Cian Ciaran – ’1/7/69′

Cian-Ciarán

Cian Ciaran‘s album They Are Nothing Without Us was one of last year’s finest records, without a shadow of a doubt.

Spiky, angry but with shades of sweetness and a sparkling ability for a pop song sewn in. This combined with a dash of idiosyncratic sparkle, from the man best known as the keyboard player and production wizard with Super Furry Animals, making the whole thing even more palatable as he took aim at the elite, the bankers, politicians and big corporations. This’protest album’ of sorts is continuing to prove a rather fruitful one, with Ciaran returning with another single from TANWU in ’1/7/69′. The ensuing three-and-a-half-minutes of ’1/7/69′ are a thoughtfully worked out, luxurious blend psychedelic jangle and overlapping backing vocals, with an irresistible drifting quality.

’1/7/69′, the latest track to be plucked from TANWU, is accompanied by a brand new video from Mark James/Bait Studios. You would be well checking them both out.

Stream: CIAN CIARAN ‘They Are Nothing Without Uson Spotify.

 

Applescal – ‘The Veil’

Dutch producer Applescal has launched a new digital single series through his own Atomnation imprint, and the first offering is ‘The Veil’, and it essentially continues where he left off on last year’s album, Dreaming in Key (which is not a bad scenario at all).

‘The Veil’ is a pulsating and somber experience, built around a dark rhythmic core and majestic progression that paves a long and winding path through a chilling but familiar hinterland between electronica & techno. The murky origins of this dark and bubbling slow-burner are expanded upon by hazy chants, swirling synth and subtle melodic embellishments, chugging relentlessly toward a well of deep, haunting and mysterious well of rich sounds. Top quality stuff once more from Applescal who’s single series is supposed to continue in weeks to come over on Atomnation’s Bandcamp page.

For now though there is ‘The Veil’ in all it’s murky but beautiful glory. You can ‘name you price’ and download ‘The Veil’ from here.

Pharoahe Monch – ‘Bad Motherfucker’

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There is no doubting Pharoahe Monch is master of his craft. His ability as an MC is without question and he never fails to deliver incredibly when he picks up a microphone. To keep it simple – he’s one of the best in the business.

Today sees the release of Monch’s new album, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It’s the successor to the brilliant W.A.R (We Are Renegades), a personal favourite from recent years, yet news of the new record remained elusive till this week (How? Who the fuck knows?). The new record sees Pharoahe Monch re-emerge with a new concept project, with him speaking as a weary independent warrior against the industry machine and dealing with the struggle of the black male experience in America. Going by ‘Bad Motherfucker’ he’s re-entered the fray with his familiar top-notch storytelling, cavernous vocabulary, thought-provoking rhymes, precise delivery and thought-provoking metaphors too. These attributes appear undiminished as he ferociously delivers rhymes to position himself clearly at odds with the current state of Hip Hop.

A gentle reminder in case like me, this news has managed to slip you by. Check out ‘Bad Motherfucker’ below and PTSD is out now.

Ships – ‘Space Inside’

Ships 2014

Dublin duo Ships, consisting of producer Simon Cullen and singer Sorca McGrath, have been pretty quiet over the past 12 months or so. The duo returned late last month with a new 7″, ‘Space Inside’ and their brilliance has been anything but diminished during this period of relative quiet.

‘Space Inside’ and b-side counterpart ‘None of it Real’ are irresistibly brilliant and uber-cool, staggeringly smooth and funky disco-jams. Although ‘None of it Real’ ain’t to be sniffed at, the pick of the pair is ‘Space Inside’. A funky floor filling party tune, interspersed with cowbells, handclaps and resplendent, pulsating and relentless electronics. It’s just so, so good. “There’s no resistance, there’s nothing left to find,” Cullen words, perhaps singularly proclaim the duo’s rationale. Undeniably addictive and impossible to resist, given the chance, both will impose their will on you. Ships’ pair of new tunes have been on constant rotation here for weeks now and that pattern shows no sign of letting up.

Ships’ ‘Space Inside/None if it Real’ is out now on Stratosfear Recordings. Try ‘em below & but ‘em here.

Introducing: Sleaford Mods

sleaford-mods

Sleaford Mods are Lo-fi English punk duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn who’ve been grunting through gritted teeth since ’08. The Nottingham duo have five albums to date including Wank, Austerity Dogs and a singles collection from last year, with number six, Divide and Exit arriving at the end of this month.

Williamson is the chief rabble-rouser, both scathing and sardonic, he is a man who airs his gripes and grievances, of which there are many, with a combination of vitriolic anger and acerbic wit. Williamson’s righteous, infectious ranting, which are as quotable as Half Man Half Biscuit, is strewn among grimey beats and wiry post-punk guitars from Fearn. While owing as much to hip-hop and grime as to post-punk; Sleaford Mods are the modern inheritors of the brilliance of Mark E Smith, Shaun Ryder and HMHB. Sleaford Mods might not be for the faint of heart as they lay bare a grim tapestry of the ails that face the modern working class Britain, but there’s an endless supply of tame, middle-of-the-road bullshit in the world. We’d all be better off for hearing their expletive strewn anger and righteous, infectious ranting – well – I am for one.

Divide and Exit is out on April 28th and you can check out’My Jampandy’, ‘McFlurry’ & ’Tied Up in Nottz’, the latter is taken from the forthcoming LP. Hat tip to Nialler9 on this one.

Phoenix 48 Radiothon: 2 Hours w/ BarryGruff + The Boozey Swine

VLUU L100, M100  / Samsung L100, M100

A few weeks back, myself and The Boozey Swine, sandwich maker to the stars, took to the airwaves as part of Phoenix FM‘s 48 hour Radiothon.

The Radiothon was to raise funds for the station and to support the continued work it does in the Dublin 15 community, and it was an absolute pleasure to be part of. It was pretty nerve racking but after Boozey said a few prayers to the patron saint of radio, Larry Gogan, we we’re on our way and it was loads of fun. Sure what’s more enjoyable than taking over a studio to play loads of your favourite music? You can listen to the full two hour show in all it’s glory below and the tracklist is after the jump. We’d quite like to do something similar in the future but we shall see, maybe those prayers Boozey was rattling off will come through for us.

Before that, a massive thanks to Boozey for being part of the show, and everyone who donated a few quid and all the sound people at Phoenix FM, we thank you. Enjoy!

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Teleman – ’23 Floors Up’

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With the release of their debut album Breakfast only around the corner, Teleman have saw fit to step out with new single, ’23 Floors Up’.

’23 Floors Up’ confirms, not that there were any doubts to allay really, that Teleman’s debut is one of the records to look out for this year. It’s a charmingly beautiful piece of sweeping guitar-pop that’s sparse with light, gentle almost floating melodies, which are accompanied by minimalist synth tones and the usual breathtaking crooning via Sanders telling tales of love and paranoia. Sanders has a dazzling knack for descriptive lyrics that effortlessly conjure of vivid scenes and images, and like most of his work it is stamped all over ’23 Floors Up’..

’23 Floors Up’ is released on the same day as Teleman’s debut LP, Breakfast, June 2nd, a date for the diary. Along with the wonderful ’23 Floors Up’ – it’s time enough to re-acquaint ourselves with two of the fine cuts already unveiled from their forthcoming debut; a la ‘Steam Train Girl’ & ’Lady Low’.

Introducing: Velvet Morning

Velvet Morning

Velvet Moon are a four-piece hailing from the seaside town of Leigh-on-Sea in the UK, predominantly revolving around 19-year old songwriter Samuel Jones, who is ably assisted by Chris Richardson (drums),  John Kirkwood (bass) and Luke Elgar (guitars).

In their own words, this foursome describe their exploration of sounds as ‘Smooth Psychedelia’ but in reality it is far more than merely that. Their’s is wistful indie rock with a psychedelic twist taking one on an intrepid journey to the stars. This free-floating melodic mesmerism is matched with rich, warm production, as the atmospheric seduction and engulfing sultry breeze, endevours to capture the beguiling beauty of a heat haze. Velvet Moon’s current double a-side more than covers all these bases. ’Octocity’ unfolds beautifully as flickers of psychedelic calm gently smolder over atmospheres of lucidity, feeding glistening guitars and readily flirting with the climactic euphoria but never reaching beyond its languid state of bliss. ’Clouds Come First’, which is quite Spiritualized-esque, swaggers and bubbles with a smooth, effortlessly cool and focused groove melting into jangly, layered guitar atmospheric and huge reverberated melodies with some timely euphoric surges propelling it to ethereal new heights. It feels like we are in the throes of something of a psych revival at present, all fine and dandy to be fair if we continue to be presented with such delicious talents as Velvet Morning.

You can give both ‘Octocity’ and ‘Clouds Come First’ the once over below and their label ‘Sonic Playground’ are offering a free download of the double a-side  -  download it from here.

Ottilia – ‘Siren’

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London based Swede Ottilia was the recipient of some lavish praise around these parts, about this time last year as it happens. It was presumed, from this quarter anyway, that we’d have heard from her long before now but how and ever, she’s back with further musical enchantment.

Ottilia’s new track, ‘Siren’, is as minimalist as they come, much like last year’s ‘I Don’t Let Myself Fall In Love’. Utilizing little more than Ottilia’s woozy and haunted voice, repeated guitar strum and a slightly rough round the edges feel to fashion a despondent and mournful ballad of hurt and self-deprecation. Amid these gloomy, doleful surroundings and stark strum her voice is so smooth and tender, and wielded ever so wonderfully. It’s pretty hard not to be carried away by this emotive little gem, and it should have the hairs on the back of your neck on end.

Hopefully we’ll be hearing much more from Ottilia in 2014 but for now there’s ‘Siren’, check it out below.

Echo and The Bunnymen – ‘Market Town’

Laneway Festival Sydney

Echo and the Bunnymen have unveiled ’Market Town’, the lead track from their first new album in five years, Meteorites.

It’s probably a fair to assume that most people are acquainted vintage Bunnymen, that of the 1980′s and tunes like ‘The Killing Moon’, ’Lips Like Sugar’, ‘The Cutter’ and ‘Seven Seas’. This longevity isn’t really surprising seen as how good those early Echo and the Bunnymen songs are, and how remarkably well they’ve stood the test of time. Even in more recent years they’ve managed to release some rather tasty material, saying all that, it’s been a while since they’ve sounded as vital as they do on ‘Market Town’. McCulloch’s voice, which has got better with age, rises vibrantly above shimmering guitar lines, whispery harmonies and New Wave synths to generate an infectious groove and waves of sparkling effervescence.  ’Market Town’ is an anthemic seven minutes which brings to mind some stunning moments from the group’s earlier life. It’s familiar enough to be classic Bunnymen, but different enough to sound fresh and new, and in doing so ’Market Town’ has set the bar pretty high. Let’s hope Meteorites follows suit when it’s released in June.

Meteorites is due out June 3rd via 429 records but before all that, cop a load of ‘Market Town’.