2017 has been a fantastic year for Irish music artists, not least for trio Wyvern Lingo whose stream of percipient releases has reflected a striking, stylistic evolution that has seen their music move to a whole new level. To bring their stand-out year to a rather festive close, these adventurous pioneers of alt-r&b have unveiled soulful new single, Snow II.
Snow II is a re-imagining of the song of the same title. A quasi-acoustic track coloured with subtle hints of synth and some mellow flute sequences, Snoworiginally featured on the 2014 EP, The Widow Knows. Underpinned by a rolling tumbleweed of acoustic guitar, the song’s expansive instrumental spaciousness allows the trio’s close-harmony singing to take a much-deserved centre-stage.
In the re-worked Snow II, Wyvern Lingo have retained much of the spaciousness of the original. The key change comes in the form of additional textures and atmospherics. While the same interwoven vocal harmonies preside, the instrumental takes on more prominence with the inclusion of pulsating synth beats – recalling the heart beating in the “womb” – and a more vocal electric guitar.
The track opens with repetitive solo beat and sparse synth chords that provide the perfect open soundscape for Caoimhe Barry’s intuitive vocal, one into which she pours just the right amount of expressive nuance. Textured layers and subtle strands are interwoven into the song’s melodic and harmonic progression as it evolves into sensual, bass-driven bluesy RnB. The overall effect is one of soulful, unnerving intimacy.
“It sifts from leaden sieves, It powders all the wood, … Then stills its artisans like ghosts, Denying they have been” – Emily Dickinson
Snow obscures familiar objects, rendering them strange and ghostly to us.
Snow II captures the spectral beauty of snow, as well as its unerring ability to eradicate our personal landscapes. The falling snow covers the world outside, creating a disconnect that causes us to retreat indoors, just as during the dog days of a dysfunctional relationship, we pull down shutters to cut ourselves off, creating an emotional no-man’s land that keeps us outside touching distance.
Snow II is the version of the original the band “always imagined it would sound like“. Inspired in part by the Simon & Garfunkel classic, I am a Rock, the song was written from the perspective of the person trying to reach an ex lover who is in that dark place, cutting themselves off from the world.” explains Caoimhe Barry. “It’s about wanting to comfort them, but you can’t speak to them or hold them like you might have when you were in a relationship, and how sad and confusing that is.”
“Darkness falls, The sky is white, Street lights, Inside the candle burns … And I know my love grows, Like the silence of snow”
Snow II was mixed and produced by Berlin-based Cork musician and producer Wife and London-based Mix Engineer Neil Comber (Glass Animals, Florence & The Machine), who were drafted in to work their magic on the band’s new material.
This captivating track is yet another taste of what we can expect from Wyvern Lingo’s upcoming debut album, which they started recording in February 2017.
An album launch party is set to kick off a nationwide tour in February 2018, with UK/Euro dates coming down the tracks. The launch, which was originally planned for No.22 South Anne St. (tickets for which are still valid), has been moved to the larger Button Factory venue and is scheduled to take place on 23rd February, 2018, tickets from http://www.wyvernlingo.com
Wyvern Lingo is: Caoimhe Barry (vocals/drums), Karen Cowley (synth/ bass synth/vocals) and Saoirse Duane (guitar/vocals)
For our 8th Voyage of Discovery newsletter, we’ve decided to mix it up a bit. Gone are the mini-reviews, news excerpts and gig alerts. Instead, we’ve gone for the musical jugular, biting deep, down into big, chunky recent releases from three industry big hitters.
Don’t be shy … let us know what you think! Disagree? State your case! Agree? Did anything in particular resonate? Pen your thoughts in the comment box below, or feel free to slug it out on our socials – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram.
Either way, we hope you enjoy digesting the reviews, and even more importantly, that you listen to our featured releases. As usual, we’re including a Spotify playlist comprising a mash-up of tracks from the three records. DervSwerve x
PS. If you missed VoD Vol 7, you can catch up on all the news, here.
DerVerdicts – THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE ER
For the doubting Tommies out there amongst you, let I Wouldn’t Be, the title track from Kodaline‘s new EP, be proof positive (and final) that this Dublin four-piece have, along with Hozier and The Script, cemented their place as one of the strongest Irish musical exports this side of the millennium.
To bridge the gap until the 2018 release of their third album and ahead of their UK headline tour, the Irish outfit has just dropped a four-track EP, something that should assuage their ever-expanding horde of fans both at home and abroad.
The first of four strong and very different tracks, this quasi a cappella homage to motherhood and family is an earnest blend of wistful tranquility, and uplifting celebration. I Wouldn’t Becomprises four seamlessly interwoven vocals, its sole instrumental contribution arriving in the form of a sublime piece of Uillean pipe playing by Mike Mc Godrick.
Lead track Ready to Change has a touch of the Chris Martin’s on the soft vocal rise and fall, and charismatic, crowd-pulling chorus. With its tight, insistent guitars, high-energy drums and gotcha-hooks in all the right places, this dynamic energiser has hand-waving anthem stamped all over it. Laid back, Indie-pop fuelled The Riddle replicates the magnetic chorus-effect of Ready to Change and with its chillaxed melodies and slacker tempo, is bound to be another crowd-pleaser. Finally, down-tempo Blood and Bones provides a fitting close to this organic soother.
I Wouldn’t Becomes across as a spontaneous, uncontrived recording filled with thoughtful sentiments sans the emotional toxicity.
Kodalineis Stephen Garrigan (vocals/guitar)), Mark Prendergast (guitar), Vinny May Jr (drums), and Jason Boland (bass). They will play dates across Denmark, Germany and the UK in December supported by Aine Cahilland are booked for Neighbourhood Festival, Warrington next May – full details on their Facebookpage.
DerVerdict – I Wouldn’t Be did for us what Sam Smith’s The Thrill of It All failed to do – converted the nonbelievers. Kodaline – I Wouldn’t Be is available now via the B-Unique imprint.
“You know me well … I’d do anything for you … ?” Ok Moz, you could start by turning down the foghorn on your stomp-ridden, melodramatic album opener! Riotous My Love, I’d Do Anything For You evokes classic Morrissey’s mid-80’s lyrica obscura but without the swirling genius of Marr and whirling Dervish of the diva that was to tame its shrew. It does however, have enough of a fine line in big band banter and scorching hot brasses to take the edge of Moz’s moth-eaten disaffection with life, love, the media, grass-fed beef and William.
Having said all that, by invoking the glam-rock of Your Arsenal, this robust opener to Low in High Schoolgets your backside moving towards the chair’s edge in anticipation of what might come next.
“Stop watching the news”,”Teach your kids to recognise and despise all the propaganda/Filtered down by the dead echelon’s mainstream media.”
What does come next is a sequence of Un-PC ideologies shrouded in the most blithe of melodies and instrumental potency, delivered with all the mature-pathos befitting of artists of a certain vintage. Becoming more bellicose with age, Morrissey brings the usual fare of contentious lyrical themes to the table – fake news, ‘evil media’, and the omnipresent, ubiquitous sex. In addition, there’s an astonishing pro-Israeli stance much at odds with the current ‘leftie’ world view which for once, posits the gnarly Mancunian somewhat in the same camp as Thom Yorke. Cue rabid debate.
And rabid debate is indeed something which glam-master Moz has never shied away from. But, if we separate the artist from the activist, we expose a polished, and thoughtfully conceived of creation. Lustful In Your Lap is a beauteous confection of intense piano chords and desirous sound effects; Home is a Question Mark a sensational skew-ways torch song given the full classic-Morrissey-vocal treatment; but it’s All the Young People Must Fall in Loveand Spent the Day in Bed on which this 80’s enigma excels. Melodic potentates, their idiosyncratic, and for once infectious upbeat qualities, flaunt the musical flair of this erratic genius.
If 80’s Smiths’ Morrissey invented philosophical indie, his mid-life solo self has honed it; sharpened its lyrical edges by driving it through a hail of condescension and wilful animosity. Morrissey has a natural gift for melody, and it is through this which he redeems himself. An album of atmospheric balladry, baroque pop and egomaniacal rock, Low in High Schoolis as unorthodox as one has come to expect from one of the leading exponents of contentious composition. It is also a finely balanced menagerie of orchestral theatrics and melodic finesse.
DerVerdict – Accomplished musicianship, big on drama – Low in High School is an A-Z of testosterone-fuelled ballads and poison-pen letters; supers and fans of Your Arsenalwill swipe right, all others probably left. Morrissey – Low in High School – is out now via étienne/BMG.
Notwithstanding its description as a “social observation” and “political” record on the face of it, Paloma Faith‘s fourth album is not an obvious socio-political commentary.
Despite being her fourth album, The Architectrepresents the artist’s first foray into these previously uncharted waters and in doing so, Faith joins that legion of artists of a certain age/status/’phase’ who have nonchalantly discarded those [lovelorn, wistful, broken-hearted] [wide-eyed, optimistic, all-our-lives-ahead-of-us] dreamers of yore that inspired their early catalogue. Instead, they present their ‘serious-artist’ selves as earth-parent, activist and ‘insert as appropriate’ rights campaigner, whose new found love of political discourse and social warriorship drives them forth on a mission to share their brightly burning ideologies.
Opening with a Samuel L Jackson monologue, the album’s palpable subversive tendencies quickly dissipate with the onset of the rather cryptic The Architect. A song about the much misunderstood and oft overlooked world of domestic violence, it’s a big-voiced ballad whose salient message suffers at the hands of obfuscation. Elsewhere, Labour luvvie and very Marmite Owen Jones throws his rousing lot behind Faith’s efforts by jumping on his portable soap-box to wax lyrical about “the politics of hope“.
Album lowlights, limp pop track Kings and Queens and the unworthy John Legend duet I’ll be Gentle pale in comparison with theMotown melodrama of Guilty which sees the erstwhile Brexiteer shine a la Winehouse. Where Paloma Faith never fails to impress is when her faultless vocal reaches its true ‘powerhouse’ soul-singer potential.
It does so unfailingly on tracks like retro belter Crybaby which recalls late 70s R&B funk, while the slightly melancholic Surrenderbenefits from having a glorious gospel chorus and shimmering bridge to augment Faith’s pole-vaulting vocal. Sia penned Warrior falls short of its potential; a track about the refugee crisis, like the lead track, its debatable how much its lyrical vagueness will resonate with fans of the diminutive colour-pop chameleon.
This slick production strikes a fine balance between soulful schmalz and skyscraping New York-like belters. There are plenty of resplendent brass-fuelled orchestral moments on The Architect to take it beyond average, and while its political aspirations may fall somewhat short, Paloma Faith’s resolute chutzpah and formidable vocal dexterity, combined with some glorious technicolour tail-fanning, should see this album achieve both the commercial and critical acknowledgement it deserves.
DerVerdict – Never one to follow fashion, Paloma Faith must be lauded for marching to the beat of her own drum. But not everyone moves to the same rhythm! Paloma Faith – The Architect – is out now on the Sony label.
As we rapidly sink into deepest, darkest Winter there seems to be even less hours in one’s day. One can’t always listen to, never mind review each and every new music release, yet there are myriad artists out there waiting for us to cosy up to their sounds! In an effort to keep abreast with what’s dropping, trending, gonna be huge – from new releases to happening movers and shakers – we’ve introduced our ‘whenever we can’ Voyage of Discovery newsletter. VoD adopts an ever-shifting shape, but in the main will incorporate a few maxi-reviews along with snippets of news, videos, and a complementary Spotify playlist of available tracks (located at the bottom of the post). If you missed VoD Vol 6, you can catch up on all the news, here.
DerVerdicts – THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE ER, ACTUALLY IT’S ALL GOOD!
In advance of the main course, which won’t be served until Christmas Day 2017, we’ve been presented with a delicious if minute amuse-bouche of Radioheadguitarist Jonny Greenwood‘s latest film score.
Having previously worked on the soundtracks for films such as There Will be Blood and The Master, Greenwood has once again reprised his collaborative role with director P.T. Anderson to compose the score for upcoming Phantom Thread, due for release on 25/12/17.
Starring Daniel Day-Lewis (who if we’re to follow the logic of a renowned Vogue fashion editor can be claimed as Irish because he has lived in Ireland for years!) in possibly his last acting role, the film also boasts the wonderful Lesley Manville, as well as Luxembourg-born Vicky Krieps in its cast.
In a neat tit-for-tat arrangement Anderson directed the accompanying videos for Radiohead’s Daydreaming, Present Tense and The Numbers, in addition to a brief documentary on Junun, an Asian music project with which Jonny has been involved (Junun supported Radiohead on part of their AMSP tour).
Getting back to Phantom Thread, Universal Pictures recently published a nanoscopic tidbit, highlighting key moments in the film backed by segments of Greenwood’s score. The ‘threads’ of the score woven into those clips contain moments of intense conflict, as piano chords challenge each other for dominance, juxtaposed with urgent strings perfectly simulating the frantic acceleration of a ticking clock. Exquisite musical designs which will no doubt complement the exquisite tailoring and performances of the film itself.
The soundtrack will presumably go on release in tandem with the film, so we should expect news from camp Greenwood closer to Christmas. DerVerdict– The superlative appetiser has whetted our appetite for more.
*Obviously the soundtrack or parts thereof have not as yet been uploaded to Spotify, so we’ve included a snippet from Greenwood’s score for There Will be Blood instead.
Belfast-based artistSonja Sleatorreleased her six-track AdamsEP in October. Most recently she’s dropped a super-catchy single entitled Mia.
Sleator’s vibe recalls Cheryl Crow at the peak of All I Wanna Doera and like her country-rock predecessor, her voice proves capable of expressing an emotional rollercoaster, whether on the vulnerable Mistake on my Part, or Cambria Moon‘s downtempo, aspirational dreaming.
Mia is a dark narrative played to a backing track that’s the epitome of carefree insouciance. Upbeat pop melodies and a galloping tempo belie an underlying tone of caution in a song that perfectly captures Sonja’s carefully nuanced and pristine delivery.
Enjoyable, delightful, and fresh, Sonja Sleator’s turn of sound is yet another compelling reason for reader’s to cast their gaze northwards to N.Irish skies where they’ll fall upon a wealth of talent. You’ll find Miaon the usual digital platforms, ditto Adamswhich is also available to buy via the artist’s own website – https://sonjasleator.com/shop
DerVerdict– An absolute must. Sonja Sleator has all the hallmarks of an outstanding songwriter & performer.
Vocal harmony duo Iderhave had a pretty special 2017. Having signed to GlassNote Records (Chvrches, Daughter, Aurora) their star has continued to rise, while their songs have blossomed into a confident maturity.
Following the wonderful vocal choreography of Learn to Let Go, the duo’s latest single is a similarly compelling creation. Set on a bed of looping chords and dynamic vocal interplay, Body Love is a masterclass in less is more, precision arrangement.
With a spaciousness that’s almost imperceptible, this subtle paeon to love and self-love is glass-half-full with pristine R&B vocals woven into gently tumbling piano chords. Haunting, enthralling, latterday quasi-classical elegance, Body Love reflects a dynamic shift in how Ider approach their songwriting and production, a bold and confident move that augurs well for 2018.
Body Love is out now on the GlassNote imprint.
DerVerdict– Sublime! Rnb styled modern classicism.
Because they’re completely bonkers, London-based duo Isaac Howlett and Adam Relf aka Empathy Test, have dropped not one but TWO debut albums. Nothing like going for broke, eh?
And because there aren’t enough hours in our day, we currently don’t have the bandwidth to digest that much musical material. Ipso facto, we’re sharing the news and taking a rain check on the views, until we can find a few quiet days in our hectic schedule to ramble around their crowd-funded Pledge Music productions. Consider your card marked!
Purveyors of lush futuristic electronica with a bent for retro analogue samples, Empathy Test have a knack for producing evocative, cinematic soundscapes that journey freely into faraway realms while still retaining those underlying 80s’ pop sensibilities that first served to inspire them as a band.
Entitled Safe from Harm and Losing Touch, both albums are available via the bands homegrown portal – https://www.empathytest.com/shop
We like the sumptuous dreaminess of Firelight which you can hear below, from the Safe from Harm album. To be continued!
This week has seen the consummate electronic confluence as Norwegian artists Gundelach and ARYcome together to create the perfect techno storm with their single Games. It’s a fast-paced duet in which myriad electro-effects accelerate through a forlorn synthscape; relief comes by way of the reverb washed, hazy vocals that seem to avoid being weighed down by the track’s thematic heaviness.
For a first foray into production, Gundelach has done a pretty slick job on Games which is available now on all digital platforms.
Still in Norway, favourite of the airwaves and corporate playlists, Sigrid, has dropped her fifth single of 2017. Entitled Strangers, it’s carved from the same propulsive electronica that fuelled the techpop scene of the mid 90’s. In fact, the whole thing is a bit passé and lame, with the exceptionally talented singer’s usually feisty vocal suffering from the staggered progress of the songs arrhythmic beat. Not her best, but super fans won’t care.
On the upside, the Norwegian popstrel’s management team have very cleverly managed to land their protege a slot on the Justice League soundtrack and tbh it’s an altogether more interesting affair. A cover of the Leonard Cohen track Everybody Knows, this brooding, atmospheric thriller – which comes over all Bond – sees Sigrid’s vocal rise to the occasion, producing a performance that’s much more worthy of her undisputed talent. The future is undoubtedly hers to lose.
Back on terra Irlanda, RTE has announced key dates for its annual Choice Music Prize. Winners of the 2016 accolades were Rusangano Family (album) and Picture This (song).
The shortlist for Irish Album of the Year 2017, in association with IMRO &IRMA,will be announced onWednesday 10th January, 2018, while that for the Irish Song of The Year 2017 will be announced three weeks later on Wednesday 31st January, 2018.
The winning song & album will both be announced during a live RTÉ Choice Music Prize event on Thursday 8th March, 2018. The ceremony, which will held in Dublin’s Vicar Street, will be televised live by the national broadcaster in a special four hour extended programme.
The winner of the best album accolade will also receive a €10,000 prize, co-funded by IMROandIRMA.
We’ve consulted our diary and are currently free that night!
One man guaranteed a place on this year’s shortlist is Corkman Talos, whose Wild Aleealbum had music critics foaming superlatives at the mouth.
GOOD NEWS STORY OF THE WEEK
Welsh firebrands Manic Street Preachers are set to release their thirteenth studio albumon April 6th next year. Entitled Resistance Is Futile, it’s the group’s first full album in four years. Described as a return to classic Manics – ie “widescreen melancholia” – it is the first MSP album to be laid down in their new recording studio in Newport.
“The main themes of Resistance Is Futile are memory and loss; forgotten history; confused reality and art as a hiding place and inspiration. It’s obsessively melodic – in many ways referencing both the naive energy of ‘Generation Terrorists’ and the orchestral sweep of ‘Everything Must Go’, explain the Blackwood 3.
Resistance Is Futileis available to pre-order (including a rather nifty limited ed signed Red Vinyl/CD/Cassette package which we’ve ordered) from manicstreetpreachers.com. Access to Pre-sale tickets for their 2018 lives – dates below – can be yours with purchases prior to midday 21st Nov, pre-sale itself runs from 9.30am 22/11 opening up to general sale 9.30am 24/11. Full details https://t.co/uxp9Yo7BDr
23 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
25 Glasgow The SSE Hydro Arena
27 Birmingham Arena
28 Manchester Arena
1 Llandudno Venue Cymru Arena
2 Leeds First Direct Arena
4 London The SSE Arena Wembley
5 Cardiff Motorpoint Arena
Dates for the diary include,
18th November – Bello Bar – Paddy Hanna
24th November – Whelan’s – Le Boom
24th November – The Workman’s, Dublin – Pumarosa
25th November – Whelans – Bitch Falcon
2nd December – Tivoli – Perfume Genius
9th December – Vicar St. – Lankum
18th – 21st December – The Grand Social – Little Green Cars
20th December – The Waterfront (Belfast) – Imelda May
21st – 23rd December – Vicar St., – Damien Dempsey
27th December – Whelans – Paddy Casey
28th December – Whelans – Sharon Shannon
12th February – Whelans – SYML
23rd February – No. 22 – Wyvern Lingo
21st – 25th March – Vicar St. – Bell X1
6th – 13th April – Various (incl Whelans) – Delorentos
As always, we leave you with a Spotify playlist to take with you on your day-to-day travels. As per, there’s so much on right now, that we’ll be back before you know it, with VoD 8. Catch us on Facebook to keep up with our escapades and see you soon, DervSwerve x
With an abundance of clattering, catchy and compelling new music coming down the pre-Christmas tracks, it’s time to once again give you our DerVerdicts on the good, bad and possibly not so pretty currently on release across the globe.
In this vol 6 of our totally random newsletter, we’re checking out some of the latest sounds around, with a dash of news bites and tour dates thrown in for good measure. Our DerVerdicts are our genuine, honest thoughts on and reactions to our featured releases – they’re neither meant to offend nor flatter. As usual, you’ll find a complementary Spotify playlist at the bottom of the post. Happy Dervscovering!
SHORT, SHARP SHOCK OF SHRAPNEL CUTS TO THE BONE
THE BREEDERS – Wait in the Car (Single)
Up to about 5 minutes ago, we’d never heard of The Breeders – a fact about which we probably should feel deeply ashamed. We don’t. We live in a highly filtered bubble; one in which a rarefied atmosphere is rarely pervaded by Pixie-esque terse alt-rock. On the rare occurrence that we make an exception, it usually involves the female as opposed to the male strain of this somewhat clangorous sound – our ears can’t hack anything of harsh, Ork-like quality.
Two minutes of melodic, jagged junkyard metal softened somewhat by the unfaltering, mono-punk of Kim Deal’s blasé vocal, we can certainly do. Wait in the Caris the first in what’s hoped is a new line of cuts from the recently reformed 90s outfit. Snappy, sassy grunge-swagger – if this is what The Breeders are capable of after a serious run of downtime, then count us in.
In other Breeders related news, Deal’s identical twin Kelley was recently honoured with a Gibson Les Paul guitar award by Q magazine. Deal is one of a current slew of hard-working females being feted for their contribution to the music industry; others being Vick Bain, Lara Baker and Decca Records’ Rebecca Allen.
Wait in the Caris available now via the 4AD imprint.
A ROMANTIC FAIRYTALE SET IN A MESMERISING 21ST CENTURY FANTASIA
BJORK – The Gate (Single)
Where her 2015 album Vulnicura focussed on the heartbreaking dissolution of a long-term relationship, Bjork’s impending release Utopia “is about a love that’s even greater. It’s about rediscovering love—but in a spiritual way, for lack of a better word.”
The Gate is the first sample of what we can expect from the latest chapter in the diary of the Icelandic chameleon mistress of magical avant-garde that is Bjork. One of her most exquisite and dulcet of love songs, its directness is belied by its quietude.
With the theme of oneness at its core, the song, like the changing tide, ebbs and flows through dark, spacious silences. Except this time, the silence is one of contentment, not one caused by devastation. In the pastoral, classically-inspired opening, Bjork’s multi-tracked vocal harmonies become inextricably intertwined with strings and woodwinds. Barely decipherable electronic dots and dashes are subjugated by a gravitation towards natural and organic sounds; simulated whale-song, hushed noises redolent of rustling trees and rolling tumbleweed from the seafloor.
The video, which was directed by Andrew Thomas Huang, is a triumph of the fantastical. It places this barely audible celebration of love in a quasi-animated setting that blurs the lines between Greek mythology and Monsters Inc., before tipping it into a 21st digital dreamscape replete with wonderfully choreographed kaleidoscope of animated graphics that evoke the multi-coloured magic of Disney’s Fantasia.
The Gateis out now via One Little Indian. Utopia is due for release on 24th November. **Yes, yes we know. Murphy’s Law. No sooner had we this written than Bjork went and dropped Blissing Me. Review coming soon.
The pull of nature alluded to above, links us nicely into the next song, which soundtracked the prequel to David Attenborough’s awe-inspiring Blue Planet IIseries.
OPEN YOUR MOUTH (AND HEARTS) WIDE
RADIOHEAD WITH HANS ZIMMER – Ocean Bloom (BBC Soundtrack)
Much has already been said about Radiohead‘s re-imagined Bloom. Originally published on their 2011 album The King of Limbs, it was a jungle of freeform jazz, electronic curios and 60s beat basslines. Re-worked by Yorke, Greenwood and renowned film score composer Hans Zimmer, Bloom, or Ocean Bloomas it has been renamed, has been transformed into an orchestral overture of cinematic proportions.
The jazz-arrhythmia of the original has been stripped, exposing an unobtrusive piano melody now refreshed by a scintillating adagio of strings and classical percussion. Thom Yorke re-recorded his vocal part for this re-work, and the quality of both his reach and hold, prove that this master of falsetto has lost none of his youthful vocal dexterity. The end result is a wondrous, quasi-orchestral triumph of understatement and finesse.
Radiohead are currently pursuing solo projects. Ocean Bloom isn’t on Spotify so instead we’ve included the original version of Bloom plus the Zimmer theme to Blue Planet II on our playlist below.
We may have already alluded to Ocean Bloom in a previous post, but we feel so strongly about the devastation being caused to our planet (to which Blue Planet II filmmakers can attest) that we’ll grab any opportunity to promote awareness.
MORE SPILLS, SENDING A SEARCH PARTY FOR THE THRILLS
SAM SMITH – The Thrill of it All (Album)
DervSwerve is all up for giving artists who we’ve previously ‘naysayed’ the benefit of the doubt; so it was with an only partially shuttered mind, eye and ear that we decided to give the new Sam Smith album a spin. It was all so far, so familiarly vanilla until we got to track four – Midnight Train – the pulse, riffs and general demeanour of which sent our normally LBP to dangerously high.
Too Good at Goodbyesis a lacklustre poppy ballad written with nothing but $$$ in mind – it has all the kerching of Smith’s previous chart hits – tear-jerking whiny vocal, nod to the gospel choir and a few finger clicks to give it a bit of bluesy cool. Say it Firstis more of the same moan and teenage groan – what age is Smith, 16? His falsetto is so beyond false it could easily be a sample of one of the cauldron hugging witches from a ridiculously bad production of MacBeth. Next up is One Last Song, more rent-a-gospel-choir blancmange with none of the gutsy sandpapered force that this blend of blue-eyed soul demands (think Paul Young and weep!).
So, we arrive at Midnight Train. If we get into the nitty grittys we’ll probably be had for libel. So I’ll our opinion of this track will take the form of the following video. And on that note, we’ll leave Sam Smith and his less than thrilling compendium of torch songs and move onto artists who are shall we say, come across as being a little more original …
NO SOLE MIO FESTIVE FUN WITH PADDY HANNA
PADDY HANNA – Mario Lanza (Single)
Former member of left-of-centre Grand Pocket Orchestra Paddy Hanna, has unveiled another single, Mario Lanza, from his forthcoming second solo album entitled Frankly I Mutate. Scheduled for release in 2018 via Strange Brew Records, the Daniel Fox (Girl Band) produced album, which the Dubliner recorded with a new band, features inputs from Cian Nugent and the Cosmos, Saint Sister and the Trinity Orchestra.
A tight interplay of myriad strings (electric, acoustic, banjo, violin) and some fantastic swing-style percussion form an uplifting, uptempo soundscape onto which Hanna throws down a quirky yet formidable vocal. Notwithstanding its lighthearded vibe, Mario Lanza has its roots in a more serious real-life episode, as the singer explained:-
“My Father, not too long ago, went through a terrible illness which left him in a coma for two weeks”, “While struggling to deal with the strain I began listening through some rough demos I had, one of which was a minute-long ditty about Mario Lanza,”, “(I) realized very quickly I was channelling my pain through this particular track.”
Mario Lanzais out now on the Strange Brew imprint. Paddy is about to hit our EU funded roads, with dates scheduled across Cork, Dublin and Limerick.
PADDY HANNA TOUR DATES
Fri 17th Nov – Levi’s, Ballydehob
Sat 18th Nov – Bello Bar, Dublin
Fri 24th Nov – Connolly’s Of Leap
Sat 2nd Dec – Kasbah, Limerick
UNLAOISEING HER INNER MATERIAL GIRL
LAOISE – Rich (Video)
Turning her attention to visualising her musical concepts, Galwegian Laoise has once again turned to filmic collaborator Christian Tierney, to translate the lyrical storyline of her latest single Richinto a pictorial tale. Which he has done, with sophisticated, understated aplomb.
The ‘purple haze’ video sees the singer, who is trapped in a cocoon of material wealth, become more fixated with tangible luxuries the more they come into her possession. Speaking of video the singer explained: “The song is about a love that’s been compromised for possessions, and how easy it was for money to gain control over their mind. You can see this in the video where certain materials and surroundings can quickly alter personality and behaviour, and with every new material someone owns, the more superior they feel.”
Richis taken from Laoise‘s upcoming EP due out in early 2018. We’re looking forward to it girl!
BOYS TO MEN
Photo – Southend Who?
THE TRUSTED – Boy (Single)
Following on from their stand-out Summer single Sunlightand fresh from a plethora of live dates (they’ve played 70 gigs this year alone), Southend four-piece The Trusted return with single Boy.
Switching gears and stylistic direction, Boy leaves behind the honeyed mellow hues of downtempo Sunlight for an altogether darker, grungier vibe. Filled with blues basslines, tense guitar riffs, punchy drumming and frontman Tom Cunnigham’s alluring vocal, this latest single is an exciting insight into The Trusted’s constant evolution. Their unceasing desire to explore, boldly lane-hopping from one genre to the next, trialling and excavating sounds, has seen their songwriting mature to a level where they should now be looking to cut their first EP.
Boy explores the centuries-old headwreck of transitioning from teenager to adulthood and all the internal struggles the ‘strung up boy’ goes through to mature.
Having picked up support from Hoxton Radio and BBC Introducing, London, The Trusted have seen their fanbase explode over the past 12 months, a fact borne out by the ever-increasing numbers at their live shows. They play the Dublin Castle, Camden on 25th November and with their reputation for blistering live performances, this is one pre-Christmas gig that Londoners should mark on the ‘to do list’ now.
There’s also a tour in offing, so keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page, here. Boy is out now on all digital platforms.
A MATCH MADE IN TROPICAL HEAVEN
THE UNION FEAT. LOVESPEAKE – Never Gonna Work (Single)
Norwegian band Lovespeakeare particularly adept at coining Summer hot, dude cool tunes. Fronted by Alexander Pavelich, they released one of Norway’s best albums of 2016 – DNA – you can read The Monitors review of it, here. Most recently they’ve been touring Asia, but a return to colder climes has seen them once again cosy up with Swedish duo The Uniøn to produce electronic adventure Never Gonna Work.
An addictive tropical-house track in the mould of Kygo, Never Gonna Work opens into a spacious electroscape with nothing but Pav’s lush vocal tip toeing through micro beats before bursting into a full-on, juicy dance track. Infectious, dynamic, and irresistible, this galloping floor filler is one that’s sure to have party-people shaking their booty on this season’s festive club circuit.
Never Gonna Work is out now via the Toothfairy label.
TURN UP THE FREQUENCY, THIS IS NO ILLUSION
YOUNG EARTH – Frequency Illusion (EP)
Young Earthare a four-piece from Dublin formed at BIMM, who’ve taken 90’s style 60’s jams and twisted them into 21st century indie-rock songs with all the punchy instrumental weight of the Arctic Monkeys and flourish of the Beatles.
Since unveiling their debut single Maggie in 2016, the band have had four more releases culminating in their debut EP Frequency Illusion. A five track cut, it veers very much in a 90’s indie direction – sounds like SuperGrass, the LAs, Kula Shaker – but with the noughties savvy of successors like the Vaccines and Alex Turner et al.
The EP title track is a retro, guitar driven, stop-start energiser filled with tight licks, clattering percussion and inviting vocals. Second in, Worth it, will be remembered for it’s crowd pulling chorus and Shadows-esque guitar riffs. The more you journey into this EP the more you’ll notice slight similarities with both The Academic and The Strypes – two other up and coming Irish bands at different stages of their evolution but equally successful in their own right – which can only augur well for this emerging four-piece.
Got a Secret is one of the strongest tracks on the EP – brandishing some seriously cutting, clean guitar lines and dark melodies. That darkness is countered by the slick n’ sassy sway of Undercoveronto which frontman Mark O’Keeffe pours some seriously honeyed vocals. The song, which also features a rather neat if short guitar solo, adds a provocative touch of the ‘lush’ to what has hitherto been a pretty blistering tracklist. EP closer Let Go flaunts some serious pop sensibilities under the cover of several layers of reverb. Wet, hazy and dreamy, this’ll possibly be the one to get the girl’s screaming during the lives.
A neatly packaged, well balanced debut from a band who know their stuff. For their age,Young Earth are a surprisingly well-oiled machine. Innovative well honed musicianship, confident vocals and an ear for good tunes with plenty of ‘je ne sais quoi’ should stand them in good stead for a pretty rock n roll 2018.
Frequency Illusionis out now on all digital platforms.
SIXTY SECOND NEWS
Classy Norwegian pocket-orchestra Einar Stray‘s highly acclaimed Dear Bigotry album has been nominated in the Best Norwegian Album cat of the annual Gaffa Awards – you can vote for this or any other category that tickles your fancy over at gaffa.no/prisen
Irish feist-rock band Bitch Falcon‘s latest single, live favourite Of Heart, which is due out 24th November is currently on pre-order here
Canadian mega-star Michael Bublé has just been announced for a Summer sesh at Croker. Pencilled in for Saturday 7th July, 2018, tickets for Bubbles will not doubt be gone before they begin so have the fam on standby, fingers on your buzzers – tickets from Ticketmaster 9am Friday 17th – he who dares wins (the bruises will heal eventually) – link here – all the very best!
Norwegian artist Susanne Sundfør has just announced that she is to bring her Music For People In Trouble audio visual show to London’s Barbican Centre on May 21st, 2018. Unfortunately, this has resulted in her having to cancel the previously advertised gig at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire (Refunds will be available at the point of purchase or exchanged on a first option basis for seats at the Barbican). General sale tickets available from November 24th. DO NOT MISS THIS SHOW!
We have way more news and views to share with you so stay tuned because VoD newsletter #7 will be with you before the end of the week! Busy times. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook to stay in the loop, DervSwerve x
Following on from the first tranche of this two-parter Discover Ireland #6 post which you can read HERE, we’re diving straight back in with more of our top picks from the the current crop of Irish releases. Kicking off proceedings is the Irish music act that has owned 2017 …. Picture This.
PICTURE THIS – PICTURE THIS (DELUXE EDITION) (ALBUM)
The band who have without exception dominated the music headlines in 2017, Picture This, have announced the release of a Deluxe (don’t you just love that word) ed of their superfab eponymous debut album. Due out on 17th November, this bigger and bolder iteration of their first long-player will include two additional ‘new’ songs as well as the much loved festive number, This Christmas.
Picture This are currently nearing the end of what’s been one helluva of a chart-ripping, skyscraping rollercoaster ride. A journey that has seen them trip across the globe like a musical bullet-train leaving no fanbase unturned in their wake. Where 2018 is gonna take them no-one knows, but for a band with the gift of the lyrical gab and instrumental Midas touch, it would seem that the only way continues to be up #intothegreatwideopen .
AILIE BLUNNIE – WEST TO THE EVENING SUN (ALBUM)
Ailie Blunnieis a new name to this reviewer. Originally hailing from Carrick-on-Shannon, the young Leitrim woman is now based in Dublin, and it is around these two locations that her debut album circles.
West to the Evening Sun measures the distance in both emotional and psychological as well as ‘real’ terms, between the singer’s erstwhile home in the rural west, and her newly arrived at base in the nation’s ever-growing capital. Identity is a key thematic focus, so it comes as no surprise that much of the record’s lyrics are soaked in introspection and self-examination. Vulnerable, fragile and raw, Blunnie’s words bleed into a gentle soporific stream of ‘acousticism’ on an album that often recalls that great exponent of plain chant and airy pop rooted in Irish trad-folk – Enya.
There are some magical moments here, none moreso than on And So To Sleep, but the youthful freshness of West to the Evening Sun can at times come across as a bit too intent in its pursuit of honest delivery.
Heartfelt lyrics, beautifully performed and delightfully instrumented, West to the Evening Sun is a fine debut from a much-talented artist who if they build on this well-executed foundation, will have plenty to carry them into a successful future. West to the Evening Sunis out now via Happy Out Records.
WYVERN LINGO – OUT OF MY HANDS (SINGLE)
If you had Wyvern Lingo pegged as the 2017 Irish iteration of Bananarama then you’re in for pretty much a rude awakening. While they may share the same boundless unbridled energy and un-vogue, idiosyncratic sense of style as their 80’s predecessors, their lyrical incisiveness replete with keen socio-political engagement, and cool instrumental flair sees them cut an altogether more outspoken and colourful dash.
Their latest single Out of My Hands (for which we sincerely apologise for this utterly tardy mention) is an highly charged and no holds barred kick in the nuts to our indifference as a society towards matters social, political, and moral both within and without our inherently self-absorbed world.
Out of My Hands also happens to be a compelling listen: an infectious blend of bluesy (or should we say ballsy) RnB and dark, sultry pop which paints perfectly synced vocals across a lush mural of blues basslines, intense beats and rhythmic melodies. The impact is both immediate and powerful.
The lovely Lingo lassies will play their first Dublin show of 2018 on Friday 23rd February at Number Twenty Two on South Anne Street. Around since late 2016, No.22 is, according to its online blurb, an “unique and exclusive venue that combines a library and theatre club”. You have been told. Tickets for Wyvern Lingo are priced at Euro 19.50 and available for procurement via Ticketmaster … go to it!
SEAMUS FOGARTY – THE CURIOUS HAND (ALBUM)
Phil Collins super-fan Seamus Fogartydivides his time between Swinford (do you know the Mc Donnells?) and London. When he’s not dreaming about cake and the ageing Genesis drummer, he’s delivering trad-folk pop fusion belters such as Carlow Town, lifted from the recently released album, The Curious Hand.
Recently signed to Domino Records – home to Julia Holter, Franz Ferdinand & Villagers amongst others – Seamus Fogarty dabbles in the realm of alt-country, dynamic folk and twisted trad with a dollop of pop sensibilities on the side. His music, which is as spirited as it is poetic, struggles against being pigeonholed preferring rather to allow its roving, free spirit to wander where the inspiration takes it.
A menagerie of vintage styles produced and arranged using very latterday techniques, The Curious Hand contains some veritable gems. Dynamic Carlow Town is an intriguing autobiographical chapter inked with tumbling guitar chords and slam-beats, while the gorgeous title track with its finger-picked strings, gentle accordion and wistful spoken word sequence, opens up sufficient a chink to allow the listener to catch a brief glimpse of a very personal moment in time.
Definitely a rarity, possibly one of the best surprises of 2017, The Curious Hand is an album crafted with a mix of emigré fondness and the cold eye of an ex-pat whose memory is still fresh of the ‘stony grey soil’ of an Ireland he has chosen to leave behind.
Btw Seamus, I’d love to know where this Castle is, because on the several nights, many moons ago, that I ended up stranded in Carlow town, there was nothing between me and my maker except the local cop shop and a verdant overhang in Monacurragh.
The Curious Hand is out now on the Domino Records imprint.
YE VAGABONDS – YE VAGABONDS (ALBUM)
Speaking of Carlow … Carlovian bros Brían & Diarmuid Mac Gloinn, the duo behind Ye Vagabonds, have just self-released their debut self-titled album via their own record label.
The pair started recording elements of the album some two years ago, grabbing sample sounds o’er hills and dales, kitchens and sheds, before setting about forging them into a captivating compendium of acoustic trad-folk tunes. Their sound is somewhat redolent of that of the indigenous peoples of North and Western Canada into Alaska with harmony-led songs like Wake Up and Whistling Wind recalling myriad documentaries about these vast, untamed landscapes.
Honest, warm and earthy vocals, lightened by their soft, harmonious extension, tread a steady path across a colourful tapestry of various strings – guitar, cello, mandolin. Songs like Way Up On The Mountainswill take the listener down the path of the Irish balladeer whereas instrumentals like For Bert or the delightful Half Blind take their cue from American folk. Whichever is your bent – folk, trad or a muddle of the two – there’s plenty to please the palate.
Coming from a town with a long-standing tradition of folk, trad and Celtic music it’s no wonder that Ye Vagabonds have chosen a cross-over of these genres as the basis for this oeuvre.
Ye Vagabonds’ album is out now via Inglenook Records. Several lives have been lined up including shenanigans in Cork, Galway, Dublin and Belfast starting on 24th November – full details on the bands Facebook page.
COLUMBIA MILLS – A SAFE DISTANCE TO WATCH (ALBUM)
Fresh from their much admired appearances at Electric Picnic and Indiependence, Joy Divison/New Order doppelgangers Columbia Millsreturned earlier this Autumn with a new single We Decide, one of several amuses bouche to the maincourse that has become their debut album.
Columbia Mills weave real-life lyrical observations through the intensely taut and sombre landscapes of the immersive A Safe Distance to Watch. Theirs is a well-balanced layering of tight guitar sequences, brooding beats and dark textures, and while it may seem that their world is at the bottom of an endless inky-black shaft, there are moments when a chink of light is visible on its perimeters.
In truth, there’s something very gratifying about soaking up the rich intensity of tracks like Cold Shoulderand We Decide, or immersing oneself in the heady 80’s JD trip that is the smouldering This City Doesn’t Feel Like Home To Me (we dig its electro-nod to Enola Gay).
Recorded in Westland Studios in Dublin and produced and mixed by Rob Kirwan (U2/Depeche Mode) the album follows a thematic thread of voluntary disconnection from, and disassociation with people, places and situations using snatches from real-life stories as the bases for its songs.
A Safe Distance to Watchis out now on all digital platforms. Columbia Mills have announced a launch show for the album, at Dublin’s Button Factory on Friday November 17th. Should be a good ‘un.
IN OTHER NEWS!
Mother of all Irish Festivals Electric Picnic, has been nominated for Best Major Festival in this year’s European Festival Awards. They’re asking for your support oh lovers of all things Stradbally, so get yourselves over to eu.festivalawards.com to throw your weight behind #madeinIreland
Btw – on the same fest-awards site both Oyafestivalen, Oslo and Reeperbahn, Hamburg are nominated for best medium-sized festival while homegrown Castlepalooza and the Carrickmackross Arts Festival are awaiting your votes under the Best Small Festival cat. Other voting categories include best line-up, and best newcomer (Cigarettes After Sex, Sigrid, Idles & more).
Upcoming Irish band The Academic have announced their debut album. Entitled Tales from the Backseat, it’s set for release on 12th January, 2018. With sales of the Lauralynn charity record Joshua Tree New Roots extending their already widening fanbase and a stint supporting the Kooks taking them to even higher European heights, The Academic are set to pull off a chart-takeover when their first full-length finally hits the streets. Should shortly be available to pre-order – keep your eyes peeled on their Twitter.
You can hear The Academic’s latest Permanent Vacationsingle on our playlist below.
In gig news, well it looks like dates in November/December are going to be as stuffed your Christmas turkey. Here are a few must-go-tos for your diary:-
Lana del Rey sounds-like Katie Kimhas been announced for what must surely be one of the most hotly anticipated pre-Crimbo gigs. She’ll headline Dublin’s Workman’s Club (support tba) on Friday 22nd December. To see a show more than well worth its tenner ticket price, book your spot via Ticketmaster here. Watch the video for Katie’s sultry, and densely textured Ghosts below.
Elsewhere, veterans The Gloaming and Little Green Cars have both announced Irish dates in early 2018.
The Gloaming will play not one but four consecutive dates at home from home National Concert Hall (they’ve previously sold out 17 dates at the prestigious Dubin venue), where they will take up residence from 5th to the 8th of March – tickets will go on sale on the NCH website at 10am on 17th November – http://www.nch.ie . These four shows will constitute their only lives of 2018 and are set to make for one truly remarkable homecoming.
Their compatriots Little Green Carsare set to kick off a Nationwide tour commencing 12th December in The Source Arts Centre, Thurles. Working their way through three nights in Cork and rounding off with a staggering six (yes 6) nights in Dublin, the boys from LGC look set to have a busy few weeks ahead of them. Tickets are now on sale for dates across both December and January. The band released their much lauded last album Ephemera back in 2016. Will 2018 see more ‘ephemeral’ goodness?
We’re ending with news that tickets for the annual 2FM Xmas Ball which this year is being headlined by homeboys The Script completely sold out within a few hours. As all proceeds will go support ISPCC/Childline, this is fantastic news indeed.
Why not add our Discover Ireland #6 playlist to your Spotify library so you can continue to revisit some if not all of our latest picks from top Irish acts. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news, views and reviews, DervSwerve x
As the Christmas season draws near, we herald another glorious harvest of new Irish music; sounds that have tickled our earbuds as cold grey takes over from the burnt ochre of a fading Autumnal landscape.
The contemporary Irish music scene is festooned with sonic riches right now; gems of every hue, shape and origin to appeal to the most eclectic of tastes. So, without further ado, let’s dig into the latest treasure trove to explore the musical magic within …
As per, you’ll find an accompanying Spotify playlist at the end of the newsletter.
TALOS – VOICES (VIDEO)
The creative partnership of music artist Talosand filmographer Brendan Canty of Feel Good Lost never ceases to amaze. On the recently released video accompaniment to Wild Alee closer Voices, they have, once again, effortlessly pulled the innovative rabbit out of the filmic hat – this time in collaboration with filmmaker and animator Kevin McGloughlin.
Taking images from the gasp-inducing This is Us Collidingvisual, which was shot on location in West Clare/the Burren, Canty & co have upped the ante by mixing up scenes of sweeping Wild Atlantic Way landscapes with flashing, acid trip imagery. These visual muddles are interspersed with blacked out silhouettes and neon-bright squiggles and doodles that explode across the plaintive darkness like a chaos of frenzied fireworks.
Talos’ videos make for compelling viewing and in the case of Voices, the film sucks the viewer into the existential depth of the song’s lyrical inspiration. Speaking of the track Talos has previously explained, “Voices’ for me is the most inclusive and celebratory track on the album. I saw it as a unifying moment, as something that just asked a question about existence and either choosing to exist now, as you should, or not…”
Talos has just closed out a brief UK tour but will soon be gearing up for an end of year Nationwide tour, kicking off with two sold out dates in St. Ann’s Church Dublin on 14/15th December (if unlike us you’ve been lucky enough to snag a ticket, enjoy!), rounding off in the home of West Cork homes of music, Connolly’s of Leap on 29th December. Full details on his official website – http://www.talostalos.com/
Watch the Voices video in all it’s colour-pop, psych-wash abstract glory, here.
AILBHE REDDY – THE TUBE (SINGLE)
However ‘perished’ Ailbhe Reddy might look in the above ‘sittin’ in football stand shade wishin’ I was by a nice fire‘ shot, one thing’s for sure; there is nothing cold or insensate about this young Dubliner’s voice on her latest knockout single, The Tube.
Reddy’s sound has evolved quite significantly from its acoustic beginnings. The Tube, which sees Ailbhe take her songwriting skills up to the next level, reflects a more mature and confident music artist. The sound is both dynamic and strong, and the vocal while still retaining it’s delicate finesse, is impressively self-assured.
Although I might be swayed by the allusion to the London Underground, I feel there are shades of Welsh singer Duffy in the bluesiness of this track that reflects on the breakdown in relational communications; an unfortunate feature of everyday life and romance.
Reddy has finely cut her live teeth this year, with appearances at most of the major festivals and an Autumnal nationwide tour. We’ll watch her progress through 2018 with great interest. The Tube is available to stream or download on all digital platforms.
NEW POPE – LOVE (VIDEO)
Galway-based, Roisin Dubh regular David Boland plies his finger picking quasi-folkpop under the New Pope moniker.
His latest foray is a retro visual trip through a 60’s ‘love parade’. A video accompaniment to the song Love which featured on his sophomore album of the same name, this faded visual comprises edited footage from the 1961 anti-drug educo-film, Seduction of the Innocent. The song itself is a mellow affair that wouldn’t sound astray on the soundtrack to the ‘Summer of Love’. No doubt then as now, many a youthful dream was dashed on the rocks of seduction, echoing the storyline of the home-made visual.
New Pope is set to drop his third album at the end of November so watch this space.
MONGOOSE – FOUR (EP)
Good-time, rag-time gals Mongoosehave just launched their Four EP (bit of a wild one that – link!!). Doing what it says on the ‘tin’ the EP is a four-tracker to which each Mongooser has made their own idiosyncratic, compositional contribution. Guitarist and co-vocalist Ailbhe Dunne made an indelible mark with the jazz-burst that is Bullseye a frantic, up-tempoed, roaring 20’s jazz number that’s been given a bloody good modern shaking.
Mongoose are mid-tour nationwide. If you’re lucky, there’s still time to catch one of their ‘joie de vivre‘ themed shows! Their Four EP is available to download now via Bandcamp.
RUNABAY – TOO SOON (REVERIE) (SINGLE)
Six very fine musicians make up Northern Ireland’s Runabay, a band who have always defied being labelled. By crossing through genres in pursuit of their desire to continuously evolve their sound, they have pushed the boundaries of trad, folk, alt-pop and indie to create their own fine, unique blend of contemporary fusion.
They’ve just released their latest single, Too Soon (Reverie), ahead of some upcoming live dates (see their FB pagefor details).
A song which explores the “implications of indecision”, its a beautiful and beguiling affair that stirs the senses and warms the cockles. Earnest, prescient and emotional without the gush, Too Soonexplores Runabay’s virtuoso musical capabilities, bringing them together to create an heartfelt, glorious soundtrack to everyday life. As always John Mc Manus’ vocal is as impassioned as it is controlled, his effortless delivery at the forefront of but not dominating an involute and exquisite arrangement, the emotive voice of which would bring tears to a stone.
Runabay’s music can be found on all the usual digital platforms including Bandcampwhere Too Soon (Reverie)is available for download.
U2 – GET OUT OF YOUR OWN WAY (SINGLE)
Lifted from Songs of Experience the ‘sequel’ to their 2014 album Songs of Innocence, Get Out of Your Own Way is the second single to pave the way for the release of U2’s 14th studio album diaried for 1st December, 2017. The 13-track record will be released via Island Records in digital and CD formats, as a Standard, Deluxe, and double vinyl album.
Get Out of Your Own Way features spoken word by Kendrick Lamar on the outro; Lamar previously collaborated with U2 on his track XXX. With its skyscraping harmonies, tight guitar chords and pulsing heartbeat, the track sees a return to the bass-driven, undulating pop-rock of Beautiful Day (All That You Can’t Leave Behind, 2000).
In socio-political news, U2 have just released a video on their home channel appealing to Myanmar’s leader Aung San Suu Kyi to up her game in defence of those Rohingya Muslims currently suffering genocide on a mass-scale in remote territories of the former Burma. Read about their attempts to reach out to the Nobel prize winner here.
U2 have just announced a Northern American tour kicking off 2nd May, 2018 – details here. To pre order Songs of Experience, visit www.U2.com In the meantime you can satisfy your cravings somewhat by checking out this video.
Due to the fact that Discover Ireland #6 crosses over two months, we’ve split this current post in two to make for easier reading. Check into Part 2here.
Why not add our Discover Ireland #6 playlist to your Spotify library so you can continue to revisit some if not all of our latest picks from top Irish acts. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news, views and reviews, DervSwerve x
The 2FM Xmas Ball, which is jointly hosted by RTE 2FM and MCD productions, is set to return to Dublin’s 3 Arena on 19th December, 2017. The annual musical jolly in aid of the I.S.P.C.C and Childline, has already lined up a host of top Irish music stars to take part in its Christmas themed extravaganza.
Headliners are Dublin boys, The Script, with The Coronas and Gavin James the other big names so far announced to play the charity ball. Hudson Taylor and Hermitage Green have also booked slots on the line up, along with newbies Wild Youth and Little Hours. More acts and special guests are yet to be announced.
Presenters on the night will be made up from the 2FM radio family including Nicky Byrne & Jenny Greene, Eoghan McDermott, Bernard O’Shea, Jennifer Zamparelli, Keith Walsh, Tracy Clifford and more.
Last year’s event raised over €460,000 and organisers hope that the 2017 follow-on will generate even more badly needed funds for the two Irish children’s charities. Just in case you were under the misapprehension that I.S.P.C.C and Childline are state funded, let us be very clear – they are not!
ISPCC/Childline had to close its centre in the past week due to a shortage of funds, depriving vulnerable children of its much needed listening service. The funds generated by the 2FM Xmas ball will raise just under 10% of the funding required by ISPCC/Childline for an entire years operations.
Help these charities support child victims of bullying, discrimination, neglect, poverty etc by dipping into your pocket and buying a ticket for what’s set to be one of the entertainment highlights of the festive season.
Tickets priced Euro 39.50 will go on sale at 9am Friday 10th November via Ticketmaster – link here – http://www.ticketmaster.ie/2fm-Xmas-Ball-tickets/artist/2292502
As a lover of all things Fender, effects pedals, YorkeWood and psychedelic coloured, agave-flavoured drone, I rarely dabble in the white-art of “tumbling folk-pop”. However, I can and do make exceptions, especially when the creators of this centuries old musical tradition are none-other than A) Irish B) female C) damn fine musicians.
Last Friday night, 2 + 2 = Mongoose, an all-female, Dublin based four-piece whose lineage stretches well beyond the Pale’s perimeter. The verbose quartet, who took centre-stage in Whelan’s to mark the launch of their Four EP, lit up the renowned entertainment emporium with the same exuberant effervescence as a shoal of squibs sparking with a drove of dynamite. Their set was a triumphant muddle of pared back quasi-pastoral trad-folk and frantic big-build urban-jungle jazz beats that swung between lull and bombast, channelling everything from wistful romanticism to raucous jubilation. Get the IG?
Interestingly, their 15-song setlist featured just one track, Can I See You Tonight, from the band’s eponymous debut album. The rest was a blend of newbies, tried and tested but unreleased comps, and the Four individually penned parts that make up the ‘whole’ of the latest release.
Mongoose opened their set with the wafer-light, lulllaby-esque strains of Nicer by Night, a track that grew from a whisper to a roar, before launching into Bullseye, first of the EP quadruplets on the night. A galloping rag-time jazz affair, this ‘life and soul of the party‘ song warmed the crowd up from enthusiastic to smokin’.
After the cavorting Bullseye, the mood was toned down considerably by the jazz-blues soft shoe shuffle avec delish clarinet of Motionless, onto which percussionist Molly O’Mahony slowly poured a rich 80% dark chocolate vocal.
In fact variations on the jazz theme are at the very front, back and centre of many Mongoose compositions – from the pure mellow harmony filled blend of the slick, slow, sad My Own, to sonic fairytale Marshwhich perfectly captured the vocal genius of the Andrews sisters. Another innovative gem pulled from their idiosyncratic treasure trove in which a quasi-acapella shuffled into a sparse, quirky lament full of sliding harmonies, wonky chords. This ridiculously good jazz-country hiked up into the most delightfully delicious and frantically raucous of endings.
A set of thematic and schematic opposites saw Mongoose play snakes and ladders with tempos, genres and stylistic interpretation, switching through an eclectic range of colour-washed tracks, ranging from sepia stained to acid-bright. There was Suck, a vocal layer cake astride a throbbing percussive heartbeat and low-slung drone that built to a thundery squall, side-by-side with the inky black, funereal Draw the Line, a new song of lonesome trad-ballad proportions trimmed with bluesy influences.
Enter stage left the quirky Mongoose alter ego. These gals have the wonderfully uncanny knack of turning a song on its head humpty-dumpty stylee halfway through. So, Draw the Line, which initially was something of a doleful dirge was transformed like an ‘ugly duckling’ (no offence girls), into a much bigger, bolder, brighter beastie. Skyscrapered into a meld of Mick Fleetwoody style drumming and 60’s Doors guitar sounds it provided just one of the several ‘wow’ moments of the night.
Another came with humongous crowd pleaser Hard Ground a track which ripped more cheers, thuds and roars from the crowd than any other! It’s piece de resistance came with the extended instrumental outro was which Horslips incarnate.
The Kate Bush meets Fleetwood Mac Roadblock with its Sat in Your Lapvibes and alt-pop sensibilities made way for a musical ‘family gathering’ with clarinet, trumpet, trombone and strings players (including Ní Cheannabháin’s mother) joining the band onstage for their track Sister. A bit in the mould of Simon & Garfunkel, it’s an endearing folksy ballad with a rousing chorus that spurred the ever-ready crowd to take on the choral chant “faraway, faraway” which they did with ebullient enthusiasm, fuelled by alcohol and adrenalin in equal measure.
Penultimate song on the main setlist was the Molly O’Mahony penned ‘waltz’ Joie de Vivre. Possibly this reviewer’s favourite on the night, it could easily soundtrack a BBC drama series. A song of two halves, it opened with a delicate, fragile piano-driven monologue before bursting into an impassioned oration atop sweeping three-four time melodrama. This is the kind of pathos-infused music John Barry used to conjure up without breaking sweat. It’s a stunner.
As was the band’s overall performance on the night. From their non-stop banter to their imaginative interpretation, from their faultless delivery to their ridiculously enchanting vocal gymnastics, these girls never put a foot wrong throughout. When they played the two already released singles from the EP, Old Friend and Counting Song, (videos above) the crowd near ripped the roof off the room, such is the popularity of this group of harlequin troubadours.
Sonic chameleons with a myriad of stylistic abilities up their sleeves, it’s clear that Mongoose have a formidable and incredibly well-honed talent. If they could bottle the electricity they managed to generate in Whelan’s the other night and decant it across the rest of Ireland, they’d be in poll position in the charts within no time. If only,
The FourEP credits are as follows:-
Old Friend, composed by Cara Dunne
CountingSong, composed by Muireann Ní Cheannabháin
Bullseye, composed by Ailbhe Dunne
Joie de Vivre, composed by Molly O’Mahony
Mongoose is Molly O’Mahony (drums/vox), Muireann Ní Cheannabháin (cello/vox) and sisters Ailbhe (guitars/vox) & Cara (keys/vox) Dunne. Mongoose are currently mid-Nationwide tour – full details on their Facebookpage. Their EP entitled Fouris available to buy/stream via all the usual suspects incl iTunes, Bandcamp and Spotify, the link to which is here-below. DervSwervex