Sina. – ‘All Alone’

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Irish producer Sina. introduced himself with his debut EP, From Love To Dust a few years ago – and the Belfast native is back with another exquisite effort in ‘All Alone’.

Sina., AKA Barry Gordon, continues to demonstrate a seemless ability to afford diversity in his sound, finding space to encompass all manner of genres. Blurring the lines between bass music, down tempo soul, hip hop and drum&bass, he manages to forge a glitching, entrancing and bewitching sound. ‘All Alone’ pops and clicks as it smoothly unfurls with dripping percussion and engulfing vocal snippets, to an almost three minutes of entrancing glitchy blissfulness. To complete the full package, ‘All Alone’ is accompanied by three reworked and re-imagined versions from Fybe, Silent Dust & Sun Glitters. Of the three offerings, Fybe’s ‘All Alone (One:Remix)’ is the standout – a lively surge of pops, clicks and rattles are blissed-out further to heavenly new reaches. Another fine bit of work from one of Ireland’s surprisingly overlooked producers, strange one that.

‘All Alone’ is out now via None60. You can give it and Fybe’s remix the once over below. Enjoy!

Guest Post: Johnny Feeney Picks 3 Albums – [St Vincent, Real Estate & Eagulls]

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The ever knowledgeable (and the guy largely responsible for the relocated and revamped site) Johnny Feeney frequently pops up on the blog to share some albums which are catching his eye. So here are three albums have caught his attention, thanks as ever to Johnny and with that I leave you in his very capable hands.

St Vincent – ‘St Vincent’

Now on her fourth solo studio album, Annie Clark, aka St Vincent, returns with a collection of tight, muscular, finely wrought art-rock/pop songs brimming with intent. Clark has never seemingly been short of musical ideas but her songwriting here seems to have gone up a level or two since her previous solo album, 2011’s Strange Mercy. Perhaps her collaboration with David Byrne on 2012’s Love This Giant has given her renewed confidence to dare to be bolder. Whatever it was, it has certainly worked.

‘Huey Newton’ explodes from a slightly plodding mid-tempo number into a stomping rocker with Clark’s riotous, squelching guitars and snarling vocals. ‘Digital Witness’ is the album centrepiece – a blast of skronking horns, funk guitars and an incredibly catchy chorus. There is also some great electro-rock in the form of the menacing ‘Bring Me Your Loves’ and the dreamy ‘Psychopath’. Another gem from the consistently excellent Clark.

Real Estate – ‘Atlas’

New Jersey indie rockers Real Estate returned earlier this year with their third album ‘Atlas’, not veering too far from the style of their earlier work. Their trademark breezy, multi-layered guitars and woozy lyrics are prevalent throughout with meandering guitar solos making for seriously easy listening. The instrumental ‘April’s Song’ is spellbinding while the jangling ‘Crime’ is an album highlight.

Lyrically it’s a little bit darker in places than normal, but even the melancholic nostalgia of ‘Past Lives’ (“I can not come back to this neighbourhood, Without feeling my own age”) or ‘Crime’ (“Toss and turn all night, don’t know how to make it right, crippling anxiety”) is accompanied by such gorgeous, weaving guitars it’s hard to feel glum. Real Estate have always been a summertime band and this is truly a summertime album – a perfect backdrop to barbecue and a beer in the sunshine, but a great album in its own right.

Eagulls – ‘Eagulls’

Eagulls, the five-piece post-punk band from Leeds, certainly know how to make a racket. On their self-titled debut album the songs are loaded with anger as vocalist George Mitchell rages and Tom Kelly’s bass pulsates relentlessly. Thankfully, amid all the clatter, it’s quickly discernible that they also have an ear for a quality tune. It’s a welcome change of pace from the middle of the road indie rock bands that are getting all the radio play. They may be from the same town, but Kaiser Chiefs these are not.

It might take a few listens to untangle the layers of guitar, bass and vocals but it’s certainly worth the effort. The effervescent ‘Yellow Eyes’ gallops along breathlessly. ‘Tough Luck’ sizzles with its mazy guitars and infectious hooks. There are also elements of shoegaze and psychedelic rock on here – ‘Possessed’ channels My Bloody Valentine, while ‘Soulless Youth’ wouldn’t sound out of place played by Primary Colours-era the Horrors. Refreshingly exhilarating.

Imploded View – ‘Withering Lights’

Imploded View 2014

Since his emergence on the scene in 2011, Imploded View (AKA Jerome McCormick) has proven to be a reliable resource of exciting, experimental and interesting electronic music.

McCormick too, has been one of Ireland’s most prolific producers, if somewhat overlooked or under-appreciated (call it what you will), with two albums, Picnics with Pylons (2012) & Anomaly Domine (2013) , a couple of EPs and a scattering of singles. All that said, his new single ‘Withering Lights’ is one of his finest moments to date. It’s a tad different to what he’s done before, yet still quite similar too, especially McCormick’s preference for analogue synths and tape machines. ‘Withering Lights’ is gentle, elegant and immersive. It sprightly pops and bubbles through a world lacking cares or worries, arrived at along a light and airy, hypnotic groove. One of his most outstanding works so far. Marvelous.

Anyone off to Phase One Festival in Carrick-on-Shannon this weekend? You catch Imploded View on Sunday Saturday. Check out ‘Withering Lights’ below & you can pick it up from here.

BarryGruff Unplugged #4: Jinx Lennon + Appo :: Thursday, April 24th :: The Liffey Studio, Newbridge

Jinx Lennon Newbridge 2014 Liffey Studio

So, we’re back with part four of the series on Thursday, April 24th, and we welcome the legendary Jinx Lennon and Appo to the intimate surroundings of The Liffey Studio, Newbridge.

To say we’re excited by this one would be putting it mildly. At the beginning, before we’d organised a gig, Stevie & I sat down to ponder what we could do, during this pipe dream exercise there were maybe three acts we agreed ‘had’ to play. Jinx Lennon was one of them and why not? Jinx is an absolute genius, a national treasure and rightly described by Christy Moore as the most important Irish singer/songwriter in the past 10 years.

Jinx Lennon is the epitome of a modern folk singer influenced by post punk and hip hop. Awkward and real, raw and righteous in his mode, he comes out of the northeast lost province of Oriel armed with songs to blow apart the chains in your heads. Songs about kicking against the bullshit of life .Whether it’s played on a one string guitar or sampled disco beat and raw garage noise and blues – Jinx’s music is sure to make the atoms on your skin surface vibrate externally for eternity. Jinx is currently in his HQ working on songs for next album working title ‘Keep Sane In The World of Eager Smiling Pricks’.

Support comes from Newbridge’s very own diamond in the rough, Appo, a one man bluesy-folk explosion. The gravelly voiced troubadour has also been busy in the studio working on a new album.

BarryGruff Unplugged #4: Jinx Lennon + Appo | Thursday, April 24th, The Liffey Studio, 1 Main Street, Newbridge, Co. Kildare (Above Johnson’s Pub) – Doors 7:30 | Admission: €8/€10.

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Metronomy – ‘Love Letters’ (Soulwax Remix)

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If there is one name that garners intrigue and excitement when it comes to remixes, it’s Soulwax. And of course, this isn’t without merit, Soulwax never disappoint.

For the guts of 10 years or so their’s is a name which has become synonymous with top notch reworks, so it comes as no surprise that their remix of Metronomy’s new single ‘Love Letters’ is nothing short of brilliant. Their rework retains the best bits of the original, the elegance and smooth soul-infused allure, only to be transformed into disco-funk dancefloor filler with a a heavy hypnotic bassline. From the mild opening with frantic tapping of typewriters to the jazzy horn solo toward the conclusion, this is pure and divine disco hypnosis.

Check Soulwax’s rework below and Listen to Metronomy’s Love Letters on Spotify.