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.

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:

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:

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)

Gadget and the Cloud – ‘Quiescence’

Gadget and the Cloud is the moniker of Cork-based producer Kelly Doherty who has a clear preference for the experimental, pushing electronic sounds into ever more interesting settings.

The Cork native emerged on our radar in 2017 with singles ‘And I Told You Something True’ and ‘3600 Seconds’, and followed those with debut album Songs for Sad People to Dance To last year, and Doherty is back with a new track called ‘Quiescence’. Forming part of a compilation on Dublin-based Bandcloud, the track is a swirling blend of textures and soundscapes, with touches of ambient and drone. Opening with a deep bass hum, ‘Quiescence’ seeps to the foreground filling all available space with sound and feeling. It simmers with a rich emotive allure as gentle crisp, focused beats propel us forward though a world of lush synths, warm textures and dreamy vibes. While it is exquisite and gently ambient, it is not one of carefree abandon as the space afforded to reflective mood allows for contemplation and a darker tone and mood. It is a majestic track, its progression feels organic and the emotion real – exquisite.

Listen to ‘Quiescence’ below – if you like what you hear, why don’t you check out Songs for Sad People to Dance To from last year? It can be found here.