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:

Kid Aristides – ‘Summer No 30’

Kid Aristides is a SNES-influenced, synth/vocaloid pop project from surreptitiously mysterious Montreal musician.

Heavily influenced by SNES Square RPGs (like Final Fantasy and Chrono Trigger) and utilising analog hardware and flair for synthesized vocal-driven art-pop, Kid Aristides serves up a magical confection of beautifully off-kilter electronic-pop, and latest single ‘Summer No 30’ is a case in point.

Peculiar but playful, it flutters along a simmering synth beat through a beautiful imaginative world filled with colourful ideas and kaleidoscopic sounds, and bound together in hypnotic majesty. It’s an eccentric Technicolor pop adventure of playfully experimental arrangements and sounds that are gentle whirring together and filled with breezy ambience and sense of awe. Propped up by that simmering synth beat, the synthesized vocal adds a final and elegant lick of retro-futurist paint for a supreme slice of electronic pop, and one that manages to display a fun, playful side while at the same time captivating your attention completely.

Listen to ‘Summer No 30’ below – it doesn’t disappoint:

Introducing: Sid Steppes

Sid Steppes is a musician and songwriter from Southern California, whose dreamy psychedelic-pop sound is born from a penchant for DIY, writing and recording as he has in various bedrooms and makeshift studios.

Steppes’ debut album Trails is primed for release on May 31 and is inspired by heartache, depression and the path towards rehabilitating the mind, as well as a deep fondness for 60s and 70s psychedelia. Ahead of the debut LP, Steppes has shared a pair of singles ‘I’d Like to Go Away From Here Again With You’ and ‘Keep in Touch’. The former is a languid and beautifully sullen slice of psychedelia, dripping with a rich melody, it seductively swoons and swaggers in slo-mo fashion amid an eerie guitar line, steady drum and loping melodic guitar jangle, gently spill and sprawl over one another. It is wonderfully heartfelt, marked by frailty and vulnerability – lyrically and vocally – it also radiates a lingering sense of warmth and defiance in overcoming adversity. ‘Keep in Touch’ grooves along, gently slinking through vast layers of hazy and dreamy vibes. Soft drums keep us on track, while the woozy guitar and dreamy vocal duke it out for the limelight. Evocative, emotive and woozy slices of dreamy psych-pop that are every bit as alluring as seductive sounds Syd Barrett, Donavan or The Byrds.

Listen to ‘I’d Like to Go Away From Here Again With You’ & ‘Keep in Touch’ below – and keep any eye out for the album coming on May 31.

Safetalk – ‘Layback’

Anglo-French trio Safetalk – comprised of two Parisian producers Hugues Tonnet and Thomas Desnoyers and Berlin-based British vocalist, David Harks – have released superb new single ‘Layback’.

On ‘Layback’, the continental trio further indulge in their now recognisable penchant for cosmic vibes but in a somewhat more earthly fashion. While Safetalk lure us into an otherworldly realm, we are brought back down to earth by tribal beats and rhythms. Electronics shimmer alongside, radiant and twinkling synths, swirls of atmospherics, and tender and ethereal vocals; a hypnotic fusion that leaves us with a beautifully melodious affair of coexistence between earthly and heavenly bodies. This is yet another compelling and transfixing electronic excursion, it is smooth and smouldering, rich and soulful, and of course, utterly divine.

Tune into ‘Layback’ below now:

Trudy and the Romance – ‘That’s Not Me’

Trudy and the Romance are preparing to release their debut albumSandman, later this month and ahead of its release on May 24, the trio have released a final single ‘That’s Not Me’.

‘That’s Not Me’ is that latest in a line of sultry singles demonstrating their penchant for rich, melodic and heartfelt old-fashioned pop. It is an intoxicating single, sweet, heartfelt and imbued with a pang of nostalgia. Drifting, delicately, this wistful indie-pop ballad purrs with a rich, dripping melody and pulls hard on heartstrings as vocals croon amid the swell of lush, swooning orchestral-pop tones. It is a beautiful song plain and simple – musically and lyrically – it is warm, hazy and heart-strung. It will take a cold heart to be enamoured by this beauty. A rich and alluring blend of dreamy harmonies and dazzling pop, it is bursting with everything good pop music should be.

Listen to ‘That’s Not Me’ below and keep your eyes peeled for Sandman on May 24.

Bibi Club – ‘La Plage’

Bibi Club are Montreal duo Adèle Trottier-Rivard and Nicolas Basque, who together create hypnotic and elegant lo-fi synth-pop.

The pair’s debut single is ‘La Plage’ (“the beach” in French) and it is something rather special indeed. It is a subtle, spellbinding and lush sea of textures, soft-edged synths, blissed out tones and flourishes of dreamy psych-folk. ‘La Plage’ bubbles along a rippling rhythm as guitars chime, synths twinkle and cascading cosmic electronic tones combine with a lapping groove creating a lush and alluring elixir, and one perfect for Trottier-Rivard’s smooth, light and mellifluous voice seems to breeze above, leaving us utterly powerless to resist.

A magnificent, hypnotic and elegant debut. Listen below:

Jouska – ‘Titanic’

Oslo-based musical duo Jouska – comprised of Marit Othilie Thorvik and Hans Olav Settem – have impressed at every given opportunity with an intriguing and inventive array of singles and debut EP Frog Fiction, as they explore some of the more leftfield realms of electronica.

Latest single ‘Titanic’ comes from a similar realm of colourful cosmic imagination – albeit delivered in a slight more mellow package. Tempered by a breezy atmosphere and ethereal ambience, ‘Titanic’ moves softly over a gentle alluring groove protruded by bubbling synths and flecks of electronics, creating a lush and dreamy world of cosmic electronica. Amid this utterly beautiful soundscape, another alluring layer of bewitching beauty is provided by the heavenly, hushed and ever so melodic vocals. ‘Titanic’ is a lush, mellow and heavenly track, marked by moments of exquisite beauty and bouts of mild euphoria.

Listen to ‘Titanic’ below, it is lifted from their so far unnamed album expected at some stage in the future.

Lauren Ruth Ward – ‘Hungry Barber’

We became increasingly aware of Lauren Ruth Ward’s brand of energetic and rowdy rock ‘n’ roll throughout 2018 with the release of her debut album Well, Hell, and string of super singles that followed.

The LA-based singer/songwriter has kicked off 2019 with a new single, ‘Hungry Barber’. Working with longtime collaborator/co-producer Eduardo Rivera, ‘Hungry Barber was born from a desire to create something different to her usual retro folk stylings of three-minutes-with-a-chorus structure that marked her debut. The result is playfully woozy song inspired by The Dodos, The Beatles, and Vali Myers. Clocking in at a minute-and-a-half it forms something of in a stream of conscience as Ward externalises the inner dialogue when chasing the night, and all amid some wonderfully woozy vibes and pleasantly buzzed guitar strums.

You can sample ‘Hungry Barber’ along with the excellent and suitably psych-influenced video below now. Ward’s debut album Well, Hell is available here too, if you fancy giving it a spin.