Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #4

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A new feature to blog, a short weekly Spotify playlist series featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears.

Clocking in or around and hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more top tunes for your ears. Well, without further ado, here’s #4. Enjoy!

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #1

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A brand new feature on the Gruff channel, a weekly 15-track Spotify playlist series featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears.

Clocking in at under and hour, it’s an easily digested slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share more great tunes for your ears, so hopefully it can be a regular feature. We’ll see how it goes, I guess.

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Alternative Christmas Playlist

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Every celebration is in need of a good soundtrack and of all the public holidays, Christmas has no shortage in this department.

However, if you a bit worn out from the incessant playing of ‘classics’, we’ve got you covered with this Alternative Christmas Playlist on Spotify. There’s a nice two hour mix of alternative Christmas cuts from Julian Casblancas, Slow Club, Sweet Baboo, We Cut Corners, Spectrals, Jinx Lennon, Half Man Half Biscuit & more. All in all it’s a pretty nice spread of tunes, and one that’ll hopefully serve you well.

Right, time for me to leave you to it – enjoy!

BarryGruff Albums of the Year (2016)

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Yes. It is that time of year again, lists, lists and more lists. Well, not be out done, here are my 13 (lucky for some) albums of 2016.

There was lots of great music in 2016 but I decided to keep it to a short list this year. Also, I’m hoping the festive period will provide some time to catch up on some records I’ve missed throughout the year, so feel free to recommend some listening material.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my favourite records from 2016:

There is also a Spotify playlist of all the albums, to save you time and hassle, and it is here.

13. Amber Arcades – ‘Fading Lines’

Amber Arcades‘ – Dutch-born musician Annelotte de Graaf – debut album is a dazzling blend of ‘60s tinged psych, lush jangly guitars, floating pop melodies and an abundance of propulsive, hypnotic krautrocky moments. [Listen here]

12. Tuff Love – ‘Resort’

Glaswegian scuzz-pop aficionados Tuff Love, combine a terrific trilogy of EPs into an LP of dazzling, fuzzy indie pop with sugar-sweet melodies and crunching choruses and shoegazey guitars galore. [Listen here]

11. Underworld – ‘Barbara Barbara, We Face A Shining Future’

A first proper Underworld record in half a decade, Karl Hyde and Rick Smith deliver a stomping electronic record that is up there with the best of their work. [Listen here]

10. The Coral – ‘Distance Inbetween’

Distance Inbetween – their eighth LP and first in over five years – saw The Coral rediscover their roots, mojo and discover their dark side and add a harder edge to their brand of psychedelic indie. It’s an evolution of the Wirral five piece’s sound into a cohesive, weird and imaginative psych-rock record, and one that grows with time. [Listen here]

09. Mr Huw – ‘Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr’

Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr is album number five from one of Wales’ finest, Mr. Huw and with it, he has delivered an irresistible set of inventive, electrifying indie. Sang in his native tongue, these are melodic songs with a spiky edge. Post-punk riffs and snappy drum-machine punctuate infectious pop melodies, mild psychedelic leanings and Huw’s affable Welsh lilt. A magnificent collection of soul consuming tunes which provide proof if proof be needed, that we should never underestimate the power of great music to overcome a small matter, like a language barrier. [Listen here]

08. Jinx Lennon – ‘Magic Bullets of Madness To Uplift The Grief Magnets’

2016 saw Jinx Lennon return with two new albums – Past Pupil Stay Sane and Magic Bullets of Madness To Uplift The Grief Magnets – with each offering distinctly different brilliance. Magic Bullets… is the pick of the pair but in fairness, both find the folk punk poet at his uncompromising best. Recorded with Liverpool experimentalists Clinic, it is a collection of instantly catchy tunes that boasts a meatier, more beat-driven sound, combined with Jinx’s raw truths kicking back against the humdrum bullshit of modern life. Jinx Lennon is a unique talent, a national treasure to be exact and this is him at his inherently brilliant best. [Listen here]

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Playlist: Best Songs of 2016

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Lists, lists, lists and more lists. Yes, it is that time of year when lists become more common place than overly optimistic Liverpool fans in August.

Time, or lack of it, truly is the enemy once again but I’ve compiled a 100+ strong song Spotify playlist; selection of personal favourites from throughout the year. Pretty self-explanatory this, but there’s loads of great stuff in there from many styles and genres and, from across the globe.

I hope to have an ‘Albums of 2016′ post completed this week. Anyway, for now, I hope you enjoy the playlist.

 

Alternative Halloween Playlist

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Halloween is almost upon us once again, as we get ready to celebrate all things ghoulish, ghostly and chilling, with fireworks and flagons around bonfires.

Every celebration is in need of a good soundtrack and Halloween is no different. And if your in the hunt for some spooky sounds that extend beyond ‘Thriller’, ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Ghostbusters Theme’? Fear not (or be very afraid) you’re covered with this monstrous four-and-half-hour ‘Alternative Halloween’ Spotify playlist. With lyrics or titles pertaining to Halloween, or some just plain ghostly, dark and creepy; from ‘The Horrors’ to ‘Burial’, ‘Ghost Town’ to ‘The Killing Moon’ and ‘Dead Souls’ to ‘Psycho Killer’ – there is a tidy blend of genres across 60+ tracks.

Plenty here to sink your teeth into. Bone appetit! (Ba dum tss). I’ll go now, the Spotify playlist is below & have a great Halloween!

 

CZARFACE Announce New Album ‘A Fistful Of Peril’ & Share ‘Two In The Chest’

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CZARFACE – the collaborative trio of Wu-Tang’s Inspectah Deck, 7L & Esoteric – are back, and back with a bang!

The trio are gearing up to unleash their new, and third album, A Fistful Of Peril on the world. Ahead of the album’s November 4th release, Czarface has shared ‘Two In The Chest’, yet another piece exciting of Hip Hop gold from the superhero themed hip-hop ensemble. Energetic and banging, ‘Two In The Chest’ is a seamless collaboration, featuring their recognisable chemistry as the two emcees trade lines, razor-sharp lyrics and a fair bit of humour over 7L’s stellar production. This is Czarface at their finest, to be fair, the trio don’t do anything other than exceptional. Really excited for the new album, the first two were great, expecting the same with this one.

A Fistful Of Peril is out on November 4th but you can listen to ‘Two In The Chest’ now.

Bad Sounds Share Bright & Brassy New Single ‘Wages’

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Despite their self-deprecating handle, Bad Sounds bring the party vibes with deliciously catchy and funky, kaleidoscopic pop.

Much like the Bath 5-piece’s previous single, ‘Avalanche’, ‘Wages’ is insanely catchy, extremely addictive and pretty brilliant. Occupying a similarly luminescent space on the landscape as The Go! Team at their best, ‘Wages’ is a syrupy brew of big, brassy disco-funk, hip-hop and fun fun fun. Fusing bright pop hooks, fuzzy guitars, high-pitched harmonies, with an irresistible groove, sing-a-long lyrics and more horns than a randy goat – we’re treated to a fun-filled barrel-roll through the genres and decades. Impressively, ‘Wages’ joins ‘Avalanche’ as two of the most thrilling, fun-filled and addictive singles of 2016, and sure to leave an indelible mark on your soul. Not bad for a band starting out, no?

You can listen to the bright and brassy ‘Wages’ below and it is out now. It does not disappoint!

Fold Return With New Single ‘Something Gives’

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Experimental Hip-Hop/Trip Hop outfit Fold have solid credentials when it comes to producing incredible music. Blending this enviable creativity with a social consciousness, they create something powerful and unique.

Fold have returned with their first new material since last year’s superb self-titled debut album. The new single is called ‘Something Gives’ and will be released on September 12 via Bandcamp. The Leeds based quartet felt compelled to respond, somehow, to the heavy sociopolitical escalations of late on both sides of the pond. This breezy, easy on the ears slice of fresh, jazzy hip-hop, is their way of bridging the distances & expressing universal solidarity as human beings. Essentially a vehicle for the eloquence of James Baldwin whose voice, along with that of Alice Walker, is the basis of the track; which is dedicated to the memory of James Baldwin and all that he articulated so beautifully. Fold don’t ever disappoint, and they ain’t about to start now. Absolutely stunning work from one of the most unique and exciting acts around.

‘Something Gives’ will be out on September 12 via Bandcamp. Until then, you can familiarise yourself with it below.

Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 Line-up Announced

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The line-up for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 festival has just been announced today.

The annual festival will return to Dublin once again, running from Thursday, October 6th to Saturday, October 8th in venues across Dublin, incl. The Workman’s Club, Wigwam, The Chocolate Factory, Odessa, Tengu and The Mezz, with more to follow.

Having been away for the past few years, I’m excited to check out a whole host of acts I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing yet. And of course, discovering some new music too. On a first glance a couple of names immediately jumped out; Oh Boland, New Pope, whenyoungEoin Dolan, A.S. Fanning, Adultrock, Galants, EXPLODING EYES, R.S.A.G, Slow Riot & Rusangano Family.

The full line-up for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 is as follows:

HWCH 2016:

A.S. Fanning / Adultrock / AikJ / Ailbhe Reddy / Alana Henderson / BARQ / Basciville / Beach / Birds of Olympus / Bitch Falcon / Black Wing Bird / BlueMusic / Brian Casey / Buffalo Woman / Callum Stewart / Chris Kabs / Clarence & The Winters / Comrade Hat / Cormac O Caoimh / Craig Gallagher / Cult Called Man / Dammy Ari / Damola / Daniel McDermott / Davina and the Messengers / ELE / Elephant / Ella Naseeb / Elm / Eoin Dolan / Erica-Cody / Evvol / Exiles / EXPLODING EYES / Fangclub / Fontaines / Galants / Ger Fox Sailing / HAIL THE GHOST / Half Of Me / handsome eric / Harbouring Oceans / HAWK / Hiva Oa / JAFARIS / Jealous of the Birds / Junk Drawer / Kid Karate / Le Boom / Loah / Maija Sofia / Maria Kelly / Miles Graham / moossmann / Naoise Roo / New Pope / New Portals / New Valley Wolves / Nocturnes / Oh Boland / Oh Joy / Orchid Collective / Paddy Dennehy & The Red Herring / Paddy Mulcahy / PALE RIVERS / Participant / Patrick Freeman / Paul Creane / Peppy / Petty Youth / R.S.A.G. / Rocstrong / Rosie Carney / Rusangano Family / Samyel / SARAMAI / Search Party Animal / Slow Riot / Soule / Stephen Robinson / Strength / Super Silly / swords / Tablets / Talos / Tara Lee / Tebi Rex / The Blizzards / The Ocelots / The Shaker Hymn / Tiz McNamara / TOUTS / Train Room / Tuath / Video Blue / Vulpynes / Wake America / Wastefellow / We, the Oceanographers / whenyoung / Whim / WOLFF / Wyvern Lingo / Yonen / Young Earth

Early bird tickets to HWCH 2016 are €35 via DICE until August 10th. After that, weekend tickets will cost €45.00 & €20 for nightly tickets (excl. booking fees).