Ah autumn is finally in the air! Even if it’s a rather muted affair in Dublin the memory of the east coast in the US remains with the brilliant colours of the leaves, the nip in the air and the sharp smell of the freshly fallen leaves- superb!
While it is one of my favourite time of years the lack of sunlight has always been an issue so nothing better to deal with post-daylight saving time blues than some tunes from The Very Most!
Their 3rd season-related ep has hit Indiecater and has hit the high mark as usual- three sublime tunes that are full of sunshine even if it is slowly dying away.
When Summer Finally Dies kicks it off with some lovely sublime vocals, backing and great beats with Sweater following it up with some warm tones and a superb toe tapping vibe. Autumn Air ends it with a rather more sombre tone which is befitting of the season- still some sunshine there with the vocals but the slight use of sleigh bells is certainly a sign that winter is on its way!
You can download or stream Autumn Air below and head over to Indiecater where you can stream all three tunes and buy them for the very pocket pleasing €2.00!
Timber Timbre sounds like spirits at work but in reality its Taylor Kirk with his sublime voice and simple instrumentation from the band that give their sound such a mysterious element.
You can get their third self-titled album for free until this Saturday at their official site and the eight tunes are of a dark, subtle, understated beauty that is simply entrancing.
The first track, Demon Host is one of my favourites and has a pretty cool video to boot. The other tracks have varying instrumentation throughout but subtlety is definitely the key and be it drums, guitar, organ or auto harp the understated beauty shines through.
The Swell Season have just released their second album Strict Joy which was recorded last year in Connecticut. I have to admit that I have a soft spot for Marketa Irglova’s voice…and while I was never enamored with Glen’s their voices together have that magical quality that captivates you from the moment it hits your ears.
While the new tracks seem to be missing the raw emotional passion of their first album there are still some catchy numbers with In These Arms being the one that still has that magical quality.
You can stream the tracks from Strict Joy over at NPR and you can also catch their Tiny Desk Concert at the NPR offices or if you’re pressed for time check out their trailer video:
You can get both the standard version of the cd along with the double cd with live versions at Road Records 0r follow the links on their official site where you can also check out their tour dates. They will be on tour starting in January of 2010 and hitting most of the US and Europe although no Dublin date yet…rest assured they will always return here!
One for the better late than never category…just a quick summary of groups over three nights a couple of weeks back.
First night: The Lower Deck Slurps– A band right off the blocks and unfortunately it shows- the drummer tended to follow others timekeeping and lead vocals need some work. They do have some good tunes but they really need a lot of practice playing together before they sound cohesive enough.
Bats– Bloody excellent again! There really is such a great buzz from this group and so much better when you’re up close and can feel every note. Even if all the band members not feeling great they worked through it and am sure these guys will be hitting bigger venues soon.
Upsilon Acrux– I would like to be able to comment on them but since The Lower Deck operates on a time zone outside of GMT they were only coming on after 11 and I had to leg it for the bus. The 2 min soundcheck I heard sounded good and I heard good reports back!
Second night: Twisted Pepper Belljar– Some very good tunes with a shoegaze post-rock vibe and ones to catch if you can.
Butterfly Explosion– great tunes as always! Some really strong post-rock numbers and an excellent vibe. If I had to nitpick anything sometimes the lead vocals are a bit weak depending on the tune but on others damn fine. Change of lineup over the last few years but they are all on form and I’m expecting some very good things indeed with their new album which will be coming out next year.
Third Night: Whelans C!ties– Wow! Very young guys but some damn fine post-rock tunes! Everything hits the nail on the head- guitars and drums superb and a great performance. Can’t wait to catch these guys again but to help with the wait, they have their ep as a free download on their MySpace site so make sure you snag it!
Enemies– First time catching yet another good group from Richter Collective. Pretty damn fine post-rock tunes and great syncopation work drums and even guitars. Another one to catch again!
ASIWYFA– Woo hoo- these guys do not know the meaning of subtle! Slamming instrumentation for an in your face sound from the word go! Post-rock at its finest and even though these guys tour like there is no tomorrow the energy they have on stage is astounding. Especially love the tunes from their yet-to-be-released ep- S Is For Salamander and D Is For Django The Bastard are ones to listen out for! Only downside of set, besides the fact it had to end, was a new tune Coming Through The Sun Without A Scratch which sounded a bit light for them.
Overall was a great three nights- of all the tunes that are currently available, I will stick up one of C!ties tunes for your listening pleasure!
Time again for another Indiecater release and this time its a doozy from the Dublin band Sunbear– which has been defunct since 1999 and a group I sadly missed the first time round!
Bits is a collection of their two eps ‘Bits And Pieces’ and ‘Dog’ along with a couple of unreleased tracks thanks to Mr. Indiecater getting in touch with the former drummer- sometimes Dublin is a great community when you simply ask!
Since they are new to my ears I have to say that some of the tunes do have a contemporary sound in relation to the Irish music scene- which is indeed a positive thing to say for Sunbear…but also a damning indication that some current Irish bands haven’t moved on.
There is unquestionably a 90’s shoegaze vibe for most of the tracks but some have quite a nice melodic flow and indeed for the The Bits (That Float Around When You Close Your Eyes) there is a bevy of instrumentation that you would find in todays new-folk outfits with (possibly) a dulcimer and a small selection of strings.
The collection of tunes is more or less in the same order as the original ep’s combined and the opening track Leadbelt kicks it off in fine fashion with some great beats to go along with the hazy guitars. Seeing Stars has good driving beats to keep the vibe going and Each To Their Own has a great keyboard start but unfortunately it doesn’t go anywhere and it’s only with the beats and guitar jam in Halved that the vibe returns.
Going To The B has more of a melodic element and a good toe tapping pace which is continued on in Ran All The Way but certainly with a more distorted sound. The harmonies really come out for Somebody Change The Season which has an ear catching good vibe and muted guitars which come back in full-hazy-force in Pennies. Dog is probably the quietest track on there with a sparse intro and subtle instrumentation for most of it and the following tune Clown Hands is unmistakably mid-90’s influenced with the vocals and arrangement.
Poke My Side and Send That Monkey To Mars are similar in function with a quiet start and about halfway through they pick up pace and bring in the shoegaze element with a nice flair. Fond Memories of New York follows and it is a good toe tapping tune but it’s The Bits (That Float Around When You Close Your Eyes) that is that is really ear grabbing. A great end to the mix and while it has an unusual and slightly undefined start, the addition of the strings and various instruments really makes this an outstanding tune.
Overall it’s a good collection of tunes and you can have a listen to Leadbelt below. Head over to Indiecater where you can stream the whole collection and get the download for the miniscule amount of €4.00!
Not much time for the blog recently between gigs, migraines and work at Eardrums Pop in equal measure so just a quick one for that Friday feeling!
BEKO is a digital single label that is putting up a new free single every Monday- and there are some great ones from the last three weeks. Two tracks on every single and just click on the lp pic to download.
For the impatient sort you can stream one from each while you wait…
Death And Vanilla- Godspeed
Jamie Long- Pool House
Woven Tales- Grazing Storms
No information on the site on how it operates except that they are using the Creative Commons Licence and if you want to get in touch with them click on the heart with the flashing lightning bolt!
Mark Morris, the voice of The Bluetones, will be performing an acoustic set in Upstairs @ Whelans on the 16th of October and thanks to Doolittle Presents I have a double pass up for grabs for each of his shows.
Doors for the early show are at 7pm (on at 7:30) and for the late show 9:30pm (on at 10:45).
There will be no support for the early show but Rhob Cunningham will be there for the late one.
Question: What is the name of Mark Morris’ debut solo album?
Many thanks to United Visual Artists (www.uva.co.uk) for the profile picture from the music video 'Tonto' by Battles. They have done some amazing light fixtures for other groups and shows so check them out!