Before The Ghosts and Monorail::: The Roundy 14/02/13

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Its the most romantic night of the year dontcha know. What better way to spend Hallmark day than in the company of Eugene O’Callaghan & Dave O’Keeffe A.K.A Before The Ghosts and Monorail.

Monorail got things ticking over nicely before Eugene and co. took to the stage. They belted out several standards with gusto but the highlight of the night was a belting cover of Hipsters anthem ‘wake up’ by Arcade Fire. The band captured the euphoria of the choon perfectly and they really got the audience on their toes.

It was the perfect antidote to the cloying dinner for two attitude that generally dominates this night and I for one will be getting my greasy mits on a copy of of their album ‘Maps’. You’ve been told, now do likewise

http://www.facebook.com/BeforeTheGhosts

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Admiral Fallow Preview

Scotchland’s finest return to Leeside to brighten up the start of the year on the 18th of February. The folk-indie outfit have already garnered plenty of praise for their 2011 debut  ‘Boots Met My Face ‘. They bring their soulful and catchy sound to Cyprus Avenue , they’re an act that seem destined for greater things and for my money they’re well worth a look in what is an otherwise cold and miserable month on the Cork scene. You’ve been warned!

 

Support on the night comes in the shape of Gary Meyler. Get in there early folks…

Admiral Fallow play Cyprus Avenue on the 18th of february, tickets are 12.50 and doors are from 9pm.

Foals::: New Album announced

Good news for fans of Oxford-based indie outfit Foals. The Quintet have announced details of their third LP: Holy Fire which will be released on February 11, 2013.

Holy Fire was recorded with producers Flood and Alan Moulder in London, and “Inhaler”, the first song to be released from the record, will receive its radio premiere on November 5.

Foals have announced an short UK series of dates in November and December, along with a one-off club date in Sydney for 2013.

From Montreal to Donegal::: Windings Interview

  • Describing themselves as a well oiled 5 man music machine Winding’s are quickly garnering rave reviews aplenty for their live performances. Hot on the heels of the release of their new long player I caught up with Steve Ryan for a few words about the new album and what the boys have been upto..
    How was the recording of the new album?
    The recording itself took only 4 days. We spent two days in Hotel2Tango in Montreal, and we spent 2 days in Attica Audio in Donegal. Essentially, the album is split into Side A – Montreal, Side B – Donegal. We rehearsed the arses off every single song before we went into each studio, so when we set up, it was just a case of playing each song a bunch of times until we got the take we were happiest with.We had never recorded this way before, and we weren’t too sure how it would pan out, but we’re dead happy with the resulting album.
    Where did the title ‘I am not the crow’ come from?
     Personally, i’m pretty bad at naming albums and songs, always have been. “I Am Not The Crow” is an off the cuff phrase that was used during the recording in Montreal, and we all found it stuck in our heads for days afterwards. It’s a phrase that carries no weight, no deeper meaning, it is what it is. We like that. Plus,it reminds us of our time spent recording in Montreal.
    For those that havn’t experienced it before, how would you describe the Windings Live experience?
    The windings live experience is 5 guys playing the shit out of their songs onstage, knowing exactly what each other is doing, and finding new life and ways in each and every performance, each and everytime. Yup.
    What were your influences on the new record?
    I had djed a couple of nights with my good friend Tim V. Smyth from Hidden Highways. We djed vinyl only, and put a date restriction on ourselves, so that we couldn’t play anything that was made later than the 80s. This experience got me back listening to a bunch of stuff I hadn’t listened to in a while, like Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Wings, The Cure, Husker Dü, and made me notice the attention that was afforded to the structure of these albums. They’re albums, not collections of singles, but albums in the classic sense. That influenced us when it came to the recording and mixing of our album. I personally haven’t been listening to much new music, and if I have, it’s always some modern bands skewed take on a classic rock sound, like Ariel Pink or Kurt Vile. I’ve actually been listening to a pile of Irish music this year, the quality is fuckin astounding!
    Whats in store for the rest of 2012?
     The rest of this year will see us touring Ireland, and playing our songs all around this fair isle. Then we’ll see what 2013 brings…
    ‘I am not the crow’ is out now on out on a limb records

The Secret Life of Roisin O::: Interview

Roisin O has had a hectic time of it, between releasing her debut album, The secret Life of Blue earlier this month and spending the summer playing the  festival circuit , the 23 year old has been hitting the ground running. Roisin took some time out to have a word about recording the album, her musical makeup and what she’s been doing with herself…
Hi Roisin , thanks for taking the time to talk to me. Firstly congratulations on the album, it sounds great. How was the recording process?
It was great! We recorded over in studio black box in France with our great producer David Odlum. The place is really beautiful, middle of no where in the French countryside. We had just over two weeks to get everything done so we worked quite long days but the creative process was helped along by the amazing food and the amazingly cheap red wine and the beautiful surroundings. It was a very laid back feel, Dave really put us all at ease and it was great staying next door to the studio, your mindset is much more focused on creating that way I feel. It was an amazing experience. I’d love to get back there again.
 Given your background music is obviously very much part of your life, is making music something that you’ve always wanted to do?
I’ve always loved singing. My godmother told me the other day that when I was a toddler instead of her reading books to me I’d look at the pictures and sing the storyline to her! Music has always been part of my life. There was never a point when I decided I would be a musician, I think for me it was the obvious thing to be doing, I love music so I’m gonna try make a career out of it. There was never really a time when I thought about doing anything else. You have  a number of shows coming up.  What can the uninitiated expect from a Roisin O gig?

Harmonies! We love harmonies. Fun upbeat tunes and maybe a tearjerker or two. Climatic builders with string tracks and one or two hypnotic drum loops. We also like to throw in a cover for good measure, either fleet wood mac or Florence and the machine.

Who would you describe as your musical influences?

Joni Mitchell is a big one for me, her album Blue influenced me hugely growing up, her songwriting is stunning and she’s an unbelievably talented singer and musician. Wallis bird, the Beatles.. One that we tend to agree on as a band is Fleetwood Mac, especially the album rumours, the harmonies and unreal.
 Thanks again Roisin, Lastly what else have you in store for 2012?
Thank you. We’re playing headline shows in Cork, Limerick, Mullingar & Galway plus we’re delighted to be supporting the Coronas on their gig in the O2 on dec 14th! Hugely exciting for us. 
Many Thanks to Roisin, for more info you can check out her website @  http://www.roisino.com/)
Friday, October 19th – Cyprus Avenue, Cork

Sunday, October 21st – Dolan’s, Limerick
Thursday, October 25th – John Daly’s, Mullingar 
Saturday, November 3rd – Monroe’s, Galway

Ruairí and the Owls ::: Fishing in your Dark

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So you co-write and play bass for a band. You’re always noodling away writing solo material, so what do you do next? Well if you’re Ruairi Connolly then you get a few friends together who also happen to be musicians (Leanne Doherty /Betty lee and the blondes and Conor Crampsie/Exit pursued by bears) and you throw together your noodling and record yourself a side project. It helps if the record happens to be rather spiffing. That was 2011’s his debut E.P ‘Rip through her sky’ recorded as ‘Owl Parliament’, now what? Well they’re back, they’ve changed their name (Ruari and the Owls), theres a new band member on board (Mike Hamill) and they have a new record.

Fishing in your dark‘ is the new release from Connolly and co. and the good news is they’ve released another perfectly formed EP. Single ‘Let you out‘ is a tremendous song, its euphoric pop with an undertone of soulfulness that goes a long way. You get two singers for the price of one on this track with Stevie Martin AKA ‘Rainy Boy Sleep’ chirping in on proceedings. Opening track ‘Vapour’ is the kind of power pop Belle & Sebastian used to make. It’s a catchy number that burns its way into your mind. ‘Tired Eyes’ shifts down a gear and is more of an anthemic /ballady number that is perfectly pleasant and shows the outfits range. It’s a lovely track. Last number ‘Boomerang’ deals with the familiar theme of lost love and closes off proceedings nicely.

The Limavady native has fashioned an interesting sophomore effort that’s chockfull of decent melodies and solid lyrics. Leanne’s backing vocals compliment Connolly’s vocals well and Crampsie’s percussion really ties things together well. Ruairí and the Owls has been getting plenty of good write-ups and on the evidence of this release they’re well deserved. They’re an act I shall be making an effort to catch live. I suggest you do the same.

http://musicreviewunsigned.com/RuairiandtheOwls.html

Divine Fits::: A Thing Called Divine Fits.

Side projects by definition can be a mixed bag ranging from the sublime (The Travelling Wilburys) to the ridiculous (Them Crooked Vultures). Somehow what looks terrific on paper often ends up being less than the sum of its parts. That said I naturally enough approached the debut release from Divine Fits with a certain degree of trepidation. The good news is there’s nothing to fear here. This isn’t so much a wannabe supergroup as a musical marriage of convenience. The demise of the handsome furs saw Dan Boeckner without a band, so he’s joined forces with Spoon frontman Britt Daniels and New Bomb Turks drummer Sam Brown to form something a bit different. Daniels and Boeckner are friends with a few years and they’ve long been looking for the opportunity to do something together. Circumstances have thrown this band together and they’ve jumped on the opportunity.

Amalgamating a few different bands’ sounds can often be a troublesome affair but the threesome have managed it with some degree of style. Teaser single ‘My Love is real’ painted a picture of what was to come. It’s all crackling synths and dirty beats. There are shades of Neil Tennant here and a dash of electro that gels together well to deliver a cracking opening single. So far, so unpredictable. ‘Flagging a ride’ throbs along over a simple pulsating baseline. It’s a strong track in an album of strong tracks. ‘Baby gets worse’ delivers more pulsating electro pop. ‘Would that not be nice’ is surely a strong contender for a single slot with its marriage of buzzing bass and a deliciously scratchy riff.

All in all this is an excellent record from start to finish. The pacing is pitch perfect with tightly wound guitar meeting soaring synth and bass awash with thumping percussion in a symphony of electro rock goodness. It’s less car crash team up and more supergroup wish fulfilment. The trio have distilled in one record a chemistry that some acts can go years without achieving. There’s a wealth of indie talent on show here and they thankfully hit all their marks and then some. ‘A thing called Divine fits’ shows three musical pros on top form and is an accomplished treat of a release.

Frightened Rabbit ::: State Hospital EP

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Frightened Rabbit return this month with a new EP . It’s the band’s first release proper since their last album The Winter Of Mixed Drinks and the first collection of new songs they’ve brought out since signing to Atlantic records.

 Titular track ‘State Hospital’ is an ever so slightly anthemic affair that stays on the right side of intimate to charm your ears. It’s a song that tells you all you needs to know about the music of the Selkirk quintet. It’s special and then some. (It’s also the only song that’s going to feature on their next album).

 Highlight of the record for me is ‘Boxing night’ a song that’s been a long time gestating. Its current form has been seven years in the making apparently and it’s been a long time finding a chorus to match its verse. It was worth the wait, it careers and swerves and is quite a stunningly lovely track. Scott Hutchison’s vocal is full of earnest longing and winds its way through the song perfectly. Aidan Moffat delivers a spoken word cameo on the unsettlingly off kilter ‘Wedding gloves’ it’s an interesting track that’s somewhat ambiguous in its meaning. The record completes it running order with ‘Home from war’ a riff on fractured relationships &‘Off’ a song about the effects of technology.

Overall State Hospital is a record to savour. The sound of a band in control of their musical direction, who are delivering a clear, concise and never misplaced message. Their sound certainly hasn’t been diluted by signing to a major label and they’ve given us an EP that bodes well for the Scottish acts next long player.

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Frightened Rabbit play Cyprus Avenue tonight, tickets are 15 euros from the Old Oak or on the door.

Their EP is due out the 24th of september

You Kiss by The Book ::: Family Tree

 

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http://www.musicreviewunsigned.com/YouKissbyTheBook.html

 

I am a fan of country music. There I’ve said it. This doesn’t make me some backwoods yokel with no teeth and a skinful of moonshine; it does mean I was looking forward to listening to the new release by Dublin Alt country/Indie outfit ‘You Kiss by The Book’. They havn’t disappointed with this their third studio album. I say studio but this album was recorded in a house over the course of 2011, giving the band the chance to experiment with different sounds and arrangements. The decision to record outside the traditional studio setting has paid off and they’ve delivered a real treat.

The band first came to life in the hills of California and their sound is clearly influenced by the spirit of Americana. This is an album of first kisses at the edge of town and lovelorn miners who want their girl to just go. It’s a charming record from a group who are clearly hitting all their marks. ‘Cant go back’ is a beautifully paced piece of yearning melancholia that has a lovely kick of strings at the end. ‘Transport’ is another high point, it’s tale of being sad for what’s left behind is a pleasure from start to finish. It’s an album that delivers over and over again. Other notable mentions include the simple arrangement of the titular track and the frenetically upbeat opening number ‘Railroad’.

Written by Simon Dowling, Andy Clarke and Philip Walsh , Family Tree is a quality long player that features a number of guest spots from the likes of Fergus Gleeson ( James Vincent McMorrow) and David Crean (Villagers). The collaborative process has resulted in a gem of an album that is one of the best things I’ve heard in 2012 .It’s a confident statement of intent from a very talented bunch of musicians.

Check them out on Facebook Here!

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Review by Niall Healy