Shit Robot – ‘Feels Real’ featuring Jenr (Luke Jenner of The Rapture)

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Marcus Lambkin’s Shit Robot is back with a brand new single ‘Feels Good’, which features the vocals of Jenr, aka Luke Jenner of The Rapture.

It’s seven-minutes plus of swaggering disco synths topped off perfectly by Luke Jenner of The Rapture’s fantastic falsetto vocals. ‘Feel Good’ is out now on a 12″ through DFA with remixes by Luke Solomon and Larse. It’s always good news to hear new tunes from Shit Robot, consequently if you haven’t checked out his 2010 album From The Cradle To The Rave, I wholeheartedly recommend that you do at the nearest opportunity. You can stream the radio edit of ‘Feels Real’ below or check the video too and get the full seven odd minute version. 

Also this week will see Shit Robot playing a number of shows across Ireland; Cypress Ave, Cork on May 3rd, Roisin Dubh, Galway on May 4th and Button Factory, Dublin on May 5th.

BarryGruff Presents #15: The Statics, Policy & Appo :: Sunday, May 5th :: Flanagan’s Bar, Newbridge

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‘BarryGruff Presents’ returns to Flanagan’s Bar for a 15th Newbridge show on Sunday, May 5th. 

Over the course of the past 18 months there’s been some really special nights in Flanagan’s and Sunday night’s show with The Statics, Policy & Appo promises to be a belter of a night. Coincidentally this will be the last BarryGruff show for a while due to other commitments but we shall be back, it is something that has been an absolute pleasure to be involved with.

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this one & it promises to be a great night so come along and enjoy the buzz, as I said it’s the last one for a while. It’s FREE in as usual & kicks off at 9 pm. [RSVP]

The Statics:

The last time The Statics were in town they went down a treat. Echoing the likes of The La’s, John Power & The Coral, the Dublin four piece specialise in upbeat and energetic indie-goodness with twangy rhythmic guitars, stomping drums, bright upbeat melodies and rich distinctive vocals and sing-a-long choruses. It’s all played with energy, refreshing honesty and assured sense of style, and live, The Statics are one of the best performers in Ireland at the moment. Sunday’s performance is not to be missed. 

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Policy:

Policy are a four-piece band from Kilcoole, Co Wicklow who sound like they have been influenced by a whole host of mid ’80s British indie acts (particularly The Wedding Present plus others of that ilk). Their debut EP is probably best summed up as a bit indie, a bit alternative rock and a bit rough around the edges, but it is full of charming songs with catchy melodies, smart lyrics and played with energy. Quite excited about this first visit to Newbridge from Policy. 

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Appo:

Newbridge has gained quite a reputation in recent years for the sheer volume and quality of music emanating from the humble town. One man in particular has somehow managed to avoid this gaze, Appo, who has remained one of Newbridge’s best kept secrets. A one man bluesy-folk explosion, the gravelly voiced troubadour is currently recording his debut album which could potentially blow his cover once and for all. A wonderful songwriter, whose powerful blues/folk is a work of genuine veracity and it’s an absolute pleasure to have him back on the bill again.

Introducing: Ottilia

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Originally from Uppsala, Sweden, but now based in London, Ottilia has already received lavish praise from numerous quarters; including winning an award for best teenage Swedish singer/songwriter of 2012.

It is easy to understand why, her music sounds rather special and she is definitely a bright young talent. Her most recent release, double aside ‘Heartless / I Don’t Let Myself Fall In Love’, certainly flies the flag for such an assumption. Both posses a doleful, melancholic air, with ‘Heartless’ serving as a despondent song for the hurt and wounded, mournfully crooning “If I had a heart left to love you I would do, I would do,” over haunting off-beat rhythms. ‘I Don’t Let Myself Fall In Love’ is a lone acoustic ballad, amidst the gloomy surroundings and stark strum her voice is so smooth, powerful and enchanting. I’ve been consumed by both tracks for days, the latter in particular should send a chill down your spine.

You can listen to both ‘Heartless’ & ‘I Don’t Let Myself Fall In Love’ below and make up your own mind.

Laura Marling – ‘Master Hunter’

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Admittedly I have a tendency to forget how great Laura Marling is, that is, till she pops up with new material. Thankfully she’s near as prolific as she is talented, and releases are never in short supply. 

Marling is back with a new single ‘Master Hunter’, which sees her adopt a slightly different approach to what we’re used to from her. It  is much more in the vein of traditional folk and owing much to Dylan’s ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’, we are treated to Marling rolling her voice through a variety of styles and ranges. A timely and welcome reminder of what a wonderful talent she is. 

 ‘Master Hunter’ is taken from her forthcoming fourth album in 5 years, Once I Was An Eagle, which is Out 27th May. Check it below. 

Gorilla Warfare Tactics – ‘Zoology’

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Earlier this month Gorilla Warfare Tactics returned with the excellent ‘drugDILLA’, after a nearly two-year gap from releasing music. 

The NYC duo are back once again with ‘Zoology’, the title track from their forthcoming album which will be released on April 30th. There’s no major surprise to find they continue to tread the same path as those who have gone before them. GWT’s particular brand of revivalism, which appropriates the styles of past masters with their own added twist, has always worked ever so well. Anyway, ‘Zoology’ captures this perfectly and is so, so smooth, it might also be Dilla’s finest vocal performance to date. It’s not like their forthcoming album needed upped in the anticipation stakes but ‘Zoology’ has done just that, a fantastic cut with a real groove of it’s own. 

There’ not long to go till Zoology is released in full (April 3oth) until then you can stream/download the title track below. 

Akala – ‘Lose Myself’ feat. Josh Osho

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London MC, Akala has been without doubt one of the finest voices to emerge in UK hip hop over the past number of years.

Always honest, challenging and thought provoking, Akala makes a welcome return with the release of a brand new video for his single ‘Lose Myself’ featuring Josh Osho. Akala is in indomitable form once again, dropping rhymes with help of Josh Osho against a rocking backdrop.  The single is out on May 20, a week before the release of his forthcoming fourth album, The Thieves Banquet, which is out on 27th of May. Akala has consistently proven his talent over the years, consequently it is worth checking out his previous three albums – It’s Not A Rumour (2006) and Freedom Lasso (2007) & DoubleThink (2010) – if you haven’t done so already that is.

You can check out  ‘Lose Myself’ feat. Josh Osho below & maybe, just maybe, this time we might see Akala grace our shores with his presence. Finger crossed.

Guest Post: Johnny Feeney Picks 3 Albums (Foals, Eels & Foxygen)

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The blog has been rather lacking in album reviews and picks over the past month or so, all down to my lazy neglect I’m afraid. So, it’s a pretty opportune time for the ever reliable Johnny Feeney to step in and fill a void with another guest post. On this occasion, as before, he’s here with three albums that have caught his attention. With that I leave you in the capable hands of Johnny.

Foals – ‘Holy Fire’

Foals continue to develop for a fuller, more expansive sound on this their third album, moving further away from the angled indie-rock of their earlier work. It feels like it’s been designed perhaps for bigger live venues than where they currently find themselves playing. Having a bona fide radio hit in ‘My Number’ will certainly help them reach the wider audience they seem to be targeting.

With tropical rhythms providing the backbone throughout, there’s a real swagger to tracks such as the funky ‘Late Night’, the colossal ‘Inhaler’ and ‘Milk & Black Spiders’, with its brilliant use of steel drums. The slower songs have never been their strongest suit, and the closing pair of ‘Stepson’ and ‘Moon’ do nothing to reverse that trend, leaving the album peter out somewhat tamely. However, don’t let that take away from what is otherwise a highly accomplished and assured album.

Eels – ‘Wonderful, Glorious’

LA alt-rockers Eels’ tenth studio album sees front man and creative force Mark ‘E’ Everett in a cheerier mood than usual. Everett’s distinctive, gristled vocals are ever present with a gritty defiance on show in songs such as ‘Bombs Away’, the excellent ‘Stick Together’ and on the gentler ‘On the Ropes’ – (“I’m hurting bad, and fighting mad, I’m not knocked out, but I’m on the ropes”).

The smouldering ‘Peach Blossom’ is an album highlight with its scuzzy guitars and clattering drums. Everett allows himself a brief lapse into more familiar, lovelorn territory with the morose ‘True Original’ but quickly returns to a more upbeat outlook, closing proceedings with the beautiful ’I’m Building a Shrine’ followed by the joyous title track. Wonderful indeed.

Foxygen – ‘We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic’

The second album from Californian duo Foxygen, We Are the 21st Century… is tightly packed full of breezy, catchy psychedelic pop songs, perfect for a bit of easy summer listening. There’s a real lo-fi, ramshackle feel to some of the production on here with various instruments popping up intermittently (Richard Swift of the Shins produces). The sound is reminiscent in places of early MGMT, especially when vocalist Sam France goes into falsetto mode.

The chorus on the rousing ‘On Blue Mountain’ bears an uncanny resemblance to Elvis’ ‘Suspicious Minds’, which may be one of the reasons why it’s so catchy but it’s also a fantastic rock song. There are directional changes occurring throughout which always leaves the listener guessing – ‘Shuggie’ varies wildly in the course of three minutes and the title track starts off as good time rock’n’roll before evolving into a sort of hands-in-the-air funereal wail. A highly enjoyable listen that flies by in under 37 minutes.

Drenge – ‘Necromance Is Dead’

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Sheffield based duo Drenge have supplied us with another boneshaker of a tune today, in the shape of the ‘delightfully’ titled ‘Necromance Is Dead’. 

It is the first slice of new music from the Loveless brothers since their superb debut single, ‘Bloodsports’. Constructed along the same punk-blues-rock formula that made their debut single so good, ‘Necromance Is Dead’ is a visceral, snarling, thrilling and menacing squall of noise. In other Drenge related news, the duo have been announced as support for Miles Kane on his upcoming UK tour but you can catch them closer to home when they play Longitude Festival, Dublin on July 21st.

‘Necromance Is Dead’ is available as a free download below.

The Statics – ‘Hidden Pigeon’ EP

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The Statics have been in receipt of much praise in the past for their utterly lovable, infectious and heartwarming indie sounds. Early demos promised much, while debut single ‘Holiday’, and now their debut EP, Hidden Pigeon delivers on that early promise. 

Yes they are a bit of a throwback, with echoes of the likes of The La’s, John Power & The Coral remaining a key part of the Dublin quartets’ sound, but their identity and character is injected through the lyrics. Set to a back drop of stomping drums, bright upbeat melodies and twangy rhythmic guitars the lyrics are personal, honest and depict grittier, bittersweet tales. The Statics could draw criticism from certain quarters for flagrantly embracing their influences but who cares? What they do, they do ever so well. From the opener ‘Hidden Pigeon’ through to ‘As I see It’, the EP is a four track feast of tight and well honed ear-worm indie pop songs, worthy of inclusion in any record collection. 

Hidden Pigeon is released on Saturday, April 20th and will be launched in The Thomas House on Saturday night (all the details are here). 

Swall – Bright//Moon//Light (CL Moons Remix)

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If you’re a regular on this blog, you will probably already know SertOne is held in rather high esteem around this neck of the woods.

Well, not just content with knocking our sock off with his hip-hop influenced electronics, the ever prolific Liverpool based Irish producer has an equally impressive body of work under his other pseudonym CL MoonsCL Moons is his a footwork/juke sideline and as an introduction to this alter-alter ego, is his reworking of Swall’s ‘Bright//Moon//Light’. It sees Swall’s soft wandering pop recast in a different light, with Moons kicking in with sharp, snappy beats at a BPM up there with the national debt (that’s high in case you were wondering). 

This tune has been on constant rotation along with CL Moons’ edit of DJ Fresh ‘Gatekeeper’ for the past month. You can listen to them both below. See also, Sweekers Vol. 1 & Vol. 2, where by Mr. Moons has teamed up with fellow Irish producer Lemonada. 

Mr Bligh – ‘Dub Star’

CaptureThe last time we dropped in on Mr. Bligh was back in 2011 with the release of his rather encouraging debut record Is This England?. 

His debut was an album of all things indie, punk, reggae and hip-hop, following the release of which, he decided to return to producing. Two years on, having spent a lot of time experimenting with his sound and style, the young Londoner has gone all in on the reggae and dub buzz. Working with a variety of reggae singers such as Ras Tweed & YT, he’s hit on something that works ever so well. It’s just the ticket with the sun finally reemerging following the long cold winter; it’s feelgood and happy, head nodding music. It’s pretty rare new Ska, Reggae or Dub material crosses my path so I’m pretty smitten with this at present.  

Mr. Bligh has a string of releases planned for 2013, both digital & vinyl. You can check out a few choice cuts below.

BarryGruff Presents #14: No Monster Club, The Dead Beat + Be Curious, Kid :: Saturday, April 20th :: Flanagan’s Bar, Newbridge

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‘BarryGruff Presents’ returns to Flanagan’s Bar for its 14th Newbridge installment on Saturday, April 20th. 

Over the course of the past 18 months there’s been some really special nights in Flanagan’s. Saturday night’s show promises to be another top night of live music with No Monster Club & The Dead Beat + Be Curious, Kid.

Dublin’s No Monster Club is without doubt, one of the finest and exciting live acts in Ireland right now. Their rough around the edges blend of surf rock/bubblegum pop/lo-fi indie has been compared to The Strokes, The Velvet Underground, The Unicorns and The Libertines and seen them share the stage with the likes of Ariel Pink, Squarehead, Wavves, Girls Names, Abe Vigoda and HEALTH. No Monster Club went down a storm the last time they were in Newbridge with We Are Losers, and this visit promises to be just as brilliant.

Fellow Dubs The Dead Beat are a four piece indie band, whose sound is firmly rooted in that classic indie sound. Far from being straightforward landfill indie, of which there is already too much; this is melodic indie/alternative rock done with a swagger and poise. The band is currently putting the finishing touches to their new EP, Your 19th Revolution, and take some time out for a first show in Newbridge. Joining them on the bill will be Kildare’s own Be Curious, Kid who has been steadily building a rep for themselves locally with their own indie-rock stylings.

It’s FREE in as usual & the show starts at 9pm. Another night of great music in prospect. [RSVP here]

BarryGruff Presents #14: No Monster Club + The Dead Beat + Be Curious, Kid :: Saturday, April 20th – 9pm – Flanagan’s Bar, Newbridge