Northern Ireland’s only three-day music and arts festival Sunflowerfest has announced its first acts headed for Tubby’s Farm, Hillsborough from 28th – 30th July 2017.
Under the theme of A Parallel Universe, the following acts are playing:
King Kong Company
Beans on Toast
Electric Swing Circus
Mr B The Gentleman Rhymer
Too Many T’s
Chinooq & Stayin Low
Decomposing in Paris
Emma Lou & The Agenda
Henry Cluney Band
Roisin El Cherif
School of Rock
Single by Sunday
Warriors of the Dystoteque
Sunflowerfest has gained a reputation as a fine independent music festival and features 6 stages of music, interactive arts and some of the finest food NI has to offer (Boojum and more) – all while keeping a close check on environmental impact – via eco-friendly camping options including 100% recyclable, pre-pitched cardboard tents (weighing a sturdy sixteen kilograms sothey won’t blow away).
Tickets for Sunflowerfest start at just £74.95 (includes 2 children, aged 15 and under) and £64.95 for students. Additional bands, artists, and activities will be announced via Sunflowerfest’s website, Facebook, and Twitter. Notes to Editors:
Online Ticket Portal – Paylogic https://sunflowerfest.co.uk/tickets/
The theme of A Parallel Universe means a focus on futurism with festival organiser Micgael Magowan saying:
“Since 2002, over 7000 native trees including beech, birch, ash, alder, willow, hazel, and oak have been planted on-site. “The festival’s electronic music venue ‘The Moot’ and the festivals picturesque Pond Stage were crafted 5-years ago from renewable pine logs. We strive to foster a sense of community and connection both during the festival and at Tubby’s Farm generally. While visiting the festival, people from all walks of life can enjoy yoga, meditation, interactive and educational workshops as well as inspirational talks from individuals who share creative and eco-friendly interests. We’re proud to share our home in the countryside – a collective, beautiful, piece of heaven on earth. We are just the caretakers for the generations to come. ”
Other Voices aired last night (watch it here) and featured Gregory Porter, Sample Answer, Pixie Geldof and Cry Monster Cry. Among the highlights was Le Galaxie’s performance of ‘Put The Chain On’ live from St. James Church. It’s no mean feat to get the entire audience out of their seats (there are cameras everywhere which you wouldn’t be wise to be in the way of ) but Le Galaxie were the first band in the last 7 years to make it happen.
Thurs 2nd March // 23:30
Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh And Cormac Begley.
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.
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?)
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.
Three months in London. The studio door is locked from the outside
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.
I swear making another album is an emotional roller coaster:not so much making the music but playing it for other people
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.
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.
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.”
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fresh from Electric Picnic, Le Galaxie have announced a late night Halloween Party at the Olympia Theatre, Dublin on Bank Holiday Sunday October 30th.
Doors will be at 11pm and special guests are Plutonic Dust. Tickets are €24.40+ fees and ar on sale at 9am this Friday, September 9th from Ticketmaster outlets and www.ticketmaster.ie
This year, Le Galaxie haven’t had any new music but their tunes have been getting out there on Home & Away and on the latest Virgin Media ad (I worked as music supervisor on the ad with Avant Music Port)
The focus is on Irish music happening now, emerging and trending. I want this to be the definitive collection of new Irish music throughout the year in one place which I’ll be featuring as it comes on the site. Subscribe below.
Extended explorations into synth, noise, kraut, rock and ambience for the band’s first album in seven years.
Seven years on from album #3 and Master finds The Jimmy Cake, a band apart once again. Lineup changes (seven now: Paul G. Smyth, Lisa Carey, John Dermody, Dara Higgins, Vincent Dermody, Thomas Parke and Patrick Kelleher) and life has occurred since. The album is uncompromising in its delivery, making no concessions to convenience. There are three tracks with the shortest at just over 15 minutes and the longest just past the 32 minute mark. The individual tracks are elongated passages that segue into new movements.
The strongly-titled 32-minute ‘Death Can Fuck Off’ rings out with dangerous intent, building to a wall of galloping rhythm with synth vistas leading the pack of instruments before they are engulfed by a kraut-rock chug. A bassline changes and the track goes off in a different direction and a rhythmic pulse regains control as synth notes spiral above.
‘Observatory Destroyer’ is awash with horror-soundtrack style textures at its most minimal, building to a sonic heavy-rock dirge and piano release, while the final track ‘Teen Mist’ has a space-rock feel that gives way to a diptych of ambient and engulfing noise.
That’s just an overview. Master is about the journey, a multi-movement of a variation of styles and sounds. That’s about the only thing that The Jimmy Cake can be defined by.
Former Dublin rocker finds his sweet spot.
Three years on from the Dublin singer-songwriter’s second album Citizens, Owensie has followed it up with a sturdier and more elegant collection of layered folk music anchored by Michael Owens’ brittle falsetto and bright Spanish guitar playing. Conor O’Brien gives his seal of approval by supplying backing vocals and playing drums.
For their third album, the Belfast-based band have transitioned from expansive post-punk to a space between it and their former garage-rock jangle.
The band say they approached the album with a view that they had nothing to lose. “We’ve got nothing. We’ve never had anything. And we don’t expect to. The only person I ever wanted to impress was myself,” said frontman Cathal Cully.
In that regard, Arms Around A Vision is indulgent in the best way possible with the band soaking up the weight of their alternative retro influences and embracing their own visions in the process.
The Cork electronic duo embrace pop dynamics and grander emotion.
After two superb EPs, the Cork pair of Rachel Koeman and Ian Ring carved out their own niche in the electronic pop sphere. Where previous songs, great as they are, were maybe too close to influences like Purity Ring, Birth finds the band creating their own textured world and deepening their songwriting prowess.
Previously-released songs ‘To You’ and ‘Time’ were among the most heartfelt so they fit right in with the new tracks like the airy ‘Intergalactic’ linking the cosmos to the romantic (“feel the rocky planet move / just for us,”), the anthemic electro-pop of ‘Enchanted’ and their most unabashed pop song yet – ‘Sweet Dreaming’.
Ian Ring remains one of the best and most nimble producers in Ireland and Colm O’Herlihy adds live instrumentation with electric guitar work. As the title suggests, this is just the beginning.
The BBC aired a brilliant Julien Temple documentary about the Cavan kids who were thrust into a rock’n’roll major label lifestyle in their early teens. It left no doubt that The Strypes would be able to handle themselves into the future, marking themselves apart from the world of pop. They love retro rock and have no interest in the modern zeitgeist. What’s more they deplored any musician getting off their face over answering their craft. The lads just want to make music, wherever it takes them.
The answer to the question about where the Strypes would go next is contained in Little Victories from the off. Where as the first album Snapshot was exactly that, an account of a band in thrall to the bluesy rock’n’roll of the early ’60s and late ’50s, Little Victories finds the band (oldest member just turned 20) toughing up their sound by incorporating harder-edged rock sounds and rhythms. While they may not have brought their music up to date, they’ve taken a leaf out of the book of the Arctic Monkeys with an album that brandishes a distinct teenage indie/rock energy. Perhaps this is at the expense of what made them stand out in the first place but the band’s youthful vim still shines through.
Derry singer-songwriter releases her Mercury Prize-nominated debut.
It’s easy to forget how far Derry musician Bridie Monds-Watson has come in such a short time. Like the Strypes, the young singer-songwriter impressed from an early age with appearances on Other Voices with effective songs simply-constructed with an acoustic guitar and Bridie’s sweet colloquial voice.
Her Rough Trade debut, produced by Tommy McLaughlin, sheds the simplicity of those early EPs and settles for a multi-layered debut album that adds piano, strings and extra percussion to bolster the songs. Monds-Watson’s appealing simplicity is sacrificed for a more serious atmosphere but her personality and her rounded vocal style shines through on songs like ‘Blud’, ‘B A Nobody’, ‘Reckless Behaviour’ and ‘Shuvels’. Before We Forgot How To Dream bagged the young Derry musician a Mercury Music Prize for her efforts but it’s likely her best is yet to come.
The Dublin electro band have made an album of joyous bangers.
For their second full-length, Le Galaxie enlisted the help of producer Erik Brouchek to solidify what most Irish music-loving people know from seeing the band live, that Le Galaxie are the best band for delivering gigantic song-led bangers built on dance music dynamism with live instruments.
Le Club feels like a victory lap, the band’s retro neon-electro having found new sinewy rhythms and strident sounds. Songs like ‘Put The Chain On’, ‘Streetheart’, ‘Le Club’, ‘Lucy Is Here’ and “Carmen’ already feel like modern Irish classics, the soundtrack to many a great festival night and gig. The new version of the Le Galaxie essential, the uplifting ‘Love System’ adds a sax-solo for extra celebration. A trip to Le Club is always fun.
The third album from Conor O’Brien might just be his most important.
Stripped back to accompaniment that rarely goes beyond piano, mellotron, guitar and voice, Darling Arithmetic is a clear line in the sand for one of Ireland’s best living songwriters and as a result, there’s a sense of a songwriter really revealing and exploring his own self: his sexuality, his feelings, his pain and his love.
The 36 minute album’s opening song ‘Courage’ lays it all out. “Took a little time to get where I wanted / It took a little time to get free / It took a little time to be honest / It took a little time to be me,” O’Brien sings accompanied by guitar, light brushes, bass and some faraway blurry synths.
The stripped down nature of the album highlights what a great songwriter O’Brien is. These songs are captivating enough in their demo-style form because O’Brien is an elegant arranger and musician too; he has things to say we can relate to, and sentiments that comes from a heart, his heart, with an underlying confidence that comes from experience and learning from it.
Richie Egan’s fifth album is a collection of serene electronic songcraft.
For most of his creative endeavours as Jape, Richie Egan has been juxtaposing traditional guitar-based songwriting with electronic synth textures.
The fifth Jape album, This Chemical Sea, made with band member Glen Keating, is the first released since Egan uprooted his life and family to Malmö in Sweden and that distance has encouraged a clarity of vision that translates to these two sides being more suitable bedfellows than ever.
There’s soft transparency to the production helped greatly by David Wrench who mixed and mastered the album, and whose considered imprint can most recently be heard on top notch productions from Caribou, FKA Twigs and Jungle; three of the best sounding records of the last year. Those albums have a clear spaciousness that they share with This Chemical Sea.
This Chemical Sea often feels like its floating above the physical and unmoored from the sum of its parts, that give the songs a unique identity in the Jape discography. It is a collection of serene electronic songcraft: meditative, lucid and unbound.
The Dublin band have made the highly-strung album of the year.
There weren’t more uncompromising sonic albums made in 2015 than this one and while it took its toll on its creators, their efforts have not gone unappreciated.
Holding Hands With Jamie is a bare psychosis, the breakdown of Dara Kiely soundtracked by dissonant, piercing and pulsing noise. Kiely spends howling into the pressurised turbulent wall of noise, fending off life expectations and minutiae.
The band match his intensity spectacularly with guitars that whirr and buzz like nasty synthesizers, drums that engulf the room in a live fashion and low-end that wipes the floor and shits on it afterward for good measure. The harshness of it all is a suitably foil for the discombobulating frame of mind that Kiely displays throughout. It sounds like post-punk, it sounds like garage-rock, it sounds like no-wave, it sounds like dirty bleedin’ techno.
The coiled wrestle between confrontation and escapism, both in the music and in the lyrics, is what makes Holding Hands With Jamie such an uncomfortable yet singularly brilliant album. That it uses the familiar language of rock music to do so makes it one of the albums of the year.
Whether it’s anti-Muslim sentiment on Facebook, a terrorist attack on a music venue, or yet another over-reported Donald Trump quote, the world can feel like a hopeless place. It can be hard to counteract the hate and division happening in the world.
The internet is a miserable place right now. Understandably. Good people feel compelled to disseminate displays of ignorance and bigotry to shame, highlight and challenge it. We need to confront it all. But it’s hard on your outlook, it’s hard on your hope and hard on your faith in human beings. So we had a idea: take Friendly Fires’ banger about Paris, a city that ALL people deserve to love and explore, and Le Galaxie it. We wanted to take a tune we loved and make our own romantic, emotional and optimistic version with a big help from the one and only Elaine Mai. Nous espérons que vous apprécierez xx
Le Galaxie have some shows coming up and all are on sale now:
27th December – Dolans Warehouse, Limerick
28th December – Cypus Avenue, Cork
29th December – Tricky’s Mc Garrigles, Sligo
30th December – Roisin Dubh, Galway
31st December – NYF Street Fest, Dublin @ St. Stephen’s Green w/ All Tvvins, Wyvern Lingo & Otherkin