Saturday, 31 December 2011

Top 20 Albums of 2011

Here are the twenty albums which I've loved this year from Irish artists.


1. The Making - Expectations


This is pure quality pop/rock album released independently by the Co. Monaghan band. I'm not even sure if it's had an official nationwide release as I didn't notice the album on the Choice Longlist for the year.

02 v1 Beautiful Tonight by The Making




2. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love


Superb vocals and lyrics throughout from an amazing band.

They Call Me Coco Rushdie by FavouriteSons





3. I Draw Slow - Redhills


Beautifully crafted fusion of alt-country, folk, roots, old-time and Americana with wonderful vocals and musicianship!




4. Jukebox Gypsy - The Month


Jukebox Gypsy consists of four songwriters with their own style that works so well together on the band's second album entitled 'The Month'.





5. Maria Byrne & The Broken String - Little Basement


'Little Basement' is the debut album from London based Corkonian Maria Byrne and it's a wonderful collection of inoffensive singalong songs which brings a warm glow into my life.

Maria Byrne & The Broken String - Home by maria_byrne



Amhrán Gach Lá - Jukebox Gypsy [Top 10 of 2011]

With 2011 at an end I'm bringing my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close with my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists.



1. Jukebox Gypsy - The Month

For me the lyric 'These are fading pictures now falling from our wall' is exactly what it's like looking back with memories of people who've passed away. It's a poignant track about a month in the songwriter's life which was devastating and turning it into a positive meaningful song.

Jukebox Gypsy - The Month by 2uibestow


Buy The Month here: http://jukeboxgypsy.bigcartel.com/



2. I Draw Slow - Goodbye Beulahland

3. Declan O'Rourke - Be Brave and Believe

4. Lisa Hannigan - Paper House

5. Autumn Long - Ten More Reasons

6. The Gorgeous Colours - It's OK to be Normal

7. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Friday, 30 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - I Draw Slow

With 2 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!



2. I Draw Slow - Goodbye Beulahland

My top ten was picked based on the songs that demanded repeated listening and the line in 'Goodbye Beulahland'; ' .. and I keep coming back to the heart of everything that is wrong with this world.'. I simply adore this track and the album 'Redhills'.

I Draw Slow - Goodbye Beulahland by 2uibestow

Buy Redhills here: http://www.idrawslow.com/store2.html

3. Declan O'Rourke - Be Brave and Believe

4. Lisa Hannigan - Paper House

5. Autumn Long - Ten More Reasons

6. The Gorgeous Colours - It's OK to be Normal

7. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Declan O'Rourke

With 3 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!



3. Declan O'Rourke - Be Brave and Believe

I wrote about this song a few weeks back and I've kept listening to it since. This is a life changing song about hope and belief. If you need a lift in your life there's no better song to listen to and to believe in. Sublime music!

Declan O'Rourke - Be Brave and Believe by 2uibestow

Buy Mag Pai Zai here: http://www.declanorourke.com/intro.php



4. Lisa Hannigan - Paper House

5. Autumn Long - Ten More Reasons

6. The Gorgeous Colours - It's OK to be Normal

7. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Lisa Hannigan

With 4 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!



4. Lisa Hannigan - Paper House

This track is all about the charm Lisa's vocals, the strings and the harmonium create. The lyrics are heartfelt and beautifully crafted. This was the highlight of Lisa's album Passengers!

06 Paper House - Lisa Hannigan by Hamlet Knight

Buy Passengers here: http://www.lisahannigan.ie/store/



5. Autumn Long - Ten More Reasons

6. The Gorgeous Colours - It's OK to be Normal

7. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Autumn Long

With 5 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!



5. Autumn Long - Ten More Reasons

The debut album from Autumn Long to be released next Spring is an album I'm really excited about. Padraig Digan's vocals and more importantly his lyrics are top quality with the debut single 'Ten more Reasons' showcasing these qualities.




http://www.facebook.com/Autumnlongmusic

6. The Gorgeous Colours - It's OK to be Normal

7. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Monday, 26 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Gorgeous Colours

With 10 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!


6. The Gorgeous Colours - It's OK to be Normal

This epic tune from start to finish hits the spot for me. It's a perfect indie song from the strings at the beginning to the vocals and the sentiment within the lyrics of the song. Hopefully 2012 will see the arrival of the second album from The Gorgeous Colours!



https://www.facebook.com/TheGorgeousColours


7. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Favourite Sons

With 10 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!


7. Favourite Sons - The Great Deal of Love

The title track of New York's finest Favourite Sons is a tragic tale of love sung perfectly by Ken Griffen formally of Rollerskate Skinny. This song for me is all about the lyrics and the vocals. A sublime track!

The Great Deal of Love by FavouriteSons

Buy 'The Great Deal of Love'; http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-great-deal-of-love/id453455284


8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Joe Chester

With 10 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!


8. Joe Chester - Most of the Time

This song is another recent favourite of mine. 'Most of the Time' is the standout track from Joe Chester's new album 'She Darks Me'. It's a beautifully written song which could easily belong on Morrison's Astral Weeks. I love the jazzy feel of the track and the special harmonica solo to finish off the song.



Buy 'She Darks Me' here: http://joechester.bandcamp.com/album/she-darks-me


9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Friday, 23 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Storyfold

With 10 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!



9. Storyfold - The Sweetest Silence

From the first few seconds on this track you know this is a special tune. Lindsay's lead vocals are delightful and work so well with Paddy's backing vocals. The Sweetest Silence is a really fantastic uplifting song which deserves to be played loud! The Sweetest Silence is taken from the album Rocket Science.

The Sweetest Silence by storyfold


Buy The Album: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/rocket-science/id435415444




10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

Thursday, 22 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Lost Brothers

With 10 days left in the year I'm going to bring my 'Amhrán Gach Lá' project to a close by bringing my Top 10 songs of 2011 by Irish artists to the blog in 10 installments! Beginning at 10 and heading to 1!



10. The Lost Brothers - Goodbye Kid

This is a recent favourite of mine. It demands repeat listening. The vocal harmonies of Mark and Oisin are wonderful as well as that playful guitar rift. It's a simple song but brimming with charm. Goodbye Kid is taken from the band's album 'So Long, John Fante'.

The Lost Brothers - "Goodbye Kid" by Hill 16 Management


Buy the album: http://thelostbrothersband.com/

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Shade of Light

This is a really nice Christmas charity song for two Cystic Fibrosis Charities:



Fiona Gill & Clare Meleady, a 26 year old person with Cystic Fibrosis in Ireland, have written a Christmas Song and are releasing it in Aid of two Cystic Fibrosis Charities in Ireland. "Tracie Lawlor Trust for Cystic Fibrosis" & "Life Matters for CF"


Christmas Eve is available for download
http://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/december-eve/id482991563?i=482991689

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Top 10 Alternative Tunes for Christmas

Have you got to the stage where you hate Christmas songs? Are you at the point that if you hear one more Shaken Stevens or Shaken Shane MacGowan you'll go mad? Well this list is for you.


Here's the best ten tracks from Irish artists released before 2011 that I think fits the Christmas mood. These are reflective songs with thought provoking lyrics that should be heard by the masses!



1. Pearse McGloughlin - Passion Song

I love the lyrics and atmosphere of this track. It's long intro builds up to a passionate end with the refrain 'Your All There Is Now'. Simply gorgeous.





2. Sean Kangataran - Wake Up


Again this is all about the lyrics and the sentiment of the song 'Wake Up' from Sean's 2010 debut album;

"But your love she had her own way of lifting you up,
Right before she had the nerve to go and break your heart.
So whatever you choose to do, don’t lose hope,
So whatever you choose to do, don’t give up."





3. Doctor Millar - Feel Everything & Love Yourself

Even ten years after it's release I think this song is my most played song of 2011. It's all about the lyrics: "she doesnt have to take that man just because she feels ashamed of how she lost the other one"


Dr. Millar - Feel Everything and Love Yourself by 2uibestow



4. Iain Archer - Frozen Lake

This was one of my favourite tracks from 2009. I adore the Cello which enters the soundscape at around the two minute mark.





5. Resurrection Fern - When You're Weary, Come Home

This is a song about companionship and friendship and the importance of have a home to come back to when needed.

07 When You're Weary, Come Home by Resurrection Fern



6. Annette Buckley - Whirlpool

I love everything about Annette's 2005 debut album and this song is immense. What a perfect love song with amazing strings and atmosphere in abundance.

Annette Buckley - Whirlwind by 2uibestow



7. Declan De Barra - Throw Your Arms Around Me

There's no better delicate love song than this heartfelt ode to a loved one.






8. Colin Devlin - The Heart Wont Be Denied

This song was the highlight of Colin's 2009 solo album The Democracy of One. It's s delicate tale of love that is so beautiful.

Colin Devlin - The Heart Won't Be Denied by Music Week



9. Junah - Walk me into the Ground

You'll need to turn up the volume to hear all the intricate musicianship and harmonies on this demo from Dublin band Junah. I can't wait for their debut album to appear next year.

Walk me into the ground by junah



10 Ultan Conlon - Old & Wise

Ultan's song 'Old & Wise' is a song I never get tired of listening to. It's about not holding back and seeking adventure! "There is a beauty in you I can't define, so we throw caution at the wind, time after time ... "

Ultan Conlon - Old & Wise by 2uibestow

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Dirty 9s

The Dirty 9s have released a Christmas tune to remind you all of their existence during that difficult lull in between albums 1 and 2. The song entitled 'Into the Winter's Night' is a lovely atmospheric acoustic song which showcases Fergal's fine vocals.

Get the song for free here:





More info: http://www.breakingtunes.com/thedirty9s/

Monday, 19 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Marc O'Reilly

Marc O'Reilly is your PLAY IRISH artist this week. The track is '"Family Reunion" and you can hear is all week at 3.30pm on Galway Bay FM on the Jon Richards show.

08 Family Reunion by Salt and Shake Records

This track is simply gorgeous .... listen to them sublime simple and effective lyrics! I love this tune! http://www.marcoreillymusic.com/






Buy the album My Friend Marx here: http://itunes.apple.com/ie/album/my-friend-marx/id413394157

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Andrew Handrick

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of the Christmas single by Andrew Handrick called Christmas Again.



The song and video are so perfect for the Christmas season it even has bells on the song! While the production is patchy at best the song is a great attempt at bringing extra Christmas cheer to the masses. As with everything Andrew does the vocals are superb and you have to check out the video below!




Buy the song: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/christmas-again-single/id485997226

http://www.facebook.com/AndrewHandrickMusic

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Top 10 Christmas Covers by Irish Artists

Part two of my 'Top 10 Christmas Lists' sees me focusing on the Christmas covers by Irish bands! There must be hundreds of Christmas tunes out there covered by Irish artists and I've chosen the best 10 for this list!

Have a listen and put some love into your heart!



10. SJ McArdle - Stop The Cavalry

This song is perfect for SJ's deep deep voice!

Stop The Cavalry by SJMcArdle

http://soundcloud.com/sjmcardle



9. Goodtime - Put A Little Love in Your Heart

This free mp3 from Goodtime's website last year warmed the cockles of my heart!

Goodtime - Put A Little Love In Your Heart by 2uibestow

http://goodtime.ie/



8. The Aftermath - The Power of Love

The Frankie goes to Hollywood classic The Power of Love covered byThe Aftermath featuring Matt McManaman from the Dead 60s. This version is much better than the Paddy Casey version from the early noughties!



http://theaftermath.bandcamp.com/



7. Norabelle - Stay Another Day

I don't know of any other shit song completely transformed into a majestic masterpiece as this version of Stay Another Day by Norabelle!



http://norabelle.bandcamp.com/album/wren



6. The Making - Blue Christmas

I heard Brendan McGahey sing this tune last year and was delighted when it became available as a free download this week. Brendan from The Making does a great Elvis here:

Blue Christmas by Brendan Mc Cahey (The Making) by The Making

http://soundcloud.com/the-making



5. Sive - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

Straight in at number 5 is this gorgeous version of the classic Christmas number. I love SIve's vocals here. As warm and comfy as mulled wine on the couch in front of a fire!

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by SiveMusic

http://soundcloud.com/sivemusic



4. Damien Dempsey - Holy Night

My favourite Christmas Carol sung by the wonderful Damien Dempsey! It's a cracker!!!!!

Damien Dempsey - Holy Night by 2uibestow

http://www.damiendempsey.com/



3. Fia Rua - Lonely This Christmas

Another song that perfectly matches the vocals of the Irish artist; Lonely This Christmas becomes even more harrowing by Fia Rua's vocals!

Lonely This Christmas by Fia Rua

http://soundcloud.com/fiaruamusic



2. One Day International - River

While One Day international do justice to this classic it's inclusion high up on the list is purely down to my love of the Joni Mitchell song:

One Day International - River [joni mitchell] by 2uibestow

http://onedayinternationalmusic.wordpress.com/



1. Pony Club - Driving Home For Christmas

I also love this Chris Rea tune but Pony Club adding the driving reports from the M50 of Dublin at the beginning of this song makes this my version of choice!

Pony Club - Driving Home for Christmas by 2uibestow


http://www.ponyclub.tv/

Amhrán Gach Lá - Saccade

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of the debut album 'Force of Habit' by Dublin band Saccade.


In a tight indie rock market Saccade succeed with releasing an interesting debut album of alternative anthems primed for mass radio play. I say interesting because there's enough good album tracks to say that 'Force of Habit' is a good album but there's very little for me to get excited about. The album feels like it belongs in the post grunge years of Stone Temple Pilots and eh ... Bush! Don't let that put you off checking out the album because if you want good honest indie rock tracks this album is for you. Standout tracks for me are the singles 'See How They Fly' and 'Last Tango', the power pop of 'Lemkin' and the piano led 'Hang On'.


Saccade - 'Forces of Habit' [8 out of 12]


Lemkin by indiesync.com

Hang on by indiesync.com


http://www.facebook.com/stateofsaccade

Friday, 16 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Hot Sprockets

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of the debut album Honeyskippin' from The Hot Sprockets released in the Summer!



I have this album a number of months and have listened to it a fair few times. It's quite a frustrating album because there's a number of tracks I get really excited about and then there's lots of tracks which go nowhere! I love the singles Cruisin', Sleep Shake and the title track which showcases The Hot Sprockets bluesy rock goodtime sound. When the tempo drops, the lack of lyrical meaning within the songs become apparent and it ultimately lets the album down.


The Hot Sprockets - Honeyskippin' [8 out of 12]

Sleep Shake by thehotsprockets


http://thehotsprockets.com/

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Candice Gordon

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of South African born Candice Gordon who recently released a wonderful debut album entitled 'Before The Sunset Ends'.




Candice Gordon is a major songwriting talent and a wonderful vocalist. Her songs are dark and moody and easy comparisons to PJ Harvey or a female Nick Cave come to mind. The eight tracks on the short album are beautifully composed and they gel together to form one of the most complete albums I've heard this year. Standout track for me is the final track 'Friend' which raises a toast to a friend and honours the time spent together. There's a lot of imagery in the tracks including taking the devils soul, starting fires and seeing demons. In fact this album is a great end of the world drinking album, preferably drinking whiskey late at night!

Candice Gordon - Before The Sunset Ends [11 out of 12]

Before The Sunset Ends by Candice Gordon


http://www.candicegordonmusic.com/

German Dates in Jan:

18.01.12 - Chemnitz, Germany
20.01.12 - Munich, Germany
21.01.12 - Salzburg, Germany
23.01.12 - Bamberg, Germany
25.01.12 - Mainz, Germany
26.01.12 - Dietzenbach, Germany

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Monorail

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of Co. Tipperary's Monorail who released their debut album 'Sleepers' this year!



Very few albums have been able to drag me from feelings of sublime to the ridiculous in the course of twelve tracks. The album begins well with the subtle rock sounds of 'The Universe' and it's not long until you hear the album's best track; 'Heart of Gold'. This track benefits from Gemma Hayes' immense vocals and it's a beautiful country rock song. I also loved the laid back feel of 'Calm Place'. However the love wains especially on the second half of the album.


Monorail - Sleepers [7 out of 12]

Monorail feat.Gemma Hayes - Hearts of Gold by MonorailMusic

http://www.monorail.ie/

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Siobhan O'Brien

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of Limerick's Siobhan O'Brien and a mini review of her self-titled album released in January of this year.



With shades of Lucinda Williams, Siobhan O'Brien has released a bluesy rock collection of songs which in general deal with real, to the bone issues. The production isn't great and reflects the fact that all the music on the album is a product of Siobhan and producer Eamonn Hehir. There's a few very good tunes on the album such as 'Naked', 'My Man' and 'Guilty of Despair'. However there isn't enough here to keep my attention and to draw me in.


My Man by siobhanobrien


Siobhan O'Brien - Self-titled [6 out of 12]

http://siobhanobrien.com/default.aspx

Monday, 12 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Declan O'Rourke

DECLAN O ROURKE is the PLAY IRISH Galway artist next week – Jon Richards from Galway Bay FM will be playing ‘Be Brave and Believe’ from Declan’s latest album ‘Mag Pai Zai’ every day this week at 3.35pm.



This is a really nice empowering track from Declan's third album Mag Pai Zai. Have a listen to the track here:



http://www.declanorourke.com/intro.php

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Top 10 Original Irish Christmas Tunes

This is the first of three 'Top 10' countdowns I'm planning for the Christmas season! Here are in my opinion the best 10 original Christmas tunes by Irish artists [excluding the very obvious Fairytale of New York!].







10. Bill Coleman - Sit With Me

Thanks to Aidan from Golden Plec I was introduced to this today and it's a great tune. Sit With Me is a heartfelt Christmas song which reminds you that life and all it's struggles continue through the Christmas period.

"So I won’t be back,
Goodbye my darling,
I will miss you so,
I am so sorry."

Sit With Me by bcoleman


9. Track Dogs - How Christmas Was Meant To Be

This is the current single from Spanish settlers Track Dogs. It's a typical Track Dogs number with the sound vocals from Garrett Wall and that wonderful trumpet elevating the song above the ordinary!

How Christmas Was Meant To Be by Track Dogs


8. Alien Envoy - Christmas in the City

This track appeared on the Alien Envoy album from last year called 'Nine Lives'. I love the vocals of Nick Kelly and the strings which add so much to the charm of the song. This video was recorded on December 30th 2009 upstairs in Whelans:




7. Shayne Thomas Byrne - Coming Home

'Coming Home' is not a Christmas song but it references coming home for Christmas so it gets into the list. 'Coming Home' is the album closer of Shayne's debut album released this year and it's a great song.

7 Coming Home by shaynebyrnemusic



6. Funzo - This Christmas

This track was the winner of Christmas FM’s ‘New Christmas Classic’ award in 2009. The song reminds me of the old Paul McCarty Christmas classics or even Jona Lewie's 'Stop The Cavalry'.




5. Séan Needham - A Child Could Save Us All

A song about the true meaning of Christmas that's actually good? This is a song written about being home in Donegal for Christmas and I love it!

Sean Needham - A Child Could Save Us All by 2uibestow



4. Emmett Tinley - Christmastreet

This is a beautifully written tune from former Prayer Boat singer. It's taken from the singer's 2005 debut solo album called 'Attic Faith'. Buy the album here: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/emmetttinley

Emmett Tinley - Christmastreet by 2uibestow



3. Miss Paula Flynn - Happy Christmas, Valentine

A love song for Christmas? Yes and it's beautiful! I love the video too! There's even a hint of Jingle Bells at the end of the tune!





2. Declan O'Rourke - Christmas Wine

Declan released this single back in 2006 with Nina Kinert. It's beautifully sung and the lyrics are superb.

Declan O'Rourke - Christmas Wine (Acoustic) by 2uibestow

Buy the single here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/christmas-wine-single/id453436806



1. Mick Flannery - Christmas Past

The original version of this tune features Kate Walsh on vocals but in the video it's Lisa Hannigan providing the co-vocals. Again for me this song is all about the lyrics. There's no attempt at sloppy Christmas sentiments here, it's all about the anguish of love:

"Oh yeah I forgot this part
This is where you break my heart
You told me that you loved me then
Did you really mean it friend"


Amhrán Gach Lá - Mardi Gras

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of a Rome band Mardi Gras with Irish vocalist Claudia McDowell.



Mardi Gras recently released their first full album entitled 'Among The Streams' and it's an album of great depth. The songs deal with the big themes of the end of the world, love and a land of hope and dreams! The Americana rock sound of Mardi Gras isn't exactly original but I don't think the band have set out to be pushing the boundaries of musical originality. Instead 'Among The Streams' is a steady album showcasing excellent musicianship, nice vocals and lyrics that matter!


Mardi Gras - Among The Streams [8 out of 12]


Mardi Gras - 02 - Scarecrow in the snow by mardi gras

Buy the Album: http://itunes.apple.com/it/album/among-the-streams/id470834754

http://www.mardigrasmusic.it/

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Kelvin Busher

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's the turn of Wexford's Kelvin Busher and a mini review of his debut album entitled 'Vintage'.



Vintage is an album of depth and it's full of charm. It fits into the contemporary rock genre perfectly and would suit fans of bands like Counting Crows, Grant Lee Buffalo and The Boss! The vocals and lyrics are deep and personal. I love the lyrics of 'Caught Between', the chilled out vide of 'Find it in Your Heart' and brass section of 'Everybody Feels Alone'. Other tracks struggle to hit the heights of these three tracks but on the other hand there isn't a bad track on the album.

Kelvin Busher - Vintage [10 out of 12]

Check out two of the best tracks on the album here:

Kelvin Busher - Find It In Your Heart (Feat. Sharon Shannon) by Highsonicrecords


Kelvin Busher - New York City by Highsonicrecords


Buy The Album: http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/vintage/id442483553

More info: http://www.kelvinbusher.com/

Friday, 9 December 2011

Christmas Concerts!

Here's a few gigs worth going to over the festive season!

Next Friday in The Grand Social this gig is taking place:


Here's a new song from Fiach performing at this gig!

MountStreetBridge by Fiachmusic


-------------------------------------




http://www.jacklukeman.com/

Suuport on the 20th is provided by Cork's Aine Duffy!

Aine Duffy Band - I Don't Think Your Ready by RisingStars


-----------------------------------------

School Tour // Ginnels // Owensie5euro // Doors 8pm Hefty Horse will be hosting their Christmas gig in the fantastic Grand Social with all profits will go to charity and they have gone for Aware this time around.


Check out Owensie here:

04. Dark Place by owensie



--------------------------------

The Jimmy Cake - Crawdaddy Dec 23rd with support from The Black Triangle

The Jimmy Cake will be using this gig to fund the manufacture of the new record which will be out early 2012.

Haunted Candle by The Jimmy Cake



--------------------------------


Munday - Whelans Dec 27th with support from The Young Folk






Letters by TheYoungFolk


---------------------------------

The Hot Sprockets with The Stoney Brokes The Grand Social on NYE






Stoney Brokes - You Don't See Me by RisingStars

Amhrán Gach Lá - The Salt Flats

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today as it's Friday and I write about covers on Fridays I give to you The Slat Flats - Songs of Fleetwood Mac.


The Belfast group [Supergroup? See Below] have released an EP of Fleetwood Mac songs consisting of Silver Springs, Never Going Back Again, Big Love and my personal favourite Everywhere. There isn't much to review here except to say that the band put their own stamp on the Fleetwood Mac tunes and do them justice. I'm not the biggest Fleetwood Mac fan but I do like Big Love and Everywhere and the EP offers a chance to hear the songs in a different style.

Download the full EP here: http://soundcloud.com/thesaltflats/sets/fleetwood-mac-songs-ep

The Salt Flats-Everywhere by The Salt Flats


The Salt Flats also make music as:

Katie and the Carnival:
www.myspace.com/katieandthecarnival

Cara Cowan:
www.myspace.com/carafayecowan

Skibunny:
www.myspace.com/skibunnyclub

Coney Island Sound:
www.myspace.com/coneyislandsound

Thursday, 8 December 2011

Interview: The Crossfire [Your Forum Re-post]

Music Q&A with Ashbourne's 'The Crossfire' as appeared in the Your Forum free newspaper for Meath: http://yourforum.ie/lifestyle/roundup/articles/2011/12/05/4007993-music-qa-with-ashbournes-the-crossfire/






The Crossfire

Described as a band "to watch on Garageland, formed in 2010, this band are part of the wave of young acts sweeping the nation," Ashbourne band The Crossfire have played some of Ireland's best venues including The Sugar Club, Whelan's, Boyles of Slane as well as the St. Patrick's Day festival in Ashbourne.

Their debut EP shows massive potential for a new young band who are coping with trying to make a name for themselves while studying for their Leaving Certificate at Ashbourne Community School. Peter Nagle talks with lead singer Sean Buckley, along the band members Matt Brady, Chris Murphy, Sean Keeley and Adam Shanahan, to shine a light on The Crossfire.

Peter: Hi Sean, tell me about your band The Crossfire. When did you form the band and how do the five members know each other?

Sean: The story really started in January of 2011. Myself and Matthew our lead guitar player had just finished playing with a garage band and we were looking to take things to the next level. The two of us had been jamming and writing since the age of about 12 so we knew each other's musical habits and tastes. We started talking to Chris Murphy, our soon to be rhythm guitarist about the possibility of playing some music together. We then got in contact with Seán Keeley our long time friend, musician and bassist. Our last port of call was a drummer. Adam had only been playing a few weeks with a full kit but we were desperate for some sort of beat for the studio. We quickly found out of Adams high technical skill and keen ear for a drum fill and recruited him there and then.

Peter: How do you guys balance being in a band with the pressures of the Leaving Certificate?

Sean: To be honest, we'd be lying if we said it was easy. Think I've heard the term "back up plan" more times this year than all other years combined. The way I see it is, if you're passionate about something in life and want to pursue something as much as we do, you've got to follow your heart (sounds cheesy I know) but we truly believe that we have something good in this band.

Adam: Personally I'm finding the juggle between studies and music matters quite difficult, yet when it comes down to the run-up to a show, the tension for me seems to ease with the flow of a good jam session in the rehearsal space!

Matt: Studying academically is striving to achieve a good leaving cert and a well paid job, but if you want success as a musician just as much work has to be put in to that too.

Peter: It sounds like the band went straight in at the deep end recording original songs and playing established venues like 'The Sugar Club'. What have been the highlights of 2011?

Sean: As far as highlights go there have been some real peaches! Recording our debut EP was class and I was delighted at the feedback we got! We entered "Live and Unsigned" as an underage band which is a competition between the best unsigned bands in Dublin and came out winners. We've also been recorded for an upcoming show on RTE. Another great gig we were involved in was headlining our hometown St. Patrick's Day Festival in Ashbourne. There have just been so many great gigs this year we're hoping we'll have another year of the same level of progress. If so I reckon we're on to a serious winner.

Chris: I think my main highlight of the year has been the creation of our EP because its shows our aspirations as artists and what we're setting out to achieve. The release of the EP has been the roots of what has happened since then.

Sean K: My favourite moment of the year has to be the gig in The Pint venue in Dublin this October where we just had so much fun. It's by far my favourite band memory.

Peter: What does 'The Crossfire' sound like? What bands and artists influence the musical direction of the band?

Sean: I think the great thing about the sound of The Crossfire is the marriage of different styles in our music. As five different people we have such different tastes in music which gives our work a real sense of originality.

Chris: I personally come from a Punk/Metal background so I saw joining this band as an opportunity to put my own spin on our genre. I have always been inspired by Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, The Edge, Brian Haner Jr., Phil Demell, but my main inspiration is Joe Satriani.

Sean K: The Crossfire's sound is familiar Rock/Pop at first listen but really has an original twist to it. People mention The Script but I think that's only in vocals and lyrics. The actual music of the band is so hard, heavy and takes a lot of inspiration from Rock and Roll. It has so many elements which leads to a heavy musical burst.

Peter: What are the plans for The Crossfire for 2012?

Sean: Our plan for 2012 is to finish writing an album we'll be proud of and an album that we think can bring us to the next level. We want to expand our fanbase and create a storm with the album. We've been talking to a few labels and hopefully with a successful album under our belts they'll come knocking .

Amhrán Gach Lá - Wicker Bones

For the next number of days I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums or Eps I wanted to review but have slipped me by in the last few months.

Today it's the turn of The Martyn Sessions by Wicker Bones.





The Martyn Sessions EP is the six track debut release by Dublin Trad band Wicker Bones who were once called Holy Bleedin' Jaysus! There's a nice mix of traditional arrangements and original songs including some really fresh versions of classics like 'The Parting Glass' and 'Follow me up to Carlow'. While the middle tracks are below par there's enough quality songs on the Ep to be excited about. I adore the wonderful version of Dylan's Masters of War. The vocals on that track and amazing and sound even better live!

Wicker Bones - The Martyn Sessions [9 out of 12]

Masters Of War by WickerBones@gmail.com

http://www.facebook.com/WickerBones

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Amhrán Gach Lá - Little Xs For Eyes

For the next number of nights I'm going to use my daily "Amhrán Gach Lá" post to write mini reviews of albums I wanted to review but have slipped me by.

First up is S.A.D. by Little Xs For Eyes


S.A.D. is a fine indie pop album by Dublin band 'Little Xs for Eyes". It's one of those albums I can enjoy from afar without really getting into it. The vocals are wonderful throughout but especially on 'Summer Never Comes'. There are some great tunes on there such as the closer 'Chet', 'In Three Years', the free download 'In The Light' and 'Your Ex Girlfriend'.

Little Xs for Eyes - S.A.D. [9 out of 12]

Chet - little xs for eyes by Clockwork Apple

Buy the album: http://littlexsforeyes.bandcamp.com/