I introduced you to the melodic ambient pop folk New York duo Overcoats recently through their excellent track ‘The Fog’. Just this week, Hana Elion & JJ Mitchell moved to Dublin for the summer, where they will be recording their debut album. New song ‘Smaller Than My Mother’ pushes their sound further into looped vocal… Read more »

Posted on July 1st, 2015

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As they did with Leo Drezden, Smalltown America hosted a performance from Sea Legs, Ciaran Lavery and Ryan Vail’s project that produced a short EP which evokes and is inspired by the Donegal coast. As the EP is quite short, the pair performed a cover of SOAK’s ‘Sea Creatures’ as part of the set. Check… Read more »

Posted on June 11th, 2015

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I’ve been supremely calmed by the music of Newcastle singer-songwriter Jake Houlsby, who formerly called himself Suntrapp. His most recent tracks have had a reflective and harmonic effect that eases you. ‘Yaninna’ with its Graceland-style reverbed-harmonies and plaintive guitar is so at ease, it’s been my wake up song this past week. It features on… Read more »

Posted on June 4th, 2015

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Dublin jazz folk foursome Mongoose are one of 14 bands who have recorded a cover for Sound Training College and KnockanStockan’s charity album Growing Home, all proceeds for which will go towards the Peter McVerry Trust. Túcan, Interskalactic, Fox Jaw / The Hot Sprockets, Val Normal, New Secret Weapon, Ajo Arkestra and Mamah Kasbah are… Read more »

Posted on June 2nd, 2015

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Overcoats are a New York-based duo who describe their music as “electro-folk-soul”, an accurate descriptor for their melodic ambient pop folk songs so far (that’s mine). The two 21 year olds, Hana Elion & JJ Mitchell, are moving to Dublin next month to write their full-length album, as they came here last year and enjoyed… Read more »

Posted on May 21st, 2015

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‘Twisted Arrow’, the new song from Belfast singer-songwriter Arborist, only has Kim Deal (formerly of Pixies, The Breeders) on backing vocals. Mark McCambridge just chanced his arm emailing one of his heroes and she was into it. Nice. Her vocal was recorded in Dayton, Ohio and it fits the track’s wistful country folk as does… Read more »

Posted on May 21st, 2015

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Bridie Monds-Watson was asked by Rookie Magazine to cover St. Vincent which she did in her own inimitable way and they interviewed her about it and her music as part of it: So much of that song, and what Annie Clark has said about it, is about her disdain for internet culture and people broadcasting… Read more »

Posted on April 30th, 2015

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Rarely a month goes by in which I don’t receive some Northern Irish music gem from BBC NI Across The Line’s keen team. I contribute to the show once a month and last night, new co-presenter Stuart Bailie really pulled something out of nowhere with this track. ‘Goji Berry Sunset’ is a track from a young Portadown singer-songwriter… Read more »

Posted on April 14th, 2015

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The Armagh band Silences were a recent pick at last year’s Hard Working Class Heroes festival. Their lilting folk song ‘Sister Snow’ was my way in. Conchúr White, Christopher Harbinson, Breándan White, Jonathan Downing and Michael Keyes are back with a new song and they are gearing up for two shows at The Great Escape… Read more »

Posted on April 8th, 2015

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Ciaran Lavery & Ryan Vail’s joint EP as Sea Legs on new NI label Quiet Arch takes field recordings from the Donegal coast and weaves them into a tapestry of meditative folk and electronic tracks. The pair have given us a listen to the lovely ‘The Colour Blue’. Here’s ‘Nick Cave’s Band’ from the short… Read more »

Posted on April 2nd, 2015

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The Sufjan Stevens that affected me the most was the one that revelled in the quiet, who kept things simple. Illinoise and The Age Of Adz are great records, sonically rich and ambitious. His stature grew, literally onstage with wings on a recent tour, where layers of sound were built up in impressive displays of… Read more »

Posted on March 27th, 2015

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Last night, a select Dublin audience got a full headphones listen to Sufjan’s new album Carrie & Lowell (March 27th), an album that addresses his mother’s death and which pats down his sonics to the folk-style of his earlier work. ‘Should Have Known Better’ stays true to that contemplative style as heard on ‘No Shade… Read more »

Posted on March 11th, 2015

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Last year, Villagers released ‘Occupy Your Mind’, a song which addressed the Russian laws against anyone who just happened to be homosexual. ‘Hot Scary Summer’, the second song from Darling Arithmetic, after ‘Courage’, features homophobes but it’s framed in the personal rather than the global. The song detailing a breakup between two people, juxtaposes sweet… Read more »

Posted on March 10th, 2015

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Stefano Schiavocampo and Massimiliano Galli are two Italian lads who are based in Dublin who, like Buffalo Woman, are part of the creative types that work in The Fumbally Café. Their band SignA, decribed as a “minimal-folk” project has previously released an EP, a debut album, toured European cities and played some shows at Electric… Read more »

Posted on March 9th, 2015

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Quet Arch is a new label from the people behind Champion Sound Recordings for non-electronic releases and the first propler release on the label is an intriguing one as it pairs two of Northern Ireland’s brightest talents together for a seven track release under the name Sea Legs. The Derry producer and singer Ryan Vail… Read more »

Posted on March 2nd, 2015

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