I’ve made an Electric Picnic DJ Mix every year since 2008. It’s always been a blast to make and a highlight of the site for me personally. 2016’s mix features 22 artists on the Electric Picnic lineup over 20 songs in just under 55 minutes.
It’s for bumping for your festival prep for the next week or in the car on the way down to Stradbally. Last year’s mix.
Roisin Murphy is following up last year’s sophisticated album Hairless Toys with Take Her Up To Monto, a new album named after a Dublin district on July 8th on PIAS, which Murphy took from The Dubliners that her dad used to sing.
The album’s first single ‘Mastermind’ continues in the vein of last year’s experimentalism, with an increased dance production bent.
The album was made during the same five weeks with long term musical collaborator Eddie Stevens that spawned Hairless Toys.
As she did with Hairless Toys, Murphy will continue to make videos for the tracks and this album will be “less reference, a more aggressively modern aesthetic.”
“It’s about the London that I live in, it’s a lot about architecture, it’s about building and the future coming, it’s about here! It’s a bit fizzier and more present tense, irreverent, with guerilla filming, montage and crazy shit. I hope it’s a realism that makes you feel good about being alive.”
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.
Well, the first acts announced for Longitude 2016 in Marlay Park from 15 – 17 July.
Kendrick Lamar, Major Lazer & The National are each of the day’s headliners.
Also playing are Jamie xx, Father John Misty, Chvrches, Roisin Murphy, Action Bronson, MØ, Courtney Barnett, ASAP Ferg, Tyler, The Creator; Rejjie Snow, All Tvvins, Otherkin, Pleasure Beach and Saint Sister.
Tickets will go on sale next Friday 29th January at 9am at €159.50 + fee and day tickets cost €64.50 + fee. Three customers can get their hands on Longitude tickets before anyone else, presale tickets go on sale at www.three.ie/plus 48 hours before general release. Tickets will be available from Ticketmaster.
Roisin Murphy’s third album is a sophisticated and layered album that furthers the career of an outlier and a creative artist, making accessible but avant-garde music that draws from pop, dance, disco and jazz.
From the elongated elegance of ‘Exploitation’ to the spooked ‘Gone Fishing’ to the warped ballad of ‘Unputdownable’ to the poppy bass-slung groove of ‘Evil Eyes’, Murphy creates duality throughout: intimate and anamorphic, detailed yet sparse, Glamourous yet grubby, Loungey yet dancy. Murphy remains the magnet at the centre of Hairless Toys as she has been throughout her career. Where-ever she goes, I will follow.
This is what 21st Century pop music is supposed to sound like.
Claire Boucher’s followup to 2012’s breakthrough Grimes album Visions is wildly different. Art Angels is the result of three years of growth, touring, a decision to scrap a previous album and an hardening of artistic resolve. Grimes’ has often talked about her love of pop music and on Art Angels she’s made her own version of it with sugar-rushing rhythms, bubble-pop melodies and bright instrumentation. The album feels like it has its own internal logic and palette and inherent in its DNA, is Grimes’ own split personalities, adept at pairing up for a screaming match with Korean rapper Aristophanes on ‘Scream’, delivering clattering guitar pop on ‘Flesh Without Blood’, roping in Janelle Monae for a EDM-style banger and my personal favourite ‘World Princess Part II’, an electro pop crescendo. Boucher continues to write her own story.
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.
Lorely Rodriguez’s personal yet brisk electronic pop debut.
With the graduation to a self-produced debut album, Lorely Rodriguez also makes the leap from pleasing hazy synth pop to a gilded form of dance pop. Rodriguez’s lyrics address what it’s like to be a young woman in 2015.
Rarely does a personal album brim with so much danceable briskness. Me makes use of of pleasing discombobulating rhythmic pop sequences, buzzing synths, bouncing bass, drum machine stabs and an clearly elevated confidence. No longer covered in gauze, Empress Of’s talent is greater than was initially suggested.
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.
After her theatrical and moody art pop set at Electric Picnic this year and the release of her fine album Hairless Toys, Róisín Murphy has finally announced that she is to play her own headline Dublin show in the Olympia Theatre on Thursday February 11th.
Tickets are €28.40+fees on sale Friday at 9am from Ticketmaster.
She’s also playing The Limelight 1 in Belfast on Wednesday February 10th 2016, also on sale Friday at £23 plus fees.
Aphex Twin – Syro
Wolf Alice – Bros
Roisin Murphy – Hairless Toys
C Duncan – Architect
ESKA – Eska
Florence & The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin
Benjamin Clementine – At Least For Now
Jamie xx – In Colour
Soak – Before We Forgot To Dream
Gaz Coombes – Matador
Slaves – Are You Satisfied?
Not a bad list, leaning a bit too heavily on established names perhaps. Would have hoped for Jonnie Common, All We Are, Lianne La Havas and Gwenno but you have to pay to enter so who knows if any of them did.
It’s May which means that the number of albums that start to get released go beyond what one person can capably handle (or write about) so as way as recommendation, here are five albums released this week or next I recommend you listen to:
For her first album in eight years, Ms. Murphy doesn’t quite return to dancefloor bangers a la Overpowered. Instead, it’s an avant-garde update that falls somewhere between her two sides – the disco diva and the Matthew Herbert-collaborating experimentalist. Murphy’s nuance and skill around melody keeps the sometimes meandering album, always pleasing.
It’s hard to believe Birth is Rachel Koeman and Ian Ring’s debut album such is are the high-quality productions they’ve made together over the last few years. In album format, both shine with Koeman increasingly becoming a lead singer and Ring, who I’ve said before is one of the most talented young producers in Ireland, pulls out an evocative bag of sounds that takes in sparkling synths, big bass, twisted vocal samples and arrangements that grow tall like canyons. Birth suggests these pair are carving their own niche into the electronic landscape.
Dara Smith and Ian McDonnell’s have been creating IDM or great deep electronic textured music you can sometimes dance to since before EDM was a twinkle. For their new album on R&S Records, the pair mine techno, house and industrial music that shakes and shudders with a healthy exploration. Some of it even sounds like early AFX.
Directed by Murphy herself, it’s the video for her foreboding Latin-jazz tinged house single ‘Exploitation’ from her album Hairless Toys which is inspired by the documentary Paris Is Burning about New York ball culture.
Renowned for appearing in a number of ground-breaking videos throughout her career, Roisin made the decision to take up the director’s role too for ‘Exploitation’.
“As a grown up in this industry and someone who has always had a huge involvement in the visual side, it felt like it was time I took complete control of my image. I had a crystal clear vision for this video, after all I’ve had 8 years of collecting references and inspiration building up to it. It’s the story of an actress and a love affair. It’s about selling out, manipulation and exploitation within creative work and in a relationship. It’s ironic because as my own director I’m exploiting myself (if that’s possible) but I am manipulating you.”
This week was the first of 2015 which a tidal wave of new music washed over me in a big surge. With SXSW out of the way, many artists began to set out their stall for the coming year who hadn’t already.
SXSW was buzzing for Shamir who dropped his fun track ‘Call it Off’ and Tei Shi capitalised on her appearances there with ‘Go Slow’.
There’s also brand new Hudson Mohawke, Teleman and Florence + The Machine. It was at times, an overwhelming music week. Here’s my way of digesting the best of it – a playlist. That’s not all of it nor does it include albums.
The love for Roisin Murphy has remained undiminished in recent years if my social network friends are any judge. Last year, the Italian pop covers EP gave us something different from the singer but we all want to hear Murphy do her thing in original format.
So joy then as Roisin will be releasing a new solo album called Hairless Toys, out in Pay on PIAS, inspired by the documentary Paris Is Burning a 1990 film which looked at the LGBT drag ball culture in New York clubs.
“I was deeply moved by this film. ‘I had to run this far from home’ – it’s about the outcasts who could never fit into mainstream society and how they created a safe place in the drag ‘Ball’ scene of New York in the ‘80s. ‘Will we live on? The children of La Beija’ refers to the ‘house’ of Pepper La Beija, who was one of the most notable figures on the scene, Pepper is also quoted in Malcolm McLaren’s song on the same subject ‘Deep In Vogue’. The culture was a flamboyant reaction to persecution and disillusionment, the imagination and bravery of these kids is simply awe-inspiring. I envisioned ‘Gone Fishing’ almost as a song from a Broadway musical version of this story. The making of one’s own world, a safer world and the creation of a new, better family in music or youth culture is a theme I touch upon elsewhere on my album Hairless Toys.”
The stylish English/Irish singer Róisín Murphy, has returned with her first new solo material in quite a while. The Mi Senti EP is a six-track collection of classic Italian pop songs of the ’60s and ’70s, featuring five covers and one original. With Murphy, you come to expect the unexpected. Here are ten highlights from an illustrious career.
“It’s the sound of the Berlin Wall falling down. It’s the sound of hashtag winning.” And so, Adebisi Shank returns with more bonkers frazzled epic electro rock that sounds like a particularly jaunty parade march in the year 3032. Their third album This Is The Third Album Of A Band Called Adebisi Shank is out August 12th on Sargent House.
2. Shamir – ‘Sometimes a Man’
From the Vegas 19 year-old’s excellent debut EP, Northtown out now on Godmode. A ruff-housing disco shaker.
From Daithí’s new album, In Flight, an album that deserves to do really well in Ireland on radio. Surely, the next single featuring Danny from The Coronas will do it? As it is, this is superior club pop on anyone’s terms.
Dear Desert are a brand new Irish band, based in Dublin consisting of Brendan Millar (Futures Apart), Richie Fenton and James O’Donnell (Hush War Cry). Judging by their debut track, the ‘Give It Up’, this is a trio steeped in heart-on-sleeve ’80s pop.
8. Azoto – ‘San Salvador’
As heard on White Collar Boy’s World Cup-themed mix to promote their new club nigiht in the Grand Social this Saturday,