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Showing posts from April, 2020

A.N.J.A. - Deadly Fallen For You (And The Devil Knows) Single Review

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A.N.J.A. is a singer songwriter from Belfast. She is influenced by 60's psychedelic rock music and acts such as Wanda Jackson, Iron & Wine and Devendra Banhart. Last year A.N.J.A. released her first ever single " Black River Falls" which was picked up by local radio stations and saw her perform on TV for NVTV. A.N.J.A. has also played several gigs including The Belfast Empire. "Deadly Fallen For You (And The Devil Knows)" is her latest single and is from the upcoming debut EP "Love Spells" set for release this August.

Listen to the single here:


A.N.J.A. · Deadly Fallen For You (And the Devil Knows)

"Deadly Fallen For You (And The Devil Knows" is a psychedelic jazzy track. A.N.J.A.'s vocals are sultry and mesmerising. The rhythm of the song is perfect and wouldn't feel at all out of place on Twin Peaks. The whole song is hypnotic and brilliant.


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Crescent Moon - Tomorrow Single Review

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Crescent Moon is an independent artist/producer from Kildare. Recently he released his debut single "Tomorrow".

"Tomorrow" is a spoken word piece over some impressive beats. The vocals are gentle and relaxing whilst also being very engaging. With such an interesting and impressive debut single, it's exciting to see what Crescent Moon will do next.

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Fiona Harte - Sugar Coating Single Review

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Fiona Harte is an award winning singer songwriter from Tyrone. Fiona began writing her own songs at the very young age of 8 and has gone on to write songs for Duke Special and Rachael Sage. After moving to New York, Fiona released her single "White Picket Fence" and ended up with over 1 million streams. Her influences include legends such as Patti Smith, Carole King and Joni Mitchell and her music has seen her play the incredibly prestigious Bluebird Cafe in Nashville. 
Last Friday Fiona released the first single "Sugar Coating" from her debut "Home Recordings" EP. Fiona had this to say of her new single "Sugar Coating is the first single from my new EP titled 'Home Recordings'. Inspired by these trying times I decided to start a project during the isolation period writing and recording songs from my bedroom, no studio, no band, just me. The arrangement is just guitar and vocals and to me that’s enough for this track. The song is about telli…

Eamonn McCormack - Storyteller Album Review

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Eamonn McCormack is a blues rock musician from Dublin. Eamonn began playing guitar at the age of six after being influenced by Rory Gallagher, Neil Young and Slade. By age twelve, he was singing and playing guitar at church mass. He found the church setting quite restrictive so he got himself an electric guitar and joined a local garage covers band. By the time he was sixteen, he performed live on national radio and won a major school competition for his original music.  Eamonn then headed to USA and joined a band with former members of Canned Heat. After four years he returned to Ireland with a new sound influenced by his time in America and a new stage name, Samuel Eddy. Throughout his career, he has played and toured with legends such as Rory Gallagher, ZZ Top, George Thorogood and Nils Lofgren. He also performed at festivals sharing the billing with Lynyrd Skynyrd and Robert Plant. Eamonn McCormack has recently released his 7th studio album "Storyteller".
The album begi…

Faraway Martin - The Lights Turn On Single Review

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Faraway Martin is an interesting character. The singer songwriter from Mayo has hit the headlines many times and usually not for his music. He went viral after his phone fell out of his pocket while bungee jumping in South Africa, he ran a quarter of a marathon in North Korea, he teaches Music in Doha and gets his students to sing in Irish, he has busked and travelled across 40 countries and once sang alongside Damien Rice after sneaking backstage at a gig. Martin has also supported Boyce Avenue, Aslan, Mundy and Hermitage Green in Ireland and his adopted home of Qatar.
With all that behind him, Martin has released the first single from his debut EP "The Lights Turn On". Of the single, Martin says "I love playing this song live. It's the type of song that really engages the listener. When I look up after singing the last line of the song, there's often a few tears in the room. I love making that connection with the people."
Watch the video for "The Li…

Blushing Boy - Lolita Single Review

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Blushing Boy is the musical alter ego of Ella Naseeb. Ella is an indie singer songwriter from Dublin who released her debut single "Consumer" last August. Now she returns with her brand new single "Lolita". Of the track, Ella says "We often bring our past into new situations and I’ve definitely struggled to know what I want from love and to stop myself from becoming cynical. I think everybody can relate to that feeling at some point in their lives. It's that inner juxtaposition that I’ve turned into a story. It’s who I could be in love, personified by these two characters - Lolita’s charming seduction and the singer’s caring sincerity. It’s the dark and light within myself. It's the choice of which way to go. And although the lyrics paint a warning, the song was written to leave you with a feeling of empowerment”.
"Lolita" is sheer brilliance. From the very beginning you are hooked in by Ella's transcendent vocals. The music is sedate an…

Rofi James - Every Time I Make You Hate Me Single Review

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Rofi James are a pop rock group from Galway. The band consists of Rónán Ó Flaithearta, Jamie Murray, Cathal Leonard and Joseph Flaherty. The band began with Rónán and Jamie busking on the streets of Galway City. In 2013 the duo won the NUIG battle of the bands and went on to support Ham Sandwich, Mundy and Original Rude Boys. They later added Cathal and Joseph to the lineup and have gathered a bigger following. The band have played at Electric Picnic and Riverfest whilst also supporting Hermitage Green, Picture This and Wild Youth. The band have just released their latest single "Every Time I Make You Hate Me".
"Every Time I Make You Hate Me" is an indie pop track about hurting a loved one and trying to make amends. It makes for easy listening and the emotion is obvious in the singers vocals.

Follow Rofi James: Official Website YouTube Spotify Twitter Instagram Facebook SoundCloud

Orwells '84 - On The Road Single Review

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Orwells '84 are one of the most exciting bands coming out of the hotbed that is Dundalk. When I last reviewed the band for their single "Cailín" in 2019 I joked that the ever changing lineup currently stands at 6 but is subject to change. Change it did as the now 7 piece comprises of Sean, Ella, Pauric, Damien, Roisín, Peter and Conor. Since that single release the band have been racking up the attention from the likes of Nialler9, Ed Smith and Gavin Glass. The band recently released their debut EP "Truth Is The First Victim" and "On The Road" which is the second single to be released from that EP.

The accompanying video was directed by previous collaborator Tim Shearwood and can be viewed here:

"On The Road" is a joyous piece of music from a band that ooze confidence. The song is upbeat and invites the listener to toe tap along involuntarily. It's impossible to tell from the music just how many members are in the band. It could be 2 or…

Train Room - Hurricane Of Love Single Review

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Mayo's Joe Monaghan, better known by his musical moniker Train Room brought his creative efforts to the public when he released his debut EP "Delicate Bones". He also played at Hard Working Class Heroes and had his single "Horizon" chosen by the Irish Council of Tourism to be used on a worldwide TV ad campaign. His single "Grace" was also chosen as Song Of The Week by the Irish Times. Following on from "Tracks Of Our Youth" last November, Train Room is now back with a new single "Hurricane Of Love".
Listen to "Hurricane Of Love":


"Hurricane Of Love" is a song that sucks you in immediately. The music is dreamlike while the gentle vocals sooth in a style similar to Elliott Smith. There is a level of funk in there as well which brings a beautiful cohesion to the track.


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Jess Young - I Don't Need You To Love Me Single Review

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Jess Young is an Irish singer songwriter based in London. In 2017, her unique blend of electro pop and rock caught the attention of award winning producer Tom Allom and sound engineer Nigel Heath. Her debut single "Champagne & Caviar" was released to huge acclaim and now Jess follows that up with "I Don't Need You To Love Me". Both singles were written when Jess was living in a women's refuge in London. Of the new single, Jess says "I wrote the song about how you don't need anyone to love you if you can find that respect for yourself. If you have that, you have everything. It was the first song I ever wrote about the abusive relationship I'd been in just a few months previously and it was the first time I'd ever been able to let myself feel angry about how I'd been treated. Cathartic is an understatement!"
Listen to "I Don't Need You To Love Me" here:

Jess Young · I Don't Need You To Love Me (idnytlm)
"I …

Sea High - Lockdown (Featuring Citizen Black & Ømega) Single Review

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Sea High has been keeping himself very busy during these last few weeks. The rapper from Drogheda has been dropping single after single and this week is no different. For his latest release "Lockdown" he has teamed up with fellow Off-Key Collective member Citizen Black from Ballymun and Ømega from Ardee. The single is taken from the impromptu album "The Lockdown Project".
Watch the video for "Lockdown:


"Lockdown" is probably the best thing to come out of this virus. The track finds three rappers at the top of their game discussing the current situation. It's raw and it's honest which goes perfectly with the bleak images used in the video. "The Lockdown Project" has the potential to be something really special.

Follow Sea High: SoundCloud Twitter Spotify YouTube Instagram Bandcamp Off-Key Collective Website Facebook Facebook - Citizen Black Facebook - Ømega

Foreign Mornings - Dreams Single Review

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Foreign Mornings are an indie rock band from Belfast who list their influences as Foo Fighters, Oasis and Snow Patrol. They formed back in 2016 when Michael Wilkinson recruited some friends to busk in Belfast. After a few months, Alex Jackson and Ben Greeves joined him. They spent the next few years jamming in each others living rooms whenever they could and practiced writing and playing songs. In 2018 Ronan O'Doherty was added to the lineup. The band played their first few shows late in 2019 and recently released their debut single.
Watch the video for "Dreams: 

"Dreams" is a very polished and gratifying rock song. The drumming is the star of the show for me and the Foo Fighters influence is quite apparent. It's hard to believe that this is the first single from these guys. The fact that they have been playing together for a few years is evident in the cohesiveness of the track. 

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Columbia Mills - CCTV Album Review

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Columbia Mills are a well established Dublin indie/electronic rock band. They released their debut EP in 2014 followed by an album in 2017. Yesterday they released their second album "CCTV" from which they have already released four singles, the most recent being "You're Not The Answer" last month.
The album opens with the atmospheric "Car Crash TV". It's definitely not car crash listening as the song is genuinely quite brilliant. The song changes and changes making it seem like about four songs rolled into one without feeling disjointed. "Understand" uses drums and synth to great effect. The song bursts into life about a quarter of the way in and is a joyous shoe gaze experience. Recent single "You're Not The Answer" is again hauntingly exquisite. The music is uplifting and glorious which is belied by the bleak vocals. "Isolate" blasts an 80's beat right at you from the beginning demanding that you sit up an…

Citizen Black - Ultra (Featuring Odd Numbers) Single Review

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Citizen Black (Brendan Oladeru) is another member of the very creative Off-Key Collective. This bunch of musicians got together during a course at Dundalk IT and have worked together to release their music and spoken word pieces. Citizen Black is a rapper from Ballymun who has been creating music for almost 20 years. He grew up listening to Fela Kuti and Horslips which gave him his AfroCelt sound. Odd Numbers (Odhran O'Brien) is the in house producer for Off-Key and has produced every track they have released to date. He is from Cavan and focuses on producing hip hop beats including trap and lofi.
"Ultra" is short and to the point. It's a trap song that offers Citizen Black's perspective on his own standing in the hip hop scene. He discusses his complacency and shortcomings. It's part reflective and part spiteful but with that beat and Black's rapping ability it's 100% banging. It will be released on all platforms from April 24th.
You can pre-save &q…

Cen Manu - Dance Single Review

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Cen Manu is an afrobeats/afropop musician originally from Cameroon but now residing in Dublin. He began singing in Sunday School choir at the age of 6 and then going on to rehearse with a band in secondary school. He also had a keen interest in drama and fashion. He started his own record label in 2016 before knocking that on the head and deciding to release his own music. His aim is to make the world dance with love and happiness.

Watch the video for "Dance" here:


Cen Manu's latest single "Dance" is an upbeat afro beats song which would be bound to get people dancing in the clubs if clubs were still open. It's repetitive and catchy and sees Cen singing in multiple different languages, somewhat broken by his own admission. The song goes perfectly with the sunny weather we're having so get out in your garden and DANCE.


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Blue Fish Diamond - Do You Wonder Single Review

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Blue Fish Diamond are an indie folk group from Dublin. The band formed in 2016 after Jim Murphy began a degree course in Commercial Modern Music at BIMM. It was there that he met like minded individuals Shay Sweeney, Ronan Quinn, Laura Ryder, Axel McDonald, Matilda O'Mahoney and Ella Ryan. Since then the band have played venues such as The Workman's Club, The Grand Social, Whelans and also at festivals including Electric Picnic. They released 3 singles and a debut album "From Dark To Light" in 2018 and then a single in both 2019 with "Morning Star" and 2020  with "Do You Wonder". "Do You Wonder" was originally released back in February but today they will showcase the brand new music video for the single. The video was made by Lacuna Creations and captures the story of a mother who gave her son up for adoption when she was very young. The video reflects on what life would have been like had she made different decisions.
Watch the video …

Luke Clerkin - Stones Single Review

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Luke Clerkin is a singer songwriter from Dublin who has been creating music for the last 5 years. In that short space of time he has had international radio play, topped the Irish singer songwriter charts on multiple occasions and has toured across Germany, UK, Ireland and USA. In 2015 he remarkably played over 250 gigs. In 2018 Luke sang to over 10,000 at the National Housing Protest. 
Luke is back with his first single in over a year. Tomorrow he will release "Stones", a song that he originally released in 2016 as part of the Cycle Against Suicide campaign. This single is a new version and is from his upcoming project "What Little Time We Have". Of the single, Luke says "‘Stones’ is the most important song that I have ever written. This is because of the message behind it, the message of how important it is to talk to people when you are in a dark place. This comes from my own struggles with mental health, and how I have dealt with them. With what is happen…

Interview With Dave Fanning

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Just over two weeks ago, I spoke with legendary Irish radio DJ Dave Fanning over the phone just before he went on air to do his show on 2FM. Pretty much everybody will know who Dave Fanning is as he has been broadcasting since the seventies. He began on pirate radio with Radio Dublin and then Big D before moving on to 2FM in 1979. He is known for being one of the first champions of U2 and for his interviews with countless huge names including Radiohead, Ramones, Madonna, Nick Cave and David Bowie to name just a few. He has always been outspoken about the music he likes and the music he doesn't like. I wanted to find out what his views are on the current state of the music industry so here is the interview I conducted. Enjoy.
What are your self isolation top 5 Irish albums? Oh God, if I had a list of 2,000 albums in front of me I would be able to pick no problem. Obviously "Loveless" by My Lovely Valentine would be number 1. "The Positive Touch" by The Undertone…

JJ Bloom - Always You Single Review

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JJ Bloom is the musical alter ego of Conor McQuaid from Dunboyne, Co.Meath. He lists his main influences as Hall & Oates, Tom Misch and The Style Council. Over the last three years, JJ has been busy building his home studio and writing music building up to his debut single "Always You". The 23 year old has already established himself as a serious songwriting talent having written and worked with Jake Carter, John Linhart and Le Trottier d'en Face. He is also a former member of Dúlamán who made it to the final of Germany's Got Talent and ended up being signed by Sony Germany. JJ Bloom says he struggled to find his own sound but describes his new single as 'a little bit of funk, a little bit of soul and a little bit of pop'.
Watch the official video for "Always You":

"Always You" was written, mixed and produced by JJ Bloom himself whilst it was mastered by Fergal Davis who has previously worked with Republic Of Loose, The Divine Comedy …

ForeignWolf - Tempered Hearts EP Review

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ForeignWolf are a 4 piece post grunge band from Belfast who only formed in May 2019. The band is made up of Dave, Gerard, Mick and Justin. Dave and Gerard had already been in a pop punk band together called Car Chase City before adding the two other members going on to form ForeignWolf.  Between May and September the band worked on new music and then recorded their debut EP "Tempered Hearts". The EP was released to some acclaim in November. This year they are hoping to embark on an Ireland and UK tour and perhaps even release another EP.

The first track on the EP is "Hard To Bear", that's just the title but definitely not the sentiment. The song is brilliantly drum heavy and is certainly not hard to bear, it is in fact very damn enjoyable.  "Charity" is another cracking tune with a slight Tool vibe. Again it's heavy and in your face. exactly what rock music should be. The title "These Tempered Hearts" begins with what can only be descri…

Sea High - Isolation (Feat. Dubh Lee) Single Review

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Sea High (Craig Hoey) is a multi instrumentalist rapper, producer and spoken word artist from Drogheda, Co. Louth. He is a member of the musical collective known as Off-Key Collective who self produce all of their own music. Sea High began as an acoustic folk performer before finding his way to hip hop. Sea High has been using this quarantine as a way to focus on his music. Having already released one single this week, he now offers up his second. "Isolation" features Dublin folk singer Dubh Lee and was written about adjusting to life during the lockdown. 

"Isolation" is a reflective piece of music driven by a beautiful piano track. Sea High's blend of rap and spoken word works perfectly with the music to create an image for the listener. His lyrics are very introspective and will resonate with many of us who have felt the same way. The addition of the vocals from Dubh Lee helps to create a whole new layer of evocativeness. With the state of the world right no…

Emmet O'Brien - Dreams Single Review

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Emmet O'Brien is an urban poet from Dublin. He is a member of the self sufficient musicians at Off-Key Collective which started when a group of music production students at Dundalk IT teamed up to create home grown music. Since emerging on the music scene in 2017, Emmet has released 3 poetry books discussing subjects such as the catholic church, substance abuse and all aspects of the session. He is also a rapper, a playwright, an event organiser and a podcaster. He has also performed at many festivals including Knockanstockan, Body & Soul, Electric Picnic and All Together Now. 


Emmet will released his latest piece "Dreams" today, April 11th. He has teamed up with fellow Collective member Odd Numbers who provides the music for Emmet's spoken word. "Dreams" is a hard hitting look at society and what Emmet can only dream of. His past dreams of growing up to be a teacher for the youth to harmless cans in a laneway and also his dreams for the future for bot…