Like their impactful song ‘Go’, ‘Burning Up’ is the sound of a band comfortable with channeling the wall of sound of Arcade Fire’s sound and able to tap into a rich emotional well set to cavernous drums. This a band who can get, to paraphrase the song, a stranglehold on your heart.
Pleasure Beach have their own headline shows coming up.
February 23rd – Dublin, Whelans February 24th – Belfast, Limelight 2 February 25th – Galway, Roisin Dubh, March 2nd – Cork, Cyprus Avenue
The Belfast band Pleasure Beach have left a dent on the Irish music scene in the last year with a couple of great singles in ‘Go’ and ‘Dreamer To The Dawn’ that recalled the spirit of Springsteen and Arcade Fire.
The band’s new single ‘Magic Mountain’ shares its fabric with the sonics of The War On Drugs: galloping drums, sustained notes, reverb and an uplifting carousel release.
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.
The music industry showcases continue to roll on with Eurosonic in Gronigen in Holland and SXSW in Austin Texas coming up in January and March respectively.
As part of the second wave of announcements for SXSW, Rusangano Family, Girls Names, Enemies, Saint Sister and September Girls are in there among the international acts like Nao, Autre Ne Veut, Pixx, Mercury Rev, Blanck Mass, Ezra Furman, Menace Beach and Vant. The whopper Spotify playlist for all of them is here.
The Academic and Rosie Carney were previously announced.
For Eurosonic, the entire Irish contingent via the Music From Ireland party has been revealed and it features: Marc O’Reilly, Rusangano Family, Pleasure Beach, The Academic, Otherkin, The Hot Sprockets, Colm Mac Con Iomaire and The Young Folk.
These acts will be abroad looking to make moves to benefit their careers.
After the release of their debut track, ‘Go’ which established their stadium-rock leaning swagger, the Belfast band Pleasure Beach have followed up a successful Hard Working Class Heroes gig with the recorded version of live standout ‘Dreamer To The Dawn’.
The song is another close Springsteen / Arcade Fire imprint: a galloping rhythm section, synth strings, subtle backing vocals that provide key colour to the vocal yearning. When it all coalesces in the instrumental a carousel melody whirring into gear, and the drums beat in double time, I’m ready for some fist pumping celebrations.
This year’s Hard Working Class Heroes lineup of new bands is a tough one. Primarily because there are so many new bands to see for the first time and secondly, because the quality of those unseen is greater than in previous years. This year, the tracks on the Breaking Tunes profiles are well-produced and suggest that there are more bands and artists more clued in to How Music Works than ever.
Here are 20 new bands to see this weekend, I capped it at 6 bands per day. Some of last year’s picks are also playing the festival for further investigation so they weren’t featured here (Rusangano Family / Dear Desert / Buffalo Woman and more).
It was only last year at the festival where Hare Squead really became known at their Meeting House Square gig. Since then, the Dublin trio have been expanding their sound of rap, R&B, soul and pop music with a full live band show that’s really starting to hit home and gel. With a couple of years more experience, these guys could be huge. On a similiar style-tip, Stay Gold in the same venue are a band following a similar path.
A new Kildare duo, David “Monty” Montgomery and Conor Cuffe only formed less than a year ago but with a tropical dance track called Waiting hanging around, they are doing something decidedly more pop than a lot on this list and are worthy of further investigation.
With over 90,000 plays on Spotify for just two songs, the Cork-born, Liverpool-based singer-songwriter has the metrics on his side. It’s the songs that matter though and his most recent single ‘Take It In’ impresses with its production by Scandinavian duo Boxes that takes a singer-songwriter style in a more atmospheric direction.
Celtic-influenced harmony folk world or “atmosfolk” as Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre call it. Their debut EP is released next month and the music so far has had a pleasing ethereality to it with harmonies to the fore alongside harp tones.
The kind of sophisticated pop music that Maud In Cahoots make has a lot in common with Scandinavian pop music, The sisters Maud and Zoe Ní Riordáin and band have also showed some interesting initiative by placing their songs in a theatrical show context. The new single ‘Cure For The Crazy’ is their career best track.
Hard Working Class Heroes have announced their lineup for this year’s edition taking place on the weekend of october 1st to 3rd in The Workmans Club, The Mercantile, The Academy, Bad Bobs, The Grand Social, Hangar. Tickets are on sale now from €20 + fees per night or €45 for three nights.
The festival will also include talks, mentoring sessions, speed sessions, a tech convention and more. The festival is sponsored for the second year by HMV Ireland with help from The Arts Council, Failte Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and the NDRC. 500 bands submitted applications. The 100 below were chosen. I was one of the judges who are drawn from the local and international music industry.
Delighted to see Rusangano Family, Carriages, Elephant, Bitch Falcon, Hare Squead, Joni, Pleasure Beach and I Have A Tribe in there.
Pleasure Beach are a new band from Belfast, who formed in a Belfast coffee shop in January (speaking of Belfast coffee shops – I recommend Established – where I’d bet these guys and gals formed). Their members’ names are Lisa, Rachel, Kat, Alan and Richard and their debut single has some pop swing to it.
‘Go’ is a track that recalls Arcade Fire/Bruce Springsteen in its stadium guitar slung gallop to the finish with some more contemporary synth-pop influence. It’ll be released on Monday May 25th backed with another single ‘Absentee’.
The band play their first show on June 5th in The Menagerie, Belfast.