Faux Canada – ‘Stockton’

Faux Canada is a San Francisco-based indie-pop foursome, heavily inspired by the early 00’s Secretly Canadian lineup of indie rockers, the quartets influences also touch on elements of 90’s shoegaze, grunge, and electro-lounge, all wrapped up in a delightfully charming and energetic pop sheen.

The aforementioned brew is the sound of their new EP, Liars’ Teeth, which is led by single ‘Stockton’. It is a charming and melodic delight as sporadic guitars mesh with sweet harmonies, catchy riffs and sharp hooks, propelled onward by drums and meaty bassline, and engulfed in a mild blanket of warm fuzz and distortion. An effortlessly sweet and catchy slice of bright and bouncy indie-pop laden with delicious harmonies and warm fuzz. Faux Canada have figured out the deceptively simple, age-old secret to transcending influences: just write top notch songs.

Listen to ‘Stockton’ below and if that is to you liking, check out their new EP, Liars’ Teeth here.

Bels Lontano – ‘Lift the Sun’

Bels Lontano is an electronic music project from US-based composer and producer aka Bret Bohman.

Following on from his stellar introduction with debut EP Kind Decade early doors in 2019, he is back with a sublime new single ‘Lift the Sun’. Bels Lontano’s sonic touch strikes a perfect balance between opposing elements, a juxtaposition that feels natural and seamless, and that is the case once again. Introducing itself is a rather soft manner, it slowly evolves a much more vibrant and energised exploration as the various electronic sounds emerge. While propelled by harsh, crunchy beats the dreaminess never relents fully as cascading twinkling electronics and shimmering synths are never far away, which, along with rich textures and an ear for melody. A track of duality; it is equally at home on a dance floor or solitary consumption – a rich and rewarding experience.

Listen to ‘Lift the Sun’ below 

Menik – ‘Brothers’

Menik is a producer with a preference for music that is colourful, ambient, melodic and driving, and drawing inspiration from everything from blues, rock and hip hop, jazz, house and techno, and everything in between.

Menik is plotting the release of his debut album Story Time, which features field recordings from milestone stages of his life. The latest single ‘Brothers’ gazes backward, inspired by Menik’s short time spent growing up in San Francisco. It is elegant, dreamy and wide-eyed, unfurling with a steady, soft and seductive beat, gentle guitar strum ‘Brothers’ intoxicates and woos with a brimming sense of optimism. Soothing soundscapes and dreamy lullabies flow into wave upon wave of gentle fuzz lapping from the side, introducing a next level calm and tranquillity akin to floating among the clouds. So much so that even the glistening riff midway through cannot offset the overwhelming sense of snug dreaminess.

It is blissful, enthralling and all-consuming track; listen to ‘Brothers’ 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.


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:

Quodega – ‘Design Your Eyes’

Quodega is the moniker of Cardiff-based electronica artist Tom Raybould who crafts propulsive electronica that is marked by decidedly cinematic feel.

Following on from 2017’s The Meanderlux Vessel, Quodega has returned with a brand new album called Only Forward, and the first single lifted from the album is ‘I Design Your Eyes’.

It is a sleek cinematic vision powered by a relentless chugging tempo and propulsive synth, filtered through the unique contours of his own musical imagination. Building from a hardy rhythmic core, he paves a long and winding path through a chilling hinterland between electronica and techno whereby dreams and reality coexist, and offering a perfect backdrop for the driving beats, mutating synths, splashes of neon light and propulsive groove. Upon listening to ‘Design Your Eyes’, it will come as no surprise to find that Raybould has extensive soundtrack experience to his name; it is a marvel that is captivating and immersive, and creates an incredible sense of wonderment and adventure.

Listen to ‘Design Your Eyes’ below and if that is to your liking, the new album can be found here.

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)

HAVVK – ‘Shifting Shape’

Formidable Berlin-based Irish outfit HAVVK will release their debut album Cause & Effect later this year and the trio have been ramping up expectation levels with singles ‘Always The Same’ and ‘Birds On A Wire’; and HAVVK have added further with new single ‘Shifting Shape’.

‘Shifting Shape’ is urgent and pulsating as it whizzes by in a whirlwind two-minutes of raucous, distorted and grungy alt-rock. It is fierce, biting and epic as it hurtles off along a furious stomping groove armed with searing, buzzsaw riffs, impassioned vocals and unrelenting guitar lines. It is gritty and raw, packed with vitality and passion, it is relentless but also incredibly catchy. Yet another reason to get excited for HAVVK’s debut album which is coming later in the year – watch this space.

Listen to ‘Shifting Shape’ below now:

June Fest 2019

June Fest is back again this year with a series of great events in Newbridge (and surrounding areas) over the course of June.

Last year was brilliant and there is loads of brilliant stuff going on again. Below is just a quick snapshot of some highlights including some events I’m involved with personally.

As I said, there are tons of events over the course of the month, and you can take a look at the full calendar of events @ JuneFest.ie.

Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny

Sunday, June 2, 8PM @ Newbridge Town Hall

Two giants of the Irish trad scene, Andy Irvine and Donal Lunny, will be grace the stage for a historic show in Newbridge Town Hall.

The legendary pairing will unite for an evening of great music, a mixture of traditional songs, and originals. Neither musician are strangers to Newbridge – it being Lunny’s hometown and Irvine having played many a memorable show here – but this will be a reunion with added history, as it’s their first time playing in Newbridge Town Hall since the days of Planxty.

Between them, Irvine and Lunny have been at the helm of legendary bands like Planxty, Sweeney’s Men, The Bothy Band, Mozaik, LAPD and recently Usher’s Island. Their unique style of accompaniment is an ongoing influence in the wider world of Irish music.

This promises to be a memorable night from two of the Irish trad scene’s living legends. One not to be missed.

Tickets are €20 and available here.

Crackling Vinyl

Sunday, June 02, 10PM @ Flanagan’s Bar

The Crackling DJs – as in myself, Broken Home & Friends – will bring our much loved all vinyl night to Flanagan’s Bar on June 2, spinning an exquisite selection of new & classic tunes; indie, pop, soul, hip-hop, garage & more.

Entry is free and the show starts @ 10PM.

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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: