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

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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!

Nothing Grim About Reeperbahn ’17

Martin Hoye

The renowned German culture-fest that is Reeperbahn kicks off today and some of our favourite acts are on the musical menu! To celebrate all things #RBF17, we’re gonna fly through a quick synopsis and then treat you to our very own ReeperDerv curated playlist.

Like most respectable festivals these days Reeperbahn is no exception to the all inclusive, 100% immersive rule. No longer ‘just’ a four-day music mash-up, these days Hamburg based RBF is the ‘full package’.

This year’s festival includes a conference programme set to cover a broad range of topics from Health & Safety to a Guide to Failure, a BBC Introducing/PRS showcase, a BIMM reception, Blockchain for Music and how to work Instagram.

The conference will feature top notch hosts and speakers including erstwhile Eurythmics frontman and legendary producer Dave Stewart, former Strokes producer Gordon Raphael, American country artist Terry Mc Bride and Dave Allen from North Music, USA.

There are also several networking events pencilled into the diary including those hosted by Live Nation, Rockcity, Sony Music and Columbia Records.

Photo Christina Amundsen

A festival wouldn’t be a festival without a ‘glittering’ awards ceremony and this year will see Reeperbahn once again play host to the Anchor awards following their hugely successful inauguration last year. This year’s list of nominees includes British artists Fenne Lily, Jade Bird and Joseph Jones (whose sounds we’ve included on our playlist).

The jury panel is made up of a specially selected team of industry experts including BBC DJ Huw Stephens, Garbage vocalist Shirley Manson, celebrated music producer Tony Visconti, Emily Haines of BSS and homies Valeska Steiner and Sonja Glass who together for the duo BOY.

The nominees will showcase their music over the course of three days with the award ceremony taking place at 6pm on Saturday 23rd at the St. Pauli Theatre.

There are some big juicy names headlining the live music action including Beth Ditto, Maximo Park, Everything Everything and Kelly Lee Owens but here at DervSwerve we prefer to big up the emerging artists, those youthful balls of energy bubbling just under the surface of the world-stage.

Here are our top tips for your musical amusement over the course of the festival …

Denmark – IRAH – Experimental/Ambient – Just released their sublime single Worship the Sun – Do not miss this transcendental experience!

Holland – Dakota – Indie – Currently touring their Leda EP – A strong sound with cracking vocals

Iceland – JFDR – Experi-Electro-Ambient – Released her first solo debut album Brazil earlier this year – An absolutely out of this world performer

Ireland – Dermot Kennedy – Hip hop Fused Folk – Debuted his Doves & Ravens EP a wee while ago – Innovative and compelling .. go see!

Ire/UK – Wood Burning Savages – Vitriolic Punk – New single Living Hell is ferocious – This Derry 4piece are renowned for their fully charged lives

Norway – ARY – Experimental Electronic – Latest single Already There is her best yet – One step away from ‘huge’

Norway – Slotface – Garage/Punk/Feisty Pop – Just dropped their debut album Try Not to Freak Out – One of the best band’s I’ve seen live – EVER

UK – Black Honey – Alt-Rock – Hit the headlines with their Headspin EP in 2016, new single Somebody Better is killer – A MUST!

**Slotface and Black Honey are quite similar in sound and style so fans of either one should become fans of the other!

UK/Spain – Gizmo Varillas – Rainbow/Latino Pop – His debut album El Dorado (what else) went down a storm – Sounds like no other around today

If that eclectic bunch of seriously talented youths don’t keep you happily entertained for the rest of this week, then you’re hard pleased.  If you haven’t yet put your hand in your pocket to buy a ticket, you’re in luck. There are limited tickets still available – but not many, so hurry. Details here.

And if you’re already in Hamburg, we hope you’re having a blast! From Dublin with love x

Reeperbahn Festival 2017, runs in Hamburg from 20th to 23rd September. Full programme details from their website.

Mercury Has Risen – Congrats Sampha #Process

So, we have it, the winner of the Hyundai Mercury Music Prize 2017.  From a definite dozen shortlisted albums, the weighty title of best album has gone to Sampha’s Process.

Winning the Mercury Music Prize for your debut album is more than a solid stamp of approval by industry experts and music peers!

The album, which was primarily recorded in studios across London, was also partially recorded at Ocean Sound Recordings on the Norwegian island Giske (where Ane Bjerkan amongst many other Norwegian artists have laid down their souls along with their music!).

Process is a finely executed, devastating take on the loss of Sampha’s mother to cancer. It also delves into the turmoil her experienced as success started to drive a wedge between him and his roots. A unique sonic adventure, it is individualistic in both delivery and arrangement.

Congratulations Sampha … the future is yours!

Listen to the album in full here.

The Fish Are Belly Up – It’s A Radiohead Takeover

With news coming at us in abundance via Radiohead TV, it seems appropriate to accede to a once off, random Radiohead takeover of DervSwerve.

First up, the absolutely disgusting news that the charges against Live Nation, Optex Staging and Domenic Cugliari, the defendants in the case taken by the Canadian Authorities following the death of the late Scott Johnson, have been stayed.

In June 2012, ahead of a Radiohead gig at Toronto’s Downsview Park, the scaffolding underpinning the band’s equipment-laden stage collapsed, crushing crew member Johnson to death and injuring three others. Charges were brought by the local authorities against the three defendants but due to a series of endless petitions and delays, five years later the case was still ongoing, until now.

In response to the court’s decision, Radiohead released this official response, shared via their socials on 8th September.

“We are appalled by the decision to stay the charges against Live Nation, Optex Staging and Domenic Cugliari. This is an insult to the memory of Scott Johnson, his parents and our crew.

It offers no consolation, closure or assurance that this kind of accident will not happen again.”

Radiohead’s 20th anniversary reissue of OK Computer entitled OKNOTOK came packaged with three previously unreleased recordings, of which one is the track Lift. Back in the day (’96), the song was deemed by the band to be so anthemic that rather than include it on their pioneering third album, they chose to ‘subconsciously kill it‘. Radiohead made the informed decision to pull the plug on Lift after having played it live to rapturous response during their time supporting Canadian Alanis Morissette on tour.

“The only regrets about this album are the songs we left off because we didn’t record them well enough or soon enough,” Jonny Greenwood on OK Computer

So, it remained in the Radiohead vaults for two decades until OKNOTOK‘s release earlier this Summer.

During an interview with Matt Everitt on 6 Music (May 2017), guitarist Ed O’Brien spoke of the track, the impact the crowd’s reaction had on the band and their fear that something as compelling as Lift could catapult OK Computer into Jagged Little Pill territory. Listen to a snippet of their conversation here (you can find more cuts from the interview on the BBC Player).

“If that song had been on that album, it would’ve taken us to a different place”

Thom Yorke standing in a lift holding two cheapy plastic bags filled with shopping is, I must admit, a sight I never thought I’d see, but such is the case with the recently released Oscar Hudson directed video accompaniment to Lift. Hudson, some of you may recall, directed the 30-second vignette based on The Numbers from a A Moon Shaped Pool.

 “I was aware of what Radiohead fans are like. I wanted there to be some things to dig up in there, but I also wanted it to be a film in its own right and I want people to do their own thinking, too. We wanted to try to walk a line with this video, somewhere between not looking back too much but also—you can’t ignore the history of the song.” – Oscar Hudson in conversation with Pitchfork

Like a visual treasure hunt, the film is packed with retro-references along with cameos by people personally known to the Radiohead frontman including Italian actress Dajana Roncione and Yorke’s daughter Agnes. The endless stream of ’97-era Radiohead touchstones include the purple-hat wearing chappy from the Paranoid Android video and the central character from the Karma Police visual. Doubtless Radiohead obsessives are currently in lock-down as they try to decipher the film’s cryptic clues!

“This is the place
Sit down, you’re safe now
You’ve been stuck in a lift
We’ve been trying to reach you, Thom
This is the place
It won’t hurt ever again”

For all its anthemic bravura, Lift is replete with touchingly quirky qualities such as Yorke name-checking himself in the opening verse and self-deprecatingly telling himself to cop on and “lighten up, squirt” in the last.

As they’ve done at other times in the past, Radiohead took the body and re-dressed it, having finally found the right ensemble for a song now twenty years old.

“We never found the right arrangement for that, until then (Nude/In Rainbows). ‘Lift’ is just like that. When the idea is right, it stays right. It doesn’t really matter in which form.” – Thom Yorke

And in bite size news …

For those who may have missed Vol 4 of our newsletter, RH drummer Phil Selway will shortly release his third album entitled Let Me Go. Score to the film of the same name, the album will be available digitally from 15th September with a vinyl edition available from 27th October via Bella Union. You can however, pre-order it here.

And if you’ve been really off the boil, elsewhere, in the world of Ed O’Brien (Irish heritage going strong as always), a new bespoke Fender with the moniker ‘EOB Sustainer Stratocaster‘ tailored to the guitarist’s specifications has hit the music market. Doubtless, he used the proto-type to create his debut solo album, allegedly due for release before the end of the year – tbc.

Finally to news just out today …

It has been announced that Radiohead are collaborating with German film score composer and record producer (Gladiator, Inception) Hans Zimmer on the soundtrack for Blue Planet II.

The exclusive piece of music which will feature an orchestral reimagining of the Radiohead track Bloom (from the album King of Limbs), will be soundtrack a prequel to the universally acclaimed BBC nature documentary fronted by renowned broadcaster and naturalist David Attenborough.

Frontman Thom Yorke has rerecord the vocals for the reworked version. Speaking of the choice of song Yorke explained, “Bloom was inspired by the original Blue Planet series, so it’s great to be able to come full circle with the song and reimagine it for this incredible landmark’s sequel.” To which Zimmer added, “Bloom beautifully reflects the jaw-dropping lifeforms and seascapes” (in the show).

Blue Planet II, which further explores the world’s oceans following the original 2001 series, will air on the BBC later in 2017. The new version of Bloom will accompany a five-minute prequel for the series, to be aired on 27 September. Be sure to tune in!

To round things off here’s a wee Radiohead playlist inspo’d by the news-bites in the post. Enjoy ..

DervSwerve 

 

The Rebel Yells – Sounds From A Safe Harbour 14-17 Sept

Two years since its inception, Sounds From A Safe Harbour returns Leeside with a cross-cultural programme guaranteed to make this four day eventer a runaway success.

Returning for its second outing, SFASH 2017 has some serious big hitters on board in the form of Lisa Hannigan, Bon Iver and The National. Cincinnati’s finest have just released their seventh album, Sleep Well Beast, and its a testament to the festival’s standing within the music industry that the US rock band have elected to kick off their world tour from the banks of the Lee.

National twins Aaron and Bryce Dessner will also form part of the curation team alongside festival director Mary Hickson, Cork actor Cillian Murphy and playwright Enda Walsh. In fact, so invested are the Dessners in this event that they have roped in a cohort of their musician pals to perform at the festival.

The festival programme also includes a series of ‘conversations & words’ featuring a diverse line-up of speakers and hosts including journalist/muso Donal Dineen, author Kevin Barry, photographer/filmographer Brendan Canty (Talos, Lisa Hannigan) and oh, those Dessner dudes again!

Aside from the wondrously gifted, lark voiced Lisa Hannigan, the tricolour will be kept flying across the four days by the likes of Wyvern Lingo, This is How We Fly, Rosa Nutty, Saint Sister, Soulé  and Iarla O’Lionaird who’ll be joined on stage by Steve Cooney. This eclectic selection of artists will ensure that even those with the most diverse tastes will be catered for with genres from RnB funk to fiery folk in the mix.

And just when you thought we were done with all things Dessner, artist/poet/dancer Jessica, will herself present a creative project streetside. Other events to tickle your cultural fancy are Crash Ensemble featuring (ahem) Bryce Dessner and Andre de Ridder in the Everyman Theatre (Friday) while over at the bespoke Triskel Christchurch cinema on the Saturday there’ll be a treat in store for filmics in the form of The Possibilities Are Endless.

Last but most certainly not least, the DervSwerve toptip for SFASH are Icelandic experimental adventurers amiina, tracts of whose rather splendid Fantomas festival-goers can submerge themselves into. Staying on the Icelandic theme, renowned artist Ragnar Kjartansson is exhibiting at the Crawford Art Gallery.

Sounds from a Safe Harbour runs from Thursday 14th to Sunday 17th September across multiple venues in Cork City and its surrounds.

The festival is supported by the Arts Council of Ireland, Creative Ireland, Cork City Council, Cork Co Co and Cork School of Music.

‘Tis the Season, Merry Mercury

The Mercury Music Prize 2017 is nearly upon us. The annual music prize, currently being sponsored by Hyundai, is due to be awarded this coming Thursday 14th September in an event hosted by 6 Music’s Tom Ravenscroft.

Although it markets itself as a prize that promotes the best of British and Irish music, there is a distinct lack of the latter on this year’s shortlist, unless you want to take artistic licence to the limit by claiming Ed Sheeran’s ancestry qualifies him to fly the Hiberno-Celt flag.

The bookies have laid down their markers and here are the most up-to-date odds (per William Hill and Ladbrookes)

12/1 – alt-j – Relaxer
25/1 – Blossoms – Blossoms
16/1 – Dinosaur – Together, As One
20/1 – Ed Sheeran – ÷
12/1 – Glass Animals – How to Be a Human Being
8/1 – J Hus – Common Sense
3/1 – 9/4 – Kate Tempest – Let Them Eat Chaos
8/1 – Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone
4/1 – Sampha – Process
5/1 – Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
16/1 – The Big Moon – Love in the 4th Dimension
10/1 – The xx – I See You

If the previous bookies’ favourites and hotly tipped winners are anything to go by, we should probably expect a resounding victory for Blossoms!

When the shortlist was announced back in late July, DervSwerve predicted a win for either Dinosaur or Kate Tempest. Let’s see whose chickens come home to roost on Thursday night then, eh?

The Hyundai Mercury Music Prize takes place at the Hammersmith Apollo on Thursday 14th September 2017, and will be broadcast live on BBC 6 Music Radio from 7pm. Check out our Mercury Playlist for sample sounds from the shortlisted albums here,

DervSwerve x

Discover Ireland #4 : Autumnal Dawn

As we slowly slink into the Autumnal slipstream that is September, the shimmering haze of Summer (what Summer?) is being bellowed by a blaze of feelgood tunes, keeping our spirits up and the cardigans at bay for just another wee while.

Summer is the season for all things Pride and to their credit, Cork four-piece The Elation teamed up earlier in August with Cork Pride to produce a fantastic charity single, Feels Like A Good Reason To Get Started.  All proceeds made from the sale of the single go directly to the Cork Gay Project.

The track, which was produced by London-based Andy Whitmore (MN8), is the kind of indie-pop fusion The Elation has down to a fine art. Guitar driven Summery rock is given the pumping disco beats treatment to create a blue-skies radio-friendly, bright nights dance floor filler. With its rousing chorus and compelling beats, this blaze of indie glory channels just the right mix of pop sensibilities to make it appeal to music lovers of all shapes and shades.

The Cork Gay project is still ongoing so please, if you haven’t already dipped into your sticky pockets, you can still donate on a very Radiohead-esque ‘pay what you want’ basis over on the guys’ Bandcamp space. ‘Feels Like A Good Reason To Get Started’ is also available via the usual digital channels. Watch the accompanying video, shot on location in Cork city, here. DerVerdict – You know what you need to do!

The Elation is about to hit these Munster venues running so get in early to reserve your air space.

Unless you’ve been living on or under Fraggle Rock, you can’t have failed to notice much-media-ado about everything to do with a certain album launch.

Fka Ireland’s next big thing, Picture This are indeed now just that … the big ticket act that everyone wants to see, a point proven by the speed with which their upcoming lives at the 3 Arena sold out. Their eponymous debut album went straight in at #1 in the Irish album charts, no mean feat for a duo that set up shop via Facebook only two years ago.

The impressive rapidity with which Messrs Rainsford and Hennessy have become ‘a thing’ in contemporary Irish popular music culture is predominantly down to the relatability of their songs and normality of their personas.

Picture This are two normal lads who with nothing to lose, just bloody well went for it. And got there in a mind-bogglingly short space of time, propelled by the goodwill of an exponentially expanding fanbase who saw in the Kildare duo and their lyrics, reflections of their own lives.

At the core of their critical success are two things – their stirring, perfectly choreographed melodic arrangements and their incisive illustrations of youth-life in small town, post-recession Ireland.

The Picture This promotional tour will take them to the US in September before they return to these shores to play Belfast end of October followed by the two sold-out Dublin shows. The album Picture This is out now on all platforms. DerVerdict – 4.5/5 – A Must Buy!

Speaking of ‘big things’, Dublin trio The Script have just returned with their fifth album, Freedom Child.

Looking lean and mean at their recent secret gig in The Stadium (we share the same trainer but I obviously like my food more) the Dublin lads teased tracks from their new album to an uproarious crowd (we saw the ‘stories’ on IG!) which undoubtedly augured well for its release.

With more political leanings than its predecessors, Freedom Child is a bit of a musical mixed bag. While there are some artfully conceived pop flourishes and lush rhythmic beats with swatches of reggae-esque underlay, the heavy EDM elements at times feel a bit laboured.

Thematically, the boilerplate love/hate, when love breaks down, relationship schemas which are the stock in trade of The Script are all there, interwoven with musings on terrorism and bullying.

Rain is the kind of Latino-hip pop you might expect to find on an Enrique Iglesias compendium whereas notwithstanding its quirky lyrical content, Mad Love with its super cool beat, is classic Script. Stand out track of the album is undoubtedly Arms Open which sees frontman Danny Donoghue vocally reign supreme. A song in the mould of The Man Who Can’t Be Moved, this is The Script lyrical tendresse at its best. If you’re going to see them on their current tour, this is going to your arm waver, phone blazer of a track.

With more high points than low, overall this is a solid production by a band who like to experiment and more importantly have a bit of fun while doing so. While there’s enough vintage Script in here to keep the legions happy, there’s also plenty of fun flava to pick up newbies along the way. DerVerdict – Do It.

Irish brothers Cillian and Lorcan Byrne are the duo behind brand Basciville. Serving up RnB/Folk fusion, with a side of orchestral is their house speciality and judging by the reaction to their latest single, Diving Hour, it’s going down a treat with their ever-growing audiences.

Hailing from Wexford, the pair grew up in a rural idyll famous for its laid-back tranquility; a world that has become increasingly swept up in the fast-paced freneticism that is our modern, everyday multi-gadgeted and faceted life. By taking modern instrumental sounds, samples and styles and arranging them with careful precision into pastoral settings, Basciville orchestrates an enchanting transcendence, or musical time-lapse if you will.

Basciville has created a unique far-away utopia, and situated it right at the heart of our urban decay. Forget your stressballs, lavender pillows and mindfulness apps. Download their tumbling orchestral sequences and floating melodies to set your mind at zen o’clock.

Notwithstanding its silvan themed video, Diving Hour would make the perfect soundtrack for a maritime visual. Watch the accompanying film in all its verdant glory below.  Basciville are about to head out on a nationwide tour (full details on Facebook).

Nationwide Tour Dates – Tickets available at Ticketmaster & box offices.
Weds Sept 27th : Roisin Dubh (upstairs) – Galway
Thurs sept 28th: The Workmans Club – Dublin
Fri Sept 29th: The Roundry – Cork
Sat Sept 30th: Dolans (upstairs) – Limerick
Sun Oct 1st: DeBarra – Clonakilty

Wild Youth is Callum McAdam, Ed Porter, David Whelan, and Conor O’Donohoe, four Dublin lads at the start of what’s promising to be an adventurous journey.

Ahead of the release of their second single Lose Control, the band has dropped the accompanying video which features top Irish model Thalia Heffernan and her Dancing with the Stars boyfriend, Ryan Mc Shane. These two hot steppers sure let off some very sexy steam during their superbly choreographed flirtation around late night Dublin.

With it’s infectious vocal, lush, tantalising melodies and gyrating beats, this song is the perfect antidote to the cooler temperatures of late Summer/early Autumn. It shouts bright lights, late nights and lots of fun. Now who’d argue with that?

Lose Control is released Friday 8th September. Wild Youth will headline the Grand Social on Friday 22nd September. Tickets here.

IN OTHER AUTUMNAL NEWS …

Post her rave stint at EP, Beeb DJ Annic Mac is just one of the several on-trend dance acts that due to pitch up at Weston Airport later this Autumn for the new-look Samhain Festival. She’ll be joined in Hangar-land on Saturday 28th October by beatmasters Kelly Anne Byrne, Eats Everything and Belgium’s finest, 2ManyDJs. Sunday 29th will see The Strypes perform tracks from their new Spitting Image album before former Oasis front-man Liam ‘as you were’ Gallagher takes centre-stage. Tickets €49.50 from Ticketmaster.

Rumour has it that a batch of Irish newbies are shaping up to drop their debut albums in the not too distant months ahead. One such group is Otherkin who are set to release the not so cryptically entitled OK on 29th September. To promo its release, the band are heading out on tour, starting with a 7-night UK run as special guests of InHeaven which will  be swiftly followed by an expansive headline tour that will see the boys take in a raft of British and European dates. The tour will wrap on 15th December at Dublin’s Button Factory – now that’ll be some sesh!

Full details plus links to pre-order OK here. (Oh and hint hint – fans who pre-order will receive four instant grat tracks). Now there’s an incentive to buy-in if ever I saw one!

AND FINALLY, THE BIG ONE!

Here it is folks … the first single from the upcoming U2 album Songs of Experience.

You’re The Best Thing About Me follows the surprise drop of teaser track The Blackout and leads the way for the Irish rock legends’ 14th studio album, Songs of Experience the second of a two-part album series.

Following Songs of Innocence which documented U2’s childhood experiences through the late 1970s into the early 1980s, the new album takes the form of intimate letters written by Bono to people from within his inner sanctum like family and close friends as well as to those outside, including fans. Most interestingly it includes missives to himself.

Where The Blackout had direct sonic references to 90’s platinum selling Achtung Baby, You’re The Best Thing About Me is a tangible continuum of SoI in both look and feel, although traces of Edge’s riffs recall the haunting guitar playing of Bad (The Unforgettable Fire). There are no prizes for guessing the subject(s) of the song as it’s clearly yet another homage to his wife of over 35 years and their long-standing relationship.

Songs of Experience will be available on CD, vinyl and digital download, with the release date and pre-order details to be announced soon.

Check out the funky lyric video for the new single here!

As usual we’re signing off with an accompanying Spotify playlist. Unfortunately, as Wild Youth’s track isn’t on release for another few days, it’s not included. However, as soon as it is available, we’ll add it in. Cheers, DervSwerve x

Björk Announces New Single ‘The Gate’ Ahead of Album Release

The Queen of outre creativity,  Björk, has announced the imminent release of a new single. Entitled The Gate it will be available in digital format on 18th September and as a single-sided 12″ vinyl from 22nd.

Fingers on the buzzers as the track is available to pre-order now!

The announcement comes on the back of an image of a hand-written post-it note that the Icelander posted to her IG feed earlier in August when the singer teased the release of her next album.

Speaking about the lead single from her upcoming LP Björk says:-“‘The Gate’ is essentially a love song, but I say ‘love’ in a more transcendent way. Vulnicura was about a very personal loss, and I think this new album is about a love that’s even greater. It’s about rediscovering love – but in a spiritual way, for lack of a better word.”

The Nordic innovator went on to explain that the new album is an exploration of utopia, questioning the possibility and viability of the perfect paradise.

Expanding on the theme Björk says:- “If we’re gonna survive not only my personal drama but also the sort of situation the world is in today, we’ve got to come up with a new plan. If we don’t have the dream, we’re just not gonna change. Especially now, this kind of dream is an emergency.”

To pre-order your copy of The Gate click on the  Link.

Derv’s Voyage Of Discovery – Now & Then Newsletter (Vol 4)

📷 Ida Bjørvik Photography

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 single You’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 Faith makes a welcome return with a sun-kissed charmer in Crybaby.

If music could be defined by a shade from the colour spectrum, Crybaby would 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 Selway steps 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 from 27th October via Bella Union. You can however, pre-order it here.

 

BITE SIZE

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 Nothing an 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 Storm by 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 sees LCD Soundsystem return 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 Fashion ripping through its canvas).

LES LIAISON DANGEREUSES

Wrapping up this fourth ed of our newsletter we turn our attention northwards to Norway where Toothfairy protegee ARY has released a stunner of a new single.

It’s official, Ariadne Loinsworth aka ARY is all grown up. Her latest single Already There cements 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 There sees 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. DervSwerve x