Free Download | Faws – Blue Notes EP

Dublin-based producer Faws has returned with the Blue Notes EP, a follow up to his sublime debut EP, Antonym, released in December of last year.

Faws continues to retain his cherished anonymity, quite an achievement considering the overwhelmingly positive response to his first release. It could be suggested that this allows the music speak for itself devoid of distractions.

Blue Notes is another journey through very different environments of sound, comprised of  ambient electronic atmospherics adorned with rich textures, beats, crackles and samples. It is very much a nocturnal, after hours release. Unusual, mysterious and hugely enthralling.

You can download both his EPs, Blue Notes and Antonym, for free from bandcamp right now.

Frenetics – ‘Ella’

‘Ella’ is the lead single from Yorkshire-based band Frenetics’ first EP, Broken Hand, which was released last month.

‘Ella’ is a rather brash and muscular racket, arrived at by a stampede of drum beats, guitar spirals, feedback and raucous vocals. It is no holes barred post-punk forged with a canny ability for catchy tune. It is all quite reminiscent of the attitude and swagger from the early days of Arctic Monkeys.

The Broken Hand EP is pretty taut and tight with ‘Swing Kids’ deserving notable praise too, which closes the EP in a more restrained, hushed even, but supremely ominous, adding an element of diversity.

The North Sea – The North Sea EP

The North Sea already laid down a marker with a number of sumptuous sneak peek demos over the past 6 months and now the band are releasing their self-titled debut EP. 

The Dublin 5-piece have something of a predilection for ’80s/’90s indie and it certainly shows, with echoes of The Wedding Present, The Charlatans, The Smiths and The Stone Roses shimmering throughout the EP. Opening track ‘Decay’ sets their stall out emphatically. It is as close to a perfect indie song as they come with Eoin Kenny’s restrained vocals flickering through a haze of slow burning guitars and drums. Both ‘These Broken Days’ and ‘Belong’ are cut from the same cloth, two rousing indie numbers.

Meanwhile ‘I’ve Seen Everything Now’ sees them step it up a gear as the vocals frantically strain to keep pace with surge through a blitz of guitars and crashing drums. It is a very composed and assured debut release from The North Sea. There might be a lull in guitar based indie at the moment but there is always room for more, provided it is done well and this certainly is.

The North Sea launch their new EP with Ghost Estates and Death In The Sickroom in Supa Fast (off Capel St.) Dublin, this coming Saturday night (details here).

Introducing: The Statics

It’s been a while since hearing a band like this, too long in fact. The Statics are a Dublin quartet who it is fair to say, sound much more likely to have emerged from the banks of the River Mersey than that of The Liffey.

The Statics specialty is jangley infectious indie-pop songs with twangy rhythmic acoustic guitars,  rich and distinctive vocals and sing-a-long choruses, echoing the sounds of the likes of The La’s, John Power & The Coral. There’s is heart warming indie-goodness played with energy and a refreshing honesty and conviction, not to mention an overwhelming ability to get you moving.

The Statics will release their debut single ‘Holiday’ in the Autumn but they’ve plenty of live dates coming up including Retro Revival at Sweeneys on Dame Street this Saturday (July 7th) and this year’s Castlepalooza. 

The Statics – Down

The Statics – Easy To Forget

The Statics – Tomorrow

The Pioneers – ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’ (Toddla T Remix)

I can’t say I’m too taken by Toddla T’s new single ‘Alive‘, it’s just a bit, well, mmeh. This is of little consequence thankfully as Toddla T has kicked off the Clarks Originals remix series with a superb rework of The Pioneers ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’.

It is fair to say for the most part classic tracks should be left well alone but this Trojan classic is in safe hands from a producer who’s love affair with Jamaica, it’s culture and music, runs deep. Introducing his own unique style, it is upbeat and bright with a flurry of sharp beats and bass drops, the track is totally re-imagined while paying tribute to the original track in the best way possible.

The Pioneers ‘Let Your Yeah Be Yeah’ (Toddla T Remix) is available for FREE download from here.

Two New Blur Songs | Under the Westway & The Puritan

Earlier this evening Blur debuted two brand new tracks live from a London rooftop and broadcast via their Twitter.

It is hard to believe it has been 9 years since their last album Think Tank. We find the band in fine form with ‘Under the Westway’ & ‘The Puritan’, the band’s first new material since the 2010 Record Store Day single Fool’s Day.

‘Under the Westway’ is a melancholic down-tempo ballad with a massive melody and carries certain similarity to ‘Best Days’ (from The Great Escape). A beautiful song plain and simple. Meanwhile ‘The Puritan’ is upbeat and buoyant with much more of a sing-a-long quality to it.

In some ways the two tracks kind of sum up what has made Blur so fantastic throughout the long and glittering career, mixing it up between touching, clever and catchy songs. Maybe that’s just me. Blur will always have a special place in my heart and it is so great to have them back, even if it’s only for a brief visit. Is it too much to hope for a new album? Only time will tell.

Anyway, enough rambling, you can listen to ‘Under the Westway’ & ‘The Puritan’ below and make up your own mind.