Category Archives: You May Like This

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John Blek and the Rats – Cork indie/pop

What you may need to know…

01. Long-running, underrated road warriors of Leeside-based guitar noises, are John Blek and his Rats.

02. After an extended period of solo touring around Europe, the band is back on the road with an extensive transnational run of dates.

03. Streaming above is the video for last year’s single Dead Friends, taken from second band album Borders.

04. They perform this Sunday at the Cork Opera House, as part of Right Here, Right Now festival, in a double-headliner with The Shaker Hymn.

Thoughts: Weighty, folk-tinged guitar-pop tempered with a double-dose of reality.

John Blek and the Rats

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The Great Balloon RaceCork folk/psychedelic

What you may need to know…

01. Last time we checked in with The Great Balloon Race, they’d just released single Chocolate Beans, a venture into jazzier climes.

02. They’ve finally put the last bits in order for their second album, Gently, Gently, releasing via May 5th on Leeside label KantCope.

03. Streaming above is the live video of Daryl and John, filmed by Blair Massie, as featured on the new long-player.

04. Catch them live on May 5th at Coughlan’s on Douglas Street, Cork, launching the long-player. Available for digital download or in a cassette/download bundle.

Thoughts: First thoughts on listening to the album in advance are those of a band finding their feet and moving with assurance into new waters.

The Great Balloon Race

Daithí - Photography by Ruth Medjber www.ruthlessimagery.com

Daithífolk/electronica from Galway

What you may need to know…

01. Last time we checked in on Daithí, he’d been touring his recently-released extended-player, his first formal release as an independent artist.

02. Using elements of Irish pop-culture and music in his improvised, audiovisual live show, his work is another element in the modernisation of the trad/folk oeuvre.

03. Streaming above is the video for new single Aeroplane, featuring regular vocal collaborator Sinéad White. In his own words:

“Sinead and I wrote this song inspired by old Irish TV dramas from the ’80s and ’90s. True to the people of Ireland at the time, the characters in these shows all seem to have a hard time expressing their feelings, and we wanted to write a song that imagined what was going on in their heads, while they stumbled through talking to their love interest.

The video for the song uses footage from a short film that was shot in my home town Ballyvaughan, Co. Clare, in the 1990s. The video stars real locals from the area, and deals with the hardships of being a bachelor in rural Ireland. I had completely forgot about it until I came across the tape in my parents’ house, and some of the footage is just incredible.”

04. This Friday, he plays the Roisín Dubh in Galway, followed by a Saturday night date in Dublin’s Opium Rooms and a Bank Holiday Sunday show at Cyprus Avenue in Cork. Check social media for more info/times.

Thoughts: More polished pop than jigs ‘n’ reels referencer, Daithí and Sinéad White’s thematic drawings on the Irish condition accompany an expansion of his sound.

Daithí

Pic by Ruth Medjber

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Nocturnesfolk-tinged electronica with Sligo roots

What you may need to know…

01. Composer Pearse McGloughlin (pictured), late of indie bands Socialite, Thy Swan Army and Walkperson, now makes less ruckus with electronic project Nocturnes.

02. Under his own moniker, McGloughlin has released a triptych of long-players, most notably 2013’s Idiot Songs, a concept album that tackles and reinterpret Dostoevsky’s The Idiot.

03. Streaming above is the project’s debut long-player The Soft Animal, released last July via Bluestack Records.

04. Catch McGloughlin and collaborators this Sunday at Dublin’s Bello Bar, launching new single Dear Infant. Support from Ella Naseeb.

Thoughts: Simple pop songs, sans the saccharine, and set through a grimy, greyscale filter with fitting ambience.

NOCTURNES

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Wastee‘bangdance’ sideproject

What you may need to know…

01. Veteran column readers may remember we covered Dublin electronic/glitch man Wastefellow last year upon releasing his debut E.P.

02. This past week saw his much harder-edged beats and pieces released under the name Wastee, in advance of a number of festival dates flitting between pseudonyms.

03. Streaming above is the project’s debut single, Cola, available now for download via ‘Dublin-via-Sweden imprint’ Lyxliv.

04. Wastefellow spreads his wings to the UK this summer, including Y Not Festival in July before Another Love Story in August.

Thoughts: Wastefellow’s trademark pop/glitchiness through a bassier, grimier, filter. Filth.

Wastee

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I Draw SlowDublin Americana/roots

What you may need to know…

01. When not on the Irish touring grind for the past decade, Dubland five-piece I Draw Slow have been busy whittling away at modern Nashville, appearing regularly at folk & country fests across the States.

02. After thirteen Stateside tours, the band may have made their breakthrough, signing to Americana label Compass Records, joining Altan and Ron Sexsmith on the roster.

03. Streaming above is their new video, for single My Portion, filmed on Achill Island.

04. New album Turn Your Face to the Sun releases on May 12th, having been funded entirely through pre-orders. They launch the record at Whelan’s in Dublin on the 14th, and play Cork’s Cyprus Avenue on the 20th.

Thoughts: Harmony-laden contemporary roots music that never slips into well-trod genre schlock.

I Draw Slow

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Field TripGalway garage-pop

What you may need to know…

01. Super-jangly garage-pop with C86 overtones are what Field Trip, a four-piece of Galwegian origin, is slinging.

02. Since forming in late 2015, the band has released a pair of singles and shared stages with lo-fi luminaries So Cow, Oh Boland, Land Lovers, and No Monster Club, among others.

03. Streaming above is the band’s most recent extended-player, Evening’s Over, released this past March via the band’s Bandcamp.

04. Catch them this Saturday for Record Store Day at The Record Spot/The R.A.G.E on Dublin’s Fade St., alongside a bunch of other bands and deejays.

Thoughts: Perfectly charming indie-laden pop with oodles of burnt-out atmosphere.

Field Trip

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Bleak Stackhip-hop out of the West

What you may need to know…

01. Coming out of the country’s wild West, hip-hop duo Bleak Stack keep further details rather close to their chest, preferring instead to let their music speak.

02. Emerging last year with a number of A/V sets and live appearances in Dublin, Cork and Galway, the pair have been slowly gearing up for debut album Check or Fold.

03. Streaming above is the video for single When We’re Whole One Day, released last September via their YouTube channel.

04. Catch them this Saturday at Dublin’s Grand Social as part of a stellar line-up of Irish hip-hop that also includes Cork-based cutman T-Woc and Sligo boom-bappers This Side Up.

Thoughts: A dark horse running quietly amid the exponentially accelerating development of Irish beats ‘n’ pieces.

Bleak Stack

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Hot CopsBelfast indie/alternative

What you may need to know…

01. Washed-out, jaded Americana-esque alt-rock? Right this way, please, to Belfast poster boys Hot Cops.

02. They’ve been busy in the last year or so, with a pair of 7″ releases via Paper Trail Records, enroute to more touring and releases in 2017.

03. Streaming above is new single Dumbbo, with b-side Auto, available for download and on pink 7″ from their Bandcamp.

04. Catch them next in Cork on the 22nd of April, in a free show at the Crane Lane Theatre. 8.30pm, with support from fellow Northy noisemakers Junk Drawer. An Alliance Promotions™ production.

Thoughts: A contemporary, disengaged, wonderfully bleary-eyed take on the old slacker tropes.

Hot Cops

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ROCSTRONGgenre-juggling pop from Dublin

What you may need to know…

01. South Dublin-based performer/songwriter/producer André Bangala, better known to the world as Rocstrong, has made his presence felt in Irish music as of late, featuring on The Thin Air’s 17 for 17 list, among other accolades.

02. Broadsheet Trailer Park regulars may recognise his tune Go Head: used by none other than the Coen Brothers on the trailer for 2015’s Hail Caesar.

03. Streaming above is debut extended-player Show Off What You Got, available for streaming and download from his Bandcamp. Meanwhile, brand-new single I Gotcha is streaming now on Spotify.

04. Catch him this Saturday night at the Civic Theatre in Tallaght, alongside upcoming hip-hop collectives Loud Motive and Craic Appeal.

Thoughts: Ably balancing accessibility with a number of musical reference points and influences, Rocstrong is a beguiling pop proposition.

ROCSTRONG