Body&Soul has announced its first names for the festival in Ballinlough Castle from June 23rd to June 25th.

The festival will remain at capacity of 15,000 this year (same as last year).

The big names were announced via The Ticket’s Facebook page.

This year’s lineup looks like this so far:

  • Vitalic
  • Hundred Waters
  • Metronomy
  • Lambchop
  • Miss Red & The Bug
  • Sleaford Mods
  • Optimo 20 – playing and curating
  • Formation
  • Birdy Nam Nam
  • Kelly-Anne Byrne
  • Tiggs Da Author
  • Weval
  • Songhoy Blues
  • Avalon Emerson
  • DBFC
  • Anna Meredith
  • Elaine Mai
  • La Femme
  • Mammút
  • Mr TC
  • Idiotape
  • A Tribe Called Red

Optimo DJs are celebrating their 20th anninversary so will be curating and playing alongside some acts they selected in the Midnight Circus: Avalon Emerson, Miss Red & The Bug, Mr TC and Kelly-Anne Byrne.

Areas

The Food On Board area, which was introduced and managed by Jack Crotty (Rocket Man) will be back this year serving from several stalls – my words – the best food you’ve ever had at a festival on packaging-free wooden boards.

The Second Nature area for soothing treatments, hot tubs and holistic workshops returns.

As will the talks, panels and music of Wonderlust along with installations, theatrical interludes, workshops and visual art.

This year’s theme is Second Skin, so Body&Soul are suggesting visitors “to channel their most creative selves for a weekend that subverts their everyday norms and tantalises with unexpected happenings”. The theme is the inspiration behind the festival’s specially commissioned artwork by Alan Clarke, inspired by the hedonism of Hieronymous Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights.

Based on feedback from 2016 attendees, news on changes to campsites and boutique offerings is forthcoming, while the eco-conscious Us&You Campsite is now open for registration.

The festival have also invested in drainage and the land to keep the grounds up to scratch.

Camping tickets from €165+fees available now.

Posted on February 21st, 2017

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There are plenty of albums to look forward to in 2017 and here are just a few of them which don’t have release dates yet. I’ve also included a few which we likely won’t see this year – just so you’re prepared. See also – My top New Artists of 2017.


Alt-J

Possible Date: Summer 2017

It’s been three years since the Leeds band released their second album This Is All Yours, so time is ripe for another in 2017. Last August, drummer Thom Sonny Green told NME, the band had loads of ideas, which wasn’t exactly – “songs are written, we’re recording them and they’re sounding awesome,” but after a period where Green released a solo record, bassist Gus Unger-Hamilton opened a café in east London and singer Joe Newman featured on a Clams Casino track with Lil B, there are rumblings.

The band have posted pics from the studio including ones at Abbey Road where they were recording strings only last week.The band have announced festival dates this summer so a good guess would be around the time of June, when they start.


Caribou / Daphni

Possible Date: Late 2017 but more than likely 2018

Three years on from a career apex record Our Love and a song which dominated the summer and the rest of the year. Dan Snaith is DJing as Daphni a lot this year including Coachella so a new album from Caribou doesn’t feel likely at this moment (maybe a Daphni 12″ / single release though?)


Daniel Avery

Possible Date: Autumn 2017


After last year’s DJ Kicks, 2017 looks to be the year that Daniel Avery follows up his superb 2013 album Drone Logic, according to this tweet.


Empress Of

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

Loreley Rodriguez’ debut Empress Of album Of Me was followed up with a killer once-off single and one of the best songs of 2016 collaboration with Blood Orange – ‘Best Of You’, as well as one with Pional, so I really want a followup in 2017. This is more hopeful than concrete, though signs are good.


FKA Twigs

Possible Date: 2018

Tahliah Barnett’s debut LP1 came out in 2014 and she’s been plenty busy with dancing, documentaries, stage shows, a once of single, and a 2015 EP. Last week, though a Nike ad directed and made by her featured a new track produced Oneohtrix Point Never suggested something isn’t far away, tweet replies to fans suggest it won’t be til 2018. 🙁


Flying Lotus

Possible Date: Late 2017 but looking like 2018

A new album was promised in 2016 from the Brainfeeder boss but Stephen Ellison was working on his feature-length film debut Kuso (starring Hannibal Buress and Tim Heidecker), which will premiere at Sundance this year. He also scored a short too. It looks like we’re getting V, a Captain Murphy record some time this year, as ‘Crowned’ featured in the recent Adult Swim Singles club. As for Fly Lo, a Kuso some songs on the soundtrack may be all we get.


Future Islands

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

Three years on from their breakthrough album Singles, things are heating up with some dates at festivals like Bonaroo, Panorama and Coachella. Last year, Sam T. Herring collaborated with Badbadnotgood. Their last music was single ‘The Chase’ in 2015. An album is definitely on the way very very soon.


Grimes

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017


Grimes’ followup to Art Angels was halfway there last April ( “more chill vibes, downtempos, synth-y shit. That makes it sound boring. It’s not boring.”) and in a November interview, she said it would be “slow and reflective”.

“I’m really vibing on making something really slow and gorgeous that just breathes, and has room to breathe,” she explained. “I feel like my work has always been fast paced, kinetic, and almost just manic and I feel like for me the hardest thing I can do is make something that’s slow and heavy.”


Grizzly Bear

Possible Date: Spring 2017

Come on already. The Grizzlies’ last album was 2012’s Shields and a few years before, Jay Z and Beyoncé were showing up to their shows and a lot has changed in music since American indie folk was the dominant genre of choice, However in October, a tweet saying “Album 90 percent done. Last update until you hear it,” was posted. Any day now?


Haim

Possible Date: Summer 2017

Another album long overdue now. The LA sisters’ self-titled debut Days Are Gone dropped in 2013 and they even cancelled their appearance at music festivals last summer to finish it. It arrives this Summer.


Holy Ghost!

Possible Date: Autumn 2017

DFA Records’ disco dons Holy Ghost! will surely followup last year’s Crime Cutz EP with a third album, a followup to Dynamics. Alex Frankel released a solo EP last year too. I’ve a soft spot for these two.


Hundred Waters

Possible Date: Spring / Summer 2017

Gainesville Florida band Hundred Waters have made two stunning albums of folk and electronica thus far in their career and it looks like 2017 will see their third released. On Christmas day they posted (with a Neil Young cover) that they were finishing the album. Last year, they made a big remix with their label boss Skrillex and Chance The Rapper among others.


Jon Hopkins

Possible Date: Summer 2017


The followup to 2013’s Immunity is due this year according to Jon’s reply to a fan on Twitter. Yes. In the meantime, Hopkins plays piano on a track on the new Bonobo record.


Kelela

Possible Date: Spring 2017

A followup to 2013’s Cut For Me mixtape after 2015’s Hallucination EP is on the cards (check out this Song Exploder about ‘Rewind’). In an interview with Dazed, Arca, Jam City, and Bok Bok are to be reprising their role as co-producers and Kelsey Lu, one of my picks for new artists of 2017 guests.


LCD Soundsystem

Possible Date: Summer or Autumn 2017

After last year’s triumphant live return, that promised LCD Soundsystem album is indeed on the way as James Murphy told someone on Facebook this weekin response – “Sure. still working on it, but it’ll be done soon. winter tends to mess with my voice, so finishing the thing drags out.”


Le Galaxie

Possible Date: Autumn 2017

The Dublin electro band’s third album is done and it likely to get a worldwide releasearound September time. Former Fight Like Apes’ singer MAy Kay is set to feature on six tracks too.


Little Dragon

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

The followup to Nabuma Rubberband from 2014 looks to be coming this year from the Swedish band. They are playing Coachella so that’s a good sign.


Mount Kimbie

Possible Date: Spring / Summer 2017

Mount Kimbie played some new songs at Metropolis Festival in November so it’s a safe bet a new one is coming to followup the brilliant 2013 album Cold Spring Fault Less Youth.


St. Vincent

Possible Date: Summer / Autumn 2017

Annie Clark promises “the deepest, boldest work I’ve ever done” on her new record which is inspired by the topsy-turvy world events of the last year. “I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded – especially now that we have such high stakes from a political and geopolitical standpoint,” he told Guitar World (while managing to get a dig in on the cover). The last St. Vincent album came out in 2014.

Posted on January 18th, 2017

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Follow the Nialler9 New Music playlist on Spotify. This week’s additions include new songs from Lil Silva, Bonzai, Hundred Waters, Whitney, Barq, Asa Moto, Jessy Lanza and Anna Of The North.

Hit the last page for the fullSoundcloud playlist.


1.

Hundred Waters

Show Me Love (Skrillex remix)

Screenshot-2016-03-22-18.26.26

An album song gets a great rework and a new lease of life.

Last year’s Electric Picnic mixtape kicked off with a track from one of my favourite bands Hundred Waters. ‘Show Me Love’ is a short piece of music that kicks off their second album The Moon Rang Like A Bell. It was later given a solo version by singer Nicole Miglis.

Hundred Waters released their music on Skrillex’s OWSLA label so a remix from him isn’t a huge surprise. What is, is that he brought together Chance The Rapper, Robin Hannibal of Rhye & Moses Sumney in on the act too and made a video featuring most of them. You can get the track for download at ShowMe.Love. This is Skrillex at his most tasteful, drawing the best of the source material and collaborators and weaving it with the band’s involvement.

[Original Post]


2.

Whitney

‘Golden Days’

whitney-1photoChicago band announce debut album on Secret Canadian with another earworm.

Whitney introduced themselves to the world with ‘No Woman’, a track that furrows a way into your subconscious with a meandering orchestral country folk style.

The band’s debut album, Light Upon the Lake is due out June 3rd on Secretly Canadian and post-SXSW, Whitney have shared ‘Golden Days’, a more upbeat falsetto classic rock track that falls somewhere between the two main members associated bands – Max Kakacek (ex-Smith Westerns) and singing drummer Julien Ehrlich (ex-Unknown Mortal Orchestra).

Original post.


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Posted on March 29th, 2016

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Last year’s Electric Picnic mixtape kicked off with a track from one of my favourite bands Hundred Waters. ‘Show Me Love’ is a short piece of music that kicks off their second album The Moon Rang Like A Bell. It was later given a solo version by singer Nicole Miglis.

Having released their music on Skrillex’s OWSLA label so a remix from him isn’t a huge surprise.

What is, is that he got Chance The Rapper, Robin Hannibal of Rhye & Moses Sumney in on the act too and made a video featuring most of them. You can get the track for download at ShowMe.Love.

Posted on March 22nd, 2016

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Iceland has a special allure. The island is alone in the North Atlantic but upon touching down in the country, you get the sense it is unique in more ways than its geographical position. Sure you’ve heard about its most famous cultural exports: Sigur Ros, and Iceland’s most famous musician Björk. Not a day goes by without a mention or a spotting of the lady herself while in Reykjavík. Despite cancelling shows for the remainder of the year including Iceland Airwaves, Björk gave a press conference during the festival to call for action to stop the destruction of the Icelandic highlands (petition here).

Iceland is idiosyncratic. At just over 300,000 inhabitants, the music is topsy turvy in this part of the world with alternative/rap/rock and folk seemingly more dominant than mainstream pop.

The country teaches music throughout primary and secondary school, meaning there are lot of music-educated people in the country. All that musical knowledge is felt at Airwaves with what felt like 150 bands from the country playing the festival.

Adding to the mystique of the country and the festival, is the adventurous young landscape that gives us jutting volcanic rock, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, black ash beaches, mossy green ground and geothermal volcanic water that gives magical tourist attractions like the Blue Lagoon and a culture of naturally-heated public pools that the entire population use almost daily. Its wonder isn’t confined to the ground either, as the the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis were spotted in the sky on our last night. It all adds to the uniqueness of the Airwaves adventure.

Three things people enthusing about Iceland maybe didn’t tell you? Post-crash and on the way up, the country is an expensive place to stay once again. Secondly, the hot water smells like sulphur, that rotten egg smell which is a surprise jolt to receive in your first morning shower. Thirdly, the Icelandic love rap. Those hard Icelandic vowels lend themselves to it. Which leads us to…

The Daughters of Reykjavík

The Icelandic love rap. You couldn’t escape it at Airwaves. Like many other places reappropriating the American cultural force, much of it copies the source. The few rappers I saw were pretty standard.Yet overall, the Icelandic bands had an equal amount of women as men (the country has a history of a strong women’s equality movement) and it was like a refreshing glimpse into a hopeful future.

It was most evident when I encountered The Daughters of Reykjavik aka Reykjavíkurdætur (1).

Reykjavíkurdætur, who I saw three times at the festival, embody that feeling. They are all-female rap group formed from girls-only rap nights, who take to the stage with between 11 and 22 rappers depending on whether they’re all available (one gig saw a rapper do the first song then make excuses and leave for work). Their collective performance was the pinnacle of this idea. Here were a wild collective of Icelandic ladies with fierce attitudes, unapologetic demeanours, distinct personalities, styles and flows; united in sisterhood by rap.

They rap in Icelandic so the content of much of their lyrics are unknown though at Airwaves the songs were about social networks, slutshaming and a song in English, that you wish you were left guessing, about the joys of get a finger up the ass.

“Daughters of Reykjavík / On dark nights / We own this town / Listen to the lioness words,” they sing in Icelandic on the chorus of their eponymous manifesto song ‘Reykjavíkurdætur’. With the lyrics obfuscated by a language not understood, live, it’s the individual characters of the performers that draw you in.

With so many rappers, the quality can vary throughout the verses but the unique energy and spectacle was more than enough to keep us coming back over the course of the week. With so many members of varying commitments, each show was different. Reykjavíkurdætur may remain an Icelandic concern due to logistics and the cost of bringing so many people on tour but for those who witnessed them for the first time, they empowering to watch, female or male. There was talk of the Daughters Of Dublin being formed as a direct result of their shows.

More on them from Grapevine.


My own experiences with Icelandic music other than Reykjavíkurdætur didn’t have a great hit rate. While I didn’t get to see Fufanu, Soley, Tonik Ensemble, Milkywhale, Mr. Silla and countless others on my list, I did enjoy a set from Samaris’ Jófríður (2) and her band who all drank tea and chilled us out off-venue at the Alda Hotel on Friday, as well as a small slice of the Austra-style electro-pop of East Of My Youth (3).

Harpa from the side.

A photo posted by Niall Byrne (@nialler9) on

Much of the Airwaves action takes place in Harpa, Reykjavik’s recently-built architecturally-impressive luxurious concert hall on the docks, which is where I see an Icelandic band singing about a thing I travelled to see the day before – a waterfall. Iceland’s biggest new band, if the crowd in Harpa, is anything to go by, is Vök (4). It’s hard not to be impressed at first, the band’s glacial electronic moody pop takes advantage of Harpa’s great soundsystem and the band’s stylistic monochrome live-captured visuals is perfectly pitched to their mood. The xx-style ambiance is a natural fit to Iceland’s own vistas, but their icy electronics soon give way to a a lower quality that basically boils down to flimsier songs and too much wailing reverbed sax. When in doubt, do not just keep playing that saxophone.

Electronic variety

22450299357_8f33d6ee74_k Kiasmos (5), the electronic project of Olafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen, know the power of minimalism. Their cinematic electronic music has a neo-classical and contemporary sensibility that moves in small shades and gradual dynamics. Matched by sumptuous visuals that might be graded and mirrored Icelandic tourist videos, Kiasmos in Harpa is a high-definition event. The next morning at the geothermal public pool at Vesturbæjarlaug, Arnalds is seen relaxing in the naturally-heated hot tubs. That’s just how Icelanders roll and one of the nice things about Airwaves, fitting into the local’s leisure time.

Ever since I first saw Sophie (6), the male producer at SXSW in 2014, the hyperactive, pinging electronic pop music he’s been making has been crowded by peers in PC Music who aren’t as captivating or take the music too far into art project territory. People were unimpressed at the fake energy-drink branded QT show in Nasa where she pressed play on a CD/USB and stood there as if it was an art project like this. Thankfully, my check in with Sophie proves he’s a cut above the rest in the same venue later that night. That’s because Sophie’s music has its own sonic imprint even if it impressively sounds like a mashup between Daft Punk, Michael Jackson, Dutch hardstyle and the Chipmunks. It takes real skill to take disparate styles and make then your own. Sophie did that live. Plus, he played his brilliant Charli XCX collaboration, which points a way to establish this unique fizzy pop into the mainstream. Kudos also to Kane West (7) who did a great job later that night in Hurra of delivering his own take on percussive lo-fi weirdo dance pop music.

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Earlier that night, it was electronic pop of a different persuasion, one informed by soul and R&B that impressed. My previous run in with the English singer Nao (8) at the Great Escape in Brighton earlier this year was let down by a crowded venue and poor sound, but this time around there were no problems. Nao killed her set in Nasa. Tight, bright and funky, songs like ‘Inhale /Exhale’ and ‘Zillionaire’ were responded to fervently by the engaged Nasa crowd in front and watching from the sides, so much so that there was a dance circle formed at the back of the room.

North American thrum

The North American contingent featured with some strong marquee names like John Grant, Father John Misty, Mercury Rev, Ariel Pink, Beach House and Battles among them yet some of them didn’t live up to that stature. The latter two headline shows caused the busiest night and the longest lines in Harpa. Mercury Rev has the loudest show imaginable, so loud, many hardened gig-goers were forced to the back or to leave the room. Ariel Pink remains a curio, unable to translate his quirkiness into something palatable live. Father John Misty has one of the albums of the year concerned with confronting his jaded romanticism but he looks like a jaded performer these days, bored with the characterisation he’s undertaken, not engaging with the audience other than to quip about preferring the mink whale meat back home or to record the perfect take of a song for a fan on their mobile. The set suffered from sound issues though so the scowls aimed at the scrambling backstage and a buzzing speaker in front of the audience and that didn’t help the performer and audience connect. Only, Grant’s show with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra was among the most coveted and special for many and softened the blow of no Bjork show. I was filled in another way at the same time, by one of the best meals I ever had in the Nordic restaurant Dill, which could show Irish chefs how to embrace our local produce with flair and imagination.

There was plenty of both at shows from Braids (9) and Hundred Waters (10) at Airwaves. The former Canadian band left the best impression of themselves as a great cross between indie electronics and jazz drumming. Drummer Austin Tufts is so impressive during Deep In The Iris’ standout ‘Blondie’ that not even his glasses falling from his face can distract his intense breaks. Hundred Waters meanwhile, as one of my favourite bands ever since a chance encounter at SXSW years ago, never fail to make me melt. Nicole Miglis’ voice makes me drippy, it has a special quality, as does their music. Live, the now-three piece have bridged a perfect gap between their debut’s pastoral electronics and the second’s moody ambience. Live, ‘Down From The Rafters’ transforms into a propulsive number using the Huxley remix as a guide. The New Jersey hardcore punk rappers Ho99o9 (11) are outliers of the American music here, though they fit in with a lot of the metal-leaning Icelandic bands. The band (it’s pronounced ‘Horror’) brought some serious mosh vibes in wedding dresses and face masks to NASA complete with backflips.

Backflips and hardcore noise with Ho99o9 #airwaves15 ✔️ A video posted by Niall Byrne (@nialler9) on

Hometeam

On the first night in Iceland, Feel Good Lost hosted an Irish welcome with Slow Skies, Talos and Daithí playing in the budget gastropub-housing KEX Hostel. As the night wore on, spirits continued to lift and Daithí (12), once again, as he did at Electric Picnic, put on a killer hour-long performance that got the natives throwing big shapes for a Monday night. It set the scene for the rest of the week, the streets of Laugavegur, the main street where many of the daytime off-venue gigs took place were filled with familiar Irish voices and faces.

Mr @daithimusic representing in Iceland. Place was hopping.

A video posted by Niall Byrne (@nialler9) on

The UK

The UK contingent was also strong at Airwaves. Later in the week, KEX hosted the Manchester post-punk funk musician LoneLady (13) whose taut danceable rhythms lingered long in the ear. Skepta and JME (14) shutdown the Reykjavík Art Museum with their chiptune-recalling London grime. Anna B Savage (15), fresh from supporting Beach House, delivered an intense solo set of brittle electric guitar confessionals that reminded more than a few people of PJ Harvey.

The final night takes place outside the city in a very large hall, the only one that can accommodate more than 2000 people in one go. That jump in size doesn’t benefit Sleaford Mods, whose music, guttural and compact doesn’t travel around the room but no such problems for the people-bolstered Hot Chip (16), festival closing vets at this point, with the best drummer around in Sarah Jones, who finish us for good and end a magical week with our Lumo #1 closer, their spiffing cover of Springsteen’s ‘Dancing in The Dark’ interpolated with LCD Soundystem’s ‘All My Friends’.

In between all of this music, Iceland seeped into my pores. Whether it was watching the awesome power of water at Gullfoss, driving through a country which had four seasons out each window, catching the Northern Lights overhead, losing hours browsing second hand vinyl at Lucky Records, having a great coffee at Reykjavik Roasters, dancing late into the night elbow to elbow in Kaffibarinn, or spending the most relaxing time of recent memory in the local pool at Vesturbæjarlaug, there was much to mark Airwaves out as a destination festival and Iceland as a haven in the North, to which I will readily return.

Photos from Iceland Airwaves.

Posted on November 12th, 2015

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The Body & Soul lineup for the sold out Electric Picnic has been announced and features:

LA Priest, Ho99o9 (pronounced Horror), Hundred Waters, Shamir, Natalie Prass, Young Wonder, Donal Dineen, Bleeding Heart Pigeons, Mother, Clu, Bitch Falcon and more. Here are the additions by stage:

Body&Soul Main Stage

LA Priest – Hundred Waters – Shamir – Natalie Prass – Ho99o9 – Tanya Tagaq – Vaudou Game – Puts Marie – Bleeding Heart Pigeons – Young Wonder – Everything Shook – Formidable Veg Sound System – Rosie Carney – CLU – Hayes & Leslie – The Hard Ground – Plutonic Dust – GIRO – Buffalo Woman – Daithi – My Tribe Your Tribe – Simi Crowns – Bitch Falcon – New Valley Wolves – Silences – Dear Desert – Iron Mountain – Shookrah – Meltybrains? – I’m Your Vinyl – Hare Squead – Embrz

Earthship Stage

Mother DJs – The Pale – Donal Dineen – DJ Mek – Aindrias De Staic & the Latchikos – DJ Neil Flynn – Wigwam DJs – The Rolling Tav Revue – Big Jelly – My Fellow Sponges – 5th Element – Subplots – Aoife Underwater – The Amazing Apples – PTHM – The Witch Trials – Joe Fury & the Hayride – Mutefish – Noelie McDonnell & Band – The Louisiana 6 – Anti-One – Mongrel State – Staring At Lakes – Frankenstein Bolts – Clandestinos – JUPE – Stomptown Brass – Berrill Family – Daire Kelly – The Whileaways – Formidable Beat Boxer – Mulljoy

[DJs in the tree include -Kid Cam-DJ Claire K-Evil Presidente-Cheebah-Mr Green]

Posted on July 28th, 2015

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Iceland Airwaves today, in their own unique style announced the latest artists to play the festival in Reykjavík from November 4th – 8th.

They are:

Björk, John Grant With The Iceland Symphony Orchestra, Father John Misty, Hundred Waters, La Priest, Låpsley, The Pop Group, Sóley, Bubbi og Dimma
Agent Fresco, Mammút, Sea Change, Vök, Emmsjé Gauti, Ho99o9, Ylja, AmabAdama, Muck, Hekla.

The Björk and John Grant show tickets will be give out on a first-come-first-served basis. A second Bjork show will take place on Tuesday November 3rd at Eldborg in Harpa.

Already announced:
Ariel Pink, Asonat, Batida, BC Camplight, dj flugvél & geimskip, East India Youth, Fufanu, Gus Gus, Hinds, Jagya, Teitur Magnasson, M-Band, Júníus Meyvant, Mourn, The OBGMs, Operators, Perfume Genius, Pink Street Boys, Tonik Ensemble, Weaves, Young Karin

Tickets are available here.

Posted on March 19th, 2015

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We’ve reached the half-way point of the year while at one time making a half-year list was pure clickbait, today there’s so much music out there, I find I need to digest and list them sometimes to make sense of my year so far. As with last year, here are my top 25 albums of 2014.5 with a separate list of Irish albums I’ve enjoyed.

Top 25 albums of 2014 so far…

  1. Future Islands – Singles
  2. Hundred Waters – The Moon Rang Like a Bell
  3. Fatima Al Qadiri – Asiatisch
  4. Angel Olsen – Burn Your Fire For No Witness
  5. Fatima – Yellow Memories
  6. The Gloaming – The Gloaming
  7. James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical
  8. St. Vincent – St. Vincent
  9. Ratking – So It Goes
  10. Todd Terje – It’s Album Time
  11. Warpaint – Warpaint
  12. Glass Animals – ZABA
  13. Little Dragon – Nabuma Rubberband
  14. God Knows + mynameisjOhn – Rusangano / Family
  15. Beck – Morning Phase
  16. Metronomy – Love Letters
  17. We Cut Corners – Think Nothing
  18. Isaiah Rashad – Cilvia Demo
  19. Shit Robot – We Got A Love
  20. Lone – Reality Testing
  21. Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack
  22. Chromeo – White Women
  23. Tomas Barfod – Love Me
  24. Lykke Li – I Never Learn
  25. Ramona Lisa – Arcadia

Listen on Spotify


Top Irish albums of 2014 so far

  1. The Gloaming – The Gloaming
  2. James Vincent McMorrow – Post Tropical
  3. God Knows + mynameisjOhn – Rusangano / Family
  4. We Cut Corners – Think Nothing
  5. Paddy Hanna – Leafy Stiletto
  6. Daithí – In Flight
  7. Sleep Thieves – You Want The Night
  8. Deaf Joe – From The Heights Of A Dream
  9. The Dublin Guitar Quartet Performs Philip Glass
  10. Ginnels – Country Life

Listen on Spotify

Posted on June 27th, 2014

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Hundred Waters’ released their recommended second album The Moon Rang Like A Bell two weeks ago. After the opening track a capella ‘Show Me Love’, ‘Murmurs’ is the first all-band song on the record and for the video the resonant song is juxtaposed with images of Nicole Miglis in a house under construction as hard-hatted workers busy themselves around her. Directed by Bangs.

Posted on June 12th, 2014

Artists:

The Gainesville Florida band Hundred Watersfirst album was a cherishable collection of abstract folk with pastoral and electronic-sourced sounds colliding in a lush and warm package.

If you were being reductive, or time-saving, you could have called it folk-tronica. For their second album, The Moon Rang Like A Bell the band’s arrangements have shifted further away from a clearly-grasped sphere of genres into a sonic place that features a few describable things: piano-lead ambience, digital instruments, the minimal atmospherics proclaimed by the xx and skittering percussion. But much of the magic of Hundred Waters is in the undefinable.

The Moon Rang Like A Bell is less tangential to folk. The band’s music has taken on more of its own identity. They sound more comfortable all-round. What is common with the debut album is a dedication to the creation of beautiful sounds.

Whether it’s the cascading piano notes of ‘Out Alee’ which dance like a phantasm, the pitch-shifted heart cries against resounding piano chords in ‘Murmurs’, the synth-drops-like-whale-noise background instrumentation of ‘Xtalk’ or the xylophone-shake to ‘Down From The Rafters’, the album moves from peaks to restrained, yet sumptuous inhalations.

Key to the band, as ever, is Nicole Miglis, a breathy vocalist who serves as an enticing and binding presence. Her gentle pitch is key to the otherworldliness Hundred Waters create.

The lyrics feel more grounded this time around. ‘Xtalk’ has Miglis sounding exasperated – “All that I want you to take from me / Is just my hand when I’m walking,” while “40 lakes I’d wade through / but my boat it was taken too / by who I cannot tell you / for they took my tongue too,” on ‘Animals’ or “summer came in a flash of fire / rolled out its swirling tongue round me,” on ‘Seven White Horses’ are examples of depth that is communicated, even if it’s obfuscated by the sheer melodious nature of Miglis’ voice. When it’s not, as on the opening a capella ‘Show Me Love’, it’s still devastating in its purity.

It’s the overall effect of the voice set against the elegance around it that gratifies. There is light and murkiness within this album’s 12 tracks. There is complication and simplicity existing at once in The Moon Rang Like A Bell which continues to draw me back in.

Listen/Buy: Spotify | Soundcloud | Itunes | Vinyl / CD

Posted on May 30th, 2014

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Tracks of the Week playlist


1. Tala – ‘Serbia’

Top quality rolling deep synth electronica from English/Iranian polymath TĀLĀ from her The Duchess EP.


2. Sylvan Esso – ‘Play It Right’

Two members from Mountain Man and Megafun team up on this new project. You might have heard ‘Coffee’ already, this is even better.


3.  MNEK – ‘Every Word You Say’

Funky pop solo single from the co-writer and vocalist of tracks from Rudimental to Little Mix to Gorgon City to Duke Dumont and A*M*E.


4. Glass Animals – ‘Pools’

Tropical percussive R&B from the Oxford band’s new album Zaba.


5. Daphni & Owen Pallett – ‘Julia’

A grimey dirty stringed-house collaboration on a new Jiaolong 12″ release.


6. Four Tet as Percussions – ‘ASCII Bot’

My favourite of the three new Four Tet/Percussion tracks released this week, probably cos it’s a mix of his melodic and dance side.


7. Costello, Captain Moonlight, Linco, Reece, and Temper-Mental MissElayneous – ‘The Art Of The Clash’

Kilkenny’s Captain Moonlight teamed up with some of Dublin’s finest rappers for a song abut hurling and everything sounds well, better than a song about hurling and hip-hop should be. Great production by DJackulate and Danz.


8. Hundred Waters – ‘Xtalk’

Beautiful twinkling instrumentation and arrangement from the Waters’ second album The Moon Rang Like A Bell due on May 27th.


9. Imploded View – ‘Withering Heights’

New single from Longford producer Jerome McCormick aka Imploded View. ‘Withering Lights’ has a hypnotic groove that reminds me of the work of Fort Romeau. he plays Phase One this weekend.


10. Twin Shadow – ‘To The Top’

A divisive new single which sounds a bit like a Whitesnake ballad. Admirable.

Posted on April 18th, 2014

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Tracks of the Week playlist


1. Shamir – ‘If It Wasn’t True’

Simply one of the best things I’ve heard in ages. The sound of DFA disco house filtered through a 19 year-old Las Vegas kid Shamir Bailey. Playful, danceable and both modern and vintage at the same time.


2. Talos – ‘Tethered Bones’

Cork blooms again with Eoin French, formerly of now-defunct Hush War Cry singing and Young Wonder Ian Ring at the controls.


3. Fort Romeau – ‘Her Dream’

Seven minutes of luscious ambient dance music from the Her Dream EP out on March 17th on German label Live At Robert Johnson.


4. Lxury – ‘Never Love’

Young UK producer Lxury provides one of the standouts of the recent Kitsuné compilation (yes, they’re still making them). Also check out his Chvrches remix and the pretty damn amazing ‘J.A.W.S.’.


5. Hundred Waters – ‘Cavity’

There’s a new Hundred Waters album on the way in May. I’m excited. ‘Cavity’ is probably the closest Hundred Waters have come to the xx-style dynamics The song is on iTunes.


6. Wallis Bird – ‘Hardly Hardly’

First single, from her fourth album, Architect out on April 11th finds Wallis Bird showing signs of sonic progression without losing her core characteristics. The song has a fervent acoustically-rendered rhythmic section that make it sound taut and controlled like a Simian Mobile Disco track. This is definitely a song that could look good on the dancefloor.


7. Rocstrong – ‘Go’Head’

Andre J.P Bangala is a Congo-born Dublin musician and ‘Go’Head’ is his debut track showing some pop swing, some funk, some doomy blues and is a bit of fresh air.

Rocstrong plays State’s Faces gig on Saturday night in The Mercantile with The Clameens and Carriages. Free in.


8. Shura – ‘Touch’

A pleasant soulful R&B debut single from London’s Shura. The video is an absolute shiftfest.


9. Future – ‘Move That Dope’

Pharrell, Pusha T, Schoolboy Q guest on Future’s new single – an absolute jam. First Beats Music product placement in a video I’ve seen too.


10. YOGI – ‘Burial’ feat. Pusha T

This silly big Yogi production is the logical conclusion of Skrillex’ dubstep, Major Lazer EDM and TNGHT’s Trap with Pusha T representing the rap force.

Posted on March 7th, 2014

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Hundred Waters dropped the beautiful ‘Down From The Rafters’ unexpectedly last month and now they’re here with good tidings, a new second album coming on May 27th on OWSLA, Skrillex’s label. ‘Cavity’, as a song is probably the closest Hundred Waters have come to the xx-style dynamics and the video from Michael Langan is suitably moody and constructed in an interesting way.

The song is on iTunes.

Posted on March 4th, 2014

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As my single favourite band discovery in the last few years, when I fled the madness of SXSW in Austin to the outskirts of the city in an art gallery to see one of the warmest introductory sets I’ve seen in, I’ve been onboard with Hundred Waters feeling like a total fanboy.

Their debut album is one of my top albums of the last few years so exciting stuff then two years later, on Happy Pluto Day, the Gainesville Florida band put out a new track ‘Down From The Rafters’ yesterday.

The song addresses disconnection and a desire to drop out from reality “take a little pill, drown it out in laughter / take a little pill, maybe think about it after.” The music of Hundred Waters here is pastoral electronica, intricate, superbly-constructed and comforting.

Posted on February 20th, 2014

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