BarryGruff Playlist August 2015

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A now regular monthly feature, whereby we round up all the blog action with a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

August was pretty damn good! We had new tunes from Anderson, The Foetals, The Annulments and DRINKS ahead of their respective, forthcoming new albums. There were excellent new singles from SALES, Cornershop, Imploded View, Foreign/National and Silverbacks, and EPs from Mr Huw & Dog Legs. Oh, and Johnny Feeney shared his albums of the year so far too.

Also featured on this month’s playlist are great tracks from Martha Ffion, Sh-Shakes, SQRD, BUCK, and Ghost Culture’s, Ghostpoet remix . So, August, pretty good alright.

Listen to BarryGruff’s August 2015 playlist below.

BUCK – ‘Arecibo’

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Ed Jones – best known as the vocalist/frontman with Welsh indie-rockers Masters In France – has stepped out on his own with a solo/side-project called BUCK.

Announcing the project’s arrival, Jones has afforded us a glimpse at what we can expect from BUCK, with the recently released debut single, ‘Arecibo’. A little more pop-orientated than his day job with Masters In France, ‘Arecibo’ takes us away to somewhere of breezy tranquillity and imbued with sunshine and summertime. Lush production combines with an alluring blend of chilled beats, flourishes of soft melodies that undulate with subtle gushes of tropical tones, and tempered by some wonderful hushed vocals that bob on top. An intriguing first outing from BUCK, let’s hope this is a sign of things to come.

‘Arecibo’ will form the first part of a four-track EP, which will be released toward the end of the year. For now though you can listen to below and if it’s to your liking? You can download it from here.

Bill Ryder-Jones – ‘Two to Birkenhead’

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Bill Ryder-Jones has announced he will release his new album West Kirby County Primary, on November 6th via Domino.

The equally homely-titled ‘Two to Birkenhead, is the first glimpse from the former Coral guitarist’s follow up to his excellent debut LP, A Bad Wind Blows In My Heart. Judging by this first taste, Ryder-Jones’ new album will be a more guitar-driven, rockier affair than his intimate and sombre, but always gripping debut. Lead single ‘Two to Birkenhead’, is a potent and fuzzed-up garage rock tune with crunchy riffs and jaunty ton, tempered with a perfect blend of angst and vigor. While the pensive ballads and hushed pop songs of his debut seem to have been pushed to one side, a recognisable hint of melancholy remains with a restrained, detached delivery. An fine return from an artist who’s career thus far, has yet to disappoint.

You can check out ‘Two to Birkenhead’ below and the new album West Kirby County Primary, is out on November 6th via Domino.

Introducing: Mollusk

Niall Murphy is best known for his vocalist and songwriter duties with garage rock trio Oh Boland, a name that may be familiar to some (if not, you need to check them out).

Murphy appears to be in the midst of a creative boom and has formed another band/side-project, Mollusk, to explore different avenues, sounds and styles, that perhaps don’t fit with the Oh Boland ethos. Our first introduction to Mollusk’s charms comes in the shape of self-titled, debut mini-album. From opener ‘Nothing Ain’t Nothing When It’s Something Or Other’, it is less muscular, rugged and abrasive than the rough and raw garage-punk of Oh Boland, preferring a mellower, rambling psych-tinged jangle. There is a pretty laid-back, almost slacker, west coast vibe that runs through the meandering melodiousness of ‘Ambulance Man’ to the free-spirited roving of ‘Cruisin’ Along’, complete with Status Quo-esque riffs and ‘Mollusk’, and its infectious indie-punk jangle that rivals anything from The Vaccines’ super catchy debut record. Similar but different, Mollusk is like a close relation to his previous output with Oh Boland, and of course, of an equally high standard.

You can sample some choice cuts from the 7-track, Mollusk mini-album below – and if those are to your liking – download the entire mini-album from here, just ‘name your price’.

Euros Childs – ‘Fruit and Veg’

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Quite rightly hailed for his part in Welsh cult heroes Gorky’s Zygotic Mynki, Euros Childs‘ solo career has thus far offered more than a fair share of psych-pop gems.

A repeatedly refreshing talent, Euros has proven time and time again to be worthy of this exalted status. He’s signalled his return with new single ‘Fruit and Veg’, which is taken his forthcoming new album Sweetheart, due out October 2nd. It’s a bright, joy-filled and super catchy pop song. Opening with an all consuming piano melody, matched with equally intoxicating flutes and expressing a sweet sentiment that will be sure to melt a thousand hearts: “The one regret in life, is that he never told the woman he loved, that she was on his mind”. A just over 3-minute master-class of irresistible alt-pop brilliance.

You can check out the Eilir Pierce directed video below, and the new album Sweetheart, shall be with us on October 2nd.

SQRD – ‘Beast’

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SQRD is a musical collaboration project between two long time friends from Sweden, based in Berlin and Stockholm respectively.

Influenced by the likes of Caribou and Weval, The electronic duo’s debut single ‘Beast’ displays a similarly impressive style to their foregoing influential luminaries. Unfolding with a slowly developing atmosphere, this is broody electronica with a exploratory tenor, that swells across four minutes of captivating, pulsating ebbs and flows. Propelled by a relentless rhythm, it moves with fast-paced fluidity through melody, hypnotic build-ups and dank drifts of chilling distorted vocal. In addition, the advent of electro chimes and fluttering keys lend a ray of light, culminating in a compelling and stylish track, that navigates nicely between contrasting claustrophobic gloom and sheer beauty. An altogether impressive introduction to SQRD and hopefully there’s more where that came from, sooner rather than later.

For now though, you can listen to ‘Beast’ below.

Introducing: Sh-Shakes

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Sh-Shakes are a psychedelic garage quintet – Luke (rhythm guitar / vocals), Alex (lead guitar), Max (bass guitar), Kieran (keys) & Salem (drums) – from Vancouver.

Embracing the spirit of the ’60s, Sh-Shakes channel in parts, Dylan, the Stones, The Velvet Underground and The Doors, to whisk together an altogether irresistible fusion of west coast surf, garage psych and rock ‘n’ roll. ‘My Own Time’ offers an empathetic, upbeat and infectious introduction to Sh-Shakes. A spirited and raucous thrasher, it passes with a blur of rambling organ work, galloping guitars and hand-claps combine with swashbuckling effect. ‘Little To Life’ meanwhile, applies a gentler, sun-soaked and hazily beautiful approach to the Sh-Shakes mo. Flourishing with a soulfulness and undulating psychedelic grooves that gently ruminate in such a way that Little To Life’ be a lost mid-60s Doors track. They do however, inject some of their own charm into it that makes it feel relevant. Two fine cuts of irresistible psychedelic jangle, soulful groovers that reign supreme in their re-imagining of the ’60s.

You can listen to ‘Little To Life’ & ‘My Own Time’ below & both are available to download for FREE, over here.

The Annulments – ‘So Little To Miss’ + Album News

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Formed by friends with a mutual love of old folk, country, blues and soul music, The Annulments are a five-piece group based in Dublin. Made up of Stephen Coyle on guitar and vocals, Claire Fitzgerald; autoharp and vocals, Aoife Ruth; strings and keys, Richard Gill on bass and Niall Colreavy; drums and percussion, their debut LP has been a longtime coming.

Good things come to those who wait, so it’s said at least, and The Annulments debut album, entitled Everything I Lost, is penned for an October release. Their sound flows from a rich source of influences and styles; old Irish and American folk music and the songwriting traditions of balladeers and country and soul songwriters. Informed by these influences, The Annulments debut promises a collection of songs with an eclectic mix of musical styles and lyrical tales, of small towns, big disasters, abandoned dreams and labours lost. It’s an approach which has served them rather well in the past and teaser track, ‘So Little To Miss’, suggests it will continue to do so. ‘So Little To Miss’ is gentle, plucky little number that exemplifies their supreme musicianship and deep, earthy style, as the rich affecting vocals takes centre stage to a backdrop of slowly waltzing, soul and country inflected folk. An absolutely wonderful and timeless track, what The Annulments do best, after all.

You can listen to ‘So Little To Miss’ below and if it is to your liking, you can keep tabs on further details for their forthcoming debut LP, here.

Photo by Dara Munnis Photography.

Mr Huw – ‘Du Llun’ EP

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My affection for Welsh music is pretty well noted and that sung in their native tongue. Welsh is a language that lends itself to music rather well, regardless of whether you can understand it or not. Few, if any artists come close to Mr Huw in those regards, and he’s one of the most prolific and finest Welsh language artists there are.

Now residing in Caernarfon, North Wales, Mr Huw makes his return with a brand new EP, entitled Du Llun (which roughly translates as ‘Black Monday’). Huw’s rough and unpolished, DIY style indie/post-punk has a glorious Half Man Half Biscuit aesthetic to it and Du Llun is packed with powerful rhythms, pointed riffs and broached with some infectious melodies and peppered with hooks you could hang your hat on. From the chugging guitar, menacing bassline and thunderous rhythm of ‘Calonau Ni I Gyd’ to the scintillating riffs of ‘Hoel Dannedd’, we’re treated to irresistible, attention grabbing and intriguing tapestry of dark and light. As is Mr Huw’s forte, this tapestry is completed by subversive, witty lyrics, clever wordplay (so I have been reliably informed) and ear-catching choruses, to form mesmerising and rockin’ indie tunes. Mr Huw’s a unique soul; an artist to be treasured, cherished and of course, enjoyed!

Du Llun is released on August 31st through Recordiau Cae Gwyn as a free download and limited edition CD (25), numbered and signed artwork including unique photo of Mr Huw going about his day in Caernarfon – you can’t say fairer than that, now can you? There are some choice cuts below & you can also listen to Mr Huw’s GruffWuff inclusion – ‘Bai Neb Ond Fy Hun’ – of which you can download the full 19-track compilation here for FREE.

Imploded View – ‘We Choose Love’

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The summer may be drawing to a close but there’s no harm is trying to squeeze the last drop out of it, is there? With that in mind, Imploded View has bounced back into our lives with one of the most undeniably infectious and danceable tunes of the season so far.

The Longford-based producer’s latest effort, ‘We Choose Love’, is a buoyant electro anthem of love and tolerance, permeated with an overwhelmingly gleeful, summery vibe. Through a slick supply of squelchy synths, bouncy beats, glitching electro-pop hooks and soulful vocals, this giddy, funky manifestation espouses an irresistible groove and bounce of sheer joy. Of course, we shouldn’t overlook the message too; it is one of love, inclusion and tolerance, and a not-so-subtle two fingers to the right-wing spreaders of hate. A fine sentiment, and an equally choice tune.

Imploded View is reportedly working on a new record which is certainly good news but for now? Yeah, you guessed it, you can stream ‘We Choose Love’ below. It is also available as a FREE download here.