As we slowly slink into the Autumnal slipstream that is September, the shimmering haze of Summer (what Summer?) is being bellowed by a blaze of feelgood tunes, keeping our spirits up and the cardigans at bay for just another wee while.

Summer is the season for all things Pride and to their credit, Cork four-piece The Elation teamed up earlier in August with Cork Pride to produce a fantastic charity single, Feels Like A Good Reason To Get Started.  All proceeds made from the sale of the single go directly to the Cork Gay Project.

The track, which was produced by London-based Andy Whitmore (MN8), is the kind of indie-pop fusion The Elation has down to a fine art. Guitar driven Summery rock is given the pumping disco beats treatment to create a blue-skies radio-friendly, bright nights dance floor filler. With its rousing chorus and compelling beats, this blaze of indie glory channels just the right mix of pop sensibilities to make it appeal to music lovers of all shapes and shades.

The Cork Gay project is still ongoing so please, if you haven’t already dipped into your sticky pockets, you can still donate on a very Radiohead-esque ‘pay what you want’ basis over on the guys’ Bandcamp space. ‘Feels Like A Good Reason To Get Started’ is also available via the usual digital channels. Watch the accompanying video, shot on location in Cork city, here. DerVerdict – You know what you need to do!

The Elation is about to hit these Munster venues running so get in early to reserve your air space.

Unless you’ve been living on or under Fraggle Rock, you can’t have failed to notice much-media-ado about everything to do with a certain album launch.

Fka Ireland’s next big thing, Picture This are indeed now just that … the big ticket act that everyone wants to see, a point proven by the speed with which their upcoming lives at the 3 Arena sold out. Their eponymous debut album went straight in at #1 in the Irish album charts, no mean feat for a duo that set up shop via Facebook only two years ago.

The impressive rapidity with which Messrs Rainsford and Hennessy have become ‘a thing’ in contemporary Irish popular music culture is predominantly down to the relatability of their songs and normality of their personas.

Picture This are two normal lads who with nothing to lose, just bloody well went for it. And got there in a mind-bogglingly short space of time, propelled by the goodwill of an exponentially expanding fanbase who saw in the Kildare duo and their lyrics, reflections of their own lives.

At the core of their critical success are two things – their stirring, perfectly choreographed melodic arrangements and their incisive illustrations of youth-life in small town, post-recession Ireland.

The Picture This promotional tour will take them to the US in September before they return to these shores to play Belfast end of October followed by the two sold-out Dublin shows. The album Picture This is out now on all platforms. DerVerdict – 4.5/5 – A Must Buy!

Speaking of ‘big things’, Dublin trio The Script have just returned with their fifth album, Freedom Child.

Looking lean and mean at their recent secret gig in The Stadium (we share the same trainer but I obviously like my food more) the Dublin lads teased tracks from their new album to an uproarious crowd (we saw the ‘stories’ on IG!) which undoubtedly augured well for its release.

With more political leanings than its predecessors, Freedom Child is a bit of a musical mixed bag. While there are some artfully conceived pop flourishes and lush rhythmic beats with swatches of reggae-esque underlay, the heavy EDM elements at times feel a bit laboured.

Thematically, the boilerplate love/hate, when love breaks down, relationship schemas which are the stock in trade of The Script are all there, interwoven with musings on terrorism and bullying.

Rain is the kind of Latino-hip pop you might expect to find on an Enrique Iglesias compendium whereas notwithstanding its quirky lyrical content, Mad Love with its super cool beat, is classic Script. Stand out track of the album is undoubtedly Arms Open which sees frontman Danny Donoghue vocally reign supreme. A song in the mould of The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, this is The Script lyrical tendresse at its best. If you’re going to see them on their current tour, this is going to your arm waver, phone blazer of a track.

With more high points than low, overall this is a solid production by a band who like to experiment and more importantly have a bit of fun while doing so. While there’s enough vintage Script in here to keep the legions happy, there’s also plenty of fun flava to pick up newbies along the way. DerVerdict – Do It.

Irish brothers Cillian and Lorcan Byrne are the duo behind brand Basciville. Serving up RnB/Folk fusion, with a side of orchestral is their house speciality and judging by the reaction to their latest single, Diving Hour, it’s going down a treat with their ever-growing audiences.

Hailing from Wexford, the pair grew up in a rural idyll famous for its laid-back tranquility; a world that has become increasingly swept up in the fast-paced freneticism that is our modern, everyday multi-gadgeted and faceted life. By taking modern instrumental sounds, samples and styles and arranging them with careful precision into pastoral settings, Basciville orchestrates an enchanting transcendence, or musical time-lapse if you will.

Basciville has created a unique far-away utopia, and situated it right at the heart of our urban decay. Forget your stressballs, lavender pillows and mindfulness apps. Download their tumbling orchestral sequences and floating melodies to set your mind at zen o’clock.

Notwithstanding its silvan themed video, Diving Hour would make the perfect soundtrack for a maritime visual. Watch the accompanying film in all its verdant glory below.  Basciville are about to head out on a nationwide tour (full details on Facebook).

Nationwide Tour Dates – Tickets available at Ticketmaster & box offices.
Weds Sept 27th : Roisin Dubh (upstairs) – Galway
Thurs sept 28th: The Workmans Club – Dublin
Fri Sept 29th: The Roundry – Cork
Sat Sept 30th: Dolans (upstairs) – Limerick
Sun Oct 1st: DeBarra – Clonakilty

Wild Youth is Callum McAdam, Ed Porter, David Whelan, and Conor O’Donohoe, four Dublin lads at the start of what’s promising to be an adventurous journey.

Ahead of the release of their second single Lose Control, the band has dropped the accompanying video which features top Irish model Thalia Heffernan and her Dancing with the Stars boyfriend, Ryan Mc Shane. These two hot steppers sure let off some very sexy steam during their superbly choreographed flirtation around late night Dublin.

With it’s infectious vocal, lush, tantalising melodies and gyrating beats, this song is the perfect antidote to the cooler temperatures of late Summer/early Autumn. It shouts bright lights, late nights and lots of fun. Now who’d argue with that?

Lose Control is released Friday 8th September. Wild Youth will headline the Grand Social on Friday 22nd September. Tickets here.

IN OTHER AUTUMNAL NEWS …

Post her rave stint at EP, Beeb DJ Annic Mac is just one of the several on-trend dance acts that due to pitch up at Weston Airport later this Autumn for the new-look Samhain Festival. She’ll be joined in Hangar-land on Saturday 28th October by beatmasters Kelly Anne Byrne, Eats Everything and Belgium’s finest, 2ManyDJs. Sunday 29th will see The Strypes perform tracks from their new Spitting Image album before former Oasis front-man Liam ‘as you were’ Gallagher takes centre-stage. Tickets €49.50 from Ticketmaster.

Rumour has it that a batch of Irish newbies are shaping up to drop their debut albums in the not too distant months ahead. One such group is Otherkin who are set to release the not so cryptically entitled OK on 29th September. To promo its release, the band are heading out on tour, starting with a 7-night UK run as special guests of InHeaven which will  be swiftly followed by an expansive headline tour that will see the boys take in a raft of British and European dates. The tour will wrap on 15th December at Dublin’s Button Factory – now that’ll be some sesh!

Full details plus links to pre-order OK here. (Oh and hint hint – fans who pre-order will receive four instant grat tracks). Now there’s an incentive to buy-in if ever I saw one!

AND FINALLY, THE BIG ONE!

Here it is folks … the first single from the upcoming U2 album Songs of Experience.

You’re The Best Thing About Me follows the surprise drop of teaser track The Blackout and leads the way for the Irish rock legends’ 14th studio album, Songs of Experience the second of a two-part album series.

Following Songs of Innocence which documented U2’s childhood experiences through the late 1970s into the early 1980s, the new album takes the form of intimate letters written by Bono to people from within his inner sanctum like family and close friends as well as to those outside, including fans. Most interestingly it includes missives to himself.

Where The Blackout had direct sonic references to 90’s platinum selling Achtung Baby, You’re The Best Thing About Me is a tangible continuum of SoI in both look and feel, although traces of Edge’s riffs recall the haunting guitar playing of Bad (The Unforgettable Fire). There are no prizes for guessing the subject(s) of the song as it’s clearly yet another homage to his wife of over 35 years and their long-standing relationship.

Songs of Experience will be available on CD, vinyl and digital download, with the release date and pre-order details to be announced soon.

Check out the funky lyric video for the new single here!

As usual we’re signing off with an accompanying Spotify playlist. Unfortunately, as Wild Youth’s track isn’t on release for another few days, it’s not included. However, as soon as it is available, we’ll add it in. Cheers, DervSwerve x

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2 thoughts on “Discover Ireland #4 : Autumnal Dawn

  1. Brilliant post Derval, informative and entertaining, your writing is consistently charming, vibrant and enthusiastic. Thank you very much for sharing this, have noted the concert dates, you never know.. a friend of mine has just moved to Wexford from England and loves it xx

    Liked by 1 person

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