New Tracks from Sliab Cuinciu: ‘Tricks’ & ‘Stay Gold’


Sliab Cuinciu has been, in my humble opinion, the finest new electronic producer to emerge from these shores in 2013.

The 24-year-old Wicklow beatmaker’s 8-track collection, ####, released earlier this year was pure gold; a spellbinding mix embracing all things hip hop, synth pop, disco and a wealth of electronic music, as well as soul, funk and rock. Yes, yes, all great you say but what of now? Well, the good news is Sliab Cuinciu has returned with two new jams, ‘Tricks’ and the aptly titled ‘Stay Gold’, and it looks as though there’s no chance of dropping the standard any time soon. Both tracks are smooth, cool as fuck hip-hop inspired electronic tunes, permeated entirely with a serious feelgood vibe. ‘Tricks’ bounces along some of the funkiest beats and bass you hear this side of the ’70s, it’s so irresistibly infectious. ‘Stay Gold’ meanwhile, has much more of a daydream quality, taking us on a tranquil wander through a land of ’80s synths and drums, much more indebted to the early days of hip hop. In short; two tunes as cool and refreshing as a breeze on a scorching hot summers day.  

You can listen / download (free) to both ‘Tricks’ & ‘Stay Gold’ below. And if you’re liking what’s on offer, you should definitely check out ####, it is available gratis from bandcamp.

Introducing: Cave Story


Regular visitors to the blog will be well aware of my penchant for music with a quirky, playful psychedelic underbelly, and Portuguese quartet Cave Story, are yet another case in point. 

Cave Story have released an EP of three demos, offering proof of their credentials as virtuoso’s of this joyful style. The EP is a rollicking, breathtaking romp through bygone eras, bringing to mind classic band after classic band while conjuring up a modern and original take of their own. Opener, ‘Crystal Surf’ has a dark, ominous post-punk vibe whilst ‘Martin Stellar’ embraces this sound but sees the band experiment with playful keys and echoey vocals. The standout of the bunch is ‘Ghost Steps’, a stomping psych-garage number. It contains the obvious protrusion of a ‘6os infatuation with echoes of the psychedelic-era Small Faces, the Kinks circa Village Green Preservation Society and more recently, The Bees. Three very contrasting yet equally wonderful demos from Cave Story but one thing is for sure, their next move should be eagerly awaited.

You can sample some choice cuts from the EP below or pop over to bandcamp, ‘name your price’ and download it. 

(Video) Knoxville Morning – ‘Lighthouse Song’


Knoxville Morning‘s excellent self-titled debut album came out a little over a year ago, and ‘Lighthouse Song’ is the latest track to be taken from their debut.

The Knoxville Morning project was inspired by a trip around the USA by chief troublemaker Ciaran Dwyer, which resulted in an album of sweet folk, country and Americana. With the release of ‘Lighthouse Song’, they like us it seems, are still getting plenty of mileage out of the record. ‘Lighthouse Song’ is one of the high points from the LP; a sweet, tender ballad of friendship, tipping gently along delicate acoustic strumming. It really is such a beautiful little song. To accompany the track, there’s a video from Colm Russell and Richard Strearn (the former is the man behind the Biggles Fly Again & Anderson videos), who’ve come up trumps with some superb and stylish visual action.

Check out ‘Lighthouse Song’ below and if you have the time, why not give Knoxville Morning’s album a bit of attention here.

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(Video) Telegram – ‘Follow’


While only formed in the last year, London four-piece Telegram, have already caused a bit of a stir across the water, and on the evidence of their debut single ‘Follow’, it’s easy to see why.

Sure, psychedelia is very ‘in’ at the moment (it’s never been ‘out’ in my humble opinion) but ‘Follow’ is one of the finest, and savage blasts of tripped-out psych-punk you’re likely to hear. There’s a phenomenal sense of urgency, with riffs that hurtle past at break neck speed, whirring reverberations, droning motorik propulsion and laden with post-punk-esque energy. For want of a better description, it sounds like Toy meets early Maximo Park and there’s nothing wrong with that. Hopefully there’s more where this came from sooner rather than later.

‘Follow’ is out now w/ ‘Under The Night Time’ on the band’s own label, GramGram. You can watch their retro-fused video below and listen to ‘Follow’ below, and then listen to it again. 


Gaz Coombes – ‘Buffalo’


For former Supergrass man Gaz Coombes, going solo it seems, has freed him up somewhat and allowed for an exploration of more imaginative ideas. Yet, that knack for crafting ear catching melodies remains a cornerstone of everything he does.  

While some latter Supergrass sounded tired and laboured at times, with Coombes now going it alone, the creative juices are certainly flowing and he sounds reinvigorated. His debut solo album from last year, Here Come The Bombs suggested as much, and his latest single ‘Buffalo’ does much to add to such an assumption. In fact, it sounds as though he’s flexing his muscles a lot more, as bleepy and spaced out electronics explode around his powerful impassioned vocals and solemn piano bursts, with a series of changing verse and chorus rhythms soar to epic heights. Coombes has found a balance between incisive songwriting, his ear for a melody and will to sail to new territory.

Currently tucked away in a studio, working on his second solo album, ‘Buffalo’ is a timely and emphatic reminder of just what a supreme talent Gaz Coombes is.

Ciaran Lenehan – ‘Control’


It seems like an eternity since Ciaran Lenehan released his debut EP, It’s Never Too Late, in the summer of 2011. Lenehan’s debut album might have been a long time coming but the Dublin singer/songwriter will release These Stories on November 15th.

Ahead of the album’s forthcoming release, Lenehan has unveiled ‘Control’, as a taste of what to expect. ‘Control’ is an upbeat and bright acoustic driven folk song, all washed with a hint of pop, and juxtaposed by lyrics surrounding the trials and tribulations of losing one’s way in the mundanity of everyday life. What we’re left with is a thoughtful, eloquent and incredibly catchy first taste from his new LP. Lenehan has been a firm favourite around these parts for some time, so needless to say, November 15th can’t come quick enough.

You can stream / download ‘Control’ below. These Stories is released on November 15th, with a launch show on November 16th in The Pint, on Eden Quay.  

(Video) Bright Young People – ‘Liberties’


You how some bands just crack a sound perfectly, right? Well, that’s the case with Bright Young People, who’ve completely sussed out the whole sleazy rock ‘n roll vibe. 

This fuzzed up Welsh trio sound as though they’re channelling everyone and everything from The Stooges, The Jesus and Mary Chain to B.R.M.C. or Velvet Underground. Their debut single ‘Liberties’, captures what they are all about perfectly; sleazy riffs, meet intense howling vocals, pummelling beats and persuasive melodies, and all washed with a rather catchy pop sensibility. This is dirty rock ‘n roll of the finest quality, with more than it’s fair share of grit, swagger, sass and armed with a serious groove. This is a band not short on promise, hope we’ll be hearing plenty more from them before too long.

‘Liberties’ is out now. You can check it out below along with the older ‘Devil’s Pinch’, to prove it’s not just a one off thing. 

Guest Post: Johnny Feeney Picks 3 Albums – Fuck Buttons, Big Deal & London Grammar


The ever reliable Johnny Feeney is back once again with another guest post about three albums that have caught his attention. With that I leave you in Johnny’s very capable hands.

Fuck Buttons – ‘Slow Focus’

Despite, rather surprisingly, Fuck Buttons playing the London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony last year and getting a taste for a wider audience, there’s still no fear of this Bristol electronic duo attempting to go even remotely mainstream on record. Slow Focus, their third studio album and follow up to 2009’s brilliant Tarot Sport, is a much darker affair than its predecessor. The album opens with ‘Brainfreeze’, an eight and a half minute barrage of relentless, bludgeoning electronica, and rarely lets off. ‘Year of the Dog’ is a deeply unsettling piece of work with its slowly-building-but-never-quite-getting-there synths and off-kilter strings, while the brilliantly sinister ‘Sentients’ pulses along menacingly. The closing 20-minute salvo of tracks ‘Stalker’ and ‘Hidden XS’ just may be the aural equivalent of getting attacked with a sledgehammer – but don’t let that put you off. The music is bleak, repetitive and hypnotic throughout and may not be to everyone’s taste. The longer and louder you listen to this album the more it reveals itself, and is well worth the effort.

Big Deal – ‘June Gloom’

For their second album, the London-based Californian duo return with a more fleshed out sound and more bite to their songs –the band had no rhythm section on their debut – and are much the better for it. Primarily an indie-pop/rock record, the boy-girl pair of Alice Costelloe & Kacey Underwood’s overlaid vocals nicely complement each other, while the music is breezy and catchy. This was released back in June and has a real summertime feel to it. The dreamy, upbeat tracks such as the rousing ‘In Your Car’ and ‘Call and I’ll Come’ effortlessly pull you in with their infectious hooks while the duo show they can also slow it down to excellent effect with the beautiful ‘Pristine’. Album highlight ‘Teradactol’ is a rockier affair with its dirgy guitars and snapping percussion but doesn’t veer too far from the template. The album tails off somewhat in the final third but still has its moments. All in all a fine attempt and hopefully a sign of better things to come.

London Grammar – ‘If You Wait’

It would be almost impossible to talk about British trio London Grammar without making some sort of comparison to the XX. Their band makeups are the same (one girl, two guys) and they both specialise in minimal, slightly haunting pop but, in vocalist Hannah Reid, London Grammar have a much more commanding vocal presence although she keeps herself restrained through much of this. The album opens with the delightful, sparse ‘Hey Now’ and is a sign of the pleasures that are to follow. The supreme ‘Wasting My Young Years’ opens beautifully with melancholy strings, delicate pianos and shimmering guitars before slowly building and easing off, building and easing off. The brilliant ‘Strong’ lopes along wonderfully with a solitary guitar line and stuttering percussion. The closing title track is a spellbinding masterclass in understated, stripped back beauty showcasing Reid’s vocals at their most potent. A superb debut album and one that proves once again that, sometimes, less is more.