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Other Voices will return to TV screens for its thirteenth season on RTÉ2 from Sunday April 12th.

Before that, there will be a Hozier special on Sunday March 15th with an interview and live footage, followed by a Best Of on March 22nd featuring James Vincent McMorrow, Lisa Hannigan & John Smith, The Frames, Little Green Cars, The Coronas, Mick Flannery, Kodaline, Villagers, The Strypes and more.

The thirteenth series as ever was filmed in Dingle and this year was co-presented by Aidan Gillen and Huw Stephens. You can read all about the filming and the performances from December in my dispatches.

Look out for favourites Young Fathers, All We Are, Jessie Ware, Rusangano Family and Ibeyi in there.

Schedule

Programme 1 – , March 15th
Hozier

Programme 2 – Best of OV – An Irish Affair – March 22
The Best Of, an Irish affair, will feature James Vincent McMorrow, Lisa Hannigan & John Smith, The Frames, Little Green Cars, The Coronas, Mick Flannery, Kodaline,
Villagers, The Strypes and more.

Episode 1 – April 12th
Damien Rice
All We Are
Eaves
Cloud Castle Lake
From the archives Anna Calvi

Episode 2 – April 19th
Jessie Ware
Delorentos
Jape
Rusangano Family
From the archives John Grant & Conor O’ Brien

Episode 3 – April 26th
Ibeyi
Walking On Cars
Join Me in the Pines
Booka Brass Band
From the archives James Vincent McMorrow

Episode 4 – May 3rd
The Lost Brothers
King Creosote
Kormac’s Big Band
Somerville
From the archives The National

Episode 5 – May 10th
Wild Beasts
Melanie De Biasio
Wyvern Lingo
Staring at Lakes
From the archives East India Youth

Episode 6 – May 17th
Young Fathers
Buke & Gase
August Wells
Ye Vagabonds
From the archive: The XX

Posted on March 5th, 2015

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Artwork by Stephen Maurice Graham.


 

Best of 2014 : Albums | Songs | Readers Irish albums | Readers Irish songs | Remixes | Videos 


 

The pairing of music and visuals is something I’ve always enjoyed but the concept of a music video has obviously changed in the last ten years. There are of course, still concepts, themes, ideas, techniques and executions that lift a song into another realm but there’s also so much video content out there now, that there are plenty of live video and TV performances, vignettes, parodies, and short documentaries around music that did the same thing a music video is supposed to do: to put the artist in front of more people. Here are 20 of my favourite “music videos” of this year.

Hit page 3 for a Youtube playlist.


20. DJ Rashad – ‘She A Go’

Video by: Peter Greenless

The world sadly lost the Chicago footwork DJ Rashad this year to drugs. His music existed in a discombobulating place alongside his partner Spinn. This fan-video for ‘She A Go’ used stock video footage of office life to do the same thing constructing a hyper-real experience in the process.


19. Angel Olsen – ‘Hi-Five’

Video by: Zia Anger

The singer Angel Olsen returned with Burn Your Fire For No Witness, her second album, which had a throwback rock feel. Suitably, the video feels like its beamed from another time via its filmic cinematography and Olsen’s movements specifically are inspired by choreographed studio performances from female pop stars of old, of which the director said “were always so wild and psychedelic and humorous from afar. The more you watch them, the more wooden and awkward the performances become. There is a certain loneliness captured. The song ‘Hi-Five’ seems to contain the same sort of duality.”


18. Ibeyi – ‘River’

Video by: Ed Morris

The recent introduction of the Chromecast to the home entertainment system has meant more space and time for music videos on a larger screen. After seeing these girls perform at Other Voices last week, I watched this video again, noticing how the French-Cuban twins are held down by male hands under water, how they hold their breath for long periods of time, the dead-eyed stare and the on-time lip syncing at the centre of all of this deceptively simple concept.


17. Compassion Crew – ‘Masters Of The Gentlemanly Art’

Video by: Simon Landrein

Dance music can be a perfect vehicle for a wide-open music video narrative and Simon Landrein lets his animation and imagination run wild on a stylistic train journey full of suggestion to match the chugging rough house track from the Irish producer.


16. Clu – ‘Mirrors’

Video by: Kevin Freeney

The Dublin duo of Sean Cooley and Kevin A. Freeney, Clu, have always put their electronic music and visual work on a par and on ‘Mirrors’, they’ve nailed both. It’s a complementary collaboration that transcends a typical visual tacked on to music setup. The video directed by Freeney serves as a chassis for a potent mix of music (an amalgamation of bass / garage / post-dubstep) , visual (cinematic sumptuous imagery), interpretive dancing and colour that makes for an impressive display of art in total.


15. Katharine Phillippa – Live at TedX

Video by: TedXStormont

The Belfast-based musician performs two songs with the help of a loop station, a bow, a drum, a keyboard, a laptop and an author’s intensity that leaps through the screen.


14. John Grant – ‘Glacier’

Video by: Jubilee Starter

With the upcoming Marriage Referendum in May next year, single-sex marriage will go to a public vote. It’s an incremental attempt at recognising the rights of the people in this country and should pass because who are you or are I to say to someone – “no, you’re love is not the same as mine” or “no, your love is not valid” or “no, your love isn’t something to be celebrated or recognised.”

In that context, ‘Glacier’, a song from the gentle giant John Grant who has battled with his identity and control and who has been made to feel bad for who he is, eloquently addresses those struggling with their sexual identity – “This pain, it is a glacier moving through you, carving out deep valleys and creating spectacular landscapes,” goes the chorus.

The video serves as a brief history lesson of the journey for that recognition of gay rights over the years juxtaposing chronological footage of the American gay rights movement, newspaper headlines, and pop culture to leave you with a stirring narrative of the journey so far. Here you can donate to the Marriage Equality campaign for 2015.


13. Vic Mensa – ‘Down On My Luck’

Video by: Ben Dickinson at Ghost Robot.

There’s a wrong decision at every turn. This video shows the possibilities.


12. Ratking – ‘Canal’

Video by: Eric K

A video that simultaneously captures the grimey decay of New York City while making the trio look cool as fuck.


11. We Are Shining feat. Eliza Doolittle – ‘Killing’

Video by: unknown. Knife thrower: John Taylor. Dancer: Shannelle ‘Tali’ Fergus,

Can you watch this without losing your shit?


Posted on December 17th, 2014

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Day One | Day Two | Day Three


On Sunday at Other Voices, music is our church. But before we get to the actual church St. James, there’s plenty of music to be had on the music trail.

Family entertainment

The Clare/Limerick via Zimbabwe rap group God Knows and Mynameisjohn shake open our muscles and our minds in the afternoon before the chats at Jim Carroll’s Banter series in the back room of Foxy John’s. They forgo the use if mics and utilise high stools instead for a high energy performance that finds a more natural home later that evening in the marquee of An Chonair, as young children and their family dance around to the high kineticism of the Rusangano Family, as their album is titled.

A video posted by Niall Byrne (@nialler9) on

Somerville’s soothing sounds

Things are much more soothing down in John Benny’s by the bay in the afternoon where Somerville delivered an ethereal set of minimal music with electric guitar, laptop, keyboard and her quiet unassuming Galway voice. She offers solace through an acknowledgment of trying times and combined with hot ports and oysters, it reinvigorated the weary partygoers, Dingle style.

There’s more still over in Dingle district court, where Wyvern Lingo are delivering their own type of pleasing justice: big-voiced folk band pop. On the road to the stunning vistas of the Conor pass, In the Dingle brewing company building, Booka Brass Band offer a complementary prelude to Kormac’s big band later on with a Destiny’s Child ‘Survivor’ cover to a backdrop of giant beer vats. Afterwards, Cloud Castle Lake bring their high falsetto atmospherics to the same brewery floor.

A slinky sexy indie-pop triumph

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In the church, the Cork/Brazil/Norwegian trio All We Are create a fine impression for themselves. Their music is slinky and funky: indie music that sounds like the xx with real grooves. We board their fan train immediately. So much so, that they might be our new favourite band.

There certainly feels like there’s some of that chemistry at play. The standing Cork drummer at the back runs the rhythm section, the singer Guro with her oversized bass sways with her instrument. The songs are sexy and breezy: tracks like I Wear You and Feel Safe occupy a delicate bright rhythm.

In thanking them, series producer Philip King says that Guro, upon watching the Other Voices Amy Winehouse film told her mother that she wanted to play that church and there’s a real sense of triumph after their performance.

Romance delivered with a cackle

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While her soulful R&B songs are graceful and romantic, the real Jessie Ware is a warm-hearted cackler, a down-to-earth charming lover of Dingle whiskey and a genuine talent. She tells a story of the intimacy of OV producing a comical moment when walking through Benner’s Hotel, where her gig is about to be live streamed, only to hear a girl asking her friend “is she any good?” to whom Ware addresses on stage back through the live stream in the hotel.

But when she opens her mouth to sing, magic comes out, even just in this acoustic format with one guitar and a keyboard. She admits to having a penchant for the unrequited love song and many of hers have drama to them.

The set is chock with Sade-esque soulful ballads. There’s recent album title highlight ‘Tough Love'; ‘You And I Forever’ a song about her fellah “finally putting a ring on it”; her attempt at confident flirtatiousness ‘Kind Of, Sometimes, Maybe’ and her biggest ballad to date ‘Wildest Moments’. Ware is a genuine talent as well as a genuine lady.

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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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Day One | Day Two | Day Three


The team at Other Voices might be 100 people deep who have been working for months on bringing the TV show back to the ring of Kerry every year but there’s one variable they can’t control: the weather. It’s not called the Wild Atlantic Way for nothing.

Inch beach is a pertinent reminder on the trip to Dingle from Kerry airport of this wildness as the dark green majesty of the waves hit the bay and makes nice weather for opportunistic kitesurfers.

WILD DINGLE

Warming up with the cold outside

But if it’s ferocious outside, it’s breezeless inside the doors of John Curran’s pub on the Main Street in Dingle where poetician and Dublin “wurd” artist John Cummins is warming up the creative side of our assembled brains with rhymes and words that twist and turn like rap and sean nós about Phil Lynott, his daughter and the sizzlers and sozzled of the late night chipper.

Best laid plans of Us and Ben

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It is a brief respite as news reaches that the tumultuous sea and roaring weather has taken Other Voices’ best laid plans down with it. Ben Howard, anticipated by many, including a throng of people waiting patiently outside the hearth of the show, St. James Churcis not able to perform. “The weather has been loud,” says series producer Philip King in his introduction as acknowledgement.

Stepping into Howard’s English singer-songwriter shoes, the young Leeds musician with the long black hair, Eaves, offers dark finger-picked guitar folk as an alternative. Eaves has a voice that swirls in the song with an expressive bass-laden tone that is older sounding than his pale skin suggests.

In songs like ‘Alone In My Mind’, he recalls the American alt-indie singer Kurt Vile (the hair also suggests that) except with a greater clarity of speech. When he takes to the piano for ‘Timber’, singing about “boys up the street” he reaches further back to singers who sat behind a grand instrument in the late seventies.

Ben Howard

Other Voices is being filmed this weekend in Dingle and they’ve just announced the day by day breakdown, which is good as I have a pair of tickets to giveaway to one lucky reader and a friend to each of these lineups in the genuinely intimate St. James’ Church.

Friday 12th

Ben Howard / Buke & Gase / Ibeyi / King Creosote / The Lost Brothers

Saturday 13th

Damien Rice / Melanie De Biasio / Wild Beasts / Young Fathers

Sunday 14th

All We Are / Delorentos / Jessie Ware / Walking On Cars

You can enter the comp via the widget below:

Win tickets to Other Voices

If you can’t make it, the music performances are being streamed on RTE.ie and venues and pubs around the town each night.

Other Voices Music Trail will have over 30 playing around the town including Lethal Dialect, Delorentos, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Jape, Wyvern Lingo and more. Check out this interactive map for the Music Trail.

Jim Carroll’s Banter talks is another reason to make the trips down and guests include Paul Galvin, Web Summit’s Paddy Cosgrave and Lonely Planet’s Noirin Hegarty.

I’ll be blogging from OV all weekend too.

Posted on December 8th, 2014

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Taking place in Dingle, Co. Kerry from 12th – 14th December, Other Voices just added more names to their lineup for the TV show and music trail.

They’ve already announced Damien Rice, Young Fathers, All We Are and Delorentos, Wild Beasts, King Creosote, Melanie De Biasio and Ibeyi.

Today it’s the turn of The Lost Brothers, Jessie Ware. Buke & Gase and hometown heroes Walking On Cars.

 

Music Trail

Some more names for the Other Voices Music Trail have also been added:

We Raise Bears, God Knows +MynameisjOhn, Crook, Somerville, Join Me in the Pines, jape, OtherkinElephant John Cummins Poetician, Seo Linn and The Hedge Schools are new names who will play the free gigs during the daytime over the weekend.

IMRO Other Room Open Call

Votes are now open to choose one of the five bands to play the OV Other Room from:

Come On Live Long
Wyvern Lingo
Little xs for Eyes
ZASKA
Staring at lakes

Voting closes at 8pm on Wednesday 3rd of December. Vote at RTE.

Tickets

Tickets, are free but can only be won through various online and media competitions so keep an eye on Nialler9 tomorrow for one of those.

 

Posted on December 2nd, 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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Dingle in Kerry will once again host Other Voices once again for the year 13 this Friday December 12th to Sunday December 14th and the first four acts that are playing the festival are:

Damien Rice, Young Fathers, Delorentos and All We Are.

The show will be jointly presented by actor Aidan Gillen and BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens. Banter with Jim Carroll returns as does the free music trail and more.

In addition, the IMRO Other Room is taking submissions from bands to play through the open call process on the website.

Speaking of Young Fathers, check this great article written by their manager about the reaction to their post-Mercury win.

Posted on November 7th, 2014

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