Castlepalooza has announced its first lineup for the August Bank Holiday this year and Charleville Castle will feature !!! (Chk Chk Chk) – a particularly good booking and the only Irish festival date for All Tvvins this year.
!!! Chk Chk Chk
Space Dimension Controller
Super Extra Bonus Party
Boots & Kats
I Draw Slow
Mix & Fairbanks
Weekend tickets are available from €109 with no camping or €139 with camping.
A bass-heavy banging club track from New York City and Seoul-based producer Kathy Yaeji Lee off her new EP2, which kicks off with bilingual Korean and English vocals.
Khruangbin – Maria Tambié
Texas psychedelic trio Khruangbin provide us with this soulful funky track. This group have been making a name for themselves with their live performances mixing “60’s Thai funk, 70’s Persian rock music, and 80’s Algerian symphonia”. They have an extraordinary ability to mix old sounds into something that sounds fresh and new.
This is the first song in eight years from Super Extra Bonus Party. ‘Switzerland’ is a fresh reminder of a band who have multi-genre influences so to that end, the song has indie-rock guitar riffs, synthesizers, electronic percussion and a first for the band, vocals that come from the band’s own members.
Electronic pop duo Le Boom have a solid live reputation but now, their recordings are starting to catch up. On only their second single, the band establish their infectious energy – built on bright instrumentation, melodic vocals and dancefloor dynamics.
DOI: Niall Byrne AKA Nialler9 is the band’s manager.
Wolf and Moon – Garden Of Potential
Germany folk duo Stefany June and Talk Show Host AKA Wolf and Moon present this atmospheric track ‘Garden Of Potential’ provoking gentle emotion. I’m glad that these two met at a house party in Utrecht, in The Netherlands. Both possess unique voices that together make for an ambient musical match.
Rosie Carney – Winter
True to the title, ‘Winter’ from Donegal singer-songwriter Rosie Carney paints an picture through gentle folk atmospherixs. Carney’s vocals are hauntingly beautiful and she says of the song:
“Winter is a confessional song written about knowing when something is over. It’s inspired by the brutally honest truth experienced when realising something is coming to an end regardless of whether or not that’s what you want. It captures the true cold essence of winter which can be felt when letting go.. It was, of course, written in the winter.. The instrumentation and production were very much inspired by the cold and bare landscapes around me. Everything is raw and minimal.”
The Paul brothers, Jai and A.K. are back with this new track ‘Evil’ which was written by a track written by A. K. Paul with vocals from London based Ruthven, who is apparently a firefighter from Lewisham. The track is in typical Paul brothers’ style – synthesized electronic pop of the off-kilter kind.
Nabihah Iqbal – Zone 1 to 6000
Formerly known as Throwing Shade, London-based Nabihah Iqbal shares her new song from her debut album ‘Weighing of the Heart’. The song is inspired by the poetry of by poetry, William Blake and Matthew Arnold and the experiences of living in a big city.
“It’s also about figuring out a pathway – whether that’s pursuing what you want, or being stuck in a rut and compensating for routine and monotony by acts of escapism.”
English brother and sister Rob and Katy Pearson or Ardyn last two singles ‘Together’ and ‘Throwing Stones’ had influences of the classic music of Fleetwood Mac and Kate Bush. They return to that sound on ‘Bloom’, with catchy synthesizer beats and elegant sibling harmonies.
Frankenstein Bolts – Night Whispering
Wexford duo Frankenstein Bolts dreamy folk track ‘Night Whispering’ is the second release off their album Aglow & Spark which was released earlier this year. This track has a very soothing lullaby feel to it.
Super Extra Bonus Party are a band very dear to my heart. First of all, they are friends of mine, something which has to be said off the bat. In many ways, we came up together. Many of us moved together from Kildare to Dublin when the music stuff started happening. For myself, I started running a music blog 12 years ago in my spare time or while I was skyving off from work.
Parallel to that, Super Extra Bonus Party grew from a bedroom electronic project to a 7-strong group of musicians who didn’t really have respect for genre boundaries. They made ambient electronic music, hip-hop, post-rock instrumentals and indie-pop music. They collaborated with artists as varied as Heathers, Cadence Weapon, beatboxer White Noise, Paul O’Reilly (Channel One / Forrests), May Kay (Fight Like Apes now Le Galaxie), RSAG and Mr Lif.
Their first album won the Choice Music Prize, which was met with bewilderment by many in the industry. They were a band who didn’t play the game (because they didn’t know how to mainly), who didn’t take themselves too seriously and didn’t fall on clear genre lines.
I loved their music. Yes, they were my friends sure. But when they came out, there weren’t many Irish bands who were willing to throw themselves into that experimental process that produced chaotic, contrasting but often thrilling results.
The band discussed how they feel about everything that happened before the project got derailed with Headstuff this week. Seven years on from Super Extra Bonus Party project fizzling out for various different reasons, they are back. Really, there was only a few years where they weren’t active in some capacity of music-making.
‘Switzerland’ then, is the band’s first song since 2009’s Night Horses album. It’s a song that isn’t a million miles from where they ended up on that record. It’s a song that’s built on live instrumentation meeting electronics, which was always Super Extra Bonus Party’s main characteristic.
Forgoing the need for an outside vocal collaborator, ‘Switzerland’ features the vocals of the group’s Gavin Elsted (who is 1/3 of Lumo Club with me) and Stephen Fahey. It moves from an indie-rock track to one that gives way to the song’s underlying synthesizers and electronic percussion and goes into Caribou-esque territory. SEBP were never a band to play it safe, and seven years on from their last activity, that is one constant that is all-too absent elsewhere.
The song is released on Kildare label 045 Recordings tomorrow on all streaming platforms including Spotify.
The band’s first two albums are on Spotify to hear.
They play their first gig in as many years in Bru in Newbridge, Kildare on New Year’s Eve and more gigs will be expected, along with new music next year.
Super Extra Bonus Party were a party band when there was a dearth of such things in Ireland. They didn’t care about genre, they mashed indie with hip-hop, with electronics, with folk with whatever. They put on high energy live shows with an MC rapping in Portugese and made on a dancing sesh happen at venues and festivals. They jumped around and when not playing an instrument, they sometimes air-guitared with a hurl. I remember them being asked onto a Hot Press panel which was negatively framed with a question like ‘is there space in the music landscape for party music?’ Because their music wasn’t earnest enough for the establishment. They right refused to participate.
The Bonus Party released a debut album on Alphabet Set, a tiny electronic label on April 14th 2007. A lot of people loved them, a lot of people were very vocal about hating them, particularly, the critics who reacted to their Choice Music Prize album of the year win in 2008 for this album as they deemed it unworthy, not serious enough. But they were very serious about what they did – it just didn’t include them writing heartfelt singer-songwriter lyrics.
I am a friend of the band. I used to do visuals at those shows. I made the artwork for their releases. It was a fun time. I met my wife through Super Extra Bonus Party. I saw all this stuff first hand. Every time they came up against people trying to tell them they weren’t allowed make this music or act like this, they rightly ignored it. That’s pigeonholing, not art. So they didn’t have a label, didn’t have a manager and mostly voted by committee on what they would do but they did it their way.
The band went on to release a second album Nighthorses, arguably a better record but it all fell apart naturally, as a band trying to corral seven members who were also keeping up with life and jobs and relationships and things.
But it all started in public with a record, a statement of intent on this day 10 years ago – 13 April 2007, with their self-titled debut, an album that beautifully mashed together all of the above into a melting pot of ideas and collaborators like Nina Hynes, beatboxer White Noise, Paul O’Reilly (Channel One / Forrests) and Kill City Defectors . It’s a snapshot of an uncynical musicmaking process that resulted in an album of exuberant multi-coloured music. It was a soundtrack to my youth and I’m sure many others.
As Cormac Brady says below in his piece about that time, the band have regrouped and are currently making music and perhaps, a third album. You may hear from them again soon.
Here’s a few words from Cormac from the band on his memories of the release:
It’s ten years to the day since we released our self titled debut album in Dublin’s Voodoo Lounge. I remember the excitement as we rode into the city that afternoon, to think the music we had written would be whistling through gramophones all around the world! We felt alive with the possibility of what lay before us. I tipped my hat to the conductor as we hopped off the streetcar outside the Voodoo Lounge, and I covered my face with the collar of my trench coat as we entered the venue, some folks were already queuing outside, and we didn’t want to cause a stir. Terrordactyl, Nouveau Noise, Herv and Thalamus were already waiting inside the joint. Those cats were wild, and there was enough peyote for all of us, we knew the night was going to be a treat. It was more like a whirlwind, booming bass, snapping fingers, shirt sleeves rolled up and top buttons undone; our new songs went down like old favourites, and we were proud.
Cut to 3am and the venue was all but empty, I looked at the barman drying beer glasses in his apron and he shook his head at me. Fatsy the mad fool was lying on stage across the piano still playing his trombone, condensation from the crowd since gone dripping onto his head. It had been a wild night and our first LP had been unleashed onto the world. I stood under a gaslight outside the venue and sparked a woodbine. I remember wondering where this journey would take us, and what crazy bastards we would meet along the way.
Less than a year after that point, we were stood in Vicar Street nervous as hell. We’d been nominated for the Choice Music Prize, and the award show was going out on the wireless to the whole damn nation. For an album that was assembled on a non-existent budget, depended heavily on the good will of friends and contacts, driven only by our love of making tunes and experimenting, I’m proud of what our debut album achieved. It was a surreal moment being awarded the Choice Music Prize in front of a large crowd of industry heads. That night, only we knew that the mixing of our album was finished literally 30 minutes before we grabbed a taxi to the mastering studio, sleepless and bleary eyed, worried that we had to revert back to a drum take for Adventures that was recorded on two mics in a friend’s shed in Newbridge. None of that mattered though, the album is a perfect snapshot of where we were at the time, and listening to it ten years down the line brings back so many great memories.
To me, our debut album still feels exciting. It’s a fractured timeline of music that we’d worked on together over the three or four years before the album’s release. There are tunes on there that were started when we were still in school, staying up late listening to Donal Dineen’s show for inspiration and then making beats in fruity loops and acid on shitty household PCs. Then there’s the tunes we recorded (drums and all) in the kitchen and hall of a rented gaff in Dublin, with our neighbours understandably close to calling the cops on us. We’re still indebted to all the collaborators we had on the album. Rodrigo Teles, Nina Hynes, Paul O’Reilly, Cian Sayles, Iain and Colly Defector. Working with each of them was exciting and inspiring. Thanks again to each of you.
After being inactive for a few years, we’re back together now, busy writing and recording our third album. Thankfully, we have some better equipment now. But other than that, I’m glad to say that we’re still the same bunch, just happy to be doing what we love, making tunes.
Love to all those that have been with us from the start, or come to our shows over the years. We’ll be back soon.
A debut EP – Naff Naff Jack It of songs have been posted to Bandcamp and Soundcloud for free download. From the Harry J reggae-topped opener to the dreamy atmospherics of ‘I Hope Your Happiness’ to the post-dubby workout of ‘Suit Up And Go’ to the Plaid-esque robotics of ‘Square One’ and the dark ’80s ambiance of ‘Cold Sweat’, Naff Naff Jack It finds Mike trying out different styles over its five tracks. Download the EP.
New video for SEBP’s ‘Comets’ by Donal Mangan. The single is out this Friday digitally backed with a Skibunny remix. The Boners are playing some live dates this month: 13th Feb – Roisin Dubh, Galway, 20th Feb – Waterfront, Belfast & 26th Feb – Whelans, Dublin.
Below, you will also find a new video for Heathers’ ‘Remember When’ by Chloe Walker as part of the NYU Tisch Hot Press initiative.
Photo by Rich Gilligan. Below you will find the fourth annual countdown of the top 30 Irish albums as voted by readers and commenters of this blog. There are some surprises in there to me. The number one album on the list actually won by a fair few votes. In a year where there was no clear favourite, it’s interesting to see such an album top the list. A few of the albums charted quite highly considering they were only released in the last month or so.
Anyway, I hope you discover something from the list you had dismissed or not heard before (I know I have). A full list of the songs and albums are available in a Google Document at the end of the post (might be worthwhile for the bands featured to see what songs struck a chord with people). The last two years winner has gone on to win the Choice Music Prize. Will it be three in a row? Merry Christmas everyone and thanks for stopping by throughout the year. (more…)
State.ie is holding a little get together tonight for anyone who’d like to come down and harass our writers and photographers for what we’ve done this year (Let’s keep it festive though yeh?). It’s taking place in the Shebeen Chic on Georges Street from 8;30pm – 1:30pm and it’s FREE.
There’ll also be a Lucky CD dip and prayers of the faithful by Love Music Hate Racism. We’d love to see you there. If you haven’t seen it already here are State’s Top 50 albums of the decade with our albums of 2009 to follow next week. Last year was brilliant and I got to play this Christmas classic…
Joining SEBP on stage on the night will be MC Rodrigo Teles in his last ever performance with the band along with Heathers. I’ll be doing visuals too so that’s my DOI. Tickets are €17.50 – you can buy em here.
Gavin from the band recently turned in this disco-stomping version of Delorentos’ S.E.C.R.E.T that I rather like. Check it.
And here is the rather wonderful poptastic collaboration with Heathers which you can hear live on the night as well as in the video below from The Cafe on RTE last week. Available for a limited time only.
Our beloved podcast is back from its unplanned summer diversion and while we were away, we received a nom for Best Podcast in the Irish Web Awards which is nice! It’s up against The Comic Cast, last year’s winner Playlist Mix and the national broadcaster RTE amongst others. Awards are on the 10th.
This month all of the songs are AMAZING so just download it and listen alright? Thanks. Comments appreciated as always.
The excellent Night Horses has been out a couple of months now and now you can listen to it in full below. If you’ve been listening to the radio at all lately, you will have heard ‘Comets’ the poptastic tune featuring Heathers. SEBP are playing Castlepalooza main stage next Saturday at 9pm. Music videos and 7 inches are also possibly forthcoming.
Disclosure: I do visuals and artwork layout for the band.
It’s July 1st, the mid-point of the year, a good time to reflect on what we’ve been offered musically so far in 2009. There’s been some stonkers like Grizzly Bear, Animal Collective and Fever Ray but you know about them already. I’ve listed my ten obvious favourite records of the year so far and then fifteen overlooked ones (with MP3s) you should definitely check out. Obviously “overlooked” is not exact science but generally, these are records you would like to see get more attention in the remaining six months of the year.
I left out a couple of newer albums like White Denim’sFits and Paul White’sThe Strange Dreams of because they are relatively new and I haven’t listened to them enough to place them here as much as I like them. There are a few others like Black Milk, Ribbons, Solid Gold which were actually last year officially but check them out anyway because they are amazing. Here we go..