It’s not easy to call time on a project that you’re invested in and love, especially with your childhood buddies.
As creators of math-rock, instrumental post-rock, music whatever you call it Wicklow’s Enemies weren’t ones to stay still.
Their own discography charts a course from melodic instrumentals to a different take onto a more expanded and vocal-incorporating third and final album.
Valuables was finished with the band having been through a tough time and deciding to finish Enemies for good. “A lack of shared vision” is one of the reasons but ultimately, this band didn’t want to end up being enemies with each other.
As a result, Valuables has a strong willingness to let go and explore, to bring in vocals from Come On Live Long’s Louise Gaffney, to revel in lushness, to hark back to rudimentary charms, to create fresh guitar textures. The band are more popular abroad than at home but that won’t stop their last show in Dublin’s Vicar Street on December 18th to be a band saying goodbye on a high, having released their best album.
Last week, Enemies announced the bittersweet news that their album Valuables, would be their last. In a statement posted by the Wicklow band, they explain that during the making of the album, they were torn apart personally and creatively. There were highs of great tours yet the band’s friendships were tested.
It was decided to call it a day during the making of the album. With that decision reach, the band found Valuables unshackled from expectation, Enemies made an album for themselves. “Writing music for other people is a destructive affair,” is how they put it.
Valuables is out on December 9th and the band say farewell with a big show in Vicar Street on December 18th.
Hear ‘itsallwaves’, the opening track of the album via a video shot on their recent US tour.
After selling out two Bello Bar shows, Wicklow band Enemies have set their sights higher with a big gig in Vicar Street. The band have a new album called Valuables on the way and they’ll play Vicar Street on December 18th.
With the imminent announcement of their new album “Valuables”, Enemies will play their biggest headline show to date at Dublin’s Vicar St on December 18th. Tickets priced €20 go on sale this Friday 23 September at 9am through www.ticketmaster.ie & usual outlets nationwide.
Rusangano Family continue to impress everywhere they play so after playing the Fringe Festival last week they’ve announced two show in Whelan’s, Dublin (Saturday November 26th) and Dolan’s, Limerick for the end of the year (Wednesday December 21st).
Fantasy 12 is a exhibition of album artwork by Hen’s Teeth Prints, This Greedy Pig & Choice Cuts which asks the question “If you could release a record from any iconic artist (past or present), what would the cover look like?”
Participants include artists responsible for artwork by MF Doom, William Onyeabor, Aphex Twin, Prince, Anderson .Paak, Björk and Fela Kuti. See the website.
The work will be exhibited in The Copper House Gallery and will launch on October 13th. The opening night will ring in a week of live music, DJs, talks, screenings, and record fairs.
Playing on the night across three floors will be Interskalactic, Contour, Zaska, Dogs, Vinyl Love (smoking area), DJ Deece, Malibu Club, Calvin James, Charlie Garrett, Long Island Sound, AJ and Boots & Kats.
State.ie & Hope Collective are teaming up again after last year’s event with We Shall Overcome – A Celebration of DIY on Sunday 9th October in The Workman’s Club – 4pm. An all ages punk show in support of Oxfam & Dublin Simon Community.
Marking twenty years since Hope hosted their first festival of DIY at the City Arts Centre, the 2016 edition will bring together musicians from across the punk generations – all of whom have a desire to do things on their own terms. Admission is via cash donation to Oxfam and items such as new underwear / socks / hats / gloves for Dublin Simon Community.
The line-up features Bill Blood, Carol Hodge, Ed Wenn, Mhaol, Not Monsters, Simon Wells, the Objectorz. More info.
A music night for Amatrice is a night at the Tivoli Back Stage in Francis street on Sunday the 9th of October supporting Save the Children Italy fund raising campaign for the victims of the 24th of August earthquake in Central Italy. Music on the night comes from Ajo Arkestra, Marcella Savini duo, Peter sheekey trio, Annalisa Monticelli, Anne Marie Kelly and more.
Scottish anthemic indie band Frightened Rabbit are playing The Academy Dublin, Sunday February 5th 2017. Tickets €26.50 includes booking fee on sale Friday September 23rd at 10am from Ticketmaster.
Last year, I featured a fundraising gig for Denise Ryan who has been suffering with “Lyme disease, pneumonia, Epstein-Barr virus, gastroparesis, chronic gastritis, candida, strep and clostridia infections, among other things” and is seeking funds to pay for urgent medical treatment in the US.
Ryan has raised €70,000 but needs €100,000 to get the treatment (her own video is below).
To help her get to that goal, Róisín O, Enemies, Ailbhe Reddy, Dermot Kennedy & Dublin Gospel Choir are playing a Denise Ryan fundraiser in the Button Factory next Thursday, June 30th.
Late last year, Wicklow’s Enemies returned with some new music in the form of the playful ‘Play Fire’, which marked a new direction for the math rock-leaning band.
2016 brings US and UK tours in March including SXSW along with a couple of small Dublin shows in the Bello Bar where they will be showcasing new music.
One of the two shows on March 5th is already sold out but the other on the 6th is on sale now. However, email me on [email protected] before Sunday night and I’ll pick a winner for two freebies for the show.
Enemies tour dates
05.03.16 – Dublin, IRE @ Bello Bar (SOLD OUT)
06.03.16 – Dublin, IRE @ Bello Bar (On Sale Friday at 9am)
09.03.16 – Leeds, UK @ Nation Of Shopkeepers
10.03.16 – London, UK @ The Lexington
11.03.16 – Brighton, UK @ Bleach
15.03.16 – 03.19.16 – Austin, TX @ SXSW
20.03.16 – Denton, TX @ Rubber Gloves
21.03.16 – Wichita, KS @ TBA
22.03.16 – Denver, CO @ The Hi Dive
23.03.16 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Loading Dock
24.03.16 – Boise, ID @ Treefort Music Festival
26.03.16 – Tacoma, WA @ Real Art Tacoma
27.03.16 – Seattle, WA @ The Vera Project
28.03.16 – Portland, OR @ Twilight Cafe & Bar
29.03.16 – Oakland, CA @ The Night Light
30.03.16 – Los Angeles, CA @ Silverlake Lounge
31.03.16 – San Diego, CA @ Soda Bar
01.04.16 – Phoenix, AZ @ 51 West
02.04.16 – Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole
03.04.16 – Albuquerque, NM @ Duke City Sound
Two years on from the fine album Embark, Embrace and Wicklow’s Enemies are showcasing a new sound on ‘Play Fire’, a just-released track that has the math-rock band growing in style and being less predictable in the process.
The jagged guitar chug is still present along with new vocal textures that lift the song and the band into a softer place, while it’s simple “Play Let Go” line coalesces all of that emotion in the chorus.
Following on from their critically acclaimed sophomore album ‘Embark, Embrace’, Irish post-rock meets math-pop quartet Enemies are now set to return with their first new single in almost two years ‘Play Fire’.
“Play Fire is our take on pop music; it was this idea of getting as far away from our comfort zone as possible, without losing what makes us Enemies. The new record feels like we’re moving away from what we know. It hasn’t been an easy process, but no album should be,” says guitarist Lewis Jackson.
The band have been joined by Michael Quinn of Meltybrains? on drums of late. Buy the track. Check out the lush video directed by Finn Keenan.
Judging by the numbers of views of the album stream from Enemies here last year, Embark, Embrace, the band have a loyal following.
A year later, to the week, the band are celebrating its release with a remix EP of songs from the album. Rather than ask someone else to do it, the guys went in-house and remixed the songs themselves. Well, two of the band did; Eoin Whitfield, the Enemies guitarist under his electronic side-project SIATS and the band’s engineer James Eager under the name itsallwaves took turns on the remix duties.
“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.
Trout Records, home to Spies, Tandem Felix and Jet Setter have started a video series where they’ll capture live performances from some of their favourite Irish bands. First up, Enemies with a track from their latest album Embark Embrace, ‘Coral Castles’. Next in the series is Cian Nugent.