Mr Huw to release new album; shares ‘Gwendidau’

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For a relatively small place, Wales does rather well for itself musically. From the towns and cities, mountains and valleys, Wales has proven an ever reliable source of superb sounds.

Bearing the convoluted intro in mind, one of Wales’ finest talents, Mr Huw, is set to release his fifth album Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr (or ‘Make Your Mind Down’ in English) on November 25th. Ahead of the forthcoming record, we’ve been presented with a brand new single and taster, ‘Gwendidau’. Delivered in his native Welsh, Gwendidau’ is an irresistible cut of melodic, lo-fi indie. Catchy as hell, it’s all crunchy guitars, infectious melodies, insistent percussion mingling with mildly psychedelic leanings and Huw’s affable Welsh lilt. Yet another sublime piece of work from a true treasure.

Huw’s new album Gwna Dy Feddwl I Lawr shall be with us on November 25, for now, why not give ‘Gwendidau’ a spin below.

Introducing: La Bête Blooms

 

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Hull alt-rockers La Bête Bloom have been blazin’ and bashing a trail of rock ‘n roll destruction for a while now, and their work thus far has been nothing short of impressive.

All ends up, La Bête Bloom’s dynamic and visceral concoction of alt-rock, grunge and post-punk makes for one hell of an exhilarating experience. Tracks like ‘TV Speaks’ and ‘Nothing Left But The Taste’ suggested a bright and noisy future but the Hull post-punks’ new single ‘Breaking In’, is the best yet. In just over two-minutes, they unleash as potent assault of guttural guitars, ear splitting feedback. Combined with pummelling percussion, fizzing and hissing guitars, the vocals manage to cut through with an aggressive intent, adding a level of menace and building to a ferocious, explosive climax. More urgent, abrasive and altogether more aggressive than their previous efforts, ‘Breaking In’ is the first barnstorming taste from their forthcoming EP I Know It’s Nothing, which is due out early next year. Blooming beasts indeed.

No concrete date on the new EP but you can listen to new single ‘Breaking In’ – and some other choice cuts – below. Watch this space!

Whenyoung Share Scintillating New Single ‘Actor’

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One of this year’s HWCH standouts, London-based Irish trio, Whenyoung have shared a brand new single, ‘Actor’.

Penned for release on November 25, it follows-up their brash but brilliant debut single ‘See How They Run’. A stinging pillory of projecting artificial images of oneself through social media, ‘Actor’ is another infectious and fiery piece of punk-flavoured garage-rock. Guitars screech and wail amid a squall of distortion and fuzz which engulfs everything in its wake, but punctured by a powerful beat and sweet, yet punchy vocals. Bursting with vitality, melody ‘Actor’ is bristly, driven and of course, totally irresistible! Whenyoung’s second single adds a far greater weight to the their ever growing rep.

‘Actor’ is officially released on November 25 with a headline show, at London’s Shacklewell Arms on the 24th. Stream ‘Actor’ below right now.

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!

 

‘Millions Like Us’ Podcast #20: We’re Back!

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So with my move back to Ireland, Beats’ trip back to Blighty (for a month long holiday) and logistical challenges, we’ve been quiet for a bit but as promised we are back in action. We are absolutely thrilled to share another Millions Like Us with you all!

For Episode #20 – our first transcontinental podcast – we welcome Mr. Stephen Connelly to the Millions Like Us family, who will be looking after producing and recording the pod, and has the unenviable task of keeping Justin & I on topic.

We’ve braved dodgy internet connections, technological misadventures and overcome all that global time zones could throw at us (global time zones be damned !!) to bring you a bumper 90 minutes of music chat and an eclectic, hand-picked selection of superb new tunes. There is also an exclusive track, recorded with Donal McConnon at the most recent Broken Home show (more info here).

Thanks for baring with us while we were off air, we really appreciate it. Hopefully you enjoy the new and improved MLU.

You can subscribe to MLU on iTunes and Podcast Republic, Mixcloud & SoundCloud, or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

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Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 Preview: 8 Must See Acts

 

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Hard Working Class Heroes takes place in venues across Dublin this week.

Running from Thursday, October 6th to Saturday, October 8th and it will showcase well over 100 of Ireland’s most promising emerging acts. One of HWCH’s biggest draws (and festivals of its ilk) is rambling around, seeing acts you have previously been unfamiliar with. That said, there are a couple of names that immediately jump out and come highly recommended with the much sought after BarryGruff seal of approval*.

The full line-up / stage times for Hard Working Class Heroes 2016 is here. And as always, feel free to share your own recommendations in the comments section below. *May not be much sought after.

Eoin Dolan: Thursday, 19:40 – 20:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based singer-songwriter Eoin Dolan is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the finest finds from the past 12 months. Dolan has a real flair for twinkly and whimsical, good old fashioned pop gems, with a healthy dose of Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett and Lennon/McCartney (moments) threaded through the fabric of his sound. His brand of surfy psych-pop is totally charming, entirely irresistible, easy-going and timeless. Dolan’s self-titled debut album was released last month, for a taste of that & what to expect at HWCH, check out ‘Dear Brian'; a playful blend of woozy, soothing sounds, sinuous melodies, SFA-esque synth work, giddy-pop-playfulness and reverb-drenched vocals. Not to be missed.

New Pope: Thursday, 21:40 – 22:10 @ Tengu Downstairs

Galway-based New Pope – fronted by Dave Boland – deal in truly beautiful, timeless and carefully crafted acoustic folk sounds. Passing with a whisper rather than a roar, New Pope’s songs are delivered with warmth and tenderness, as Boland’s distinctive vocal creates a warm, lush atmosphere – and an overwhelming sense of sense of nostalgia. Last year’s YOUTH EP & LP are wonderful and New Pope were excellent at Electric Picnic this year, and if that doesn’t entice you? Check out the layered, lush and beguiling beauty of ‘Love’ below:

Slow Riot: Friday, 20:10 – 20:40 @ The Hub

Limerick trio Slow Riot‘s ferocious, tense and searing post-punk, has marked them out as one of Ireland’s most promising guitar bands in sometime. Taking classic post-punk influences – Gang of Four, Television, Wire – and infusing them with more contemporary ones such as Girl Band and Future of the Left, they create an irresistible and thunderous modern take on a classic sound. Still need convincing? Check out the intense, insistent and menacing ‘Trophy Wife’ below. Peerless.

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Half Man Half Biscuit to Release Rarities Compilation ‘And Some Fell On Stony Ground’

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For over 30 years Half Man Half Biscuit, their lo-fi, post-punk/indie stylings and satirical, sardonic and sometimes surreal, observations, ramblings and creations from frontman Nigel Blackwell have consistently proven to be brilliant, unique and essential.

Like any HMHB fan, a new release from four lads who shook the Wirral is something to be celebrated and cherished. On November 4 (or October 21st – depending in who you believe it is Nov 4th) HMHB will add to their impressive collection of thirteen albums and numerous EPs with And Some Fell On Stony Ground; a collection of hard-to-find tracks only previously available on long-deleted releases. While new material would be preferable – bringing together some much-loved non-album material from long-deleted releases as it does – it is a very welcome addition. Compiled of tracks from the band’s four EPs, a B-side and a track contributed to a charity record, it includes classics such as ‘Bob Wilson – Anchorman’, ‘Tending The Wrong Grave For 23 Years’ and ‘Vatican Broadside’. Hopefully we’ll not be waiting for new material for long, but And Some Fell On Stony Ground is a very welcome addition nonetheless.

More details here and the album will be available from Probe Plus Records.

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Introducing: Whenyoung

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Whenyoung are a London-based Irish trio – Aoife (vocals/bass), Niall (vocals/guitar), and Andrew (vocals/drums) – who’ve got quite the flair for urgent, driven and fiery punk-flavoured garage-rock.

They sound brash, fiery and driven by a furious intensity. With their debut single ‘See How They Run’ / ‘Show Me How’ earlier in the year, they have made one hell of a first impression for themselves. ‘See How They Run’ is a ferocious two minute burst of vitality that fizzes and crackles amid crunchy guitars, relentless percussion and knockout vocals – fierce and raspy yet simultaneously pleasant. This vocal trait carries over into ‘Show Me How’ which is just as bold, brash and brilliant a squall of screeching guitar noise. Not only is Whenyoung’s sound blisteringly ferocious. it is catchy, hooky and totally irresistible!

You can check out ‘See How They Run’ / ‘Show Me How’ below. Whenyoung will be in Dublin next month, they play Hard Working Class Heroes on Friday, October 7th (The Workman’s @ 22:30).

TOY announce New Album ‘Clear Shot’, Share ‘Fast Silver’

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UK psych-rock outfit TOY have announced news that their new album, Clear Shot – the group’s third studio LP – will be released on October 28th via Heavenly.

Following last year’s collaborative album with Bat For Lashes’ Natasha Khan and producer Dan Carey as Sexwitch, Clear Shot is a proper follow-up to 2013’s Join The Dots. Heralding the new record is single ‘Fast Silver'; a playfully fuzzy, mid-tempo six-minute psych excursion. Shrouded in broodiness and punctured with stabby keys, it takes its time to develop into a hypnotic swirl of guitars and hazy atmospherics, punctuated by flickering electronics and percussion. As far as indications of what we can expect in future, you can’t ask for any better than this; moodily atmospheric yet optimistic and impeccably pieced together.

Clear Shot is out on October 28th via Heavenly. Listen to ‘Fast Silver’ below.

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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).