Autre Monde are a new band formed from a lot of Dublin-based indie pop bands associated with Popical Island, which is currently in hibernation mode.

Featuring Paddy Hanna on vocals, Mark Chester on guitar (Ginnels), Padraig Cooney on bass (Skelocrats, Tieranniesaur) and Eoghan O’Brien on drums (No Monster Club), their new band is inspired by “an early Brian Eno, John Cale plus post-punk kind of seam,” with references to ESG, Television, Suicide, The Slits and Pere Ubu.

The band’s first song, recorded with Daniel Fox of Girl Band, ‘Customs’ is a delight of loose rock proportions. In other words, it’s a lovely jam.

Posted on April 11th, 2017

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Since releasing his first album under the name Ginnels, Mark Chester, who is also in Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club lest we forget, hasn’t really let up too. Ginnels have become more than a solo endeavour with Paddy Hanna and Bobby Aherne joining permanently and Squarehead’s Roy Duffy and Ruan Van Vliet playing live. Last year was relative quiet but they still managed to release Plumes, a compilation of tracks from the first three albums for Spanish label Tenorio Cotobade.

A Country Life is the fourth album since they kicked off their discography with February 2011’s debut and the first since 2012 highlight Crowns. The M.O is still “like your favourite Byrds and Feelies records being drowned out by your dickhead neighbour’s stoned ‘noise jams’. Except actually good”.

It is also the first album in which Ginnels attempted to use “proper drums” with the express intent of making a short racket of an album that wasn’t lo-fi. However, seeing as the drums were recorded in a cupboard, and everything else in a tiny room, “some things haven’t changed”, notes the press release.

A Country Life is out now Dublin’s Popical Island and Madrid-based imprint Tenorio Cotobade. Listen here. The album launch is on April 12th.

Posted on March 31st, 2014




Popical Island’s The Community Games compilation, which you may have heard a sampler of already and features 4 EPs from 4 bands associated with the label is now streaming in full ahead of Saturday’s gig in Whelan’s. Cave Ghosts, Ginnels, Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club share member, space and gear (of the musical variety) so they bandied together under the Popical cause in indie-pop rock solidarity.

Entry to the gig on Saturday upstairs in Whelan’s, €5 or €10 with the LP. If you can’t make the gig, you can buy the collection on Bandcamp.

Posted on April 9th, 2013


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Apart from being one of the best Irish-centric compilation titles I’ve heard in ages, The Community Games is a compilation of 4 EPs from 4 bands associated with the label, Cave Ghosts, Ginnels, Grand Pocket Orchestra and No Monster Club who share members, a rehearsal room and equipment between them.

Each band gets three songs each on a 12″ release that’s out on April 5th. There’ll be 10 collectible covers to get each with a shot of a different member on the front. There’s a launch gig on Saturday April 13th, upstairs in Whelan’s, €5 or €10 with the LP. Bargain.

Have a listen to a track each from the bands and get to know the 10 people involved in a shitty sitcom-style TV intro:

Watch the weird/good video promo →

Posted on March 25th, 2013


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Ginnels Crowns

Ginnels Crowns
Popical Island may have drawn the compilation series to a close after it helped define their bockety indie-pop collective as a vital part of the Irish music landscape but they are continuing on in the best fashion, by releasing great albums from the bands that helped create the propulsion that drives the Popical name. Ginnels are one such band. Formed from the spare time and creative urges of Mark Chester, guitarist of Grand Pocket Orchestra, it is primarily a solo project.

Recent months have seen the project solidify in a live setting with other GPO members Paddy Hanna, Bobby Aherne (both also of also No Monster Club with Chester), Squarehead’s Roy Duffy and Irish drumming slut stool-sitter Ruan Van Vliet.

Posted on August 7th, 2012


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Mark Chester’s Ginnels project has a DOUBLE album called Crowns lined up for release on Popical Island in August. Get a blast of VHS summer vibes via the video for ‘It’s Not a Summer (Without You)’ by Chester and Bobby Aherne and sample four songs from the record below.

Posted on June 13th, 2012



Here we are. The end of the sixth year of the Nialler9 poll. Thank you all once again for voting. We had about 100 or so votes that made up the results in songs, new artists, EPs and now, the big one – albums. Our ultimate winner has topped the poll before that doesn’t negate the indisputable fact that there’s plenty of superb Irish music contained within this list…

Top 25 Irish albums of 2011 as voted by you…→

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Posted on December 23rd, 2011


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Two years ago, I ran a series of guest posts from people involved in Irish music featuring their top 5 Irish acts at that moment. This time around, I thought I’d shift the focus to international and ask a similar question – “Who are your top 5 new artists of 2011?”. Musicians, bloggers, record shop owners, journalists, bookers and radio presenters will all be answering that question.

Last year Squarehead triumphed in the Nialler9 Irish song of the year reader poll, this year they released their excellent Yeah Nothing debut album. Then, they released two of the best Irish songs of the year in collaboration with Patrick Kelleher. They play Richer Collective’s Xmas bash on December 16th. Here are the Roy, Ruan and Ian’s five essential new artists of 2011:

Read Squarehead’s top 5 new artists of 2011…»

Posted on December 7th, 2011


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