Having released their debut EP Cast A Shadow last year and single, ‘Last Desire’ earlier this year, you could be forgiven for thinking Coves are teasing us with this drip feeding of new material.
Although something more substantial, like an album, would be most welcome, the sheer quality of their output to date means any new tunes are heralded as an occasion for some celebration. Coves’ new single ‘Beatings’ doesn’t drop the ball, in fact, it is the most epic proposition yet from the dual talents of Rebekah Wood and John Ridgard. Swirling psychedelia is met with sweeping grandeur as Wood’s mellifluous cooing floats on flickers of electronics, beats and guitar, in a gentle whirlpool of shimmering psychedelic dream-pop. ‘Beatings’ is ushered through this spaced-out and hazy atmosphere by driving drums and undulating bass line, propelling toward an explosive climax of heavy bursts of beats, crackling synths and noise. A wholly inspired, impressive and unmissable track, which comes with an equally striking, tripped out video.
If this is your first encounter with the wondrous world of Coves, please check out & their EP, Cast of Shadow and single ‘Last Desire‘.
Although he’s been around for a few years now, earlier this year Keith Moss and his trusty new band, The Tightrope Walkers his debut LP, What Eludes You Moves You.
The album is tainted with themes of darkness and disillusionment with Ireland, its people, and its politics is rife. In fact it’s shrouded in a pretty dystopian perspective, even it’s more tender or upbeat moments are afflicted by this outlook. Moss & company’s latest single, ‘Fat Men Have To Eat’, is pretty typical of what we’re talking about. It’s protest song with very ’60s psychedelic Sixties vibe to the picked guitar and almost-spoken word denunciations. Moss pulls no punches with a pointed backlash at the ‘political puppets’, greedy class and cute hoorism that brought Ireland to its knees, and the sheep-like electorate who voted to retain them in power. Putting the socio-political aspects aside for a moment, musically speaking it’s an damn fine song too.
You can check out ‘Fat Men Have To Eat’ up above & you can catch Keith Moss & The Tightrope Walkers live in Whelan’s this Saturday (October 5th). More info here.
Obviously not content with producing one of 2013’s finest LP’s in Ships, Sweet Baboo is back with a brand new EP, Motorhome Songs, which is out in November.
Sweet Baboo’s (aka Stephen Black) forthcoming EP is apparently the soundtrack to a fictional road-trip Black made with his family earlier this year and fronted by jaunty new single ‘Motoring Home’. It’s a sweet drifting ditty which only adds to the Welshman’s rep as one of finest purveyors of ‘indie-pop’, one with an unequivocally deft ear for a sparkling melody and a gift for an evocative lyrical turn. ‘Motoring Home’ has an amazingly transportive quality, whisking one away to the open road, nestled in the passenger seat of an old jalopy, head back, window down, cigarette in hand and feet propped up on the dashboard, with the wind blowing through an open window.
Motorhome Songs is released on November 11 through Moshi Moshi but until then, you can occupy yourself with ‘Motoring Home’, which is available to download for free below. And also, if you haven’t already acquainted yourself with Sweet Baboo’s excellent album Ships, it comes highly recommended.
Cardiff based R.Seiliog is releasing a new mini-album, Doppler, next week – the follow up to his 2012 EP, Shuffles.
To give us a taste of what we can expect from Doppler, R.Seilog has kindly served us with ‘Ostisho’, a simply stunning piece of work. ‘Ostisho’ rushes past at breakneck speed, hurtling through with driving percussion, rhythmic guitar lines and drones, which are channeled through layers and layers of spacey psychedelia and glistening melodies, and intricately woven in to one another. In essence R.Seiliog has found the perfect balance to a sound that harnesses all the repetitive and hypnotic qualities Krautrock, molded with the weirdly wonderful psychedelic qualities of so many other Welsh luminaries. ‘Ostisho’ is an exhilarating introduction to what’s delights await on R.Seilog’s new mini-album.
You can give ‘Ostisho’ and the Minotaur Shock rework a listen below (you can download both for too). It is highly recommended. Dopper is out on Monday September 30th through Turnstile.
It’s not too long ago since we first dropped in on Brothers and bestowed some lavish praise on the Cardiff foursome.
Their psychedelic tinged rock ‘n roll jams were certainly a cause for excitement and worthy of praise. News has emerged that Brothers will release their debut EP in December. Good news obviously, as is the recent release of new track ‘Super Slinky’, a bridging point between their initial demos and the forthcoming EP. ‘Super Slinky’ continues to evoke ’60s rock ‘n roll and psychedelia, fusing with their own personality and style, everything the do seems to have a marvelous gloss of slight fuzz. This one just oozes ‘coolness’ as it swaggers (or slinks even) along an irresistible funky bassline, drawing you into yet another punchy, rhythmic and energetic rock ‘n roll adventure. Not to mention vocalist Joel Hurst sounds in stunning form too.
December’s not too far away now and ‘Super Slinky’ should keep us going till the EP arrives. You can check it out below & some of the previous tunes here.
If you’re in the Cardiff area, you can catch Brothers In Dempsey’s (Oct 4) or at Swn Festival (October 17 – 20).
This Thursday two of Newbridge’s biggest musical mouth pieces will go head-to-head in Flanagan’s, for this one-off ‘BarryGruff V Knoxville Morning‘.
It should be a great night of live music as we bring you a show with four excellent acts, with sets from We Went Down (KM), Ciaran Lenehan (BG), Appo (BG) & Phil McDermott (KM). There’s been some cracking nights in Flanagan’s and elsewhere over the past two years or so, and Thursday night’s ructions shouldn’t be any different.
It’s FREE in as always & we’ll be kicking things off at 8:30. Much more info and sounds after the jump. RSVP here.
We Went Down (KM):
Heartfelt Folk’ n Roll three-piece from Tallaght, Dublin. In there own words: “Two chancers bumped into a lad in an off licence, Questions were asked, We drank cans, We jammed tunes, We Went Down.” There music speaks louder than any promo/pr nonsense. Check it below.
Ciaran Lenehan (BG):
The second of two Tallaght acts, Ciaran Lenehan, has become a firm favourite in Newbridge and makes a welcome return to the town, ahead of the release of his long-awaited debut album, These Stories, in November. To keep it relatively short; Lenehan is a songwriter to be reckoned with. Simple, assured and engaging and most importantly he has the talent to make wonderful stories into fantastic songs.
The Statics have been longstanding favourites here at BarryGruff HQ, and why not? Their melodious indie pop jangle is utterly infectious and brilliant.
The Dublin four-piece are back with a new single, ‘Alone’, an edited single version of the track which appeared on The Statics’ excellent Hidden Pigeon EP. This new look, trim and toned version of ‘Alone’ has lost none of sparkle. It is lively, bright and upbeat, enveloped by The Statics’ love for giddy bouncing rhythm, catchy melody and jangly guitar. ‘Alone’ is as close to a perfect two-minute pop song as you’re likely to hear, and captures the essence to what makes The Statics so irrefutably lovable.
‘Alone’ will be released as a free download on October 19th, along with a launch night in Sweeney’s. Until then, you can open your ears (and heart) to The Statics by streaming the single below.
Aside from the single launch, The Statics have a whole host of live shows coming up, more info here.
Although they’ve been on the go for over two decades, Helen Love have, until now, remained an unknown quantity till quite recently.
Formed in 1992, the Welsh group carved a name for themselves with their bubblegum punk songs about punk boys, crushes, tough girls and Joey Ramone. Having only discovered Helen Love through their latest LP, Day-Glo Dreams, the content seems to be in a similar vein as mentioned previously, while the punky sound has been swapped for synth pop. This is synth pop with lighthearted lyrics designed to make you dance, non more so than latest single and album standout, ‘Atomic’. It’s a cheesy, cheerful and bouncy affair of all synths and smiles. Combine this with her perfectly sweet vocals and ability to write sugar-sweet pop melodies and you have the recipe for one highly contagious sound. One too, that will be stuck in your head for ages.
You can give ‘Atomic’ the once over below & Day-Glo Dreams is out now on Elefant Records. [Stream it on Spotify]
As far as records of the year go, Steve Mason‘s Monkey Minds In The Devil’s Time is right up there at the top.
Mason’s second solo effort is a stunning record, shaped by the current global political climate and the lack of dissenting voices in music and popular culture in general. This brings us nicely to Mason’s latest single, ‘Fire!’, which encapsulates all that’s great about the aforementioned LP in one song. It is filled with genuine heart, soul and honesty – and of course plenty of righteous politicalised anger – as he foments unrest over a deep, powerful bassline and shots of stunning brass. This combined with a blend of psych-folk/trip/hip-hop beats and dub overtones acts as a prefect backdrop for his wonderful ghostly vocal. Simply magnificent. Someone please book Mason for some Irish shows. Thanks.
‘Fire!’ will be released as a download only on November 4 via Domino. Monkey Minds in the Devil’s Time is out now too.
The last time we dropped in on Hippies Vs Ghostswas back in the early days of summer, when two aptly titled EPs, Hippies and, yes, Ghosts were released in quick succession.
For those of you unfamiliar with Hippies Vs Ghosts, it’s a side project from We Are Animalguitarist & vocalist, Owain Ginsberg, and one which is continuing to prove rather fruitful. Harnessing the raw energy, experimental tenancies and ear for a serious groove of his day job, we are again presented with something fascinatingly imaginative. ‘Mother Tongue’ & ‘Cushion Dweller’ are two fine examples of what Ginsberg is capable of on his own; free-flowing, slightly off-kilter natured, instrumental jams, foraging through ’50s surf rock, post-punk, krautrock and indie, among others. Both have a chilling underlying menace to them, the latter particularly so; the biggest sonic assault of a sinister unnerving, swirling noise and distortion yet. That’s about it really, let’s hope Hippies Vs Ghosts keep ’em coming.
You can listen to, or download ‘Mother Tongue’ & ‘Cushion Dweller’ for free below. You can check out both the previous EPshereif you fancy.
Tarsiers are a band based in Cardiff. They formed last year, began gigging in April and now their first recordings have surfaced online.
That’s the story of the Cardiff three-piece so far, in the most simplistic form. Finding an explanation for their style and sound has proven to be a rather more arduous proposition. This first collection of tracks, entitled Demo, sees them embrace an intriguing mix of styles and genres. ‘Camel’, ‘Last Train’ and ‘Black Ice’ are three imaginative and organic sounding jams, veering from rhythmic post-punk to the off-kilter realms of psychedelia and ’60s/’70s rock, all augmented by alluring grooves and imaginative arrangements. Tarsiers are an exciting proposition in what seems, from the outside anyway, as a remarkably healthy and diverse scene in Cardiff. Having set out with the aim of making music that was both ‘interesting’ and ‘fun’, we can definitely say it’s mission accomplished. Job well done.
You can stream Tarsiers tracks below and if they take your fancy, you can download them for free in a neat bundle from bandcamp.
Paul Daviesproved his credentials as songwriter and wry storytelling ability last year with his EP, If You Only Knew, and almost exactly one year on, Davies is back once again.
Ahead of a forthcoming new and so far nameless EP, Davies has produced a quirky DIY style video for ‘Why Did I Give You My Heart?’. Taken from last year’s If You Only Knew EP, it captures the heartwarming nature of that quintessential Paul Davies sound. It’s subtle, graceful and charming, as a gentle woozy strum accompanies his soft and gentle vocals along a passage of melancholic musings. In the past unequivocal comparisons were drawn between Davies and the slower, vulnerable moments of both Pete Doherty or Graham Coxon’s solo work. It is a similarity that still stands.
Check ‘Why Did I Give You My Heart?’ and it’s accompanying video below. No concrete details yet on the forthcoming release but hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.