Silverbacks – ‘Sirens’

Dublin-based post-punk outfit Silverbacks continue their propensity for brilliance with new single ‘Sirens’ – something we’ve become accustomed to with a steady stream of singles over the past few years.

While we still await their debut album (rumoured to be primed for release next year) any new material from Silverbacks is most welcome indeed and with ‘Sirens’, they are signing off 2019 in some style. Silverbacks have once again teamed up with Girl Band’s Daniel Fox who also produced ‘Dunkirk’, ‘Just In The Band’ and ‘Pink Tide’ and is every bit as brilliant as the other tracks, and is probably their most irresistible single yet. Built around a propulsive bass-line, kinetic rhythms and barrage of razor-edged guitars that all coalesce to one united tight interlocked groove; ‘Sirens’ is phenomenal. It unleashes a relentless energy as it hits the sweet spot between melodic repetition, pent up aggression and danceable infectiousness, like an LCD groove hanging out with the jerky art-rock infection of Futureheads, as Daniel O’Kelly’s vocals reflect as such, fluctuating from focused to distraction. A simply stunning single, and one their best yet – hopefully the debut album is with us sooner rather than later.

Listen to ‘Sirens’ below:

Also, people of Derry, Silverbacks are in town to play the Nerve Centre on December 13.

Kastane – ‘Tangalle’

Kastane is an electronic music project from Irish producer and drummer Alan Walsh, who is back with another elegant, transfixing and alluring slice of electronica in the shape of ‘Tangalle’.

With two EPs to his name – Tunnels EP (2017) and Trang EP (2018) – a third expected in the future and with the latter in mind,’Tangalle’ follows on nicely from bewitching previous single ‘Shimmers’. Like its predecessor, ‘Tangalle’ is elegant, graceful and sophisticated but the glue that binds them is rhythmic precision and percussive power, unsurprising given that he is a card carrying member of drummers union. A bewitching, graceful and melodic electronic excursion, as synths shimmer and electronics glisten to create a warm and lush environment for the rhythmic allure to grow and thrive. Kastane is emerging as a master of his craft, creating bewitching melodic sophisticated electronica that will leave an indelible mark on your soul and you under the spell of it’s tempting allure.

Listen to ‘Tangalle’ below:


Slow Riot – ‘Heaven’s Daughter’

Irish post-punk outfit Slow Riot have finally released their much anticipated debut album G.A.D but the release is bittersweet.  It is a record that more than delivers on the huge promise of their early singles & EPs but having disbanded in 2018, it is hard to believe this is likely the last we’ll hear from the Limerick band.

The album, like previous releases, channels classic post-punk influences – Gang of Four, Television, Wire – combined with more contemporary bands such as Interpol. Girl Band and Future of the Left; into a bold, peerless and sometimes seething sound that unrepentantly reside on the darker side of post punk. ‘Heaven’s Daughter’ is the lead single and one of many highlights on G.A.D. It is intense, epic and driven as stunning layers of burning guitars keep pace with the unrelenting rhythm as Clancy’s passionate brogue delivers a layer of lyrical darkness which soars above. It is a massive, massive tune that wields a mighty power, and is quintessentially Slow Riot.

It is such a shame that this will likely be the last we’ll hear from them but on a positive note at least we have G.A.D to console ourselves with and just in case it hasn’t been clear enough already; it is a superb record and a hell of way to bow out.

Listen to ‘Heaven’s Daughter’ below and then head over here to listen to the album.

Sorcha Richardson – ‘Honey’

Photo Credit: Cáit Fahey

NYC-based Irish artist Sorcha Richardson will release her long-awaited and much anticipated debut album First Prize Bravery on November 8th. 

Along with this exciting news comes powerful new single ‘Honey’. This deftly crafted, beautiful and intimate piano-driven tune follows Richardson’s charming and infectious reverb-soaked single ‘Don’t Talk About It’, released earlier in the summer. ‘Honey’ is a two minute pensive ballad of elegant piano playing and heart-strung vocals delivering an intense and truly captivating sound. Richardson has treated us to a pretty flawless and steady stream of superb singles over the past few years and ‘Honey’ is up there with the best of them; this is Richardson at her most intimate and moving.

You can listen to ‘Honey’ below – First Prize Bravery is out on November 8th.

Slim Tin Fox – ‘Molly (Tapetown Remix)’

A Brazilian, an Italian, an American, and an Irishman walk into a bar in Dublin…. and the result,  Slim Tin Fox.

Formerly operating under the guise of Chutes Too Narrow, Slim Tin Fox take a dash of indie, rock, blues, folk, post-punk and punk, and throw them in  the mixer, with thrilling results.  Their latest single ‘Molly (Tapetown Remix)’ is a suitably short, sharp blast of no nonsense rock ‘n’ roll. Delivered with ample swagger, it is a brash and muscular racket ushered onward by a stampede of drum beats, meaty riffs and guitars, feedback and raucous vocals. It is no nonsense spiky indie-rock with an innate ability for a hook tune – quite reminiscent of early days Milburn or Arctic Monkeys too – it’s feverish guitar shredding is infectious and of course, makes for a hell of thrilling tune.

Listen to ‘Molly (Tapetown Remix)’ below – and keep an eye out for forthcoming singles too:


HAVVK – ’52’


Formidable Irish outfit HAVVK will release their debut album Cause & Effect on November 22 and the alt-rock trio have been upping anticipation with a slew of scintillating singles – ‘Always The Same’, ‘Birds On A Wire’ and ‘Shifting Shape’ – and HAVVK have added another to the fold.

Written while living in London, new single ‘52’ exudes an ominous and tense atmosphere, reflecting the divisive nature of the Brexit campaign, as HAVVK attempt to make sense of the darkness and find a way through.
Front woman Julie Hawk’s distinctively impassioned vocal take centre stage, soaring majestically over the ethereal alt-rock backdrop before packing a punch as the chorus sets in, mirroring the anger for the situation at hand. It is raw and filled with anger, it is a song laced with ethereal beauty and finds a space where harsh and gentle can coexist. ’52’ is yet another majestic reason to look forward to the HAVVK’s forthcoming debut LP.

Listen to ’52’ below & HAVVK will be launching Cause and Effect on 6 December 2019 at the Bello Bar in Dublin.

Simple Kid shares new tracks: ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’

Longstanding patrons will be aware of my adoration for Simple Kid, albeit not offering many opportunities to display it regularly.

The London-based Irish artist (aka Ciaran McFeely) released two brilliant albums in the mid 00s – SK1 in 2003 and SK2 in 2006 – before entering a prolonged period of musical hibernation, disappearing off the radar, only to reappear briefly here and there with ‘The Road’ in 2011, ‘Snakes and Ladders’ in 2014 and ‘Because’ late in 2018.

However, since the latter, his YouTube account has seen something of a flurry of activity and uploads including ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’; which coincidentally are (IMO) the pick of the new material.

‘The Last Bus Home’ is a deliciously infectious and richly melodic blend of folky indie, with country and Americana brushstrokes. A gentle acoustic strum, hand claps and harmonica coalesce in perfect harmony, with warm vocals completing the loveable, swelling, heartfelt allure. ‘Lost in Space’ is the more complex of the pair as lush layers of psych-tones, spacey sounds and cosmic textures swell and swirl to engulf the delicious piano-led melody. Mining brilliant streams of melody and heavenly harmonies it is a roving, hazy and cosmic adventure that swells to beautifully epic climax. With its gorgeous melody, irresistible chorus, blend of guitar and frazzled electronics, and swelling emotion, ‘Lost in Space’ is not easily forgotten. Two differing (but equally stunning) sides to the talents of Simple Kid bound together by an undisputed ear for melody.

While not discounting something more substantial in the future, for now Simple Kid is enjoying crafting new songs in his loft – fingers crossed this fruitful period continues to blossom.

Listen to both ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’ below, and you can listen to the man himself chatting to Dan Hegarty here.

And credit where credit is due: H/T to Dan Hegarty’s ‘The Alternative’ on 2FM & John Barker’s ‘Totally Irish’ on 98FM.

Mani Bazaar – ‘Dead’

Mani Bazaar is a musician, singer & songwriter from Ireland with a preference for ethereal goth-infused dream-pop.

It’s not often that a debut single delights, excites and enthrals as much as this but with ‘Dead’, Mani Bazaar has utterly bewitched with this alluring piece of dreamy pop perfection. ‘Dead’ slowly unfurls, washing over you with an ease and breeze as each passing moment reveals itself blissfully surreal, immersive and idyllic. Synths shimmer, guitars glisten and soft beats trickle beneath a cascading wave of warm electronics. It is a lush blend of ethereal, exquisite and heavenly electronica, a suitably beautiful backdrop for the heavenly, hushed and lullaby-esque vocals. ‘Dead’ is transfixing, heavenly electronica; an exquisite beauty tempered by subtle senses of the eerie while building gently to a bout of mild euphoria.

Tune into the blissful sounds of ‘Dead’ below – you will not be disappointed.

Introducing: I Drew Blank

I Drew Blank are Berlin-based outfit comprised of bassist & singer Oyèmi Hessou (Jaguwar), guitarist & singer Dominik Jureschko (White Hand Gibbon) and drummer Eilis Frawley (Party Fears).

Together the trio deliver a special blend of lo-fi fuzzy slacker garage-pop that melodically drifts between early ’90s and west coast vibes – something born out on their addictive new EP; Interesting Life Choices.

While primarily the music is easy on the ear and seemingly carefree, as songs slide by with an effortless ease and general breeze. On repeated listens however, much more bite and greater thematic depth is revealed; dark thoughts and failed relationships meet escapism and reflection over five tracks. This dizzying encounter opens with ‘No Promises Were Made’ which could serve as the archetypal blueprint for the band’s sound. Pumped with meaty riffs, heavy driving bass lines and sappy snare kick combos ‘No Promises Were Made’ has no shortage of bite and punk grunt or melodic pop allure for that matter, provided by the dreamy riffs, sweet licks and hooks. The vocals are passionate, melodic and dance in the remaining space provided in the mild haze of warm fuzz and distortion. Elsewhere ‘What We Need Is Time’ is even more more infectious as it breezes by with an abundance of heavenly harmonies while ‘It’s Winter, It’s Warsaw’ is less breezy, more gallop as it hurtles along a dancey groove with jerky riffs, cowbell and interlocking harmony rich vocals.

This is a dazzling fuzz-filled display of lo-fi, garage-indebted indie-pop. On the right side of infectious and grit, it is a tonic to the overly-polished and ekes out a perfect space on the musical landscape.

Tune into some choice cuts below and the EP can be found here.

Captain Moonlight – ‘The Great Austerity Bake Off’

Kilkenny rapper Captain Moonlight, has long been one of Irish Hip Hop’s most prized possessions. Obsessive about politics, philosophy, literature, music and hurling, it has been nine long years since his last album, 2010’s On The Lough (Agroculture Pt 3).

This period of relative radio silence has been brought to a welcome and abrupt close by new single ‘The Great Austerity Bake Off’ – and it is superb. The beats are infectious and snappy, along with the hovering, soft synth provide an toe-tapping and contagious backdrop for his potent lyrical expanses. Moonlight is up there with the finest lyricist’s this country has produced, and ‘The Great Austerity Bake Off’ finds him in fine fettle – and as usual he doesn’t disappoint.

Although there have been singles here and there – incl. a track for our very own GruffWuff compilation (see below) – the new single also comes with news of new album called Offences Against The State Act 1, which is expected before the year is out.

I’ve long been a huge fan of Captain Moonlight and made no secret of this adoration over the years, so needless to say, it is great to have him back in action.

Listen to ‘The Great Austerity Bake Off’ below: