Week three of our new Up and Comers feature which has James Hendicott on a bi-weekly basis, cast a spotlight on a band you probably should be keeping an eye on. This won’t be just restricted to Irish acts either as from time to time James will delve into the global market for a pick.
AMORIC are a Bulgarian four-piece who sing entirely in English, and relocated as a band to their current home in Dublin around four years ago. They’re made of Lora Dimitrova (vocals, keyboard), Miroslav Ivanov (guitar, backing vocals), Emiliyan Bonev (bass, backing vocals) and Yanko Genov (drums). Considering their 50,000 Facebook likes (many, admittedly, from their native Bulgaria, but that’s more than Jape, Delorentos, Villagers and We Cut Corners put together), the band seems to fly well under the radar.
Beautiful (and impressively non-accented) vocals from Lora, backed by emphatic pop-rock melodies and a driving style; they’re live show is an on-stage party crammed full of rock posturing and exuberance. Having caught them at Indie Week Ireland in 2010, I thought they were far and away the top band of the night, and extremely unlucky to miss out on the festival-headlining prize. They’ve garnered an impressive selection of spattered radio play through the likes of Phantom and Nova, and tour Ireland more extensively than many a home grown act, frequently turning up in relatively rural locations. There are two EPs to date, a self-titled five-track effort and its follow up ‘Keep Up’, a shorter three-track offering. If you had to pick a stand out, ‘7am’, which sees Lora undertake dull household chores in the video whilst screaming her way through a sleepless refrain stands out, and other single ‘Keep Up’ (below) shows a compelling subtler side (it’s also grabbed an impressive 135,000 views on YouTube).
Perhaps we’ve been looking in all the wrong places – clearly there has been a level of light shone on AMORIC in the past – but at first glance they have all the skills and allure of Ireland’s more acclaimed pop-rock bands, and all the charisma needed to see it through. If you haven’t caught them yet, do. With a third EP currently being strung together in two acclaimed Dublin studios, expect that strong web fan base to grow still further.
Accessible pop-rock with genuine energy? Exceptional vocals (they’re even better live…)? A live show with more energy than most bands could even hope to muster and a brand of slightly angry rock that’s delivered with a knowing smile and a positive disposition (not the logical disconnect you might expect). It’s probably fair to say AMORIC aren’t exactly breaking down musical boundaries, but they are incredibly good at what they do, and that counts for a whole, whole lot. That, and being undimmed by the natural self-awareness and cynicism that sometimes surrounds the poppier end of the Irish music scene, AMORIC instead pull off pure unfettered, loveable rock.
And the flip side?
They’ll certainly be too cheesy for some tastes, but Euro-rock sung in English tends to be on the cheesy side lyrically (it’s a second language, be fair!), and taking that into account, this is far better than most. They’re an unheralded asset to the Irish music scene, and worth seeing once even if pop rock’s not your thing. One thing’s for sure: the kids will absolutely love this, but there’s depth, too.
They’re only scheduled date at present in the Courtyard Hotel, Leixlip this Saturday the 30th of June. Expect a lot more to come, though, they certainly get around.