Other Voices kicked off again last night on RTE2. Among performances from Austin from Willie Nelson, Cage The Elephant and Dingle from Imelda May, Moon Looks On; All Tvvins, Conor Adams and Lar Kaye’s synth-pop rock band All Tvvins.
Next week, the show features Mumford And Sons, Saint Sister, Rejjie Snow, Margo Price and Roisin O. 11:30pm Thurs 9th Feb 23:30.
The Choice Music Prize is this year the RTÉ Choice Music Prize for the first time and the announcement of the 10 Irish albums were revealed a short time ago on 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show by Tony Clayton Lea, chairman of the judging panel.
The 10 albums shortlisted by the judges for Irish album of the year are:
All Tvvins – IIVV (Warner Music) Bantum – Move (Self Released) Wallis Bird – Home (Mount Silver / Caroline International) The Divine Comedy – Foreverland (Divine Comedy Records) Lisa Hannigan – At Swim (Hoop Recordings) Katie Kim – Salt (Art For Blind Records) James Vincent McMorrow – We Move (Faction Records) Overhead, The Albatross – Learning to Growl (Self Released) Rusangano Family – Let The Dead Bury The Dead (Self Released) We Cut Corners – The Cadences Of Others (Delphi)
The winning act will receive €10,000, a prize fund which has been provided by The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) and The Irish Recorded Music Association (IRMA). All of the shortlisted acts will receive a specially commissioned award. RAAP, Culture Ireland & Golden Discs are also official project partners.
2FM has promised to play Irish music all day from 6am to midnight today to mark the announcement along with live cessions from SOAK and Delorentos and a two-hour special on this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize, Irish Album of the Year 2016 shortlist, presented by Conor Behan from 8-10pm.
Shortlisted albums will also be featured throughout in the lead up to the live choice prize event on Thursday March 9th in Vicar Street. Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event are available at all Ticketmaster outlets and at http://www.ticketmaster.ie priced €26.50 including booking fee.
Louise Bruton – Freelance & Irish Times Brian Coney – Editor, The Thin Air Maire Dineen – Súgradh Productions (Imeall TG4/Body & Soul) Suzanne Doyle – Music, Film & Television Consultant Dan Hegarty – 2FM Paddy McKenna – Editor, Joe.ie Cathal Murray – RTE Radio 1 Barbara Nic D – Classic Hits 4FM Colm O’Regan – Hot Press Niall Power – Head of Music Beat FM Eva Short – Deputy Editor, Trinity News
Irish Song of The Year 2016
The shortlist for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize – Irish Song of The Year 2016 will be announced on Wednesday 1st February, 2017. A Special event featuring exclusive performances from both Album of the Year and Song of the Year nominees will be held in Dublin that evening in the Workman’s Club.
Ding Ding Dingle. The 15th edition of Other Voices in the Kerry town is only a week and a bit away and that means the announcement of more acts and activities to the festival/TV show/ December getaway for music fans.
That’s not all of course, the organisers have announced a Music Trail West – a music event featuring live music around the Dingle Peninsula on the Saturday, a vinyl artwork exhibition and Ireland’s Edge, a related conference.
The St. James’ Church recordings will be hosted by BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, Dublin born/London made DJ and broadcaster Annie Mac and Fight Like Apes’ May Kay. eir will stream the St James’ Church performances live to ten venues across Dingle town.
Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new songs from all the below along with Glass Animals, Skott, Chance The Rapper, Ardyn, Father John Misty and Hvmmingbyrd.
Justin Vernon’s shelving of Bon Iver a few years ago never felt absolute. As it turned out, as detailed in this essay by fellow bandmate Trevor Hagen, Vernon was at an emotional impasse. Unsure where to go next, he collaborated with Kanye, James Blake, Francis And The Lights, made music with Volcano Choir, he built a studio in his hometown of Eaux Claire in Wisconsin, he put on a music festival. He sought solace in personal understanding.
It was the second edition of the Eaux Claires music festival that Vernon chose to announce a new Bon Iver record. Having made it through that fraught period, Vernon was ready to start anew. ‘Over Soon’ is a fragile acknowledgement of the thin line between moving on and giving up and the empathy that music offers between us.
Pional began for many, as the right hand man to fellow Barcelona producer John Talabot. But if you’ve paid attention to his solo work, there’s been much more substance inherent than mere coat-tail riding.
A New EP When Love Hurts, out on Counter (Ninja Tune) on September 30th will feature Empress Of on vocals on ‘The Way You Like’ but lead track ‘Casualty’ is a distillation of his appeal: spacious minimal electronic music that recalls Michael Jackson productions and creeps under the skin hypnotically.
KDA feat. Tinashe – ‘Just Say’
A recent Ibiza highlight.
This came on the stereo earlier this week, only to to flash me back to a trip to Ibiza last month (courtesy of Absolut). I heard this at Pacha one of the nights I was there. This is just decent big-room dance music with US singer Tinashe bringing the R&B vibes as played by Claptone (I think) that night.
Emmanuelle – ‘Italove’
A recent highlight from Soulwax’s Dee Wee label
Brazilian-born singer Emmanuelle gave us absolute shade of the highest order on ‘Free Hi-Fi Internet’ a song in which she was more interested in the Wi-Fi password than talking to you the club.
‘Italove’ is a lot warmer in sentiment and leads with a ripe summery synth disco sound. ‘L’Uomo D’affari’ is also on the release.
All Tvvins – ‘End Of The Day’
The Dublin lads channel Talking Heads
From last week’s album of the week, the finally-released debut album from All Tvvins, ‘End Of The Day’ has an undeniable “Once In A Lifetime’ buzz to it both rhythmically and vocally. Hopefully, someone is let loose to make this as club friendly as possible.
Florence + The Machine – ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’
A Final Fantasy XV soundtrack song.
Surprise. Florence + the Machine dropped three new songs last week which are to feature on the upcoming Final Fantasy XV game.
Alongside a cover of Ben E King’s ‘Stand By Me’ and the xx-esque ‘I Will Be’, ‘Too Much Is Never Enough’ is a sprawling orchestral epic. Welch says her decision to get involved was inspired by a Classic FM radio broadcast.
“I was listening to Classic FM and there was a whole two hour program about classical music in videogames. It was so inspiring and a whole scope of music that I didn’t know about. ” Florence says of her decision to get involved in the project. “It was really fascinating, the music was incredibly beautiful and emotional and I took it as a sort of sign, to see what I can do in this medium.”
Band origin stories are usually littered with groups that weren’t great, were too young to be any good, were formed because of a stupid name or were necessary in the chain of experience. Conor Adams and Lar Kaye, the musicians behind All Tvvins had a more successful run than most.
Adams, along with his brother Neil and his friends from other bands like Abam and September Sun went on to form The Cast Of Cheers and release twoalbums of melodic looping post punk-inspired rock music. Kaye’s CV included Kelsey, Terrordactyl and Vimanas before Adebisi Shank’s wizard electronic math-rock took them to Japan, US and Europe and spawned three albums. After these bands the pair both tried out new shapes with Charmers and No Spill Blood respectively.
The back stories are worth mentioning because they inform the sound of IIVV. You can detect the dexterity of Kaye’s guitarwork throughout and Adams’ ability to gild a melody across a frenetic rhythm. Lewis Hedigan joins them as ably-suitable drummer. The more underground sensibilities of those previous bands are felt throughout the album, providing some bursts of imagination in what is a very solidly constructed and hugely enjoyable debut, from the Adebisi-esque wall of sound / guitar cranks on ‘Unbelievable’ to the indie-pop tautness of ‘These Four Words’.
llVV is what a modern rock record should be: full of imagination, drawing from the members’ pasts while adding textures of the ’80s that sounds anew when applied with better overall production: treated vocals, big drums, synth-pop and stadium rock.
Six of the album’s 10 songs will be familiar to most; the Aha-esque stadium rock of ‘Thank You’, the FIFA-featured glittering synth rock of ‘Darkest Ocean’, the earworm gallop of ‘Too Young To Live’, the cascading high-octane rock of ‘Resurrect Me’ included.
Production comes from several people: Jim Abbiss (Arcade Fire, Kasabian), Mark Rankin (Queens of the Stone Age, Bombay Bicycle Club), Matt Schwartz (Massive Attack) and Dan Grech-Marguerat (Lana Del Rey, Wolf Alice), but they all serve the song’s pristine sound.
The marimba-rock of ‘Book’ is a new highlight and the first appearance of those treated halo-like vocals and the band’s blistering low-end. ‘End Of The Day’ nods to Talking Heads’ ‘Once In A Lifetime’ in both rhythm and vocal line, ‘Too Much Silence’ addresses smalltown begrudgery with ’80s stadium rock fist-pumping histrionics. IIVV is by and large a positive and uplifting lyrical album. Only, ‘The Call’ veers to close to safety by sounding a bit too much like The Killers in execution.
All Tvvins’ debut is a resourceful release, filled to the brim with a deftly executed take on modern stadium rock and synth pop, that has the prospect to take hold of the ears of many more. All Tvvins are already on their way to being a great band, it just didn’t happen overnight.
All Tvvins – llVV tracklist
1. Book 2. Thank You 3. End Of The Day 4. The Call 5. Too Young To Live 6. Darkest Ocean 7. These 4 Words 8. Too Much Silence 9. Resurrect Me 10. Unbelievable
Having announced their debut albumIIVV to be released in August and having played Longitude to a packed tent on Sunday, All Tvvins are set to play their biggest show yet on October 28th at the Olympia Theatre.
Tickets are €21 on sale Friday at 9am from Ticketmaster.
As someone who spends an inordinate amount of my life seeking out new music and writing about it, it can feel a bit redundant to listicle your daily enterprise. However, I understand that you, dear dear reader, do not have that luxury, so here for you, are 20 new and recently arrived bands (and a few who have been around a while but who I predict are worth more of your time) who are already making great music and who I expect to hear more of that calibre in the coming year.
Conor Adams and Lar Kaye met before their old bands, The Cast Of Cheers and Adebisi Shank were in full flight. Once things had run their course, the pair joined up and made a new band which mixed Kaye’s frenetic fretwork in Adebisi Shank (the best guitarist auteur in Ireland by a long shot) with Adams’ sharp indie-pop vocals. With a major record deal with Warner UK, came a more expansive and expensive sound, spacious arrangements held up by pristine production and melodies that squirrelled their way deep into rotating playlists of 2015 with killer singles ‘Thank You’, ‘Darkest Ocean’ (a FIFA placement gave it a boost to 1 million song streams on Spotify) and my personal favourite ‘Too Young To Live’. A packed Dublin show in November suggested the duo (and live drummer Lewis Hedigan) have different routes to explore in their sound on their forthcoming debut album to be released this year.
Electronic R&B at its finest.
New York trio Wet, Kelly Zutrau, Joe Valle and Marty Sulkow, have given us some great songs already since appearing a couple of years back. Their strength comes from creating the kind of songs that can uplift you and allow you to sink into their running time. Zutrau’s emotive melodies don’t allow for much wallowing and keeps the songs above water to a place of soothing sanctuary. Their debut album Don’t You arrives on January 29th on Columbia Records.
LA-based R&B singer on the rise.
21 year-old Maryland singer Gallant marked himself apart from the pack of new R&B acts by writing one of the best songs of 2015. While nodding to the synthesizer-rushing zeitgeist, Gallant lifts things by writing a better song than any of his peers – connecting on an emotional level with the soulful vocal delivery that could easily be drawn from the songbook of the past. Recently, he jumped on stage with Sufjan and made a track with songwriter James Fauntleroy. His debut album is in the process of being finished.
Anna B Savage
An intense and brittle singer-songwriter howl.
In an age where confessional writing has found an abundant home online, yesterday’s music’s cathartic power can feel reduced. Yet listening to the music of London’s Anna B Savage and the power of intimate raw emotion in song is immediately apparent – in both its simplicity, directness and its ability to make you feel vicariously uncomfortable.
Anna B Savage’s music achieved that to a powerful personal degree last year. On the highlight of her debut EP, ‘I’ she sings about her body image in the face others “Jesus I’m too insecure for this / for him to undress me and take the piss,” and “Jesus he came off smarter than that / to grab an inch of stomach and say fat.” Those gut punch lines are delivered in a gentle quivering tone that is beautiful in its operatic timbre as the song rises above such insults. On ‘II’ it’s a skulking blues guitar notes that slithers around her voice admonishing herself – “I will never amount to anything / Skipping showers every other day.” Again, “I’m getting on a bit,” leads to the song bursting into energy rather than tears, solstice in sound. It’s easy to hear the burning intensity of PJ Harvey in it.
Most of all though, Savage music and voice puts us in her shoes in a way that few mediums can. Anna B Savage holds us close. Sometimes uncomfortably so.
Atmosfolk Belfast and Dublin pair
Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre’s Saint Sister band were the best new band to emerge from Ireland last year. With a Celtic harp and a sibling-style gift for shared harmonies (alas they are not sisters – one is from Belfast, one from Dublin), their songs, both traditional and modern, were some of the best made on these shores.
The hardware store clerk turned pop hope
Louise McSharry reminded me of Kiiara, and that she was working in in a hardware shop in Illinois when she put her best track ‘Gold’ up online. That track, a modern earworm with production by Felix Snow featured mangled catchy vocals and finger-clicking percussion. It racked up over 7 million views. People clearly responded to it. See also, the tightrope-vocal iced walk of ‘Feels’ and the bright pop of ‘Intention’. There’s more to come from the hardware store clerk.
Seductive R&B that bangs
It was a gig at Iceland Airwaves in November that confirmed a year’s listening to Londoner’s NAO’s music (pronounced NAYO) that started with the head-nodding click clack thrill of ‘Inhale/Exhale’ and continued with her A.K Paul collaboration, the taut funk of ‘Golden’ and ended with a swimmingly-good slow song in ‘Bad Blood’. Nao has absolute jams sure but she has them in spades too, as a I found out in Reykjavik, as well a great live set and band.
Hypnotic London trio
The power of Haelos’ music thus far has been the English trio’s ability to create hypnotic rhythms for their songs to live in with a chorus of voices and a rush of synths to fill that space. A debut album is coming on Matador Records this year.
Dublin experimentalists find new forms for themselves.
Dublin band Meltybrains? began the year as searching rock experimentalists before discovering a new level of creativity that drew on their post-rock ambient foundations while diverting into tropical pop on ‘The Vine’, a rich-detailed six minute epic of ‘Donegal’, a rattling ‘New Don’ and then, just before Christmas, the space oddity of ‘Wiggly Worms’.
With each new song, the band showcase a different side of themselves, perhaps one they did not know existed until it manifests and with it comes a sense of identity. Who knows what 2016 will bring from the gang, but that’s part of their appeal.
Kanye snapped up this former model for his GOOD Music label
A former American Apparel model and Arizona-born musician, Kacy Hill dropped her debut EP on Kanye’s Good Music label a few months back, after she was a dancer on his Yeezus tour and he heard her collaboration with producer Jaylien Wesley – ‘Experience’.
Hill’s music is 21st century leftfield pop – synth-driven, spacious, slow and with great potential. ‘Foreign Fields’, her best track yet from that Bloo EP, has drawn comparisons to James Blake. Hill’s voice has a commanding magnetism to it, equally at home with pop melodies on ‘Arm’s Length’ and unfurling operatically on the commanding ‘Shades Of Blue’. Her 2016 debut is being produced by Kate Boy’s Oskar Engström and is expected to feature “90s alternative and left-field pop.”
Italian London-based lo-fi dance musician
I first featured Andrea Tirone’s music back in 2013, with the impressive lo-fi dance-pop track ‘My Girl’ which sounded like a pleasant hangover from chillwave.
Mind Enterprises‘ new music has moved into a more loose-fitting indie disco territory and a debut album will be released in February on Because Music, that was partly inspired by Afro-funk music after he was given a hard drive of music by Salvatore Principato of Liquid Liquid. As you do. The title track, ‘Idealist’ has some of that rough funky charm to it.
Copenhagen electronic pop trio
An electronic pop and R&B trio from Copenhagen, Fine, Simon & Simon, released three fine slices of music last year, most notably the sophisticated ‘Minds’ and the brilliantly slinky ‘Away From Me’. More new music is expected this month.
New Dublin/London beats and bass
Dublin-born and London-based Bonzai received a Hottest Record in the World status from BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac last year with ‘Doses’, a swerving bass and beats track that falls somewhere between R&B, rap, pop, grime and spoken word. It was drawn from the Royah EP which affirmed those disparate influences and added some dubstep and drum and bass ones. Before that came the sweet warped pop of ‘KGB’. Both were released on Mura Masa’s Anchor Point level, who himself is a rising new artist.
Independent Dublin funk and pop
A fledgling Dublin musician with a sarky lyrical attitude and a penchant for creating fun bedroom funk pop music, as heard on her debut EP Dead as Disco, Katie Laffan makes exuberant music and may have a bright 2016 ahead.
Joanna Newsom is to return to Ireland to play a fully-seated show in The Olympia Theatre on Thursday 3rd March 2016. Expect plenty of songs from new album Divers. Tickets are €40.05 + fee (and restoration levy for the venue) on sale Friday December 11th at 9am from Ticketmaster.
As part of NYF Dublin, and an event called Street Feast at Stephen’s Green South (Between Leeson St. and Harcourt St.), Le Galaxie, All Tvvins and Wyvern Lingo will ring in the new year in an outdoor setting.
Tickets for the New Year’s Eve show are just €7.50 plus fee from Ticketmaster on sale Friday December 11th. More about NYF Dublin.
Harmonic pop act Lucius have returned with new music from their forthcoming album Good Grief due in March and to coincide, they announced a show at The Academy on the 5th April. Tickets are on sale today at €18 plus fees.
Blossoms, who you might have heard on the radio with the song ‘Charlemagne’ will play The Academy Green Room in Dublin on February 5th with support from The Vyrll Society. Tickets are just €10.25 + fee on sale now.