Thursday, September 23, 2010

Review: How To Dress Well - Love Remains (Lefse Records)

"How To Dress Well’s music is undoubtedly lo-fi and eerie in sound, while at the same time drawing influence from high-fidelity R&B and hip-hop...these influences combine with a shadowy early-hours vibe reminiscent of Grouper, while Krell’s Bon Iver-style falsetto alternately hovers between being upfront in the mix and fading into the background as just another texture."

How To Dress Well - "Ready for the World" from Jamie Harley on Vimeo.

How to Dress Well - You Won't Need Me Where I'm Goin' by Ragged Words

Ragged Words presents : Brainlove Records Tour - Napoleon IIIrd, Mat Riviere, Stairs to Korea, Pagan Wanderer Lu,

Founded in 2003, London-based Brainlove Records prides itself on its stated aim of being an “umbrella organisation and community for the creators and listeners of genre-bending, left-of-centre music”. In many ways you can draw parallels between the Brainlove label/collective and our own Popical Island. The musicians can differ wildly but tend to share a wide-eyed, inventive approach to making music.

Four of Brainlove's choicest acts will be winding their way towards Dublin's Twisted Pepper on October 2nd. Stairs to Korea deal in catchy, chiming pop hooks and clever lyrics; Mat Riviere's sparse, electronically-infused soundscapes are reminsicent of Why?; Napoleon IIIrd makes skewed, layered psych-pop (and is by all accounts a fantastic live performer), while Pagan Wanderer Lu deals in quirky indietronica with 8-bit influences. All of this for the bargain price of a tenner (plus advance booking fee).

Brainlove Tour Mixtape by brainlove

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Gorgeous Colours - 'The Creatures Down Below'

Take from their upcoming EP of the same name, 'The Creatures Down Below' is a deceptive little number with all manner of off-kilter harmonies, hooks and backing vocals that play off each other: it's intricate, absorbing stuff and never stays in one place for too long.

01 The Creatures Down Below by The Gorgeous Colours

With the EP being self-funded, the Dublin-based band have set up a page where fans can pre-order it, with a number of additional incentives for those who are feeling particuarly generous (t-shirt offers, tickets to a secret gig, high-quality prints of TGC artwork, even a chance to take on the band in a 5-a-side game). Here's the 'EP Pledge' page:

It's been met with a great reaction so far, with one dedicated fan even set to fly all the way from Barcelona to appear onstage with the band at Whelan's (the EP launch, which will take place on 14th October). A band that inspires that kind of fandom is worth checking out!

The Gorgeous Colours are also taking part in this year's Hard Working Class Heroes festival, as well as supporting O Emperor on a couple of upcoming dates

30 Sep 2010 Spirit Store (opening for The Cast of Cheers) Dundalk, Louth,
2 Oct 2010 The Forum (opening for O Emperor) Waterford, Waterford,
3 Oct 2010 Spirit Store (opening for O Emperor) Dundalk, Louth,

Review/Stream: No Age - Everything In Between (Sub Pop)

"The seamless blend of sample-based shoegaze atmospherics and stirring noise-rock that first marked No Age out has returned, and the duo sound more vibrant than ever."

Stream the album here:

The album is released September 28th. No Age headline the pretty excellent bill for Foggy Jam .01 at Whelan's, Dublin on October 10th, along with Male Bonding, Mice Parade, Silje Nes, Hipster Youth and Squarehead. That's an all-day affair (starting at 4pm), here's the blurb from Foggy Notions:

"We are delighted to announce the first of our new all-day series, Foggy Jam: an opportunity to catch seven wonderful live artists in one day for a budget ticket price. Heading the bill is L.A.’s NO AGE, one of the most exciting modern noise-pop bands in the world right now who release their new Sub Pop album Everything in Between in late September (more info below).

MICE PARADE is the work of New York’s Adam Pierce and a rotating ensemble of musicians. Their incredible back catalogue tackles all sorts of musical crossover with folk styles, electronics, Krautrock, Eno inspired minimalism and Loveless-era MBV. The new album What It Means to be Left-Handed soaks up West African Highlife, Flamenco, Brazillian Jazz, and even 80’s indie-rock (More info below).

Also joining the line-up is new Sub Pop signings MALE BONDING, a London trio whose debut album Nothing Hurts is jam-packed with messy vintage 90s noise-pop. And SILJE NES, a Norwegian singer-songwriter and Mice Parade’s Fatcat labelmate whose beautiful layered recordings full of strings and woodwind are joys to behold.

For Foggy Jam’s Irish representation we’ve picked two of current favourites. Fake Blood is the debut seven inch release by SQUAREHEAD the single of the year so far for us – Kurt Cobain meets the Everly Brothers, slacker-rock meets doo-wop, just pure pop all the way really. And HIPSTER YOUTH is revelatory stuff. A Dublin teenager whose Teenage Elders album makes 8-bit electronic music that is beautiful and poignant."

No Age - Glitter by subpop

Male Bonding - Years Not Long by subpop

<a href="">K9 Sessions by Squarehead</a>

<a href="">Teenage Elders by Hipster Youth</a>

Review: Abe Vigoda - Crush (Bella Union)

"Abe Vigoda might not have seemed the most likely candidates to join the minimal/cold wave set, but the shoe fits surprisingly well: they manage to integrate that familiar raw energy with sleeker sonic backdrops, and as a result Crush never falls into the trap of sounding like a pastiche."