VCVDLjumpB&WI’ve got an unbelievable amount of time for Tony Wright, because he always seems so genuine. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a touch stunned when he walked out on Northern Irish legends ASIWYFA a few years back – I’d always seen him as a kind of de facto frontman – but what followed convinced me of two things: that Tony was doing nothing but following his heart, and that the little bit of his heart that was clearly invested in angsty, edgy rock is nothing compared to the soulful outpourings and poetic edge that were lost out on because his old act were instrumental.

Wright’s gone on to form ‘VerseChorusVerse‘, which is both the obvious Nirvana reference and an ironic nod to the fact that despite becoming a songwriter, Wright’s tracks are rarely delivered in that format. Perhaps it’s apt, then, that he’s formed a partnership with a man sat in a genre that pointedly rejects conventional musical patterns.

David Lyttle is one of our island’s finest jazz artists, an imaginative drummer who’s also Northern Ireland’s first ever MOBO nominee (vote here). They pair are producing a collaborative work that will focus on “percussion heavy, guitar-driven soulful songs.” They’re beautiful, and as usual,  Tony has a whole lot to say about what’s going down. I love this man’s profound ability to express himself, both musically and in his words, so I’ve decided to leave this interview in its rawest form, and let him do just that:

Obviously it takes a while to adapt from being in a heavy rock band to standing on stage and bearing your soul acoustically. Do you feel like you’ve made that transition your own now? How long did it take to get there?

Yeah it feels like a whole lifetime ago I was thrashing about with the lads, there’s certain smells that never leave you though…(check me out. Metaphors already!). I do feel like I’ve made the transition, I’m always learning now, I felt like I’d creatively plateaued before I opened my mouth to sing/yell, & it was quite literally killing me. Though it may read as that, I assure you, that’s not hyperbole. I was on a road that was running out of miles ahead of me, I was in the darkest of places and treating myself in a fashion that no human should inflict upon themselves or any living thing for that matter. Sorry to go all dramatic on your good self, but it’s the truth. Now? Now, it’s all good and life is sweet. If I smoked cigars now would be the perfect time for a hamlet. Bask in smokey smugness.

music alliance pact

This month’s Music Alliance Pact is a welcome back for me, to one of Ireland’s most underrated artists. Owensie has been seriously quiet over the last couple of years, so much so that it took new track ‘Dramamine’ to remind me of just how slurringly beautiful and emotionally evocative his music can be.

Download the track below, alongside 17 more that you’ll almost certainly not have heard before. Why wouldn’t you!

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 18-track compilation through Dropbox here.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
After more than three years tucked away from the eyes of the Irish music scene, dream-pop artist Owensie returns with Dramamine, a trippy ode to a motion sickness drug. The track features Conor O’Brien of Villagers and comes ahead of a third album of the same title that’s seemed an extremely long time in the making. One for watching the world drift by outside your window.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Fabiana Cantilo y Fer IsellaViernes 3 AM
In 2009 the Argentine goverment published several declassified official documents produced during the dictatorships that ruled the country from 1962-1982. One of these documents is titled “Songs whose lyrics are considered not fit to be played by broadcast services” and it includes compositions by all kinds of Argentine and foreign artists. Canciones Prohibidas is a compilation with 16 versions of these censured songs. For MAP we selected Viernes 3 AM, originally by Argentine rock living legend Charly Garcia, here recorded by (also legendary singer) Fabiana Cantilo on vocals and producer Fer Isella on piano.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Fresh KillsThe People
At The Drive-In is the first association any rock connoisseur will make with this 90-second post-punk melodrama. It’s all energy and emotion without the slightest hint of pretension. The song is chaotic and at times confusing without a single comprehensible lyric (go on, try to figure out what the hell they’re saying) but that’s exactly the charm of this south Australian band.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Rodrigo CamposKatsumi
Rodrigo Campos, a prolific name in São Paulo’s contemporary music scene, has just released his third solo album, Conversas Com Toshiro, which is influenced by Japanese culture. Katsumi is a good opening gate to his work.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Toronto producer Harrison beeps and blips his way into a sweet apology with his latest track, Sorry.

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