The Vickers – ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’

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We were introduced the alluring sounds of Italian psych rockers The Vickers this summer, through their dreamy single, ‘She’s Lost’. 

The Florence based four-piece are back, signing off on 2013 with new single, ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’. They’re ploughing a similar furrow as before, taking us on a winding and colourful journey through dreamy psych fuzz with a touch of casual darkness, towards a lost, far-out, echoey region. It’s an irrepressibly cool sound speckled with moments of hallucinatory beauty. In other Vickers related news, their debut LP, Ghosts, is due out in March 2014, with both this and the previous single featuring. If the singles to date are any indication, this should be an album to keep an eye out for.

Until then, you can check out ‘I Don’t Know What It Is’ and it’s tripped-out visual companion below.

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Introducing: Seazoo

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In their relatively short life as a band – since April 2013 – North Walian three-piece Seazoo have certainly made a lasting impression (on me for a start).  

Seazoo and their multifarious concoction of charming, sprightly indie-pop, have impressed time and time again, at regular intervals throughout the year. Their music is a colourful, curious and smile inducing mix of guitar and keyboard noise, delightful fuzz and smiley melodies; infectious doesn’t even cover the half of it. Take for ‘Bumbler’ example, it harbors all the curious, quirky and beautiful pop goodness akin to Village Green era The Kinks, and that is not an exaggeration. ‘No Wrenching of Guts This Time’ on the other hand, while no less impressive, offers an off-kilter and heart-swelling kind of garage pop, of say Gorky’s meets Pavement. These are just utterly loveable tunes, with so much unrestrained vitality, as this Wrexham trio push their creative license to the fore. In short: Seazoo are a band to be treasured and enjoyed.

Hopefully we hear plenty more from Seazoo in 2014 but until then, there’s a few choice cuts below, for your aural pleasure. 

Best of 2013 w/ Stephen Connelly of Sea Area Forecast & Knoxville Morning

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It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to Stephen Connelly from Knoxville Morning and Sea Area Forecast, and of course an intrinsic part of the BarryGruff shows, to share his picks from 2013.

Favourite Album of 2013: Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds – ‘Push The Sky Away’

Cave saved ‘Body & Soul’ festival for me this year. More laptops than people. In the midst of a heavily electronic based festival, Cave storms the stage and knocks everyone on their arses. Reminding those that might have forgotten that live rock ‘n roll doesn’t fuck around. Great hearing the classics but it’s his new songs that stood out for me. A beautiful spacious sound that hasn’t appeared on any their previous albums. My love for The Bad Seeds stems from the darkness of Caves lyrics mirrored in their music. ‘Push the Sky Away’ does this but on the opposite scale using minimalistic approach. The loss of guitarist Mick Harvey has left a huge gap, in turn though allowing Warren Ellis to run a muck with his soundscapes which I’m all for. As far as the lyrics go, Cave has never been so on the ball. Stand out tracks for me -‘Higgs Boson Blues’, ‘Mermaids’ and ‘We Real Cool’.

Other albums you might learn something from. I haven’t, but you might: Waxahatchee – ‘Cerulean Salts’, The Depravations – ‘ Onwards, Westwards’, Death Grips – ‘Government Plates’, The National – ‘Trouble Will Find Me’, Bill Callahan – ‘Dream River’, Perfume Genius – ‘Put Your Back N 2 It’.

 

Favourite Song of 2013: Mogwai – ‘The Lord Is Out of Control’.

Surprised myself with this one but it was a toss up between this and a couple of King Krule jams. I’ve been watching a French show called ‘Les Revenants’ that has an incredible eerie soundtrack by Mogwai. This is the only other song I’ve heard by them and it’s amazing. Even the video alone is stunning.

 

Favourite Irish Song of 2013: There’s too much good shit happening to pick just one…

Oisin McCole – ‘Not For Your Heart’

I should be sick of listening to this song by now but it still sounds fresh even after a bazillion plays.

Oh Boland – ‘Mouthpiece’

Seen these guys play a fair bit over the last year and their live shows always deliver. Energetic garage pop rock from Tuam of all fucking places. Their onstage enthusiasm is everything I love about live music.

Rory Hughes – ‘Woe Is Me’

Just listen to that voice. Incredible!

 

Best of 2013 w/ Cormac Brady

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It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling lists, lists and more lists. Last year I asked bands and artists who’d played ‘BarryGruff Presents’ shows to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2013′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2013′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. After another successful year of shows, why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to Cormac Brady and his rule breaking picks from 2013. 

Favourite album of 2013:

Thanks to Barry for asking me to write this piece again this year. Also I hope he accepts my back hander and lets me bend the rules a bit. It’s hard to pick one record, so here are twelve. Rules? RULES MEAN NOTHING TO ME

Savages – Silence Yourself
Steve Mason – Monkey Minds in the Devils Time
Run the Jewels – Run the Jewels
Queens of the Stone Age – Like Clockwork
Danny Brown – Old
Death Grips – Government Plates
Juana Molina – Wed 21
Boards of Canada – Tomorrow’s Harvest
Arctic Monkeys – AM
Moderat – II
Halves – Boa Howl
Dancing Suns – Goldmine

If I had to pick one over the rest, it would be Run the Jewels because I’ve listened to it the most. It’s a quality rap album. Killer Mike and El-P have all the charisma of an old school rap duo like PE, and they keep it original too.

Favourite Song of 2013:

I’m torn apart picking one tune, so I’ve had to pick three. Rules? FUCK YOU AND YOUR RULES

One: Savages – City’s Full. This band tore Electric Picnic a new arsehole back in September. I regularly stick the earphones in and play this tune over and over again at deafening volumes.

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Two: Mount Kimbie – Made to Stray. I think I’ve listened to this tune eight hundred million times.

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Three: Danny Brown – Lonely. I love this lad’s ability to balance honesty and insanity in his records. He’s a true artist. This track a little glimpse of the emotional depth his music can carry.

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Favourite Irish song of 2013: Mmoths – ‘All These Things (feat. Holly Miranda)’

This tune is a perfect collaboration. Mmoths – All These Things (feat. Holly Miranda)

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Wayfarer – ‘Dusk On The Green Bus Line’

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Wayfarer are a folk trio – Sam Devlin, Rachel Boland and Dan Shanahan – based in or around the Newbridge area. 

The name may seem familiar, apart from the famous eye wear, Wayfarer have played a few of the BarryGruff shows, wooing many an audience member in the process. Anyway, the past while they have been busy in the studio working on their debut EP, of which ‘Dusk On The Green Bus Line’ is a first taste. It is a rather lovely, nay beautiful sounding country folk jam, with a real late night / earlier morning ponderous vibe going on. The lead vocal and harmonies are especially alluring to the ears, and equally memorable. There’s no firm date for the release of their EP but ‘Dusk On The Green Bus Line’ is more than enough to tide us over till then.

You can stream/download ‘Dusk On The Green Bus Line’ below.