Gruff Rhys – ‘No Profit In Pain’

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Hot on the heels of his wonderful new album Babelsberg, Gruff Rhys has shared a new song, ‘No Profit in Pain’.

The track was written for the National Theatre Wales’ NHS70 festival, which is celebrating the National Health Service’s 70th birthday, and all proceeds will go to NHS charities in Wales. It is an ode to the National Health Service on its 70th birthday, defiantly focused on the battle to keep the service in public ownership amid encroaching privatisation – a death knell for the NHS – as profiteers and privateers circle hoping for a vultures picnic. While lyrically defiant, musically is a beautiful, reflective, hazy and whimsical affair, brought to you through the psychedelic eyes of Cardiff’s most innovative musical sons. Bobbing along with soft drums, sparkling synths, rich production and his soothing vocals, it is a rather beautiful and heartfelt ode to the NHS and nod of respect to its staff, for what they do on a daily basis.

Check ‘No Profit in Pain’ below. Buy here: http://bit.ly/NoProfitInPain

Gruff will bring his tour to Ireland this December with the following shows:

Sat December 01 2018 – CORK St Lukes
Sun December 02 2018 – GALWAY Roisin Dubh
Mon December 03 2018 – DUBLIN Button Factory

Gulp Announce Second LP ‘All Good Wishes'; Share New Single ‘I Dream Of Your Song’

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Gulp, formed by Super Furry Animals’ Guto Pryce, Lindsey Leven and their long standing guitarist Gid Goundrey, have announced their new album All Good Wishes, which is set for release August 3rd via E.L.K Records.

The new album follows up their bewitching 2014 debut Season Sun; a wonderfully charming blend of distilled flashes of psychedelic sunshine, shimmering pastoral pop and breezy psych-folk. Ahead of the new album’s release, it is preceded by lead single ‘I Dream Of Your Song’. It’s a roving, hazy, dream-like affair, blending a swelling shimmer of hazy psych-folk and kraut-pop with a pastoral pop sweetness as Leven’s lulling vocals drift over the ripples of sun flares. A hazy, soothing and altogether wonderful insight to the new album and if it is anything like its predecessor, it will be one of 2018’s finest.

Listen to ‘I Dream Of Your Song’ below now, and drift away…..

All Good Wishes Tracklist:

1. Search For Your Love
2. Claudia
3. Spend Time Right Here With You
4. I Dream of Your Song
5. Beam
6. All Good Wishes
7. Morning Velvet Sky
8. Following Rain
9. Ride
10. Watching Ships
11. Silver Tides

 

Gulp – ‘Morning Velvet Sky’

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Back in December of last year, Gulp – Super Furry Animals’ Guto Pryce and Lindsey Leven – shared the cosmic ‘Search For Your Love’, with news that the duo were busy at work on album #2.

Now the pair have revealed that the follow up to their debut album Season Sun is on the way, penned in for release sometime in early 2018. Before then though, the pair are whetting the appetite once more with another tantalising new track, ‘Morning Velvet Sky’. It’s another hypnotic slice of intergalactic lush psych-pop from the duo, propelled by krautrock-inspired rhythms and glistening synths, and topped off by Lindsey’s airy vocals. ‘Morning Velvet Sky’ is effortlessly charming, wrapping the listener in a blanket of fuzzy feelings, providing us with a tantalising taste of what to expect from their next record.

Listen to ‘Morning Velvet Sky’ below and why not give Gulp’s debut LP Season Sun a spin here, too.

Gulp Share New Single ‘Search For Your Love’

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The Cardiff-based spacey psych-poppers, Gulp – revolving around Lindsey Leven & Guto Pryce of Super Furry Animals fame – have shared their new single ‘Search For Your Love’.

Recorded in the summer of 2016 on a farm in mid Wales, ‘Search For Your Love’ follows on from Gulp’s bewitching 2014 debut album Season Sun and it is a wonderfully natural successor. ‘Search For Your Love’ further refines the pair’s warm, fuzzy, lush psych-pop by combining spacey sounds and textures with a luscious melody proggy-guitars and synths. In doing so they create something hypnotic and unique, and topped off by Leven’s sultry vocals, this is the very essence of dreams. What a magnificent return. Now is the time to sit back and let ‘Search For Your Love’ flow over you and seep into your senses, and leave you better for it.

‘Search For Your Love’ is available now via via Tim Burgess’ independent label O Genesis and Gulp are currently working with Luke Abbott on their second album, which is set to be released in 2017.

Super Furry Animals – ‘Bing Bong’

 

SFA Bing Bong Artwork

Super Furry Animals made their return last year, with a number of reunion shows supporting the 15th anniversary and reissue of Mwng. With loads of dates across Europe and North America this year, Super Furries are back with a sprightly new single, ‘Bing Bong’.

An unofficial Euro 2016 song to support Wales’ quest for European dominance, ‘Bing Bong’ marks the band’s first new offering since 2009’s Dark Days/Light Years. Inspired by ‘defeat, victory, cosmic disco and Buck Rodgers’, ‘Bing Bong’ is bouncy, jaunty and cosmic jam. Sang in Welsh, it’s upbeat, fun and so, so catchy. It’s a little bit mad, in a playfully mad way if that makes sense, but most importantly it’s a great tune with all the recognizable sheen Super Furry magic.

‘Bing Bong’ is out digitally today and will be released physically on 12”, June 17th through Strangetown Records. It also features artwork by long-time collaborator Pete Fowler – and a suitably stimulating video by Mark James and Ryan Eddleston, watch that below now.

 

In Praise of Super Furry Animals: An Almost 20 Year Obsession

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The magnificent and legendary Super Furry Animals, make their return to Vancouver this week, playing The Imperial on Thursday, February 4th.

As one of my all-time favourite bands, I am more than guilty of some bias, but I can honestly say I believe they are one of the finest bands ever to grace this earth. Throughout their long and fascinating career, Super Furry Animals have proven themselves as one of the most enigmatic, creative and brilliant psychedelic pop bands of our time. Super Furry Animals are truly unique.

They have the stories; they procured an army tank equipped with a techno sound-system, caused national security alerts with 60-foot inflatable monsters, went into the Colombian jungle with armed Guerilla fighters, drew up plans to convert an aircraft carrier into a nightclub and turned down a seven-figure sum from a certain cola company who wanted to use ‘Hello Sunshine’ in an ad, instead allowing the track to be used in a short film about human rights abuses by anti-poverty charity War on Want. Yet these tales only tell half the story. Most importantly, there is the music.

Super Furry Animals have produced some of the most exciting and memorable records of the past two decades, in their own uniquely surreal, weird and wonderful pop genius. With an inherent gift for giddy pop melodies and excelling at rich, heart-felt and powerful slow songs too, it is an eclectic back-catalogue, imaginatively mixing up electronic beats, indie, surf rock, neo-psychedelia, Japanese culture and more.

My first encounter with Super Furries was seeing them play ‘Demons’ on TFI Friday, I then acquired ‘Something 4 The Weekend’ in some bargain bin or other, and that was enough to set in motion a process of acquiring whatever music of their’s that I could and albums, Radiator and Out Spaced, remain all-time favourites. It hard to put my adoration for these Welsh heroes into mere words for fear of underselling the virtues of their music but let’s just put it simply; in providing a constant soundtrack to my life ever since my school days, their music has afforded me so much joy.

So, needless to say, the fact Super Furry Animals play Vancouver next week is extremely exciting. Like a kid waiting for Christmas, since the announcement was first made, I’ve been counting down the days till February 4th. It has also got me thinking about the first time I saw them live, years back, 1999 in Dublin’s Olympia Theatre. It was a school night and we had a mini-bus drive us (cans and shitty fake IDs on hand) to Dublin. The gig was unbelievable. Only the second I had ever gone to at that point and it was an unforgettable experience, and one that has left an indelible mark on me. Many years on and almost ten thousand miles from where a 15-year-old me awaited that show excitedly, there’s pretty much the same level of anticipation for this week’s gig. Roll on Thursday night!

So with that, I’ll leave you with the excellent S4C documentary on 20 years of Super Furries, The Furry Years and a couple of choice Super Furry favourites.

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Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode #9

We’re thrilled to share yet another Millions Like Us podcast with you all. It’s great to back with the latest in a series of music podcasts hosted by Justin & I, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now.

On a bi-weekly basis we aim to please, providing relief from all life’s toils* with some lively and entertaining chat and eclectic selection of fabulous music from metro Vancouver and elsewhere. There’s plenty in there, well over an hour in fact, of great tunes and plenty of chat.

You can read more on it over here and of course, listen below (and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump too). You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

2016 has been good to us so far, so thanks for all the support thus far and once again, thanks for listening!

 *May not actually do that.

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Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode #5

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Delighted to once again to share a brand new episode of ‘Millions Like Us’, a music podcast with myself & Justin Beats, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now.

A bi-weekly digest of music from metro Vancouver and beyond, the fifth installment has the usual chatter and top tunes, comprised from an eclectic mix of styles and genres. There’s also a chance of winning tickets to see the excellent Joanna Gruesome, in The Cobalt, Vancouver on November 15th – tune into the show and then email your name to millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com – winners be notified before 5pm, Friday, November 13th.

That’s about that then, we hope you enjoy episode #5. You can read more on it here and listen to episode #5 below, and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump. You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find them on Facebook & Twitter.

Hopefully you enjoy our curated pickings, here’s to good listening.

Episode #5:
Unalaska – ‘Air Transylvania’
Kyross – ‘Fragments’
Queen of Jeans – ‘Dance (Get Off Your Ass)’
Big Harp – ‘Diev’
The Statics – ‘Fake Sorrow’
Soft Serve – ‘Better Off When You’re Gone’
Hippies Vs Ghosts – ‘Three Shadows’
Joanna Gruesome – ‘Psykick Espionage’
White Poppy – ‘Sublimity Form Natural Phenomena’
Avid Walker – ‘Who’s Your Lover’
Soft Haze – ‘Love Song’
Super Furry Animals – ‘Slow Life

 

 

Cian Ciarán | Interview

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Last week the wonderful, the magnificent and the legendary Super Furry Animals, announced they shall be gracing Vancouver in the new year, when they play at Imperial on February 4th, 2016. I for one, CANNOT FUCKIN’ WAIT!

With that in mind, there’s no better 0r more apt time to share this, an interview I did with SFA’s Cian Ciarán, earlier this year. Originally published with GoldenPlec on July 5th, 2015 – here it is:

Cian Ciarán is best known as Super Furry Animals’ resident electronic and keyboard wizard. Aside from illuminating our lives for the best part of two decades with one of the most enigmatic, creative and downright brilliant psychedelic pop bands of our time, he busies himself with various other stellar side-projects.

Most recently he has released two superb solo albums, ‘Outside In’ (2012) & ‘They Are Nothing Without Us’ (2013), an LP with his other band Zefur Wolves, a stack of collaborations and remixes, and all the while running his own Strangetown Records label. That’s no mean feat by any anyone’s standards.

Ciarán is currently in the midst of intensive touring with SFA and readying his third solo-record, which he hopes to release later this year. Taking time out from his hectic schedule he spoke to Barry about his solo plans, running his label, politics and the small matter of the SFA reunion.

The amount of musical activity you’re associated with is staggering – Zeruf Wolves, solo work, running Strangetown Records and the small matter of Super Furry Animals. How do you find the time and balance between different projects?

Cian Ciarán: “I don’t to be honest – I have to put things on the back-burner constantly. I document everything or try to and revisit things when I have the time. I have to go with the flow, it can be frustrating but I’m happy as long as things get done eventually. There’s an outlet for the music, that’s the main thing, and I’m lucky to be surrounded by talented musicians and creative people that keep me busy and on my toes. I never stop learning and the buzz is still there when I go to the studio so there’s no complaints. The only pressure, if that’s the right word, is self-inflicted. It’s still a labour of love.”

The new solo record [‘Hero, Leader, God’], is another protest album. Does it follow a similar path to ‘They Are Nothing Without Us’? Talk us through what we can expect.

CC: “Again this is music that’s been bubbling for years, but I wanted to bring on board other lyricists and vocalists. The music is completely different to my previous two outings, or the Zefur Wolves album. It’s mostly electronic-based and down-tempo so it lends itself well, I hope, to spoken word, poets etc. The intention was to release it around the UK election but the content is still relevant here and everywhere else in the world. It will probably, unfortunately, be more concerning as our situation becomes increasingly driven by the powers that be and their blatant disregard to the rest of us and the world we live in. It’s too depressingly long a list of issues that we’re subjected to but we have to persevere. As was shown during the water wars in Bolivia, there is strength in numbers.”

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Rise of Super Furry Animals: An Interview with Ric Rawlins

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The wonderful, the magnificent and the legendary Super Furry Animals, make their return to Irish shores, with their first Irish show in many a year, at Body & Soul this weekend. As one of my all-time favourite acts, I can honestly say that there is more than a hint of jealousy toward those of you who will get to see them this weekend (or any other time in the not so distant future).

With all that in mind, here’s a chat I had with author and authority of all things SFA, Ric Rawlins about all things Super Furries and his book, ‘Rise of Super Furry Animals’.

Originally published for GoldenPlec, March 8th 2015, notably prior to SFA’s reunion. Enjoy!

Throughout their long and fascinating career, Super Furry Animals have proven themselves as one of the most enigmatic, creative and brilliant psychedelic pop bands of our time.

They had an army tank equipped with a techno sound-system, caused national security alerts with 60-foot inflatable monsters, went into the Colombian jungle with armed Guerrilla fighters, and drew up plans to convert an aircraft carrier into a nightclub. Yet SFA’s crazed adventures only tell half the story. Most importantly, there is their music.

Originally, an electronic music collective, Super Furry Animals started out playing raves across Europe before evolving into an experimental rock group in 1993. Signed to Creation Records, they shot to fame and thanks to the record sales of label-mates Oasis; they found they suddenly had a vast budget to play with. By mixing up electronic beats, surf rock, Japanese culture and more, the band produced some of the most exciting and memorable records of the past two decades, in their own uniquely surreal way.

Written with the band’s participation, new book, ‘Rise Of The Super Furry Animals’ tells this remarkable story and ascent to fame. Barry Healy caught up with the book’s author Ric Rawlins, to delve into the weird and wonderful world of Super Furry Animals.

WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO WRITE A BOOK ON SUPER FURRY ANIMALS?

Ric Rawlins: They’re one of the most radical, creative and catchy bands of all time, but for some reason pop culture hasn’t quite embraced SFA’s legacy yet. Anyone who’s really explored them knows that they’ve created a multidimensional universe… at their best they’re like a crazy Mario-style game, with miles of palm trees and ice mountains to explore. In the ’90s they were labelled ‘Britpop’ by some, but they actually had more in common with stateside acts like Beck or the Beastie Boys; it was this sample-based, upbeat approach to fusing beats with guitars that really marked them out as a cutting edge pop group. So I wanted to kind of visit Furryworld: go behind the scenes of their fantastic songs, find out why they’ve had these radical flourishes, and meet Pete Fowler’s monsters up close. When I met the band for a magazine article in 2009, it sort of green lit the idea.

HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO WRITE THE BOOK AND WERE THE BAND ENTHUSIASTIC/HELPFUL ABOUT THE BOOK?

RR: It took about five years of slowly piecing it together in my weekends and evenings, and that was propelled forwards by a sort of annual ‘Gruff summit’ whereby I’d meet him in Cardiff and scribble down few more notes. The band were helpful although Bunf was strangely AWOL for about a year… the band didn’t know where he was… it was as if he’d been abducted.

HAVING SPENT TIME WITH THE BAND, WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AND THE DYNAMICS WITHIN THE BAND?

RR: I guess for Furry fans this might not be news, but Gruff is considerate, originally minded and obscurely hilarious… Cian is a kind of evil genius without the evil bits… Bunf is surreally hilarious but I only ever realise this after considering what he’s said for a few minutes, Guto is a real pleasure; he’s generous, considerate and has good manners and Daf is kind of like their star footballer who’ll slide through to score the goals!

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