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Villagers Announce Live Dates

Last week heralded the news of Villagers’ return; Conor O’Brien’s fourth studio album, ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’, will be released by Domino on Friday 21st September.

Having shared a new song and video ‘A Trick Of The Light’, Villagers are now pleased to confirm UK and European headline live dates including London’s Hackney Arts Centre and Dublin’s Metropolis Festival, which they’ll headline and curate on 27th October.

Metropolis are delighted to announce that Villagers will headline and curate the Saturday night of the festival this October Bank Holiday Weekend. Early-bird tickets priced from €35 are available now via

Following the exquisitely sparse, intimate aura of 2015’s ‘Darling Arithmetic’, O’Brien’s new record reconnects with the multi-faceted approach of Villagers’ 2010 album debut ‘Becoming A Jackal’ and 2013’s ‘{Awayland}’ while adding a new-found soulfulness, rhythmic nous and dazzling panoply of sonic detail, both analogue and digital, creating feverish moods while writing effortlessly accessible tunes. Balanced with subtle aspects and lyrical themes that embrace existential fears and hopes in this desperate, technologically-centred dystopian age, ‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ is the most brilliantly realised Villagers album to date.

Villagers live dates
Wed 17th Oct – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Thurs 18th Oct – Art School, Glasgow
Fri 19th Oct – Gorilla, Manchester
Sun 21st Oct – Wardrobe, Leeds
Mon 22nd Oct – O2 Academy 2, Oxford
Tues 23rd Oct – Hackney Arts Centre, London
Thurs 25th Oct – Arts Club, Liverpool
Sat 27th Oct – Metropolis Festival, RDS, Dublin
Tues 30th Oct – Trinity, Bristol
Wed 31st Oct – Old Market, Brighton
Thurs 1st Nov – La Madeleine, Brussels
Sat 3rd Nov – Zoom, Frankfurt
Mon 5th Nov – Vega, Copenhagen
Tues 6th Nov – Gruenspan, Hamburg
Thurs 8th Nov – Kesselhaus, Berlin
Fri 9th Nov – Hybrydy, Warsaw
Sat 10th Nov – Futurum, Prague
Mon 12th Nov – Doornroosje, Nijmegen
Tues 13th Nov – Melkweg (Old Hall), Amsterdam
Wed 14th Nov – Trabendo, Paris
Fri 16th Nov – Le Boucau, Biarritz
Sun 18th Nov – Kafe Antzokia, Bilbao
Mon 19th Nov – Chango, Madrid
Tues 20th Nov – Razzmatazz 2, Barcelona
Thurs 22nd Nov – Ridotto Teatro Regio, Parma
Fri 23rd Nov – Spazio 211, Turin
Sat 24th Nov – Port-Franc, Sion
Mon 26th Nov – Papiersaal, Zurich
Tues 27th Nov – Kulturkirche, Cologne
Wed 28th Nov – Tivoli Vredenburg, Utrecht

General Sale – all tickets 9am 22nd June

‘The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ is available to pre-order on Domino Mart-exclusive deluxe LP (includes 10” of a 12-minute version of ‘Ada’ and B-side ‘This Is The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ plus signed lyric booklet), Deluxe LP (includes ‘Ada’/’ This Is The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ 10”), Standard LP, CD and Digitally. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital

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Alice Lynskey Releases Second Single

Roll Up. Roll Up!! Following on from the success of her debut single ‘Devil in Me’, Alice Lynskey’s latest offering takes us to the funfair – on the ‘Lovesick Rollercoaster’ to be exact! From the highs to the lows and back again, ‘Lovesick Rollercoaster’ is a song that will take you on a musical journey, ultimately leaving you breathless and wanting more.

Recorded at Jam Studios in Kells, Co Meath, ‘Lovesick Rollercoaster’ was produced, mixed and mastered by owner Martin Quinn.

She has also appeared on and been played on many radio programs including RTÉ Radio1 (playlisted) RTÉ 2FM, KCLR, East Coast Radio, South East Radio, BBC Radio Ulster, WLR FM, Highland Radio, Dundalk FM, ICMR, Dublin City FM, 8Radio, Midlands 103, URadio, RosFM and Together FM to name a few. She has also been played on several UK stations and on radio in both New York and Portland.

‘Devil In Me’ was added to Remy’s Playlist and music blog, was featured in Hot Press and received brilliant reviews through the Melosity Musician blog and regional press to name but a few.

Alice took part in RTÉ’s “The Hit” entering her song ‘Run and Hide’. It made the final having been chosen by The Stunning who recorded it and made it a top 10 hit.

To date Alice has played support to many great acts including The 4 of Us,The Don Baker and Rob Strong Band and The Carole Nelson Trio, with many more gigs planned for the year ahead.

Alice Lynskey’s songs range from country to pop  and a fresh combination of the two, which is reflected in her influences. Having grown up in a house filled with many music styles, the varying sounds and vibes of Britney Spears, Aimee Mann, ABBA, Mary Black, Elvis, Queen, Carrie Underwood, Johnny Cash, Pink, The Beatles, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Albert Hammond, No Doubt and Florence and The Machine, to name but a few, are all mixed in with a definite Nashville influence.

Alice is originally from Tallaght in Dublin and is now living in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. Singing from a very young age her first taste of show biz was at age 6 having joined the Helen Jordan dance school. She appeared in the Olympia Theatre showcase, dancing and wishing she could sing too.

Due to her nanny and grandad’s love of poetry and rhyme she began writing limericks in primary school, and then moved on to songs. She soon began entering school and local talent competitions and has since sung in the 3Arena, The Helix, Enniscorthy Castle, The Wexford Arts Centre and The Mermaid Centre Bray as well as on RTÉ TV.

Alice studied Pharmaceutical Science at DIT Cathal Brugha Street, and now works as an analyst in the pharma industry in Wicklow. She took classical voice training with the Deirdre Masterson School in Wexford.

Alice is a frequent performer at the Ri Sessions in The Olde Ship pub in Arklow. She also plays in Jack Nealons as part of the Tuesday Melt Sessions and at The Wexford Arts Centre as part of PwC Spotlight programme for emerging music artists.


October Fires Share Second Single ‘Pray’

October Fires have just released their latest single ‘Pray’. It is the second release by the band since forming in September 2017 with their debut track entitled ‘Traces’. The band recorded ‘Pray’ at home with the help of their friend Ciarán Diver. The track was mixed by Gavin Glass in Orphan Studios.

October Fires are a four-piece group consisting of Carol Somers on piano, vocals and percussion, Lisa Baker on piano, vocals and percussion, Eoghan O’Neill on bass and Eric Somers on guitar. The band have a special bond, consisting of best friends, family and newlyweds.

The band’s name was inspired by the smoky scent in the air walking home from practice one autumn night. October has a unique vibe, with its perfect blend of beauty and eerieness, a trademark of the band’s sound.

Their music is continually inspired by this balance and the time of year is such a favourite, that band members Carol and Eoghan even held their wedding on October 28th 2017, cementing the future of the band!

Carol and Lisa met in 2002 studying music in Maynooth University. They’ve been inseparable ever since after finding an innate ability to harmonise together, even been able to predict what the other is about to do! This bond has become the central feature of the band.

Eric, Carol’s brother, was the final piece of the puzzle, much to the delight of the other members, joining what has now become a tight musical outfit. Their style is difficult to pin down but fans have likened their sound to ‘Radiohead meets Tori Amos’.

The band describe their music as haunting, harmonic, dark pop with a fusion of musical influences from choral music : classical : pop : soul : funk : rock.

Their lyrics and vocals range from dark to airy, whimsical to witchy, embedded with gritty and driving sounds, October Fires are looking to set every venue alight!

The band’s debut EP is set to be released Halloween 2018.



Eve Belle Releases ‘Best Intentions’

Eve Belle is a young singer, songwriter and chronicler of sorrows from deepest Donegal. Her songs and stories are imbued with an uncommon world-weariness seldom found in writers of such tender years.

In Eve Belle’s songs, someone is always leaving; or is about to be left. Her gaze is unblinking, she says: “I try to create emotional portraits of my own experiences through my lyrics. I think the best songs come from the most earnest emotions, so I try to put minimal filters between what I feel and what I say in the song.”

In 2016, One of Eve Belle’s early songs, the aptly-titled, achingly beautiful ‘Too Young To Feel This Old’ came to the attention of Irish independent label Rubyworks. Around the same time, her evocative cover of Coldplay’s ‘Violet Hill’ found favour with Chris Martin & Co., and was widely shared online.

On signing to Rubyworks, Eve worked with London-based producer Fred Cox, best known for his work with Billie Marten and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, and Simon Aldred of Cherry Ghost and Birdy fame. The latest fruits of their studio labours is her new single ‘Best Intentions’.

Eve says of the song:  “Best Intentions is about being drawn to someone, but knowing the relationship is on very unstable foundations. It’s from the perspective of someone trying to step back from that feeling of infatuation before they’re too far gone, before logic goes out the window. It’s also kind of about struggling to find a balance between being overly cautious and impulsivity, wanting to protect yourself, but not wanting to limit yourself in the process”.

Drawing on influences as diverse as Julien Baker, Cigarettes After Sex and Conor Oberst, Eve Belle has recently played live in Ireland with Beth Orton, Wyvern Lingo and HamsandwicH and enjoyed festival appearances at Electric Picnic, Indiependence and Sea Sessions.

‘Best Intentions’ is available now on all good download and streaming services.

SPIES Release New Single ‘Uriah’

Following two years of silence, SPIES made an unexpected return in March with their single ‘Young Dad’.

‘Young Dad’ marked a notable change for the band, with their new synth hooks complementing their notoriously tight sound. Accompanying the single, SPIES made their return to the stage playing to a sold-out crowd in Whelan’s. This set was comprised of mostly new material showcasing the band’s changed direction.

The release of ‘Uriah’ is a continuation of SPIES’ progression and evolution incorporating electronic themes and driving rhythms. This new single is the second to be released from their upcoming debut LP ‘Constancy’, scheduled for release later this year. Vocalist Michael Broderick describes the song as “A reflection on the story of Uriah and King David”, – the song mirrors the themes of friendship and betrayal in this story with a personal experience.  Uriah was recorded in Dublin’s now defunct Bow Lane studio and was engineered by the bands long time producer Jake Miller.

The band, who were not long ago feted by the likes of NME and The Guardian, could have played it safe but their new sonic direction demonstrates their willingness to change, grow and adapt. As the band explain, “We were starting to listen to the likes of Floating Points, Fatima Yamaha, New Jackson, etc. we were also learning how to use midi and sequence synthesisers. We collected a lot of gear and began to write songs using new sounds and techniques. We found it much more satisfying than our older style of writing where we made a lot of noise until something stuck.”

Following the release of ‘Uriah’, SPIES have scheduled two live dates playing Dublin’s Workman’s Club on August 10th and The Islington in London on August 13th.

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The Pale Announce Vinyl Resissue and Live Date

The Pale’s devilishly brilliant ‘Here’s One We Made Earlier’ has been re-mastered and sounds better than ever.

Universal Records re-issue the vinyl on June 22nd and The Pale squeeze that into another crazily busy year.

The Pale have recently been selected as one of the artists for Dublin City Council’s ‘Dublin Culture Connects Local Heroes’ project. The band are currently writing songs to commentate and celebrate three local icons. More news on this very soon.

The band are also putting finishing touches on their 12th studio album and will be announcing details in due course.

The Pale play Dublin’s Unitarian on release day, June 22nd – tickets available from BornOptimistic.Com

President Higgins to Acknowledge Altan for their Contribution to Irish Music and Culture

Traditional Irish band Altan will perform at the Áras an Uachtaráin Garden Party hosted the the President and Sabina Higgins Monday 25th of June,  where President Higgins will acknowledge Altan for the contribution they have made to Irish Music and Culture over the last 30 years.

Altan are very delighted to be invited to perform at the Áras. The band were honoured with a Civic Reception by Donegal County Council last month, to celebrate the bands 30 year Anniversary.  In 2017 Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh one of the founding members of Altan was awarded ‘Traditional Musician of the Year’ at the Gradam Ceoil Music Awards.

Altan have been long established as the best and foremost traditional Irish band to come out of Ireland. This was recognized on November 7, 2006, when the Irish Government through An Post (The Irish Postal Body), honored Altan by issuing a postal stamp featuring the band. This award showed Altan’s immense impact on recent Irish culture at home and abroad and the growing popularity of Irish traditional music generally.

With their exquisitely produced award-winning recordings, their ground breaking ‘Island Angel’ recording going to no.2 in the Billboard World Music Charts in 1993, ranging dynamically from the most sensitive and touching ancient ballads all the way to the energetic foot-tapping reels and jigs, and their heart-warming engaging live performances, Altan have moved audiences from Donegal all the way to Tokyo, to Sydney, Seattle and beyond.

Na Mooneys will also perform on the evening. Na Mooneys were  formed in late 2013 Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh  and her siblings Anna Ní Mhaonaigh and Gearóid Ó Maonaigh along with Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh’s nephew, Ciarán Ó Maonaigh, Caitlin Ni Gabhann and Maireads daughter Nia Byrne.

Apella Announce Next Single ‘City Limits’

After their debut tour across the UK with Keywest, Apella returned to Ireland to a sold out crowd at the infamous Ruby Sessions in Dublin recently to perform a rare acoustic set where they announced the release of their highly anticipated 4th single ‘City Limits’.

This is an upbeat, feel good summer anthem that leaves you wanting to hit repeat! Apella continue to deliver catchy hooks, radiant riffs and BIG drums carefully crafted by Dara Quilty and Ronan Nolan. This type of smart, sassy writing is repeated throughout their soon to be released debut album, which showcases the duo’s new and ever expanding sound.

Apella burst onto the scene with their debut single ‘We Met At A Party’ to huge support from both national and regional radio stations which went on to be topped by their sophomore ‘Graceful Dancer’.

The duo made a serious mark on the live front having packed out their headline show in Whelan’s Main Room, which included some A-list fans in attendance like Ed Sheeran, Saoirse Ronan and Irish football legend Damien Duff! They followed that up with a slew of festivals before decamping to the studio to complete their album.

2018 has already been an eventful one for the band. They have showcased that their sound appeals to such a wide audience having toured the UK with Keywest and then opened for rock heavyweights Don Broco.

‘City Limits’ will be officially released this Friday, 22nd June. 

Apella play IMRO First Cuts at Abner Brown’s in Rathmines on June 27th to coincide with the single launch!

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Search Party Animal Release ‘Sailboat’ Today

Even at a time when the boundaries between genres are becoming ever more blurred, Irish quintet Search Party Animal collide an uncompromising hybrid of sounds. Mixing the organic instrumentation and song structures of guitar bands with the innovative production techniques of electronic music and a background in math-rock, they’re somehow both immediately accessible and surprisingly impossible to pigeonhole.

Although they’ve released just three tracks to date – their Faction Records debut ‘Evergreen’ and the follow-ups ‘Enemies’ and ‘Get Hitched’ – they’re already making waves in all of the right ways. They built upon an early invitation to play Canadian Music Week when Radio 1’s Phil Taggart premiered ‘Evergreen’, and their undeniable potential was highlighted when they were named in 2FM’s Rising 2018 list.

Having previously played festivals including Electric Picnic and Other Voices, Search Party Animal are now preparing for the current year of festivals including Body & Soul among others. By concocting a diverse cocktail of styles, Search Party Animal have hit upon a sound that can inspire a cult-like following that will spread far beyond their origins in the Dublin suburb of Dundrum.

Rushes Shares Latest Single ‘WAVE’

West Cork native Rushes is getting set to release his 2nd single ‘WAVE’ hitting streaming / download services on June 15th.

The song at first sounds upbeat and optimistic, with its combination of soulful synth, crisp vocal production and strong, dance-inducing bass. However, delve deeper and it hides dark undertones below its positive exterior. “The song is about seeing a friend going down the wrong path in life” admits Rushes, “ You see them mixing with the wrong crowd or not finding their feet but you still have hope that they’re going to get to a good place, that they can find happiness”.

With an EP on the way in October, and shows planned for later in the year, Rushestime has finally arrived.


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