Moon Paw Print – ‘Forever’

Irish producer Moon Paw Print crafts music for moonlit walks, dimmed rooms approaching midnight and for the moments that belong to the haze of a daydream.

Fresh from the release of marvelous debut Dreams of Ü – inspired by intensely vivid dreams experienced during lockdown it explores themes such as the nature of dreams; love, insecurities and seeking to find beauty in life – Moon Paw Print signed off on 2020 with ‘Forever’. A single of style and substance, ‘Forever’ is a lush, woozy and warm slice of hazy, spaced-out
daydream tranquility. Dusty beats patter beneath a warm blanket of glistening synths and lavish layers of lush electronics that whisk away to cosmic realms of tranquility and lullaby vibes. This aesthetic knows no bounds as it slinks and shuffles while gushing with warmth and melodic allure while peppered by heart melting trumpet to leave us in a state of pleasant bliss. ‘Forever’ is utterly divine – a sound to soothe the soul.

Listen to ‘Forever’ below now and you can listen to the debut album here too.


Albums of the Year 2020

Compiling music lists is always a nice way to reflect on a year, so in keeping with tradition, here are my favourite records from 2020.

This year I’ve narrowed it down 10 and there is little between them to be honest. Recommendations from readers will be greatly welcomed.

10.Whyte Horses – ‘Hard Times’

Manchester psych-pop outfit Whyte Horses’ latest endeavor continues on from where 2018’s ‘Empty Words’, as they whisk us off to a land of blissful, dreamy psychedelia, sounding both familiar yet fresh. Ostensibly feeling like a mutating shape-shifting pop art project, ‘Hard Times’ feels like a mixtape with a difference. It isn’t just simply selecting tracks, choosing the running order, but  recording and producing a selection of much-loved songs while rounding up some of your favorite artists into the bargain. Sound like fun? That’s exactly what Whyte Horses have pulled off on their third record.

Listen in full here.

09. Aoife Nessa Frances – ‘Land of No Junction’

Aoife Nessa Frances’ debut album ‘Land of No Junction’ draws from an eclectic array of influences – ’60s psych-pop, offbeat folk, orchestral flourishes and flair for avant-garde – which sounds familiar yet fresh, as it meanders through ever shifting scenery that blurs the lines between dreams and reality. Frances’ smoky vocal is a constant and gripping, and no matter the ever changing environs –  waltzing beats, undulating groove,  rippling guitar lines, hypnotic organ hums or swirling psych or hazy blanket of fuzz – it is a voice that shines like a lighthouse amid a dense bank of fog. Land of No Junction is a serene, hypnotic and stunning debut (and one that could have been called Llandudno Junction). 

Listen in full here.

08. Khruangbin – ‘Mordechai’ 

Texan trio Khruangbin – Laura Lee Ochoa (bass), Mark Speer (guitar), and Donald “DJ” Johnson (drums) – are peerless sonic sorcerers and funky force of nature. Borrowing from a world of influences, theirs, and indeed third album  ‘Mordechai’,  is a colourful coming together of different sound, genres, cultures and era; there is funk, soul and hip hop, some Latin, Middle Eastern and Asian influences and a whole lot of beautiful psychedelia. It is an intoxicating brew, built on seductive grooves and mostly cool, calm and chilled vibes, offering either a zen-like sense of peace or funky, hypnotic groovy seduction – or a coming together of both. This is super chill, beautifully addictive and mellow, ‘Moredechai’ is a record to watch the sun go down.

Listen in full here.

07. Silverbacks – ‘Fad’

Irish post-punk outfit Silverbacks long-awaited debut album was worth the wait. Having patiently building a rep with superb single after superb single, there wasn’t too much doubt that ‘Fad’ would live up to its billing. Unspooling the ingredients of their sound is tough; there are touches of post-punk, art-rock, new wave and 90s indie to name but a few as tracks, built around a motorik rhythm and taut groove, rush past with a whirlwind of shifting multi-sensory sound as triple guitars attack. Lyrics are multi-layered and uniquely Silverbacks. There’s is a sound comparable to a place where parts Talking Heads, Television, LCD Soundsystem and Gang of Four can all coexist and flourish. A debut to remember.

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Kelp – ‘Spleen’

“I know I’m not the hero you asked for, or wanted.. or needed… also I’m really not a hero. Presenting the misadventures of a miniature deep-sea diver fishbowl figurine.”

So goes the surrealist introduction to Kelp; Belfast-based purveys of loungey cosmic electronica fronted by an inch high, ethereal deep sea diver with a preoccupation for vocoders and additive synthesis. Kelp’s debut single is ‘Spleen’ an ethereal, slumbering and woozy slice of escapism. Anchored by a deep seductive groove, hazy vocoder vocals hover dreamily above a delicious blend of bubbling synths, lush strings and flickering electronics as we are treated to a whirring, cosmic and futuristic synth escape. Is the world ready for a loungey electronica outfit fronted by an inch high, ethereal deep sea diver? Maybe not but we’ve seen strange things happen in 2020 and judging by the music, we would be well to embrace this surreal experiment into our hearts.

Listen to ‘Spleen’ below now – it is an absolute joy.

Sprints – ‘Manifesto’

Sprints are Dublin-based post-punk foursome – of Karla Chubb (vocals/guitar), Colm O’Reilly (guitar), Sam McCann (bass) and Jack Callan (drums) – who together, create a raw, raucous and potent post-punk sound – one bursting with a ferocious blend snarling vocals, driving rhythms, meaty riffs, swagger and noise.

These aforementioned attributes are offered in spades on their aptly titled latest single ‘Manifesto’, a tenacious statement of intent. An early taste of their forthcoming debut EP of the same name, due in the new year, it comes exploding out of the blocks. A powerful stomping beat underpinning an assertive and meaty bassline rumble as raspy, fierce and fiery vocals come to the for before soaring high above the explosion of buzzing guitar, scintillating riffs and crashing drums. It is a huge, explosive and supremely confident anthem. Previous single ‘The Cheek’ was great but ‘Manifesto’ sees them kick it up to another level entirely – a simply stunning tune.

Don’t just take my word for it, listen to ‘Manifesto’ below:

Sal Dulu – ‘Alien Boy 96’

Dublin-based producer Sal Dulu has established a rep in this neck of the woods for fabulous hip-hop flavoured electronic productions with a series of stellar singles last year; ‘Duluoz Dream’, ‘Antasma’ & ‘Tyko’, ‘Buzzcut’.

Continuing this rich vein of form, Sal Dulu has returned with a hypnotic new single ‘Alien Boy 96′ and taster track from his forthcoming debut album, penned for an early 2021 release. It is yet another beautiful piece of instrumental hip hop that transfixes it slinks along a hypnotic groove, underpinned with dusty beats, jazz-inflected keys and slo-mo melodies. A fuzzy ambience and downtempo chill-out vibes, collides with snatches of eerie vocal peek through the atmospheric swirl. It is dreamy and hypnotic, cinematic and escapist, and most importantly a wonderful insight to what we can expect from his album come the new year.

Listen to ‘Alien Boy 96’ below now:

A.S. Fanning – ‘All Time’

Berlin-based, Dublin-raised, singer/songwriter A.S. Fanning has shared the single ‘All Time’ ahead of the release of new album ‘You Should Go Mad’ on 13 November via Proper Octopus Records.

It is the follow up to Fanning’s 2017 solo debut Second Life and ‘All Time’ indicates a continued evolution of his blend of folk, country and rock & roll, with psych and gothic brushstrokes. Fanning combines these aforementioned sensibilities to create a richly resonant, dark and foreboding backdrop with subtle layers of psychedelic textures and glistening production adding a touch of respite and illumination; illumination for Fanning’s finest attribute, his brilliant songwriting and storytelling abilities, to thrive. His world weary baritone vocal delivers a vivid introspective tale through time and memory for a compelling 7-minutes of rich and powerful emotion.

Listen to ‘All Time’ below now – and You Should Go Mad’ is out on November 13.

Elliott Mo – ‘Oceans’

Elliott Mo is an Irish producer / electronic musician who has a flair for dynamic dancefloor focused electronica.

Mo’s Latest single, ‘Oceans’ is a perfect example and is nothing short of stunning. A gorgeous marriage of epic euphoria, ethereal electronica and frosty, crisp elegance – it is spine-tingling immersive and hypnotic – majestically blurring the lines between exhilarating electro and ethereal electronica. A spectacular four minutes that is spearheaded by glistening tones, chimes and elegant splashes of electronics while a deep, propulsive groove bubbles away in tandem with solid beats – swerving energetically for the dancefloor. Lush, glistening and altogether alive, you will be consumed by waves of crunching beats, liquid blissfulness and boundless flourishes of crystalline percussion. ‘Oceans’ is a magnificent introduction to a very promising talent, no question.

Listen to ‘Oceans’ below – it does not disappoint:

Ailbhe Reddy – ‘Looking Happy’

Dubliner Ailbhe Reddy is gearing up to release her debut album, Personal History, on October 2 and has been teasing the record with singles ‘Time Difference’ and ‘Between Your Teeth’, and now ‘Looking Happy’.

‘Looking Happy’ is a buoyant and bouncy indie-pop jam that is simultaneously happy and sad.Punchy guitars dance above a bouncy beat, jerky groove and splashes of cosmic synth while Reddy’s vocals soar powerfully above. ‘Looking Happy’ is a bright and buoyant indie-pop-powerhouse, adorned with addictive hooks you could hang your hat on but with melancholic themes seeping through as lyrically, Reddy laments an ex’s life unfolding on social media. An irresistible jam that exquisitely blurs the lines of beauty and darkness.

Listen to ‘Looking Happy’ below and keep an eye out for debut album, Personal History, on October 2. 

Arms That Fit Like Legs – ‘What it is is’

Arms That Fit Like Legs are an electronic instrumental-rock trio from Dublin – composed of Mark Lynch, Gordon McCaughley & Mike Mahon – who take their cue from the likes of El Ten Eleven, Battles, Redneck Manifesto, Fridge and Aphex Twin among others.

We were introduced to their electronic experimentations with ‘My Mind is Going’ and accompanying album Legwork earlier in the year, and have shared new single ‘What it is is’ and revealed plans for a new record next year. The single is an immersive and hypnotic cut, elegantly blurring the lines between experimental electronica and propulsive Krautrock leanings. It is a transfixed coming together of glistening guitars, soft synths and breezy chilled-out vibes that gracefully mingle above lush, fast paced grooves the woo the soul before all culminating an epic climax – and then, silence. It is majestic sound, one that is vividly imaginative and elegant, and all consuming.

Listen to ‘What it is is’below and why not check out their most recent album Legwork, here.

Video Premiere: Tomorrows – ‘Night Boat to Franklin’

Trading in psych, prog and pop, Dublin outfit Tomorrows have been treating our ears to wonky psychedelic pop songs for half a decade now, and back in February (that feels like a long time ago now) they released their stellar third album, The Night Chorus Part 2.

The core of the band, Conor Deasy, Ben Shorten, Michael Murphy, and Jethro Pickett, were joined by Will Whyte on drums, Ruth Kennington on synth and Julian Banks & Aran O’Grady on saxophone with a wonderful, wonky and beguiling record the outcome.

The latest single to be lifted from The Night Chorus Part 2 is album opener ‘Night Boat to Franklin’ – a woozy, meandering and lush slice of seductive cosmic pop – and it is my absolute pleasure to bring you the premiere of the video. 

Film maker Ursula Woods and Jethro from the band live on the edge of the world in Glaziers Bay Tasmania. Their house, an old apple shed turned livable cabin, sits on poles in the Huon River. ‘Night Boat to Franklin’ is a song that was written and partly recorded there when Conor visited them in 2019.

A beguiling, lush, neo-psychedelic beauty, the track bubbles along an undulating groove, dripping with melody and plenty of off-kilter sax appeal – ‘Night Boat to Franklin’ captures some of the river energy that can only be experienced at the dusk of day.

The video was made when Ursula and Jethro were isolating after returning from Ireland in March 2020. With a real sense of cabin fever, they literally took the boat out and headed for Franklin.

On the journey there was an eerie scene in the sky that particular day as Forestry Tasmania were burning large areas of woodland. The flames and smoke were hanging heavy in the sky with the freezing winter waters below. Upstream, the boat choked and came to a complete still. Ursula kept the camera rolling during the rescue, the video is what it is. Anything can happen on a Night Boat to Franklin.

Check out the video below and if you haven’t done so already, give The Night Chorus Part 2 a spin here.