BarryGruff Playlist October 2015

October 2015

A now regular monthly feature, whereby we round up all the blog action with a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

October was another busy month. We we’re introduced to Primitive World, Soft Serve, Auramics, Jade Statues, New Pope, Mesa Luna & Silver Matter. There were excellent new singles from Totalitarian, The Statics, Cuinciu, Juice, Martha Ffion & Queen of Jeans. And we had tunes from Field Music, Nancy Leticia & Fold ahead of their respective, new and forthcoming albums. There as also the not so small matter of an interview with Super Furry Animals’ resident electronic and keyboard wizard, Cian Ciaran – read it here.

Oh, and there were two new episodes of ‘Millions Like Us’, Justin Beats & I’s new music podcast extravaganza for 604now (if you missed them, why not check out episodes #3 & #4 here). You can also subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter.

Well then, that’s that for another month – listen to BarryGruff’s October 2015 playlist below. Enjoy!

 

Totalitarian – ‘What I Need..’

 

Totalitarian

Totalitarian is the moniker of Irish electronic producer, Aidan Sheerin, originally from Monaghan but now based in Co. Armagh,

Totalitarian cooks up head-nodding and lavish explorations of genres and styles, taking in all-manner of electronic, electronica and hip-hop influences. Debut single, ‘What I Need..’, is a case in point. In fact, as soon as you press play, the groove and a beat combo proves overwhelmingly compelling, as we are submerged in a sea of breathtakingly lush sounds, choice samples, keys and snappy beats, which maintains a bright, upbeat glow, from start to finish. First fleeting steps they may be, but this relaxed and laid back little gem from Totalitarian, has done more than enough on his debut outing to ensure an eye shall be kept on where he treads next.

You can check out ‘What I Need..’ below and you keep tabs on what Totalitarian is up to, here. He’s currently working on an EP, entitled All To Play For, which he hopes to share with us in 2016.

Cian Ciarán | Interview

Cian-Ciaran

Last week the wonderful, the magnificent and the legendary Super Furry Animals, announced they shall be gracing Vancouver in the new year, when they play at Imperial on February 4th, 2016. I for one, CANNOT FUCKIN’ WAIT!

With that in mind, there’s no better 0r more apt time to share this, an interview I did with SFA’s Cian Ciarán, earlier this year. Originally published with GoldenPlec on July 5th, 2015 – here it is:

Cian Ciarán is best known as Super Furry Animals’ resident electronic and keyboard wizard. Aside from illuminating our lives for the best part of two decades with one of the most enigmatic, creative and downright brilliant psychedelic pop bands of our time, he busies himself with various other stellar side-projects.

Most recently he has released two superb solo albums, ‘Outside In’ (2012) & ‘They Are Nothing Without Us’ (2013), an LP with his other band Zefur Wolves, a stack of collaborations and remixes, and all the while running his own Strangetown Records label. That’s no mean feat by any anyone’s standards.

Ciarán is currently in the midst of intensive touring with SFA and readying his third solo-record, which he hopes to release later this year. Taking time out from his hectic schedule he spoke to Barry about his solo plans, running his label, politics and the small matter of the SFA reunion.

The amount of musical activity you’re associated with is staggering – Zeruf Wolves, solo work, running Strangetown Records and the small matter of Super Furry Animals. How do you find the time and balance between different projects?

Cian Ciarán: “I don’t to be honest – I have to put things on the back-burner constantly. I document everything or try to and revisit things when I have the time. I have to go with the flow, it can be frustrating but I’m happy as long as things get done eventually. There’s an outlet for the music, that’s the main thing, and I’m lucky to be surrounded by talented musicians and creative people that keep me busy and on my toes. I never stop learning and the buzz is still there when I go to the studio so there’s no complaints. The only pressure, if that’s the right word, is self-inflicted. It’s still a labour of love.”

The new solo record [‘Hero, Leader, God’], is another protest album. Does it follow a similar path to ‘They Are Nothing Without Us’? Talk us through what we can expect.

CC: “Again this is music that’s been bubbling for years, but I wanted to bring on board other lyricists and vocalists. The music is completely different to my previous two outings, or the Zefur Wolves album. It’s mostly electronic-based and down-tempo so it lends itself well, I hope, to spoken word, poets etc. The intention was to release it around the UK election but the content is still relevant here and everywhere else in the world. It will probably, unfortunately, be more concerning as our situation becomes increasingly driven by the powers that be and their blatant disregard to the rest of us and the world we live in. It’s too depressingly long a list of issues that we’re subjected to but we have to persevere. As was shown during the water wars in Bolivia, there is strength in numbers.”

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Introducing: Auramics

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Comprised of Kristi Scarvelis and Glen Lee Flynn, Auramics is a psychedelic dream pop duo based in Brooklyn, New York.

Together the pair have struck a perfect and seductive balance between woozy late ’60s psych and pop, contemporary shimmering dream-pop and trip-hop grooves. There is no greater exponent of this majestic fusion than the pair’s thrilling and chilling new single, ‘Founders of Time’. Scarvelis’ crystalline vocals emerge from the murky shadows and cut through a majestic collage of spectral swirls of dark and haunting atmospherics, trip-hoppy beats and shimmering guitar jangle. Calibrated to simultaneously channel parts Broadcast, Portishead and Melody’s Echo Chamber, it is an irresistible and utterly bewitching, beguiling and beautiful record. ‘Founders of Time’s spooky, haunting and otherworldly aura is pertinent, given the time of year it is; regardless, this is one of the finest tracks to be released all year and I for one am completely besotted with it.

You can check ‘Founders of Time’ and its video below, along with ‘Mysterious World’ – and there’s plenty more to sink your teeth into on Auramics’ SoundCloud.

 

Introducing: Soft Serve

soft serve vancouver

Vancouver indie lovers Soft Serve, serve up an upbeat, glorious guitar-jangle-racket – with an instinctual ear for hook-laden melodies – and it is infectiously catchy.

The trio have just recently released their self-released full length and it is a magnificent blend of classic ‘indie’ meets early ’80s post-punk, fastened with flourishes of shimmering guitars, frenetic guitar work, a swift, driving rhythm section and frontman Kyle Thiessen’s world-weary vocal delivery. With guitars bright and shimmering, the likes of ‘Sons on Your Side’ and ‘Better Off When You’re Gone’ recall the sparkling brilliance of Echo & The Bunnymen at their very best, or The Smiths, the nifty guitar work anyway. Rather than just a casual throwback, these sounds are very much grounded in today. Blossoming through repeated hooks, verses and choruses, Soft Serve’s songs get inside your head and never leave, such is the insatiably catchy nature of them. Absolutely irresistible and brilliant stuff from Soft Serve, take a bow.

‘Sons on Your Side’ and ‘Better Off When You’re Gone’ are available to stream/free downloads below, while the whole of Soft Serve’s debut LP is available for purchase/stream now from Bandcamp. Enjoy!

 

Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode #4

Millions Like Us logo (1)

Delighted to once again to share a brand new episode of ‘Millions Like Us’, a music podcast with myself & Justin Beats, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now.

A bi-weekly digest of music from metro Vancouver and beyond, the fourth installment has the usual chatter and top tunes, comprised from an eclectic mix of styles and genres. There’s also a chance of winning tickets for the excellent Girl Band, for their show in The Media Club, Vancouver on November 20th.

Edit – Girl Band have unfortunately had to cancel all their upcoming shows, including Vancouver, due to health reasons. We wish them a speedy recovery and hopefully we’ll see them visit Vancouver in the future.

That#s about that then, we hope you enjoy episode 4. You can read more on it here and listen to episode #4 below, and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump. If you would like to get in touch the show, you email them at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Until Episode #5, here’s to good listening.

Episode 4 Tracklist:

Silver Matter – ‘Punks Grown Up’

Joanna Gruesome – ‘Last Year’

Knife Pleats – ‘One Step Too Far’

Girl Band – ‘De Bom Bom’

New Pope – ‘Christopher’

Martha Ffion – ‘So Long’

Mt. Wolf – ‘Hamburg’

BOUSADA – ‘Cast in Gold’

Lil Dicky – ‘Professional Rapper’

Auramics – ‘Founders of Time’

Fake Tears – ‘Second Wind’

Dead Soft – ‘The Wind’

Half Man Half Biscuit – ’24 Hour Garage People’

 

Villagers announce new album ‘Where Have You Been All My Life?’ and share ‘Memoir’

villagers_wherehaveyoubeen

Not content with producing one of 2015’s finest records, Villagers have revealed details of a new album, called Where Have You Been All My Life? and due for release on January 8th.

Recorded in one day at London’s RAK Studio with Richard Woodcraft (Radiohead, The Last Shadow Puppets) and Villagers live engineer Ber Quinn, the album brings together re-imagined versions from Conor O’Brien & company’s back catalogue. One of them ‘Memoir’, which was originally written by O’Brien for Charlotte Gainsbourg, has been unveiled. A firm fixture, and one of many high points, from Villagers’ recent visits to the West Coast, ‘Memoir’ is focused, sincere and an upfront and personal sound, capturing Conor O’Brien’s on-point lyricism. A patient song that builds gradually, drawing you in more and more, making you wait for its voice to be heard. An interesting and exciting first glimpse into the forthcoming LP.

Over the coming months, Villagers have a huge amount of live dates across Europe, including a show at Vicar Street in Dublin on January 28th. There is a full list of tour dates here.