It’s festival bank holiday weekend and that means there are 3 major music festivals happening in Dublin, Cork and the Midlands (four if you count the smaller Arcadian Field in Bellurgan). Here are 10 recommendations for acts and performances I would see if I was at all of Beatyard, Castlepalooza & Indiependence.

1.

Air

The Beatyard, Sunday

The soundtrack to the end of the chillout phenomenon when Moon Safari, the band’s debut of French electronic pop was released in 1998, this French duo went on to create a body of work that incorporated ’80s synth experimentalism and a very particular retro French style of studious songwriting. They’ve not played here in a long time (last reference I can find is from 2001) so this will be a rare sight. To a lesser extend, see Morcheeba who play before them.


2.

Shit Robot

Sunday @ Castlepalooza


Marcus Lambkin is known as the Irishman who disco infiltrated DFA Records and there’s a good reason for that. The man has talent in creating propulsive electronic music that crosses the boundaries between disco, house and techno and still has a pop edge.


3.

Le Boom

Saturday @ Castlepalooza, Sunday @ Indiependence

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Christy Leech & Aimie Mallon are a party band who make music that moves between house, pop and electro and they’ve been building a great live reputation in the past year. They are one of the hottest tickets on Irish festivals so it’s no surprise with only one single out, they’re playing at the late end of the festival bills this weekend.


4.

Wild Beasts

Friday @ Castlepalooza, Sunday @ Indiependence

One of the best live bands to come out of the UK in the last 10 years. Their albums may vary but they are a singular proposition, creating intricate imaginative indie-rock. Live, their drummer is one to watch as he’s a subtle master.


5.

Larry Heard

Saturday @ Beatyard

Larry Heard aka Mr Fingers is an electronic music pioneer and this is his first ever live show in Ireland so that counts for something. Most recently, he was sample by Kanye West on ‘Fade’.


6.

BARQ

Saturday @ Beatyard, Sunday @ Indiependence

BARQ are seasoned musicians having played with Hozier, Kodaline, Monster Monster, Damien Dempsey, Loah, Lethal Dialect, Ryan Sheridan and Zaska in the past and are establishing their own rap-tinged soulful R&B jazz sound under a genre they’ve coined as “agrosoul.”

7.

Romare (Live)

Saturday @ Beatyard

A full live band set from a producer who has mined American folk music for sampling purposes but has worked them in a more textured way than Moby. His two recent Love Songs albums were excellent releases and the prospect of a full live band has the potential for a Bonobo-style live show.


8.

Sing Along Social

Saturday @ Beatyard

Full disclosure. The ringmaster of Sing Along Social is my wife Aoife but I’m not the only one who agrees that Aoife has hit upon a great concept that as you can see below works very well at a festival. Sing Along Social like karaoke en masse but there are no stars showing off, it’s a guilt-free choir where everyone sings together, it’s a singing party where you could be singing Mariah’s ‘All I Want For Christmas’ in June, TLC, ABBA, Enya, Beach Boys or Journey. At Beatyard, the theme is Seaside vs. the City. And watch out for the craic attack of Bingo Loco before hand.


9.

Cinema

Sunday @ Castlepalooza

Cinems

A rising talent from my hometown of Newbridge, CO. Kildare, Peter Fleming’s electronic project left a mark with a full album of instrumental cosmic electronica but he’s since been embracing a sound draws from more upbeat tempos, retro electronic pop styles and vocals.


10.

LYRA

Saturday @ Indiependence

This young Cork lass based in the UK makes pop music in the vein of Florence and keeps her accent intact. Combining Scandinavian pop dynamic productions with her Emerald hear made for some suave pop. I put her on the TV show Striking Out earlier this year in my other job as music supervisor and that got her a lot of traction if I do so so myself. Live, she’s a charmer too.

Posted on August 3rd, 2017

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Castlepalooza have announced the first bands and comedy acts for this year’s festival in Charleville Castle, Tullamore from August 4th to 6th this year (the festival moves back to its original dates this year).

Announced today are:

  • Wild Beasts
  • Girl Band
  • Waze & Oddysey
  • I Have A Tribe
  • Shit Robot
  • David Kitt
  • Lumo Club
  • Heroes In Hiding
  • King Bones

Also announced is the first names for the Laughter Lounge

  • PJ Gallagher
  • Deirdre O’Kane
  • Kevin McGahern
  • Colm O’Regan

More to be announced including the Sunday headliner. Lumo Club will play on the Sunday night.

Day tickets from €59 and weekend tickets from €119.

Posted on February 14th, 2017

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Wild Beasts are set to release their new album Boy King on August 5th this year and they just released the album’s first singe; ‘Get My Bang’, a slinky pop cut that sounds like it’s about riding.

The presser says Boy King is the band “back to being pissed off” which probably translates to Wild Beasts with more sonic bite if ‘Get My Bang’ is any indication.

Watch the video for the track shot in Belgrade by Olivier Groulx.

The album was recorded in Dallas with producer John Congleton (St. Vincent, Swans, The War on Drugs).

Wild Beasts play Electric Picnic on Sunday September 4th.

Wild Beasts Boy King – track list

  1. Big Cat
  2. Tough Guy
  3. Alpha Female
  4. Get My Bang
  5. Celestial Creatures
  6. 2BU
  7. He The Colossus
  8. Ponytail
  9. Eat Your Heart Out Adonis
  10. Dreamliner

Posted on May 24th, 2016

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Sounds from a Safe Harbour is a new festival taking place around the city of Cork from September 17th to 20th. put together by Cork Opera House with a lineup curated by Bryce Dessner of The National.

Already set to feature the likes of The Gloaming, Julianna Barwick, My Brightest Diamond, Sam Amidon, a collaboration between Lisa Hannigan and Aaron Dessner, Valgeir Sigurðsson, Amiina and lots more as previously announced, today the festival have added Wild Beasts to their lineup. The band will headline Cork Opera House on Sunday, September 20th.

Sounds from a Safe Harbour music trail

On a personal note, I’m pleased to share the news that Nialler9 is curating a music trail around the city that weekend which will take place in various venues and pubs owned by Benny McCabe including the Rising Sons brewery, Bodega and more.

The confirmed lineup for the free music trail which will take place in the afternoons, evenings and late-night during the festival includes Slow Skies, I Am The Cosmos, Rusangano Family, Somerville, Bantum, Talos, Shookrah, Conor Walsh and Vinyl Love with more to be confirmed. Artists from the existing lineup will also be playing these music trail shows.

Other confirmations

Soundings from a Safe Harbour – Lisa Hannigan and Dylan Haskins’ podcast turned live show will welcome Bryce, Aaron and Jessica Dessner in the unique setting of a Bonded Warehouse down on the Port of Cork. The show happens in three sections – the first is stories to inspire, then stories to alarm, and finally stories to humour. Each section is bridged by a song on those themes.

Cork salad king Rocketman will host a food area at the Bonded Warehouse which will include Cork food, food trails and special dining experiences.

The Glucksman will present a week long exhibition of the mesmerising seascapes of renowned Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto. The exhibition will take place in one of the interior chambers of the historic observatory on the UCC Campus, evoking the connection between tide and moon, sea and stars.

A screening of Matthew Ritchie’s ‘Monstrance’, which is scored by Bryce Dessner and features Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond).

‘Sail to Sirius’ – Saturday 19 September. A vessel will leave Port of Cork with 40 souls, bound for Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh. On board, the seafarers will be treated to a live performance by Landless before alighting at Sirius for lunch on the venue’s veranda, overlooking Cork Harbour. This will be followed with a double billed performance by Rainwear and Sirius Arts Centre’s artist in residence Nad Spiro.

Cork’s own Alex Petcu-Colan will present a percussion programme in CIT School of Music’s Curtis Auditorium with a programme entitled WoodMetalWater with the Bangers and Crash Percussion group.

Craig Carry of Fractured Air is teaming up with Filter Cafe for an exhibition of work created in response to the festival programme.

Cork Concert Orchestra and the Lords of Strut will also play over the weekend.

Some shows are free, some are ticketed and you can buy a ticket for all shows all at the Ticket section.

Check out the Fractured Air mix to coincide with the news:

A Safe Harbour Vol. 2 [A Fractured Air Mix] by Fractured_Air on Mixcloud

Posted on July 20th, 2015

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Day One | Day Two | Day Three


Saturday in Dingle during Other Voices is hard to resist. The town is taken by a sky that alternates between spurting out rain and dry spells, an uneven clime that makes the many idiosyncratic establishments of Dingle a likely draw from the flannel-shirt-selling Curran’s Pub to An Cúl Ghairdín where a crepe is easily devoured to Foxy John’s where, this weekend, not only can you buy a kettle, rent a bike and have a great pint of Guinness but you could also find Jim Carroll grilling some guests under the Banter banner in the back room like RTE2 boss Bill Malone, mural artist Joe Caslin and Kerry All-Ireland winner and fashionable man Paul Galvin.

On the Music Trail

Pop in at the right time and you might have caught a rare set from special guest SOAK too. The appeal of music elsewhere brings us from the pub to a brewery, specifically, the home of local beer Crean’s where the offering is simple. One pilsner and two bands. HAWK, a band lead by Julie Hawk’s squeaky voice put in a fine display of guitar indie in the brewing room, followed by a one-man show from Jape, who plays upbeat electronic-leaning songs from his forthcoming album This Chemical Sea on his todd with bass slung around his neck and a sampler and laptop by his side.

The wanderer returns

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Watching Damien Rice appear before your very eyes to play his songs has a sense of the unreal about it. But it was definitely him up there on the stage in St. James Church for the TV broadcast. That sense of disbelief comes from the eight year wait for a new album with only a handful of TV appearances and a couple of gigs. But that’s the Celbridge man up there. He played the first Other Voices back in 2003 and the same battered and scratched acoustic guitar accompanies him once again singing his old favourite ‘The Professor’ and stretching out a high note to an impressive length of diva standard.

Rice’s new album My Favourite Faded Fantasy might feature production from Rick Rubin, string sections and orchestral passages but there’s no notions of that here. Just Rice, now an evolved singer-songwriter and his old guitar playing ‘The Greatest Bastard’, ‘It Takes A Lot To Make A Man’ from his new album and extended introductory rambles between the songs.

It’s still good to hear ‘Delicate’ sung by Rice especially when it hits that “why d’you sing hallelujah?” crescendo but the big highlight was the set closer ‘Trusty & True’ described by Rice as “a bonfire for throwing things into.” He’s joined by the local Dingle community choir (we spot local record shop owner and legend Mazz O’Flaherty among them) for a rousing eight minutes that casts off the shackles of weariness.

Edinburgh sonic rap theatrics

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The Scottish rappers Young Fathers provide the big intensity in the church on Saturday; a huge drum, surrounded by beaten cymbals and pounded with brute force signal a change of mood. When Alloysious Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and ‘G’ Hastings step up, they don’t let up for set of sonic theatrics with a punk ethos.

The trio take turns in the focus; slipping in and out of mic focus, bending their bodies around each other, wrapping their voices in harmony around a bare synth line and a drum beat. The songs from Dead, their recent Mercury Prize winning album grow anthemic the more you hear them, from the lo-fi kick of ‘Get Up’ to the alt-rap of ‘Low’ to the scream in the dark of ‘War’.

“Whooooosh,” they sing throughout as if they understand what they’re doing is evolved past what most people are used to experiencing in a live gig. The cathartic set is drawn to a bass-rumbling close with ‘I Heard’ and its refrain of “inside I’m feeling dirty” ringing in our ears as the band exit the church straight through the main door.

Considerable and considerate music

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It’s left to Wild Beasts to pick up the pieces. The English band visited Other Voices in 2011 and since, their latest album Present Tense has evolved their songwriting into a new plane. When you watch a band like Wild Beasts play live, they show up the lack of musicianship and skill in many other bands in their intricate level of detail and consideration.

It’s alchemic. They have the frontman Hayden Thorpe, dressed out of every possible modern fashion with a delicate falsetto who leans into his keyboard and waltzes with his bass guitar and an invisible ghost. They have the gravelled lower tone of Tom Fleming anchoring Thorpe’s flightiest octaves. And in drummer, Chris Talbot, they have a drummer who creates unique patterns all his own and is worth watching for the entire set, which is drawn entirely from fourth album Present Tense.

Later on, the unreal continues in Benner’s Hotel across the road as Damien Rice re-appears to corral a post-gig crowd singing ‘The Auld Triangle’ to join him to raise their voices alongside him, well into the early morning.

Day One

Photos: Rich Gilligan.

Posted on December 14th, 2014

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Taking place in Dingle, Co. Kerry from 12th – 14th December, Other Voices just added more names to make the probably long trip from Dublin (4 hours) even more tempting.

After Damien Rice, Young Fathers, All We Are and Delorentos, the have added today:

Wild Beasts, King Creosote, Melanie De Biasio and Ibeyi.

Music Trail

Some of the names for the Other Voices Music Trail which happens in pubs and venues throughout the day before the limited capacity church gig and is free in include A Lazarus Soul, Daithi, Floor Staff, Marc O’ Reilly and Ye Vagabonds.

Banter

Jim Carroll’s series of talks, Banter is back in Foxy John’s bar too including guests Paul Galvin (the Kerryman in his own words), Paddy Cosgrave (Web Summit), Annie Atkins(graphic designer, Grand Budapest Hotel) and (Gavin Sheridan – the journalist and blogger behind TheStory.ie)

IMRO Other Room Open Call

Band applications for the IMRO Other Room remains open until 8pm tonight.

Tickets

Tickets, are free but can only be won through various online and media competitions so keep an eye on Facebook.com/othervoices and Twitter @othervoiceslive.

Posted on November 20th, 2014

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A more indie-heavy selection of tunes than usual this time around. Special thanks to anyone who tuned in live and tweeted and texted in!

The Nialler9 TXFM show airs every Thursday night at 10pm for two hours. You can listen live on 105.2FM, online, the TXFM app or if you missed it, on the listen back function on the site, as per below. The show starts six minutes in, right after the news in each hour.

Enjoy, and let me know what tunes you like in the comments.

Listen: Hour One

Listen: Hour Two

Playlist

  1. Bear In Heaven  – ‘Autumn’
  2. The Casanova Wave  – ‘New Sensation (Hopes & Aspirations)’ feat. Biggles Flys Again
  3. We Are Shining –  ‘Hot Love’ (feat. Eska)
  4. Kate Boy – ‘Self Control’
  5. Future Islands  – ‘Doves’ (Vince Clarke Remix)
  6. Wild Beasts – ‘A Simple Beautiful Truth’
  7. Sharon Van Etten  – ‘Our Love’
  8. Karen O –  ‘Rapt’
  9. Lil Silva  – ‘Don’t You Love’ (feat. Banks)
  10. FKA twigs  – ‘Video Girl’
  11. Cloud Castle Lake  – ‘Sync’
  12. Glass Animals – ‘Hazey’
  13. Adebisi Shank – ‘Big Unit ‘
  14. Stevie G  – ‘Deep Down South’
  15. Aoife Underwater – ‘Cherry Bomb’
  16. CHRYSTYNE – ‘Illusion’
  17. Dashka –  ‘Stand Tall’ Feat. Stellar C
  18. Sleep Thieves – ‘Sparks’
  19. Mr Twin Sister  – ‘Blush’
  20. Jai Paul –  ‘Jasmine (Demo)’
  21. Shlohmo & Jeremih –  ‘The End’ (Feat. Chance The Rapper)
  22. SOPHIE  – ‘Lemonade’
  23. Jim-E Stack  – ‘Reassuring’
  24. Alexis Taylor – ‘Elvis Has Left The Building’
  25. New Build  – ‘The Sunlight’

Posted on August 8th, 2014

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Saturday picks | Sunday picks | Stage Times | Spotify playlist


Forbidden Fruit is upon us. As requested by some, here are my 10 tips for bands to see to get the most out of your weekend in Kilmainham. Plus, stage times and a Spotify playlist. Enjoy your weekend and check the gig guide for the weekend’s FF afterparty details.


Saturday

1. Flying Lotus 3D Show / Thundercat & Captain Murphy

The Undergrowth Stage: 9:15pm – 10:45pm / 7:45pm – 8:45pm
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Stephen Ellison’s music has always had a visual imaginistic quality to it. His jazz-inflected electronic beats conjure up shapes and forms on its own so for him to push it forward into an actual A/V show makes sense. Forbidden Fruit will be the Irish debut of the 3D Show, which is pretty well explained in the video below.

As for Captain Murphy, Flying Lotus’ alter-ego showed he can rap too, as heard on 2012 mixtape Duality, a cult-leader pitched-down collection of Quasimoto-style hip-hop. He’ll be joined on stage by his good friend Thundercat, presumably in his role as a bassist first and foremost rather than a singer or solo performer.


2. Lisa O’Neill

Original Stage, 4:30pm – 5:30pm
Lisa O Neill acoustic

One of the most original, idiosyncratic and Irish voices we have in music at the moment, it’s good to see O’Neill get such a prominent slot at an Irish festival. Her second album Same Cloth Or Not, was filled with the Cavan lady’s personality and her colloquial mannerisms. Her folk voice is scrappy yet lilting, tinny yet commanding; that’s to say it’s not for everyone. As a performer though, O’Neill is also commanding, and very funny; she knows how to spin a story or two.


3. Fuck Buttons

The Undergrowth Stage, 6:15pm – 7:15pm
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Brutal in its mechanism and industrial in its rhythms, Slow Focus, the third album from Bristol duo Andrew Hung and Benjamin Power was as uncompromising as the pair have got. Previous albums relied on an ambient strain of repetitive euphoria that saw that track ‘Olympians’, wisely enough, used in the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in 2012. In a live context, they combine all of that in a barrage of low and high frequencies that leaves you elated and bruised.


4. And So I Watch You From Afar

Original Stage, 6pm – 7pm
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Surely you’ve seen ASIWYFA live by now? They’ve been on constant tour since they began that it had to happen. So you’ll know you’ll be at this to witness a set from one of the best live bands in any country – the Belfast lads rip through the instrumental rock rulebook with a fervour that is only matched by their latest album’s sunny uplift – perfect for a festival so.


5. Girls Names

The Undergrowth Stage, 9.45pm – 10.45pm
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Also from Belfast, Girls Names’ took a step towards a bolder, more gratifying sound on their album The New Life last year eschewing the jangly surf-rock of previous releases for a more distinctive and thematically unified sonic palette of post-punk, kraut and new wave. It means the band’s live set is a head-nodding mood-piece of some of the most evocative guitar sounds drawn from the late ’70s/early ’80s period of rock music.


Saturday picks | Sunday picks | Stage Times | Spotify playlist


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Posted on May 28th, 2014

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Forbidden Fruit announced six additions today to the festival taking place on June Bank Holiday weekend.
acts added today:

Wild Beasts, Captain Murphy (Fly Lo’s rap alterego), Thundercat, Kid Karate, The Range and To Kill A King.

Saturday:

The Flaming Lips, Bell X1, Flying Lotus 3D show, F*** Buttons, Nils Frahm, Thundercat, Captain Murphy, The Young Knives, Kid Karate, To Kill A King, Vann Music plus more to be announced

Sunday:

2 Many DJs, Wild Beasts, Warpaint, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, Public Enemy, Little Dragon, Gold Panda, Klangkarussell (live), The Range, Brian Deady plus more to be announced.

Posted on April 23rd, 2014

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If you’re looking for tickets to sold out Dublin gigs try #ticketfairy on Twitter.


Skip to day: Tues | Wed | Thurs | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon

Ticket freebies this week:

How to enter – Email [email protected] with the gig above in the Subject line you’re entering for along with your full name and phone number in the body of the message. Full info on each show below. Draw closes at 6pm the day before the gig.


Tuesday March 25th

  • Memphis @ IFI (6:30pm, €10)
    [Film screening] Willis Earl Beal’s cinematic debut.
  • Darkside @ Button Factory (SOLD OUT)
    [Alternative] Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington playing tracks from  their superb Psychic album.

Wednesday March 26th


Thursday March 27th

Friday March 28th

Saturday March 29th

Sunday March 30th – Mother’s Day


Monday March 31st

  • Foreigner @ The O2 (€39-€50)
    [Rock] Go for the anthems, stay for the atmosphere.

 

Posted on March 25th, 2014

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Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival takes place across Belfast from May 1st to 11th and some of the names lined up include:

De La Soul, Fuck Buttons, Wild Beasts, Shonen Knife, Rubberbandits, The Selecter, Tinariwen, Marc Mulcahy, Jimi Goodwin (Doves), The Third Policeman and the True Detective-theme song artists The Handsome Family.

Those are the early bird shows and there’s more to be announced so keep an eye out.

Posted on March 6th, 2014

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Wild Beasts return next month on February 21st with their fourth album Present Tense, and they’ve this week released a video for album track ‘Wanderlust’ today as well as a slew of European tour dates including Dublin, Paris, Berlin, Brussels and more.

The Dublin date happens on Saturday March 29th in the Olympia Theatre and tickets are €23.40 plus fees on sale on Friday at 9am from Ticketmaster. Full tour dates listed here.

Present Tense is said to be a departure for the band “taking cues from the most intense and effervescent of 1980s and 1990s electronic sound but rethinking and retooling these elements with exquisite detail for the 21st century.” 
 


Posted on January 8th, 2014

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The latest round of additions for Electric Picnic were released earlier today to add to the two previous announcements.:

Wild Beasts
Grimes (announced a few weeks back on her site)
Villagers
Explosions In The Sky
The Antlers 
Dexys
Ben Howard
The Staves
 Bombay Bicycle Club
Andy Irvine
Donal Lunny
Liam O’ Flynn
Paddy Glackin
Wallis Bird
Nell Bryden
Bellowhead
The Vaccines 

 

Electric Picnic takes place on Friday 31st August to Sunday 2nd September in Stradbally Hall, Co. Laois.

Tickets

Weekend Ticket €230 / Family Camping Ticket €230 per adult (2 kids under 12 permitted per adult)
Sunday Day Tickets: EU99.50 (No camping permitted)
Campervan Tickets for access to Regular & Family Campervan Parks are €60.
Over 18’s but Kids U12 welcome

Posted on June 27th, 2012

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The final night of the St. James’ Church recordings and it’s possibly the best of the lot. We begin with an unknown which we quickly want to find out more about. Ben Howard is an English singer songwriter recently signed to Communion Records (and now Island Records). Home to a slew of interesting folk artists like Michael Kiwanuka, Daughter and Matthew & The Atlas, Communion has become a mark of quality of late. Howard is no different. The surfer acoustic singer songwriter carries with it negative connotations these days but Howard is a way more interesting proposition than many of that ilk. His woolen voice is set against a folk sound that has a dark edge to it as heard on set standout ‘Black Flies’.
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Posted on December 6th, 2011

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The best of the last week’s album streams in A-Z. Plenty more in the Album Streams category.

Posted on May 3rd, 2011

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