Formerly known as Discopunks, King Bones are a relatively new Dublin band with influences across classic songwriting and hall-of-fame influencers. For their debut single as King Bones, ‘Who’s Got The Drugs’ from their forthcoming debut EP, they’ve concocted a one-take video by Isaac Broe and Daa Munnis which perfectly accompanies the band’s synth punk funk style and features lead singer Keith unravelling as the clip progresses.
This year’s Hard Working Class Heroes lineup of new bands is a tough one. Primarily because there are so many new bands to see for the first time and secondly, because the quality of those unseen is greater than in previous years. This year, the tracks on the Breaking Tunes profiles are well-produced and suggest that there are more bands and artists more clued in to How Music Works than ever.
Here are 20 new bands to see this weekend, I capped it at 6 bands per day. Some of last year’s picks are also playing the festival for further investigation so they weren’t featured here (Rusangano Family / Dear Desert / Buffalo Woman and more).
It was only last year at the festival where Hare Squead really became known at their Meeting House Square gig. Since then, the Dublin trio have been expanding their sound of rap, R&B, soul and pop music with a full live band show that’s really starting to hit home and gel. With a couple of years more experience, these guys could be huge. On a similiar style-tip, Stay Gold in the same venue are a band following a similar path.
A new Kildare duo, David “Monty” Montgomery and Conor Cuffe only formed less than a year ago but with a tropical dance track called Waiting hanging around, they are doing something decidedly more pop than a lot on this list and are worthy of further investigation.
With over 90,000 plays on Spotify for just two songs, the Cork-born, Liverpool-based singer-songwriter has the metrics on his side. It’s the songs that matter though and his most recent single ‘Take It In’ impresses with its production by Scandinavian duo Boxes that takes a singer-songwriter style in a more atmospheric direction.
Celtic-influenced harmony folk world or “atmosfolk” as Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre call it. Their debut EP is released next month and the music so far has had a pleasing ethereality to it with harmonies to the fore alongside harp tones.
The kind of sophisticated pop music that Maud In Cahoots make has a lot in common with Scandinavian pop music, The sisters Maud and Zoe Ní Riordáin and band have also showed some interesting initiative by placing their songs in a theatrical show context. The new single ‘Cure For The Crazy’ is their career best track.
Barn Dance Festival, now BD Festival happens on Good Friday one-day festival in Glendalough House, Co. Wicklow on April 3rd.
Today, they added Jape, The Academic, Hare Squead (who rocked our Paddy’s Day Unlocked event), Discopunks, Brian Deady, Together Disco’s Confession Session, Heroes In Hiding, Mode 1 + Lee Kelly, Dave O’Sullivan, Pusher, Lerosa, Mulljoy, Kaily, Room 19, All City DJs, This Greedy Pig, Southpaw, Shake, The Raid, The Malibu Club and Shane Linehan.
That adds to the existing lineup: Leftfield DJ set, Benoit & Sergio, Ben Sims, Omar S, Mundy , Hot Sprockets, Smash Hits, Eskies, Jay Daniel, Frank B, Interskalactic
There will also be a Whelan’s Main Stage, Together Disco, Abstract Dance Arena, Subject Forest Stage, gastronomic feasts and visual arts. Tickets are €60 + fee from bdfestival.ie, tickets.ie and retail outlets nationwide.
As for getting there: A bus service will run from Custom House Quay from 3pm and every 30 minutes thereafter with tickets priced from €10 on the website, return bus tickets must be purchased in advance or on entry. Limited parking will be available along with a taxi drop off point.
Discopunks are a new Dublin band whose members are currently unknown but who have been clearly strategising their introduction to the world. For nearly the past year, the band have been posting up pictures of iconic musicians, pop culture and design on Instagram and Twitter. It’s a long game they are playing for sure and it has been intriguing to see what was coming. The name Discopunks is suggestive of so many things, but now we have their debut single ‘Tie Me Up’ that gives us more than a clue.
So without any other info available, what does it sound like? LCD Soundsystem meets U2 isn’t a bad start. The six minutes long song has a clear James Murphy element, so much so that at times, the vocals sounds like a curious parody of the kind of yelping that Murphy ably demonstrates on ‘North American Scum’.
With the filter of an Irish accent, the vocals are reminiscent of Bono when he’s let loose to rant, rambling about cheap MDMA and a cunt with a knife.
In fact, the song also has LCD Soundsystem’s post-punk disco live band feel so the name is suitable. There’s on-point backing vocals, guitar funk and a live percussive rhythm that fills the track. I’m guessing there’s seasoned players involved from the Dublin music scene.
Discopunks’ first single might be too close of an appropriation to its influences but it’s an admirable showing at aping that style. Is it too calculated? Too close to a cover band style? It’s fun to speculate, for now. At the very least, it’s an intriguing homage.