BarryGruff’s Albums of the Year 2014


So, it’s that time of year again, yeah, it’s favourite albums of the year time. Loads of great music this year, some old faces and plenty of new ones too but for those of you who care, here are my 25 albums of 2014. Enjoy!

25. Second Storey – ‘Double Divide’

24. Beach Day – ‘Native Echoes’

23. Globelamp – ‘Star Dust’

22. Sex Hands – ‘Pleh’

21. The #1s – ‘The #1s’

20. Attaque – ‘ON LY YOU’

19. Shit Robot – ‘We Got Love’

18. Mowbird – ‘Islander’

17. Oh Boland/Me & My Dog – ‘Delphi’

16. Jamie T – ‘Carry on the Grudge’

15. Pharoahe Monch – ‘PTSD’

Following on from his 2011’s W.A.R, comes fourth solo LP, PTSD (aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), a loose-concept album which sees Pharoahe Monch speaking as a weary independent warrior against the industry machine and dealing with the struggle of the black male experience in America. It’s dense, raw and sometimes painfully raw, as he relives harrowing memories of his struggle with addiction, depression and suicidal thoughts. It’s all draped with his familiar top-notch storytelling, cavernous vocabulary, thought-provoking rhymes, precise delivery and thought-provoking metaphors, placing him right up top of the current hip-hop pile.

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The Lost Brothers – ‘Little Angel’


Having already released their wonderful fourth album New Songs Of Dawn and Dust this year, The Lost Brothers are seeing out 2014 in quite some style, with the release of a rather fetching charity Christmas single, ‘Little Angel’.

Beginning life as a rough demo recorded in Portland seven years ago, it remained in The Lost Brothers’ locker until inspiration hit earlier this year while crossing the Irish Sea during a rocky winter storm. Out came the guitars and the remaining verses and choruses were written in one sitting. It was recorded with Sean Coleman at Gavin Glass’s Orphan Studios in Dublin with The Frames’ Graham Hopkins recruited on drums, Michael Buckley and Ronan Dooney on brass, and Keith Farrell on bass, with The Lost Brothers taking care of vocals and guitars. The results of which are ever so good. A gentle number, adorned with a rather fuzzy festive feel, ‘Little Angel’ is filled with a glowing goodness and features the Irish duo’s distinct harmony vocals, sweet acoustic picking, pedal steel and some sumptuous brass. The B-side ‘St. Christopher’, penned on a cold night train home to Liverpool, is equally festive and all proceeds from the sale go towards UNICEF or you can donate directly.

You can check out the simply splendid ‘Little Angel’ below.


The Lost Brothers – ‘Derridae’


The Lost Brothers are set to release their brand new album New Songs Of Dawn And Dust next week, September 22nd to be precise. Ahead of the forthcoming release, Irish folk pair Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland, have unveiled ‘Derridae’ and it’s Gavin Wood directed video.

We’ve already had one taster, the gentle, soothing and sombre ‘Silver and Gold’, like it and their previous three albums, ‘Derridae’ has a rich, earthy quality. As they softly croon in tandem, it is nigh on impossible to resist the sweet and beautiful harmonic pairing, as the gentle acoustic strums illuminate their tender song-writing, bound by an emotional weight and vividness. The Lost Brothers are continuing to do exactly what they do best, making timeless acoustic songs, and once you open your heart to the pair, there’s no end to the rewards headed your way. There is just something so pure, honest and downright brilliant to what they do. Since the first time I saw The Lost Brothers live at Hard Working Class Heroes back in ’08, where me, my Dad and two other blokes were treated to a show befitting of a full house, I’ve been left with an indelible mark. And one I’ll gladly carry with me.

You can check out ‘Derridae’ below and if you fancy a sneak peak at the new album, New Songs Of Dawn And Dust is streaming on Clash Music.

The Lost Brothers have a string of live dates coming up across Ireland and the UK and if they’re calling at a venue near you, you’d be mad to pass them up. The full tour schedule is here.

The Lost Brothers – ‘Gold And Silver’


Irish folk duo The Lost Brothers will release their fourth New Songs Of Dawn and Dust on September 19 via UK label Lojinx. The record is their first since 2012’s The Passing of the Night, which concluded the album trilogy started in 2008 with Trails of the Lonely.

The album, a first in a new trilogy, was produced in Liverpool, where the duo teamed up with Bill Ryder-Jones to produce, with his former Coral cohort Nick Power contributing too. Ahead of New Songs Of Dawn and Dust’s release, The Lost Brothers have revealed ‘Gold And Silver’, a first sample of what we can expect. Passing with whisper rather than a roar (as is their forte), ‘Gold And Silver’ is a gentle, soothing sombre tune, with a warm and friendly glow. Softly delivered lyrics present the most vivid of imagery, matched by a wonderful acoustic strum and pick. A perfect companion for cold and blustery nights that lie ahead, while safely nested away in a comfortable armchair beside a roaring fire, it will provide some respite. The Lost Brothers are continuing to do exactly what they do best, making timeless acoustic songs. A very welcome return indeed.

‘Gold And Silver’ is available to download for free below.

Competition: Win Tickets to FMC Tour w/ Squarehead, The Lost Brothers and We Cut Corners | The Late Lounge, Kill, Friday, Nov 9th

It’s competition time again. There are two pairs of tickets for the Kildare leg of the FMC Tour with Squarehead, The Lost Brothers and We Cut Corners up for grabs. It’s all happening in The Late Lounge, Kill, this Friday, November 9th, with the local support from White McKenzie.

To be in with a chance there are no silly questions, just email your name to barrygruff [at] gmail [dot] com with ‘FMC Tour 2012’ as the subject title. Winners will be drawn at random and the competition closes at 12:00 on, Thursday, November 8th 2012.

It promises to be a really great show with three of the finest acts in Ireland sharing the same bill, all of which have featured quite a bit on the blog. If that’s not enough of a ringing endorsement, there’s plenty of choice cuts from the bands playing below, in case you need further persuasion.

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The Lost Brothers – ‘Now That The Night Has Come’

The Lost Brothers have announced they will release their new album, The Passing Of The Night, on September 21. With that in mind the Irish duo have decided to treat us to ‘Now That The Night Has Come’, the first cut from their forthcoming new album.

There are no major surprises with ‘Now That The Night Has Come’. It is a wonderful timeless folk song, soft and delicate, it is underlined by delicious, harmonious vocal interchanges between Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech as we are presented with the soothing ponderings and observations provoked by the setting sun. It, and the forthcoming album, look like they will fit nicely into the storybook of songs which already includes two great albums; Trails Of The Lonely (parts I & III) & So Long John Fante

It sounds as though The Lost Brothers are continuing to do exactly what they do best – making timeless acoustic songs that demands you stop and listen.  Have a listen to Now That The Night Has Come below and you’ll get the idea.

The Lost Brothers | So Long John Fante

Simplicity is often an overlooked and unappreciated virtue in music, one not lost on The Lost Brothers.

This as before remains their forte, on So Long John Fante, the duo’s second album. As does their capacity for soft and delicate folk songs, underlined by delicious, harmonious vocal interchanges between Mark McCausland and Oisin Leech and wonderful acoustic guitar-picking. We are treated to a tantalisingly experience from the sweeping sound of opener ‘In The City’, we visit dark folk tales of ‘Pale Moon’ and ‘Hollow Call’, golden era Rock ‘n’ Roll of ‘The Goodbye Kid’ and melancholic heartche and loss with ‘Bells They Won’t Ring’.

So Long John Fante is a beautiful collection of inoffensive and timeless songs which passes with a whisper rather than a roar, delivered with warmth and confidence. A perfect companion for cold and blustery nights, safely nested away in a comfortable armchair beside a roaring fire.

The Lost Brothers – Goodbye Kid

The Lost Brothers – Pale Moon