Competition: The Unusual History of Ether in The Riverbank

The Unusual History of Ether, play The Riverbank , Newbridge next Thursday, November 1st. Having been introduced on the blog last week, The Unusual History of Ether have kindly offered BarryGruff readers the chance to go and enjoy the show in The Riverbank.

There are two tickets up for grabs. No silly questions, just email your name to barrygruff [at] gmail [dot] com with ‘Riverbank’ as the subject title. Winners will be drawn at random and the competition closes at 12:00 on October 30th 2012. 

The Unusual History of Ether is a songwriting partnership between Rebecca Collins and Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug. The fruits of this union is fresh, slightly dark but profoundly beautiful indie pop songs, which are sung with passion, performed with grace and recorded quite beautifully. The Unusual History of Ether do, at times, recall the noir-ish, Gothic parts of Anna Calvi’s irresistible self titled debut from last year. 

Tickets are €10/€12. Doors at 8pm & support comes from the ever brilliant Sive. Here’s a few choice cuts from the band.

Introducing: Coves

Formed less than a year ago, Coves, are a two piece comprised of Rebekah Wood and John Ridgard. The duo already have a tour with Echo & The Bunnymen under their belt and are about to go out on the road with Eugene McGuinness.

Coves’ sound could lazily be classified as indie, but there is in fact, a bit of everything at play here as they explore a dazzling array of styles and colourful textures. Their songs are characterised by busy electronics and an imaginative foray through a whole host of electro-rock, psychedelia, shoegaze and post-punk sounds, with an overlaying of beautiful dreamy vocals from Wood. Coves even find scope to squeeze in some rather striking eastern influences on ‘Cast A Shadow’ and most notably, ‘No Ladder’.

An unmistakably joyous, imaginative and, above all, hugely enjoyable set of songs. Hopefully there is an album before too long.

Coves’ brand new EP Cast A Shadow is out now through and you can pick it up here.

We Are Losers – ‘Salt Lips’

Fuzz pop aficionados, We Are Losers are back with a new single ‘Salt Lips’, accompanied by an acoustic take of ‘Moany’.

We Are Losers have been sitting on ‘Salt Lips’ for ages apparently, recorded for a planned single, they have generously decided to put it out for free. ‘Salt Lips’ is a slice of melodic upbeat indie-pop, complete with infectious choruses and beautiful harmonies, just what we’ve come to expect from Elsted & company. ‘Salt Lips’ is a bit more suited to the summer months than a dreary Monday in October, that said, it is sure to brighten up your day. 

Be sure now to grab both ‘Salt Lips’ & ‘Moany’ for free below.

(Video) Devin – Nineteen

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Having already released his excellent debut album Romancing earlier this year, Devin has followed it up quickly with a brand new single, ‘Nineteen’.

‘Nineteen’ follows a similar trend to that of his album, continuing to embrace the rock ‘n roll days of yesteryear. While much of his debut album was pretty frantic stuff, ‘Nineteen’ displays a softer, more melodic side; it is a slower, ballad-like song. Artist’s who throwback to days of yore are always going to be with us in abundance but Devin sounds sounds passionate and genuine, maybe he was born but perhaps not, ‘Nineteen’ is another fine slice of pop music from the NYC man.

‘Nineteen’ is out October 23rd through Frenchkiss Records.

Introducing: The Unusual History of Ether

The Unusual History of Ether is a songwriting partnership between Irish singer-songwriter Rebecca Collins and Danish guitarist Mikkel Ploug. The two met when playing together at the Dublin Fringe Festival several years ago and forged a musical connection, resulting in ‘The Unusual History of Ether’ and Rebecca relocating to Copenhagen. 

The fruits of coalition are fresh, slightly dark but profoundly beautiful indie pop songs, which are sung with passion, performed with grace and recorded quite beautifully. The Unusual History of Ether do, at times, recall the noir-ish, Gothic parts of Anna Calvi’s irresistible self titled debut from last year; particularly ‘Joshua’. Not a bad thing at all. There is a lot of potential here, especially as it has the potential to unite indie fans and lovers of pop in admiration.

The Unusual History of Ether released their debut EP Part One earlier in the year and have an album coming sometime in next year. Before all that, they will be touring Ireland in October/November, including Dublin’s The Workman’s Club (31/10) & The Riverbank, Newbridge (01/11). Full list of tour dates here

Album of the Week: Knoxville Morning – Knoxville Morning

So, yeah, on the surface the idea of a young man from Newbridge spinning yarns about Austin, New York and New Orleans may sound a bit mmeh. For Ciaran Dwyer, chief songwriter in Band On An Island, it wields a far greater reward than one might expect.

A trip across the US left Dwyer with a collection of songs and stories, of a distinctly different varietyto those of BOAI, and so Knoxville Morning was born. Under this new alias, with Dwyer at the helm, he is joined by fellow BOAI members and the likes of The Mighty Stef, Gavin Elsted (We Are Losers), Brian Gallagher (Humanzi), Stephen Fahey (Super Extra Bonus Party) and Claire Prendergast.

The record amounts to a sweet blend of folk, country and Americana, and while it wears it’s US influences on it’s sleeve, Ciaran’s intuitive storytelling remains a cornerstone, for which the whole album is built on. It flows nicely, without a stale moment, peppered with illuminating trumpets on ‘Knoxville Morning’, ‘Tulsa (m.o.e.)’ and ‘Trumpets’. It is lifted here and there with an added vocal collaboration, especially on the beautifully soulful duet with Prendegast on ‘Baseball Song’, and ‘Alphabet City’ with The Mighty Stef. The album is tainted with an underlying air of mournfulness, not sadness mind, but a lamenting for better days and happier times long since gone. Something everyone can identify with.

Plenty of artists have attempted a project like this, many of which veer on the ridiculous, while some, like The Lost Brothers or Fionn Regan (specifically his second album Shadow of The Empire) found that perfect balance. Knoxville Morning like the latter two is a success, and without a cliche in sight. Knoxville Morning wears it’s heart on it’s sleeve and it maybe shouldn’t work, but it does, and remarkably well too, which is a credit to Dwyer and all involved.

Runaround Kids & The Spills | Split Single

Runaround Kids have joined forces with label mates The Spills for a split release single, ‘Into The Light’/’Atomic Arabian Facebuster’.

The Wakefield trio have been pretty prolific this year, this being their third release of 2012, one of which was a split with our very own We Are Losers. ‘Into The Light’ is a 3-minute bag of fast, fuzzy of guitar rock with big riffs, bubbling bass and lung-bursting vocals. It is addictive, catchy and loud, displaying exactly what they do so well. Meanwhile The Spills offering, ‘Atomic Arabian Facebuster’ is equally addictive. A brilliant blend of noisy somewhat anthemic rock revolving around a chugging riff and screeching vocal, The Wedding Present meets Pavement if you will. An excellent introduction to a previously unfamiliar band

On a side note, Runaround Kids played one of the ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows during the summer, this is only one example of their talent, they’ve got plenty more ammo in the locker (they are top lads too).

The split single is available on limited edition cassette (100 copies) and as a download from here now.