Michael Thomas – ‘Reality’


Michael Thomas is an Australian-born artist based in London who explores folk-infused pop music.

Taking influence from the likes of The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Nick Drake and The National among others, Thomas blends these styles and influences, putting his own stamp on it to whisk something new. For his latest release ‘Reality’, a first under his own name, he is ably assisted by Jim Macrae (Jordan Rakei) on drums and Dan Bowery on bass as we are introduced to a world of slinky, washed-out psych-pop. It is a tantalising tune splashed with fuzzy guitar, warm synth, full of hooks and dreamy vocals, and dripping with melody. It is an overwhelmingly endearing, chic blend of truly beautiful textures and rich sounds and beautiful atmosphere, yet one tinged with an overwhelming sense of melancholy. This elegant backdrop proves a wonderful and perfectly suitable surrounding for the lilting croon to blossom and leave its indelible mark. If the subtle groove doesn’t get you, the irresistible hooks and melody will.

Listen to ‘Reality’ below now:

NANCY – ‘I’m Not Getting Sober, I’m Just Getting Older (Helluva Guy)’


NANCY is mysterious, reclusive post-punk outfit hailing from the North East of England.

Self-described as “Sgt. Peppers for degenerates”, little is known about the outfit aside from the fact NANCY have a propensity for furious, jerky and brilliantly mind blowing art-rock meets post-punk sounds – as the recently released EP The Mysterious Visions is testament to.

Lead track ‘I’m Not Getting Sober, I’m Just Getting Older (Helluva Guy)’ is addictive, ambling forward with a raucous, powerful purpose but skittish energy. Jerky, hyperactive machine-gun guitars combine with a furious barrage of barreling drums and frenzied vocals to protrude through the swathes of lo-fi fuzz and distortion. A vital whirlwind assault of brusque noise delivered at breakneck speed as lyrically it is an honest assessment detailing how easy it is to fade into substance abuse while being afraid to admit it.

‘I’m Not Getting Sober, I’m Just Getting Older (Helluva Guy)’ is but one of many on the recently released EP – utterly thrilling and electrifying tunes!

The Mysterious Visions EP is out now on B3SCI Records and Cannibal Hymns – tune in here.

Listen to the single below.

Americanadian – ‘Get Out of My Head, Thank You’


Philadelphia outfit Americanadian began life in 2015 as the musical project of Serena Scalzi. After working alone for a bit, she decided to get some friends – Nina Fuchs (drummer), Abby Woodcock (keys), Hank Byerly (bass), and Michael Algarra (lead guitar) – involved; and thus the full incarnation of Americanadian was born.

Revolving around by Scalzi’s entrancing vocals, the band craft irresistible, lush dream-pop jams that carry a sweet-like-candy melody with just the slightest hint of laid-back and endearingly ramshackle DIY indie. The band’s latest single ‘Get Out of My Head, Thank You’ does all that with a swooning, heart-aching tenderness. Scalzi shows off her subtle, yet impassioned vocals ride a melodic haze leaving you blissful transfixed. Between the brightness of the guitar and the softness of the vocals, it will leave you pretty powerless to resist.

Listen to ‘Get Out of My Head, Thank You’ below – it will take its place on a forthcoming EP slated for release in early 2019.

Blank & Jones – ‘Grown Minds’


German duo Blank & Jones‘ career stretches back to the late ’90s and since then, they have carved out a rep for their non-conformist electronic sounds.

For their latest release ‘Grown Minds’, Blank & Jones have teamed up with Berlin-based British vocalist (and longtime BarryGruff favourite) David Harks to create a haunting yet beautiful and addictive electronic pop song. It is a cinematic masterpiece that marries their dark electronic sound design of glacial tones, warm piano chords, hushed drums, and a goosebumps inducing atmosphere to Harks’ melancholic, plaintive vocal. ‘Grown Minds’ is an introspective, dusky and melancholic slice of magical electronic pop, with a twist of the Balearic fizzing through it. Enjoy!

Listen to ‘Grown Minds’ below:

Incoming: A Quick Chat with Badhands


Badhands is the musical project of Dublin songwriter and musician Dan Fitzpatrick.

Badhands began as a collaborative project with producer and bass player Tom Cosgrave (The Minutes), then quickly evolved and expanded with the enlistment of multi-instrumentalist Aoife Ruth, drummer Ken Mooney, and engineer Chris Barry.

Following a couple of beautiful singles – ‘Waves’ & ‘Let Me In’ – Badhands released stunning debut album Predictable Boy earlier this month. A captivating collection of vivid, textured songs that range in tone between dark and brooding to frantic and energetic, with moments of stirring euphoria weaved in to the mix. With a strong focus on lyrics and vocals the album echoes at times the likes of Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Leonard Cohen, and Villagers. A beautifully intimate record that captures the imagination and enthralls the listener.

As part of the album’s tour, Badhands will be playing a Broken Home show on Saturday, November 25 in Dunlavin, Co. Wicklow. Tickets are €5 and limited so please secure in advance (A return bus will be organised from Newbridge to Dunlavin for anyone interested). Details / Tickets are here.

Ahead of the weekend’s show I caught up with Dan, to chat about the project, touring and all things music.

Tell us a little bit about ‘Badhands’. How did it come about? And what is the inspiration/focus of the new project?

The project began a couple of years ago when I started doing some recording with Tom Cosgrave, who produced this record and plays bass in the band. I had plenty of songs but no real plan. So It started out fairly aimlessly at the beginning, recording a few solo tracks sporadically with just me and a guitar. But after a while we began to feel like we were hitting on something interesting. We gradually started working towards an album, building up the sound more and more with the involvement of Aoife Ruth, Ken Mooney and Chris Barry and the operation sort of took off fairly organically from there. We wanted to make something really textured, atmospheric and interesting sounding, but still trying to incorporate the energy of a rock n roll band.

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Little People – ‘Tonight’


London producer Little People‘s – aka Laurent Clerc – creates a colourful sound collage that is part beats, bleeps and samples that stems from a love of hip hop, it effortlessly combines warm synths, intricate melodies and string arrangements.

Little People has a new album Landloper coming on January 11 2019 via Future Archive Recordings, a first release since 2015, ahead of which we’ve been treated to lead single ‘Tonight’. A slick, smooth and effortlessly cool track as scattered beats dance with clean, crisp bass lines that run underneath a pitched vocal sample amid cascading flourishes of glitchy sounds and colourful, frazzled synth and electronics. A plush, captivating and seductive tune, ‘Tonight’ combines silky production skills with infectious hip-hop inspired beats for a fresh, imaginative and thoroughly enjoyable experience.

Tune into ‘Tonight’ below:

Toledo – ‘Bath’


Revolving around Brooklyn-based pair Dan Alvarez and Jordan Dunn, Toledo have shared a brand new single called ‘Bath’.

‘Bath’ will take its place on Toledo’s debut EP, HotStuff, penned in for release early in the New Year, and follows a similarly mellow, undulating trajectory as previous single ‘Hot Stuff’. It is laid-back, dreamy and melodic folk augmented by gently chiming guitar, bubbling synth and flourishes of soft drums that bring us to a spellbinding world of elegant, melodic and crystalline indie-folk tones. The hushed, somewhat sombre vocals grow as it progresses, bringing with it a warmth that a swells brighter until the end. This is a mellow, atmospheric and wonderful world of folky allure – an absolute treasure. Enjoy!

Listen to ‘Bath’ below now and keep an eye out for the EP in the near future.

Pines – ‘Speak’


Aussie duo Pines – aka Adam Dormand and James Kenneally – hone an elegant fusion of blissful relaxation and lush electronic sounds.

The Adelaide pair’s latest single ‘Speak’ follows ‘Glisten’ and ‘I’ve Been Waiting’ to complete a trilogy of singles calling time on their business for 2018 – and how! ‘Speak’ shimmers majestically as it tips along a lockstep rhythm in a swirling vortex of hypnotic sounds while the breathy vocals not only complement this perfectly but add another layer of frosty, almost glacial elegance. Precise, pristine and hypnotic – the pair once again eke out a space where colour and warmth can coexist with a glacial but imperious ambience.

Pines are planning to release their debut full length some time next year – so keep an eye out for that too.

Phantom Phunk – ‘Cheap Thrills’


Phantom Phunk are Tampa, Florida based trio of Alexa Toro (vocals), Nick Emiliozzi (drums) and Hector Fontanet (guitar), and also joined by local hip-hop artist Cloud Master Price.

Given the composition of the group, it will hardly be a surprise to find that together they make punk-tinged alt-rock, with a hint of hip-hop running through its veins. Phantom Phunk’s latest single ‘Cheap Thrills’ is both bizarre and exhilarating. Buzzsaw, bending riffs rev through the gears as synth, bumping bass and quickstep beats oscillate to the vocals of some psychedelic siren beckoning us listeners to simply “shake it!”. Then comes the drop and a momentary parting of the psychedelic clouds so to speak which provides just enough space for Cloud Master Price delivery his wares, as a flurry of energetic and focused barbed rhymes match the ferocity of the music step for step. A phenomenal tune, such energy and velocity, it packs a hell of a punch!

Listen to ‘Cheap Thrills’ below and if that is to your liking, their Struggle With Me EP is available for your ears here.

The Orielles – ‘Bobbi’s Second World’


Earlier this year Halifax trio The Orielles – Sidonie B and Esmé Dee Hand Halford and best friend Henry Carlyle Wade – released their debut album Silver Dollar Moment via Heavenly.

Their debut is a carefully crafted collection of songs, a distinctive amalgamation of uplifting and colouful sounds that sounds both familiar and fresh. Mixing it up between neon bright indie-disco, ’90s indie and swirling mid-60s psych/garage freak-outs, and their own unique oddness and idiosyncrasy to leave us with an exciting, eccentric and terrifically catchy album of pure indie-pop heaven.

Now, with the addition of fourth member Alex Stephens on keys, they’ve shared not-one-but-two brand new tracks. With the noticeable addition of keys, ‘Bobbi’s Second World’ sees an increased attention to an insatiable poppy danceablility. An infectious anthem filled with a buoyant energy and oozing with a colourful spirit and a heavy dose of funk. It grooves along with a swagger through funk-fuelled hooks and pulsating electrified cheeps and chirps, with Esmé’s syrupy-sweet vocals juxtaposed with the relentless, racing beats and swirling, psychedelic haze. The second track is a cover of Peggy Gou’s ‘It Makes You Forget (itgehane)’, a sparking re-imaging, filled with their trademark quirky charm and shimmering sonic delights.

You can listen to both tracks below and if you haven’t yet been acquainted with their debut album, Silver Dollar Moment is available here.

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