Eoghan O’Sullivan, who blogs about music at The Point Of Everything, takes us through the Irish music that’s been getting his ears all excited this week, and nearly wishes it was winter again.
Though we moved into summertime on Saturday, over the course of last week we got a healthy reminder of some of the music that kept us warm and cosy in those cold winter months. Dublin group Halves are one such band who excel at warming hearts. Prior to Christmas, they played the breathtaking Unitarian Church in Dublin, which, by all accounts, was a majestic experience for all concerned. Halves are set to release a limited-edition live recording of the show on 180g clear vinyl for Record Store Day on 21 April, a day when record stores around the world join hands with bands to celebrate the joy of music. The stunning artwork for the record is above. ‘Darling, You’ll Meet Your Maker’ was one of the songs Halves played that night. Watch the video below, as well as a second song set to feature on Live At the Unitarian Church, ‘Haunt Me When I’m Drowsy’. They’re almost enough to make you wish it was cold again.
Halves – ‘Haunt Me When I’m Drowsy’ (Live at the Unitarian Church)
Dublin act No Monster Club, AKA Bobby Aherne, who has played with a number of bands including Grand Pocket Orchestra, released their second album last week. Entitled Dublin, there’s nobody better to guide you through the roaming city streets than Aherne and his fuzz rock. It’s a more polished sound, and should see him win over plenty of new fans. Whether he’s planning albums on the 32 counties that make up this little island is unknown, but maybe if we start an internet campaign… Buy the album over at Bandcamp, and watch the video for the high octane ‘Be My Bone’ below.
Every college student in the country has probably spent a lost afternoon in front of the TV. If this sounds familiar, then you’ve almost certainly watched this ad for Discover Ireland. The music is by a young Dublin duo called Heathers, who are gearing up for the release of their second album. ‘Forget Me Knots’ is our first taster of what to expect – and it has set a very high bar. “It’s alright to not feel OK,” the twin sisters reassuringly sing. It’s an obvious trajectory that they have gone down. They got plenty of coverage for their sound first time around and have simply made it that bit bigger. No longer limiting themselves to acoustics, the girls have gone for a tasty, radio-friendly sound. Expect to hear even more ads featuring their music soon. At least it makes watching daytime TV that bit more pleasant. Watch the lyrics video for ‘Forget Me Knots’ below.
Looking further north, Donegal band The Plea are flying the flag for rock music, which has drawn plenty of misguided eulogies in recent months. English bands in particular have been rushing to declare its death. The Plea are evidence that it’s alive and healthy, at least in the north-west, looking out into the vast ocean. Despite the inane moniker, ‘Oh Ah Yay’ does what you might expect – creates a most infectious chorus. Watch the video below. ‘Oh Ah Yay’ is taken from The Plea’s debut album, Dreamers Stadium, which is released on 4 May. After some setbacks, including a stint in Boston where things looked good before going a little pear-shaped, The Plea are ready for anything.
Rocking even harder is one of the best bands in the country right now: Overhead, The Albatross. After a handful of EPs, and very little in the past few months, they returned with ‘Think, Thank, Thunk’, a nine-minute extravaganza of intricacies. Ireland has a fantastic record of instrumental bands, with And So I Watch You From Afar and Redneck Manifesto the two standouts. But just when you think the genre’s been filled, Overhead, The Albatross fly that bit further over the cliff. They’re exciting and know no bounds. There’s so much about ‘Think, Thank, Thunk’ that shouldn’t work (violin? Really?) but it just does. For nine minutes, Overhead, The Albatross are never anything but exhilarating. Listen to the track below and download it at Bandcamp - all proceeds are going to the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, so be generous.
Overhead, The Albatross – ‘Think, Thank, Thunk’