Tag Archives: folk

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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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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Saint CaoilianCork music superman polishes his halo

What you may need to know…

01. Since we last checked in with Shaker Hymn/Southern Hospitality Board/Quarter/regular disc-jockeying man Caoilian Sherlock, he’s met the minimum requirements to formally receive sainthood before embarking on his solo career in earnest.

02. Himself and Leeside music omnipresence Mr.K have been jamming under the Worm name and have started Small Town Disco, a wee label between them, as reported last week.

03. Streaming above is the video for single I’ll Be a Fool for You, premiered last week over at Nialler9. It’s the leadoff single for Faraway, available May 5th through Small Town Disco.

04. Catch him in Dubland on April 6th in Whelan’s, providing support for Marlene Enright on her tour for album Placemats and Second Cuts.

Thoughts: One of Irish music’s real renaissance men; an artist, curator and enthusiastic spectator in equal measure.

Saint Caoilian

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Myles Manleythe world’s greatest popstar returns

What you may need to know…

01. Last time we checked in with Myles Manley, he was back in Ireland after a spell in Arsenal’s starting eleven.

02. He’s since returned his focus to the oddball, Beefheartian pop with which he’s earned his name, signing to Dublin-based Little L Records for a seven-figure advance on a ten-album contract.

03. Streaming above is the high-budget video for new B-side Pasta Solo, accompanying new single Relax, Enjoy Your Night Upon the Town.

04. The following dates line his tour itinerary before the European festival-headliner swing: March 23:  Buncrana, Ned’s Point; March 24: Derry, Bennigans; March 25: Dublin, The Workman’s Club; Apr 8: Limerick, Dolan’s Warehouse; Apr 9: Dundalk, The Spirit Store.

Thoughts: Smart-aleckry aside, some genuine ingenue on display here, as is typical for someone that seemingly inhabits a creative bubble all his own.

Myles Manley

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Phantom Dog Beneath the Moonrural psychedelia/shoegaze

What you may need to know…

01. Aaron Hurley and Scott McLaughlin make up the duo of Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon, proponents of “folk-gaze”.

02. Releasing their first new material in almost seven years, the pair have broken a silence that’s been since 2010’s full-length The Trees, the Sea in a Lunar Stream.

03. Streaming above is the newly-released video for the title track from third album The Statue of the Hunter is Lost at Sea.

04. Catch them at the Roisín Dubh in Galway on March 22nd, as part of a double-header with labelmate A Lilac Decline, for a joint record launch.

Thoughts: Minimal, yet dense in terms of themes and atmosphere, with newfound strokes of ambience and psychedelia leading it all forward.

Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon

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A Lilac Declinelo-fi dream-folk

What you may need to know…

01. Visual artist Cecilia Danell takes the letters of her name and rearranges them into A Lilac Decline, a pseudonym for her dream-pop-inflected folk.

02. Striking out solo after stints with Cubs and Loner Deluxe, the Galway-resident Swede veers between the aforementioned and barebones composition with the implements and objects around her at the time.

03. Streaming above is her do-it-yourself video for single A Fine Day at Last, the first single from her album The Mountain Rages, available for pre-order from Rusted Rail.

04. Performing live next at Rusted Rail’s double-album launch for herself and Phantom Dog Beneath the Moon (more in this column tomorrow) at the Roisín Dubh in Galway on the 22nd.

Thoughts: Heartening, rootsy folk with traces of shoegazing and DIY ingenue throughout.

A Lilac Decline

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Rory NellisBelfast solo folkishness

What you may need to know…

01. When not garnering loving glances from the Irish music press, Belfast singer-songwriter Rory Nellis is also the frontman of Belfast indie lads Seven Summits.

02. Having debuted formally with 2014 extended-player The Moon, Nellis’ solo run kicked off in earnest in 2015 with crowdfunded long-player Ready For You Now.

03. Streaming above is Nellis’ new single Casual Discrimination, an earthy riposte to the hardening of empathy in the current climate. Also available for free download.

04. It’s taken from upcoming solo record There Are Enough Songs in the World, releasing in November of this year.

Thoughts: A grand, uke-flecked piece of indie-friendly folk pop that sets the tone nicely for Nellis’ next long-player.

Rory Nellis

Dowth

Dowth – folktronica from Dublin

What you may need to know…

01. Describing themselves as ‘mythical folk’, there’s more than a little modernity to Dublin duo Dowth.

02. This comes as no surprise to eagle-eared listeners: producer Tim Ording is better known as Exile Eye, one-half of trad-inflected hip-hop duo Melodica Deathship, while fiddler John Kelleher makes noise in outfits like Rats’ Blood, Burnchurch and GRIT.

03. Streaming above is their self-titled EP, released last November on digital download via Bandcamp and 12″ vinyl.

04. Doing a double-header of shows this weekend with psych/world beats man T-Woc. Friday night sees them play Jigsaw in Dublin with support from Catscars, while on Saturday, they head to Cork’s Kino theatre, with local support from Underling.

Thoughts: Their blurbs and self-descriptions deal in brevity, boiling their sound down to one word: ‘epics’. It’s hard to argue with that assessment – there’s ambition aplenty evident throughout these songs.

Dowth

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Brigid Mae Powerethereal Irish folk dreaminess

What you may need to know…

01. Over gentle waves of textures and reverberations comes the voice of singer/composer and visual artist Brigid Mae Power.

02. Having existed on the fringes of Irish folk for a number of years, she cut her teeth on her first full-length, I Told You The Truth, recorded in St. Nicholas’ Church in Galway. Leaving Ireland and heading to Oregon to record with American folk musician Peter Broderick in his studio proved to be a turning point.

03. Streaming above is the video for single I Left Myself For a While, from her self-titled “proper” debut record, available via Tompkins’ Square Records. Early solo work also available on her Bandcamp.

04. Headlining Quarter Block Party festival, on the weekend February 3rd-5th in Cork City Centre. More info here.

Thoughts: Some lovely moments amid the melancholy, resonating with subtle drone, and the atmosphere of the studio.

Brigid Mae Power

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SillkString-laden alt-folk from Cork

What you may need to know…

01. Sillk are a Leeside three-piece, and while at their heart a folk band, exhibit noirish/chamber-pop tendencies in places, due mainly to a dense undercarriage of cello and violin in their tunes.

02. The band’s debut E.P. Time is a Clock, recorded by Elastic Sleep/African Fiction man Chris Somers, releases this week on CD and digital download.

03. Streaming above is the video new single Switchblades Don’t Sleep, taken from the extended-player, directed by Eadaoin O’Donoghue and shot by Enrique Carcinero.

04. Launching tomorrow night at the Village Hall venue on Patrick’s Quay, Cork at 8.30. More info here.

Thoughts: A dichotomy of light-hearted play and heavy subject matter, balanced, bearing a wide, irreverent grin.

Sillk