Showing posts from June, 2020

Stephen Rainey - Collaboration Experimentation EP Review

Stephen Rainey is a singer songwriter from Antrim. Having been the frontman for local rock band The Hangfires, Stephen has decided to finally put out his own more mellow tracks. Armed only with a second hand Mac and a cheap mic, Stephen has forgone the usual route of a musician and has recorded all of the songs himself at home with admittedly varied results. He recently released his Collaboration Experimentation EP which is five songs each featuring a different artist or artists. Three of the songs feature vocalist Ellen Louise whilst other songs feature Richard Murray, Daryl Ball and John McCullough. 
The EP begins with These Tears which is the only song on the EP actually recorded in a studio. The track is a solid pop song with a nice melody and flow. The gentle piano adds a nice touch.
These Tears:
Tonight is the first of three duets with Ellen Louise and also features Richard Murray on guitar. The vocal harmonies between Stephen and Ellen are very enjoyable as they clearly have an …

Rowan - Moonlight Single Review

Indie folk band Rowan from Cork are known for their rich compositions and harmonious melodies. This was evident on their recent singles Finish Line and Big Wave. The trio are planning on releasing a brand new EP  No One Is Safe Here in August. The first single from that EP was released on June 26th. The band describe Moonlight as the perfect summer song despite gigs and festivals being cancelled.
Listen here:

Moonlight is a huge indie rock song. The sound the guys have created is immense. The drumming is the backbone of this brilliant single. It's uplifting and most definitely a song for the summer. It would be easy to imagine this being played at festivals around the country. With Moonlight, Rowan have found their anthem. This is the one that will have crowds singing every word right back at them. Rowan have elevated themselves to a new level and it's exciting to hear what's next.

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Odd Numbers & Sea High - Doubt Me Single Review

Off Key Collective unleashed a barrage of new music during the lockdown but have now slowed the pace. Their first single since mid April sees founding members Odd Numbers and Sea High collaborate on Doubt Me. Odd Numbers from Cavan is the group's resident producer while Sea High is a highly respected rapper from Louth. 
Watch the video here:

Doubt Me is a short but brilliant hip hop track. The song features some beautiful old school style beats from Odd Numbers while Sea High brings his introspective rhymes to the table. The two combine perfectly on their first official collaboration. Both know exactly what the other is capable of which leads them to bring out the best in each other. 

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A.N.J.A. - Men Will Die Tonight Single Review

A.N.J.A. is a psychedelic singer songwriter from Belfast but originally from Germany. Having released her debut single Black River Falls in 2019, Anja followed that up with Deadly Fallen For You (And The Devil Knows) which I reviewed back in April. Now the singer releases her latest single Men Will Die Tonight.
Listen here:

A.N.J.A. · Men Will Die Tonight

Men Will Die Tonight is yet another evocatively hypnotic offering from A.N.J.A. The bass guitar is sublime while the vocals are psychedelic and mesmerising. The song is very much rooted in the 60's acid trip era. It's almost as if she casts a spell to suck you in but you go along willingly and with no hesitation. 

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In-Is - Daydream (Feat. Ailbhe Reddy) Single Review

In-Is is the project of BAFTA nominated composer Sheridan Tongue. The Belfast born musician studied clarinet and music in college before going on to work as a keyboard player, programmer, mixer and orchestral arranger. During this time, Sheridan worked with The Verve, Blur, Robert Plant and Beverly Knight amongst others. He then moved on to become a composer for film and TV. Having worked on music for TV and film for several years, Sheridan now releases his first solo music in nearly four years. He enlists the vocal talents of Ailbhe Reddy on the single Daydream.

Watch the video here:

Daydream is simply jaw dropping. The depth of the music is a testament to the brilliant musical ability of Sheridan. At no point during the song can you think about anything else, the whole world just dissipates and you're left alone with the sounds of a world class composer and the hauntingly beautiful vocals of Ailbhe Reddy.

Follow In-Is (Sheridan Tongue):
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Little Butler - Little Butler EP Review

Little Butler (Eoin Ó Cinnseala) is a folk singer songwriter from Meath who lists his influences as Damien Rice, Glen Hansard and Nick Drake. He is no stranger to live shows and has played in Ireland, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and USA. It was in Australia that he met producer Mick Wordley and began recording his debut EP. Last week the self titled EP was released.
Watch the video for Streetlights:

The EP kicks off with Don't Let Them Get Away which is the perfect introduction to this man's music. It's refreshingly pleasing with echoes of Evan Dando and Josh Ritter in the mix. Streetlights is possibly even more beautiful. The music invokes melancholic feelings while Eoin's vocals are deeply charming. Coming Home showcases the storytelling ability of Little Butler. The addition of the female vocals works well to create another dimension to his music. Given Time features some incredibly elegant strings which are the driving force behind this song. You can actually fe…

CeeV - Lonely Night Single Review

CeeV whose real name is Caoimhe McAleavey is a singer songwriter from Newry. The Northern Irish woman studied at BIMM in Manchester. It was here that she began writing her own songs and creating music. However, CeeV wasn't ready to take centre stage so played in several bands before sharing her own music on SoundCloud racking up thousands of streams. It was then that she returned to Newry and began her solo career. Never one to settle for long, Caoimhe then moved to Ottawa, Canada and played as many live gigs as she could in bars, cafes and clubs. Now back in Newry again, CeeV is realising her latest single Lonely Night.
Watch the video here:
Lonely Night is infectious as fuck. The tempo of the tune is brilliant and keeps you on the edge of your seat the whole time. Caoimhe's vocals are strong and thrilling. This is a damn good song and will be listened to again and again. About the song, Caoimhe says "The song's about sleeplessness, overthinking, nights out, basicall…

Darragh O'Dea - Lost Dog Loyal Single Review

Darragh O'Dea is a songwriter from Tuam, Galway. He is gaining a reputation for writing narrative lyrics on life in an ever changing Ireland. He released his debut EP The Mary Robinson EP back in October 2018 and has been receiving praise ever since. He has played alongside John Spillane and The Whileaways and has also graced the stages at Lost Lane, The Harrison and Claremorris Folk Festival. Darragh recently released his single Lost Dog Loyal with all proceeds going to Cope Galway which is a charity for people dealing with homelessness, domestic abuse and the vulnerable elderly. Their website can be found HERE. The song was recorded between Sunstreet Studios and The Stables while the video is made up of footage submitted of people dancing at home during lockdown. 
Watch the video here:

Lost Dog Loyal is uplifting and heartwarming. The folk song is catchy as hell and leaves the listener feeling very good about themselves. It sparks hope and joy through the reassuring lyrics and D…

Jam Hades - Iconoclasm Single Review

Jam Hades, AKA Roland Zorilla, AKA Mark McManus is a multi instrumentalist and visual artist from Dublin. He has been a mainstay on the music scene with previous collaborators Daemien Frost, Zorilla and Merman. During the lockdown, the alt-folk musician has been releasing his SoVivid series. This began with the release of Winsome Stream and So Crazy over the last two months and now the third instalment is Iconoclasm.
Watch the video here:

The weird and wonderful Iconoclasm is a unique and bizarre experience. The song features so many interesting elements that it makes your mind wander from one to the other. The monotone repetition of the word 'iconoclasm' mixed with the brilliant eerie music is like something straight out of the heroin fuelled minds of Nick Cave and Blixa Bargeld. The video adds another dimension of macabre to the track. Very interesting indeed.

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Mute The TV - Only The Good Times Matter Single Review

Mute The TV are a duo of brothers from Greystones, Wicklow. Dylan and Elliott Crampton released their debut single With You back in April. The song was written in one hour at the kitchen table. Neither felt that it fit their solo projects so they decided to form a band together. Dylan has been forging a name for himself with his solo work for years now while Elliott is paving his own way after many years as the frontman for Redwoods. Last week the duo released their second single Only The Good Times Matter.
Listen to the single here:
Mute The TV · Only The Good Times Matter
Only The Good Times Matter is a feel good indie pop song. It's got all of the hallmarks of the perfect summer song. There's nothing but positive vibes throughout the track and the two brothers have created a sound that's instantly enjoyable. 

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Robert Grace - Fake Fine Single Review

Robert Grace is a pop musician from Kilkenny. The songwriter has collaborated on some of the biggest pop songs whilst also working on his own music. He has played at Electric Picnic and Indiependence. He has also amassed over 3 million video on TikTok (I know it's an App but I don't know why). Robert lists his influences as Ed Sheeran, Linkin park, Sum41, Shawn Mendes and Christy Moore. He has recently released his new single Fake Fine.
Listen to the single here:
Robert_Grace · Fake Fine

Fake Fine is definitely a grower. First time I heard it I didn't really like it too much. The Tiger King reference seemed cheap and it just wasn't for me. This isn't a knock on Robert, it just doesn't appeal to my taste. However, further listening has brought an appreciation for the song.  The music is perfect pop music and the chorus is very enjoyable. That being said, it's probably going to be an instant hit as it's definitely one that the masses will love.

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Ivy Bloom - Secrets Single Review

Ivy Bloom are a Dublin band consisting of acclaimed musicians Anna Devine, Sarah Hollingsworth, Kevin Curran, Chris Redmond, Oisín Breathnach and Gill Carr. They fuse together alternative, atmospheric rock with classical and jazz influences. From classically trained guitarists to composers to choir players, it's safe to say that this is a supergroup of sorts. The band take their influences form artists such as Nils Frahm and Sigur Rós while front woman and member of the Dublin Gospel Choir Anna Devine has shared the stage with legends ranging from Ennio Morricone to OutKast. The group recently released their latest single Secrets. About the song, Anna says "Secrets portrays a story of a woman with strong determination even though all is lost. At first,the song might illustrate as if there are two characters in the story but actually there is only one character in search for a part of herself that she lost. The intense vocal melody, bass line and spacing morphs into a tribal …

Rowlette - Coffee Hill Sessions (Feat. Shane Steven) Review

Rowlette is an indie pop musician from Mayo. Her songs have already received thousands of plays on Spotify and last Autumn she played to a sold out crowd at Crowbar. More recently she supported Jack L on several of his nationwide tour dates. Rowlette also studied at the renowned BIMM Institute which is where she met Shane Steven. Shane is a composer, teacher and session musician. The two have teamed up to record a couple of songs at Coffee Hill Studios. The songs Nostalgic and Runaway were released on June 17th.
Check out Nostalgic:

Nostalgic is absolutely fantastic. The acoustic guitar is belting out rock pop vibes whilst Sarah's vocals are stunning. Theres a touch of Lisa Hannigan in there but then becomes more in your face and demanding but in a good way. About the song, Sarah says "Nostalgic despite its name, is all about being present and living in the moment. “We wrote this at a time when my life was all over the place. I was in between houses, in a job I didn’t like an…

Emperor Of Ice Cream - Lambent Eyes Single Review

Emperor Of Ice Cream are an indie rock band from Cork made up of John Hegarty, Graham Finn, Eddie Butt and Colum Young. They first rose to fame in the nineties when they signed with Sony Records and recorded their debut album which never came to fruition. they did however release three EP's Overflow, William and Know Me which were received well. They also recorded with Motörhead legend Fast Eddie Clarke. Upon their return the Cork, the band split up and went their separate ways. Now they have returned to to finally release that music to the world. The first song released was Lambent Eyes.
Watch the video here:

Lambent Eyes is like stepping into a time machine and coming out in 1991. The sound is very much in the same vein as The Stone Roses. Based on this one song alone its an absolute travesty that this music has gone unreleased. Despite the fact that this is the first time that I've ever heard this band, it's strangely nostalgic and I genuinely can't wait to hear mor…

Amanda St. John - Take A Leap Single Review

Amanda St. John is a soul singer from Antrim. Just last month, Amanda released her new album The Muscle Shoals Sessions to rave reviews including being named as Album Of The Week by RTE Radio 1 and BBC Radio Ulster. Keeping that momentum going, Amanda now releases a single taken from that album, Take A Leap. The song was inspired by Amanda's walks on the beach near her home. The song is about taking that leap of faith in the hope of creating a more fulfilling life for yourself.
Take A Leap is an uplifting song of triumph. Amanda's vocals are perfect as usual and the music brings a relaxing atmosphere. The combination of Amanda's talents and the production at Muscle Shoals makes for an aurally pleasing release. It was a wise move to record in that prestigious studio and the results are evident.

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Jess Young - Holding On & Letting Go Single Review

London based Irish singer songwriter Jess Young burst onto the music scene in 2017. Following the release of previous singles Champagne & Caviar and I Don't Need You To Love Me, Jess returns with her third single Holding On & Letting Go. Once again she has teamed up with legendary producer Tom Allom. About the song Jess says "This song is absolutely for everyone who has had to let go of somebody they love, somebody they know they can't hold onto- but a part of them always will. Whether it's a lover, friend or a parent".
Watch the video here:
Holding On & Letting Go is a stunning display of eerie pop music done properly. The song is enthralling from the very beginning and Jess' vocals are simply superb. It's quite obvious why Jess is receiving the kind of praise that she's been getting.

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Ciarán Moran - A Father Figured Single Review

Ciarán Moran is a singer songwriter from Dublin. He is well known on the music scene and has already established himself as well respected songwriter. His fans include Christy Dignam, Brian Kennedy and Damien Dempsey. Following on from his single Falling Down which I reviewed back in March, Ciarán now presents A Father Figured.
Watch the video here:

A Father Figured is another heart wrencher from the man who likes to tackle tough situations. The piano lends itself beautifully to Ciarán's emotional vocals. The song was written and recorded during the current lockdown and address the issues involved when a child receives no love from their parent.

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Lonely Astronauts - Better Days (Acoustic) Single Review

Lonely Astronauts are a Belfast/Coleraine based band comprising of Matthew Toner, Scott Hunter and Ruán McCready. The band was formed in 2017 when Matthew and Scott decided to join together after being in other bands. They accepted an ill fated gig at Queens University having never played together before when they quickly realised that it was a bad idea. They later added Ruán who came equipped with a saxophone. Ruán stayed, the sax didn't. They released their first single a year later and their first EP Test Launch in July 2019. Their latest release was the single Better Days.
Listen here:
Better Days is a short song of hope and reassurance. The guitar is stripped back whilst the vocals are deeply consoling. It's simply quite beautiful. The only issue with the song is that it doesn't go on for longer. Brilliant.

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The Blue Messiah - War (Feat. Matthew Redmond) Single Review

The Blue Messiah is a man of mystery. Little is known about him other than his alter ego is Sam Sheehy, he is from Dublin and he plans to bring his music to his Disciples of Decibels. The independent producer has teamed up with vocalist Matthew Redmond on his debut single War.

War is a very interesting track. The music feels quite utopian whilst the vocals have an almost epicness to them and the story they are telling. The beats that The Blue Messiah created here are a great indicator of the talent that he clearly possesses. Look out for more from this guy soon.

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Telquist - Taste Single Review

Telquist (Sebastian Eggerbauer) is an indie slacker from Germany. He likes to mix his folk pop style with electronic music. He lists his influences as Milky Chance, Jack Johnson, Weezer and Beck. Following the release of his album Strawberry Fields in 2017, Telquist followed up with singles Trash Talk and Fun. Recently he released his latest single Taste.
Watch the video here:

Taste is the epitome of laid back and chilled out. The sound is very pleasing on the ears and absolutely demands to be heard over and over again. Despite the obvious influence of Beck, Telquist has a very unique sound which adds an extra level of indulgence to the song.

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Luke Clerkin - Nocturnal Single Review

In April Dubliner Luke Clerkin released his single Stones. Now the man who has gigged extensively returns with his new single Nocturnal. Speaking about the new single, Luke says "This song covers the beginning, and then the aftermath of a 'nearly love' relationship. Going from the first night of lust and nervousness, to the feelings of regret after the relationship finishes."
Listen here:

Luke Clerkin · Nocturnal
Nocturnal begins with a sound inspired by The Cure before launching into a tremendous pop song. The hopefulness and desire in Luke's vocals really drive this song. It's upbeat and catchy and just what the world needs right now.

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PAULI - Cocoon Single Review

PAULI (yes all caps) is an artist making his debut. He was born in Cork, grew up in Galway and now lives in Dublin. PAULI lists his influences as Milky Chance, Arctic Monkeys, The Frames and The Strokes. He began playing music at the age of 8 and started composing his own tracks during his teenage years. He spent much of that time honing his craft and has now been inspired by the lockdown to release his first ever single Cocoon which is taken from his upcoming debut EP Isolation Station due for release on June 26th. 
Listen to the single here:
PAULI · Cocoon
Cocoon finds a way to be uplifting and feel good during a time when there isn't much to look forward to. PAULI's electro pop style and his alluring vocals captivate you straight away. The lockdown has been shit for most people but amongst the nuggets of shit you sometimes find that nugget of gold. Cocoon is that gold. 

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Laura Belyea - Revelation Single Review

Laura Belyea is a Canadian indie grunge rocker who now calls Dublin home. The singer who official gives zero fucks is kick starting her solo career after moving to Ireland. In Toronto she founded the brilliant named band Scorpion Chainsaw Operation Booze Orgy and played regularly at venues and festivals to great reception. In addition to recording new solo music, Laura is also the co-founder of Talivest which is a female led technology startup that empowers organisations to improve their employee experience. Now the politically charged activist releases her latest single Revelation along with a powerful video.
Watch the video here:

Revelation is exactly what the title suggests. The two minute punk/grunge anti establishment song addresses the current situations being felt around the world. The song tackles homelessness, police brutality, capitalism, consumerism and corporate greed. Laura has captured the mood of the majority of the world with this track. It's brash, ballsy and bril…

Imelda Kehoe - Ordinary Star Single Review

Wexford based contemporary folk singer songwriter Imelda Kehoe is finally back after her debut album How To Be Human back in 2018. Imelda spent some time recording at Windmill Lane Studios in preparation for her second album. The first single to be released from that album is Ordinary Star.
Watch the video here:

Ordinary Star is a showcase for Imelda's stunning vocals. Her voice alleviates any fear or tension the listener may be feeling in their lives especially in this current situation. The guitar is strikingly haunting, the strings shine and the drums are noble but it's Imelda's vocals that bring the cohesion. This song is an absolute triumph. 

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Deoraí - Digiteach Single Review

Deoraí is an Irish language speaking collective fronted by Jack Delaney. Jack studied the Irish language after returning from London aged 26 and became fluent and confident enough to sing in Irish after just 12 months. The group released two singles already, Coincréit Fhuar and Sceimhlitheoir and plan on releasing ten more throughout the year. These songs will feature a host of Irish artists. The collective have now just released their latest track Digiteach.
About the single Jack says “‘Digiteach’ (Digital), tells the story of how “humanity is progressively entering into a digital world. It is about the future and where this path we are on with technology is going. It is not cynical precisely, but it is slightly critical of some aspects of digital culture and how it has affected human life”. The song represents two characters; a man who comes from around 100 years in the future and a woman from the present day, who is progressively being drawn into the digital world. The main lyrica…