(Video) Ghost Estates – ‘In Your Dreams’

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Dublin 4-piece Ghost Estates have been making top-notch tunes for the past few years and last month they returned with the fantastically catchy ‘In Your Dreams’.

Sitting nicely alongside their previous output, a diverse blend of straight up indie-rock, reach for the sky guitar anthems and new wavey sounds, ‘In Your Dreams’, was a reaffirmation of how very, very good they are, albeit in a more streamlined, honed and refined fashion. While we tentatively await the second album, the band have unveiled a video for latest single, ‘In Your Dreams’. Created by ‘Second Frame Films’, the visual accompaniment is rather impressive and has a heavy Film Noir meets comic book feel to it as the disjointed, dreamlike imagery are blended with the song’s weaving tempo with style. An excellent video to match an equally brilliant track.

You can check it all out below and pick it up from Bandcamp for a cool €1. Fancy catching Ghost Estates live? There are some gig dates after the jump.

Aside from the new video, Ghost Estates have a number of live dates coming up including: support for the amazing The Jesus and Mary Chain in Vicar Street tonight (July 31), a slot at Castlepalooza this weekend (Aug 3) and Getoese in Moese festival in Germany (Aug 16) and support for The Mighty Stef in the Sugar Club, Dublin on Sept 26th.

 

 

Oh Boland/Me and My Dog – ‘Delphi’

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Two of the West of Ireland’s finest indie acts, Tuam’s Oh Boland and Westport’s Me & My Dog, have teamed up for a joyously raucous split release, entitled Delphi. The joint release is brought to you by Dublin-based music collective Popical Island, and comes as a limited edition cassette (and for those of you without a tape deck, as a downloaded via Bandcamp). And the result of this coming together is pretty awesome.

‘Side A’ belongs to Oh Boland and as we’ve found before, they are a band with a pretty clear idea of what their sound achieves. The Tuam trio’s rough, ragged and somewhat abrasive sound borrows from an earthy mix of garage rock, indie, pop and some local guitar flavours, to arrive at an utterly charming and lovable listening experience. From opener ‘Tidy Is’, a rollicking indie rock number with crashing drums and rumbling guitars, they’re sticking to the script set out by their two previous excellent EPs, Oh! and Ho!.  ‘Home Truths’ slows things down a notch, with an ear-catching riff , a fuzz-laden shudder and brooding vocal, they deliver an equally memorable rendition. The remaining tracks stick to a fairly similar script, in a consistent way rather than repetitive one. With every rumbling note their music proves ever more captivating and palatable, as it screeches and howls harmonically as the sheer thrashing nature rings through. Bands of this ilk are relatively rare commodity Ireland and rarely are they so utterly fuckin’ brilliant, which is all the more reason to treasure them.

Over to Side B and it is all about Westport’s Me & My Dog, who lay on us their blend of  infectious surf-pop meets blissful indie-pop, imbued with a heart-warming melodic aesthetic. From the opening sugary-sweet slice of pop that is ‘Change of Mind’, it is hard not to be entirely smitten with their infectious jangle. The rest are equally buzzing, upbeat melodic indie-pop cuts aside from say, ‘I’m Done’, which is permeated by a meandering, listless charm, demonstrating a pertinence for harmony found within their music. It is difficult to pick out any one track for singular praise, such is the consistency throughout. This is undeniable indie-pop brilliance of the highest calibre. 

A very well paired dual offering from Popical Island, with two very promising bands, showing buckets potential. An absolutely cracking release filled with huge quantities of brilliance. You can try out some choice cuts below or pick it up in it’s entirety, from here.

Introducing: Distant Cousin

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Distant Cousin is LA-based electronic producer and multi-instrumentalist, who has just released his promising and stylistically diverse self-titled debut EP.

Both pensively cinematic and reflective, Distant Cousin’s music delves headlong into a textural depth that goes far beyond the constraints of one single genre. Building from a dark rhythmic core, he paves a long and winding path through a chilling hinterland between electronica, techno and even hip-hop. All done with a majestic progression through driven synths, beats and samples mixed with splashes of live instrumentation, that never misses a beat. ‘Floating/Above Nothing’ is a perfect example of his exemplary touch. Opening in bubbling slow-burning fashion, the murky origins are expanded upon by hazy chants, swirling synth and subtle melodic embellishments, chugging relentlessly toward a deep and mysterious well of rich sounds. And bang, we have lift off. A heavy bassline and mutating synthwork laid over a thick bed of bristling percussion as the euphoric underbelly comes to the fore, only relenting to allow the poignant spoken sample ring through. Equally sumptuous is ‘To Realise’, which amid dark samples, rumblings and raps, sees the superb female vocal flourishes kept afloat with some punchy beats and pulsating synthwork. His is work of diversity, but a corner stone for all his triumphs is a knack for inescapably captivating beat and synth work.

It seems rather wrong to single out just two of the four tracks, such is the quality of them all. Needless to say you should make time in your life for his debut EP. Check it here or try a few choice cut below.

Half Time Reflections: Albums Of The Year So Far (2014)

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With over half the year already passed, it is ripe time for some half-time reflection on the many albums that have preoccupying my attention so far in 2014. As it is well overdue there is no need to waste and more time, here they are, in all their glory!

Sleaford Mods – ‘Divide & Exit’

Lo-fi English punk duo of Jason Williamson and Andrew Fearn are Sleaford Mods, who’ve been grunting through gritted teeth since ’08. With their new album, Divide & Exit, they deliver a clever, often funny, foul mouthed and angry record, overloaded with attitude as their gripes and grievances with modern Britain (and beyond) are vehemently aired. Chief rabble-rouser, Williamson is both scathing and sardonic, who airs his many gripes and grievances, with a combination of vitriolic anger and acerbic wit. An extremely clever wordsmith, his righteous and infectious rantings are as quotable as Half Man Half Biscuit. You could argue forever as to what line in the gold-standard song is the greatest. This extremely clever wordplay is strewn among grimey beats and wiry post-punk guitars from Fearn. While owing as much to hip-hop and grime as to post-punk, and could be seen to be the the modern inheritors of the brilliance of Mark E Smith, The Streets, Shaun Ryder and HMHB. While there are traces of those artists here, there is, and never has been anything quite like Sleaford Mods. Top fucking class.

The Horrors – ‘Luminous’

On their fourth LP, The Horrors continue to refine sophisticated and colourful sound. The synthesisers are more to the fore, and a noticeably greater influence from electronic and dance music but without ever quite adapting dance-music tempos. The darkness which marks much of their previous work seems to have abated, except for Faris Badwan recoginzable brooding croon, replaced by a late ’80s tingle of euphoria, mellow synth sounds and a bouncy back-beats to create pulsating, danceable psychedelia. The Horrors are light years ahead of anyone else of the ‘indie guitar music’ canon. Tune in, drift away in this bliss of colourful groove.

Gruff Rhys – ‘American Interior’

After concept albums about a wealthy Italian Trotskyite, an eccentric car designer, and a movie in search of lost Welsh tribes in Argentina, nothing should surprise us when it comes to Super Furry Animals frontman Gruff Rhys. His fourth solo album is inspired by a recent discovery that he’s a descendent of John Evans, an 18th-century explorer, who mapped the Missouri river in a vain search for a mythical, Welsh-speaking American tribe. Concept aside, this record shares certain similarities with his previous work, cooking up lush pop songs with more immersive and introspective fare, beautiful orchestral moments and even a couple of more surreal, out-there moments. From the title track, the mournfully mesmerising ‘American Interior’ and it’s expansive, slightly melancholic rock with an infectious melody at its heart, to the rumbling rockabilly of ‘100 Unread Messages’ on synth-splashed carnival tune ‘The Whether (Or Not)’ we’re treated to exemplary spectrum of his talents. American Interior reminds us how captivating a storyteller Rhys is, who wistfully spins wonderful narratives of being carried through new worlds and visions, and only adds to the particular idiosyncratic charm that this Welshman personifies.

Malachai – ‘Beyond Ugly’

Malachai‘s latest effort, Beyond Ugly serves as a closing chapter to the Bristol duo’s ‘Ugly’ triptych, an unplanned trilogy of albums and pre-dated by the excellent Ugly Side of Love (2010) and Return to the Ugly Side (2011). Beyond Ugly is enjoyable as a standalone record if you’re unfamiliar with the previous two. It’s an imaginative journey through controlled chaos which seamlessly flits between trip-hop, hip-hop, acoustic folk, ’60s psychedelia, dance-funk and XTRMNTR era Primal Scream doses of aggressive political anger within the same breath. Expect to witness lavish sonic mayhem and delicate, thought-provoking moments on love, loss, life, politics and society. Vacuous it isn’t, there’s quite a bit of substance behind the aural salvo. A fitting conclusion to this unlikely of trilogies, saying that, hopefully it isn’t the last we’ve heard from Malachai.

Coves – ‘Soft Friday’

There are plenty of bands of Coves‘ ilk about at the moment – boy-girl duo, spectral vocals, ’60s psychedelic influences, dreamy synths – but they are in a class of their own and their debut, Soft Friday, casts a chilling spell. Swirling psychedelia is met with sweeping grandeur, as Wood’s mellifluous cooing floats above as driving riffs mingle with propulsive electro beats, drones and flickers of electronics, in a gentle whirlpool of shimmering psychedelic and glacial atmospherics. Soft Friday is a fine debut. Atmospheric, distinctive and very enjoyable, and a worthy inclusion in any record collection.

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Lizzie And The Yes Men – ‘Walk Alone’

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After a number of contagious singles, a la ‘The Boardwalk‘ & ‘Deserts‘, Lizzie And The Yes Men are back with a brand new single ‘Walk Alone’. And it offers a little bit of a different side to the London based quartet. 

‘Walk Alone’ is the title track from their upcoming EP and while previous releases tended toward the catchy and infectious, their latest offering is conversely something more sullen and down-tempo. It is imbued with a rather weary and mournful disposition, filled with woe and a supreme emotional weight. Amidst the gentle strum, hum of bass and soft gloomy percussion the alluring vocals from lead singer Lizzie stand tallest, she delivers her most powerful and emotional vocal performance to date. A stunning, if somewhat different display from Lizzie and her Yes Men.  

The Walk Alone EP is out on August 4th through New York label ‘100M Records’. You can try the title track out for size below.