universal outrage across social media at the gross lack of female representation. The stark reality is that female artists constituted a mere 27% of the total 2017 line up across the top 3 Irish festivals. We wrote about it on the blog, have a read here.

Ironically this comes at a time when Irish DJ Jenny Greene has never been so popular, with the rise and then some of her uber-super Ibiza Proms-like showcase of trance-classical in collab with the RTE Symphony Orchestra; a show which has sold-out every single performance since its inception for last year’s Electric Picnic.

Tackling disproportionate representation along with other gender imbalances within the music industry, is what Irish based Gash Collective is about. So, in response to club and festival gender bias, whether intentional or nay, this Irish collective, run by women for women (and those identifying as female), has been running a series of curated workshops aimed at encouraging females to get involved in the world of electronic music.

Sponsored by Smirnoff, the workshops provide an opportunity for women over the age of 18 “to get stuck in, in a completely non-judgemental atmosphere”. The sessions focus on DJ and production skills, enabling women to learn how to use Ableton software, equipment such as turntables and CDJs (digital music players for DJing, the most common of which are produced by Pioneer) and how to mix them some musical magic.

Discussing the workshops with the Irish Times, Cork based DJ Ellen King explained, “The main thing is that no experience is necessary. The big thing, especially with CDJs and decks, is they’re very expensive equipment and a lot of people don’t have access to them, unless they know someone who owns a bar etc”.

All equipment – laptops, decks etc – is provided, with training led by female Irish producers and DJs. All the participants have to do is pitch up and immerse themselves in the vibe. It’s all about getting yourself out there with like-minded gals, having a go, enjoying a few laughs, and making a few mistakes along the way.

All of the workshops are now full, but you can still register to receive info-mails about future events. So sign up and go along at nearest opportunity! Remember – She who dares wins!

ABOUT GASH COLLECTIVE: Gash Collective Irish based collective focused on supporting women in the field of electronic music; a platform to encourage women to create, share and collaborate together in the field of electronic music in Ireland. Through safe space initiatives, carefully curated parties and events, as well as production and DJ workshops, GASH intends to shine a light on female identifying producers and DJs in Ireland. 

GASH was inspired by Female:Pressure’s VISIBILITY project and collectives like SIREN London and DISCWOMAN NYC. 

Gash are on Twitter and Facebook. Do show your support and give them a follow! DervSwerve.

 

“If It Ain’t Broken!” – ‘Hug of Thunder’ Review

Seven years since their last record together, Canadian collective Broken Social Scene, return with an all-embracing and engaging sixth album.

Bearing a title described by founding member Kevin Drew as “that embrace amongst the chaos”, Hug of Thunder contains some of the most exuberant and immediately appealing music BSS have ever recorded. A dozen songs that stem from an extensive but brilliant collective; one it would seem with a shared vision.

There is something cosy and comfy about Broken Social Scene, the now expansive outfit initially formed as a duo in late ’90s Toronto by Brendan Canning and Kevin Drew.

Since then, it has grown exponentially into a ‘raggle-taggle’ gaggle of friends, neighbours, countrymen, and even exes, some of whom have dipped in and out depending on the demands of their non-BSS commitments. In the case of vocalist Leslie Feist and guitarist Jason Collett it was to pursue their own successful solo careers, while for others it was the call of bands like Do Make Say Think and Stars.

With its current official count at 17 members, this is a band that has seen more migrancy than most. Existing in a constant state of flux has seen them thrive rather than strive, as their ‘friends forever’ attitude forged a unified friendship that is still much in evidence on their latest compendium of charming excesses.

Hug of Thunder is a benevolent embrace. An immersive record that tangles you up in a wild jungle of fanfares, unfettered vocals, ambient pauses, jangly guitars and euphoric anthems.

One in from the tantalising ‘instro’ Sol Luna, instant anthem Halfway Home, is a vivid explosion of major chords and frenzied guitar fuzz. A soaring sprawl with shades of Kings of Leon and fellow Canadians Arcade Fire. Skyline too is an equally gripping if foreboding masterpiece of propulsive, anthemic indie-rock with its lush layering of guitars, synths and multi-vox.

This latest exercise in camaraderie showcases this diverse but tightly knit cohort’s exceptional ability to produce warm, interactive musical dramas. Productions whose clamorous climaxes, uplifting chimes and blazes of guitar glory make for such an inclusive performance so as to make the listener feel they’re sitting smack bang in the middle of it all – the BSS definition of ‘surround sound’.

Stay Happy which features the cloud-caressing angelic vocals of Ariel Engle, is an infectious match made in Broen heaven. From a sparse, minimalist intro it ramps up into something of a brass-fuelled melodrama, all epic guitars and sweeping melodies.  Likewise, there’s more potent brass to be found on Vanity Pall Kids which kicks off with an intro that sounds as if a plethora of guitars are being dragged kicking and screaming backwards through an indignant amp.

Crowd clangour, hyperactive sticks, sassy brass and heavenly harmonies – slaves to the pounding rhythm all.

Compelling Gonna Get Better is a colourful idiosyncrasy, while the somewhat languid title track which has Feist on lead vocal duties, is suggestive of the deeper, more reflective side to, and kaleidoscopic nature of Broken Social Scene. Shades of Fleetwood Mac glaze what is one of the dreamiest soundscapes of the album as it creates one of several ‘spine-tinglingly’ good moments throughout this ingenious Bohemian rhapsody.

Broken Social Scene is the perfect example of ‘If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it’. An harmonious, ad-hoc mehill* that comes together when there’s a job to be done, then dissipates as soon as it has been completed. The fact that they can create and re-create avant-garde rarities with such seemingly effortless ease is a testament to their unanimity and solidarity.

Broken Social Scene – ‘Hug of Thunder’ 8/10. Stand Out Track – ‘Halfway Home’

Hug of Thunder is on release now via City Slang. Broken Social Scene will be embarking on a North American tour commencing 23rd July – for details go to their website – http://brokensocialscene.ca/

*mehill – an Irish Gaelic term for ‘gathering’ or ‘group of helpers’

Julia Holter Covers Depeche Mode In Honour Of Late Artist Friend

American artist Julia Holter has released a new 7″ double-A set of covers of the legendary Mode track, Condemnation, adjudged by many to be one of the British band’s finest compositions.

A collaboration with Ramona Gonzalez, Cole M.G.N and Nedelle Torrisi, the charity single is being released in honour of their late close-friend, artist and music video director Travis Peterson, who tragically died at the end of 2016. Depeche Mode were one of Peterson’s favourite bands.

The double-A which is released via Holter’s home label Domino Records, features two covers – one live and one synth version of the ’93 single that saw Mode frontman Dave Gahan deliver one of his best vocal performances.

“Aside from being an authentic and talent artist and collaborator, Travis was a great friend and beloved by many in Los Angeles and around the world,” Holter, Gonzalez, M.G.N., and Torrisi said in a joint-statement. “Known for his infectious laugh, sense of mischief, and passion for art, music, and architecture, Travis was simply a pleasure to be around.”

While the live version is an heavenly chorus of harmonies that floats slowly over a solemn tide of accordion, the second cover is a masterclass in synth understatement that stays true to the aesthetic of early ’90s Mode.

The deeply touching live-acoustic version of the song is accompanied by a sublime Jennifer Juniper Stratford video, which you can watch below.

All proceeds will be donated to  Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a Los Angeles-based non-profit dedicated to providing mental health and substance abuse services in underserved communities.

The limited edition Condemnation vinyl can be pre-ordered here.

Who Let The Dogs Out? The Mercury Shortlist & The Baying Hounds!

 

Rolling Stone

It’s only been a few hours since the Mercury Shortlist was announced and already a bloodthirsty cohort of baying hounds is chomping at the bit, desirous to sink their well honed canines into its juicy flesh.

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, they smell the blood of more than a few Englishmen, cannibalistic appetite whetted, wolverine mouths salivating.

Why? Easy! These days, all anyone has to do to stir the blood of the whack-pack is print two words. Ed Sheeran.

The sheer mention of his name is enough to set every snarky schnauzer in the extended media pack barking their sardonic heads off. Having said that, some of the other nominees haven’t gone down too well either.

The inclusion of The XX, Blossoms and Alt-J has in some quarters, sunk heavier than your proverbial ton of lead.

For those who don’t have their snouts cocked so high in the air that they can’t see the gargantuan chips on their own shoulders through their green tinted eyes, the list is a diverse and refreshing combination of contemporary pop, spoken word social commentary, 21st century alt-rock, freestyle grime cum hip hop and much more.

Additions to this year’s judging panel include Marcus Mumford, Lianne La Havas, Ella Eyre, and DJ MistaJam. Singer Jessie Ware and jazzster Jamie Cullum are also on the panel along with broadcaster Clara Amfo, and Head of Music at BBC 6 Music and Radio 2, Jeff Smith.

The Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards Show will take place at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Thursday, 14th September, with most of the nominees expected to perform on the night.

This prestigious annual prize recognises the best album from the UK and Ireland, however, notwithstanding the fact Sheeran might be Ireland’s adopted ‘looper’, this year’s shortlist is decidedly short on Irish entries.

An interesting situation indeed, given that the Irish music scene, which has never been stronger, is currently undergoing something of a cross-genre, multi-cultural renaissance.

And the nominees are,

Alt-J: ‘Relaxer’
Blossoms: ‘Blossoms’
Dinosaur: ‘Together, As One’
Ed Sheeran: ‘Divide’
Glass Animals: ‘How To Be A Human Being’
J Hus: ‘Common Sense’
Kate Tempest: ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Loyle Carner: ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
Sampha: ‘Process’
Stormzy: ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
The Big Moon: ‘Love In The Fourth Dimension’
The xx: ‘I See You’

While one might expect hip hopper Stormzy to be immediately installed as bookies favourite, it could very well be that fellow grimer Skepta’s 2016 win with Konnichiwa might have inadvertently put paid to the Croydon native’s chances of a win!

DervSwerve’s top tips would be Dinosaur or Kate Tempest, however, the Mercury Prize has an uncanny track record of throwing up the least obvious winners!

To see you off, we’ve put together a playlist featuring sounds from the nominated albums. Enjoy. DervSwerve

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Emilio Pinchi, Jarvis Cocker & The Never-ending Circle of Love

Emilio Pinchi

It’s a rare treat to plug into a new song only to find you’re on the receiving end of Jarvis Cocker mark 2. That is exactly what’s going on with Emilio Pinchi on his latest single, During Voided Hours.

The lead single from Liverpool-based Pinchi’s upcoming EP due out later this year, During Voided Hours is something of an inadvertent homage to the soft-tones of Sheffield’s whimsical Britpop son.

And it’s not just a Cocker vocal-doppelganger thing – the very blood of Pulp’s bassline beat is coursing through the heartland of this song.

The fact that Pulp was one of the most ingenious bands of the ’90s, and Cocker a songwriter significantly superior to many of his peers, shouldn’t go without mention when putting the comparisons into perspective.

Coming in at a very short but sweet two and half minutes, During Voided Hours is a flurry of nicely textured guitars hurtling through a Jools-like bluesy bass and piano combo that complement each other perfectly. As the dynamic piano is to the louche bass, the drawl of tight guitar twang is to the percussive smash in this hyperactive whirl.

Listening to this track is like being thrown into a spinning top that carries you at full pelt around the cyclical patterns, instrumental and lyrical, on which it’s built.

Notwithstanding the hushed tone of Pinchi’s underplayed vocal, the ‘real-life’ quality of his delivery, gives it a tangible, ‘warm to the touch’ quality. As ever, life keenly observed is given the short, sharp, shock treatment of razor lyrics.

Emilio Pinchi is master of both brevity and understatement, something which puts him somewhat at odds with the afore-mentioned master of melodrama.

Speaking about the song Emilio said: “The song’s about breaking-up with someone and end up like strangers. Then you go out and meet new people, but you’re such a tertiary character in their life’s movie-plot at that moment in time.  You realise there’s actually no difference between these new people and the person you were with – it’s just kind of a perspective thing.”  

He continued “I put a bunch of memories and experiences in the the second verse, but the idea is that you don’t know whether they’re old memories or completely new memories/about the old person or a new person. Underpinning the idea of everything being cyclical”.

***Spoiler alert – Keep an ear out for a little amuse bouche of a nod to a fellow homie!***

During Voided Hours is out now. You can follow Emilio on Spotify and Twitter.

DervSwerve.

Talos Unveils Breathtaking ‘This Is Us Colliding’ Video Filmed In West Clare

Brendan Canty

Irish musician and songwriter Talos has unveiled a stunning visual accompaniment to his latest single This Is Us Colliding.

The video, shot on location in the Burren, was directed by the Corkman’s long time collaborator Brendan Canty of Feelgoodlost. The film centres around images of the musician and his band, performing the song atop a cliff, set against the remote and alluring landscapes of West Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way.

Frames of Talos are cleverly interspersed with flashing acid drop colours and film-burn effects, and together with the beautifully edited and stylised footage of the coastline, they pick up on elements of the song’s central theme.

This Is Us Colliding has at its heart a “recurring reference to the idea of the epic journey or exploration and conquering the unknown. (The song) looks at what lengths we go to for what we desire – be it another, or a dream, and if these things warrant those struggles. Will we be satisfied with what we end up with?”

The video is to breathtaking, as this song is to spine-tingling.

There is something about Talos’ voice when it’s left to drift in isolation, across hushed minimalist instrumentation, that harks of times past. There’s an almost medieval quality to its quiet chant.

It’s hard to balance those whispering tones with a powerful surge in delivery, but that is exactly what Talos does as he expertly sweeps the song from static beauty and ethereal spaciousness to majestic melodrama.

Very few other contemporary artists can orchestrate emotion-piercing instrumentation quite like this.

This Is Us Colliding due for release on 21st July, is lifted from Talos’ highly acclaimed debut album, Wild Alee, which you can buy or stream from the usual channels. Watch the spectacular video for this truly beautiful song here.