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:

Introducing: K J M

K J M is the moniker for Irish musician and producer Kevin James Murphy (who also records as The Key Rocks).

The K J M project offers a series of thoughtful and cinematic explorations of electronic sound, utilising only sounds and loops available on Garage Band, as evidenced on debut album Jelacate. The album traverses various electronic musical landscapes, exploring themes of melody and mood as a gorgeous confection of ambient instrumental music that ebbs and flows through lush, atmospheric, cinematic drifts of retro futurism as it depicts a trip to Tokyo. Take ‘Divide’ and ‘The Sea’ as examples. ‘Divide’ harnesses a deep, warm, winding synth, hypnotic phasing sound and floaty atmospherics to create a gripping, transportive and transfixing track; moody, atmospheric and elegant, it will consume you. ‘The Sea’ hypnotises as it opens softly, lapping like its namesake but propelled forward by tidy percussion as a steady release of shimmering warm sounds, cloudy atmospherics and gentle guitar chords complete the lush picture. As an experiment, one could only say it is a success, delivering as it does, an abundance of ethereal beauty and cinematic escapism.

You can check out ‘Divide’ and ‘The Sea’ below and if they are to your liking, you can check out the album here.

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Kastane – ‘Shimmers’

Kastane is an electronic music project from Irish producer and drummer Alan Walsh, and beginning life as a side project while in Berlin, he has two EPs to his name Tunnels EP (2017) and Trang EP (2018), with a third expected in the future. 

With the latter in mind, Kastane has released ‘Shimmers’; a sophisticated, transfixing and melodic eight-minutes. While heavy on mood, texture and atmosphere with relentless oscillations transfixing, given that he is a card carrying member of drummers union, ‘Shimmers’ true strength and allure is sourced from its rhythmic and percussive power. As it unfolds, layer upon layer of sound evolves, the rhythm remains focused as beats are unleashed with pinpoint precision, while tight drum pads and sharp synth notes dual to create an alternate beat. ‘Shimmers’ is elegant, bewitching and sophisticated and will bend you to its mighty will, leaving you utterly powerless to resist it’s tempting allure.

Listen to ‘Shimmers’ below: 

Orla – ‘Breathe’

Orla is an 18 year old Irish musician and producer from Co Meath who has a preference for dreamy, elegant and atmospheric sounds; flashed with exquisite finesse on her debut single ‘dream’.

With new single ‘Breathe’, Orla sticks to this familiar formula for ambient, atmospheric and downtempo sounds. ‘Breathe’ is an elegant, shimmering delight with bags of charm. Striking a delicate and subtle balance between electronic elements with organic instrumentation as lush flowing synths, jovial beat and chiming guitar converge with an entrancing bass line. Subtle and unassuming, warm and alluring, dreamy and intoxicating; ‘Breathe’ will make an indelible mark your soul, and leave you all the better for it.

Listen to ‘Breathe’ and it’s shimmering majesty below:

Super Extra Bonus Party – ‘Some Dark Forces’ (feat. Sorcha McGrath)

Super Extra Bonus Party have long been makers of exceptional tunes – indeed some of their choice cuts reside in my all-time favourites list – and that’s not to mention the copious amount of phenomenal live shows.

The Newbridge outfit returned from hiatus in late 2017 with ‘Switzerland’ and followed a few months later by ‘Purple Heart’ – the latter is an infectious groover and the former, it is arguably their finest tune – the second coming has delivered, and looks continue to do so.

SEBP are busy working their third album, which is well overdue but in the meantime, they have released a brand new single and video. ‘Some Dark Forces’ features Sorcha McGrath from Ships on vocal duties; one of Ireland’s foremost vocalists adding a next level touch of class. It’s an upbeat, driving and emphatic electronic indie anthem. Propelled by a stomping drum beat and rhythm, ‘Some Dark Forces’ is littered with glistening synth lines and soft guitars, as cascading electronics and synths gradually fill the remaining space as it swells to an emphatic climax. It is a lush backdrop for McGrath’s stunning vocals to excel, in fact, the subtle swagger of the groove isn’t a million miles away from the cosmic disco vibes of Ships, so it is a perfect paring for McGrath. Another stunning single from SEPB mark II, hopefully work on the new album continues at pace.

There is also a video, directed by fellow Newbridge native Peter Fleming, which is equally magnificent and gorgeously shot. Check out ‘Some Dark Forces’ and video below:

Brí – ‘Low Supply’

Brí is a Dublin-based musician and singer-songwriter from Offaly.

Drawing from a deep well of folk influences ranging from Birdy, Laura Marling, Lisa Hannigan and Gabrielle Aplin, along with subtle touches of psychedelia and electronica, Brí crafts her own unique brand of beautiful, expansive, fragile and experimental psych-folk It is something born out on exquisite new single ‘Low Supply’, and aided and abetted by producer Darragh Nolan of Asta Kalapa studios and guitarist Aidan Mulloy, it is a perfect introduction to Brí.

‘Low Supply’ is a languid psych-folk daydreamer that whisks us away on a lush meditative journey. Swirling layers of vocal harmony gently unfurl an essence of pastoral warmth as it meanders along a soft beat, splashes of subtle electronics and rhythmic psych undulations. It is a mesmeric canvas for Brí’s bewitching atmospheric tones to transfix the listener entirely. An elegant, awe-inspiring and charming blend of shimmering pastoral psych-folk; it is a hazy, soothing and altogether wonderful song.

To celebrate the single’s release, Brí plays Whelan’s Upstairs, in Dublin on Tuesday. June 11. For further details / tickets etc. click here

In the meantime, you can listen to ‘Low Supply’ below.


Sorcha Richardson – ‘Don’t Talk About It’


Photo by Cáit Fahey

NYC-based Irish artist Sorcha Richardson will release her long-awaited and much anticipated debut album First Prize Bravery in the Autumn.

This great news is heralded by a charming new single ‘Don’t Talk About It’. Sweet, charming and infectious, it skips along a jovial rhythm as Richardson’s lush vocals are accompanied by jagged guitars, sweeping synths and warm textures, creating – musically at least – a sweet, idyllic and nostalgic vibe. Lyrically however, it is a song about avoiding conflict and trying to keep the peace, no matter how much you end up sacrificing in order to do so. Richardson’s approach on ‘Don’t Talk About It’ is somewhat more expansive, it remains an intimate and moving experience. Richardson’s work to date was enough to mark out her debut as one to look out for but with ‘Don’t Talk About It’, it has upped the ante.

Listen to ‘Don’t Talk About It’ below:

Sal Dulu – ‘Buzzcut’

Dublin-based producer Sal Dulu established a rep for fabulous hip-hop flavoured electronic productions with a string of stellar singles last year; ‘Duluoz Dream’, ‘Antasma’ & ‘Tyko’.

Opening his 2019 account with the atmospheric ‘Xompulse’, the Dubliner indicated a continuation of form and Sal Dulu is back with a new offering called ‘Buzzcut’.Joined by Atlanta-via-Memphis emcee staHHr, who takes command of vocal duties as Sal Dulu weaves together a breezy, dreamy atmosphere, lush cinematic strings, erratic breaks and choral-esque chants. It is an elegant arrangement that glistens and flickers with tranquillity as it stutters with a somewhat fidgety progression, that beneath staHHr’s vocals, only adds to the captivating nature. An atmospheric beauty; an engrossing and transfixing blend of rich, warm sounds.

Sal Dulu’s previous releases have been stellar and ‘Buzzcut’ is up there alongside the very best of them; of his or anyone else’s singles from so far this year – one of 2019’s finest.

Listen to ‘Buzzcut’ below:

Silverbacks – ‘Pink Tide’

Over the past few years, a few things have become certainties; my hair is not going to get any less greyer, Wrexham will break my heart come the season’s end and Silverbacks releases don’t disappoint.

The most recent Dublin-based outfit have been been nothing short of phenomenal; the unrelenting, unshakeable and sometimes post-punk spectacles of ‘Just In The Band’, ‘Dunkirk’ and ‘Just For A Better View’. Firmly in the here and now, Silverbacks are back with whispers of an album in 2019 and new single ‘Pink Tide’.

Like their other recent releases, ‘Pink Tide’ is once again recorded with Girl Band’s Daniel Fox, and raucous and buzzing with a jagged edged exuberance. Interlocking guitars provide precise freneticism, and pivots ‘Pink Tide’ off-kilter as Dan O’Kelly delivers his low-toned and world weary vocals. It is effortlessly gritty with scintillating riffs and guitar work, and when the solo kicks in at the 2:30 mark, provides a cathartic jolt towards the finish. It is barbed, searing and raucous without ever being messy, in fact incredibly tight, kept in check by the metronomic drums and those frenetic guitars. Electrifying, explosive and exhilarating as per usual – in my humble opinion, Silverbacks are Ireland’s finest emerging band.

Tune in to ‘Pink Tide’ below:

Buí – ‘Something Else To Think About’

Formed in May 2017, Buí is a collaborative musical project established by musician and singer-songwriter Josh Healy, who, with Eoin Johnson, Adam Sloan, Ronan McQuillan and Amy Nolan recorded and released debut album, Eugene, before the close of 2017.

Now, 18 month on, the Belfast indie outfit are back with wonderful double a-side ‘Something Else to Talk About / People Don’t Think’ – and there is an irresistible alchemy at work. ‘Something Else To Think About’ is a gently meandering, scuzzy, soul-consuming guitar jam. It is charming and melodic, as brazen retro synth riffs, subtly dissonant guitars and introspective lyrics and beautiful lilting vocals, combine amid layers of warm fuzz and distortion. In just over three-minutes, ‘Something Else To Think About’ captures the very essence of Buí’s ear-pleasing appeal; warm and fuzzy sounds mingle with catchy harmonies, melodies and pop hooks, and stunning retro synth-work.

The double-a side single is out now and you can listen to the beautiful ‘Something Else To Think About’ below.

Also, you can catch them live across Ireland over the next few days starting with Dublin tonight:

30.05 – Dublin (The Workman’s Club, Dublin)
31.05 – Galway (Róisín Dubh)
01.06 – Limerick (Pharmacia)