Highlights: ASIWYFA, Mac DeMarco, Heathers, Young Wonder & Ham Sandwich in Christchurch, David Kitt & friends, Suuns, Space Dimension Controller, Krystal Klear…
Halves will return with a new album Boa Howl on July 5th the followup to their excellent 2010 album It Goes, It Goes (Forever & Ever). Recorded in Gothenberg by the core trio (Brian Cash, Elis Czerniak & Tim Czerniak.) onto 2″ reel-to-reel tape and mixed on a Neve mixing console (you may have seen it recently in Dave Grohl’s Sound City film). The record will feature Gemma Hayes as a guest as well as contributions from harpist Elaine Kelly-Canning and local Swedish string players.
The title Boa Howl refers to a summit on a mountain in China dubbed ‘White Boa Howl’, which the band felt captured the surreal nature of the songs. Musically, the album was inspired by a wide range of influences – from The Flamingos and Joe Meek, to Clouddead, to traditional Malian music and the 1950s orchestral arrangements of Gordon Jenkins.
‘Drumhunter’ sounds like it takes its cue from The King Of Limbs era Radiohead with its skittering rhythm, unfolding/folding arrangement and experimental jazz-leaning sound.
Castlepalooza is back in Charleville Castle in Tullamore, Offaly for the eight year and they’ve left it til last to announce their lineup for the festival on August 2nd-4th. From A-Z:
Al Patron; And So I Watch You From Afar; Arman Giorgio; Bolts; Carried by Waves; Ceephax Acid Crew; Clodagh Murphy; CLU; CYMBALS; Daithí; DOGS; DoubleAgent7 DJs; Dunc4n; Ed Zealous; Elaine Mai; Enemies; Fight Like Apes; Frank B; Ghostpoet; Ghosts; Girls Names; Grouse; Halves; High Hat; JB the Deejay; Johnny Dread & Timothy Starr; JonK; Kid Karate; KUTMAH; Lasertom; Le Galaxie; Lil Dave; Little Bear; Liza Flume; Lowlek; Luke Vibert; Miracle Bell; Monto; Myles Manley; Nialler9; Princess; Redwoods; R.S.A.G; Seamus Fogarty; SertOne; Ships; Sisters; SOAK; Sorcha Richardson; Squarehead; The Chapters; The Niall McCabe Band; The Notas; The River Cry; Torann; Tu-Ki; Two Charming Men; VANN MUSIC; Walking on Cars; Well Known; Young Wonder.
The festival happens the same weekend as Oxegen and Indiependence in the relatively intimate surrounds of Charleville Castle and looks like the best lineup of the three for me. Tickets are €79 plus fee for a 3-day camping pass. And yes, I’ll be doing a DJ set on the Saturday night – should be fun.
The Cast Cheers’ lead singer Conor Adams has a new project with Dave Green called ‘Charmers’ which will get its live debut next week at And So I Watch You From Afar’s Dublin gig in Whelan’s on Wednesday May 15th alongside Forrests.
Listen to ‘All The World’, a not too dissimilar to The Cast Of Cheers track from the duo which has touches of QOTSA.
Hailing from the same city as Kanye, the music this Chicago rapper is releasing also echoes some of West’s early material. His new mixtape Acid Rap is showcases a sound cut from soul, funk and jazz, particularly the “acid jazz” variety.
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Those familiar with Obaro Ejimiwe’s debut Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam will find much similar comforts on his followup Ghostpoet album; this is still music that draws on abstract sounds, electronics and poetic sentiment.
Some Say I So I Say Light conjures up an atmosphere of late-night desolated urban streets. The music seems to exist in the parts of city landscapes where people seldom tread: crumbling industrial rooms, cracked spaces, landfills of decaying unwanted rubble. In other words, Some Say I So I Say Light is evocative in its unsettled and distressed atmosphere.
Chromatics are the makers of my album of 2012 and they have finally been announced to play a Dublin headline show after their brilliant set at Forbidden Fruit last year. Johnny Jewel will also be bringing his Glass Candy project along for a double header. Exciting.
The gig takes place in The Village (it’s been a while) on June 13th. Tickets on sale tomorrow. Tickets are €20 plus fees.
Former Alphastates singer returns with an excellent debut solo album.
As former lead singer of Dublin band Alphastates, Cat Dowling has been doing this music thing for a while. On her debut album The Believer she sounds revitalised and focused. Alphastates music was a pleasing blend of electronic-infused pop but it was always a bit easier to admire than to love. Unbound by commitment to other musicians, Dowling’s lone creative vision works much better on The Believer.
Dowling attributes her new creativity to becoming a mother for the first time. “Motherhood is incredibly primal, raw, empowering and beautiful, but it’s also very grounding,” she says. “You no longer mess around with time.”
Dowling’s authorative and expressive voice leads proceedings which generally favour a live band feel employing guitar, piano and violin rather than Alphastates’ style electronica. The band includes producers Karl Odlum and Gerry Horan (formerly of Alphastates).
The Believer has a zip and pep to it. There’s no room for meandering when six tracks on the album are under three minutes. The result is a pleasing collection of songs, that sound like the convicted work of a singer and musician making the kind of music she wants to make.