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 Talos and 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 Colliding visual, 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 Mongoose have 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 page for 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 Soon explores 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.
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 2 here.
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