Sorcha Richardson – ‘Don’t Talk About It’


Photo by Cáit Fahey

NYC-based Irish artist Sorcha Richardson will release her long-awaited and much anticipated debut album First Prize Bravery in the Autumn.

This great news is heralded by a charming new single ‘Don’t Talk About It’. Sweet, charming and infectious, it skips along a jovial rhythm as Richardson’s lush vocals are accompanied by jagged guitars, sweeping synths and warm textures, creating – musically at least – a sweet, idyllic and nostalgic vibe. Lyrically however, it is a song about avoiding conflict and trying to keep the peace, no matter how much you end up sacrificing in order to do so. Richardson’s approach on ‘Don’t Talk About It’ is somewhat more expansive, it remains an intimate and moving experience. Richardson’s work to date was enough to mark out her debut as one to look out for but with ‘Don’t Talk About It’, it has upped the ante.

Listen to ‘Don’t Talk About It’ below:

Taylor Knox – ‘Live it Up’

Toronto musician Taylor Knox is gearing up to release new album Here Tonight on June 7.

The forthcoming record is the follow-up to 2017 debut Love and preceded by lead single ‘Live It Up’, which is adorned with all the signature bells and whistles of Knox’s debut. It is bright, energetic and super catchy, and packed to the rafters with irresistible power pop hooks – the allure of ‘Live It Up’ is great. Loud, crunchy guitars lead the charge with a powerful, forceful and driving rhythm for company as we are treated to a sweetly melodic world of sweet licks and lovely layers of fuzz and mild distortion – and hooks you could hang your hat on. It is a powerful, hooky and anthemic power-pop colossus – a great omen for the new album.

Listen to ‘Live it Up’ below:

Sal Dulu – ‘Buzzcut’

Dublin-based producer Sal Dulu established a rep for fabulous hip-hop flavoured electronic productions with a string of stellar singles last year; ‘Duluoz Dream’, ‘Antasma’ & ‘Tyko’.

Opening his 2019 account with the atmospheric ‘Xompulse’, the Dubliner indicated a continuation of form and Sal Dulu is back with a new offering called ‘Buzzcut’.Joined by Atlanta-via-Memphis emcee staHHr, who takes command of vocal duties as Sal Dulu weaves together a breezy, dreamy atmosphere, lush cinematic strings, erratic breaks and choral-esque chants. It is an elegant arrangement that glistens and flickers with tranquillity as it stutters with a somewhat fidgety progression, that beneath staHHr’s vocals, only adds to the captivating nature. An atmospheric beauty; an engrossing and transfixing blend of rich, warm sounds.

Sal Dulu’s previous releases have been stellar and ‘Buzzcut’ is up there alongside the very best of them; of his or anyone else’s singles from so far this year – one of 2019’s finest.

Listen to ‘Buzzcut’ below:

Silverbacks – ‘Pink Tide’

Over the past few years, a few things have become certainties; my hair is not going to get any less greyer, Wrexham will break my heart come the season’s end and Silverbacks releases don’t disappoint.

The most recent Dublin-based outfit have been been nothing short of phenomenal; the unrelenting, unshakeable and sometimes post-punk spectacles of ‘Just In The Band’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Just For A Better View’. Firmly in the here and now, Silverbacks are back with whispers of an album in 2019 and new single ‘Pink Tide’.

Like their other recent releases, ‘Pink Tide’ is once again recorded with Girl Band’s Daniel Fox, and raucous and buzzing with a jagged edged exuberance. Interlocking guitars provide precise freneticism, and pivots ‘Pink Tide’ off-kilter as Dan O’Kelly delivers his low-toned and world weary vocals. It is effortlessly gritty with scintillating riffs and guitar work, and when the solo kicks in at the 2:30 mark, provides a cathartic jolt towards the finish. It is barbed, searing and raucous without ever being messy, in fact incredibly tight, kept in check by the metronomic drums and those frenetic guitars. Electrifying, explosive and exhilarating as per usual – in my humble opinion, Silverbacks are Ireland’s finest emerging band.

Tune in to ‘Pink Tide’ below:

Quodega – ‘Design Your Eyes’

Quodega is the moniker of Cardiff-based electronica artist Tom Raybould who crafts propulsive electronica that is marked by decidedly cinematic feel.

Following on from 2017’s The Meanderlux Vessel, Quodega has returned with a brand new album called Only Forward, and the first single lifted from the album is ‘I Design Your Eyes’.

It is a sleek cinematic vision powered by a relentless chugging tempo and propulsive synth, filtered through the unique contours of his own musical imagination. Building from a hardy rhythmic core, he paves a long and winding path through a chilling hinterland between electronica and techno whereby dreams and reality coexist, and offering a perfect backdrop for the driving beats, mutating synths, splashes of neon light and propulsive groove. Upon listening to ‘Design Your Eyes’, it will come as no surprise to find that Raybould has extensive soundtrack experience to his name; it is a marvel that is captivating and immersive, and creates an incredible sense of wonderment and adventure.

Listen to ‘Design Your Eyes’ below and if that is to your liking, the new album can be found here.

Buí – ‘Something Else To Think About’

Formed in May 2017, Buí is a collaborative musical project established by musician and singer-songwriter Josh Healy, who, with Eoin Johnson, Adam Sloan, Ronan McQuillan and Amy Nolan recorded and released debut album, Eugene, before the close of 2017.

Now, 18 month on, the Belfast indie outfit are back with wonderful double a-side ‘Something Else to Talk About / People Don’t Think’ – and there is an irresistible alchemy at work. ‘Something Else To Think About’ is a gently meandering, scuzzy, soul-consuming guitar jam. It is charming and melodic, as brazen retro synth riffs, subtly dissonant guitars and introspective lyrics and beautiful lilting vocals, combine amid layers of warm fuzz and distortion. In just over three-minutes, ‘Something Else To Think About’ captures the very essence of Buí’s ear-pleasing appeal; warm and fuzzy sounds mingle with catchy harmonies, melodies and pop hooks, and stunning retro synth-work.

The double-a side single is out now and you can listen to the beautiful ‘Something Else To Think About’ below.

Also, you can catch them live across Ireland over the next few days starting with Dublin tonight:

30.05 – Dublin (The Workman’s Club, Dublin)
31.05 – Galway (Róisín Dubh)
01.06 – Limerick (Pharmacia)

HAVVK – ‘Shifting Shape’

Formidable Berlin-based Irish outfit HAVVK will release their debut album Cause & Effect later this year and the trio have been ramping up expectation levels with singles ‘Always The Same’ and ‘Birds On A Wire’; and HAVVK have added further with new single ‘Shifting Shape’.

‘Shifting Shape’ is urgent and pulsating as it whizzes by in a whirlwind two-minutes of raucous, distorted and grungy alt-rock. It is fierce, biting and epic as it hurtles off along a furious stomping groove armed with searing, buzzsaw riffs, impassioned vocals and unrelenting guitar lines. It is gritty and raw, packed with vitality and passion, it is relentless but also incredibly catchy. Yet another reason to get excited for HAVVK’s debut album which is coming later in the year – watch this space.

Listen to ‘Shifting Shape’ below now:

June Fest 2019

June Fest is back again this year with a series of great events in Newbridge (and surrounding areas) over the course of June.

Last year was brilliant and there is loads of brilliant stuff going on again. Below is just a quick snapshot of some highlights including some events I’m involved with personally.

As I said, there are tons of events over the course of the month, and you can take a look at the full calendar of events @ JuneFest.ie.

Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny

Sunday, June 2, 8PM @ Newbridge Town Hall

Two giants of the Irish trad scene, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, will be grace the stage for a historic show in Newbridge Town Hall.

The legendary pairing will unite for an evening of great music, a mixture of traditional songs, and originals. Neither musician are strangers to Newbridge – it being Lunny’s hometown and Irvine having played many a memorable show here – but this will be a reunion with added history, as it’s their first time playing in Newbridge Town Hall since the days of Planxty.

Between them, Irvine and Lunny have been at the helm of legendary bands like Planxty, Sweeney’s Men, The Bothy Band, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher’s Island. Their unique style of accompaniment is an ongoing influence in the wider world of Irish music.

This promises to be a memorable night from two of the Irish trad scene’s living legends. One not to be missed.

Tickets are €20 and available here.

Crackling Vinyl

Sunday, June 02, 10PM @ Flanagan’s Bar

The Crackling DJs – as in myself, Broken Home & Friends – will bring our much loved all vinyl night to Flanagan’s Bar on June 2, spinning an exquisite selection of new & classic tunes; indie, pop, soul, hip-hop, garage & more.

Entry is free and the show starts @ 10PM.

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Kid Aristides – ‘Summer No 30’

Kid Aristides is a SNES-influenced, synth/vocaloid pop project from surreptitiously mysterious Montreal musician.

Heavily influenced by SNES Square RPGs (like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger) and utilising analog hardware and flair for synthesized vocal-driven art-pop, Kid Aristides serves up a magical confection of beautifully off-kilter electronic-pop, and latest single ‘Summer No 30’ is a case in point.

Peculiar but playful, it flutters along a simmering synth beat through a beautiful imaginative world filled with colourful ideas and kaleidoscopic sounds, and bound together in hypnotic majesty. It’s an eccentric Technicolor pop adventure of playfully experimental arrangements and sounds that are gentle whirring together and filled with breezy ambience and sense of awe. Propped up by that simmering synth beat, the synthesized vocal adds a final and elegant lick of retro-futurist paint for a supreme slice of electronic pop, and one that manages to display a fun, playful side while at the same time captivating your attention completely.

Listen to ‘Summer No 30’ below – it doesn’t disappoint:

Freddie Joachim – ‘Serenade’

Instrumental Hip-Hop producer Freddie Joachim breezes his way into our lives with sublime new single ‘Serenade’.

‘Serenade’ is the second single lifted from the upcoming LP Beyond The Sea of Trees, penned for release via Jakarta Records before the end of May 2019

‘Serenade’ marks Joachim out as a beat maker supreme. Dusty hip hop drums, rich jazzy chords and lush flecks of guitar breezily coalesce for an easy on the ear, slice of fresh and soulful instrumental hip hop. ‘Serenade’ is filled with charm, warmth and mellow vibes, it meanders with flowing sense of freedom and aloof escapism. All in all, it is a lush, elegant and utterly hypnotising single.

Tune into ‘Serenade’ below: