Mountain Bike – ‘This Lonely Place’

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More closely associated with electronica, Belgium has produced more than its fair share of tidy bands too, and joining that list is garage outfit, Mountain Bike.

The four-piece, hailing from Brussels, have just released new single ‘This Lonely Place’. Taken from their forthcoming album About Too Sorry For Any Sorrow – due out on the 3rd of March – ‘This Lonely Place’ is a fuzzy, jangling four minutes of laid-back, hook-drenched, melodic-vibes. From a melancholic opening, it nonchalantly skips along head-nodding bundle of joy. Comparisons to the likes of Ty Segall, Mac DeMarco, Car Seat Headrest & King Gizzard & The Wizard Lizard have been made, and while they are all valid, there is a certain late ’90s Blur and early noughties Graham Coxon (solo work) vibe too. Regardless, this is super catchy, infectious and addicting, Mountain Bike have found that sweet spot between pop and indie.

Listen to ‘This Lonely Place’ below, and keep an eye out for this four-piece in 2017.

Billy Changer – ‘Barbarella’

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Billy Changer is an L.A. based artist, producer, radio DJ and member of L.A. based band, Corners.

Changer’s solo work – and self-titled 2014 debut released via Lolipop Records / Burger Records – is marked by a fondness for a lovingly rough around the edges hybrid of ’60s garage and psych-pop. Taken from the aforementioned debut and exuding all those aesthetic qualities is single, ‘Barbarella’, for which he has just released a new video for – and it is a dynamite intro to the world of Billy Changer. Driven by a propulsive, whirring bass-line which cuts through the hazy jangle which at times, everything is coated in a light coat of fuzz and distortion. A deliciously ramshackle, lo-fi sound, ‘Barbella’ is an insidiously catchy, plucky and utterly irresistible slice of garage and psych-pop indebted indie.

You can check out ‘Barbella’ below. If that is to you liking (of which I’m sure it will) you can listen to Billy Charger’s self-titled debut here. You shall not regret it.

Introducing: Them Jones

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Them Jones are a Philadelphia five-piece with a flair for mesmerising, retro sounding, psych-tinged garage rock.

Them Jones’ most recent album, A Mountain of Nonsense was released last year and is a rough-around-the-edges and unpolished aural adventure, swathed in ’60s sounds and inspirations. Whether it is the likes of ‘Outburst’, which sees them tumble into a frenetic two-minute burst of punchy guitar driven garage-rock or ‘Honeytrap’, embracing the softer subtleties of the genre, giving a smoother, more soulful flavour – we find a band at the peak of their prowess. The same can be said for slowly waltzing and hushed poetic delights of ‘The Shrinking Violet’s Light’, and the record in general. At varying times, Them Jones bring to mind The Doors, The White Stripes, The Animals and any more of a similar ilk, yet they manage to maintain ownership of their musical vision and sound. This is their interpretation of a genre and era they know and love. They are masters of their craft and it executed with perfection, and sometimes you know, that is quite enough.

You can listen to some choice cuts from Them Jones’ latest album A Mountain of Nonsense. If those are to your liking, well, you can stream the LP here. Enjoy!

Incoming: A Quick Chat With Count Vaseline | Plays Broken Home This Saturday

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Count Vaseline is the new project from Stefan Murphy, formerly of Dublin rock ‘n roll miscreants The Mighty Stef, and The Count is bringing genre-warped garage sounds to Newbridge, for an intimate and special Broken Home show.

It was a dark day for Irish music back in May, when time was called on The Might Stef. Always a prolific tunesmith, it wasn’t long before Murphy introduced his new guise Count Vaseline. Falling somewhere between raw garage rock and crooning fuzz-pop – sonically a different being – the new project remains draped in his unique and intuitive storytelling ability. There’s already a debut LP, Yo No Soy Marinero – a genre-warped record that fizzes with energy, invention and brimming with weird and wondrous ideas, and full of heart – with album number two, Cascade to follow in December.

In support of his new endeavour, Count Vaseline has been playing shows across the US and Ireland, and this Saturday, December 3, he rolls into Newbridge town, for an intimate and special Broken Home show, with support from the Tallaght folk machine We Went Down.

Ahead of the weekend’s show I caught up with Count Vaseline, to chat about the new project, touring and all things music. Check the album below too!

You can find further details on The Broken Home Series here, more info on the show here and you can purchase your ticket from Eventbright.

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The Courtneys Announce new album, ‘The Courtneys II'; Share ‘Silver Velvet’

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Vancouver indie trio The Courtneys have announced details for the follow up to their marvellous self-titled debut. Simply titled The Courtneys II, it is set to arrive on February 17 through Flying Nun.

With their 2013 debut, The Courtneys peddled a lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop that drifting back toward the ’90s and first taster from the new record, ‘Silver Velvet’ leads a very similar charge. Endearingly ramshackle, it is pumped with fuzzed-up distorted guitars, sweet licks and heavy, driving bass lines. Done and dusted in exactly three minutes, it is topped off with some intricate drums and dreamy vocals, rarely has ramshackle indie been so appealing and so pretty damn irresistible. A pure noise pop gem.

The Courtneys’ new album, The Courtneys II, is out on February 17, 2017. For now, enjoy the irresistible earworm that is ‘Silver Velvet’. Also, if you haven’t done so already, check out their snappy 2013 debut LP here. Well worth your attention.

Mowbird – ‘Greetings, All!’ EP | A Magnificent Happy-Go-Lucky Fuzz-Fest

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Mowbird have been big favourites around here since bursting into view with their superb debut album Islander back in 2014; a fun-filled adventure in soul-consuming, fuzzy indie-pop.

Since their 2014 debut the North Walian quartet have been pretty quiet – releasing a single with Sweet Baboo & the One-Offs compilation – but that’s all changed with a brand new EP, Greetings, All!. Adorned with all the hallmarks which singles them out as one of the finest purveyors of fuzzy indie-pop, Mowbird’s new EP is a whirlwind of mostly sub 2-minute adventures in fuzzy, fun-filled blasts of scuzzy, sweetly melodic garagey, noise-pop. From the exuberant bursts of energy from saw-tooth opener ‘Pulsator’ to the hyperactive power-pop explosion of ‘My Boyfriend, The Alien’, there is an irresistible alchemy at work. What makes Mowbird ear-pleasing racket is, it is combined with a poppy sheen, catchy harmonies, melodies and hooks; and some stunning organ work (an intrinsic part of their sound). In typical Mowbird fashion, this magnificent happy-go-lucky fuzz-fest will be bouncing round your head all day long.

You can listen to some choice cut from Greetings, All! below or stream/purchase it here.

Hinds Share ‘Holograma’ & Release Deluxe Edition of Debut LP

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Hinds released their debut album, Leave Me Alone, at the very start of the year and one of 2016’s finest it is an utterly joyous collection of upbeat lo-fi gargey indie.

To top of a successful year, the Madrid quartet are releasing a deluxe edition of their debut, featuring some covers, B-sides, rarities and demos. Hinds have graciously shared one of those tracks ‘Holograma'; sang in Spanish, it is a cover of a jam by their pals and fellow Madrid-based band Los Nastys. It may not be ‘their’ song but it has Hinds stamp all over it and provides a timely reminder to why they, and their debut LP, are so lovable. A big jolly slice of sun-drenched and lackadaisical, scratchy lo-fi surf-punk; all ramshackle guitars, carefree vibes and all-round infectious. This is the sound of a band having a lot of fun and not taking themselves too seriously – as we’ve become accustomed to with Hinds.

You can listen to ‘Holograma’ below and there is more on the deluxe LP here. Oh, and don’t forget: Hinds play The Academy, Dublin on November 29th – more here.

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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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).

Allah-Las – ‘Could Be You’ + New Album Coming in September

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Allah-Las have announced the release of their third album Calico Review.

The Los Angeles outfit’s forthcoming 12-track offering follow’s 2014’s Worship the Sun, and will be with us on September 9, via Mexican Summer. Following on from ‘Famous Phone Figure’ is new single ‘Could be Be You’, serving as another teaser for the group’s forthcoming third record. And oh my, it’s a doozy! Finding their groove and sound by melting down parts of the ’60s and ’70s and pressing them into something that is simultaneously vital and casual. Bringing with them all the laid-back hazy, sunny vibes, choppy percussion, racy guitars, and harmony vocals slots; ‘Could Be You’ spills over with psychedelic playfulness and splotches of vintage r&b, garage rock and surf. ‘Could Be You’ is an utterly irresistible and enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll ear-worm, guaranteed to have you heading straight for the repeat button.

Give a listen to ‘Could Be You’ (along with the video) below. Their third album Calico Review is out on September 9th.