music alliance pact

This month, I took the chance to accompany the recent released GoldenPlec Magazine with the cover artists (who, perhaps inevitably, I really love), Bitch Falcon. I’d actually asked to use this grungy three-piece for MAP over a year ago, back before the actually had a track sorted for me to use. They’ve kindly granted permission now as our new cover stories, offering new single TMJ, which is a melodic banger of a rock track. There’s a whole lot more to check out below, of course. Dig in…

Click the play button icon to listen to individual songs, right-click on the song title to download an mp3, or grab a zip file of the full 17-track compilation through Dropbox here.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Bitch FalconTMJ
TMJ is the third single from highly-rated, grungy Dublin trio Bitch Falcon, who are taking the Irish capital’s sticky-floored corners by storm. Named after the temporomandibular joint (which joins the jaw to the rest of the skull), it’s poppy and melodic by this particular act’s standards, but nevertheless appropriately face-melting. One to pump up the bass on and let their rhythms pummel the base of your soles. Bitch Falcon are one of the most promising rock acts that Ireland has produced this decade.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Julieta y Los EspíritusEl Látigo (Modex remix)
This is a song from the new project of Julieta Brotsky (aka July Sky). It’s not the original version from the album, but a great remix released a couple of weeks ago by post-punk band Modex. Julieta’s beautiful voice can also be heard on several tracks by indie-pop band Entre Ríos, and in Varias Artistas, the female ensemble put together by singer-songwriter Lucas Marti.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
These GuyComing Around
Brisbane trio These Guy was originally the solo project of singer and multi-instrumentalist Joe Saxby. Latest track Coming Around combines the lofty vocals and downer lyrics of Saxby’s earlier work. Along with buoyant pop production, the result is a track that’s interesting at every turn. The absence of any kind of rhythm guitar leaves Saxby’s vocals and synth-fiddling to carry the melodic weight of the track. Coming Around is a testament to Saxby’s ear for off-kilter production and hopefully points to a more experimental/avant-pop future for These Guy.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Pequeno CéuQuatro
Post-rock six-piece Pequeno Céu started as a solo project some years ago before releasing their first album as a band in 2014. Pequeno Céu differs from other math/post-rock ensembles because of the Brazilian influences and simplicity of their short instrumental songs, such as Quatro. For fans of BADBADNOTGOOD, Hurtmold and Tortoise.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
MaunoReeling
Experimental shapeshifters Mauno (pronounced mao-no) reel you in with their off-kilter pop tunes. The Halifax group is unafraid to test you with their strange sounds.

GoldenPlec Magazine 3GoldenPlec Magazine issue 3 is now with us! You can find spots around Ireland to grab a copy here (we’ll be adding a London location shortly), and if you’re outside of our immediate area, we have a few copies left on eBay, here.

While we’re proud of everything we’ve put out so far, I think it’s fair to say issue three feels like something of a coming of age. It defines everything I hoped this magazine would turn out to be – we look at the macro story of Irish music (through the development of BIMM, for example, and through an analysis of the value of music photography, and an incredible chat with musician turned filmmaker Myles O’Reilly).

We also take the chance to hype some acts we really care about. Bitch Falcon might seem an unlikely cover choice, given they’ve only released three singles, but that’s kind of the point: we think they’re potential world beaters, and running a magazine like this is a chance to throw a serious hat-tip to someone when you think they warrant it. Bitch Falcon warrant it (go and listen to them, or better still, see them live, where they really excel). Having done the cover interview myself, I can also tell you they have a lot to say about who they are and what’s going on around them. This was an interview that was chopped to probably 10-15% of what we actually talked about, and it was an effort to condense as a lot of it was truly fascinating.

We also chatted to Lisa Hannigan about her move into voice acting in ‘Songs of the Sea’, and Wolf Alice, who are proving one of 2015’s great rising stars. We covered the Marlay Park action for Longitude Festival, as well as the usual selection of Irish album reviews.

There’s a lot of work that goes into this stuff by a lot of people: Stephen Byrne, my co-editor, is one of those people who just gets things done, and done well. If you’re not impressed by David Dooley’s design, well, I don’t know what to say, because I think it’s fantastic (he’s available for freelance work, head over here). Ros Madigan and Sean Smyth were both their usual powerhouse selves.

But you can’t judge a magazine by its online blurb, so you’ll have to pound the pavements (or eBay) and tell us what we did right/ wrong this time round.

I’ll throw up an online link when all the physical copies are gone (and they’re flying, so grab one quick!). For now, it’s paper only, folks!

The picture to the right shows Sangram Lama, a Nepalese hiking guide I met back in 2009, when I visited Nepal and hiked the Langtang Valley National Park in the Himalayas. He was an excellent and honest guide, who I hired independently on the streets of Kathmandu, and hiked alongside in challenging terrain for a week, […]

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Maybe it’s the slightly Spanish twang of her guitar track on the intro to ‘Won’t Go’. Maybe it’s that harrowing video drama (below). Most likely it’s just the voice… Whatever hooked me, it took about one track. There’s something fantastically refreshing about west Cork native Áine Duffy and her brand of…erm… flamenco dance-pop? Whatever this is, […]

For the past two months, I’ve been freelancing in sports journalism at the Gazette Group, which publishes seven papers  a week (a separate paper for each of Dublin City, Swords, Lucan, Clondalkin, Blanchardstown, Dundrum and Dun Laoghaire). I even ran the sports section for a week while the normal editor was away, which was an […]


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