Random Acts of Music #2 – A BBC 6 Music ‘Fluenced Playlist

Susanne Sundfør

In this second ed. of Random Acts of Music we’re taking our lead predominantly from serious music influencer and doyenne of experimental electronica and idiosyncrasy, the dulcet-toned MaryAnne Hobbs. To spice things up and keep it diverse, we’ve also lobbed in a few choice cuts from across the 6 Music Board.

Just in case you missed our first New Music Playlist #NMP, you can check it out later by clicking this link.

Today’s playlist is somewhat submerged in dense, dark soundscapes at points tinged with glistening moments of ethereal brightness. There’s an almost religious, definitely spiritual quality to some of the tracks; to counter the celestial and bring things back down to earth, we’ve included some extremely earthy and very meaty animalistic vibes.

Full Spotify playlist at the end of the post.

Photo : BBC 6 Music

Starting off the latest Recommends playlist is Aphex Twin with Umil 25-01, just one of a bunch of tracks the electronic Gandalf has uploaded out of the blue. Originally dropped as a bonus track to follow the release of ‘Orphaned Deejay Delek 2006-2008’, it’s a meandering snake of a tune peppered with sharp percussive hits. You’ll find this amongst others over on the Irish-born Englishman’s label home Warp.net. Check it out.

Walking a completely different sonic path is Berlin based musician Martyn Heyne whose magical guitar-work adorns expansive, visceral soundscapes.

Latest single Carry teases a new album due out later this year on the newly established 7k label. Speaking of his own personal interaction with music Martyn offers “For me the only way to discover something new in music is to listen without any preconceptions as to what it is. No expectations at all”. Sound advice.

August Rosenbaum is a Danish composer whose innovative compositions are currently taking music industry and media types, as well as fans by storm.  If music could be described as a luxuriously adorned celestially beauty, Credo is it. Or if you prefer your analogy a little more Italianate in a futuristic Renaissance kinda way – in the Dane’s own words – “Imagine an altar boy stepping forward to sing at an Italian church mass in 2050”.

Credo is Lifted from the August Rosenbaum album ‘Vista’ due out on November 24th on uber-hip, Danish independent record label Tambourhinoceros. If the two single releases provide a vista of what is yet to come on the full length, we can look forward to something pretty special! (Check out lead track Nebula – a ‘poignance’ of strings set afloat on a sea of all consuming darkness).

Another track that could easily have been recorded in the shadowy, nocturnal darkness of a marble-lined Gothic cathedral is Mountaineers, the Susanne Sundfør single featuring the illustrious John Grant. The Norwegian music artist recently signed to the Bella Union label for whom she’ll play an intimate album launch in London’s Courtyard Theatre on 22nd August (see poster for details).

Mountaineers is to music as Villette was to literature, and like the Bronte novella, there is something almost preternatural in its power.

It unfurls, largo, with Grant’s potent plain chant vocal lingering long on a brooding thrum, creating frissons of tension and mystery. Into Grant-created darkness comes the light of Sundfør’s magical vocal. Like a gentle hand soothing a troubled soul it adds an uplifting and bewitchingly ethereal texture as it majestically whips the melody up from Hades to Heaven.

Susanne Sundfør will be interviewed on Monday 14th August by Radcliffe and Maconie for 6 Music. Programme start time 1pm GMT. Her latest album Music for People in Trouble – from which Mountaineers is lifted – is due for release on 25th August. Susanne’s first on Bella Union, it is currently available to pre-order here

The MfPiT promotional tour kicks off in Helsinki on 12th September with a pitstop in London on 2nd October and one in Dublin five days later on 7th.

Speaking of heaven and higher highs, Midnight the new single from Jessie Ware, is a delicious R&B redemption from the Gothic froideur of its Playlist predecessor.

Earthy, sensual, seductive, its the perfect vehicle for Ware’s powerful honey-textured vocal. One minute it’s gliding recklessly over undulating synth lines, the next storming through a stomping piano riff, the temperature of Ware’s vocal matching the rising heat of the lyrics.

A taster of her as yet untitled upcoming album due later this year via PMR/Interscope, Midnight is an audacious ode to risqué love with a searingly hot, rhythmic pulse.

From hot blooded carnal pulses to ‘junglesque’, tribal ones. Listening to Pact Infernal‘s Purification is like crawling blindfold through a dark echo chamber surrounded by an invisible audience of strange sounds. The highly charged atmosphere is laced with intrigue, and shaded with a touch of terror reminiscent of ‘what danger’s lurking in the jungle?’ film-scenes.

Purification is the opening track on the duo’s debut ‘concept’ album Infernality which is on release via the Horo label and was “written to invoke a tribal ritual of the mind“. It’s deep … mineshaft deep.

Keeping the textures deep and immersive, we move onto Leaving the Park from Brookly-based Daniel Lopatin aka Oneohtrix Point Never. Another tune from his score for the film GoodTime it’s due out on Warp on 11th August.

An intensity of frantic squiggles and streaks of noise rush through a booming darkness in a sound that strangely feels both expansive and claustrophobic.

It’s certainly immersive, drawing you into its spiralling galaxy. Innovative expression of chaotic emotion, Leaving the Park has a back to the future feel as it references Tangerine Dream in the most post-modern of ways.

American multi-instrumentalist wonder-woman Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith has as fuller diary than most, with a prolonged stint of festival and island hopping pencilled in, starting with a slot at prestigious Øyafestivalen in Oslo on 11th August.

Finnish Flow Festival (try saying that with a mouthful of peanuts), plus dates in Sweden, France and Poland follow, as well as a mid-Winter gig in NYC that will see her showcase her upcoming album.

Kaitlyn played the Nils Frahm festival in London last year where per that flaxen mistress of the decks, she “enchanted the room“.  The inventive and far-seeing electro-experimenter continues to enchant with An Intention, the first taster of her new album entitled The Kid which is due out on 6th October.

There are similarities of sorts with Welshwoman Kelly Lee Owens – both artists push and stretch boundaries oft’ beyond their ‘comfort zone’; they both also favour a fusion of existential synths and breathy harmonies.

The apparent effortlessness of Smith’s art belies the perfectly arranged elements that furnish her imaginative electronic habitats.

Full details of her tour schedule and album release can be found on Smith’s website.


Four-piece Grizzly Bear who hail from Brooklyn, NYC, have just dropped single Neighbors taken from their upcoming album Painted Ruins which is due out on the Columbia label on 18th August.

When they finish live-love-bombing New York’s clubs, they’ll be hitting my home town, where they’ll pitch up at Vicar Street for a double date on 4th/5th October with Finn-Dane super-group Liima. UK and Euro dates follow – details on their FB page.

Photo Tom Hines

Possibly the most touchingly beautiful and warmly endearing song on this playlist, Neighbors is the fourth release from the bands first long player since their 2012 album Shields. It’s as mellow as the dawn glow with a caress more tender than a gentle breeze.

Blending swatches of folk, indie and electronic, the track flows across lines of heaving synth, warm-textured ‘horn’ samples and tight circular guitar riffs. The understated vocal complements the carefully produced union of organic and electronic.

You can watch the rather quirky but really entertaining visual accompaniment to Neighbors here.

For the next track, what we wanted to bring you and what we can bring you are unfortunately two different things. What we wanted to include here was the Andrea Belfi remix of the Dead Light track, Sleeper. However, as it’s currently unavailable in any format other than MP3, that isn’t a playlist runner.**

A huge favourite of Ms. Hobbs, drummer Belfi has re-imagined the short, soul-stirring Sleeper, weaving inspired rhythm patterns into its minimalist fabric.

Belfi’s percussive choreography is akin to expressionist or freeform dance. Vital, expressive, uninhibited and provocative – it enlivens and reshapes, bringing new textures to the surface of what already was an incredibly captivating composition. Bravissimo.

Sleeper (Andrea Belfi Remix) is one of four brand new mixes due out on 25th August on the Village Green label but can be pre-ordered here.

**On the playlist we’ve included Sleeper in its original format and an Andrea Belfi solo track, Lead (percussive shades of Sat in Your Lap).

The Spotify gods are not being kind to DervSwerve just now, as lo, we’ve been struck down with déja vu yet again, as the track we wanted to feature hasn’t been uploaded. No matter, we’ll pluck another from the heart of the Blondes catalogue.

Blondes are a two-piece based in NYC who are set to release Warmth their first album on the R&S label. The track we wanted to bring you was MRO* but the only track available to us just now is KDM, which at just under 6.50 is one helluva #tuunne.

Warmth Artwork

It’s the type of track where using the word trance would be apt as the groove is all rather heady and hypnotic. Pulsing rhythms beat into layer after layer of synth trance but it’s in the overall packaging that the genius lies.

There’s an underlying graininess and almost deliberately unpolished edgy rawness to their skilfully arranged, idiosyncratic production.

Warmth is due for release on 11th August but can be pre-ordered here.

*As of 11th August, MRO has been added onto the RAoM playlist


Our penultimate playlist entry is from an old hand under a new guise. Purl trading under the Illuvia moniker brings us the delicious Surrounded. To quote from his bandcamp page …

Music as a doorway to the Eternal – Welcome. My name is Ludvig Cimbrelius and I create music, endlessly … it is a language capable of expressing some of the vast depths of beauty that resides within us all.”

How absolutely wonderful is that?

Equally wonderful are the cool, clean lines of his self-released track Surrounded. Minimalist electronic breeze, piano notes in the form of Summer raindrops, and harmonies in the guise of spritely echoes.

It’s just all too gorgeous.

Illuvia is lifted from the album Eternell and you’ll find both over on bandcamp. Buy it and let your senses be beguiled!


Last but by now means least, easing us out is the fascinating Two Thousand and Seventeen from Four Tet.

On the wings of Kieran Hebdon this is an amuse bouche from his new album due out later this year on his own label Text Recordings.

It shimmers. It stuns. Precision fretwork of the most intoxicating kind is paired with laid back synth soundscapes to create something so unique that it defies categorisation. Which can only ever be a good thing.

Strings played in an elaborate Asian style are the gilt-edged bling to a paired-back electronic twilight, ornate decor melded with layers of grey.

With its exquisite guitar sequences, which are played with dexterity and flair, and backroom fodder synths, this is a track where melodrama is counterpointed by the most workaday of ‘backing tracks’. Simply perfect.

And a simply perfect ending to what’s been a pretty special playlist. To hear our regular Random & other playlists or to keep up with all the news and views follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or hop across to Spotify! DervSwerve


Random Acts of Music – A BBC 6 Music ‘Fluenced Playlist

Starting today, we’re going to be bringing you a ‘playlist/new-music’ project that’s been on the bubble for some time.

As many of you would know, DervSwerve is involved with Tom Robinson’s Fresh on the Net new music support system and hub. This has led to relationships and inter-minglings with various BBC Introducing houses as well as the holy grail of the airwaves, 6 Music.

For some time now it has been our mission to operate in tandem with, as well as support those shows featuring new artists on both Intro and 6. We’ve already spun some Intro supported sounds here over the years, most recently in our Discover Brexit pieces. However, the time has now come to get into a proper Beeb groove and as of today, we’ll be bringing you playlists aligned to the Saturday night ‘Intro’ shows as well as 6 Music Recommends.

We’ll be taking our tips from the gurus over at BBC 6 Music as they pull together playlists sourced from all over the map geographically and sonically. Our Random Acts of Music will take in all the different flavours and tastes of 6 Music and BBC Intro DJs; music of every texture, colour and origin.

Everything in moderation being the DervSwerve motto, we’ve a little bit of everything in today’s #NMP, Random Acts of Music, which interestingly has quite the DIY bent to it as well as a more than mellow feel. Full Spotify playlist at the end of the post.

Kicking things off is Hollow Hand with their just released trippy-Kinksian single End to Everything. A quartet from Brighton, they released their debut album Ancestral Lands in 2015. Interestingly they like Wilson guitars and Liv Ullmann. Check out the groovy Medieval themed visual for their glorious, harmony-filled psych track here!

Californian Angelo de Augustine is up next with his DIY track Crazy Stoned & Gone lifted from his upcoming album Swim Inside The Moon which is due out on 18th August. The singer, who recently signed to the Sufjan Stevens label Asthmatic Kitty, recorded the album live in his house –  vocals and guitar were done in his bathroom, while the piano was recorded in the living room.

Speaking of the DIY recording de Augustine explained: The album was recorded live in the bath tub of my house using a 1970s four-track reel-to-reel tape machine, one SM57 microphone, and an old PA mixer. I positioned the microphone in such a way as to pick up the reverberations of my voice and guitar off of the walls of the tub. After the guitar and vocal performance was recorded, I would often in the same vein add piano, electric guitar, or synthesizer on top of the song.”

Swim Inside The Moon out 18th August is available to pre-order and music fans in the UK can expect to see AdeA take it live this November. One to watch much.

From Dyffryn Conwy in Snowdownia comes space popper supreme, George Amor t/a Omaloma. His new single Eniwe is taken from the album Aros O Gwmpas which is out on the Cae Gwyn label and comes on the back of his recent stint playing the BBC Intro stage at Latitude. It’s trippiness ‘sonified’, a gorgeous drifting prism of loveliness that’d be right at home soundtracking a Cadbury’s Flake ad.

Earlier this year Stirling native, Scott William Urquhart, released his album Lenten Dawn Chorus. Now he is re-releasing a track from his 2015 EP Rosie’s Smile. Instrumental Galaxies is four minutes of technically adept guitar playing with many as twists as turns, and comes highly recommended by both Gideon Coe and Lauren Laverne.

No stranger to these pages, US based Weyes Blood is an artist that is lyrically, musically and vocally at the top of her game. Her recently released album, Front Row Seat to Earth was as spectacular as it was critically acclaimed, as was borne out by its mesmerising promotional live shows.

Natalie Mering, the person behind the WB persona, is as pithy as they come – check out her latest pinned tweet “How many pity likes you give on twitter is one more magic bean in your sympathy sack in hell”. Burn!

Used to Be lifted from FRStE is according to 6 Music’s Lauren Laverne very Stevie Nicks (Silver Springs). It’s set for release on 4th August via Mexican Summer records. If you don’t already have the album, count this as a good first investment.

We’re back in Gideon Coe territory with Belgian singer-songwriter Melanie de Biasio. Her album Lilies, is due out in October via the coolly named Play it Again Sam records, with lead track Gold Junkies just released and what a teaser it is. There’s every genre and none in here – touch of art pop, hint of mid-60s, washes of dark Americana, and nightshades of moody electro-pop.

De Biasio’s sound is intense, her style unorthodox, the result intoxicating.

Turning night to very colourful day is Wesley Fuller‘s #1 Song, which is due out 4th August. The Aussie power popper who hails from Melbourne is set to release his debut album Inner City Dream this September. One for fans of Parquet Courts and Lemon Twigs, this rainbow riot is a current fave of Steve Lamacq.

Vibing the Leo Sayer look with a drummer that’s not a million miles from a late 60’s Ringo Starr, Fuller is fast making a name for himself outside of his native Australia with his sounds of summer, vivacious pop anthems.

Mancunian Aldous RH is Feelin’ Blue and he’s produced the cerulean video to prove it. However, the sound of Lauren Laverne playing his track on 6 Music Recommends should perk him up no end! Aldous used to be in the band Egyptian hip hop, going on to release his debut solo album Seductive Atmospheres in 2015. He says his music is neo-blue-eyed soul – I call it understated, infectious ear-worm.

Feelin’ Blue is out now on Handsome Dad records.

Iron & Wine‘s single Call It Dreaming is lifted from his first album of new material since 2013. Recently featured in the latest ed of Uncut Magazine, I&W aka Sam Beam, has his feet firmly planted in an American country landscape flavoured with pinches of indie-folk. His latest single is a lush and gorgeously textured, guitar-driven wonder the warmth of which perfectly offsets the poignancy of its lyrics.

Speaking of his upcoming album Beam says, “This collection speaks to the beauty and pain of growing up after you’ve already grown up. For me that experience has been more generous in its gifts and darker in its tragedies”.

The album Beast Epic is out on 25th August on Sub Pop records.

Moon Diagrams is the project of Deerhunter co-founder and drummer, Moses Archuleta and the single Nightmoves is lifted from the album Lifetime of Love which was written and recorded in NYC and Georgia over a ten year period. Moon Diagram’s is like a sort of re-imagining of Deerhunter – some of the same and then not – a different genre with threads of the Deerhunter aesthetic woven through its fabric.

Current single Nightmoves is a mellow psych-trancer with an hypnotic rhythm. Lifetime of Love out now on the Sonic Cathedral imprint.

Bill Baird aka Blond Bill, is an American multi-disciplinary artist, TV presenter, environmentalist, painter and creator of concept albums! IOW a man of many talents. Most recently Bill released two albums designed to be listened to at different times of the day.

Brighter of the two, Easy Machines is a child of the morning while Baby Blue Abyss is a record to dive into as the dark rises. Our featured track the delightfully mellow and uplifting acoustic Telephones very of the dawn – is due for release on 4th August, via Talk Show records.

Last but by no means least, a gem of a vintage country track from the late American singer-songwriter Steve Young entitled Seven Bridges Rd. First released in 1969, the song has been covered by music stalwarts such as The Eagles, Dolly Parton and Joan Baez.

Young, who passed away last year at the age of 73, was well know for his idiosyncratic brand of ‘outlaw country’ and in fact his sound and style of easy charm recall that other legend of fine country wine, Lee Hazlewood. Seven Bridges Rd is taken from the re-issued album Rock Salt & Nails out now on A&M records.

We’re going to finish as we started, wrapping things up with the latest single from Angelo de Augustine.  Haze is as warm and heartfelt a piece of acoustic intimacy as you’ll hear anywhere. A lo-fi melodic rarity that will gently wrap you in its arms, should you choose to let it.

To hear our regular Random & other playlists or to keep up with all the news and views follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or hop across to Spotify! DervSwerve

Wyvern Lingo – That Love For Sadie Just Keeps A’Growin’

Such has been the success of their latest single, I Love You Sadie, that gawjus gals Wyvern Lingo have now released their mucho bueno acoustic version, and it’s available now via Rubywax Records on all digital platforms!

The stand-out track, which the trio performed on RTE’s Saturday Night with Miriam has been a runaway favourite with radio-heads, journos and fans alike, with everyone raving about its exciting fresh folk-take on R&B as well as it’s colourful, uplifting verve.

The girls describe the track as being about “loving the feminine qualities of a man, and encouraging him not to worry about fitting into the male stereotype and just to be himself”. There you go now Paddy, find your inner Patricia and let her rip!

Fresh from their much raved-about performance at Longitude Fest, Wyvern Lingo have announced a Party and then a post-party-party after the original launch party! Confused much? Pay attention grasshopper.

WL will host a Launch Party for their new single I LOVE YOU, SADIE – the lead track from their forthcoming debut album, due early 2018 – at Dublin’s Grand Social on 25th August.

This will be followed by (dramatic pause), an after party in a SECRET LOCATION 😱 .

What can you expect on the night?  DJ sets from the Lingo ladies, as well as RTÉ 2fm presenter Tara Stewart – and FREE BEER TASTING from Bray’s O Brother Brewing on arrival at the after party.

Full details on FB events here with limited tickets still available via Ticketmaster.

PARTEEE!!! DervSwerve

Wicklovians Wyvern Lingo are Caoimhe Barry, Karen Cowley and Saoirse Duane 

Julia Holter Covers Depeche Mode In Honour Of Late Artist Friend

American artist Julia Holter has released a new 7″ double-A set of covers of the legendary Mode track, Condemnation, adjudged by many to be one of the British band’s finest compositions.

A collaboration with Ramona Gonzalez, Cole M.G.N and Nedelle Torrisi, the charity single is being released in honour of their late close-friend, artist and music video director Travis Peterson, who tragically died at the end of 2016. Depeche Mode were one of Peterson’s favourite bands.

The double-A which is released via Holter’s home label Domino Records, features two covers – one live and one synth version of the ’93 single that saw Mode frontman Dave Gahan deliver one of his best vocal performances.

“Aside from being an authentic and talent artist and collaborator, Travis was a great friend and beloved by many in Los Angeles and around the world,” Holter, Gonzalez, M.G.N., and Torrisi said in a joint-statement. “Known for his infectious laugh, sense of mischief, and passion for art, music, and architecture, Travis was simply a pleasure to be around.”

While the live version is an heavenly chorus of harmonies that floats slowly over a solemn tide of accordion, the second cover is a masterclass in synth understatement that stays true to the aesthetic of early ’90s Mode.

The deeply touching live-acoustic version of the song is accompanied by a sublime Jennifer Juniper Stratford video, which you can watch below.

All proceeds will be donated to  Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, a Los Angeles-based non-profit dedicated to providing mental health and substance abuse services in underserved communities.

The limited edition Condemnation vinyl can be pre-ordered here.

Who Let The Dogs Out? The Mercury Shortlist & The Baying Hounds!


Rolling Stone

It’s only been a few hours since the Mercury Shortlist was announced and already a bloodthirsty cohort of baying hounds is chomping at the bit, desirous to sink their well honed canines into its juicy flesh.

Fee, Fi, Fo, Fum, they smell the blood of more than a few Englishmen, cannibalistic appetite whetted, wolverine mouths salivating.

Why? Easy! These days, all anyone has to do to stir the blood of the whack-pack is print two words. Ed Sheeran.

The sheer mention of his name is enough to set every snarky schnauzer in the extended media pack barking their sardonic heads off. Having said that, some of the other nominees haven’t gone down too well either.

The inclusion of The XX, Blossoms and Alt-J has in some quarters, sunk heavier than your proverbial ton of lead.

For those who don’t have their snouts cocked so high in the air that they can’t see the gargantuan chips on their own shoulders through their green tinted eyes, the list is a diverse and refreshing combination of contemporary pop, spoken word social commentary, 21st century alt-rock, freestyle grime cum hip hop and much more.

Additions to this year’s judging panel include Marcus Mumford, Lianne La Havas, Ella Eyre, and DJ MistaJam. Singer Jessie Ware and jazzster Jamie Cullum are also on the panel along with broadcaster Clara Amfo, and Head of Music at BBC 6 Music and Radio 2, Jeff Smith.

The Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards Show will take place at Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith on Thursday, 14th September, with most of the nominees expected to perform on the night.

This prestigious annual prize recognises the best album from the UK and Ireland, however, notwithstanding the fact Sheeran might be Ireland’s adopted ‘looper’, this year’s shortlist is decidedly short on Irish entries.

An interesting situation indeed, given that the Irish music scene, which has never been stronger, is currently undergoing something of a cross-genre, multi-cultural renaissance.

And the nominees are,

Alt-J: ‘Relaxer’
Blossoms: ‘Blossoms’
Dinosaur: ‘Together, As One’
Ed Sheeran: ‘Divide’
Glass Animals: ‘How To Be A Human Being’
J Hus: ‘Common Sense’
Kate Tempest: ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Loyle Carner: ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
Sampha: ‘Process’
Stormzy: ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
The Big Moon: ‘Love In The Fourth Dimension’
The xx: ‘I See You’

While one might expect hip hopper Stormzy to be immediately installed as bookies favourite, it could very well be that fellow grimer Skepta’s 2016 win with Konnichiwa might have inadvertently put paid to the Croydon native’s chances of a win!

DervSwerve’s top tips would be Dinosaur or Kate Tempest, however, the Mercury Prize has an uncanny track record of throwing up the least obvious winners!

To see you off, we’ve put together a playlist featuring sounds from the nominated albums. Enjoy. DervSwerve



Talos Unveils Breathtaking ‘This Is Us Colliding’ Video Filmed In West Clare

Brendan Canty

Irish musician and songwriter Talos has unveiled a stunning visual accompaniment to his latest single This Is Us Colliding.

The video, shot on location in the Burren, was directed by the Corkman’s long time collaborator Brendan Canty of Feelgoodlost. The film centres around images of the musician and his band, performing the song atop a cliff, set against the remote and alluring landscapes of West Clare and the Wild Atlantic Way.

Frames of Talos are cleverly interspersed with flashing acid drop colours and film-burn effects, and together with the beautifully edited and stylised footage of the coastline, they pick up on elements of the song’s central theme.

This Is Us Colliding has at its heart a “recurring reference to the idea of the epic journey or exploration and conquering the unknown. (The song) looks at what lengths we go to for what we desire – be it another, or a dream, and if these things warrant those struggles. Will we be satisfied with what we end up with?”

The video is to breathtaking, as this song is to spine-tingling.

There is something about Talos’ voice when it’s left to drift in isolation, across hushed minimalist instrumentation, that harks of times past. There’s an almost medieval quality to its quiet chant.

It’s hard to balance those whispering tones with a powerful surge in delivery, but that is exactly what Talos does as he expertly sweeps the song from static beauty and ethereal spaciousness to majestic melodrama.

Very few other contemporary artists can orchestrate emotion-piercing instrumentation quite like this.

This Is Us Colliding due for release on 21st July, is lifted from Talos’ highly acclaimed debut album, Wild Alee, which you can buy or stream from the usual channels. Watch the spectacular video for this truly beautiful song here.

HWCH Tickets Go On Sale As First Round Of Delegates Announced

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

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

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

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

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

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

Through attendance at HWCH, delegates can:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nightly live €25.00 / Single venue €12.00



HWCH Fest – Call for Applications


Ireland’s HWCH – Hard Working Class Heroes annual music showcase and conference once again returns to autumnal Dublin, this year crossing from 28th to 30th September.

As per, the main focus is showcasing the huge wealth of emerging musical talent that has our current Irish scene practically bursting at the seams, ipso facto, the HWCH festival folk are making their annual call to action.

Now is the time for Ireland’s musicians, singer-songwriters, bands and solo artists to apply for their chance to take part in this internationally renowned showcase event which will run across several Dublin venues later this year.


Log on to hwch.net and click on the “BANDS APPLY HERE” button – applications will be through the artists’ Breaking Tunes profile.  Closing date for applications is JULY 14th.

Okay? So far so simple right? We -ll, here’s where things get a leetle tricky! By way of marking its 15th ‘birthday’, HWCH has decided to spice things up a bit so musicians you can prepare to feel the heat, because in #HWCH17 fewer bands will be put through to the final line-up!

Get your application in, whack your competition face on and get practising guys! #workhardplayhard  Literally!

And that’s not all! More changes are afoot with the three-day eventer now hosting the showcase lives on Friday and Saturday nights only. Playing coy, they are keeping their cards close to their chest and holding back on some other announcements. Keep your eyes peeled and ears open.

Run by First Music Contact, HWCH provides up and coming Irish acts with a platform to showcase their wares to media, industry professionals and music fans alike – exposure they may not otherwise have access to.

Through the Music from Ireland office, FMC help with funding for new Irish artists, as well as opening the door to opportunities via their contacts with international festivals such as SXSW, TGE and Eurosonic to name but a few.

Since it kicked off in 2003, HWCH has helped sew the seeds of several acts who have since blossomed onto our contemporary scene; artists such as Hozier, Girl Band, Le Galaxie, Otherkin, Ailbhe Reddy & More.

To celebrate all the fine talent that has passed through the HWCH doors and as a mouthwatering taster of the delicacies to come, I’ve put together an amuse-bouche for you in the form of an HWCH Taster Menu which you will find below.

It includes tasty morsels from some of the artists mentioned above as well as top tracks from Jape, Le Boom and the latest single release from the Coronas.

Remember the deadline is 14TH JULY and the clock is ticking.

Btw, if you hop over to the HWCH socials you’ll find nifty vids of local and international judges giving some invaluable tips n tricks.  Do It Peeps!

HWCH is supported by The Arts Council, Culture Ireland and Failte Ireland/Tourism Ireland

DervSwerve x


Derv’s Voyage of Discovery – NotSoWeekly Newsletter (Vol 3)


Dublin 200717
Photo: Derval Mc Cloat

Greetings peoples and apologies for ‘le silence’. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

Thing is, I’ve been transitioning into a ‘career’ as a full-time writer and as with any big upheaval, it’s been more than a little life-changing to say the least. Anyway, hey ho, we’re there now! Que sera sera!

Okay, so in a WAY busier than average early Summer season, there’s a shed load of music n’ news for ‘you/me/us’ to get acquainted with; so no dilly dallying, let’s get straight to it and kick off Vol 3 (in case you missed it, here’s a link to Vol 2)

First up y’all, a dash of fan-girling. Long time ‘admiree’ of the blog, Dorset gal Gris-de-Lin, has been hi-bindering around the Antipodes and Europodes with one Gemma Ray. Within a hair’s breadth of their return from a gander around Oz/New Z, the pair along with Andy Zammit high-tailed it off to swan around Switzerland and Germany finishing up at Berlin’s Baustelle Neues Schloss (if anyone cares to tell me what that means, I’m all ears) and to prove it, we have a photo!

If you still don’t know how damned-fine a singer/musician Gemma is, then feast your senses on this short live film taken during a recent gig in Rome.

As per, our newsletter is accessorised by a bejewelled Spotify playlist, in which you’ll find sonic samples from both the G’s.

Now unless you’ve been living in a dark cave on the Outer Hebrides or were turned into a frog by the the local branch of your witches coven, you’ll be aware of the biggest tour in town passing through an arena near you. Derv was lucky enough to get to see Radiohead play a packed out 3Arena, Dublin the week of #OKNOTOK and the 20th anniv of OK Computer.

It was, a boiling cauldron in which the frenergetic roars of the crowd reverberated thricefold off the gigantic dome-like ceilings.  Radiohead (11, 886, 308 likes on FB and counting) were magnificent in voice, instrumentation, performance and form.

They were, as we would say, in fine fettle, with frontman Thom Yorke gyrating like a buck hare with St. Vitus’ dance with all of the verve and flexibility of a man half his age.  Stage right, (Here’s) Jonny was enacting his very own version of The Bends (over the keyboards), while stage left gave us the ever statuesque Ed vocalising stunning renditions of falsetto harmonies to Yorke’s lead.

It was without doubt the best live performance by any music act/artist I have ever witnessed. The only downsides were:-

  1. Being physically assaulted by the Corkonian nutjob standing to the left of me – if you’re reading this, I don’t bruise that easily!
  2. Being physically assaulted by the oversized fully stuffed totebag on the right hand shoulder of the guy with the jigging legs in front of me, Cheers
  3. Being physically assaulted by the 40+degrees indoor temperatures – it was like a sweaty hellish furnace. White top, bad move 😦
  4. The very noticeable absence of a certain Creep from the setlist

So, for those of us who didn’t get to see their first ever smash performed live ‘in person’, here’s Radiohead performing the Pablo Honey anthem live at Glastonbury (where they were rockin’ but not as rollin’ as they were in Dublin!!).


There are so many new releases zipping around the stratosphere right now that in order for us to catch up, the easiest thing to do is to emulate them and accelerate at high speed.

Harry Styles Harry Styles (Album) – “And tonight Matthew, I’m gonna be David Bowie/Beck/Prince”. On your bike mate. A poor man’s Robbie Williams without the songwriting talent of Guy Chambers. DerVerdict – Dreadful tosh that borders on identity theft. Run. Very Fast.

Alison Moyet Other (Album) – Alison Moyet has created an album of sheer beauty, an undiluted joy that navigates rivers of lyrical poesy and soars, like the Essex singer’s voice, through an abundance of musical melodrama.

Eloquent, elegant and eschewing the jazz-pop style which became her post-’80s signature, Other is a masterpiece. An adventure through a lyrical wonderland set against a backdrop of well-matured, modern day electronica. DerVerdict – If you only buy one record …  PS See the 5min vid below of Alison discussing the album.

The Strypes Spitting Image (Album) – The Strypes, who made their ‘world debut’ on the Studio 4 stage of Ireland’s grand-dame of talk shows, the Late Late, are a band steeped in the youthful yore of The Beatles, Elvis Costello and some other band that’s hanging onto the tip of my tongue for dear life (when I shake them off I’ll let you know). Or is it the shades of James Honeyman Scott’s helter skelter guitar style?

Either way, Spitting Image ups the ante, a bold yet natural move for a young band previously known for their Bo Diddley R&B meets proto-punk vibes.  If you’re familiar with the works of Tilbrook/Difford/Holland aka Squeeze, (I Need A Break From) Holidays will resonate. DerVerdict – A Must buy, for sure.

Broken Social Scene – Stay Happy (Single). There are similarities here with Norwegian band Broen (when they’re not lurch-rappin’). Toronto natives Broken Social Scene have a new album in the post – Hug of Thunder – which should arrive on your doormat 7th July (via City Slang). Ahead of its release, the multi-faceted Canadian outfit have dropped lush single Stay Happy.

Opening with a vocal lifted straight out of Barbarella and a melody floating through a tropical night sky, the track rapidly transitions into a melodramatic fanfare of funky beats, swaggering bass and glorious choral harmonies, all with a twist of lush shiny brass.  More to follow! DerVerdict – Yeah baby!

Broen – You (Detective) (Single). Speaking of Broen, BBC radio and most recently Lauren Laverne, appear to have fallen in love with this track. It’s a serious ramp up from their previous outings, a maturing of what was previously a sound somewhat in slight disarray or a style reaching out for its place in an ever changing musical landscape.  With You, Broen have nailed a sound that does justice to their redoubtable talent.  DerVerdict – Dive In!

Nick HaywardMountaintop/Baby Blue Sky (Double A). No your eyes are not deceiving you.  Yes, this is Nick ‘Haircut 100 – Fantastic Day’ Hayward and he has returned to the fold with new music, a new signature style and new specs. Mountaintop is Everley Bros gone yeehaw Bluegrass, while Baby Blue Sky casts a few backwards glances to the 80s whilst nestling in a predominantly easy listening Tom Petty-esque pop-rock landscape.

Nick Hayward’s new album Woodland Echoes is due out later this Summer. DerVerdict – No set stylistic pattern makes it difficult to gauge which audience Hayward is aiming for! TBC


August RosenbaumNebula (Single). An absolute heavyweight of an instrumental set on classical-Spanish pillars, performed with emotive aplomb. Curious, dark and exceptionally imaginative. DerVerdict – Worth exploring. 

Depeche ModeGoing Backwards (Single). Oooh, just for a minute there, I thought the mighty Mode had crossed back to days of yore and greatness. That said, there are shades of old in here. Stylistically, Going Backwards somewhat does just that, sitting somewhere around Ultra/Exciter territory. DerVerdict – Hardcore fans will love it, Wilder diehards will pour scorn. Plus ca change.

OtherkinReact (Single). While still brimful of clangour, sass and swagger, and with a white-hot guitar solo in the mix, React sees flame-throwing Irish rockers Otherkin actually take it down a few notches into Strokes-like territory.

With the announcement of a debut album, OK, and a seemingly endless list of European tour dates (starts Newcastle 30th September – ends Dublin’s Button Factory 15th December), Otherkin’s flame is set to continue to burn througout the rest of 2017. DerVerdict – #musicyouneedtohear

MO Nights with You (Single). The Danish singer has flatlined with this hapless, hookless shank of vacant pop. DerVerdict – Nope.

Spring BreakersShaking Hands (Single). Yet another new Norwegian musical spin-off sees Ludvig Moon frontman Anders Killerud (to whom I believe congratulations are in order!!) pair up with Panda Panda co-lead Hakon Kjenstad. Their dreamy debut single Shaking Hands is released under the Spring Breakers moniker. Think sitting inside a slowly spinning top made of marshmallow and cloud. DerVerdit – Yup!

MotionsSay Goodbye/Coincide (Double A). Released on 29th June, this Double A marks the third release from Dublin duo, Dave Nulty and Tom Daly.  It also marks a seismic shift in the quality of both their songwriting and arranging, with Coincide a serious contender for alt-rock anthem of the Summer. Fans of the Gahan Condemnation vocal will be transfixed. DerVerdict – Ones to Watch. Closely.


Festival season is once again upon us and with Body & Soul and Glastonbury now relegated to the blurry mists of hazy memories, we look forward to more upcoming carnivalesque soujourns in muddy/grassy/lumpy fields eating falafel/burgers/<<insert rude word>> whilst quaffing endless gallons of caffeinated drinks/alcoholic drinks/<<insert rude word>>.  Festis to look out for in the coming weeks are, (you couldn’t make this up!) …

Latitude – UK – 13th – 16th July – Headline acts incl The 1975, Fleet Foxes and Mumford & Sons, along with other stalwarts such as Goldfrapp, Placebo and our own Imelda May.

Longitude – IRL – 14th – 16th July – Headline acts incl Stormzy, The Weekend, and ditto Mumford, as well as homies Picture This, Aine Cahill & Bitch Falcon.

Other festivals hitting a field near you this July are :- Noisily (Leicester) 6th – 9th July, BST Hyde Park (London) 1st to 9th July, Citadel (London) 16th July, Tramlines (Sheffield) 21st – 23rd July, and the one I’d go to if I had my way – Afropunk Fest (London) 22nd – 23rd July which features the wonderful Lianne le Havas along with NAO and Thundercat. For ticket info, click on the festival name.


Last week was one of the best weeks for new music that we’ve had on #FOTN in yonks.  Much to my delight silken voiced Aislinn Logan ran away with the public vote.  Alongside her you’ll find gems from Hydromag, The Hangmen, Perks and so much, much more. If you’re an emerging artist, up and coming musician, do please check out our site and give serious thoughts to uploading your music to our Dropbox. Tune into the latest faves here –


And finally, finishing up with some GOOD NEWS VIBES!

So, aside from Ed Sheeran announcing myriad Irish dates (4th – 16th May) on his upcoming 2018 live tour – tickets go on sale July 8th peeps edsheeran.com for details, the super good news is that the Other Voices Irish music festival has announced it will be departing its native Dingle shores this Summer for the riverbanks of Berlin no less.

As part of an initiative supported by the Irish Dept of Foreign Affairs & Trade in conjunction with Creative Ireland, Other Voices will host a live event at the Riverside Studios on 13th July; a satellite-event of Tech Open Air Berlin 2017.

The first in a series, this new OV project aims to both increase awareness of contemporary Irish music and artists within the German market, and strengthen what is already a solid bond with our Deutsche counterparts.

Featured artists will include New Jackson (David Kitt), Berlin-based Tom Adams, Talos, Soulé, Them There and Caoimhín Ó’Raghallaigh of The Gloaming fame.  For further details and ticket info, check here


As usual, we give you a parting gift of a specially curated Spotify playlist, below, to complement our latest rambling, shambling newsletter.  You might indulge me with a spot of straw polling below … Hope you enjoyed, and as Dave Gahan would say – “See You Next Time!”

DervSwerve x



Blood or Love? Heavy Heart’s Cochineal Keepsake

ingAt the beginning of 2016, London based Heavy Heart set out on a mission to release a song a month for the year; you can read my review of their socio-political statement, ‘The Way Home’ here.
Mission accomplished and to kick off 2017, the English alt-indie five-piece are releasing a limited-edition red vinyl 12-track LP comprising their 2016 musical diary as it were.  The album aptly entitled ‘Keepsake‘ will be limited to 300 pieces, each of which will be hand-numbered, and for clever collectors out there, the first 100 eds will also include a set of custom designed postcards featuring lyrics and artwork from each of the dozen songs. The album will be released on 31st March via indie label, I Can & I Will.
To add a frisson of temptation to your tastebuds the band have just released an audio video replete with quirky cut-out nostalgic ’60s photographic images for one of the 2016 ‘monthlies’, ‘High Dive‘, itself released as a single in June of last year.
‘High Dive’ is like staring into a funhouse mirror whilst riding an undulating slow-mo roller-coaster.  While the song somnambulates through a rise and fall of haze, drone and morphia, one can’t shake off the feeling of ‘drunken’ unsteadiness, as if one were standing on their own personal earth tremor.
The atmosphere laden with a feeling of edgy uncertainty is lifted somewhat by the beguiling, illusory vocal of Anna Vincent. Although the song falls loosely into the alt-indie bracket, it reflects Heavy Heart’s ability to explore that genre’s many and varied dimensions.
Heavy Heart have some upcoming London gigs to tempt you away from mid-week footie & Gogglebox:
  • Tuesday 14th March @ Old Blue Last w/ Average Sex + Missing Mäce
  • Tuesday 11th April @ The Victoria
The limited vinyl ed of their album ‘Keepsake‘ can be pre-ordered here or, if you’re not one of the lucky 300, you can download it here.  Social links to Heavy Heart are beneath their new ‘audio-visual’ which you can peruse here,

                                                      Website:      Facebook:      Twitter:      Bandcamp: