James Vincent McMorrow has today announced details of brand new album ‘Grapefruit Season’, which will see a release on Columbia Records on July 16th, pre-order the album here. The record is launched today alongside beautiful album track ‘Waiting’ – listen here – following acclaimed recent single ‘Gone’ (which was B-Listed at Radio 1) and standalone collaboration ‘Be Somebody’ with dance trailblazers Rudimental. James’ UK and European tour for early 2022 has also now been confirmed, including a London date at Kentish Town Forum on February 21st and two homecoming shows at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on April 19th/20th.
In an already-unpredictable career, ‘Grapefruit Season’ sees James Vincent McMorrow push himself (and his sound) in all new ways. Produced by James alongside fellow genre-disruptors Paul Epworth, Kenny Beats, Lil Silva and Patrick Wimberly (Chairlift), McMorrow’s fifth album was recorded between London, Los Angeles and Dublin largely before the pandemic struck. It embraces the fact that life is chaos, and the idea of growing up but feeling none the wiser. Each song is held together by McMorrow’s instantly-identifiable voice, an untethered musical imagination, and (from dancehall to soul, country to R&B) purposefully little else in its pursuit of fear-free pop music. Even the title, ‘Grapefruit Season’, seems to signpost doing simply what you want, rather than what you are supposed to do (it was inspired by James watching his mum eat grapefruit as a kid, and the idea that what’s good for you may not actually be pleasurable). Throughout the emotional highs and lows of ‘Grapefruit Season’, you are reminded of the risks James Vincent McMorrow has taken since the singer-songwriter roots of debut album ‘Early In The Morning’ (which turned ten in 2020); but also that those same instincts – to follow inspiration wherever it leads, and to be as brutally honest possible – remain a refreshing constant.
“Every time a new song or album comes out, I get a mail asking me to put together some thoughts on the songs and how they came together, where they came from, what they mean. The truth is I just live my life, the songs come when they come, and they come from wherever they come from. Then once they’re done I start worrying about if they’re good enough, if I mean enough to make them good enough.
This last year has been a massive lesson in patience for all of us. But I don’t feel any more patient than I did before, in fact the opposite, I feel impatient. I had this album finished last year and then the world stopped and I had to stop. I remember sitting in my car crying after I heard that we’d be parking the work until 2021, and then I wrote ‘Waiting.’ It’s a song about feeling sorry for myself, and then going home and talking to the one person in my life who understands just how awkward a fit all of this is for me, and who loves me for the actual human I am and not what I curate in order to feel like the person I need to be.
I don’t know if any of this makes any sense – but ‘Grapefruit Season’ is about embracing the idea nothing makes sense. None of it is supposed to be linear. Music isn’t some holy grail to a greater meaning, it’s supposed to remove you from where you are for a moment and take you somewhere else. And I’m not saying that isn’t a transcendent thing, because when it’s done well it truly is. And I believe/hope I have done it well with this album. I’m just saying that at the end of the day, music is a simple idea unadorned idea that doesn’t need bells and whistles to make it work…. unless you’re making an album where the only instruments are bells and whistles, then you definitely need them to make it work.”
Tickets for James Vincent McMorrow’s 2022 headline tour are available as follows, with news of JVM’s new single from ‘Grapefruit Season’ to follow ‘Gone’ expected soon.
Pre-order ‘Grapefruit Season‘: https://jvm.lnk.to/GrapefruitSeason
‘Grapefruit Season’ Track Listing:
3. Planes In The Sky
4. Tru Love
6. Poison To You
7. We Don’t Kiss Under Umbrellas Like We Used To
8. A House and a River
9. Hollywood & Vine
12. I Should Go
14. Part of Me February 4th || Leuven || Het Depot
February 5th || Paris || Le Trianon
February 6th || Luxembourg || Den Atelier
February 8th || Frankfurt || Batschkapp
February 9th || Amsterdam || Paradiso
February 10th || Hamburg || Grunspan
February 12th || Stockholm || Nalen
February 13th || Copenhagen || Vega
February 15th || Berlin || Metropol
February 16th || Cologne || Gloria Theatre
February 18th || Manchester || O2 Ritz
February 20th || Birmingham || O2 Institute
February 21st || London || O2 Kentish Town Forum
February 22nd || Bristol || O2 Academy
February 23rd || Glasgow || Barrowland Ballroom
April 19th || Dublin || Olympia Theatre
April 20th || Dublin || Olympia Theatre
April 21st || Belfast || Limelight
April 22nd || Limerick || Milk Market
Photo: Evan Doherty
1000 Beasts teams up with Alex Tierney again for this 808 laden track combining soulful R’N’B rhythms with oriental influenced samples.
This is the second time we see the pair collaborate, after last years ‘5 Points’ from 1000 Beasts debut EP.
1000 Beasts is the alias of Cian Sweeney, an Irish producer/artist who collaborates with different artists on every track (they are the “beasts” behind the name) to make soulful, indiepop & hip hop inspired tracks.
His debut EP ‘On A Different Page’ was released in July 2020 through Unity Group (Paris) followed by the runaway success of his remixes for Elaine Malone (You), Joshua Burnside (Noa Mercier) & Pollena (The Pool).
2021 will see 1000 Beasts release his debut album.
‘For You & I’ is the first release from 1000 Beasts upcoming debut album, due out later in 2021.
The track sees the return of past collaborator Alex Tierney for an 808 laden track to combine soulful R’N’B rhythms with oriental influenced samples and Tierney’s brooding vocal to make the perfect alt/indie track for summer 2021.
Alex Tierney is a 21 year old singer-songwriter from Dublin, Ireland who’s inspired massively by R&B and hip-hop production with folk and pop songwriting sensibilities. His music is inspired by a broad range of artists across many genres like Bon Iver, The Weekend, Ólafur Arnalds, Dermot Kennedy and everything in between.
Before he had any music officially released, Alex was invited by Lewis Capaldi to open his show at Dublin’s famous Olympia Theatre where the multi-instrumentalist wowed the crowd with stripped back piano and guitar versions of his originals.
Throughout 2020, Alex released his first two singles titled ‘Over The Maybes’ and ‘Painkiller’ achieving worldwide support from the likes of Vevo, MTV and Iheart Radio as well as Apple and Spotify playlisting.
Alex is massively excited for the release of ‘For You & I’ as he feels it shows off a perfect blend of his and 1000 Beasts’ varied styles while also being a fun energetic track. The song came together so quickly and naturally in Alex’s home studio and the sense of enjoyment that he and 1000 Beasts felt making the track can be clearly heard.
“We started out with this Guzheng sample that I had manipulated & built a beat around. When I showed this to Alex he really vibed with it and got the verse and the chorus down so quickly. It was such an easy process, I always feel like the best tracks come together like after. Afterwards I added a soulful brass part to the bridge, it has a classic Jay Z feel to it I think in that it’s a contrast but a perfect counter-balance to the rest of the track. We were lucky enough to play this track a few times over the past year, like at the private live streaming gig we did for a small audience in the Gate Cinema last autumn, and it always goes down so well so I can’t wait to share it properly” -1000 Beasts
‘Silly Little Games’ is the debut release from Dublin indie-pop duo A Scene From A Break. The track documents the moments of realization that come having moving on from something that is causing you pain, and the sense of growth that comes from such moments. “You see all the things and people and places that used to trigger all the bad feelings within you, but for the first time in a long while they have almost no effect on you anymore” songwriter Ó Dúnlaing notes of the track, “You are a different person than you were before, hence the lyric ‘You wouldn’t know me at all, if you saw me now…‘”
The lyrics, framed as a conversation, between the person walking away and another struggling to keep their sense of control, delves into the contrasting emotions that come from such a moment, and the bravery it takes to take a stand and begin moving on from a traumatic moment. “I just heard a melody in my head and the lyrics poured out of me” Ó Dúnlaing explained, “They were never based on any particular personal experience but just the feeling I got from listening to the music that Luke had created“.
The track is a unique blend of 90’s guitar pop (The Cardigans, Sixpence None), and the 80’s-tinged melodic sheen and aura of bands such as The Cure. The track was recorded entirely remotely, with Foley producing the instrumentation and Ó Dúnlaing recording her own vocals. From there, they got Darragh Nolan (aka Astakalapa) involved to develop the track’s warm, live band feeling. “It was the first time I had ever worked on a track for release like that and it was a great boost to my confidence to have been able to do it” Ó Dúnlaing explained of the production process.
Scenes From A Break is a collaborative project between singer/songwriter Sally Ó Dúnlaing and songwriter/producer Luke Foley. It began as a project when Foley posted online that he was in search of a vocalist to help him demo some tracks. When Ó Dúnlaing reached out and the pair started working together, they found songwriting together so seamless that they decided to form a new band.
Ó Dúnlaing has spent the last number of years releasing music under the moniker of ÓDÚ. In 2016, the Bray native released her debut single under Ódú with ‘Different’. This was followed by her debut EP ‘The Conversations EP’ in 2017, which was widely acclaimed upon its release, with Hot Press remarking that ÓDÚ had a “Non-ironic, unapologetic penchant for crystal clear pop.”
Since then, ÓDÚ has released ‘Roots’ in 2018 ‘Roots’, which was playlisted on RTE Radio 1 and added to Spotify’s New Pop Revolution playlist, and ‘The Feeling’ in 2019, which was chosen as 2FM’s Record Of The Week and saw her play a UK / Ireland tour in June and July.
In addition, ÓDÚ composed music and lyrics for ‘Confirmation’, a musical memoir created and performed by performance artist Xnthony, marking her first foray into musical theatre. Confirmation went on to sell out Dublin Fringe Festival in 2018 and completed a month long run at Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2019.
On deciding to release music distinct from the ÓDÚ name, Ó Dúnlaing said “ÓDÚ has a particular sonic identity whereas Scenes From A Break is a whole new thing where I get to wallow in the sounds and vibes of bands that I would never quite be able to fit into an ÓDÚ production such as The Cure, The Cardigans, Pale Waves, and Tame Impala. It also gives me the opportunity to cosplay different scenarios in my head because the music inspires a completely different response from me.”
Karl Nesbitt announces the launch of ‘Return’, his second full length album, and an exciting new release of contemporary traditional Irish music. ‘Return’ is a rounded blend of modern Irish Traditional music that is both freshly innovative and grounded in authenticity.
Hailing from the renowned Tipperary musical family, Karl has been involved in the production of albums and the live performances of various Traditional and Folk music artists on both the national and international stages. A skilled multi-instrumentalist who commands Flute, Bouzouki and Bodhrán, Karl is an accomplished composer and is also engaged in the community as a musical educator in the greater Cork area.
Having previously released his EP ‘The Good News’ and his debut album ‘Vista Point’ to great acclaim, Karl immersed himself in collaborative work, mainly assisting groups and artists in the making of their work such as; Niall Connolly, The Moorings, The Fuchsia Band, Tremolo and The Neff Brothers.
March 2021 sees the release of Karl’s brand new album featuring his compositions and arrangements of Traditional works. A synthesis of acoustic and electronic textures, with melodic weavings and sparkling percussive elements, ‘Return’ showcases the fluidity of instrumentation and the creative architecture that represent Karl’s unique style, all the while underscoring his strong root in the Irish Traditional vernacular.
A polished album mastered by Calum Malcolm with guest appearances from Johnny Kalsi (The Dhol Foundation), Éabha McMahon (Anúna) and GMC (Cork Rap Artist) among others, ‘Return’ signifies a new exciting chapter for the music of Karl Nesbitt and a refreshing perspective on the ‘Living Tradition’ that is Irish music in contemporary Ireland.
“I wanted to find a means of expression that was both Traditional, innovative and listener friendly,” says Karl of the inspiration behind RETURN. “Being influenced by Ambient and Downtempo music as much as Irish music, Jazz and Classical, Rock and Pop, I strived for a ‘sound’ I could put my own ‘stamp’ on that encapsulated my diverse influences, but didn’t alienate the popular music fan; of which I also am myself.”
ELKAE (pron. ‘L.K.’) will release the title track single of her debut EP, ‘Girls Like You Like Me’, on Friday 9th April. Dubliner Laura Keane is better-known to many as ELKAE – the electronic soul artist, songwriter and producer renowned for her high energy live shows. She is due to release her debut EP in May 2021; a project that truly reflects who she is and shows what she can do. “With ‘Girls Like You Like Me’, I threw away the rule book and just let myself create,” she says.
For the ‘Girls Like You Like Me’ single, ELKAE has drafted in a who’s who of Irish music right now, with Lydia Ford, Chloe Agnew, ZaPho, Toshín, Karla Chubb (Sprints), Sinead McConville and Taylor Mas all coming together to sing the song’s resounding chorus. The song sees ELKAE hone in on a time in her life where she was getting her heart broken, breaking hearts, hooking up with different people, getting into different relationships, making mistakes, falling in love, making friends and partying.
“It’s the time when you’re figuring everything out and being a bit reckless at times too. We’re too young to settle down and we all want what we can’t have,” she reminisces. “As a gay girl, a lot of my experiences were with girls. Girls who were breaking my heart, girls whose hearts I’d broken, the girls who were my friends, and how some of those broken hearts also grew into friendships and how we helped each other through it all. There’s a strange kind of unity in it all that I think can be quite unique to the gay scene at times,” she explains further.
This single is just a taster of what’s to come from the full GLYLM EP from ELKAE.
Naked Animals’ latest single ‘Money Shot’ is a vibrant and festive song, very much in the style of artists like Prince & Vulfpeck. But behind the upbeat sound is a hard-hitting socio-political message. It tackles the issue of our constant need for stimulation and approval in today’s society.
‘Money Shot’ is the second single from the upcoming E.P ‘Business As Usual’ which is due for release this summer. To celebrate the single the band have released their latest video filmed by Cork artist Jack Ahern. Using a mixture of cream and confetti they successfully managed to both block the entire plumbing system and shoot a sparkly yet saucy video in one day.
Naked Animals have many more things in the pipeline besides cream and confetti though, with the release of their E.P on the horizon they plan on recording their debut album this year along with the imminent announcement of their patreon website.
Out today Thursday 8th April, the official video of ‘Kush On Anon’, the leading track from Kʒːlu (Curlew) ’s recently released debut album.
K3:lu (pronounced Curlew) is the solo project of West Cork based musician and composer Patrick Hatchett. Speaking about ‘Kush On Anon’, he says:
“This track came from exploring the connected ritual of the dancefloor and the place of worship. How the two worlds would often pass each other by early on a Sunday morning in their search for similar experiences through differing means.
Taking inspiration from the ‘Pick ‘n’ mix’ style spirituality of the new age movement, the film plunders ceremonies, destinations, characters and visions in search of a connection or sense of place that we all seek. ‘Kush on Anon’ harks back to VHS ‘rave’ footage, 70’s funk and soul shows, Waco cults, wild festivals, mind altered states and nature’s influence on the proceedings…”
‘Kush On Anon’ is taken from K3:lu’s debut album of the same name. The record has received widespread praise for its ‘genre defying’ collection of tracks with overwhelming press and radio support across Ireland, the UK and abroad. “All of which I’m ‘over the moon’ pleased about,” says Patrick.
The record includes collaborations with UK Bengali musician Idris Rahman on flute (Soothsayers, Anoushka Shankar, Wildflower, Zoe Rahman); and Irish musicians Seán Mac Erlaine on Bass Clarinet; Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh (The Gloaming, Underground Resistance) and Justin Grounds on Violin (The Vespertine Quintet, Fir Beag).
The project is phonetically named after the curlew, his favourite bird to be seen around the West Cork area where he now lives, having moved from London in recent years.
Buy/Stream ‘K3:LU’ (Curlew) album now via:
Katie Kim & Seán Mac Erlaine Share First Taste of ‘In The Echo: Field Recordings from Earlsfort Terrace’
‘Empire One’ by Katie Kim & Seán Mac Erlaine is the first single from ‘In The Echo: Field Recordings from Earlsfort Terrace’, due for release on the Ergodos label later this year. The eight-track concept compilation album, ‘In The Echo’ was curated and produced by drummer and multi-instrumentalist Ross Turner.
Recorded in various locations in the historic National Concert Hall building in Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin – ranging from old lecture theatres to dis-used stairwells, to a former morgue – this record features collaborations between Irish musicians across an athletic span of musical traditions, including:
Lisa O’Neill & Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Katie Kim & Seán Mac Erlaine, Paul Noonan & Roger Moffatt, Eileen Carpio & Sean Carpio, Conor O’Brien & Cian Nugent, Brigid Mae Power & Adrian Crowley, Saileóg Ní Cheannabháin & Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, and Lisa Hannigan & Crash Ensemble.
‘Empire One’ by Seán MacErlaine & Katie Kim was one of the first collaborations recorded. “It really set the tone for the rest of the album,” says the album’s curator/producer Ross Turner. “It captures the unique sound of the building beautifully and the sparse arrangement allowed for the space to become a part of the recording.
Katie sang at an upright piano that was located in a room at one end of the second-floor corridor. We kept the door open to enhance the blend of sounds, with Seán situated at the top of a stairwell at the other end of the corridor, maximizing the dynamic between the two performers and the building.”
Katie Kim adds: “I remember the recording of this very vividly, as I think it was my first time wandering the back hallways of the unseen National Concert Hall. The acoustics were beautiful, and the walls were painted this very muted dusty pink and it all seemed a little abandoned. It was visually inspiring straight away.
It’s quite a solitary song and Seán’s response is perfect. It almost sounds like a conversation to me, maybe because we were doing it all in real-time. I could hear Seán like some dreamy memory down the hall – while I sat alone at the piano, facing the wall. It may seem like a love song on sight, but in fact, it isn’t. The unravelling of his musical dialogue feeds that ambiguity.”
“There’s always a heavy shroud of mystery in her songs”, says Seán MacErlaine, who plays bass clarinet on the track. “Katie’s voice is usually heard through lush reverbs and amidst soundscapes, but on this recording, we hear the voice right up front, close with pared-back piano.
Ironically enough, I’m playing into a huge natural reverb of the old empty marble staircase in a dusty end of the NCH just down the corridor. And so, in a way I’m occupying that mystery space while the song unfolds.”
‘Empire One’ by Katie Kim and Seán Mac Erlaine is out now via Ergodos [Thursday 8th April 2021].
Dave Thomas O’Corman’s unique mix of intimate indie folk and dreampop continues to attract an avid international following of thousands. His profile has been boosted thanks to some of his own musical heroes. James Taylor recently endorsed Dave’s version of ‘You Can Close Your Eyes’ on social media. Feist gave Dave the chance to showcase his music at her concert in the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. A recent cover of St. Vincent ’s ‘Slow Disco’ has been watched almost 1 million times on social media receiving over 30 thousand reactions and shares.
As well as performing at the Longitude Festival, Dave has had the privilege of headlining the esteemed Ruby Sessions, and performing in leading Irish venues such as NCH, Whelan’s and The Sugar Club.
Dave’s music has featured on radio both nationally and internationally on stations such as RTÉ Radio 1, BBC, Newstalk FM, Radio Nova, FM 104, Dublin City FM, KCLR 96FM, Shannonside FM, RTE 2XM, Galway Bay FM, Carlow FM, Flirt FM and PLAYIRISH RADIO.
A former winner of the all-Ireland Slógadh music competition, Dave Thomas O’Gorman continued his musical journey with a series of solo EPs, a commercial album release with Square Revolution and live performances all over Ireland and beyond.
‘With No Control’, the indie artist’s latest solo single, will be officially released on 15th April.
Dave has a Master’s Degree in Music & Media Technologies from Trinity College Dublin, and he also studied Music Production for Video Games & Film at Griffith College and Pulse College, Windmill Lane.
Great art has the power to somehow articulate the abstract, to explain the inexplicable. After a year of turmoil beyond words singer-songwriter Sean Murphy, has channeled this swirling darkness in to a hauntingly beautiful album: ‘The Dark Below & The Isle of Dogs’.
Originally from Cork, Ireland, living in Dublin and having spent the last 12 months in London, Sean Murphy has seen this last disastrous year through the lens of an artist. Working under the moniker All The Queen’s Horses, Murphy has crafted a raw, guttural and emotive response to what he has observed as a darkness bleeding across the land and in to all of our lives. A twisted narrative is weaved in folktronica-rock; a patchwork of poetry, cello, synths and mournful pianos. A kind of warped, contemporary tapestry, the story of 2020 unfolds in low light and fun-house mirrors.
As a production, ‘The Dark Below & The Isle of Dogs’ has been something of a family affair – fitting for a year in which we have retreated into tight confines and familial bubbles. Murphy’s heavily pregnant wife, Sinead provided backing vocals; Uncle, Kevin Murphy (Slow Moving Clouds, Blindstitch) played cello and long time friend, Darragh Molloy, added further backing vocals. A makeshift community around the record gives it a feeling of collage and layering, something tangible and tactile. The resulting 14 tracks tap in to the national psyche, unlocking an almost freudian out-pouring of grief, darkness and trouble. Most of the record was made overlooking the Isle of Dogs from which it takes its name. Darkness became the overriding theme, a constant pandemic gloom through a rollercoaster of a year with, impossibly, only downs in place fo ups.
Astoundingly this is Murphy’s first full album. Murphy began playing the piano as a child, later exploring synths and guitars and playing in some college bands. The odd inertia of 2020 has provided a space (albeit a dark one) for him to really focus and produce a stunning body of work. There is a winding narrative to navigate here; from a relationship going ‘spectacularly and staggeringly wrong’ in ‘Raised By Wolves’ to a protagonist at war with their own demons in ‘The Dark Below’, the listener is invited into a gloomy theatre of self doubt, implosion and human flaws. With a first single set to drop as spring begins to lift in 2021, others will follow with a planned full album release in early autumn. With live performances lined up, 2021 promises to be a year of a different kind of change for All The Queen’s Horses.
The 14 songs on the album plus the hidden track of ‘The Dark Below and The Isle of Dogs’ were produced by producers David Virgin (SPK, Sekret Sekret), Rohan Healy and Al Quiff at Beardfire Studio in Dublin. The production team, made up of father and sons who have worked with the likes of Nick Cave, INXS, Leslie Dowdall (In Tua Nua), Mary Black, The Cruel Sea, Cat Power, Billy Bragg and Lloyd Cole – on stage or in the studio – during their six decades of musical experience together, to name but a few.
Singer & songwriter Tiz McNamara, who produced the songs (‘The Dark Below’, ‘Close Your Eyes & Think Of England’, ‘A Letter Of Recommendation To The Angels’), has already toured with James Bay and his songs reached over 15 million streams on Spotify.
The album will be released in autumn 2021, with 3 singles and videos upfront, kicking off with the single, ‘Raised By Wolves’ and ‘The Ides Of March’ , as an A/B side which was released on 26 March 2021.
The band All The Queen’s Horses is ready to conquer the stages and will play several European showcase festivals in 21/22.