Adam Lempel ft. Amanda Glasser – ‘Echo’

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New York-based singer-songwriter Adam Lempel has joined forces with Purrer frontwoman Amanda Glasser for new single ‘Echo’, with beguiling results.

‘Echo’ is a gloriously haunting indie-folk serenade that will have your heart fawning from the first note. A flourishing folk tune that has you under its spell from the first note as a stomping drumbeat pushes ‘Echo’ onward amid the haunting by beautiful atmosphere set by the rough guitar that bubbles/buzzes and the faint but warm, glowing organ hum. Complimented by this backdrop and Lempel’s own vocals, the star of the show is Glasser’s commanding and bewitching vocal performance. Characteristically eerie, ‘Echo’ flickers between beauty and darkness, creating a suitably haunting ambience for Glasser’s stunning vocals to beguile us completely.

Listen to ‘Echo’ below – it does not disappoint.

Nicolas Kluzek – ‘Dublin 6′

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Nicolas Kluzek is a Parisian born, Dublin-based artist and producer who’s sounds will, as we found out with previous single ’95to78′, delight – although not exclusively – the children of the night.

Kluzek’s preference and/or penchant is for flavours of a slower tempo, slumbering nocturnal electronic delicacies – as evidenced by the aforementioned previous single and new one, ‘Dublin 6′. Moving at a slumbering pace, it is a chilled and tranquil ode to his Irish home that gives on a reassuring aura of pure calm. Peaceful chimes mingle with flourishes of soft hip-hop beats, vocal samples, flute and washed out fiddle tune, ‘Dublin 6′ will leave you dreamily drifting in a state of blissful relaxation. Kluzek has served up yet another majestic track, one that washes over you with ease and leaves you all the better for making its acquaintance.

Listen to ‘Dublin 6′ below and if that is to your liking, there are more of that ilk right here.

The Innocent Bystander – ‘Neon Lights’

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The Innocent Bystander is a new project from Dublin-based producer/songwriter Mark Healy, which grew from an ambition to “make guitar music that takes nothing from the Blues” – and the result is an interesting and personal take on a classic indie sound.

The past 12 months or so saw The Innocent Bystander release a string of well received singles – ‘Waster’, ‘Electrocute’ and ‘The Complacency League’ – and latest offering ‘Neon Lights’ is of a similarly high quality. Shifting along a powerfully danceable groove. ‘Neon Lights’ is spiky slice of irresistible guitar-based electro pop, complete seductive synth-work and a ridiculously catchy, sing-a-long chorus that will worm its way into your psyche and tumble around your head all day. A sparkling delight of irresistible neon-bright sounds.

The Innocent Bystander are currently working on a debut album, There’s Music Still Left in These Streets, expected in 2019.

Balthazar – ‘Fever’

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Belgian indie-pop outfit Balthazar have announced they will release a new (and fourth) album called Fever on January 25, 2019.

Accompanying this news is lead single and title track – yes, you guessed it – ‘Fever’. Introducing itself with a rolling, languid bass riff, ‘Fever’ unfurls with a slinky, seductive groove and alluring harmonies. It is a playful pop song underpinned with a laid-back and breezy vibe that is only momentarily interrupted as the momentum builds and a rhythmic surge and feverish guitars rise up before crashing like the sea against the rocks, and then calm is restored. On the whole, these warm, enchanting notes offer a tender hug for your spirit, whisking you away to a far off lands of peace and calmness.

Tune into the entrancing and mellow enchantment that is ‘Fever’ below, and Balthazar will play Whelan’s, Dublin on Saturday, February 9.

Introducing: Kneecap

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Regular patrons of the site will be aware of my fondness for music of Welsh origin, and especially that performed in their native tongue.

Given this predilection, it gave to wondering about Ireland’s own native language and the comparatively scarce amount of contemporary music performed as Gaeilge. Now, that is a topic for another day and deserving of more attention and further examination (thesis anyone?) but it did bring my attention to Kneecap; a satirical hip-hop trio from Belfast who perform in Irish.

The three members; Mo Chara, Móglaí Bap and DJ Provaí combine a fluency in Irish with an amazing delivery and a wry sense of humour to produce one of the most unique homegrown records of 2018.

Over eight tracks, their mixtape 3CAG offers a satirical take on life for young people, with a particular west Belfast slant. If like me, your command of Irish leaves a lot to be desired, it doesn’t matter a jot. The beats are superb and so infectious, and the flow and lyrical skill on show is second to none, with plenty of laughs thrown in for good measure – anyone who might be skeptical to begin with will be easily won over, just press play on ‘Amach Anocht’, ‘Cearta’ or ‘Tá na Baggies ar an Talamh’ below.

You can listen to mixtape 3CAG in full here; and like mentioned above, it is one of the most unique homegrown records of 2018.

Kneecap have also announced an Irish tour for February 2019 – you can check the dates near you here.

The Spiral Electric – ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’

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The Spiral Electric are a psychedelic rock band from San Francisco, who’s sound is built upon a number of key ingredients; one part soaring melody, one part face-melting guitar, one part orbiting synth, one part incessant danceable groove and a heavy dose of west coast psychedelia.

Equal parts heavy and dreamy, ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ is the second single from The Spiral Electric’s forthcoming double-LP. It is a song of gargantuan proportions. It is six minutes plus of pummeling drums, bludgeoning riffs and feedback that swell and engulf all in their wake before crashing down, bringing a wave of peace that allows space for the drowsy vocals and more dreamy, somber and mournful moments that suggests a masterful kind of efficient simplicity. With either side of ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ – heavy or dreamy – they provide enough room between sounds to allow for an explosion of expression, musically and melodically. The Brian Jonestown Massacre, The Black Angels and Dead Meadow influences loom large here, and that ain’t a bad thing. ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ certainly suggests positive things for the new album and are a worthy addition to the shoegaze and stoner rock canon.

You can listen to ‘A Descent Into the Maelstrom’ below.

Kidsmoke – ‘Rising Sun’

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Kidsmoke are Welsh indie-pop foursome – Lance, James, Sophie & Ash – who’s shimmering brand of dreamy indie-pop takes us on a pulsating psychedelic journey far from their native North Wales haven of Wrexham.

Kidsmoke’s latest release is ‘Rising Sun’, the first lifted from their forthcoming album, expected in 2019. Produced by Bill Ryder-Jones and Russ Hayes, ‘Rising Sun’ is a little slice of pop heaven with a relentless unwavering energy, it reveals a driven and high-octane sound that pits pristine beauty and propulsive power alongside one another in perfect harmony – as racy riffs dance with shimmering guitars and dreamy vocals and heavenly harmonies. A supercharged, frenetic and addictive three-minute masterclass, and a fine example to why these guys are quickly building up quite a formidable reputation.

‘Rising Sun’ is the band’s first single off an upcoming album due out in 2019.