Laura Gibson – ‘La Grande’

Oregon songstress Laura Gibson will be releasing her new album La Grande on January 9th through City Slang.

This is her first release since 09’s Beasts of Seasons and while we have to wait a little longer for the album we have the title track, ‘La Grande’, to tide us over till then. It is a seductive song with a galloping pace adding a rather rambling ‘rawhide’ and western frontier feel to it. 

I, for one, can’t wait to hear more in the new yearStream / download ‘La Grande’ below.

Download: Laura Gibson – La Grande

Top 5 new artists of 2011 / Ones to Watch

Photo: John Squires

One of my favourite things about music blogging is the steady stream of new and exciting music that comes my way. You never know what awaits you in your inbox each day or what might be found on another favourite blog. This year has been littered with some really impressive new and emerging artists, bands and acts – too many to be fair so bare with me and I indulge myself in yet another list, this time my top five new / breakthrough artists from 2011.

Gorilla Warfare Tactics

New York trio Gorilla Warfare Tactics broke through this year capturing the imagination of many hip-hop fans with their debut EP, Premier. The EP and subsequent singles saw them embrace the essence of old-school hip-hop, pitting Kid Dilla’s flowing verses with CakeXCrumbs’ old-school soul samples and head-nodding, bouncy beats into smooth feel good hip hop. Original beats and classic street level rap, GWT are one of the most promising hip hop acts I’ve heard in some time.

 Gorilla Warfare Tactics – The Tale of Mr. Street via ClarkWill47

By The Sea

Wirral 6-piece By The Sea come from arguably one of the richest sources of musical talent in the world, Merseyside. Their prodigious talent made itself known through the release of a slew of sublime singles in 2011. Their shimmering heart warming indie-goodness is steeped in 60′s psychedelia, as they channel in very different ways, parts The Byrds, The Coral and Shack with a joyous amalgam of lush breezy harmonies and summertime haziness. With talk of a record in 2012 we could be in for a treat.

 Download: By The Sea – Old Coasts


It has been a big year for Portadown-born hip-hop producer SertOne, who’s debut EP The View From Above received widespread and deserved praise this year. It introduced us to his undoubted talent and skillful weaving of an electronic patchwork which combines his obvious hip-hop influences with his own unique qualities and ear for fresh electronic and hip-hop beats and silky samples. His live show impressed me too as did the release free album WIDTSThis guy is destined for a very bright future.

 SertOne – Astro-Bazaar

King Krule

King Krule (formerly known as Zoo Kid) is the moniker of London teenager Archy Marshall, who made quite an impression under both pseudonyms this year. His musical style falls somewhere between that of Billy Bragg and Jamie T. It is melancholic yet warm, assured and always sounds wise beyond his tender age of 17. The King Krule EP was released in November and established this standard. Sounding like a combination of two of my favourite artists, I’m expecting big things for KK in the future.

 King Krule – Portrait In Black & Blue


It has been a remarkable year for 18 year old Newbridge native Moths, AKA Jack Colleran, who’s chilled electronica sent blogs across the world buzzing with excitement. There’s little else to be written which hasn’t been already said about the guy. His music is as simple as it is slick, it is super chilled, fresh and organic sounding electronic jams. Now signed, the next year is going to very interesting for this very talented young man.

Download: Moths – Jimmy Francis

Introducing: Tennis System

LA’s Tennis System cite an abiding love for Sonic Youth, My Bloody Valentine and the Jesus and Mary Chain as their major musical influences. It is hardly surprising that their sound draws huge comparisons to these and other modern contemporaries too.

Not simply a homage to what has gone before, the foursome carefully add an injection of  their own personality and a mish-mash of flavours to create enthralling reverb-drenched noise-pop. It is relentless, noisy and distorted, but shimmers with warmth and a melodious allure – well worth a moment of your time.

Back in October they released their debut album, Teenagers. You can stream / buy it on Bandcamp.

Tennis System – Hey, We Tried

Tennis System – Arcane

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Video: Major Lazer – Original Don ft. The Partysquad

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Its good to have Major Lazer and their big beat electronic dance-hall back once again. If you liked what they’ve done before on debut album Guns Don’t Kill People… Lazers Do, you will love ‘Original Don’. it also comes with a pretty random video which plays like an extended edition or homage to the vital hit ‘Jihan Sword Dancing‘. 

A brand new album from the duo is currently scheduled for release in 2012.

Mixtape: BarryGruff’s Irish Songs of 2011

2011 has been a great year for Irish music, there has been a fantastic amount of great albums, EPs, songs and shows. It has been particularly good year for new and breakthrough artists with the likes of Sertone, Moths, REID, We Are Losers, Girl Band and Monto all impressing so much. Irish music is alive, well and more diverse and vibrant than ever.

Instead on doing a straightforward list of my favourite Irish songs from the past 12 months I’ve gone with a mixtape again. I only hope I do it and 2011 justice, and that you enjoy this as much as I did putting it together. The tracklisting is after the jump.

Download: BarryGruff’s Irish Songs of 2011 Mixtape

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The Cast Of Cheers – ‘Family’

The Cast Of Cheers have returned with their first new music since releasing free album Chariot, early last year, clocking up some 150,000 downloads in the process.

Their return was announced pretty spectacularly with Zane Lowe playing ‘Family’ twice, back to back, on BBC Radio1 last week. ‘Family’ is a rhythmic beast packed full of driving beats, catchy riffs and a ton of energy; shades of The Futureheads or Maximo Park to this one too. Their forthcoming second album is due sometime early next year and was produced by Luke Smith

Surely it’s fair to say that we’ll be hearing plenty of The Cast Of Cheers in the coming weeks and months, you can listen to ‘Family’ below now.

 The Cast Of Cheers – Family 

Django Django – ‘Default’

Django Django spent most of 2011 hidden away working on their debut album and last week they announced it will be released via Because Music on January 30th.

This is great news obviously but it got even better, the band also released a brand new single ‘Default’. It sticks with the essence of what the Django’s have been doing, mixing tribal, rockabilly and electro grooves topped off with some alluring harmonies to create a truly unique sound.

This is yet another fantastically catchy cut from the Djangos and I for one am really excited to hear their debut album in the new year.

 Django Django – Default