Having been inundated with applications from emerging artists for the eir Other Voices performance slot at the festival’s IMRO Other Room recordings, an independent panel of music industry experts has produced a four artist shortlist.
The eir Other Voices Open Call has its four finalists. Having received 1,000+ submissions from across the whole island of Ireland, the festival looked to a panel of industry professionals to whittle the record breaking number down to a single digit shortlist.
In no particular order, the four eir Other Voices Open Call finalists are:-
Not only will the poll-topping finalist bag a slot at the Other Voices festival, they will also win precious in-studio recording time, a music video, professional mentoring and guaranteed television airtime when their Other Voices performance airs as part of the 2018 RTE TV series of the same name. This rather juicy package which will make a dream gift for any of the four emerging artists is being sponsored by Irish telecoms company, eir.
And who wins is all down to you, the great MUSIC PUBLIC!
Can’t make up your mind? Tune into Tracy Clifford on 2FM to hear music from and interviews with all four finalists (you can also catch up on RTE radio player if you miss the ‘live in-show’). Polls close on Friday 3rd November and the winner will be announce on RTE 2FM three days later on 6th.
eir Other Voices Festival will run in Dingle from 1st to 3rd December. In its 16th year, the festival is an extremely popular arena for new music artists to showcase their talent.
Voting which is now open, closes at midnight on Friday 3rd November. The public’s chosen artist will be announced on Monday 6th November on the Tracy Clifford Show on 2FM, eir.ie and OtherVoices.ie.
Listen to the four eir Other Voices Open Call shortlisters on our mini-Spotify playlist below. You can follow us at DervSwerve on Twitter and Facebookto keep up to date with more music news, views and reviews.
For more information on eir Other Voices Festival 2017 and to register for the opportunity to access more than 70 free live events on the Music Trail at eir Other Voices Festival see www.othervoices.ie
eir Other Voices Festival is supported by eir, RTÉ, Kerry County Council, Fáilte Ireland, IMRO, the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and Creative Ireland.
Radiohead have announced a 400-page career-spanning songbook. Featuring lyrics and chords to over 160 songs the collection is expected to ship c. 27th November.
Radiohead have announced a new 400 page songbook featuring the lyrics and chords to songs spanning their entire career to-date including rarities and B-sides. The artist-approved collection also contains 48 pages of artwork from long-term band collaborator artist Stanley Donwood who designed the exclusive cover art.
The new complete songbook follows the 2016 accompanying songbook to A Moon Shaped Pool and two collections of electric and acoustic guitar sheet music published earlier this year.
The Radiohead Complete Songbookwhich costs £40 Sterling can be pre-ordered here, with the first copies being expected to ship by late November, in plenty of time for Christmas.
Elsewhere in Radiohead-land, the vinyl edition of drummer Philip Selway’s soundtrack to the film Let Me Gohas just gone on release (you can shop it here at Bella Union). That comes ahead of his colleague and band mood-guitarist Ed O’Brien’s signature Fender EOB Sustainer Stratocaster making its way into music stores later in November.
Finally, before you go, if you haven’t already seen it, take a peek at the Jonny Greenwood approved Spongebob ‘describing’ each Radiohead album montage.
What a truly wonderful time for music with a myriad releases of every style, hue, and rhythm filling the world with good vibes, uplifting beats and colourful textures! In this fourth edition of our totally irregular newsletter we sample some of the best of the latest releases on the sonic block.
RETURN OF THE JEDI
First up, homies U2 and guitar charging The Blackout, a teaser track from Songs of Experience, their upcoming follow-up album to 2014’s Songs of Innocence. Brandishing the same undulating sex and distorted grind of early 90s smash Even Better Than The Real Thing, the new track sees the Irish legends take a stylistic step backwards to the edgier swagger of Achtung Baby.
Although Songs of Experience was largely finished in 2016, U2 decided to revisit it post-Trump’s shock election as US president, so expect some barb amongst the blaze.
The album title is a reference to a collection of poems by Romantic poet, William Blake. Full details are expected to be announced on 6th September together with the release of the first singleYou’re The Best Thing About Me.
The Richie Smyth directed accompanying live visual was filmed in Amsterdam during the Summer. Unfortunately, there appears to be some copyright issue with it, here’s an embed. Fingers crossed it continues to be viewable!
STUDIO 54 RE-VISITED
One of Team GB’s most idiosyncratic music artists, Paloma Faithmakes a welcome return with a sun-kissed charmer in Crybaby.
If music could be defined by a shade from the colour spectrum, Crybabywould scream “colour me golden-haze”. This is a track filled with everything that was glorious about late 70s/early 80s American disco-pop. Tempered with latino beats and illuminated by Studio 54 disco lights, this retro, feel-good hand-clapper features an impressive vocal by the platinum-selling pop star.
In contrast to its upbeat, optimistic vibe, the song has an altogether weightier thematic underlay. Speaking of the song Paloma says, “The lyrics are a conversation between a man and I, and the song questions whether global conflicts would cease to exist if men successfully dealt with their feelings. Would things be resolved without attack and with measured discussion?”
Crybaby, produced by Starsmith, is lifted from Paloma’s upcoming album, The Architect, the singer’s first since 2014, which is due out later this year.
MEANWHILE BACK IN MADCHESTER
Sitting at a crossroads between 60s Prog Rock and 90s Madchester you’ll find Brighton-based five piece White Room.
Recently signed to the Deltasonic label, the band has released Double-A Tomorrow Always Knew / The Blue. This is the second double-helping to be lifted from their upcoming Eight EP due for release later this year.
Unkempt, heady psychedelia is the name of the game, as these two outrageously hallucinogenic tracks could tuck themselves neatly nicely into a Woodstock setlist whilst perfectly complementing the late night vibes of a mid-90s Hacienda club.
Taking their inspo from the social, political and cultural landscapes in which they live, White Room has produced a double-EP centred around the interwoven themes of hope, positivity and escape, with the title Eight, symbolic of inter-connectivity and unity.
“In Eight we are offering a way to lose yourself; find an escape, and to embrace the intrinsic ability music has to take you away from the harsh realities of life”.
White Room will play the following dates, including two sessions with Fresh on the Net/BBC Introducing favourites The Vryll Society. Full details over on their website
16 Sept – Escape To The Manor Festival, Northampton
22 Oct – The Loft, Southampton (w/The Vryll Society)
23 Oct – Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London (w/The Vryll Society)
A WALK THROUGH PAISLEY PARK
Next up, Sundowners, a five-piece from the Wirral who, with names like Niamh and Aoife, have more than a drop of Irish in them. Their impending single Find Out for Yourself, the latest to be lifted from their 2016 acclaimed album, Cut the Master, is currently bagging high profile airplay including spins by Lauren Laverne and Radcliffe & Maconie.
The Sundowners trade in the same type of wistful, folk rock that Norwegian Anne Lise Frokedal does so splendidly. There are shades of Velvet Underground here with dashes of Steeleye Span, Maggie Reilly and the Mommas & Poppas.
Theirs is the type of music the word ‘charm’ was coined for: weightless vocals tip-toeing through atmospheric landscapes that’s are at once pastoral and psychedelic.
The whole thing is a blissed-out cloud of hazy harmonies and guitar fuzz the essence of which is delightful folkedelia.
Find Out for Yourself goes on release Friday 8th September.
ANOTHER RADIOHEADER GETS FILMIC
Amidst the Autumnal calm post the storm of the MSP/#oknotok tour, Radiohead drummer Philip Selwaysteps out from the shadows of of his drumkit to offer up his first film soundtrack.
His third album, a departure from previous solos Familial and Weatherhouse, scores Let Me Go, a film based on the memoirs of Austrian Helga Schneider, who as a child was abandoned by the mother who left her to become a guard at Auschwitz. The film which stars Juliet Stevenson in the lead role, centres around the fractious mother/daughter relationship and the impacts of secrets and lies, whilst also dealing with the aftermath of a WWII war-crime.
The title track, which features Selway on vocals, is shot through with stark, pained emotion. It is a haunting re-imagining of that searing pain and torturous confusion children feel when their world implodes, leaving them both exposed and vulnerable.
A traumatic storyline handled with delicate kid gloves, despite its anguished nature, the score is quite spine-tingling in its disturbed beauty, and therein lies Selway’s mastery.
He has taken a memoir filled with personal anguish and ‘generational trauma’ and presented it in all its disturbing rawness against a subtle backdrop of understated intimacy awash with strings, piano, guitar and the subtlest percussion.
Of the film’s storyline itself, Philip Selway had this to say, “Coming from a contemporary perspective, it feels timely… look at Charlottesville, look at the rise in hate crime recently. There are situations in which intolerance is rather more accepted. There’s a lesson to be learned from this story.”
Let Me Go will be available digitally from 15th September with a vinyl edition available from27th October via Bella Union. You can however, pre-order it here.
Ahead of their 22nd September headliner at Grand Social, up and coming Irish alt-pop four-piece Wild Youth are set to release their second single Lose Control. Arguably one of the brightest ‘rising stars’ on the current Irish scene, Wild Youth have the ripple effect when it comes to making music waves.
The track is a follow up to their debut All or Nothingan RTE 2FM record of the week, a song which secured their place on the lineup at Longitude earlier this year.
Beefy baritone John Grant has just love-bombed his fans with the news that he is hitching a ride on Elbow’s upcoming arena tour. To get the party started himself and Guy Garvey have re-recorded a version of the Elbow track “Kindling (Fickle Flame)”which you can hear on our accompanying playlist which you can find at the bottom of the post below.
Two new albums worthy of a mention and then some have hit the shelves. First up is Music From Before the Stormby Daughter – a veritable jewellery box of striking gems. We’ll bring you a more in-depth review in a separate post, but for now we’ve included a track from the album on the latest VoD playlist.
Second up American Dream seesLCD Soundsystemreturn to the fray after a gap of seven years. The main touchstone is David Bowie, but there’s more than a passing glance at David Byrne and Talking Heads in tracks like Change yr Mind (which also has the electrically charged guitar storm of Bowie’s Fashionripping through its canvas).
LES LIAISON DANGEREUSES
Wrapping up this fourth ed of our newsletter we turn our attention northwards to Norway where Toothfairy protegee ARYhas released a stunner of a new single.
It’s official, Ariadne Loinsworth aka ARY is all grown up. Her latest single Already Therecements her status as a bona fide, fully fledged pop star.
Gone is the mischievous ingenue of Higher, replaced instead by a sultry, smoky-voiced seductress who caresses the lyrics with as much allure as she doubtless holds for the object of her affection.
Already Theresees the Norwegian seriously up the production ante as she fuses elements of electronica, hip hop and Afro beats to create a compelling vortex of rhythm and diversity. Trimmed with textures of her Windies heritage, it sees ARY step out of her creative comfort zone as she artfully mixes up divergent melodies and samples that freshen up her sound.
As always, ARY’s idiosyncratic vocal performance is a rollercoaster of flawless adventure that sees her effortlessly cruise all altitudes as she journeys through a gyrating instrumental.
Speaking of the song ARY explained: “Often when I’m writing I feel like things are taking an eternity, but this song somehow wrote itself. I think it’s the first proper pop song I’ve written. It’s also my first love song.”
Already There is out now via Petroleum records. ARY will play gigs in Germany in October/November – keep an eye on her Facebook page!
That’s it for now folks, and in the words of the ubiquitous Dave Gahan, See you next time. DervSwervex
ingAt the beginning of 2016, London based Heavy Heartset out on a mission to release a song a month for the year; you can read my review of their socio-political statement, ‘The Way Home’here.
Mission accomplished and to kick off 2017, the English alt-indie five-piece are releasing a limited-edition red vinyl 12-track LP comprising their 2016 musical diary as it were. The album aptly entitled ‘Keepsake‘ will be limited to 300 pieces, each of which will be hand-numbered, and for clever collectors out there, the first 100 eds will also include a set of custom designed postcards featuring lyrics and artwork from each of the dozen songs. The album will be released on 31st March via indie label, I Can & I Will.
To add a frisson of temptation to your tastebuds the band have just released an audio video replete with quirky cut-out nostalgic ’60s photographic images for one of the 2016 ‘monthlies’, ‘High Dive‘, itself released as a single in June of last year.
‘High Dive’ is like staring into a funhouse mirror whilst riding an undulating slow-mo roller-coaster. While the song somnambulates through a rise and fall of haze, drone and morphia, one can’t shake off the feeling of ‘drunken’ unsteadiness, as if one were standing on their own personal earth tremor.
The atmosphere laden with a feeling of edgy uncertainty is lifted somewhat by the beguiling, illusory vocal of Anna Vincent. Although the song falls loosely into the alt-indie bracket, it reflects Heavy Heart’s ability to explore that genre’s many and varied dimensions.
Heavy Heart have some upcoming London gigs to tempt you away from mid-week footie & Gogglebox:
Tuesday 14th March @ Old Blue Last w/ Average Sex + Missing Mäce
Tuesday 11th April @ The Victoria
The limited vinyl ed of their album ‘Keepsake‘ can be pre-ordered here or, if you’re not one of the lucky 300, you can download it here. Social links to Heavy Heart are beneath their new ‘audio-visual’ which you can peruse here,
There is something about Cork man Eoin French‘s voice that reminds me a little of the wonderful late Christy Hennessy, albeit in a more latterday incarnation. French sings with the same animated falsetto and idiosyncratic preciseness that set his fellow Munster native apart from his peers.
But that’s not where the comparison ends. Dyed in the wool songwriters, both men have produced meticulously crafted songs of a deeply personal nature; songs so perfectly in tune, intertwined even, with their close society and immediate surroundings that they will forever remain timeless.
French is chief architect and project manager of a solo project that started life in 2013 after the creative well of his former band Hush War Cry ran dry. After a collaboration with Young Wonder‘s Ian Ring, he felt upskilled enough in the art of writing and production to go it alone and thus, Taloswas born. Far from operating in splendid isolation, Eoin French enlisted the help of several musicians including Sam Mc Nicholl (percussion) and Alex Sampson (guitar) to fresh out Talos’ instrumental sound.
Born of sparse electronica, Talos’ atmospheric sound is architected using an holistic approach, with layers of airy, ambient Hollis-esque nodes, samples, and spaces joisted by perfectly nuanced guitar, percussion and synths of diverse tonality and dimensions. Since signing to the Feel Good Lost label, Talos has released two singles and two EPs, all of which have been more than enthusiastically received. Latest release, ‘Odyssey‘, is their third single and timely precursor to his debut album due out on 21st April 2017.
An ‘indietronica’ amuse bouche to the main course of ‘Wild Alee‘, this song is a beautifully proportioned quenelle replete with honest emotion and intimate, self-reflective lyrical poetry.
Opening with a gently gusting breeze of synths, the song then falters into a simplistic ambience imbued with a sense of hesitation brought about by French’s rather tremulous vocal. It’s not long before the wind rises, and the submarinal fx are swept through rippling percussive tidal currents and a synth-rich maelstrom, up into a high-altitude instrumental airstream of disorder and uncertainty, edged with a flash of elation.
Talos has announced a ‘Wild Alee’ tour kicking off in Connolly’s of Leap (of which I could regale you with vintage tales of laughter, but won’t!) moving onto Dublin through Galway and Belfast, before winding up in Dundalk on 22nd June. Given the April to June timeframe, don’t be surprised if more dates are added. One week into the tour, on the same date Talos plays Dublin’s Button Factory, his debut album, ‘Wild Alee’ will have its release.
Talos can be found on Spotify, Twitter, and Instagramamongst other social sites. Watch the lyric video for ‘Odyssey’ here,
The dozen nominees for the 2016 PhonofileNordic Music Prize have been announced; they make for quite the eclectic list!
The nominees, whose music crosses the broadest of spectrums, hail from all five countries that make up the Nordic region, with each country getting equal weighting. Established in 2010, the prize is awarded annually for that album which the judging panel deems best of year. Previous winners include Mirel Wagner (FI), First Aid Kit (SE) and most recently Band of Gold (No).
The Nordic jury responsible for selecting the shortlist is made up of a cohort of industry heavyweights whilst the overall winner and commendations are chosen by an international panel including the BBC’s Stuart Maconie and Welsh journalist and Guardian music critic Jude Rodgers.
The artists nominated for the Phonofile Nordic Music Prize are:-
Denmark – CTM, Bisse, Værket
Iceland – Jóhann Jóhannsson, Skúli Sverrisson
Finland – Oranssi Pazuzu, The Hearing, Mikko Joensuu
Norway – Jenny Hval, Nosizwe
Sweden – Kornél Kovács, Cherrie
The shortlist is something of a spaghetti Bolognese the main ingredient of which appears to be diversity. Encompassing shots of midnight metal and blasts of underground garage beats, the nominated albums run the gamut of musical taste.
From Jóhannsson’s cinematic widescreen soundscapes which could so easily have been recorded at the bottom of the coldest, darkest oceans, to Pazuzu’s compelling drone through Nosizwe’s idiosyncratic soul-style on the raw and unorthodox, ‘In Fragments’, to any newcomer to Nordic music, this multi-cultural medley is quite the Pandora’s box. A box whose treasures once released, should be slowly savoured and enjoyed.
For this reviewer, my money is on either Iceland or Denmark to take this year’s prize – one isn’t prepared to take that any further; some impartiality is required.
And while one might have individual grievances about those Nordic albums not included, it must be said that all of the albums nominated are more than worthy of their place on this list.
An award ceremony to announce the winner of the Phonofile Nordic Music Prize, run in association with By:Larm, Music Norway and GramArtist Organisasjonen, will be held in Oslo on Thursday 2nd March, 2017, during the By:Larm festival. You’ll find a full Spotify playlist featuring chosen tracks from the nominated albums below.
Norwegian modernist collective Pom Poko have just released their third single ‘It’s a Trap’ accompanied by an impressive avant-garde ‘toon visual, the work of Olav Fangel Jamtveit, brother of the band’s vocalist, Ragnhild FJ.
A song about release and arrival, letting go to achieve self-awareness, ‘It’s a Trap’ is a quirky, punchy little sherbet that fizzes with pops of 90’s post-punk with more than a hint of glam psych. Without doubt the track benefits from the experimental nous and masterly hand of Highasakite‘s Kristoffer Lo, a man who knows his way around more than a few instruments. Adding his trademark guitar, brass and a.n.other sounds to the mix, Lo has taken Pom Poko’s sound in a more experimental and diverse direction, giving the original live jam the same depth and texture he brings to all his collaborations.
While the instrumental backdrop has some sharp edges, it is chasmed by sufficient wide spaces to counter-balance the intensity. As usual, vocal duties of the infinitely starlit variety are carried off with effortless ease by Ragnhild Fangel Jamtveit and if her previous live vocal performances are the benchmark to go by, Pom Poko’s two gigs at Trondheim Callingshould be something else and then some more! During TC the band will also perform a live sesh for P3’s Ruben. Unfortunately for me it’s happening on the Wednesday, ahead of my arrival ‘on scene’.
In addition to their saffron shot nocturnal cartoon visual accompaniment, Pom Poko have adorned their single with the cutest, candy-coloured artwork by Norwegian illustrator Erlend Pederwhich you can see here! The floral bedecked character is as yet to be identified!
In other news, Pom Poko have made it to the Urort Final 2017 (a Norwegian national award for promising emerging artists); if you like what you hear, you can vote for Pom Poko to win this prestigious award, here. #doit
It is a testament to their punky quirkiness that Pom Poko give their facebook page “unofficial status” – hook up with it here to touch base with the band and keep up to speed with their lives at Trondheim Calling and their Urort escapades!
The future is definitely as bright as the characters in their ‘It’s a Trap’ video for this effervescent four-piece – I hope you’ll join me in wishing them all the luck in the world – for Trondheim Calling, for Urort and we-ell, for the future.
‘It’s a Trap’ is available now via Phonofile – http://phonofile.link/its-a-trap . Watch the captivating fam-made visual here.
James Blunt gives his detractors the 2-fingers in latest single, ‘Love Me Better’.
Lifted from his upcoming album ‘The Afterlove’ which is set for release on March 24th through Atlantic Records, ‘Love Me Better’ marks a new departure for the platinum selling artist. Produced by American singer Ryan Tedder(One Republic), a respected songwriter in his own right (Madonna, U2, Adele) its interstitial arc curves through a spectrum of slick R&B before exploding into vibrant uptempo pop.
While reflective lyrics are raw and forthright, they are also both critical and self-critical. Shaped in the humourous fold that is trademark Blunt, they take a side-swipe at the Blunt detractors whilst dabbling in some heartfelt emosh. Fusing high-end R&B with uptown pop, the song, which hinges on catchy beats and gyrating synths, cruises seamlessly through stop-start tempo changes, giving it both a striking rhythm and refreshing vibe.
Coming ahead of his fifth album on which James worked with a diverse cohort including Ed Sheeran and MoZella, the track marks a progressive shift in both sound and style for the ‘You’re Beautiful’ star.
Later this year, November to be exact, will see James Blunt embark on an UK ‘The Afterlove Tour’. A list of dates together with links to pre-order the upcoming album are detailed below. For further information check out James Blunt’s Facebook page.
To listen to ‘Love me Better‘ in full, click onto Spotify here:-
Sandvika natives, Einar Stray Orchestra are to indie music what the Divine Comedyare to alt-pop. In fact, with his suave baritone and predilection for quirky, on-point lyrics and gregarious, orchestral manoeuvres, Einar Stray is for all intents and purposes, the Norwegian Neil Hannon. Tbh, I can’t help fantasising about what spectacular sonic soap-operas the pairing of Stray with Hannon could magic-up … ah, one can dream.
Einar Stray’s five-piece ‘orchestra’, for orchestral they are, have just released ‘As Far As I’m Concerned‘ the second single from their upcoming album set for a 2017 release via Sinnbus & Toothfairy. The follow-up to 2016’s ‘Penny For Your Thoughts’, it’s a lavish affair, awash with resplendent string sequences, bright vivacious melodies and smoothly manoeuvred time changes underpinned by dynamic contributions from the R/S.
Vocally, the sweet lightness of Ofelia Østrem Ossum’s soft mezzo is the perfect foil for the dark shade of Stray’s rich baritone, while lyrically, this cleverly worded opus centres on the theme of the fear of change. “The fear of turning into someone the old you despite. The fear of throwing your life away going in the wrong direction. Moving forward can be terrifying – yet it’s the only way.”
ESO have announced an upcoming European tour kicking off in one of my favourite cities, Vienna, on 13th April. The tour will see them play countries such as Switzerland, Belgium and the UK amongst others but alas, no Irish dates seem to be on the cards! ESO are however lined-up to play Norway’s Trondheim Calling festival and for those of you who like me will be lucky enough to grace those snowy paths from 2nd to 4th February, full details of the artist schedule and conference programme are here.
2017 also sees the release of Einar Stray Orchestra’s third album, which, if the two superb singles are indicative of its overall quality, should be pretty much splendidly symphonic, colourfully creative and in two words, beyond impressive.
Full details of ESO’s tour and their upcoming album release can be found on their Facebook page. Follow them there and on their Twitterpage to keep up to speed with their musical escapades and a possible collaboration with our own Neil Hannon (well, stranger things have happened!).
To read about my own upcoming escapades over at Trondheim Calling, check into my blog, or hang out here on FB or Twitter.
There is something quite compelling about the fusion of left of centre R&B and early ’90s dance with a hint of trance! That’s exactly what you get on ‘No One’s God’ the latest single from Danish duo, Saint Cava.
Based in Copenhagen, Saint Cavan was formed in 2014 by Erika Casier & Andreas Waze – who per their FB page, identify as “gender neutral (It)” #Applause.
With just a smattering of tunes on their Soundcloud page which btw pays mention to an EP – ‘Bliss’ – it’s hard to nail down their backstory: one assumes it is filled with endless jamming, scribbling, crossing out, recording snatches, experimenting and trying to nail as many lives as is physically possible when you’re an unknown band starting out in a busy music hub such as København.
They played SPOT Fest 2016 and most recently have been releasing but as most of the info on them is in Danish, it’s a bit difficult to ascertain any more facts.
‘No One’s God’ is dystopian, disillusioned romance set to damning hypnotic electro-loops with a central line in insistent drum-claps. But perhaps the most intoxicating ingredient in this provocative mix is the retro synth driven dance sounds that transform what is an inherently bleak atmosphere into an altogether more compelling one. Add in a seriously seductive vocal and you’ve got the recipe for one of the best single releases of the new year.
The song is accompanied by a visual conceived of and designed by Danish 3D Graphic artist, Kristoffer Moth. It’s concept is quite apt and reflects the starkness at the heart of the song.
There’s no information ref upcoming live dates etc but you can hook up with Saint Cava via their Facebook page and follow them on Twitterand Soundcloud to tune into their latest releases. We’ll leave you with the video for ‘No One’s God’ – if you listen to nothing else today, listen to this!