Single Review – All Tvvins – Crash

All Tvvins already established their moody pop ventures on single Anytime – a fresh, funky tune that only just meets the border of exciting. And while latest release, Crash, abides by the same airy ambience, it takes on a very different theme and feel. I think the shadowy synths fit this tone better than on Anytime – the way they are drawn out only adds to the sense of prolonged pain All Tvvins detail in the lyrics describing the loss of a loved one in a car crash, as well as aiding the haunting and ghostly aura of the track. The song feels sincere; unlike Anytime, it isn’t just another throwaway pop record. It pushes ordinary pop instrumentalism and morphs it into something with narrative and with soul. The minimalism is especially effective – it sounds spacey and empty. To many, this may sound just like another average pop track, but to me, it’s raw, it’s emotional and it’s expertly done; everything pop music should be.

Ellie Chivers

Single Review – The Academic – Why Can’t We Be Friends

Irish four-piece The Academic releases new single ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’. Another teaser of the bands soon to be released debut album ‘Tales From The Backseat’ due 12th of January 2018. A pretty slick, melodic track with rising vocals, over all ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’ creates a mellow feel but with a catchy enough chorus to ensure a few more fans are picked up along the way. Wrapped in a pleasant bass groove and background guitars the track according to lead vocalist Craig Fitgerald, is about ‘Somebody you love to hate and hate to love.’ After opening for The Kooks and of course that viral Facebook post ‘Why Can’t We Be Friends’ is sure to keep momentum going into the new year.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Aine Cahill feat. Courage – Blood Diamonds

Aine Cahill’s new single ‘Blood Diamonds’ feat producer Courage is the kind of smokey aired smirking track that seems laced with Lorde and Lana Del Ray style curled lip. A tale of selfishness in a capitalist world ‘Blood Diamond’ takes ‘diamonds are a girl’s best friend’ to its inevitable realist conclusion. Simmering with 1940’s cigarette smoke blown in your face charm, lines like; ‘I don’t really care if no one understands, got my possessions, don’t need anybody else’ and ‘Don’t wear fake fur, only the real thing, I pair them with my pearls and all my blood diamond rings,’ will leave you with no doubt on the evil villain level of character at play here. ‘Blood Diamonds’ is surely one of Cahill’s best tracks to date.

Hayley Miller

Single Review – All Tvvins – Anything

Wikipedia call the Irish duo All Tvvins an alternative band, yet new single Anything seems to suggest a shift in tone for the double act. It lures you in with an enticing lonely bass and ethereal vocals, and keeps hold of you with the playful electronica probes. The minimalist approach to funk explored throughout the track builds to an anthemic bass drop, with dazing riffs and sprightly percussion. It’s airy, ambient pop at its finest, carried by vivacious percussion and topped with soft, echoic harmonies. It’s punchy and exciting in that its summery feel diverts from what IIVV established back in 2016, but potentially nowhere near punchy and exciting enough for another number two finish on the Irish charts.
Ellie Chivers

Single Review – Aine Cahill – Angels & Demons

Irish pop singer-songwriter Aine Cahill’s new single ‘Angels & Demons’ is infused with just as much brooding, Lana Del Rey, London Grammer esque, haunting imagery as her previous singles; the American horror story inspired ‘Black Dahlia’ and the subtly scathing ‘Plastic’. On the angelic side of things, Cahill’s natural flare for combining elements of Jazz, Pop, and RnB create an enthralling melody, that works perfectly to highlight the tracks spiral of melancholic self-destruction. Emotions are still very much at the heart of Cahill’s writing as she pulls you along into her story of indecisive psychological torment. Though don’t worry things don’t ever get too dark, laced with Cahill’s warm vocal tone the tracks theme of internal battle between good and bad, being pulled in two directions by persuasive emotions, hypnotically drifts building ‘Angels & Demons’ chorus into a subtle Jess Glynne style anthem. 

Hayley Miller

Single Review – Áine Cahill – Plastic 


 

The Irish pop singer-songwriter Áine Cahill released her new single “Plastic” on the 20th of January.

 

With this single the singer really stepped up her game. The arrangement of this song is off the chain cool with the timpani drums, the sparing use of electric guitars and the strings. The beginning makes you feel like something important is going to happen. The production is great. “It’s a breath of fresh air. Conjures up shades of Morcheeba, if Morcheeba were from Twin Peaks. Fucking ace man. Love it.” commented my music-passionate friend Ross Gilchrist.

 

The lyrics of “Plastic” are about something that sadly most people have experienced. Áine sings about how you feel when you realise you fell for someone and they turn out to be completely emotionless, heartless and shallow. She starts out singing: “You are like a dummy in a window, ‘cause you are heartless, you’re cold”. Her lyrics are melancholic, but she tells it like it is without trying to make it sound more “fairytale-ish”. In the song she calls out to the wrong doer saying that person is plastic. She does not blame herself. “You are to blame” she sings, which is an important thing to understand for anyone in that situation.

 

Her voice is not as clean cut, which makes her sound more real. When she sings she has the power to fill people with emotions and she knows how to get across her message.

 

The Artist just announced an Ireland Tour in April/May, tickets are available since the 27th of January on Ticketmaster.com.

Lea Fabbrini 

Single Review – James Vincent McMorrow – How To Waste A Moment

James Vincent McMorrow is a singer and songwriter from Dublin, Ireland, who’s new single How To Waste A Moment, was released on 10th August. Having made his UK TV debut on BBC Two’s Later… With Jools Holland in May 2011 and receiving a European Borders Breakthrough Award in recognition of his debut album ‘Early In The Morning’ in 2012, McMorrow is gaining quite a following for his music.

McMorrow’s most recent release fosters a laidback energy and beautifully balanced sound that creates an intimate portrayal of the singer/songwriter, accompanied by McMorrow’s smooth vocals, the track is a perfectly engineered piece of acoustic come indie music. Opening into a gentle melody underpinned by tight drums, the song allows the listener to enter the world of McMorrow, and sets a precedent for the relaxed vibe that plays out throughout the song. The melody within the track rolling along creating a constant fixture that is built around by the various sounds that are brought in, adding further dimensions to the track and allowing the music to develop into a perfectly subtle soundscape, beautifully encompassing the narrative of McMorrow’s music. The song subtly builds bringing in deeper and denser sounds, creating tension beneath McMorrow’s vocals who’s own voice adds to the gentle and subdued sound of the track. McMorrow builds an exquisite atmosphere that indulges the listener, producing a raw energy that creates an ethereal quality throughout the track, enticing the listener and keeping the interest within the song.

Overall the track is an excellent example of acoustic/indie music, and McMorrow’s vocals are a beautiful accompaniment to the perfectly balanced sounds within the song. This track is a further notch that can be added to an already growing and impressive CV for the Dublin based musician. His vocals and sounds coming together in a perfect marriage, each balanced to create a magical soundscape that is both relaxing and interesting in equal measure. The song itself is an excellent example of McMorrow’s abilities, both through his singing and musical capabilities.

Matthew Kay

Single Review – The Strypes – Get Into It

The Blues Rock quartet from Cavan, Ireland broke through at a very young age and showed great maturity and taste with their 60’s style debut album Snapshot which was a more than solid debut for a band still in their mid-teens and if anything their range and depth of influences was just as impressive as their sound from which these influences were the foundation. Now at the grand old ages of 17-19, the band are to release their second studio album with Little Victories on July 24th. One of the lead singles from it is ‘Get Into It’ and on first impressions it suggests a slightly heavier shift in their sound akin to QOTSA, Monkeys and Royal Blood and many more. They maintain their vocal harmonies and McClorey’s vocals have clearly developed well, holding sustained melodies with ease and the sound is more mature if not a little familiar which is a little bit of a let down. Having said that, it is still delivered and produced to a standard better than most of their contemporaries with this sound, but let’s hope there more vision from the boys from Cavan with the rest of their upcoming album.

Owen Riddle @oriddleo1995

Single Review – The Academics – Different

Different the debut track from The Academics forthcoming EP, set to be released April 24th, pulses with life from start to finish. High tempo classic indie – rock guitar and bass lines power the song forward and give off an infectious energy. Craig Fitzgerald’s vocals are powerful and emotive as he repeats, I want you at the beginning of each chorus that builds to a climactic, I know that you’re different which seems fresh and potent each time. The lyrics then shift to, “I love you” repeated followed by “I love that you’re different” which carry much the same effect as the prior variation. The track is constantly peeking and free falling and at no point do you feel it has reached a plateau helping it to remain exciting from start to finish. This 4 piece band utilises the generic conventions of the indie – rock genre perfectly, manipulating them to create a straight to the point anthem charged with meaning and purpose that is set to get any crowd on board.

Dominic Naughton

Sunday Suggestion – John & Yoko – Sunday Bloody Sunday

john-lennon-red-mole2

John Lennon was a man who always left a trail or controversy and debate in his wake on a personal and public level. One particular track depicting the events of Bloody Sunday in 1972 appears on his Sometime In New York City album of the same year. Though there had been many angry and vented statements of his previous two albums, this one makes a particular feature of Lennon’s frustrations and grievances of which the event of Bloody Sunday were one. Between plunging saxophone cries fits the blunt and low riding bass line and a cacophony of percussion from which John’s razor sharp guitar solos slice through. John’s vocals also do the same with the same aggressive yet tuneful snarl he’d developed over the last two albums, delivering his sharp message of the “Anglo Pigs and Scots sent to colonise the North” and “Leave Ireland to the Irish not for London or for Rome” amongst a song full of accusations and cries for anyone feeling British to live in Britain as he recounts the events of that fateful day. His support for the IRA fell off as they began to commit their own atrocities and as he believed that neither side was worth supporting above peace. Nevertheless this song is a great source for future generations at capturing the mood of the time and people’s opinions of the atrocities that day. Something rarely done these days.