The Alice Kona Band call it a day with parting EP ‘Alice Is Dead’


Earlier this week sad news emerged of Belfast’s The Alice Kona Band decision to call it a day. On an brief statement on Facebook, the band said, “We’ll be announcing a new project in the very near future. Huge thanks and much love to everyone that’s supported us over the last 4 years, especially anyone who came to the shows and bought the music.”

It’s a shame. Their brand of fuzz pop meets noisy garage punk will be missed, certainly by me, and others too I would hope. The Alice Kona Band have softened the blow somewhat with a parting glass in the form a final EP, the aptly-titled Alice Is Dead.  The EP is great and sees them bow out in style. It captures the very best of the band, including two of their finest tunes, ‘Bad Dreams’ and ‘Film’. Hopefully we don’t have too long to wait for the aforementioned “new project” – hopefully they’ll find success in whatever they turn their hand to. 

You can listen to a couple of choice cuts from Alice Is Dead below and you can download the full EP for free via Bandcamp.

Freedom Fry – ‘Hanging With The New Crowd’


Last summer Freedom Fry served up one of most infectious slices of sun-soaked indie pop with ‘Summer In The City’. One year on, and they are up to their old tricks again.

The LA based duo of Parisian born, Marie Seyrat, and Michigan native, Bruce Driscoll are preparing to release a brand new EP, entitled Friends And Enemies. It serves as a summertime teaser for their easy on the ear boy/girl pop but of the three tracks, ‘Hanging With The New Crowd’ is far and away the standout. It is a soft, smooth and utterly adorable ditty of playful lyrics, swooning harmonies and hypnotic groove. It must said, this is one of those tunes likely to be stuck in your system.   

You can listen to ‘Hanging With The New Crowd’ below, while Friends And Enemies EP will be released digitally on July 29th.

GEM_DOS – ‘When The Dust Settles’


Dublin based producer GEM_DOS has been in sparking form since bursting into view with his superb Trials EP, and with ‘Cuffs’ earlier this year.

He has re-emerged with great news of a forthcoming EP titled Construct, which will be released on July 1st through Clubstream Green. And as to offer us a flavour of what we can expect, GEM_DOS has unveiled ‘When The Dust Settles’. It is a little different to what’s gone before, which isn’t really a huge surprise as experimentation has become his forte. It is a more down-tempo approach to electronica which sees a techno influence supersede the previous drum and bass elements. ‘When The Dust Settles’ bounces along with a muscular energy as a chromatic splash builds until it’s ready to explode in to full force with stomping rhythm and brassy synths.  The pitch shifted vocal adding astral qualities,  giving the finishing touch to an absolute cracker of a tune. Going by this track the EP promises a lot. 

You can listen to ‘When The Dust Settles’ below or check the Cormac Murphy and Evan Buggle produced video, if you prefer.

Youan – ‘Nightwalker’


The last time we swung by on Youan was for the release of his excellent debut Girl EP. Since then, the young UK producer has won plenty of admirers of far greater notoriety than this blog, and obviously this isn’t without merit.

Youan is now preparing to release another EP, Your Trust, this summer and he’s unveiled a new track ‘Nightwalker’ to get us in the mood. The good news is that ‘Nightwalker’ picks up where ‘Girls’ left off. It is a pumping (funky) house tune revolving around a rather seductive rhythmic bounce, R&B vocal loop and bassline combo. In short, I can’t get enough of this tune right now and the new EP can’t arrive quick enough. 

You can listen to ‘Nightwalker’ below and it is available as a free download over on Youan’s Facebook.

Introducing: The Last Monroes


The Last Monroes are the Wicklow duo of Simon Quinn and Konrad Sheane, who take their cue from the White Stripes/Black Keys school of rock, where one bashes drums and the other sings and slugs his guitar.

It is two guys, guitar and drums, resulting in raw, edgy and rather muscular blues rock with a hint grunge and punk. The duo’s latest release, Live From The Barn, is a great introduction to what they’re all about. From the heavy blues riffage of ‘Underneath The Streetlight’ or ‘Thieves’, a more grunge tinged approach to this genre. Basically what we’ve got here are two top-notch blasts of good old fashion rock ‘n roll, and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

You can listen to ‘Underneath The Streetlight’ & ‘Thieves’ below or, if you prefer, download Live From The Barn for free from bandcamp.

Shopping – ‘In Other Words’


Shopping are a post-punk trio hailing from London. Having formed in the latter days of 2012, they are set to release their debut single, In Other Words on 7″ in June.

The Devil Has The Best Tuna has aptly described Shopping as sounding like “the Gang Of Four stirring it up with the Au Pairs and the Slits”. There is certainly not better summation that comes to mind and ‘In Other Words’ and b-side ‘You Are A Sort (Don’t Call Me)’ are excellent exponents of this standard. This is a catchy and melodic post punk sound driven by groovy basslines, jagged twinkly guitar riffs and yelping vocals; a combination which works ever so well.

The In Other Words 7″ is out June 10th through MÏLK records. You can give both tracks a go below, and I thoroughly recommend TDHTBT‘s blog too, it is a goldmine of musical discoveries.

Introducing: Hippies Vs Ghosts

There is certainly no great secret regarding my affection toward Welsh experimental indie-rockers We Are Animal, and rightly so, they’re fantastic. So with that in mind, here is Hippies Vs Ghosts, a side project from We Are Animal guitarist & vocalist, Owain Ginsberg.

The project came together a few months back, with two EPs released in quick succession, entitled Hippies and, yes you guessed it, Ghosts. Hippies Vs Ghosts carries over the signature ear for a serious groove bestowed upon the fabric of everything We Are Animal does. Over the course of the two EPs we are treated to a series of fascinating off-kilter instrumental jams (by and large) augmented by alluring grooves and imaginative arrangements, taking in taking in parts ’50s surf rock, rockabilly, indie and mod, among others. Jams is very apt as there is an unrestrained organic flow to this, with the music feeling as though it is wandering freely wherever which way it can.

This is excellent stuff and you can check out a few choice cuts below or, if you fancy, you can check both EPs here