The seductive, fascinating and slightly kooky Irish songstress, Julie Feeney, releases the first track “Dear John” this week, from her third album ‘Clocks’ – out next Month. Julie , much like the video to this tune, is eccentric, OTT, creative and seemingly a touch bonkers – in the best possible way of course – making the rest of us all feel that little more ‘normal’.
“Dear John” is a story of her grandparents’ courtship, when ‘John’ wooed Feeney’s grandma-to-be by taking her cycling under a full moon… Skills.
It’s hard to compare Julie’ sound to many other contempories, but think along the lines of Regina Spector or Kate Havnevik sharing a traditional Irish shanty in a vintage Tim Burton fairytale… yes, something like that.
The vocals take a few repeats to get used to, but each new listen reveals a layer you missed before and highlights how intricately put together this track is. Providing her own onion-like multi-layers of vocals, “Dear John” coaxes tears of joy, rather than a sour sting!
Last year Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler set out to do the impossible: to record a Christmas album whilst largely omitting much of the schmalz associated with this merry season. On ‘This Is Chrismtas‘ they succeeded in releasing a thoroughly enjoyable album. Having already toured the album in 2011 they were back at it this month with a string of fun filled performances across the UK.
Of all the tracks the one I found myself coming back to most often was the delightful “Zombie Christmas“. The absurd alternative scenario presented still cracks me up so I was pleased to discover the duo went and filmed a video to go along with it.
Add this to my favourite alternative Christmas anthems along with this excellentThe Hives & Cyndi Lauper duet.
We almost missed this great track from Simian Mobile Disco as the UK based djs returned with another instrumental techno 12”. This is the fifth release on their own Delicacies label andd is entitled ‘Gizzard‘ ( in strange reference to the specialised second stomach in bird).
This techno/house track is furthermore part of a collaborative pair of releases with Irish producers Psycatron. There is not much to say about the song except that indeed it’s a really good piece of electronic music, and in my opinion one of their best track so far.
Ah summer time! Debating whether to get out of the sun for a few minutes to go get an ice cold beer because your just too ruddy comfortable. Your friends are all together in a summer oak meadow with a pair of speakers, a swimming lake and a sniff in the air that you might just get laid tonight.
Tieranniesaur fit those summer speakers perfectly. Some of the best booty-shaking, bowel movement assisting bass lines and the sweetest melodies from one of the most exciting acts of this year.
A duo who made a home made, self titled album that spiralled into a neat ten song album that could be played in a dirty club or a dance tent. It’s dirty and it’s disco, it’s slightly kitsch but it’s angular.
The opener, ‘Rockblocker’ is as catchy as it is grimy, a fantastic opener to this creative album. It’s a curious mix a low-fi Hot Chip with a duet between CocoRosie and Lykke Li.
‘Sketch!’ is an awesome little pop hit, playfully bouncing along to sweet vocal lilts and playful instrumentation.
Many of these tracks feature an almost African pop sense of melody, weaving it’s way in and out like Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland’, as if you could hear most of these chorus’ being sang in a African choir and they would still be cool.
This is probably the best thing about this album, it’s almost child-like in its creativity but with an actually very complex engine of rhythms and sounds.
‘I Don’t Stop’ has a bass line that I wish I’d have written. It’s punk and it’s dance. It is ‘The Sex Bassline‘. It is probably that song that if you are sitting in that summer meadow with all your mates with the speakers and the lake and the sniff of getting laid, that you would make your move. The sun is going down and they’re all dancing and youre eyeing out the bird- Sort of like the beginning of Jaws, without Jaws obviously.
‘Here Be Monsters’ could be a remix by Jamie XX. Its subtle electronic twinkles are hypnotic against a strong simple beat, whilst ‘Remember My Name’ belongs on the soundtrack to ‘Little Big Planet’, it’s psychedelic vocals against a sunset backdrop and euro pop beat.
This is my favourite record this year and I’m not just saying that as it will help me get laid tonight. I do love summer.
Back in the beginnings of this blog we posted about I Am Not Lefthanded and their amazing ‘Long Goodbyes‘ track. The 3 piece band with Irish roots but London lives are back on our radar with their soft melodic indie rock that melts in your mouth.
‘Lifelines’ taken from their current EP ‘Time to Leave’ has a soft and graduating piano accompaniment that strips the track of unnecessary complication to reveal the gorgeous sound of lead singer Kathryn’s voice that lays somewhere between Norah Jones and Lisa Loeb.
They are currently back in the studio working on a full length album which I’m afraid you’re gonna have to sit tight for but in the meantime you can console yourself with this little winter warmer.
‘Boats‘ is the latest musical export from Dublin duo Conor and Eimer Devlin aka [The] Caseworker. The duo aren’t famed for their rapid record production averaging a release every 2-3 years but the results are timeless and tender with an easy- breezy, drive-time escapism feel.
Indeed the inspiration for this came from driving over San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and it’s not hard to see why; just listen to the track for a few seconds and you’ll instantly be transported to feeling like your in the backseat of a car staring out onto a bluish grey day as buildings and that glorious bridge cross your window pane.
The duo’s vocals fuse beautifully on this track to create an androgynous output that so economical it’s soothing and although they don’t often veer off on any unexpected curves, it is if nothing else, perfectly peaceful indie pop, and well worth a listen.