The Belfast band will release their fifth album The Endless Shimmering on 20th October 2017 through Sargent House.
‘A Slow Unfolding Of Wings’ is the first taste of that material and on the surface it harks back to the band’s earlier work, with the band guitarists Rory Friers and Niall Kennedy, bassist Johnathan Adger and drummer Chris Wee, reverting to more instrumental style than the previous two albums so there’s less vocals this time out.
It was recorded Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in March 2017 during s major snow storm. “We tracked, ate, washed and slept at the studio,” Friers says. “And 9 days later we had recorded and mixed the entire album just as the snow began to melt.”
1: Three Triangles 2: A Slow Unfolding of Wings 3: Terrors of Pleasure 4: Dying Giants 5: All I Need is Space 6: The Endless Shimmering 7: Mullally 8: I’ll Share a Life 9: Chrysalism
OCT 18 Haarlem, NL // Patronaat Haarlem OCT 19 Utrecht, NL // EKKO OCT 20 Nijmegen, NL // Doornroosje OCT 21 Osnabrück, DE // Kleine Freiheit OCT 22 Karlsruhe, DE // Die Stadtmitte Karlsruhe OCT 23 Eindhoven, NL // DDW Music OCT 24 Rouen, FR // Le 106 OCT 25 Nantes, FR // Le Ferrailleur – Café Concert OCT 26 Bordeaux, FR // VOID // BDX OCT 27 Barcelona, ES // AMFest OCT 28 Madrid, ES // SALA CARACOL MADRID OCT 29 Porto, PT // Hard Club OCT 30 Lisbon, PT // MUSICBOX LISBOA NOV 02 Milan, IT // Circolo Magnolia NOV 03 Fribourg, CH // Nouveau Monde NOV 04 Winterthur, CH // Gaswerk NOV 05 Pratteln, CH // Konzertfabrik Z7 – Pratteln NOV 06 München, DE // Ampere NOV 07 Prague, CZ // NoD NOV 08 Leipzig, DE // Conne Island NOV 09 Berlin, DE // Lido Berlin NOV 10 Hannover, DE // Béi Chéz Heinz NOV 12 Cologne, DE // Gebäude 9 NOV 13 Wiesbaden, DE // Schlachthof Wiesbaden NOV 14 Essen, DE // Zeche Carl NOV 15 Hamburg, DE // Knust Hamburg NOV 16 Groningen, NL // Vera Groningen NOV 17 Maastricht, NL // Muziekgieterij NOV 18 Louvain-La-Neuve, BE // La Ferme – festival NOV 19 Kortrijk, BE // Concertzaal De Kreun NOV 21 Paris, FR // La Maroquinerie NOV 22 Luxembourg, LU // Rockhal NOV 23 London, UK // KOKO London NOV 24 Manchester, UK // Manchester Academy NOV 25 Glasgow, UK // Òran Mór NOV 26 Bristol, UK // Thekla Bristol DEC 28 Dublin, IE // The Academy DEC 29 Castlebar Co May, IE // Garbo’s DEC 30 Cork, IE // Cyprus Avenue DEC 31 Galway, IE // Roisin Dubh
There was a beautiful piece of radio on BBC’s Across The Line last week about the Belfast weekend of gigs called A Little Bit Of Solidarity in 2008 culminating in a gig in one of the biggest venues in town, Mandela Hall featuring And So I Watch You From Afar and their peers like LaFaro, Lowly Knights, Panama Kings, A Plastic Rose and more.
It was one of those times when music captures the mood of its people better than most things. It was a celebration and an identity solidifier. Those qualities have always been the kinds of things that I have attributed to the music of And So I Watch You From Afar and those qualities of possibility and capturing a mood of a group of people beyodn themselves.
The band’s next album Heirs, comes out on in May on Sargent House. ‘Redesigned A Million Times’ is a vocal-lead cut featuring Rory Friers’ brother, Ewen, which brings in a different mood to the band’s music. The exuberance and encouragement of solidarity is still there.
Naturally, the band are going on a huge tour once again:
15 Moscow Teatr Club 16 St. Petersburg Kosmonavt 17 Yekaterinburg Nirvana Club 28 Glasgow King Tuts 29 Manchester Gorilla 30 Bristol Marble Factory
1 London Islington Assembly Hall 2 Dunkerque 4Ecluses 3 Luxembourg den Atelier 4 Paris Fleche d’Or 6 Brussels VK 7 Rotterdam Rotown 8 Eindhoven Effenaar Small Hall 9 Deventer Burgerweeshuis 10 Nantes Le Ferrailleur 11 Clermont Ferrand La Cooperative de Mai Club 12 Zurich Dynamo 13 Bern Dachstock @ Reitschule 14 Geneva Usine 15 Milan Leoncavallo 16 Rome Venue TBC 17 Modena La Tenda 19 Ljublana Kino Šiška 20 Zagreb Zedno Uho Festival 21 Budapest Dürer Kert 22 Vienna Arena 23 Munich Ampere 25 Prague NoD Teatro 26 Wiesbaden Schlachthof 27 Leipzig Täubchental 28 Berlin Bi Nuu 29 Hamburg Logo 30 Essen Zeche Carl 31 Cologne Underground
1 Amsterdam Paradiso 19 Dublin Olympia 20 Belfast Mandela Hall
9 Cheltenham 2000 Trees Festival 24 Beelen Krach am Bach 25 Sheffield Tramlines Festival
Having announced their new album Heirs last week, billed as their “most personal and meaningful,” the band have premiered ‘Run Home’, a frantically-charged rollercoaster of emotive guitar and voices pushing against drums and low end resulting in an cascade of encouraging sound.
The album will be out in May and as well as the EU tour announced last week, the band have also announced they are two play two big Irish shows:
Friday June 19th @ Olympia Theatre, Dublin (€22+) Saturday June 20th @ Mandela Hall, Belfast (Tickets £14 + Booking Fee, 18+)
And So I Watch You From Afar today announced that their new album Heirs will be released on May 1st/4th on Sargent House.
The 10-song album is the followup to their 2014 album All Hail Bright Futures and the band’s first with Niall Kennedy as a full member participating in the recording.
The band say it is their most “most painstakingly created album” and that it is the band’s “most personal and meaningful.”
A central theme about the inheritance of ideas, in that we’re all ‘Heirs’ to other peoples’ passion which in turn inspires ourselves. Many new lives, new imperatives and invigorated perspectives helped shape the 10-song album borne of over 30 tracks written in prolific isolation over 6 months in the band’s Belfast.
The band have announced a 31-date tour along with Mylets for Europe:
28-Apr 2015 – UK – GLASGOW – King Tuts 29-Apr 2015 – UK – MANCHESTER – Gorilla 30-Apr 2015 – BRISTOL – Marble Factory 1-May 2015 – UK – LONDON – Islington Assembly Hall 2-May 2015 – FRANCE – DUNKERQUE – 4Ecluses 3-May 2015 – LUXEMBOURG – LUXEMBOURG – den Atelier 4-May 2015 – FRANCE – PARIS – Fleche d’Or 6-May 2015 – BELGIUM – BRUSSELS – VK* 7-May 2015 – NETHERLANDS – ROTTERDAM – Rotown 8-May 2015 – NETHERLANDS – EINDHOVEN – Effenaar, Small Hall 9-May 2015 – NETHERLANDS – DEVENTER – Burgerweeshuis 10-May 2015 – FRANCE – NANTES – Le Ferrailleur 11-May 2015 – FRANCE – CLERMONT FERRAND – La Cooperative de Mai Club 12-May 2015 – SWITZERLAND – ZURICH – Dynamo 13-May – 2015 – SWITZERLAND – BERN – Dachstock @ Reitschule 14-May – 2015 – SWITZERLAND – GENEVA – Usine 15-May – 2015 – ITALY – MILAN – Leoncavallo 16-May – 2015 – ITALY – ROME – Venue TBC 17-May – 2015 – ITALY – MODENA – La Tenda 19-May – 2015 – SLOVENIA – LJUBLJANA – Kino Šiška 20-May – 2015 – CROATIA – ZAGREB – Zedno Uho Festival 21-May – 2015 – HUNGARY – BUDAPEST – Dürer Kert 22-May – 2015 – AUSTRIA – VIENNA – Arena 23-May – 2015 – GERMANY – MUNICH – Ampere 25-May – 2015 – CZECH REPUBLIC – PRAGUE – NoD Teatro 26-May – 2015 – GERMANY – WIESBADEN – Schlachthof 27-May – 2015 – GERMANY – LIEPZIG – Täubchental 28-May – 2015 – GERMANY – BERLIN – Bi Nuu 29-May – 2015 – GERMANY – HAMBURG – Logo 30-May – 2015 – GERMANY – ESSEN – Zeche Carl 31-May – 2015 – GERMANY – COLOGNE – Underground
Groovement Soul @ The Grand Social (11.30pm, Free) [DJs ] Groovement Soul Residents Declan Comiskey Glenn Davis and Carl Bauer
A Celebration of Red @ Button Factory (€15) [Dance] Music from four legendary Dublin clubs: an annual tribute to pioneering Red Records label with an exclusive Pulse laser show. DJs: Mark Kavanagh (Olympic / Red anthems), Eddie Sargent (exclusive Dublin dance classics) plus two special guests to be added playing Sides, Asylum and Ormond tribute sets.
1. Flying Lotus 3D Show / Thundercat & Captain Murphy
The Undergrowth Stage: 9:15pm – 10:45pm / 7:45pm – 8:45pm
Stephen Ellison’s music has always had a visual imaginistic quality to it. His jazz-inflected electronic beats conjure up shapes and forms on its own so for him to push it forward into an actual A/V show makes sense. Forbidden Fruit will be the Irish debut of the 3D Show, which is pretty well explained in the video below.
As for Captain Murphy, Flying Lotus’ alter-ego showed he can rap too, as heard on 2012 mixtape Duality, a cult-leader pitched-down collection of Quasimoto-style hip-hop. He’ll be joined on stage by his good friend Thundercat, presumably in his role as a bassist first and foremost rather than a singer or solo performer.
2. Lisa O’Neill
Original Stage, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
One of the most original, idiosyncratic and Irish voices we have in music at the moment, it’s good to see O’Neill get such a prominent slot at an Irish festival. Her second album Same Cloth Or Not, was filled with the Cavan lady’s personality and her colloquial mannerisms. Her folk voice is scrappy yet lilting, tinny yet commanding; that’s to say it’s not for everyone. As a performer though, O’Neill is also commanding, and very funny; she knows how to spin a story or two.
3. Fuck Buttons
The Undergrowth Stage, 6:15pm – 7:15pm
Brutal in its mechanism and industrial in its rhythms, Slow Focus, the third album from Bristol duo Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power was as uncompromising as the pair have got. Previous albums relied on an ambient strain of repetitive euphoria that saw that track ‘Olympians’, wisely enough, used in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. In a live context, they combine all of that in a barrage of low and high frequencies that leaves you elated and bruised.
4. And So I Watch You From Afar
Original Stage, 6pm – 7pm
Surely you’ve seen ASIWYFA live by now? They’ve been on constant tour since they began that it had to happen. So you’ll know you’ll be at this to witness a set from one of the best live bands in any country – the Belfast lads rip through the instrumental rock rulebook with a fervour that is only matched by their latest album’s sunny uplift – perfect for a festival so.
5. Girls Names
The Undergrowth Stage, 9.45pm – 10.45pm
Also from Belfast, Girls Names’ took a step towards a bolder, more gratifying sound on their album The New Life last year eschewing the jangly surf-rock of previous releases for a more distinctive and thematically unified sonic palette of post-punk, kraut and new wave. It means the band’s live set is a head-nodding mood-piece of some of the most evocative guitar sounds drawn from the late ’70s/early ’80s period of rock music.
“The ten tracks conjure up music made in the future, or at least, the hopeful sound of what music will sound like some time away from the present. It’s an album with experimental flavours, featuring songs that are electronic in vein, which touch on coldwave synthesizer sounds, industrial tones, synthetically-altered vocals, electro flourishes and dark-edged rhythms.”
“Kodaline are still growing and will likely be criticised for maturing too soon; they remain students and while In A Perfect World doesn’t redefine anything, it does give them a direction. There’s an airy optimism that’s charming given the state of the world today, and even if you’re bitter about love the tracks still give you something to take home. Best of all, it’s surely a precursor to something much bigger.” Mark Roche, State.ie review.
A multi-faceted old-fashioned nostalgic pop album.
“You can hear a lot of influential touchstones on Remember Saturday, the debut album from Conor Deasy’s pop band Biggles Flys Again. Beach Boys, Super Furry Animals and Neil Hannon, that sort of thing. Classic pop kind of music. Deasy himself has said he wanted to make “multi-layered pop albums” in the vein of Badly Drawn Boy, Aimee Mann and Sean Lennon amongst others and that’s the pleasing result.”
Solid debut album from the Dublin indie-rock quartet.
” Whether it’s the la-la-la melody of opening track ‘Novelty’, the sinewy rock of ’6.0′, the perky power pop of ‘Atomisation’, the college rock dynamics of ‘Jittery’ or the atmospheric ‘I Want’, the band are never far away from tunefulness being their primary concern which leads to a no-nonsense feel to proceedings. Main vocalist Barry Bracken’s timbre also adds a nostalgic tone as it harks back to an early ’90s jangle indie-pop awareness.”
Sixth studio album from the Dublin band finds them in stripped-back but suitable form.
“No matter what stage of their career they’ve found themselves in, Bell X1 have been no strangers to quality songwriting and their latest foray has produced a collection of tracks and themes that ponder a-plenty, producing a record that steps away from their recent creations and delves into a more introspective and self-conscious range of music.”
Extra impressive debut album from Irish alt-indie band.
“They have that assured dynamic, that confidence that comes only from a band who know who they are and what they’re at. Their debut album Everything Fall confirms that.
“Over ten songs, there’s not a big let up in the quality which means Come On Live Long’s debut is an admirable one. Opener ‘Wasteland’ is a microcosm of the band’s defining characteristics; crashing snapping drums by Steven Battle (which sound wonderfully post-treated by Conor Gaffney), bright guitar tones underpinned by electronic, keyboard and percussive sounds match singers Robert Ardiff and Gaffney’s dual vocal counterpoints and are heightened by cavernous crescendos.”
John Lambert’s first album in five years is a return to beautiful instrumental guitar ambience.
“Calling it minimalistic might turn off those who prefer grit in their music. Throughout the album (which is underpinned by varying if muted tones of loss, resignation, reconciliation and discovery) there is a broader sonic sensibility via empathetic musicians, cellists Kate Ellis and Kevin Murphy, and vocal murmurs from Eileen Carpio. The pitch? If you’re looking for truly beautiful music that is the perfect soundtrack to a slo-mo sunrise, you’ll find it here.” – Tony Clayton-Lea, Irish Times.
And So I Watch You From Afar have a tour coming up in Ireland in December. The band have only been to India recently so there can’t be very many places on the earth left for them to play. Next stop, space? The band’s third album All Hail Bright Futures came out earlier this year and this run of shows will celebrate the last year. Live, they’re still as ferocious as ever.
I actually wrote the press blurb for All Hail Bright Futures, And So I Watch You From Afar’s third album, late last year and I basically said all I wanted to say about it in that form. So weird as it feels, here I am ripping off my own work in a weird way. Suffice to say, the album is mega…
All Hail Bright Futures could be taken as both an ethos for the album and the band at this point in time. There is a new color scheme in place: new textures, emotions, sounds and voices. The 12-track, 43 minute album is dominated by a sunnier disposition, a positive uplift that more closely matches the euphoria the Northern Ireland trio has been instilling in audiences through their music in a live setting for the last five years. (more…)
Just before Christmas we got ‘Like A Mouse’, the first track from And So I Watch You From Afar’s All Hail Bright Futures out on March 18th. That’s next month! Holla.
‘Big Thinks Do Remarkable’ is one of my favourites from the uplifting record, a cacophony of exuberant noise with unexpected exaltations and a “the sun is in our eyes” mantra. Blinded by the brightness.
Surprise! Here’s a nice early Christmas present. A taster of And So I Watch You From Afar’s new album All Hail Bright Futures, the first for the band as a three-piece following the departure of Tony Wright (Niall Kennedy plays with them live is now a full-time member of the band). ‘Like A Mouse’ is a bridge to the band’s new album, introducing more vocal melodies and hinting at the album’s uplifting theme. Despite the title suggestion, it’s still a piledriver of a track.
All Hail Bright Futures is released through Sargent House on March 19th. Also, loving the artwork.
Here we are. The end of the sixth year of the Nialler9 poll. Thank you all once again for voting. We had about 100 or so votes that made up the results in songs, new artists, EPs and now, the big one – albums. Our ultimate winner has topped the poll before that doesn’t negate the indisputable fact that there’s plenty of superb Irish music contained within this list…
Jape has remixed And So I Watch You From Afar’s new single from Gangs, ‘7 Billion People All Alive at Once’ into a heady dance rework. Have a listen to that plus the radio and album versions of the original below. Then buy them from Bandcamp for €1.50.