Introducing: Mollusk

Niall Murphy is best known for his vocalist and songwriter duties with garage rock trio Oh Boland, a name that may be familiar to some (if not, you need to check them out).

Murphy appears to be in the midst of a creative boom and has formed another band/side-project, Mollusk, to explore different avenues, sounds and styles, that perhaps don’t fit with the Oh Boland ethos. Our first introduction to Mollusk’s charms comes in the shape of self-titled, debut mini-album. From opener ‘Nothing Ain’t Nothing When It’s Something Or Other’, it is less muscular, rugged and abrasive than the rough and raw garage-punk of Oh Boland, preferring a mellower, rambling psych-tinged jangle. There is a pretty laid-back, almost slacker, west coast vibe that runs through the meandering melodiousness of ‘Ambulance Man’ to the free-spirited roving of ‘Cruisin’ Along’, complete with Status Quo-esque riffs and ‘Mollusk’, and its infectious indie-punk jangle that rivals anything from The Vaccines’ super catchy debut record. Similar but different, Mollusk is like a close relation to his previous output with Oh Boland, and of course, of an equally high standard.

You can sample some choice cuts from the 7-track, Mollusk mini-album below – and if those are to your liking – download the entire mini-album from here, just ‘name your price’.

SQRD – ‘Beast’

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SQRD is a musical collaboration project between two long time friends from Sweden, based in Berlin and Stockholm respectively.

Influenced by the likes of Caribou and Weval, The electronic duo’s debut single ‘Beast’ displays a similarly impressive style to their foregoing influential luminaries. Unfolding with a slowly developing atmosphere, this is broody electronica with a exploratory tenor, that swells across four minutes of captivating, pulsating ebbs and flows. Propelled by a relentless rhythm, it moves with fast-paced fluidity through melody, hypnotic build-ups and dank drifts of chilling distorted vocal. In addition, the advent of electro chimes and fluttering keys lend a ray of light, culminating in a compelling and stylish track, that navigates nicely between contrasting claustrophobic gloom and sheer beauty. An altogether impressive introduction to SQRD and hopefully there’s more where that came from, sooner rather than later.

For now though, you can listen to ‘Beast’ below.

The Annulments – ‘So Little To Miss’ + Album News

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Formed by friends with a mutual love of old folk, country, blues and soul music, The Annulments are a five-piece group based in Dublin. Made up of Stephen Coyle on guitar and vocals, Claire Fitzgerald; autoharp and vocals, Aoife Ruth; strings and keys, Richard Gill on bass and Niall Colreavy; drums and percussion, their debut LP has been a longtime coming.

Good things come to those who wait, so it’s said at least, and The Annulments debut album, entitled Everything I Lost, is penned for an October release. Their sound flows from a rich source of influences and styles; old Irish and American folk music and the songwriting traditions of balladeers and country and soul songwriters. Informed by these influences, The Annulments debut promises a collection of songs with an eclectic mix of musical styles and lyrical tales, of small towns, big disasters, abandoned dreams and labours lost. It’s an approach which has served them rather well in the past and teaser track, ‘So Little To Miss’, suggests it will continue to do so. ‘So Little To Miss’ is gentle, plucky little number that exemplifies their supreme musicianship and deep, earthy style, as the rich affecting vocals takes centre stage to a backdrop of slowly waltzing, soul and country inflected folk. An absolutely wonderful and timeless track, what The Annulments do best, after all.

You can listen to ‘So Little To Miss’ below and if it is to your liking, you can keep tabs on further details for their forthcoming debut LP, here.

Photo by Dara Munnis Photography.

Mr Huw – ‘Du Llun’ EP

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My affection for Welsh music is pretty well noted and that sung in their native tongue. Welsh is a language that lends itself to music rather well, regardless of whether you can understand it or not. Few, if any artists come close to Mr Huw in those regards, and he’s one of the most prolific and finest Welsh language artists there are.

Now residing in Caernarfon, North Wales, Mr Huw makes his return with a brand new EP, entitled Du Llun (which roughly translates as ‘Black Monday’). Huw’s rough and unpolished, DIY style indie/post-punk has a glorious Half Man Half Biscuit aesthetic to it and Du Llun is packed with powerful rhythms, pointed riffs and broached with some infectious melodies and peppered with hooks you could hang your hat on. From the chugging guitar, menacing bassline and thunderous rhythm of ‘Calonau Ni I Gyd’ to the scintillating riffs of ‘Hoel Dannedd’, we’re treated to irresistible, attention grabbing and intriguing tapestry of dark and light. As is Mr Huw’s forte, this tapestry is completed by subversive, witty lyrics, clever wordplay (so I have been reliably informed) and ear-catching choruses, to form mesmerising and rockin’ indie tunes. Mr Huw’s a unique soul; an artist to be treasured, cherished and of course, enjoyed!

Du Llun is released on August 31st through Recordiau Cae Gwyn as a free download and limited edition CD (25), numbered and signed artwork including unique photo of Mr Huw going about his day in Caernarfon – you can’t say fairer than that, now can you? There are some choice cuts below & you can also listen to Mr Huw’s GruffWuff inclusion – ‘Bai Neb Ond Fy Hun’ – of which you can download the full 19-track compilation here for FREE.

Imploded View – ‘We Choose Love’

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The summer may be drawing to a close but there’s no harm is trying to squeeze the last drop out of it, is there? With that in mind, Imploded View has bounced back into our lives with one of the most undeniably infectious and danceable tunes of the season so far.

The Longford-based producer’s latest effort, ‘We Choose Love’, is a buoyant electro anthem of love and tolerance, permeated with an overwhelmingly gleeful, summery vibe. Through a slick supply of squelchy synths, bouncy beats, glitching electro-pop hooks and soulful vocals, this giddy, funky manifestation espouses an irresistible groove and bounce of sheer joy. Of course, we shouldn’t overlook the message too; it is one of love, inclusion and tolerance, and a not-so-subtle two fingers to the right-wing spreaders of hate. A fine sentiment, and an equally choice tune.

Imploded View is reportedly working on a new record which is certainly good news but for now? Yeah, you guessed it, you can stream ‘We Choose Love’ below. It is also available as a FREE download here.

Ghostpoet – ‘Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me’ (Ghost Culture Remix)

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As much as Ghostpoet’s – London-based Obaro Ejimiwe – talent and skills are without question, his style tends to lend itself to a darker, more morose tone.

Stepping in on remix duties, London producer Ghost Culture, demonstrates his wizardry, serving us with an exquisite re-framing of Ghostpoet’s enormously bittersweet current single, ‘Sorry My Love, It’s You Not Me’, from his most recent LP, Shedding Skin. It is a refreshing, upbeat synth-lead rework, with Ghost Culture injecting plenty of bounce, rhythmic energy and some serious pep-to-its-step. A sprawling six-minute plus thing of wonder, that builds and builds, through world of cool grooves with all the clinical precision, delicious crispness and burbling synthesizers that make Ghost Cuture’s self-titled debut record the treasure that it is. A marvelously smooth rework, no doubt about it.

You can listen to Ghost Culture’s remix and Ghostpoet’s original below – and/or check out Ghostpoet’s recently released third studio album Shedding Skin here and Ghost Culture’s superb self-titled debut here.

Silverbacks – ‘The Pink Tide’

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Dublin based indie/garage outfit Silverbacks have returned with a new single ‘The Pink Tide’.

This latest offering adds to what’s been a pretty productive year so far; releasing their second album, Hot Bath, back in January and Record Store Day single, ‘Through A Curtain’, in April. New track ‘The Pink Tide’ continues to plough a similar furrow; however their the slanted Pavement inspired sound does a dance with the post-punk tones of Television and a touch of Talking Heads. Cliched as it sounds, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It retains their lo-fi garage roots, honing and refining their sound with buzzing exuberance, some scintillating riffs and guitar work and when the solo kicks in at the 2:30 mark, it is sheer magic. All a rather perfect backdrop for Dan O’Kelly’s low-toned and world weary vocals, which remain an undoubted highlight. Great stuff as per usual.

You can listen to ‘The Pink Tide’ Below, and also, Silverbacks’ latest album is available here, you just gotta ‘pay what you like’.

Dog Legs – ‘Holiday’ EP

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London/Brighton duo Dog Legs have a penchant for noise. The good kind mind. You know the sort of thing; fuzzy riffs, crashing drums and general bursts of scrappy, noisy, lo-fi pop goodness.

Dog Legs, aka Moema Meade and Liam Bradbury, who first featured here back in 2013 with their Awkward EP, are back and sounding as good and NOISY as ever. The latest EP, Holiday, a 7-track rickety roller-coaster ride, is jammed with their band’s tangle of sounds – surf, punk, pop & garage rock – tethered together with sweet ramshackle charm. ‘Holiday’ brings the ruckus; a loud, brash and bratty spiral of blistering riffs, chaotic crashing drums and howling vocals. ‘Ugly’ meanwhile, is similarly scuzzy but less frantic fun blast of fuzz and imbued with a buzzing intensity and fizzy energy, and full of sing along hooks. ‘I Trusted You’ reminds of the slanted sounds of Pavement (Slanted & Enchanted era); all ramshackle distortion, fuzz and repetitive angular riffs. There is an honesty & pureness to their sound; it’s raw, imperfect and laid bare, and all the better for it. It’s good to have ’em back and sounding as noisy as ever.

Holiday is out now on a very limited run of cassettes (25 yellow / 75 blue) & ‘Holiday / Ugly’ is also released as a digital single. You can try some choice cuts below.

Introducing: Martha Ffion

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Martha Ffion is an Irish-born, Glasgow-based singer-songwriter, who has been making a bit of a name for herself.

So much so that Ffion has teamed up with the irrepressibly magnificent Lost Map Records, to follow up her 2014 debut EP, Go, with double a-side ‘No Applause/Lead Ballons’. ‘No Applause’ is a glorious and infectious slice of fuzz-pop,  combining dainty ’60s girl-group vocals, sprightly rhythms, crunchy surf-grunge guitars with rumbling bass tones and punchy percussion. Ffion has drafted in some of Glasgow’s finest – label mate Suse Bear of Tuff Love plays bass and produced the song, The Phantom Band’s Iain Stewart provides drums and Poor Things’ Craig Angus supplies lead guitar- on the new single. The retro charm of ‘No Applause’ will warm your heart,  get your toes tapping and have you smiling from ear to ear.

Martha Ffionn has a couple of live dates coming up (see here) and also supported Honeyblood & Colleen Green recently; ‘No Applause’ in particular carries a certain similarity to the latter’s finest work. You can listen to ‘No Applause’ and ‘Go’, the title track to the 2014 debut EP, below.

Anderson – ‘Things We Have In Common’ + Debut Album News

Anderson, aka Dublin musician and songwriter Daniel Anderson, has long been a firm favourite around these parts, and with good reason.

With his former band The Rags, Anderson had already marked himself out as a fine songwriter and following the demise of the band, he re-emerged with a different approach from their raspy rock’n’roll. Since unveiling his solo-project in 2012, Anderson brought things to a new level, preferring a folksy sound with irresistible, classic ‘60s/’70s pop melodies. All draped in Anderson’s intuitive song-writing and storytelling abilities, we’ve already been treated to the wonderful delights of double A-side ‘Patterns / History’ & ‘Hallowed Heart’ EP.

Now, after what seems like an eternity, Anderson has announced the brilliant news that his debut solo album, Patterns, shall be released on September 18th. With the new record on the horizon, we’ve been afforded further insight with ‘Things We Have In Common’. It is a beautiful and meticulously crafted pop classic, baring all the wonderful hallmarks of his previous solo releases. Needless to say, September 18th is a date for the diary.

You can listen to ‘Things We Have In Common’ below and download it for free, here. Patterns can be pre-ordered here.

Tracklisting: 1. The Twilight is Folding 2. Patterns 3. Things We Have In Common 4. Vincent 5. History 6. The Melody 7. The Existential Vacuum 8. Cecilia’s Sister 9. Through The Night 10. Sad Lullaby 11. About A Life 12. The Morning’s Never New