Silverbacks Announce Debut Album; Share ‘Muted Gold’

Yes, you read the headline correctly, Irish post-punk outfit Silverbacks have announced their long-awaited debut album will be released on July 17.

Entitled Fad, it was recorded with producer Daniel Fox (of Girl Band fame) and features previous singles ‘Dunkirk’, ‘Just In The Band’ and ‘Pink Tide’, and new one ‘Muted Gold’, which is every bit as brilliant as previous singles. Unspooling the ingredients of their sound is always an ask; there are touches of post-punk, art-rock, new wave and 90s indie to name but a few as they venture realms not many can tread (lyrically especially) to craft a colorful, vivid and exuberant sound. Built around a motorik rhythm and taut groove, ‘Muted Gold’ rushes past with a whirlwind of shifting multi-sensory sound as triple guitars attack. It is a peculiar, groovy, urgent and extremely catchy concoction up there with the very best of their output to date. Their debut album has been a while coming but judging how they gone from strength to strength over the past few years, one feels it will be worth the wait.

Listen to ‘Muted Gold’ below – and Fad is out on July 17.

FONDA – ‘No Begonias’

It’s been four years since we’ve heard new material from Irish post-punk outfit FONDA but the intervening period was anything but boring.

Lead singer and frontman Liam O’Connor did a stint with brilliant Limerick post-punk powerhouse Slow Riot through to their conclusion and subsequent posthumous album release, while Patrick Bourke & Laura Kelly left for pastures new in North America.

All that aside, O’Connor and FONDA are back with a new line-up featuring fellow Limerick musicians; John Ahern (Hey Rusty), Paul Cosgrave (Slow Riot) and Sean O’Mahony (Inner City Radio) and the first fruits from this new formation comes in the shape of powerful new single ‘No Begonias’. It is a huge and epic post-punk anthem with dark and dramatic vocal soaring stridently above as urgent guitars burn, riffs surge with intense and searing intensity, and meaty basslines relentless rhythm reverberate amid the distortion below. A gripping, insistent and emotionally charged post-punk fervour – a triumphant return from FONDA.

Listen to ‘No Begonias’ below:

Martha Ffion Announces New Album; shares ‘After the Fact’

Glasgow-based Irish singer-songwriter Martha Ffion (aka Claire McKay) has returned with a wonderful new single ‘After the Fact’.

Working with the excellent Lost Map Records again, ‘After the Fact’ is the first taste of from her forthcoming much-anticipated second album Nights to Forget, which will be released on August 14, 2020.

Ffion’s 2018 debut LP Sunday Best is a beautiful record, filled with gleaming guitar-pop, wistful-ballads, swooning sixties inspired indie-pop and touches of folk & country, and being as it was one the finest records of that year, the expectancy levels for its follow-up are set rather high. New single ‘After the Fact’ is magnificent; it is a glorious ray of gleaming indie-pop with an underbelly of melancholy and disquiet. A fractured pop song, Ffion’s honeyed lilting vocal is juxtaposed by the stuttering groove interspersed with angular riffs and stabs of off-kilter guitar, and the results are a glorious. This captures all that is greatest about Martha Ffion’s work in just three-and-a-half-minutes – a marvelous songwriting wrapped with bittersweet indie-pop.

Check out the new single below – and keep the eyes peeled for the new record coming in August:


Junk Drawer – ‘What I’ve Learned / What I’m Learning’

Junk Drawer have been creating unruly blasts of sonic fury since 2016 but the Belfast quartet are releasing their debut album Ready for the House this coming Friday (April 24th) via Art For Blind.

Ahead of the album’s arrival comes new single, and the album’s opening salvo, ‘What I’ve Learned / What I’m Learning’. Mixing it up with brush strokes of psych, post-punk, 90s indie, shoegaze, psych and post-punk Junk Drawer deliver a sprawling 7 minutes of relentless, frenzied delirium. Opening with a meandering array of slowburning guitars and riffs that melt the heart before subtly drifting away as rampaging rhythm, caustic guitar lines and barrage of relentless roar of searing riffs emerge through a swell of distortion, feedback and psychedelic drones. It is a raw and caustic thriller, an unrelenting electrifying juggernaut of a jam that screeches through serrated layers of sonic energy, squealing distortion and spiraling fuzz. As was previously stated, this is the album opener, and oh my, does this get you in the humour for the album. Yes sir. 

Taken from Junk Drawer’s debut LP Ready For The House, out April 24 via Art For Blind Records.

Jinx Lennon Shares ‘North Louth’; New Album Out Now

Jinx Lennon is a unique talent – a national treasure to be exact – and one of Ireland’s most insightful songwriters who is influenced as much by hip hop and post-punk, Jinx is the embodiment of a modern folk singer. 

Whether it is an acoustic guitar or sampled disco beat, raw garage noise or breakbeats his are songs of raw truth that push us to confront uncomfortable home truths in our society while kicking back against the humdrum bullshit of the modern world. Jinx’s new album Border Schizo Fffolk Songs for the Fuc**d was released on Friday last, and came accompanied by single ‘North Louth’. The tune, and the video, are immense. ‘North Louth’ is a hard-edged tune but one that has more than modicum of infectious allure, not to mention extremely danceable. While bristling with rawness as Jinx delivers his powerful lyrics in his distinct and brilliant manner, fizzing synths, frazzled electronics and break-beat add the dancey grooves.  Jinx Lennon’s music isn’t for everyone, sure but there is no one else quite like him and it hard to be unique nowadays but Jinx does it with ease and is searingly brilliant as always.

Border Schizo FFFolk Songs For The Fuc**d is out now – watch the superb video for ‘North Louth’ below:

Imploded View – ‘Don’t Know What To Call This Feeling’

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Irish producer Imploded View (aka Jerome McCormick) – and mores the pity.

A longtime favourite around these parts, whether bestowing elegantly sculpted downtempo soundscapes or buoyant electro, the Longford-based producer never disappoints. In keeping with tradition Imploded View has come bouncing back into our lives with a lavish slice of the latter in the shape of ‘Don’t Know What To Call This Feeling’. Built around a funky synth and bass, the allure of the groove runs deep to the core as catchy hooks, warm shimmers of synth and cascading frazzled electronics illuminate a path for this funk-filled strut. Amid the bright and bouncy jaunty air, a pang of unease emerges through a wining string line grounds us an the hushed vocals from McCormick which offer introspective exploration marked by a raw and redemptive tone. A marvelous tune, musically and thematically. Welcome back!

Check out ‘Don’t Know What To Call This Feeling’ below and it’s worth mentioning that much of the video was actually shot by McCormick’s six-year-old daughter. Enjoy!


City Victim – ‘Screaming’

City Victim are an Irish alt-rock band currently based out of Galway who since forming in early 2019, spent the year drip feeding singles – four in fact – and they are kicking off 2020 with their best release to date; ‘Screaming’. 

‘Screaming’ echoes the style of previous but sees a further evolution of their sound. While channelling classic post-punk influences – Television, Wire and The Cure – combined with more contemporary bands such as Interpol and Beach Fossils, the single is fleshed into a bold and peerless bout of slowburning aggression that thrives on the darker side of post punk. Amid the intensity, ‘Screaming’ is a real groover as it swaggers along driving, meaty basslines with layers of shimmering guitars keeping pace with the burrowing rhythm as hushed yet passionate vocals float stridently above. It is a huge tune, and one that wields a mighty power, and is utterly brilliant.

Listen to ‘Screaming’ below. City Victim will hit the road in February / March for a tour with the great Eoin Dolan, Dylan Murph and Sheepy – dates below.

01/02 Craft Taproom, Liverpool
02/02 Stamps (Crosby)
21/02 Pharmacia, Limerick
12/03 Roisin Dubh, Galway
13/03 Sin E, Dublin

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.

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.