Introducing: Setline

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Setline, real name Steve Cash, is an Irish Electronic Musician, from Dublin.

Self-recording, producing and performing all the comprising elements in his home studio, he recently released a five track debut EP, These Thieving Streets. Encompassing a wide ranging blend of instrumentation, incorporating varying elements of acoustic and electronic performance, with digital a dash of manipulation; the outcome of which is simply gorgeous. Linking an airy whoosh, rhythmic surges and melodic hooks with the some understated electronic beats to create rather chilled, tranquil dance tracks. Taking all the aforementioned fragments, ‘Speckled’, his pièce de résistance, is a gentle, twinkly and breezy tune which harnesses some sumptuous strings and harp, that work ever so well with the electronic beats. ‘Are We Broken’ meanwhile, is built from a woozy base of squelchy sounds and some light keys, and it sees an injection of increased energy into this mix of understated tranquillity. A fine introduction indeed, and in other news, currently, Setline is studiously writing and recording a debut album, which will be released in 2015.

You can sample some choice cut from These Thieving Streets below or

The Lost Brothers – ‘Little Angel’

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Having already released their wonderful fourth album New Songs Of Dawn and Dust this year, The Lost Brothers are seeing out 2014 in quite some style, with the release of a rather fetching charity Christmas single, ‘Little Angel’.

Beginning life as a rough demo recorded in Portland seven years ago, it remained in The Lost Brothers’ locker until inspiration hit earlier this year while crossing the Irish Sea during a rocky winter storm. Out came the guitars and the remaining verses and choruses were written in one sitting. It was recorded with Sean Coleman at Gavin Glass’s Orphan Studios in Dublin with The Frames’ Graham Hopkins recruited on drums, Michael Buckley and Ronan Dooney on brass, and Keith Farrell on bass, with The Lost Brothers taking care of vocals and guitars. The results of which are ever so good. A gentle number, adorned with a rather fuzzy festive feel, ‘Little Angel’ is filled with a glowing goodness and features the Irish duo’s distinct harmony vocals, sweet acoustic picking, pedal steel and some sumptuous brass. The B-side ‘St. Christopher’, penned on a cold night train home to Liverpool, is equally festive and all proceeds from the sale go towards UNICEF or you can donate directly.

You can check out the simply splendid ‘Little Angel’ below.

 

Introducing: Sales

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SALES is a collaboration between long-time friends, Lauren Morgan (guitar/vocals) and Jordan Shih (guitar/programming), who have been recording together on and off for years and in September, they released their self titled debut EP.

It is a union that works ever so well for the Florida based duo, and they have quite a knack for inviting and warm, charming and rather beautiful, quirky indie-pop. Consisting of vocal and instrumental improvisation, sampling, subtle electronics, acoustic guitar and wonderfully glamorous vocals; it all makes for a clean, crisp and serenely beautiful sound. It is done with a mesmerising ease and breeze, from the sweetly melodious, delicate and dreamy ‘Get It On’, to ‘Chinese New Year’, sporting a wonderful guitar riff and buoyant melody, it is ridiculously catchy and pretty much irresistible. ‘Vow’ meanwhile, is simultaneously languid, nonchalant and passionate, somehow uncovering a place where all three can co-exist in perfect harmony. As an introduction, not many will rival the sheer splendiferous nature of their debut but one would hope this is but the beginning and there are many more marvellous musical treats to come from this pair.

There are some choice cuts below & you can check out their debut EP in its entirety here.

Boxed In – ‘Mystery’

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After a year or so of treating us to a phenomenal series of alternative-pop singles, Boxed In, aka Oli Bayston will bring his wide array of talents to bear on something altogether more substantial, with the release of his self-titled debut album on January 19th.

Ahead of the album’s forthcoming release, comes ‘Mystery’. Although actually released the week after the LP, it is yet another stunning exposition from Boxed In. ‘Mystery’ is piano led alternative-indie-disco-pop perfection, whereby jaunty keys, an undeniably infectious groove and more than a hint of electronica conspire with a bouncy beat, clicking percussion and his soft pleasant vocals. What we are left with is utterly and irrefutably brilliant, resembling something akin to LCD Soundsystem meets the poppier side of Hot Chip and The 2 Bears. On this and previous evidence, Bayston’s debut LP is one to watch out for in the new year. No question about it.

Boxed In’s self-titled debut LP is out via Nettwerk Records on January 9th and followed by ‘Mystery’ on January 26th, but you can listen to it below now.

Best of 2014: w/ Padraig McCauley of Disconcerting P

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As has become tradition for this time year, I’ve asked bands and artists who’ve played a BarryGruff show during the year, to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2014′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2014′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. I’ve really enjoyed these over the past few years so why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to the Padraig McCauley of Disconcerting P to share his picks from 2014.

Favourite Album of 2014: Angel Olsen – ‘Burn Your Fire For No Witness’/ Mac DeMarco – ‘Salad Days’

Angel Olsen‘s album drew my attention for two reasons: Her flawless vocals (Her vibrato is scary perfect) and her unusual song forms. All the tracks on the album have this steady flow which only seems to break when the melody changes around them, making the overall experience hypnotic and effortless to listen to. The production only adds to this sense of haze with drowning reversed guitars and tremolo’d guitars that wash around each other in the middle ground whilst Angel vocal flourishes in the fore. Its subject matter is heavy – loss and loneliness – but the experience is so beautiful it can be easy to find the merit in these experiences when music so raw and passionate can come from them. The stand-out tracks for me are ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Enemy’. Whats truly refreshing about the album is that Angel feels genuine – everything about the album feels real and authentic.

Salad Days is on par with Angels album for its honesty and genuine nature. Its seems that he really is pouring his heart out, but under the guise of this cartoon character. The effect works and I find him to be quite loveable. Mac is a smart guy – you can hear it in his song harmony, his melodies and his effortless rhyming schemes and what makes him even more loveable is that he seems determined to not let you know it – coming off as a unbeknown genius rather than obnoxious. The subject matter of the album is relatable – the constant struggle between youth and maturity. I suppose what can be take from Mac DeMarco as a character is that both don’t be exclusive. There is enlightenment to be found in the album – even if it is being delivered by a gap toothed jester – making it all the more exciting.

Favourite track of 2014: TOPS – ‘Way to be Loved’

Oh man that groove. I love how easily this songs moves! The feel shifts so seamlessly, only adding to this shimmering glitteriness the track has. The lyrics are great too. The track is delivered with a coyness from Jane Penny that makes it so alluring. It has glimpses of other bands in it but feels unique within itself. Oh man… that groove.

Favourite Irish track of 2014: The Gloaming – ‘Allistrum’s March’

While this may be a traditional tune – The Gloaming’s version is breathtaking. The whole album is unbelievably. Go see these guys. This really is musicianship at its highest and most pure.

Gaz Coombes – ’20/20′

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It is certainly that time when we’re inundated with news of releases forthcoming in the new year but to be honest, it’s nice to see what’s on the horizon amid all the lists taking stock and concluding 2014.

One such announcement comes courtesy of former Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes, who’s revealed he will release a second solo album Matador, in January. Recorded in both Coombes’ home studio and Courtyard Studios in Oxfordshire, it follows his excellent Here Come The Bombs from 2012. Having previously shared ‘Buffalo‘, Mr. Coombes has revealed ’20/20′, a second track taken from the forthcoming LP. ’20/20′ sees Coombes continue to embrace a freshly found freedom, allowing for an exploration of more imaginative ideas. Yet, that knack for crafting ear catching melodies remains a cornerstone of everything he does as a forlorn and eerie piano accompanies some heavenly vocal harmonies, before quickly giving way to an electro/acoustic arrangement of guitars, clicky percussion and blissful atmospherics. An absolutely magnificent return from the former Supergrass frontman.

You have to wait till January 26th for Matador but you can listen to ’20/20′ below, right now.

Best of 2014: w/ Jinx Lennon

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As has become tradition for this time year, I’ve asked bands and artists who’ve played a BarryGruff show during the year, to put their own list making skills to the test in picking their ‘favourite album of 2014′, ‘favourite song/remix of 2014′ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’. I’ve really enjoyed these over the past few years so why break with tradition?

Right, that is enough waffling from me, it’s over to the legendary Jinx Lennon to share his picks from 2014.

Favourite Album of 2014: Sleaford Mods – ‘Divide and Exit’

It’s not a very sophisticated album, it’s bass and drum machine and a lot of words. It sounds great on vinyl and for a microsecond it makes me feel that the old ritual of walking up town with an LP under your arm has been brought back to life (for a microsecond). The singer is pissed off and like his Irish spiritual brother Captain Moonlight he can make a tune into a surreal situation without getting wildly specific. (Ok I take that back The Captain is a might more specific in his topics but i hear a similar anger and humour). I’d like to see a lot more music like this. I thought 8 years ago we’d have less chirpy beard music in Ireland but 2014 has brought more and more CBM it would almost be hilarious if it wasn’t such a pain in the balls when you turn on the fucking radio and they use that jingly wingly sound on the bank adverts now with the usual Dublin 4 breathy lass that sounds like she pisses lemonade yapping with a mid Atlantic jackeen accent that has that horrid perpetual RRR sound at the end of two out of five of her words.

Favourite Song of 2014: The Primitive Calculators – ‘Dead’

Ahhh!! The Primitive Calculators are so refreshing. Their album The World is Fucked would be my ideal soundtrack for the 2 couples get together cosy wosy ”can I show you our new fireplace/car/extension” mindfuck evenings. I’d opt for the Calculators instead of the usual let’s pretend we are still 19 at the raves dinner background music guff which usually happens at such get togethers or worse a Father John Misty/Coldplay debacle of an evening. The singer of the Calculators is a 50 year old pissed off teacher who sounds like the bane of any up and coming PTA meetings and I’m grateful he exists.’Dead’ is an existential reminder of upcoming mortality for all of us and The Calculators don’t sound happy about that fact ,but still make such a glorious racket in the ‘Vein of Suicide’ or France’s brilliant ‘Metal Urbain’. The fella with the scythe might have second thoughts about performing his duties at their gaff.Grainne Seoige should have used them for her pitiful mess of a Christmas charity single instead of that jingly wingly beard music travesty she decided to immerse herself in. Second choice, Slaves ‘The Hunter’ great live band from Lawndarn.

Favorite Irish Song?

The sound of people saying ‘Can’t Pay Won’t Pay’ all across the land at the Water Protests is music to my ears. I havn’t heard anything better this year from Ireland. Captain Moonlight’s ‘Agroculture Part 2 and 3′ still sound prescient for 2014. I sometimes want to dabble in the myriad Irish musics that I come across but I’m not getting the meat I want from the sounds I hear. I go to local gigs that have usually three acts and I’m impressed with the way that modern Irish acts are all very confident looks wise, and musically competent in a technical way with their skills on stage and it all sounds nice and multi layered and perfect candy for the earlobes but I’d prefer to see someone bang their heads off the wall or thump the shit out of each other on stage, play a guitar with one string, or even just tell me the audience member what they really feel instead of sounding like some 4th rate Death Cab for Cutie, hypnogogic chilliwave 2010 castoffs, or jingly wingly mandoliney Mormon clothed beard nonsense or electronica girls with school music exam faces, and the fucking accents RRR RRR RRR which is made worse when some buck realises mid song he’s from Navan or Sligo or the Narthsoide and forgets about that homogenous twang for a millisecond. Disaster !!! Billllloppppppppp!

R. Seiliog – ‘Mt. Essa’

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This week sees R. Seiliog (aka Robin Edwards) release his brand new album In Hz, which follows up 2012’s Shuffles EP and last year’s sublime mini-album, Doppler.

The Welsh electronic experimenter extraordinaire has already made quite an impression with his immersive and hypnotic genre-blending, majestically blurring the lines between exhilarating electro and propulsive Krautrock. A description which continues to fit R.Seiliog and the record’s lead single, ‘Mt. Essa’, quite well. A spectacular four minutes that is spearheaded by swishes of looped bells which eventually become consumed by waves of crunching beats, liquid blissfulness and boundless flourishes of crystalline percussion. Lush, glistening and altogether alive; this is the sound of R.Seiliog at the very top of his game. His new record In Hz, should be destined to enhance a growing rep as one of the the most enticing, intriguing and dynamic producers around.

You can be real nice to your ears and treat them to ‘Mt. Essa’ below & you can also stream In Hz in full here.

David Harks – ‘Odyssey’

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Hailing from Brighton in the UK, David Harks creates lush elegant electronic-pop music – music that left quite the impression throughout 2014.

Rounding off on a stellar year of beautiful, blissful and uplifting singles, Harks has released his debut EP. Entitled Lomo, it’s a collection of singles, the 4th being ‘Odyssey’, the fourth and final single to complete the EP. Effortlessly cool, ‘Odyssey’ has all that sparkle set his music apart this year. An intricately crafted slow burner with a driving groove at its core, harnessing some delicate, subtle synth work, which rises, swells and flourishes, to reveal Harks vocals at their most soulful and tender. A suitably stunning conclusion to his four part series of singles and 2014 in general, which has been ever so fruitful. David Harks is a unique and extremely exciting talent, who is definitely worth some of your time and one to keep tabs on in future.

You can take a listen to ‘Odyssey’ below & make sure to check out the whole EP here.

 

Silverbacks – ‘Fad 1995′

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Dublin based indie/garage quartet Silverbacks, are but a few weeks away from releasing their second album, Hot Bath. which may prove an end of, or new year treat, depending when it arrives.

Their debut album Lotion – released last year as a name-your-price deal on Bandcamp – is rough, ragged and grainy lo-fi garage rock, with wall-to-wall blasts of noise and fuzz. Taken from their forthcoming new record, ‘Fad 1995′, offers an interesting insight to what we can expect. It’s a touch more restrained, introverted and thoughtful (the lyrics in particular). ‘Fad 1995′ retains their lo-fi garage roots, honing and refining their sound with a mix of lethargy and frustration, which is all the better for allowing Dan O’Kelly’s low-toned and world weary vocals come to the fore. A thoroughly enthralling introduction to their forthcoming LP, which is hopefully with us rather sharpish.

For now? You can stream ‘Fad 1995′ below.