Swimmers Jackson – ‘Believe’

Believe

London-based Dubliner Niall Jackson aka Swimmers Jackson is probably best known for his bass-wielding duties with indie-rock quartet Bouts but aside from that, he’s also known to sporadically serve some sublime sounds via his solo guise, Swimmers Jackson.

Jackson has just released his fourth solo single ‘Believe’; a passionate, heartfelt and stripped back acoustic ballad – his finest release to date. A carefully-crafted tale, imbued with honesty and realness, it revolves around a gently melodic acoustic strum and Jackson’s fervent and deeply touching vocals as he tells a tale of refusing to give up on love and an unwavering belief that things can be worked out. ‘Believe’ is an emotive, compelling and beautiful three-and-a-half minutes that wields a powerful spell.

Listen to ‘Believe’ below

Introducing: Stella Donnelly

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Wales-born, Australian singer-songwriter Stella Donnelly built a much warranted reputation on the back of her 2018 debut EP Thrush Metal – a stunning collection of deceptively simple, sparse but compelling acoustic tracks filled with witty, stark, honest and frustrated musings tackling subjects like sexual assault, victim blaming and misogyny.

Following on from last year’s EP, Donnelly has announced her debut album, Beware of the Dogs will be released on March 8 via esteemed indie label Secretly Canadian, and the 13-track LP is led by the single ‘Old Man’. Joined by a full band, on the surface ‘Old Man’ is a breezy, easygoing and sparkling piece of indie-pop but amid all the warm melodies, it’s a song that finds a perfect balance between dreamy and acerbic, with a sharp message aimed at taking exploitative men to task. Once again, Donnelly has proven herself to be a masterful voice of rage, wit, humour and compassion.

Check out ‘Old Man’ and the Fiona Jane Burgess directed video below and the debut LP, Beware of the Dogs is out on March 8 via Secretly Canadian. You can listen to debut EP Thrush Metal here too – it’s very, very good indeed.

Stella Donnelly plays The Grand Social, Dublin on April 29 – Tickets €15.

Rosie Carney – ‘Orchid’

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‘Orchid’ is the latest single from Donegal-based singer-songwriter Rosie Carney, it is lifted from her forthcoming debut album Bare out in January next year; an apt title for Carney’s stripped-back and open musical style.

‘Orchid’ is a deeply moving and bittersweet ballad whose gloomy tone accentuated by Carney’s frosty and elegant vocal delivery. Opening with a lonely, soft guitar strum and beautifully ambient vocals, it drifts from this foundation of soft-centered balladry, gradually swelling into grand and emphatic climax of lush instrumentation. While cloaked with an air of melancholy, Carney brings her detailed lyrical vision to life as her beautifully heartstrung vocals hover gently above and adding, yet another layer of glowing allure. A beautifully crafted, wonderful and compelling four-minutes of heartstrung balladry.

Tune in to ‘Orchid’ below and keep your eyes peeled for debut album Bare, it’s coming on January 25 2019.

Conor Mason Announces New Album; Shares ‘We Watched The Sky Rotate’

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Derry musician and singer/songwriter Conor Mason is a longtime favourite around this parish. Mason’s three albums to date are treasure troves of musicianship and songwriting craft; his space on the musical landscape, conjuring the wistful wonderment of Elliott Smith, Grandaddy, Villagers and Matthew Jay.

The good news is, Mason will release his fourth record On The Surface on November 2 via Armellodie Records (Glasgow, Scotland). Conceived, developed and rendered into life over eighteen months in his hometown of Derry, in essence, it is an exploration living life with uncertainty; the highs and lows, curiosity and change, and significance, or insignificance, of humans in the universe.

With the album due out at the end of the week, he has shared new single ‘We Watched The Sky Rotate’; a great reminder of Mason’s delectable talents. A tender piano ballad, keys twinkle and waltz along a steady beat, as lush flowing melodies swell and swoon to illuminate his whispered introspective ponderings of the significance of our place in the universe. Fragile, tender and touching, there’s a sense of awe, wonderment to ‘We Watched The Sky Rotate’, while the dripping melody and glowing immediacy of his voice will leave a warm, fuzzy feeling. Passing gently by, amid a sea of hushed lilting vocals, whispering lyrical poeticisms and subtle instrumentation, once again, Mason proves a master of hook, harmony and heart.

Listen to ‘We Watched The Sky Rotate’ below. On The Surface will follow on Friday, 2 November.

Tender Glue – ‘Back Home’

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New York City-based folk singer-songwriter Tom Gluewicki, aka Tender Glue, released new record Closet Leftovers, last month.

Similar to previous singles, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘Rudy’, ‘Back Home’ is a gentle, rich and heartfelt piece of lo-fi dream-pop recorded in the closet of his apartment. A tender and melancholic guitar-driven ballad, the guitar chimes amid a dusky, autumnal sort of atmosphere, as Gluewicki voice longingly strives to be heard above its misty surroundings. ‘Back Home’ is yet another powerful, heartfelt and beautiful song from the NYC artist.

Listen to ‘Back Home’ below and you can check out Tender Glue‘s new album Closet Leftovers, right here.

Charlie Lane – ‘Crazy Happy’

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Melbourne-based singer-songwriter Charlie Lane does a fine line in bittersweet indie-pop.

Lane, who last introduced herself with 2016 EP Mood Swings & Antidepressants, has returned with a superb new single ‘Crazy Happy’.

Witty and distinctive, the Melbourne-based artist is as witty offers up a bittersweet cut of indie-pop exploring the tangled hearts of a destructive relationship. Opening with an irresistible riff and steady back beat, the laid-back musical vibes swell as the song progresses and joined by a gorgeous trumpet line, a touch of brass giving proceedings a triumphant lift. Despite this underlying sense of angst in the lyrics, ‘Crazy Happy’ is surprisingly chipper, especially the sweet pop vocals, conjuring up some dazzling summertime vibes as she bares her soul to the world.

Packed with charisma and charm, listen to ‘Crazy Happy’ below:

Saguru – ‘Semantic Death’

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Saguru is the musical moniker of 22-year old German musician, multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Chriz Rappel.

Rapple began writing music from the age of 11, honing a sound that is heavily indebted to that of Alex Turner’s solo work in particular which, under the Saguru guise, stepped out into the world in 2016. While he’s got quite a few releases already under his belt, his latest effort finds him in fine form, with his best and most affecting work to date. ‘Semantic Death’ is beautiful song plain and simple – musically and lyrically – it is powerful and emotive, with a melancholic and lamentable feel. It is as though Rappel has gazed upon final days of a declining world, ready to implode. Led by piano and acoustic strum, and back by some swish, swooning orchestral-esque vibes coalesce while Rappel’s deep, dark brogue endeavours to raise his lyrics to pride of place – emblematic of the song’s stirring emotion and rousing defiance. Powerful and compelling, this is brilliantly moving.

Listen to ‘Semantic Death’ below, sheer excellence.

Galapaghost – ‘Jellyfish’

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Galapaghost is the moniker of Austin-based musician and songwriter Casey Chandler.

He’s already got a considerable quantity of quality jams to his name and ahead of forthcoming new album Sootie, which is out on August 10, comes ‘Jellyfish’ – one of his finest songs to date. The slowly moving melodic undulation, the beams of light and the general aura of peace, calm and tranquility is utterly divine. Those hushed vocals, warm hum, chiming tones of brightness, gentle demeanour and general charm makes for a delightful three-and-a-half minute experience, and one brimming with positivity and warmth.

Get lost with your thoughts and cleanse your mind with ‘Jellyfish’ below. And don’t forget, the album is out on August 10.

Kelan Galligan – ‘Snowball’

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Kelan Galligan is a singer songwriter from Derry with a precise ear for folk stylings.

The Maiden City musician has returned from a lengthy absence from music – enforced by the life’s little stumbling blocks – with new material ahead of an album he’s working on fellow Derry native and producer, Eoin O’Callaghan. Galligan’s return has been heralded by the smooth finger-picking tune ‘Brightens Me’ and latest single ‘Snowball’, two fine examples to why we should be glad he has chosen to come back. ‘Snowball’ is a beautiful song with a soothing warmth. Stemming from gentle acoustic picking with soft, lilting vocals delivering pleasant poetic lyrics and subtle backing strings, which swell, complete the sound. It is a beautiful, dreamy sequence that upon repeated listens reveals greater and greater rewards.

You can listen to ‘Snowball’ & ‘Brightens Me’ below, and keep an eye out for news on that album.

Anderson – ‘Makes Me Feel For You’

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Dubliner Daniel Anderson – aka Anderson – has returned with his first new material since the release of his beautiful and beguiling debut album Patterns in 2015; a stand-out record from that year, in Ireland or anywhere else for that matter.

Anderson’s latest, ‘Makes Me Feel For You’ is in keeping with the extremely high standards we’ve come to expect from him. It is a simply gorgeous, meticulously crafted song influenced by late ’60s pop and early ’70s singer-songwriting. Its sullen, late night ponderous feel is brushed aside as the lush psych-sonics and guitar twang come to the fore, taking us far, far away. ‘Makes Me Feel For You’ provides the best possible follow-up and transition to Patterns that we could have asked for. Not only does it retain all the qualities which marked out his previous work while gently (and perfectly) introducing some new and glorious elements, it is also one of the finest pieces of work he’s produced to date. If you have a spare 2min 33secs in your day, ‘Makes Me Feel For You’ is the best way to fill that void, and will leave you better for it.

While there’s no release date as yet confirmed, Anderson is currently working on a follow-up to Patterns but ‘Makes Me Feel For You’ is plenty to be getting on with. Listen to it below.