Norwegian Trio Set To ‘Take-On’ Cork In June 2018

Norwegian pop legends a-ha have announced that they are to bring their Electric Summer 2018 Tour to the banks of our own lovely Lee. That’s right, Norway’s biggest musical export, although DJ/producer Kygo is fast chasing their tails, will perform Live at the Marquee Cork on 12th June next year.

One of the biggest-selling global pop-phenomena of the 1980’s, the multi-Platinum selling triumvirate of Morten Harket, Mags Furuholmen and Pal Waaktaar-Savoy will perform some of their greatest including Take on Me, The Sun Always Shines and Bond theme The Living Daylights.

Probably best known for their wordwide number one hit Take on Me, the video for which – possibly one of the best of all time – led the zeigeist in music video technology back in the day, a-ha chalked up several best-selling albums including their international chart topper Hunting High and Low, released in 1985.

Most recently the band released an MTV Unplugged Summer Solstice album, which featured a stunning collaboration with fellow Norwegian and Highasakite lead Ingrid Havik, and the 2015 Cast in Steel album.

The 2018 Electric Summer Tour will see a-ha, complete with new band, bring their full electric set to venues across Europe, promising vibrant live shows with set-lists comprising a mix of their biggest hits with some new material.

Now that’s one ‘Back to the 80’s’ trip, you can’t afford to miss.

Tickets go on sale Thursday 7th December at 9am ! 


Derv’s Voyage of Discovery – Newsletter (Vol 7)

Photo : Shin Katan

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.

Photo: Kevin Winter, Alberto e Rodriguez


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  Radiohead guitarist 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 artist Sonja Sleator released her six-track Adams EP 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 Do era 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 Mia on the usual digital platforms, ditto Adams which is also available to buy via the artist’s own website –

DerVerdict – An absolute must. Sonja Sleator has all the hallmarks of an outstanding songwriter & performer.

Photo – Lottie Turner

Vocal harmony duo Ider have 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 –

We like the sumptuous dreaminess of Firelight which you can hear below, from the Safe from Harm album. To be continued!

Ary Live in Cologne – Uncredited

This week has seen the consummate electronic confluence as Norwegian artists Gundelach and ARY come 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 on Wednesday 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 IMRO and IRMA.

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 Alee album had music critics foaming superlatives at the mouth.


Welsh firebrands Manic Street Preachers are set to release their thirteenth studio album on 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 Futile is available to pre-order (including a rather nifty limited ed signed Red Vinyl/CD/Cassette package which we’ve ordered) from 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

23 Newcastle Metro Radio Arena
25 Glasgow The SSE Hydro Arena
27 Birmingham Arena
28 Manchester Arena

Llandudno Venue Cymru Arena
Leeds First Direct Arena
London The SSE Arena Wembley
Cardiff Motorpoint Arena


Bell X1

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

Derv’s Voyage of Discovery – Newsletter (Vol 6)

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!

DerVerdicts …


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 Car is 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 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 Car is available now via the 4AD imprint.


BJORK – The Gate (Single)

Where her 2015 album Vulnicura focussed on the heartbreaking dissolution of a long-term relationship, Bjork’s impending release Utopiais 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 Gate is 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 II series.



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 Bloom as 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.


Ruven Afanador

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 Goodbyes is 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 First is 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 …


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 Lanza is out now on the Strange Brew imprint. Paddy is about to hit our EU funded roads, with dates scheduled across Cork, Dublin and Limerick.

Fri 17th Nov – Levi’s, Ballydehob
Sat 18th Nov – Bello Bar, Dublin
Fri 24th Nov – Connolly’s Of Leap
Sat 2nd Dec – Kasbah, Limerick


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 Rich into 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.”

Rich is taken from Laoise‘s upcoming EP due out in early 2018. We’re looking forward to it girl!



Photo – Southend Who?

THE TRUSTED – Boy (Single)

Following on from their stand-out Summer single Sunlight and 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.


THE UNION FEAT. LOVESPEAKE – Never Gonna Work (Single)

Norwegian band Lovespeake are 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.



YOUNG EARTH – Frequency Illusion (EP)

Young Earth are 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 Undercover onto 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 Illusion is out now on all digital platforms.


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

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

Discover Ireland #6 : October Odysseys, November Nights (P1)


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.


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.

Still : Brendan Canty

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 –

Watch the Voices video in all it’s colour-pop, psych-wash abstract glory, here.


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.


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.


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.


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.

Runabay’s music can be found on all the usual digital platforms including Bandcamp where Too Soon (Reverie) is available for download.


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  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

2FM Xmas Ball ’17 – The Script Headline – Tickets On Sale Friday 10th November

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 –

Fate of eir Other Voices Final Four To Be Decided By Public Vote

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:-

  • Noisome guitar-fuelled Dubliners, Fontaines
  • Belfast-based Beck-alike psych-folker, Malojian
  • With a voice that invokes the angels, Mayo-native & BIMMer, Maria Kelly
  • Fiery lyrical poet & flame-haired Derry singer-songwriter, ROE


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.

To vote in the eir Other Voices Open Call see 

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, and

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 Facebook to 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

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 Announce Career-Spanning ‘Complete Songbook’

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 Songbook which 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 Go has 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.


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


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


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.


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 –

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!)


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 –

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 …


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


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 –

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 –

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 –

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

Other Voices – Final Call – Curtain Closing!!

Friday 22nd September is the final day for submissions to Other Voices Festival.

Shouting out to all unsigned artists who have an interest in performing at the festival which will be held in Dingle, Co. Kerry from 1st to 3rd December. Last year, nearly 1,000 artists applied for a single performance slot at the IMRO Other Room!!

eir Other Voices has extended an invitation to all unsigned artists across Ireland irrespective of genre to submit one track for consideration. Entries are open here until 6pm Friday 22nd September. The Other Voices Live open call will see the chosen artist receive full end to end support, from their journey to Kerry to funding for travel, recording and video production.

In addition to the filmed performance in the IMRO Other Room for broadcast on RTÉ the publicly selected artist will also be sponsored by eir for:

  • Three days in a recording studio with a top engineer
  • The production company and budget to create a music performance video
  • Travel to & Accommodation in Dingle for the eir Other Voices weekend
  • Practical music industry mentoring from the eir Other Voices team

The IMRO Other Room which is a dedicated platform for emerging artists has previously played host to Rusangano Family, Villagers and James Vicent Mc Morrow. Back in December 2015, IMRO Other Room was recorded live, the session featuring in an RTE special side by side with performances from Talos, Saint Sister and the then Open Call winner Saramai.

Key points & Timelines

  • Only original bodies of work will be accepted. Entries are open to applicants from the Island of Ireland
  • The winning applicant must be free to travel to Dingle for the duration of 1st to 3rd December, where they will play the IMRO Other Room in front of a live audience.
  • Late applications will not be considered.
  • Lobbying of judges will result in disqualification.
  • Four shortlisted eir Other Voices Open Call acts will be announced on 19th October and made available for preferred public selection online.
  • The public selection process will close on 26th October – An independent adjudicator will tally the public selections received
  • On 1st November the eir Other Voices Listeners Choice will be announced.

Full details of all the terms and conditions but information on how to make your submissions on the Other Voices website.

Other Voices Live Open Call is sponsored by eir and supported by RTE 2FM. Best of Luck y’all!