Blimp – ‘Always In My Mind’

Blimp is a Dublin-based producer with a penchant for lush, warm and woozy slices of seductive house/electronica – attributes demonstrated in abundance by the beautiful, feelgood and sunny electronica escapism of new single ‘Always In My Mind’.

‘Always In My Mind’ follows debut single ‘Back To Me’ (feat. Kareem Ali) earlier this year, and delivers something deliciously seductive; marrying the exquisite elegance of electronica, dancefloor focus and seductive grooves of house music – and in doing so, crafting something we’d expect from far more seasoned hands. It is a lush, lavish and sunkissed affair as warm synths fizz with life and effervescence, gushing over soft beats, deep seductive grooves and sparkling spurts of electronics, amid an abundance of uplifting and sunny vibes. ‘Always In My Mind’ is a beautifully, uplifting and lush jam, bound together by a feelgood vibe, seductive groove, and peppered by bouts of mild euphoria and compulsion to dance.

One to get lost in as it forms a real sense of familiarity, oozing nostalgic feelings for hazy summer days and nights – and something that will keep you coming back for more.

Listen to ‘Always In My Mind’ below now:

Elliott Mo – ‘Rest Here A Moment’

Elliott Mo is an Irish producer / electronic musician who introduced his wares in October last year with the stunning single ‘Oceans’, and Mo is back with the equally superb ‘Rest Here A Moment’.

While the previous single demonstrated a flair for dynamic dancefloor focused electronica, ‘Rest Here A Moment’ is a more chilled, meditative and ethereal affair. It is lush, woozy and wonderfully soothing slice of electronica that glides gracefully across dreamy surroundings and a soft tempo. Hazy textures swirl as lapping like sounds ripple below bright swells of synth and ebullient tone as we are lulled into soothing state of transfixed tranquility. It is beautiful, ethereal and dreamy – and one that will leave you all the better for making its acquaintance.

Listen to ‘Rest Here A Moment’ below – it does not disappoint:

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.

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:

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.

Sean OB – ‘Teacher’

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Dublin songwriter/musician Sean OB – aka Sean O’Brien – is quite the ball of energy, as evidenced by new single ‘Teacher’.

The former Trap Door man’s latest is spirited to say the least, it explodes out of the blocks with vitality, releasing it’s ferocious pent up energy, like a coiled up spring. Fusing the streetwise poetry of Jamie T with the irresistible rock ‘n’ roll of Buddy Holly, Sean OB delivers an incredibly catchy ear-worm, with pop-hooks and a snappy pace to boot. ‘Teacher’ follows previous tune ‘Alive’, and is another glorious sample of what to expect in the coming months, with a flurry of singles and debut EP promised.

‘Teacher’ and its visual companion is below – tune in now.

JOHNNY FEENEY’S ALBUMS OF 2017

albums of 2017

Aside from compiling my own end of year lists, I really do enjoy checking out other people’s take on the past 12 months and none more so than Mr. Johnny Feeney.

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 – of which, 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 2017.

10. Grandaddy – Last Place

Previously split up in 2006, Grandaddy’s first album in eleven years saw the ever-eccentric, cult Californians return with a bang with their trademark, electronica-tinged alt-rock. The familiar sounds of Jason Lytle’s distinctive, melancholic vocals, chugging guitars and synth flourishes are all present and correct on a wonderful comeback album that was well worth the wait.

09. Fangclub – Fangclub

Dublin rockers, Fangclub, have been tearing up stages around the country and further afield for a while now and, thankfully, their self-titled debut album delivers on the promise of their raucous live shows. In a classic guitar/bass/drums set up, the trio display a keen ear for an infectious hook and make a thunderous racket not dissimilar to Nirvana. If you like it loud then look no further.

08. Wolf Alice – Visions Of A Life

The London four-piece’s sophomore album sees a fine follow up to 2015’s commercially successful, Mercury-nominated My Love Is Cool. The adaptability of vocalist Elise Rowell means the group are equally comfortable on the melodic, anthemic indie-rock side of things (‘Beautifully Unconventional’) as they are on the heavier material (‘Yuk Foo’) and anything in between. It’s this broad range that makes Wolf Alice such an interesting proposition.

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Simple Kid – ‘Snakes and Ladders’

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In early 2011 Simple Kid announced through his official website that there will be no further music nor tours by Simple Kid. Despite this announcement, a new single, ‘The Road’, slipped out well and truly under the radar in the Spring of 2012.

Since then? Nothing. Well not quiet it seems. In November of last year he did it again, with out any fuss or anything really, Simple Kid slid a new song under the radar, called ‘Snakes and Ladders’. The track, commissioned by the BBC as part Radio 4 series  ‘Forever Young’, suggests the synths, beats and electronics of ‘The Road’ have been put to one side for the time being. Preferred instead is that recognizable and grainy SK alt-folk sound, as he and an unknown female vocal companion lament the precariousness which is all to real for so many living through the throes Capitalism’s latest crisis. The songwriting is clever yet subtle and the song in general is superb. 

Whether this is it, or we shall be intermittently treated to the odd track here and there or, by some stroke of luck might see something more substantial is anyone’s guess. Only the kid knows that for certain.

Hat tip to former Vagabond Dave Phelan for this one.

Imploded View – ‘Mixed View’

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From his Longford hideaway, operating under the guise of Imploded View, Jerome McCormick has proven a reliable source of experimental, sometimes abstract but always interesting electronic music.

McCormick’s preference has always been atmospheric, downtempo and minimalist electronic compositions with sparse sounds, synths and all manner of analogue trickery. Dark, moody and immediately emotive, the music rarely if ever, emerges from first gear, preferring to meander through a vast and cloudy world of dreamy, chilled sounds and ambient dreamscapes. Having released album #2, Anomoly Domine only last year, this latest work from the Imploded View camp is something quite different. 

Mixed View is a remix package (plus two new originals) which sees the entrusting of remix duties to R.S.A.G, Christ, VHS Head, Daithi & Yimino. Of them, the standout’s are R.S.A.G’s rework of ‘The Keeping’ and VHS Head’s remix of ‘Julia Taxi’. R.S.A.G takes probably the most playful and laid-back of all Imploded View’s works and adds pep to its step so to speak, giving it a new lease of life with an irresistible groove, bounce and a swaggering cool confidence of David Holmes or Primal Scream. VHS Head meanwhile, takes the dark, moody melancholy of ‘Julia Taxi’ and turns it into a fascinating, futuristic and impermeable concoction imbued between rumbling sonic road trip of its psychedelic whirls and the dense ear-shaking beats and crunching bass. Just two choice cuts from a thoroughly worthwhile and enjoyable EP. 

Mixed View is out now and available here