For a musician who started out in the toy-bashing indie pop band Grand Pocket Orchestra, Paddy Hanna is a songwriter whose music has taken on a more serious grandiose tone in recent years and it’s a sound which really suits him.
Coming after ‘Camaradie’, ‘Underprotected’ and ‘Austria’, ‘Bad Boys’ continues this classic pop songwriting vibe with stirring strings, piano tinkles, horns and Hanna’s idiosyncratic vocal delivery.
“We all have one of those in our life” Paddy said of the title before getting a bit more serious about his art:
“I allude to mental illness in my work. It’s considered by many to be a neurosis that spurs on creative work, however it is nothing but a crutch on my own creativity. My time in a depressive haze is spent in complete emptiness, weeks will go by, my beard will have grown out, my pen dried up. So when indeed I allude to mental illness it would usually be during a happy period where I can function. One of the most important days in my life came when I finally opened up about depression and was not met with jeers but rather acceptance and understanding – it’s the first and most significant step you can take.“
Paddy Hanna plays Dublin’s Whelans on Friday 5th May.
The song is released accompanied by ‘Sunday Milkshake’, “a tale of realisation, of sleeping on a dirty couch knowing some mistakes cannot be undone”.
Kelly-Anne Byrne is a regular DJ at festivals throughout Ireland. She’s known for her love of disco and soul, which manifests itself in a monthly club night called Burnin’ Up in The Grand Social and a nationwide show on Saturday and Sunday night on Today FM called The Beat Goes On.
This record blew my mind the first time I heard it, it sounds exactly like something from the 70’s, something I’d expect DJ Harvey to play- Koze’s production is unreal. I think I played it about 20 times in a row when I was first sent it. Lapsley has a beautiful voice, even though it’s about rejection, it has such an upbeat tone & the lyrics are so quirky.
Faze Action feat. Zeke Manyika – Mangwana
I picked this up back in the summer & played it at a number of festivals, it’s different to the other stuff that Faze Action have done (although I like almost everything they do), more of an afro-beat feel, in many ways it reminds me of a William Onyeabor track and I love William Onyeabor.
Anderson Paak – Am I Wrong?
Malibu is one of the best albums of 2016 for me, Anderson Paak is like Q Tip meets Marvin Gaye, there are so many layers to the album & this is my favourite track on it, you can’t help but groove to it.
This is a stunning, soulful record by Dublin-based singer Emma Garnett, aka Feather. I love this track because it takes you on a journey, ending in a completely different place to where it started. I happened to be djing at a wedding during the summer for two people who listen to my show, Feather sang their first dance song, ‘At Last’ by Etta James, she has an amazing voice & I hope to hear a lot more from her.
Whitney – No Woman
Taken from the brilliant album Light Upon The Lake, this track by Whitney really warms my heart. I remember reading an article with Damon Albarn in which he spoke about the power of the perfect pop song, mainly those written in the 60’s by The Beatles, The Kinks, The Beach Boys etc, the magic of those songs was their simplicity, sincerity & subtlety, that’s what this track is like for me.
Pantha Du Prince – The Winter Hymn
There’s something about this song that really moves me, it’s like it has a heartbeat. The album The Triad is one of my favourite albums of 2016, when I put it on I drift away. I saw Pantha Du Prince at Primavera & Electric Picnic this year, both shows were excellent.
Paddy Hanna – Underprotected
This is my favourite Irish song of 2016, the guitar just grabs you from the start and what a voice, some of the lyrics are quite melancholic but I still find it hopeful, maybe it’s the ‘sha la la’ throughout.
Solange – Don’t Touch My Hair
I don’t know if there’s a finer record this year than Solange’s A Seat At The Table, in many ways it reminds me of Lauryn Hill’s The Miseducation Of Lauryn Hill or Marvin Gaye’s What Going On in its subject matter. I get a lump in my throat every time I listen to this. I love the words and her voice is so soft but really what’s a magical about this record is how gentle it is, even though its subject matter is anger, that’s what makes it powerful.
Lauer – Antinat
Lauer is one of my favourite producers of now, I love almost everything he does. I’ve been playing this out a lot lately, always get a great reaction, it’s like Depeche Mode meets Inner City.
Leonard Cohen – You Want It Darker
This track is so haunting, as ever with Leonard Cohen, I was hooked on the words when I first listened to it. What a way to leave the world, by giving us this incredible album and this song, which ironically throughout, says ‘I’m ready my Lord’.
Output is a Belfast conference and gig showcase taking place in Belfast on Thursday February 18th.
The conference part, which is free to attend with registration, will take place at The Mac during the day and will feature a keynote address from Steve Albini, Paul Hartnoll of Orbital on music composition and placement, singer-songwriter Bry, a co-writing panel with a direct-to-fan Q&A with artist Nadine Shah and I’ll be participating in a talk too.
At night, the focus shifts to nine live music showcases curated by different organisations including IMRO, Chord Blossom, Electric Mainline and a copresent between Nialler9 and The Thin Air that looks like this:
How to enter free entry comps – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number (for late contact) in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig or Friday 1pm latest for weekend gigs.
IMRO – The Business of Music Panel @ IMRO (5:30pm)
[Panel] taking your music overseas from the line-up with Patrick Boyle (Milwaukee Irish Fest), Anita Daly (Daly Communications), Cathy Jordan (Dervish), Martin Nolan (MPI Bands & Essential Artists) and Paddy McPoland (Tour Manager for The High Kings).
Minimal Film: performed by Kirkos Ensemble @ Samuel Beckett Theatre (€10/€12)
[Classical/contemporary] an audiovisual performance of celebrated minimalist film scores accompanied by visuals. Curated by Natasha Paulberg
Always worth a visit during the Christmas season, Young Hearts Run Free’s Yule! event has featured the likes of Villagers, The Strypes and Twin Shadow among its performers in recent years.
Taking place at the Co-Op in Newmarket Square in Dublin 8, this year’s edition happens on Saturday December 5th with:
Land Lovers, Switzerland, The Mess Around, DJ Dandelion, Paddy Hanna, White Collar Boy, Women’s Christmas, Dónal Lunny, Mossy Nolan & Colm McGowan, Stephen James Smith, Young Hearts DJs, Super Surprise Guests!
The gig is BYOB and cake is promised. It’s €22 on the door with all proceeds going to the Simon Community.
Paper Trail Records who have released the likes of Clouds, Beach Moon/Peach Moon and manage Slow Skies have released a compilation called Thanks For Listening featuring a mix of Irish and International artists like Paddy Hanna, Katie Kim, Eddi Front, Samyel, Simon Bird, Meredith Graves and Cloud Castle Lake.
It was released over the weekend to coincide with World Mental Health Day and all proceeds go to Console.
‘Camaraderie’, the B-side to Paddy Hanna’s excellent recent single ‘Austria’ is his most honest track to date a song that addresses being depressed.
“Last summer I was crippled with depression, to the point where I was physically and mentally too sick to stand. I spent many weeks alone in my cottage growing ever more paranoid of the outside world and the joyful cheers of the summer crowd. The song (cCmaraderie) concerns losing touch with how it feels to be human in a tourist town.”
The video by Luke Byrne puts Hanna in an idyllic Howth house but suggests that home comforts can’t overcome the mental struggle within.