Saturday, 22 April 2017

INGRID – SINGLE REVIEW

Ingrid – Boom (Dishonest In July) (Stereoscope Music) 
Ingrid - Boom (Dishonest In July)


Release Date: Out Now

“Ingrid slapper debutsingel!” That’s how the PR email accompanying this single from Swedish artist Ingrid began. Now, I’m all for multilingualism but this would seem to be a particularly stark way of selling a female musician so I steeled myself to consider the music on its own merits, regardless of Ingrid’s promiscuity. ‘Boom (Dishonest in July)’ is a perky, poppy piece that sits somewhere between Clean Bandit and Angie with a hint of a modern Eurovision entry about it. You could easily imagine hearing this wafting on a warm breeze out of bars and clubs on the coastal strips of Mediterranean Europe as the sexy synths and Ingrid’s sultry and confident vocal worms it’s way in to your ear. Oh, and there’s a Disney key change at the end just to keep you on your toes. Slapper or not, this is a fun slice of summery pop.


AIDA – SINGLE REVIEW

Aida – Let’s Ride
Aida - Let's Ride

Release Date: Out Now

There’s absolutely nothing to dislike about this tune from French artist Aida unless you hate the 80s in which case you’ll probably hate it. From the video that might as well be a trailer for the Goldbergs, to the squelchy synth bass line and the super soulful but poppy vocals of Aida, ‘Let’s Ride’ is a joyous romp through 80s references (the good stuff, not Thatcher and AIDS). Aida’s voice is so assured, classy and unflinching in its power that it’s hard to believe she’s not gracing national airwaves on a regular basis but I guess sometimes it’s a matter of right place and right time. For those that have enjoyed the renaissance of Nile Rodgers and the resurgence of Pharrell Williams, I would suggest that Aida might be right up your cul-de-sac.


Watch The Video: 

Friday, 21 April 2017

PLASTIC BARRICADES – SINGLE REVIEW

Plastic Barricades – How Goldfish Grow (Plastic Tribe Records)
Plastic Barricades - How Goldfish Grow

Release Date: Out Now

London based trio Plastic Barricades grabbed my attention with the video for this song which is a nicely quirky piece of animation but there is a great song behind the visual as well. ‘How Goldfish Grow’ is a tale of how the environment will impact the size of growth – from Goldfish, to ego to population – and it’s a tale worth taking heed of. Starting with a sad yet perky poppy guitar line that is part Vampire Weekend and part Young Knives, this song immediately grabs your attention before settling in to a satisfyingly choppy rhythm. “We all should know how goldfish grow” is perhaps not the most obvious or rock’n’roll lyric but the message is clear and the video rams it home. There’s a certain Europop charm about this that goes along with the indie-pop kitsch and it’s actually nice to hear a band creating something to be enjoyed whilst also listening to some meaningful lyrics.


Watch The Video: 

FERRIS AND SYLVESTER – SINGLE REVIEW

Ferris And Sylvester – Save Yourself 
Ferris And Sylvester - Save Yourself


Release Date: Out Now

First things first, this is not a duet between a quirky 80s teenager and a persistently under achieving cartoon cat. Sadly. No, instead this is London duo Issy (Ferris) and Archie (Sylvester) with their new single ‘Save Yourself’ which is, frankly, beautiful. This has all the softness and soul of Laura Marling or Joni Mitchell but there is glorious about the moment that Ferris’ vocal is joined by the smooth, deep, velvetiness of Sylvester and the song slowly swells like the orange embers of a log fire. This is almost an anti-love song or a ‘love with a health warning’ song that it’s hard not to fall in love with. Gentle, delicate, beautiful and powerful. Just like I like my women….or something less misogynistic.



Live Dates:

21st April – The Sugar Club, Dublin
23rd April – Cyprus Avenue, Cork
27th April – The Water Rats, London w/ Tom Mcrae
2nd May – The Islington, London
4th May – Spirit Store, Dundalk
5th May – The Loft, Galway
6th May – Dolan’s, Limerick
7th May – Set Theatre, Kilkenny
25th May – New Roos @ The Harrison, London w/Dariush Kanani

8th June – The Green Note, London

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

YVONNE HERCULES – SINGLE REVIEW

Yvonne Hercules – Roving 
Yvonne Hercules - Roving


Release Date: Out Now

Really early in 2017 I was publicly begging for artists to put their pen to paper to vent their anger, raise a voice against the injustices in this world and generally use their platform to stir something up. London based Yvonne Hercules has answered my call, as have many others, but her take on this particular genre is something more subtle. You see ‘Roving’ is a lonely candle in pitch black of night, shining out with every breeze induced flicker as Hercules’ smooth voice wraps around you and that Marling-esque guitar ripples like the folds of a worn but loved blanket, passed down through the generations. Singing her soulful, dusky song, Hercules explores freedom (or the lack of), subjugation of minority or fringe groups and a general feeling that the democracy we’re told we are lucky to have is built upon too much injustice to ever really be enjoyed or appreciated. The simple guitar ripples soon build in to a glorious, life affirming dawn of a crescendo before fading in to the day and it is only then that I realise I’ve heard this song before. Every night when I lie awake thinking of how I’m going to change myself, change the world, make it all better before I fall asleep only to wake again to face another day on the treadmill feeling powerless. Maybe tomorrow will be different, there’s always tomorrow, right?


STAGS – SINGLE REVIEW

Stags – Where Only God Knows
Stags - Where Only God Knows

Release Date:

London Blues-Rock outfit Stags have a certain shaky, rambling dissonance about them on this track which is instantly appealing. ‘Where Only God Knows’ reminds me of the Treetop Flyers but with more edge or Midlake but with more darkness and both of those are very good things. The blues ramble is punctuated with little Edge-esque guitar chimes and flicks that act as rain dripping through the rusty roof of the shack before that humming organ lays a blanket on your shoulders and that bass throws a new log on the fire. There is comfort to be found in the cracks and creaks of a song like this and sometimes a little comfort is good for the soul.


Watch The Video: 

BEACH RIOT – SINGLE REVIEW

Beach Riot – Mr Fixer 
Beach Riot - Mr Fixer


Release Date: Out Now

London quartet are on their second single and have just played their first ever show at the Social in the last 24 hours. Nevertheless, the buzz around these guys is incredible and just goes to show what you can do with a little talent and some restraint. ‘Mr Fixer’ starts like a zombie released from a mental hospital; desperate, flailing and full of anger but with no reason to back it up. Then a gang of vocals kicks in like you’re being serenaded by a family of Chelsea fans at Christmas. The energy and relentless momentum of this song are hugely infectious and pretty soon you’re recalling all your favourite garage gang bands and harking back to your punk period whenever that was. This is part Blockheads, part the Wrens, part the Lemonheads, part Ben Fold’s Five, part Cable and all mixed up in a tankard forged in the dying embers of Britpop. There’s a satisfying distortion solo in the middle and then we’re done – exhausted, spent but certainly satisfied. More buzz to come, you just wait and see.