Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2016


Better late than never, Johnny Feeney would like to share his favourite records from 2016 with you all.

A reliably insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and add an extra flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading them – surely I’m not alone?

A massive thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his Mr. Feeney’s favourite records of 2016.

10. Laura Mvula – ‘The Dreaming Room’

The Birmingham soul singer’s second studio album comes densely packed with layers of Mvula’s unique vocals and a broad range of sounds and influences, including lead single ‘Overcome’ featuring Nile Rodgers. Despite not always hitting the mark, there are some powerful, intriguing tracks on here. Really needs to be played at a high volume to give everything a chance to be heard.

09. Car Seat Headrest – ‘Teens Of Denial’

Virginia’s Will Toledo has been releasing albums prolifically as Car Seat Headrest for a few years now but this is only his second full release on a major label. Seriously overlong at almost 70 minutes, the album has the capacity to absolutely blow you away with cracking rock songs such as ‘Fill In The Blanks’ or ‘Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales’. The more you listen to it, the better it gets.

08. Hinds – ‘Leave Me Alone’

The debut album from this Madrid all-girl four-piece is a joyous, upbeat lo-fi indie rock affair. There’s a neat trick performed here with the loose, ramshackle guitars and lazy, loose drums in stark contrast with the tightness of the hook-laden, impossibly infectious songs – and the sound of a band having a lot of fun and not taking themselves too seriously.

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Sexwitch – ‘Ha Howa Ha Howa’


Natasha Khan of Bat for Lashes fame, has joined forces with members of TOY and producer Dan Carey, for a new project called Sexwitch.

Due out on September 25th, the self-titled, six-song collection consists of cover versions of ’70s psych and folk songs from across the world, and although comprised of covers, most probably won’t be familiar with the songs. Following on from ‘Helelyos’, and with the record’s release this week, Sexwitch have unveiled a new track, ‘Ha Howa Ha Howa’, from Morocco, originally sung in the ‘70s by Cheikha Hanna Ouakki. A hypnotic and captivating track, with a powerful dark groove, rumbling bass and percussives, and primal vibe enthrall no end. The affecting chants and repeated refrain of “He addicted me and I addicted him” are addicting and mesmeric in their own right too. An irresistible and entrancing six minutes plus, that quickly locks you under its spell.

You can check out ‘Ha Howa Ha Howa’ & ‘Helelyos’ below now. Also, ahead of its release this Friday, you can stream Sexwitch’s debut via The Guardian.

Best of 2012: w/ Mick Power from The Violet Roadkills

The Violet Roadkills

It’s that time of year when every music website, publication and blog (including this one) are busy compiling end of year lists. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to the bands and artist’s who’ve played a ‘BarryGruff Presents’ show this year and ask them for their ‘favourite album of 2012’, ‘favourite song of 2012’ & ‘favourite Irish song of the year’.

Without further waffle from me, here’s  Mick Power from The Violet Roadkills and his picks from the year that was 2012.

Favourite Album of 2012: Air – Le Voyage dans la Lune, Bat for Lashes – Haunted Man

I started writing about Bat For Lashes then looked through some lists to see if I’d forgot anything and saw Air, I can’t choose between them, they’re both just gorgeous albums. Air’s Le Voyage dans la Lune is only a half hour soundtrack but has more ideas going on than anything else this year. Orchestral, electronic, melody upon counter melody, but nothing in the way of anything else, it all syncs beautifully. Each track works into the next, throw yer wan from Beach House on as well its a joy.

Bat for Lashes just getting better with every album and Haunted Man is stunning. That voice of god thing, she’d be up there with Liz Fraser, Aretha Franklin for the soul they put into it. I never go deciphering lyrics or anything but from the feel of this, it is like she poured her heart out on this album, really emotional stuff and it gets you. I can’t come up with any more words for beautiful but that’s what it is. Honourable mentions to Grizzly Bear, Richard Hawley, First Aid Kit, Django Django, Tame Impala, Mark Lanegan, Grimes, Purity Ring, Walkmen, Father John Misty & Santigold.

Favourite song of 2012: Dr John – ‘Revolution’

Favourite song is too hard! I’ll go with this to have something different from the best album stuff. Always loved Dr John, some voices just command attention, Gil Scott Heron, Mark Lanegan, it is like what you imagine Gods voice would be like. Dr John is one of them. Teaming him up with Dan Auerbach worked great, it is polished but leaves some of the dirt on top, the arrangements are fantastic, still keeps his brassy New Orleans thing in but beefs it up with a heavier blues rock style. Funky can be a horrible word, I just imagine hours of slap bass awfulness but this is one of them, old tight but loose chestnuts, and yeah funky, but in the best way possible.

Favourite Irish song (and album) of 2012: Spook of the 13th Lock – ‘The Brutal Here & Now’

‘The Brutal Here & Now’ is the song that got me into the Spook of the 13th Lock‘s great album. It has the Irish trad thing in it but above all else its just a great catchy song, great hooks and melodies over a pulsing rhythm. Its anthemic by the end. Great players. Honourable mentions to Mumblin Deaf Ro, Logikparty, Cast of Cheers, Katie Kim & Ghost Estates.

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