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.
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.
01. Recalling early death-metal, VIRCOLAC is the convergence of a number of Irish metal veterans.
02. Emerging in late 2013, the four-piece’s debut release, Codex Perfida, released in November of 2014 and promptly sold out of its limited CD and cassette releases.
03. Streaming above in its entirety is The Cursed Travails of the Demeter extended-player, released last Hallowe’en in a split release between Sepulchral Voice and Dark Descent Records. Also available for digital download and on CD, vinyl sold out.
01. So, how many albums did you record and release by the time you were twenty-two years old? If the answer is “over 57”, you’re probably Cork-based Wirral man Laurie Shaw.
02. Having resided in Kenmare, where the surrounding atmosphere gave Shaw the space to create in such a rapid-fire fashion, he’s now in Cork city, with his band The Swamp People. Themes vary from love & non-league soccer to alternative soundtracks to popular TV dramas.
03. Streaming above is a preview of Shaw’s next album, The Great British Night Out. Recorded over Christmas, it’s releasing this week via his Bandcamp, and on super-limited handmade CD.
04. Catch Shaw live with The Swamp People on Thursday 13th at Gulpd Cafe in Cork, launching the album, his fifty-something-th full-length(?). No support act.
Thoughts: A musical renaissance man, Shaw moves between frames of pop-music reference with the greatest of ease. Once you get over having wasted your own teens and twenties by comparison, Shaw’s output is immensely enjoyable.
It’s been a good work for fans of decent irish hip-hop, with two big live gatherings getting releases over social media this week.
Write the shadowy enmascarado bosses from the Unscene:
Back in January we unleashed Mankyy’s ‘Character Development’ EP, a debut release perhaps most remarkable for its artistic maturity, not only on the production front but also from the assembled cast of young rappers Aswell, Jonen Dekay & Same D4Ence alongside the more grizzled vet Spekulativ Fiktion. A few weeks back we gathered for a post-release get together at Music Generation Limerick City HQ, here’s a taste of what went down. Big ups Stephen Savage on the vid!
Meanwhile, over at 2fm last week, Friday-night beatslinger Mo K. presented the second in his series of live on-air cyphers, featuring multi-man verbal throwdowns featuring Big Siyo, Ger Kellett, Nugget, Linco & Kreo Ghost. Streaming in its entirety above right now.