Nicolas Godin – The Border (Pierre Rousseau Remix)

Five years after his debut solo album, Nicolas Godin, best known as one-half of French electronic duo Air, is releasing a new album Concrete and Glass on January 24.

Soft, electronic lullaby ‘The Border’ is a perfect entry-point to Godin’s new record,  arranged and co-produced with Pierre Rousseau – a collection of lush hymns to buildings and architectural triumphs. It is the latter’s stunning rework of ‘The Border’ that immediately concerns us today. The original lush and dreamy electronic undulations are fleshed out into an eight-minute epic. The pop warmth is retained and re-enforced by a subtle undercurrent of euphoria as rushes of soft ambient pulses and melting minimalism creates a spellbinding groove that transfixes the soul. It is a super seductive wonder delivered with poise and style, and plenty to spare.

Tune in below and keep an eye out for the album in a few weeks.

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

Guest Post: Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2019

Aside from compiling my own lists, I really enjoy looking over other people’s albums of the year rundowns and none more so than Mr. Johnny Feeney.

An insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and bring added flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading his contributions – of which, surely I’m not alone?

Yes, we’re a bit late with this one but sure better late than never, right?

A huge thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his favourite records of 2019.

10: DIIV – ‘Deceiver’

Following up 2016’s supreme Is the Is Are, Brooklyn shoegaze quartet DIIV’s third album Deceiver draws obvious comparisons to My Bloody Valentine with its multiple layers of shimmering, squalling guitars and lead singer Zachary Cole Smith’s dreamy vocals. Expect plenty of loud / quiet / loud moments on this dazzling return.

Listen in full here.

09: Hot Chip – ‘A Bath Full of Ecstasy’

Although their newer material has perhaps lost some of the menace of their early output, ultra-consistent Hot Chip prove they are still adept at releasing dance-pop of the highest calibre. A perfect antidote to the grim global political and environmental situation we find ourselves in today, I challenge anyone to listen to the likes of ‘Positive’ or ‘Melody of Love’ and not feel a wave of joy wash over you.

Listen in full here.

08: Black Midi – ‘Schlagenheim’

The Mercury-nominated debut album from this four-piece experimental-rock band hailing from London is definitely not going to be to everyone’s taste. From the brutal opening salvo of ‘953’ to the wonderful closer ‘Ducter’, this relentless record is one that never lets go. A highly ambitious record, understandably it doesn’t always quite come together. But when it does hit the mark it’s absolutely thrilling. Improvised mayhem never sounded so good.

Listen in full here.

07: Marika Hackman – ‘Any Human Friend’

The latest LP from Marika Hackman certainly has a much more pop-leaning sound than her early fans would expect from the English singer-songwriter. Hackman’s usual vocals and guitar lines are regularly joined by jaunty synths to create upbeat tunes merged with deeply personal lyrics exploring themes such as same-sex relationships (‘All Night’) and masturbation (‘Hand Solo’). The jaw-dropping title track that closes the album is beyond staggering.

Listen in full here.

06: Drahla – ‘Useless Coordinates’

This bludgeoning debut record from Leeds post-punk outfit Drahla comes with driving guitars, a pummelling rhythm section, and Luciel Brown’s breathy vocals. Viciously, skewed saxophones add to the overall sombre atmosphere. Clocking in at a breathless half an hour, Useless Coordinates starts off dark and doesn’t veer off course once.

Listen in full here.


05: Mattiel – ‘Satis Factory’

The highly accomplished second album from the Atlanta-based singer-songwriter prominently features Mattiel Brown’s distinctive, booming vocals and some delightful, grooving and soulful blues-rock. Brown has an uncanny ability to create expertly crafted sub three-minute rock songs with an infectious hook. A very impressive piece of work.

Listen in full here.

04: The Murder Capital – ‘When I Have Fears’

The superb debut album from the Dublin post-punk five-piece is a moody, atmospheric affair. Brooding, menacing guitars and percussion are paired to pulsating effect with the haunting, angst-ridden vocals of lead singer James McGovern. A formidable live act, the group’s sound has been captured masterfully on record by UK producer Flood. Along with Fontaines DC and Girl Band, the Murder Capital are at the forefront of an exciting wave of great new Irish rock bands.

Listen in full here.

03: Aldous Harding – ‘Designer’

New Zealand folk artist Aldous Harding’s third studio album is the epitome of easy listening – nine tracks of blissful, exquisitely arranged songs. Harding’s tender vocals are accompanied by multiple layers of instrumentation and backing vocals to devastating effect throughout. A gorgeous album that gets better with every listen.

Listen in full here.

02: Vampire Weekend – ‘Father of the Bride’

After a six year hiatus and losing a key member in multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij back in 2016, Vampire Weekend fans could be forgiven for worrying if maybe this was the beginning of the end for the New York indie-poppers. Instead Ezra Koenig re-emerged with an exceptionally strong set of tracks, enlisting the help of the likes of Danielle Haim on vocals and guitarist Steve Lacy. The result is an immensely enjoyable, if overlong, album.

Listen in full here.

01: Fontaines DC – ‘Dogrel’

The eagerly awaited debut of Dublin punk rock quintet Fontaines DC delivers emphatically on every level. An extremely diverse and lyrical record, lead singer Grian Chatten’s miniature vignettes of Dublin City are accompanied by an ever-changing soundtrack from the rest of the group. From the piledriving punk of ‘Chequeless Reckless’ and ‘Hurricane Laughter’ to the jangling stomp of ‘Sha Sha Sha’ and ‘Boys in the Better Land’ via the tender ‘Roy’s Song’ and ‘Dublin City Sky’, not a single foot has been put in the wrong place. In a new Golden Age of Irish guitar music, it’s the Fontaines DC’s star who’s shining brightest at the moment.

Listen in full here.

Fanclub – ‘Trespassing’

Austin-based indie-pop trio Fanclub – Mike Lee, Leslie Crunkilton & Daniel Schmidt – have been making a bit of name for themselves as a reliable source of lush, dreamy indie-pop since their emergence last year.

The trio have returned with a new single ‘Trespassing’, one as dazzling and irresistible as any that have proceeded it. It is an elegant, breezy and characteristically glossy slice of dreamy indie-pop. ‘Trespassing’ drifts along with a breezy air and whispering groove as shimmering guitars and lush electronics give way to subtle melodies and pattering drums as Crunkilton’s mellifluous vocals flow above; a final velvety layer to engulf you in the rapturous allure. This is utterly beautiful, beguiling and all together divine indie-pop; pure pop perfection – no question.

Listen to ‘Trespassing’ below:

HUSSY – ‘YLMD’

Originally from the North East of England, HUSSY is the moniker of South London-based dream pop purveyor Sophie Nicole Ellison, a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist with a knack for deep and textured songs, layering fuzzy guitars to create spellbinding soundscapes.

To date, this predilection and skill has been on show with singles ‘Forever’, ‘Playtime’ and ‘Slayer’ and HUSSY is back with a new track ‘YLMD’. It is harder, rockier and more thrilling than previous singles while retaining continuity in the dreamy stakes. Opening with driving guitar work, energetic percussion and Ellison’s own clear, glacial tones, it explodes out of the speakers grabbing your attention from the off. First and foremost ‘YLMD’ is a powerful, rousing and thrilling anthem but it also showcases Ellison’s brilliant ear for melodies, but interspersing them with massive drums, jangley guitars and covered with layers of warm fuzz and distortion, and a lingering sense of melancholy. A self-empowered love letter to herself; it is a massive tune, bristling with energy and emotion amid the sparkling haze.

Tune in below:

Golden Bug – ‘Ground (Feat. Phoebe Coco)’

Ahead of releasing collaborative album with In Fields, French producer and artist Golden Bug (aka Antoine Harispuru) has shared stunning lead single ‘Ground’.

Featuring Phoebe Coco, ‘Ground’ is lifted from collaborative album entitled ‘Vibration Métallique’ – and it is utterly mesmerising. It is inviting slow mo disco that slowly swaggers along a winding deep house groove illuminated by acid squelches, hypnotic chimes an flecks of electronics taking the listener to spaced out ambient zones. Phoebe Coco’s cool and breathy vocals are the perfect pairing, smouldering with emotion they add another smooth seduction as they flow stridently above. Calm, composed and utterly cool – this is captivating stuff.

Listen to ‘Ground (Feat. Phoebe Coco)’ below, and Vibration Métallique is out via Höga Nord Rekords on December 27.


Gang Starr – ‘Bad Name’

Back in September, we got the first new track from Gang Starr in 16 years, ‘Family And Loyalty’. A few weeks ago, this was followed a whole new Gang Starr album called One Of The Best Yet. DJ Premier started working on the record in September 2017, and comes almost a decade after Guru’s death in 2010.

While the circumstances of the album’s creation remain a point of contention, it is a little strange but very good to hear the duo back together again – a rather unexpected surprise. The album, while not to the level of say Daily Operation and Hard to Earn (two of my all time favourite records), is a nice tribute to, and reminder of, how great Gang Starr were. IMO there is never a bad time to share anything Gang Starr related, with that in mind, we have latest single ‘Bad Name’. Backed by Premier’s trademark production and iconic scratch choruses, without missing a beat, Guru bemoans the lack or real hip hop talents, as he spits: “Word to God, if Big and ‘Pac were still here/ Some of these weirdos wouldn’t act so cavalier”.

It is undeniably great to hear the two artists together again, check out ‘Bad Name’ below:

PODGE – ‘What Happened’

Beginning life recording in his bedroom at the age of 15, PODGE is the creative tour de force of (now 20 year old) Adam Charo. 

Armed with a synthesizer and a laptop, these sessions gave birth to his self-released debut album The Hero Appears, setting out his predication for the whimsical aesthetics of Japanese pop culture, and all wrapped up in a playful, joyful and colourful confection of catchy electro-pop. The latest record, Eatmore Fruit EP, follows a similar trajectory and is fronted by magical single ‘What Happened’. A big smiley ray of sunshine, ‘What Happened’ is joyous, giddy and uplifting as it playfully flutters along a jaunty beat and and glitchy synth through a beautiful imaginative world filled with colourful ideas and kaleidoscopic sounds, and bound together in hypnotic majesty. It’s an eccentric, off-kilter and Technicolor pop adventure of playfully experimental arrangements and sounds that are gentle whirring together and filled with breezy vibes and sense of joy. A magical, sunshine filled slice of pop perfection.

Tune into ‘What Happened’ below.

Kastane – ‘Tangalle’

Kastane is an electronic music project from Irish producer and drummer Alan Walsh, who is back with another elegant, transfixing and alluring slice of electronica in the shape of ‘Tangalle’.

With two EPs to his name – Tunnels EP (2017) and Trang EP (2018) – a third expected in the future and with the latter in mind,’Tangalle’ follows on nicely from bewitching previous single ‘Shimmers’. Like its predecessor, ‘Tangalle’ is elegant, graceful and sophisticated but the glue that binds them is rhythmic precision and percussive power, unsurprising given that he is a card carrying member of drummers union. A bewitching, graceful and melodic electronic excursion, as synths shimmer and electronics glisten to create a warm and lush environment for the rhythmic allure to grow and thrive. Kastane is emerging as a master of his craft, creating bewitching melodic sophisticated electronica that will leave an indelible mark on your soul and you under the spell of it’s tempting allure.

Listen to ‘Tangalle’ below:


Kid Indigo – ‘What To Do’ (with DNTST)

Kid Indigo is Los Angeles-based producer and musician Aubrey Ella Hart, who under this moniker, crafts dreamy, hazy and beautiful electronic-pop that delves into a dreamworld of rich melodies and waves of lush tones.

Drawing from a deep well of influences – electronica, hip hop, electro-pop and folk – Kid Indigo’s beautifully sculpted brand of electronic pop is created, as evidenced by latest single ‘What To Do’ (with DNTST). It is an exquisite and utterly transfixing track built on a reverb heavy hip hop inspired beat that carries us through this enchanting, hazy atmospheric wold of fuzz, shimmering synths and harmonious layers of chanting vocals. Crackling electronics twinkle and flicker amid the subterranean haze, illuminating a path for her vocals to float elegantly overhead. ‘What To Do’ is a transfixing, dreamy,and beautifully hazy electronic-pop song that whisks us off to a dreamworld of rich melodies and waves of lush tones.

Listen to ‘What To Do’ below: