In early 2011 Simple Kid announced through his official website that there will be no further music nor tours by Simple Kid. Despite this announcement, a new single, ‘The Road’, slipped out well and truly under the radar in the Spring of 2012.
Since then? Nothing. Well not quiet it seems. In November of last year he did it again, with out any fuss or anything really, Simple Kid slid a new song under the radar, called ‘Snakes and Ladders’. The track, commissioned by the BBC as part Radio 4 series ‘Forever Young’, suggests the synths, beats and electronics of ‘The Road’ have been put to one side for the time being. Preferred instead is that recognizable and grainy SK alt-folk sound, as he and an unknown female vocal companion lament the precariousness which is all to real for so many living through the throes Capitalism’s latest crisis. The songwriting is clever yet subtle and the song in general is superb.
Whether this is it, or we shall be intermittently treated to the odd track here and there or, by some stroke of luck might see something more substantial is anyone’s guess. Only the kid knows that for certain.
From his Longford hideaway, operating under the guise ofImploded View, Jerome McCormick has proven a reliable source of experimental, sometimes abstract but always interesting electronic music.
McCormick’s preference has always been atmospheric, downtempo and minimalist electronic compositions with sparse sounds, synths and all manner of analogue trickery. Dark, moody and immediately emotive, the music rarely if ever, emerges from first gear, preferring to meander through a vast and cloudy world of dreamy, chilled sounds and ambient dreamscapes. Having released album #2, Anomoly Domine only last year, this latest work from the Imploded View camp is something quite different.
Mixed View is a remix package (plus two new originals) which sees the entrusting of remix duties to R.S.A.G, Christ, VHS Head, Daithi & Yimino. Of them, the standout’s are R.S.A.G’s rework of ‘The Keeping’ and VHS Head’s remix of ‘Julia Taxi’. R.S.A.G takes probably the most playful and laid-back of all Imploded View’s works and adds pep to its step so to speak, giving it a new lease of life with an irresistible groove, bounce and a swaggering cool confidence of David Holmes or Primal Scream. VHS Head meanwhile, takes the dark, moody melancholy of ‘Julia Taxi’ and turns it into a fascinating, futuristic and impermeable concoction imbued between rumbling sonic road trip of its psychedelic whirls and the dense ear-shaking beats and crunching bass. Just two choice cuts from a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable EP.
We Cut Corners will release their second album Think Nothing on April 25th (May 12th in the UK) through Delphi and having already shared ‘YKK‘ and ‘Every Thief‘, ahead of the LPs release, we now have latest single, ‘Best Friend’.
The Dublin duo’s previous two tracks showcased both their quieter and more rocky dispositions, something of a blueprint set out by their debut album, Today I Realised I Could Go Home Backwards. ‘Best Friend’ is most certainly the latter. A short, sharp two minute blast of seething, sneery and raspy indie-rock. In fact, this is the most hostile and aggression fueled WCC have sounded, and things are nicely poised for the album’s release in April. They have also teamed up with Kijek/Adamski again for another wonderful animated video, the people responsible for their much praised ‘A Pirate’s Life’ video.
‘Best Friend’ is out now as a digital download and there’s plenty of shows planned for April and May too (check ’em here).
BarryGruff Unplugged #3: Paddy Hanna + Wayfarer | March 1st – The Liffey Studio, Newbridge – Doors: 7:30pm | €5/€7
Following the success of previous BarryGruff Unplugged shows, we’re back with round #3 on March 1st. Part three looks an exciting proposition with Paddy Hanna and Wayfarer joining us in the intimate surroundings of The Liffey Studio.
The show is €5 if you book in advance or €7 on the night. The cheap list is limited so if you would like to reserve a spot, email your name to: barrygruff[at]gmail[dot]com – with ‘Cheap List’ in the subject title.
:: Paddy Hanna ::
Probably best known as lead singer in Grand Pocket Orchestra and drummer in No Monster Club, this year however, Paddy Hanna has stepped out on his own, releasing his debut solo album ‘Leafy Stilleto’ and attracting rave reviews in the Irish media since its release in January. The young man from Dublin is in a somewhat more laid back and relaxed mood than before, creating a warm and well-structured collection of gorgeous indie tunes. He was brilliant at Electric Picnic and since then we’ve been working hard to bring Paddy Hanna to Newbridge, and delighted we finally got our man.
:: Wayfarer ::
Wayfarer are folk duo Sam Devlin & Rachel Boland from Co. Kildare. The name might be familiar, having played a few BarryGruff shows, wooing audiences in the process, with their beautiful country folk sounds and alluring harmonies. They have been busy working on a forthcoming EP but thankfully found time to squeeze in a much welcome Newbridge show.
So, it’s been a while but were back in Flanagan’s to rip it up with ‘BarryGruff Presents’ #17 on Friday, January 31st. We’ve got the superbly talented duo of Padraig McCauley (The P Affection/Disconcerting P) and Rory Hughes performing on the night.
It’s sure to be another great night, so come along and enjoy the music. It’s FREE in as usual & kicks off at 9:30 pm. [RSVP]
:: Padraig McCauley ::
Padraig McCauley of The P Affection/Disconcerting P is no stranger to a BarryGruff show and should need little introduction. McCauley is a superb songwriter, singer and performer, if somewhat under-appreciated by many. This is in fact his fifth, yes fifth, BarryGruff appearance and while that might be some sort of record, it is a rare chance to see him play a solo set filled with tracks new and old, from a rather extensive body of work.
:: Rory Hughes ::
Rory Hughes is a young musician from Dublin. He writes folk and blues tunes. Tunes that are good with a deep-rooted storytelling style. While some of the records, done himself with basic equipment, are rough and don’t do the songs full justice. However, if ‘Woe Is Me’ doesn’t stir something inside you, well, there might be something wrong with you.
The Statics have been a firm favourite around these parts for quite sometime now. Saying that, the Dublin four-piece enhanced their reputation both here, and further a field, with their excellent Hidden Pigeon EP, and single ‘Alone’ last year.
The Statics’ latest single, and second taken from the aforementioned EP, ‘Hit & Miss’ is a touch slower and lyrically more bittersweet and emotive, than their signature indie-pop-jangle. Just a ‘touch’ mind, as it still bobs along bouncily to an effortlessly infectious rhythm and vocal harmonies. Utterly buoyant, utterly brilliant and seemingly effortless indie-pop magic. Hopefully by the time 2014 rings to a close, we shall have heard much, much more from The Statics.
‘Hit & Miss’ is available as a free download via bandcamp from Friday, January 31st. You catch them live with The Mighty Stef in Whelans on January 31st and at Phantom Presents in Sweeneys February 5th.
Doxy is the new name for Policy, a four-piece from Kilcoole, Co Wicklow, who featured on here with the release their self-titled debut EP last year.
Often a name change coincides with some sort of musical change of direction but with Doxy, apart from the name, added refinement and marginally less rough around the edges; it’s much the same as before, which is no bad thing by any stretch of the imagination. The re-brand has coincided with new EP, Shoulder High In Gibberish, which retains that ’80s British indie/post-punk inspired sound. Their latest EP, like it’s predecessor, is probably best summed up as a bit indie, a bit post-punk, a bit alternative rock and a bit rough around the edges; all filled with charm, catchy melodies and smart, attuned lyrics. Name changes aside, it’s great to hear from this foursome again, who are a welcome addition to any music collection regardless of the guise they choose to work under.
You can check out ‘Gibberish’ & ‘No Kissing’ below and if they are to your liking, you can head over to bandcamp, ‘name your price’ and download Shoulder High In Gibberish in it’s entirety.
Subaltern are Irish duo, Alex Lawes & Sean Merrigan, who have been making electronic music together for a few years now.
So far the duo’s journey has seen them play support for Simian Mobile Disco, Felix Martin of Hot Chip and White Collar Boy. Yet in saying that, their back catologue is rather less than extensive, most likely due to a self confessed preference for analogue gear and “doing everything the long way around”. Enough digression. If the duo’s latest track ‘Black Cat’ is anything to go by, they’re on the right path. ‘Black Cat’ is a whopper 8 minutes plus of mesmerizing, synthesizer-driven dance, not wholly dissimilar to the aforementioned Simian Mobile Disco. The track has been getting repeated attention the past few weeks, it’s absolutely immense. Certainly interested to hear more from Subaltern in the future and no matter how long the wait, if they keep to this level of quality, these two lads can take all the time they like.
You can give ‘Black Cat’ the once over below, and download it for free too. Sounds chaps indeed.
Galway duo John Millane and Joseph Kenny akaMilan Jay, have established a pretty reputable name for themselves with a steady stream of top notch singles in the past few years.
True to form, toward the tail end of last year, Milan Jay unveiled another fine single ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying?’. Driven by a heavy, filthy and distorted bassline, my oh my, this one’s got plenty of oomph! Along with the single’s release comes news that it’s the first to be taken from a forthcoming debut album, which they’re still working on and is due later this year. To say their singles to date have been eclectic would be an understatement, so it’s going to interesting to see what will accompany ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying?’ on the album, and to see how it all pans out together. The album is probably still a while away but till that time arrives we’ve got ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying’ to occupy us.
Stream ‘How Well Do You Remember Dying’ below or purchase it from all the usual digitalhaunts.
Oh Boland are a garage rock trio – Niall Murphy, Éanna Mac Donnchadha and Simon McDonagh – from Tuam, Co. Galway.
Formed just over a year ago, the Tuam trio’s sound borrows from an earthy mix of garage rock, indie, pop and some local guitar flavours. It’s rough, ragged and abrasive, yet Oh Boland present an utterly charming and lovable listening experience. Amid all the general abrasiveness of thrashing guitars, thundering basslines and growling vocals; every rumbling note proves their music ever more captivating and palatable, through a combination of sweet melodiousness and unusual off-kilter oddity. Oh Boland have taken up a sizable portion of my musical intake of late, and to put it simply, they are utterly fuckin’ brilliant! No nonsense, no faffing about, just top notch tunes done with style and swagger. This here only scratches the surface of their many virtues and given some of your attention, their music will do the rest of the convincing. Bands of this ilk are relatively scarce in Ireland, which is all the more reason to treasure them so.
There’s some choice cuts below to set you on your way, and their two excellent EPs, Oh! and Ho!, are available todownload free at Bandcamp
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Girl Band. The Dublin band had a relatively quiet 2013 but they’ve kicked off 2014 with Irish, UK and Eurosonic dates, and most importantly a new single.
‘Lawman’ is a real beast of a track. Over a sprawling six-minute industrial stomp of gut-wrenching and desolate post-punk rock, the ears a battered into submission with a fuzzed and filthy caustic cacophony of sound. The Dublin four piece have rarely been anything but exhilarating, in the flesh or on record, and ‘Lawman’ is in keeping with tradition. In short; this is a stunning tune and it’s good to have them back.
‘Lawman’, Girl Band’s first ever 7″, is released on January 10th viaAny Other City Recordson a limited run of 300 records. Turn up the volume and check it below.
With the time of year it is and all that jazz, the blog will be assuming radio silence for a bit, probably until the new year. But before that, it is only fit and proper for some thank yous and for a quick roundup of sorts.
First things first, a huge thank you to Stevie, Poggy, Co & Paul for all their help with the BarryGruff / Discord shows this year. It most definitely couldn’t happen without all your help. Thanks too, to everyone who played the shows this year and those who took the time to do collate their picks from year. A big thanks to Johnny Feeney for his excellent guest posts throughout the year – I’m sure I’m not alone in enjoying his musings. Last but certainly not least, thanks to all of you who came to gigs during the year and continue to read the blog. It’s a rather humbling experience and without yous, the blog is nothing, so thanks a million. I hope I haven’t missed anyone, if I have I apologise profusely.
Before I go here’s a sort of roundup of stuff from the blog, with links, in case anyone missed some of it. Enjoy your holidays if you have ’em and see you in 2014. Cheers BG.