DISCOVER IRELAND #5 : SEPTEMBER SONG

As the last days of Summer are well and truly behind us, DervSwerve relishes the burnished colours of the Autumnal advance. September is our fave month, not just because it heralds the return of the glorious russet and golden hues of nature, but also because it paves the way for a three month long stream of new music releases in the run up to Christmas.

This September has proved no exception, with new music pouring forth from The Script, U2, Rusangano Family, Hudson Taylor, Hermitage Green and more. So without further ado, let’s deep dive into the September harvest to see what other tasty offerings have been put our way.

As always an accompanying playlist can be found at the bottom of the post.

Out in the Ether

LAOISE – RICH

After a Summer spent Festival hopping, Galway girl Laoise has returned with a gorgeously dark new single entitled Rich.

Rich by name and rich by nature, the single is the follow up to the Irish artist’s highly acclaimed debut Halfway EP which we featured back in July. Teasing her sophomore EP due out in 2018, the track is a light and dark meld of midnight-textured synth waves washing over Laoise’s signature glacial vocal. There’s a neat jazzy infusion that blends well into the mix, adding slick and seductive tones to the forbidden brood of the song’s electronic soundscapes.

Don’t be misled by the airy youthfulness of Laoise’s voice – there’s a underlying chill which when combined with biting lyrics gives quite the burn. Speaking of lyrics, Rich gives the two-fingers to those who trade in love for material rewards, and deservedly so.

Laoise is just one of a large cohort of emerging talent set to play HWCH next weekend. The annual Irish showcase will kick off her Autumn touring schedule; full details https://www.iamlaoise.com/tour.

PADDY HANNA – BAD BOYS

We first came across Dublin-based artist Paddy Hanna when he played warm up for JFDR at a gig in the Sugar Club earlier this year. His slightly-distracted soft-spoken manner is quite disarming, but not nearly as much as his idiosyncratic delivery style and innovative arrangement which is akin to that of another unorthodox Irish creative, Neil Hannon.

Another artist set to pitch up for HWCH, Hanna has just released his latest single Bad Boys. Think quirky orchestral with multiple personalities, the most divine melodies and sweeps of shimmering brass and uplifting strings. Baroque pop at its finest with Hanna’s sumptuous baritone effortlessly dropping eloquent witticisms in tongue-in-cheek grandiose fashion.

Bad Boys teases Paddy’s Daniel Fox produced sophomore album, which will be released next year via Strange Brew Records. The album features contributions from members of Girl Band, Saint Sister and the Trinity Orchestra, whose orchestral wonders can be heard on this latest single.

Like Laoise, Paddy Hanna is set to embark on an autumnal cruise of Irish venues kicking off on 6th October in Galway’s Roisin Dubh – full details on his Facebook page.

MONGOOSE – COUNTING SONG

There’s something very Kate Bush about the delightful harmonics and rustic modernity on Counting Song, the new single from Irish four-piece Mongoose. Set at an animated 3/4 time signature it moves like a head spinning waltz, all lofty notions and uplifting rhythms.

Pristine vocals and precision harmonies invoke the gods of delight, while pastoral folk landscapes are shaken up with the addition of modern instrumental furnishings including rather splendid thrashing percussion. There is absolutely no doubt that Mongoose have carved a very unique niche in the market of eclectic folk. They style is gentle but not soft, their romances real rather than rose-tinted, their delivery faultless to a sublime T.

Counting Song heralds the release of the all female quartet’s new EP, Four, which will be released, quelle surprise, on the 4th of November. For ardent fans, Mongoose will be hosting an EP launch in Whelan’s the previous evening of the 3rd. A crossroads of four idiosyncratic writing styles, the EP features individual contributions from the four members, subsequently arranged as a group. Four unique pieces of song-crafting styles brought together under one large, free-spirited umbrella.

As seems to be the name of this autumnal game, Mongoose are also hitting the lives trail, kicking off with the EP launch on 3rd November and subsequently moving to Cleere’s of Kilkenny on 4th, etc. In addition, Mongoose has been selected as Dun Laoire/Rathdown’s artists in residence 2017, which will see them play three public performances, culminating in their headliner at the Lexicon Theatre on 9th December. Full details of the Four EP tour on the gals’ website – http://www.mongoosetunes.com/

Counting Song, composed by Muireann Ní Cheannabháin, is accompanied by a stop-motion video by Abi Denniston, concept and artwork by Mongoose member Cara Dunne. [Molly O’Mahony & Ailbhe Dunne are the other two Mongoose members]. Watch it below!

**Unfortunately, Counting Song isn’t up on Spotify as yet, so we’ve included their previous single Old Friend (get on it girls!)

 NEWT – NEWT EP

If you’re a fan of Thin Lizzy with pop sensibilities on the side – we’re thinking in an Ash kinda direction – you’ll totally dig Derry band Newt‘s vibe. There’s every ingredient known to music in the melting pot that is their sound.

There are strains of the Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol and Steely Dan all swirling around on the gear-changer On the Edge; like a fusion of split personalities, this song moves from grunge grit through indie rock to late 70s American jazz pop before taking a hard turn backwards towards grinding, gnarly guitars. It really is quite compelling, a track to keep the ears on their toes, so to speak.

On the Edge is bookended by Not Around and DANCE – the former is a punchy grind with an infectious chorus replete with some nice vocal interplay, while the latter although punkier around the edges has the EPs most soothing guitar riffs and melodic textures. There’s some pretty stunning guitar solo work on DANCE that ticks the highly commended box.

All in all, this is a pretty stunning piece of work for a debut. The innovative rock future looks bright for this Derry quartet.

Newt are Brendan Gallagher, Guitar & Vocals; Kealan Toland, Guitar; Vincent Fahy, Bass and Stephen Kelly, Drums. Their eponymous debut EP is out now – you can pick it up on their bandcamp page.

Talk of the Town

It’s all about HWCH in Dublin right now as the movers and shakers of the music industry shape up for the annual Irish music showcase jolly. With everyone who is anyone from music media to labels to management to production set to descend upon the capital next weekend for the hottest musical ticket in town, the festival come conference is sure to be as roaring a success as it has been in the past.

50 homegrown artists will be peddling their wares in select venues across the capital, including Soule, Bitch Falcon, ROCSTRONG, Rosa Nutty, Aislinn Logan and Brand New Friend.

If you haven’t yet purchased your tickets – doh! – there are a few left, so chop chop. Full details on the festival website – https://t.co/Brs26WIUfr

Sound bites

Earlier this week So Far Sounds Dublin hosted a not so secret charity gig in aid of Amnesty International. Obvs Mister Irish Indo didn’t have to do pot luck in the hope of getting a ticket (Derv did, alas to no avail). The gig was headlined by the uber talented ‘Voice of Ireland’ Hozier, who was joined at the D-Lite studios by Sorcha Richardson, Lewis Kenny and those wayward lassies from Wyvern Lingo.

Highlight of the night appears to have been the Hoze doing a poignant rendition of Paul Brady’s The Lakes of Pentchartrain (I only have Mister Indo’s word to go on), a song the Irishman has never played live before. We’ve included his live Version of East of Eden from SoFar on our accompanying playlist below.

Hozier is currently in studio working on his second album which is due to be released in 2018. We’ll keep you posted as news comes in.

(Photo by Kevin Winter/WireImage)

Before settling into music-making hibernation for the Winter, duo Saint Sister are set to round off what has been quite the hectic year (to-date) with three October gigs in Vondelkerk, Amsterdam 1st October and The Glassworks Derry on 27th, culminating in a #farewelltoarms on 29th at Vicar Street. Their last listed gig of the year will see them take part in the Bram Stoker festival’s Turning Vampire Mixtape should be something to sink your teeth into!

Giggery Pokery 

More and more gigs a-comin’ atcha as Autumn slowly bleeds into Winter. Best of the rest include …

SEPTEMBER

24th TALOS – Clonakilty (if I can get there I will, otherwise point the speakers at Rosscarbery will you?)

29th HARD WORKING CLASS HEROES festival and Conference, Dublin

30th HARD WORKING CLASS HEROES festival and Conference, Dublin

OCTOBER

7th  LISA O’ NEILL –  Whelans, Dublin

13TH A.S. FANNING – Whelans (upstairs), Dublin

13th LISA O’ NEILL – Coughlans, Cork

17th  (Sandy) ALEX G – Whelans, Dublin

20th SLOW PLACE LIKE HOME – Roisin Dubh, Galway

21st SLOW PLACE LIKE HOME – Workman’s, Dublin

Musical metadata

Gregory Nolan

Widely admired by US guitar-Gods Guns n Roses, Irish rockers Otherkin will be celebrating the release of their hot-potato debut album OK on 29th September with an album launch at Tower Records, Dawson St., Dublin. The launch will kick off Friday at 5.30pm. However, if you’re the shy retiring type who prefers to do their music shopping in the anonymity of your own boudoir, OK is available to pre-order now – http://smarturl.it/OtherkinOK

Speaking of guitarists, the Ed O’Brien Signature Stratocaster (pictured above) is due to hit the Fender website on 14th November. The Radiohead mood-man whose grandfather hailed from Tipperary, helped customise the Strat with enhancements such as its V profile neck shape, thereby forsaking the standard C profile favoured by most artists when designing their signature models.

In addition, the sustainer neck pickup is controlled by an on/off switch with an intensity knob for control and a three-position switch that adjusts between ‘fundamental only’, ‘harmonic only’ or ‘blend’ modes. Instead of a signature stamp, the neck plate is engraved with a custom “Flower of Life” design.

The Fender EOB Signature Stratocaster goes on sale from November, retailing at a cool £949.00.

In case you missed the notification in our last newsletter, esteemed Irish snapper Gregory Nolan will launch his This was our Scene collection of photographic nostalgia from the mid-noughties in Fumbally Exchange on 22nd October. The shots feature everyone who was anyone from back in the indie day including the late Amy Winehouse, Florence Welch and her ever rambunctious Machine and the Pete Doherty led Libertines, to mention but a few.

“The collection invites the viewer to an inside track—asks us to join the front row, jump on stage, live with wild abandon. This is documentary photography from the inside, right in the midst of the heart of the (London indie) scene. There is no distance between photographer and subject.”

Prints will be available for sale, and photographer Gregory Nolan will be available to sign his work.

Full details here – https://www.thiswasourscene.com/

Dublin trio The Script recently announced three Irish headliners for February 2018; one in Belfast on 6th, with two in their hometown on 8th and 9th. A limited number of tickets at €53.15 plus service charge remain – snap yours up before it’s too late. The band will also be undertaking an extensive arena tour of the UK to promote their new album, Freedom Child which you can stream or download here.

Culture Night 2017 saw pioneering producer cum music creative Imogen Heap hit a packed out Science Gallery, Dublin, with the wondrous potential of Blockchain could bring to the music industry, particularly as a quick and clean means of paying artist royalties. Joined on stage by Angela Dorgan of First Music Contact, Imogen gave what was possibly the clearest and most succinct walk through the brain-thump that is BC, by using her own home-grown Mycelia  project as a guide. The innovative muso is set on a course that could see more efficient, transparent and direct transfers of royalty payments to artists in the not so distant future. One to keep an eye on!

And now for the BIG ONE!!

As we say a somewhat fondish farewell to what as Irish Summer 2017 along come All Tvvins to warm our cooling cockles with an up-tempo can-do song bursting with summery vibes and party nights.

Anything is an electronic mash-up of funk and pop with a warm Caribbean winds breezing through its sails. There’s a hint of Americana around the edges of the ‘You can tell me anything‘ hook that gives the song a compelling groove and infectious vibe while hazy vocals are the perfect counter to stark electronic curlicues, spiralling backdrops and exuberant beats.

Bound to be a floor-filler, definitely a toe tapper, and a 100% radio hugger, Anything bodes well for the duo’s sophomore album due out next year.

Anything is out now on Faction Records – you can get your mitts on it here – https://alltvvins.lnk.to/Anything

More news, views and reviews will be coming at your from destination West Cork next week … until then, enjoy, DervSwerve

Advertisements

5 WEBSITE MISTAKES MUSICIANS NEED TO AVOID MAKING

As someone who has to trawl through seas of benign websites and whose inbox is chock full of links to less than user/reviewer/fan friendly websites, I feel it’s incumbent upon me to impart a few wise words on the topic of online plugging and the art of creating a snazzy website with on-point, well laid out, engaging content. In this part 1 of 2, I’ll outline the five most common mistakes musicians make with regard to their website.

Now some of you might point out that my own DervSwerve site isn’t exactly bells and whistles – but guys,  it doesn’t need to be. I am selling nothing but YOUR music. I’m not in this to earn a crust or flog any wares other than the musical ones submitted to me.

While many of you have built your own professional websites – some via home-DIY with the aid of YT videos, others with the help of web ninjas – having tech design tools, dev savvy and a relatively blank canvas are only the first step in creating a cracking website.

Design, lay-out, flow and content are key to building a website that will not just attract but win over potential fans, engage current fans, and impress industry gatekeepers.

Having had to cruise thousands of websites over the past two+ years, I’ve noticed the same issues time and time again. Here are some of the biggest web-related mistakes musicians make – mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.

NOT USING PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS

Cardinal sin number 1. When it comes to PR, online plugging and your website, we cannot over-emphasise the importance of using professional photos.

Professionally taken, clear, high-res images are your calling cards. They help create good first impressions on fans, as well as industry and media.

Badly cropped, low res, poorly lit or unfocussed images will hinder rather than help, creating negative rather than the desired positive brand awareness.

If you don’t believe us, just hop over to IG and see the difference in follows and likes on profiles that churn out high res, colour-pop, or imaginative high quality shots vs those that limply flick out uncentered, fuzzy, grainy shots, taken by the bessie on a S5 without any thought being put into them.

If you don’t take your image seriously, people won’t take your music seriously, fact.

Think we’re joking? When landing on any website for the first time, it’s the photos that are the headliners. Attention grabbers, images are what will give potential fans their first impression of you and your music.

Ensure your header and background images act the part and fit the bill. Always ensure your press pack or digital press kit if you prefer, contain variations of high-res images (at least one landscape image and nothing below 250 pixels or they won’t pull onto social media!).

NOT HAVING A MOBILE FRIENDLY SITE

Er? If not using professional photos is a cardinal sin, not having a site that’s mobile friendly is a mortal one. In today’s world of mobile and zing zing tech, musicians need a mobile-friendly website. It’s all about mobile digital media – if it don’t fit, the kids will swipe left!

Your mobile-centric site must:-

Load instantly, be easily navigated, and have clear content, accessible samples of your music and ‘buy now’ tools that are in perfect working order.

Fun Fact! Google-search punishes sites that aren’t mobile-friendly. So, if you want your band to achieve higher SEO search results than a similarly named brand of stain remover, get your mobile act together asap.

NOT KEEPING THE SITE REGULARLY UPDATED

If you go into a newsagents to score the latest editions of your favourite music mags only to find half-stocked shelves containing last month’s issues, there’s a strong chance you’ll leave, right?

Okay, so ditto when someone parachutes onto your site only to find a track released three years ago, a photo of the band aged 18 (you’re now 22) taken at a now defunct festival, and that the last ‘latest news’ is dated Jan 2016. What would you think? That the band has jacked it in? That they’re too lazy to be bothered to do some ‘social’ housekeeping?

The potential for negative impact here is greater when it comes to media and industry. It is a time-wasting pain in the ass for any reviewer, DJ or a.n.o industry professional to arrive at an artist’s website expecting to find bios, tour & ticket info, release dates etc, only to find dust-coated, stale news.

Always have your latest news clearly visible on the Homepage, via Blog, newsfeeds or otherwise.

Other features that should be updated regularly are events calendar, photos, videos, and your music, natch. Embedding social media feeds onto your website takes a lot of the pain out of site maintenance.

Even though other elements of the website may not be always totally up to date, at least people checking out your site will see that you’re still alive and kicking!

NOT ENOUGH MUSIC / NO DIRECT-TO-FAN PURCHASE OPTIONS

At the end of the day, the bottom line is that you are trying to sell your wares.

It’s all well and good having an “I want millions of people to hear my music” mission statement but bills have to be paid, the dog fed and guitar strings replaced. That takes money, so be practical.

The first place a discography of YOUR music should be found is on your OWN website. And a full one at that.

Fans should be able to land on your full music catalogue at the press of a tab. Offering up samples and then ushering them off to iTunes or Deezer is the commercial equivalent of shooting yourself in the foot.

Have all your music available to stream. Offer ‘a free download when you sign up’ deal to bag email addresses that will help build your mailing list.

Vitally important for healthy coffers is the inclusion of direct-to-fan purchase options. These will ensure you retain most of the money (85% with Bandcamp), and again, allow you to gather valuable contact information that can be later used in marketing drives.

Once those elements are in place, you can then provide links to external online shopping options and streaming services.

Always bear in mind that despite the fact that they are selling your music, these 3rd party services will, for reasons of Data Protection, never share their customer details with you.

Invaluable opportunities to follow up directly with those fans about future albums, tours, or merch offerings will be lost at the click of a link.

NO MAILING LIST SIGN UP

Too often bands don’t have a mailing list sign up, or if they do, it’s lost in a jungle of content.

It’s imperative that your website has a sign up link (usually placed at the top right hand corner of the landing/homepage). Add in a short blurb or giveaway … “be sure to sign up for new of our upcoming tour/album etc” … “sign up now to get a free download link to our cover of XYZ” …

Why is it imperative?

Your mailing list is YOURS. It is your contact database, one you don’t have to share with anyone else.

Email marketing is 40 times more effective than the power of Facebook and Twitter combined (Mc Kinsey). So, if you want to sell your music, that merch, those gig tickets, you’ll reap more rewards with direct mail blasts than with endless repeat posts on social media.

“If email is not the biggest part of your social strategy, then you are giving the power of communication with your fans to companies who will gladly take them and whose advertisers will thank you to no end for providing them with eyeballs.”

In part two, we’ll bring you the Online Plugging Bible. Tune in next time! DervSwerve

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.

 

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.

HWCH Tickets Go On Sale As First Round Of Delegates Announced

Ahead of the ‘big-reveal’ of its line-up Hard Working Class Heroes has announced ticket info for its September event.

The Irish music showcase and conference, which is held annually in the capital, will this year run from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th inclusive, with the event being split into two parts.

The first, which will be held in the Chocolate Factory on the opening night of the 28th, will be a networking event aimed at encouraging visiting international delegates to network with both Irish media and music artists alike.

The second ‘double-nighter’ will see a run of live showcases in various venues throughout Dublin across 29th and 30th September. With over 400 applicants to chose from, the adjudicating panel will no doubt have had some tough calls to make but the final line up is likely to be as diverse and talented as in the past.

Similar to international models such as Norway’s Trondheim Calling and the UK’s The Great Escape, HWCH, which is supported by The Arts Council, Culture Ireland and Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland, plays host to international delegations to its showcase/conference event.

These visits enable overseas promoters, producers, bookers, labels and media alike to make connections with their Irish counterparts and see a wide range of innovative Irish music.

Through attendance at HWCH, delegates can:

– See exciting new and innovative contemporary Irish music performed live in a specially curated list of venues

– Create new links and/or strengthen existing ones between the contemporary music sector in Ireland and contacts overseas

– Meet with peers from both Ireland and other countries to discuss possible creative collaborations, co-commissions and partnership projects

HWCH has over the years attracted numerous international figures from a broad range of musical backgrounds and this year would appear to be no exception. The first round of international industry delegates has been announced and features some serious music credentials.

NYC based freelancer Laura Parker (Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair), Reeperbahn Festival’s ‘Head of Showcase Programme’ Evelyn Seeber, and The New Yorker’s John Seabrook are just some of the top notch names flying in for HWCH17. Read the full first cut here.

Across the breadth of the HWCH weekend, artists, delegates and music professionals will be able to attend a mix of workshops, discussions and panels. Artist-Professional 1:1’s will also be part of the HWCH mix.

This unique programme of sessions aims to help artists to grow awareness and get their music heard. They also provide an invaluable open-forum for artists to gain industry insights and hook up with professionals to whom they would otherwise never have access.

Some of the HCWH16 success stories with whom you might be familiar are SouléAilbhe Reddy, Talos, A.S Fanning and Le Boom. Previous HWCH incumbents have included Saint Sister, Rusangano Family, HozierSoak, and boys about town, The Strypes who’ve just dropped a new album, and Otherkin whose debut is on the way.

Make sure to get your tickets early as like every other live music event in Ireland, they sell out pretty darn quickly. DervSwerve

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

Conference & weekend live €55.00 / Weekend live €35.00 / Conference €25.00

Nightly live €25.00 / Single venue €12.00

https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/hard-working-class-heroes-festival-2017-tickets-35351423058

 

MFI Series Of London Events To Showcase Irish Acts To UK Music Industry

A series of London-based gigs to showcase up and coming Irish music acts has been announced by Music From Ireland.  The Irish music export office in conjunction with hosts London Irish Centre, will this  month bring the best of emerging Irish talent across the sea to the UK capital for a succession of gigs.  Kicking off on Thursday 29th June in the LIC’s Camden HQ, the series is expected to run until the end of 2017, if not beyond.

The platform was developed with the UK industry in mind, as it bids to bring contemporary Irish acts to the attention of a wealth of music professionals ranging from promoters to PRs to programmers.  The project is supported by Culture Ireland, the government subset of the Dept. of Arts, responsible for the promotion of Irish arts worldwide.  Speaking of the showcase series, Christine Sisk, Director of Culture Ireland explained:

“Culture Ireland puts showcasing at the centre of its strategy for international promotion of the arts as by reaching international promoters showcasing succeeds in generating further career opportunities for artists globally. The new quarterly ‘Music From Ireland’ showcase, run by the London Irish Centre in partnership with Music from Ireland offers a great platform for Irish musicians in London to reach promoters, agents and programmers and gain UK touring contracts.” 

The series opener on June 29th will feature three non-Dublin based acts: Cork native Talos, Northern Irish artist Naomi Hamilton who performs under the Jealous of the Birds moniker, and Limerick based Rusangano Family.

Three extremely diverse acts, they make for a broad and colourful representation of the modern Irish music scene in 2017.

Jealous of the Birds is an everything and then some singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who dabbles in myriad sounds so as to render her style impossible to nail into one single classification.  Travelling through the dark into light, her songs are a fine balance of hushed poignancy and electric vibrancy.

Having released her debut Capricorn EP in early 2015, this young songwriter has gone from strength to strength amassing a strong fanbase that includes media from both North and South of the border.  Her leisurely indie-folk meets hyperactive post-punk debut album Parma Violets, was released to broad critical acclaim in April, 2016.

Check out the video of the chanteuse’s live BBC N/Ireland performance Leonard Cohen’s sublime Famous Blue Raincoat; I challenge your spine not to tingle.

Breaking Tunes profile: http://www.breakingtunes.com/jealousofthebirds
• Web: https://www.jealousofthebirdsmusic.com
• Twitter: @jeliofthebirds
• Facebook: @jealousofthebirdsofficial

Cork native Eoin French is the man behind the Talos music project.  With a voice not unlike that of legendary Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis (there, I’ve finally said it), like his mysterious predecessor, his voice flits through bars of insanely emotive instrumentation. Brimful of the Cork man’s vocal nuances and peppered with stark imagery and keenly felt lyrics, his debut album Wild Alee is a sure fire cert when it comes to best album 2017 nominations further down the road.

Check out the breathtaking visual accompaniment to Talos’s latest single Contra, a devastatingly and beautifully eerie song about loss and death crafted in a delicate shell of hope and light. Shot in the West of Ireland , the film was directed by the singer’s friend, renowned photographer Brendan Canty (of feelgoodlost)

• Breaking Tunes profile: http://www.breakingtunes.com/talos
• Web: http://www.talostalos.com
• Twitter: @talostalostalos
• Facebook: @TalosTalosTalos

Last but most certainly not least, Limerick based Rusangano Family is a triumvirate comprising two MCs and a DeeJay. Winners of the Choice Music Prize album of the Year 2016 for their self-released album, Let The Dead Bury The Dead, this hip hop/rap/Afro beats outfit are at the cutting edge of the contemporary Irish music scene. In fact, they are everything that is good about the rapidly changing, diverse Ireland in which we now find ourselves.

Check out their searingly on-point new single I Know You Know the lyrics for which you’ll find laid out underneath the video on YT and I strongly urge you to read them! Slick funk bass-lines and silky synths blunt somewhat the sharpest edges of the damning lyrics.  A song about depression, place and isolation within society (least that’s my interpretation), the striking visual accompaniment, below, makes compelling viewing.

That’s a ‘rap’.

• Breaking Tunes profile: http://www.breakingtunes.com/rusanganofamily
• Web: http://www.rusanganofamily.com
• Twitter: @RusanganoFamily
• Facebook: @RusanganoFamily

A limited number of ticket for the inaugural showcase gig on 29th June in Camden are open to the general public. Full details and tickets here.

If you don’t go, you are missing one heck of a line up and what promises to be one hugely memorable night.  In the meantime, you can feast your ears on more sounds from the three featured artists by streaming this 9-track playlist which I’ve pulled together from their various catalogues.  Enjoy.

DervSwerve.

 

Still ‘Early Days’ For Tim Chadwick

Dubliner Tim Chadwick released his first single Blindfolded just over a year ago in April 2016.  It was more than well received by Irish music media with comparisons with JV Mc Morrow and BF Leftwich tripping over themselves for page space.

Fast forward to May 2017 and the release of Chadwick’s debut EP entitled Early Days.  And while it still is, early days that is, the singer has already made more than an indelible mark on the contemporary Irish folk-pop scene. Although I include the term folk in its loosest interpretation, as the Dubliner’s sound leans more towards an alt-pop disposition rather than the more typical ‘nonny’ acoustic-guitar in a fair isle jumper folk-style.

I could reel off a list of ‘sounds likes’ and ‘in the mould of’ but that would be disingenuous to a singer-songwriter who has, all hyperbole parked on the hard shoulder, a crackingly good and exceedingly delicious voice. Thoughtfully curated nuances shadow this light as a feather vocal instrument, which despite its subtle mellowness has sufficient weight behind it to be utterly convincing.

Tim Chadwick’s contemplative and at times visceral lyrics, emotive instrumentation, and charmer of a voice all speak for themselves.  This is one of those rare occasions when I’m simply happy to let the songs do the talking …

Gig wise the only listing appears to be a late September date at The Sugar Club, details here.

For further information, you should check in regularly with Tim’s Facebook page as I would imagine that other lives are in the offing.

Early Days is out now via iTunes – hop out your wallet and shop here.

Before you do though, check out the wonderfully entertaining video accompaniment to Tim’s latest single, the infectiously up-tempo Never Wanted You, which stars dancer extraordinaire, Erik Cavanaugh.

You can follow Tim and DervSwerve on Twitter to keep up to speed with all the latest news.

DayFlower – Seeing Up : Pop Music Seen Slightly Askew

Leicester based indie band Dayflower shed their candy coated skin during the recording of their most recent offering, Double A-side Seeing Up/Neverfriend.   Well known for their honey-dipped melodies and mallow soft vocals their latest release marked something of a grungey departure for a band as notorious for their candy-festooned club nights as their Heart Shaped Tambourines.

Looking at the two songs in isolation, Neverfriend is an uptight, dirty, smear of a drone which pushes Alex Clemence’s ‘lost-boy’ vocal so far beneath its surface as to give it a subterranean feel. By contrast, Seeing Up rises steadily through an abstract siren-filled soundscape flavoured with Asian nuances and awash with multi-layered dream sequences, until finally arriving at a crescendo of 3D starburst proportions.

Aside from being purveyors of the finest wines made from the grapes of wooze, both Messrs Clemence and Dhonau are also highly regarded for their loquacity and wordsmithery. So, it makes the earthiest of common sense to look Dhonau-wards when seeking context to anything Dayflower.

Having recently released a visual accompaniment to Seeing Up, David very kindly took some very valuable time out, to give us some background to the song, how it was recorded and the aesthetic behind the film.

“The basic demo for Seeing Up predates Dayflower. It was one of the first things I showed to Alex (Clemence, vocals, guitar) soon after we met.  

I recall thinking that the range and tone of Alex’s voice would suit a reverb-drenched, early ’90s Creation sound perfectly. As we chatted, it was not long before our shared love of My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain et al became apparent. So his vocal melody came very naturally.  

We took the chance to absorb ourselves in the studio process and really experiment with sound. The recording features an assortment of drum machines of different vintages, analogue and digital synths, classical woodwind, guitars that sound like household appliances and . . . actual household appliances. 

I found a way of combining a few guitar effects pedals to create the noise climax at the end, which sounds like a choir of demonically possessed vacuum cleaners. One listener interpreted the swirl differently and remarked: ‘I feel like I’m spinning down a drain. In a good way’. 

While Chris (Merriman, Dayflower’s guitarist) was setting up his equipment up to record, his washing machine was spinning in the next room. I wandered off to check how loud it was it was and took a handheld recorder with me. It’s somewhere there in the finished mix. 

The song was first released in September 2016, along with Neverfriend, on EDILS Recordings. We officially called it a double a-side, but inevitably the lead track Neverfriend received more attention – all very welcome, including Fat-Cat uploading the track to their featured demos site. 

It would be fair to say that Seeing Up is less immediate, with none of the linear complexity of Neverfriend. The whole thing is built on just a handful of chords and becomes a kind of sonic mantra, growing vertically rather than horizontally, with textures layering themselves upon one the other, seemingly to breaking point. 

We thought making a video for the song would add depth to the experience of listening and might gain the song a slightly wider audience. The way the video begins establishes a fractured dream logic, in which the viewpoint drifts, disembodied. As with the music, the camera is in an almost constant state of motion be it horizontal, vertical or cyclical. 

Aesthetically it explores the abstraction of landscapes and people seen at unusual angles and distances. When point of view is altered the familiar can instantly become alien. 

In fact, that’s one way I could sum up our sound: pop music seen slightly askew. 

There are also cameras dipped in honey pots and stuck the inside of spinning tumble dryers.” – Words, David Dhonau.

Dayflower, aka a good natured argument between The Smiths and The Stone Roses (did it ever end, and if so, who won?) is Alex, David, Chris and Simon. Their next single, Sweet Georgia Gazes, is set for release in early June so keep your eyes peeled on their Facebook page.

The band’s next Candy Dust club night which includes Emperor X on the bill, will take place in The Cookie (Leicester), on 30th June, full details here.

You can download Seeing Up (along with Neverfriend) via the Edils Recordings Bandcamp page.

In the meantime, you can watch some stunning drone footage patched with images of neon-pop psychedelia and shots of a few familiar faces, in Dayflower’s lush video for Seeing Up, right here. DervSwerve