The wait is almost over. Electric Picnic 2013 is almost upon us, with just days separating us and a weekend of green fields, blue skies, sunshine and great music (who said I wasn’t an optimist?).
One of the Picnic’s big pluses is, in my humble opinion, sprinkled among all the international acts are plenty of top notch homegrown acts too. There is a fine array of local talent on show over the weekend; The Mighty Stef, Raglans, Adultrock, The Lost Brothers, The Dead Heavys & Lethal Dialect to name but a few. In an attempt to provide a flavour of what to expect from some of the Irish acts playing this year, I decided to put together a wee mixtape (I use both terms rather loosely). You can download the mix and listen to it before going, or on the way to EP – you know the kind of thing. Or you can ignore it entirely, that’s your prerogative.
The tracklisting with stage times/days is after the jump. All the stage times for this weekend’s festival (so far) are available for the ever reliable GoldenPlec too.
When I did the first ‘Trojan Warriors’ mixtape I never envisaged doing any more than that. Lo and behold, here we are with ‘Trojan Warriors 3’, completing the most unlikely of trilogies.
It’s been great fun putting all three together and the previous two have proved far more popular than I had ever imagined. Anyway, the third and final mix is much the same as before; a selection of Jamaican sounds ala Ska, Reggae, Dancehall, Rocksteady etc. compiled of favourites from various albums, compilations and box sets acquired throughout the years. Some are fairly well known, others less so. As with the previous two, I can’t guarantee that all these featured on Trojan Records (I’m pretty sure quite a few didn’t) but ‘Trojan Warriors’ has a nice ring to it.
That’s enough waffle. I hope you enjoy the mix below and if you haven’t heard Part One & Two, check them out here. If you’re digging the tunes and happen to be going to Electric Picnic this weekend, why not swing by Trenchtown. And finally, credit for the image goes to my very talented cousin(t), Kevin Squires. Enjoy!
Only Real (aka Niall Galvin) has impressed no end with a slew of top quality singles over the past 12 months or so.
The young man from West London has proven quite a talent for crafting infectious, feel-good, lo-fi indie-pop and ‘Get It On’ compounds this growing rep. ‘Get It On’, much like what we’ve heard from Only Real before, has the uncanny ability to worm its way inside your head and stay there. Permeated by a lazy slacker kind of vibe, a free flowing, nonchalant vocal drawl are set to some catchy riffs, steady beats and some woozy atmospherics. Through a combination of a purposely unpolished, lo-fi approach, calculated laziness and youthful indifference, he’s forged a great sound and found his own perfect space on the musical landscape.
‘Get It On’ is taken from Only Real’s forthcoming EP Days in the City, set for release via Luv Luv Luv Records on 7 October,
(photo by Carolina Faruolo)
Yuck‘s self-titled debut album was a dashing reinvention of alternative ’90s rock, and one of 2011’s most enjoyable records to boot.
Now, two years on, the London based trio are back with a new track, ‘Middle Sea’, taken from their forthcoming second LP Glow & Behold. If you were into the first record, chances are you will dig the new tune as it sees them sticking to familiar waters. ‘Middle Sea’ is a fuzzed up alt-rock anthem with distorted vocals and crunching guitars piled on top of each other, before some lavish flourished of brass kick in toward the end, lifting it to a whole other level. This is a top notch return from Yuck, no doubt about it. Hopefully the album reaches a similar standard.
Glow & Behold is out September 30th.
Candelas have been making a bit of a ruckus in their native Wales over the past year or so with their explosive live shows.
Plenty of bands will claim this and that but on hearing ‘See-saw Sinner’, the opening track from North Wales five-piece’s self-titled debut album, it’s easy to imagine how and why. ‘See-saw Sinner’ is a noisy concoction of fired up garage, punk and rock ‘n roll. Opening with a monsterous riff before descending into a furious whirlwind of scuzz; it’s fast, loud and rockin’, and bound to get the heart racing. This sort of thing can often suffer when moved to the studio but Candelas have found a fine balance, retaining the energy and vitality of their down & dirty scuzzy rock ‘n roll sound. It is a exhilarating introduction to the Welsh five-piece’s impressive, cacophony of noise, although it is quite different to their previous Strokes-ish sounds (in terms of style, not quality).
You can listen to ‘See-saw Sinner’ below, along with the older ‘Symud Ymlaen’. Hit up Candelas’ Soundcloud for a whole host of other tracks too.
London’s Mike Greene aka Fort Romeau is gearing up to release his new EP Stay / True in mid September through Ghostly, following a recent change of label.
The title track from the London producer’s aforementioned new EP is an immense slow burning gem. ‘Stay True’ is an elegant and immersive deep house trip. Beginning with an ’80s dance pop inspired opening, it develops, twisting and turning through a broody, languid world, cruising along on a serious house and disco groove. Clocking in at seven minutes, it’s one of those tunes that draws you in, transporting you to another world of alternate blissfulness. ‘Stay True’ has been on constant rotation this week and with the weekend upon us, it’s a trend likely set to continue.
Stay / True is out on September 16th through Ghosty. You can give the title track the once over below.
The last we heard from The Unusual History of Ether, a songwriting partnership between Rebecca Collins and Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug, was last year and their rather excellent Part One EP.
The Unusual History of Ether have graced us with news that their debut album, A Distant Age, will be released on 2nd September. And as a taste of what’s to come, they have kindly provided ‘Stop Talking’ for our listening pleasure. ‘Stop Talking’ is probably as uptempo as we’ve heard The Unusual History of Ether, skipping along a lively beat, rumbling guitar and keys led pysch freak-out. Collins’ vocals remain supremely immaculate and it does retain all the hallmarks which made their previous work profoundly beautiful indie pop songs. All in all, impressive stuff once again from The Unusual History of Ether.
You can give ‘Stop Talking’ the once over below but that’s not all. The band are hitting Irish shores for a tour in October & you can check out all the dates here.
Things have been relatively quiet in the Ghost Estates‘ camp this year, by their standards certainly. The last we heard from Ghost Estates was with ‘In Waves’, as part of a their split single with Twin Rakes for Record Store Day. The reason for this relative quite? They’ve locked themselves away and are studiously working away on their second album.
In the meantime, Ghost Estates have broken radio silence to unveil new single, ‘Winter’s Day’. One of the standout tracks from their excellent self-titled debut album, ‘Winter’s Day’ is a racy, euphoric and athemic mix of reach for the sky guitars with a twinkly electronica edge. It’s pretty characteristic of what you’ll find throughout their debut record, which as it goes, has generously been made available for free for a limited time. Being one of last years finest domestic records, you can’t say fairer than that, can you?
You can check out the excellent Ruairi Galavan directed video for ”Winter’s Day below & you can download Ghost Estates’ debut record for free from bandcamp.
Hard Working Class Heroes have announced the acts lined up to play the annual festival later this year, taking place from Thursday 3rd – Saturday 5th October in various venues in Dublin.
At first glance, Anderson, Biggles Flys Again, Spies, Ships, Reid, Silverbacks, Tandem Felix & Lasertom all stand out. But, with a hundred or so acts playing, there are bound to be plenty of hidden gems in there too. Earlybird weekend tickets are €35 (ending August 23rd). Normal priced tickets will be €45 for weekend tickets or €20 for nightly tickets. Get your tickets online from here.
There’s a full list of acts playing after the jump, with links to their Breaking Tunes page so you can gander at their music ahead of HWCH.
Moodoïd is the solo project of Parisian multi-instrumentalist Pablo Padovani from Melody’s Echo Chamber and ‘Je suis la Montagne’ is the first single to emerge from the project.
‘Je suis la Montagne’ or ‘I am The Mountain’ in English, bares a certain similarity to his day job with Melody’s Echo Chamber. It’s hardly surprising given his role in the band, and it’s mixed by Kevin Parker from Tame Impala, who producer MEC’s debut record last year. Padovani’s psychedelic terrain is one of exhilarating experimentation, as ‘Je suis la Montagne’ wanders through a blissed-out and warped plain of swirling guitar-pop, limber harmonies and an insatiable laid-back bass groove. It’s a rather stunning debut track, hopefully there’s much more to follow this early promise.
‘Je suis la Montagne’ is taken from Moodoïd’s forthcoming debut EP, released September 2nd via French label Les Disques Enterprise. Have a wee peek at it up above.
It is hardly stretching the bounds of reality to suggest that for many people outside of Wales, their first introduction to the Welsh language in musical form, was with the release of Super Furry Animals’ album Mwng. Welsh is a language that lends itself to music rather well, regardless of whether you can understand what the lyrics are all about.
In a roundabout sort of way that brings us to Mr Huw, a rather prolific Welsh language musician, and his fourth album in six years, Cariad Afiach. Mr Huw’s formula is pretty straightforward, write a catchy tune, sing lyrics over a catchy melody and hey presto, an album. It is an approach happily embraced by Mr Huw, and one that rewards with serious dividends on Cariad Afiach (or ‘Sick Love’ in English). The album remains accessible to non-Welsh speakers through of combination of tight arrangements and melodic bliss, and you can pick up on the mood of the songs/album even if when the lyrics remain a mystery.
There’s something familiar and retro-leaning about the songs throughout Cariad Afiach, while at the same time, it sounds entirely unfamiliar. The likes of ‘Cerrig Beddi’, ‘Cariad Afiach’ or Cyfrinachol set the tone, ragged, raw and edgy indie/post-punk tunes, filled with pointed riffs and broached with some swoonful melodies. Every track on here is so catchy, Mr Huw is perhaps the closest modern-day relative to the off-kilter genius of HMHB.
Cariad Afiach is an album filled with so many beguiling qualities. Regardless of whether you’re a Welsh speaker or not, it remains a fine indie/alternative record, just give it a chance. [Buy / Stream]
‘Architecture’ is the latest single from Melbourne alt-pop duo Manor, and one of the most effortlessly catchy tracks you’re likely to hear for quite some time.
Together this duo, comprised of Caitlin Duff (vocalist) and Nathaniel Morse (multi-instrumentalist), have managed to pull off something rather special. ‘Architecture’ is a compelling slice of alt-pop and one that’s utterly intoxicating. It’s a dreamy slow-burner, crafted around a chugging bass line and spacey synths, with Duff’s enchanting vocals atop Morse’s swirling guitars. It is just such a wonderful song. There’s chat that a debut EP is in the pipeline from Manor too and if ‘Architecture’ is anything to go by, it should be one to keep an eye out for. They’ve gone and set the bar rather high with this one.
‘Architecture’ is out now digitally from all the usual haunts. You can give it a spin below.