I’m constantly amazed at the calibre of acts that agree to feature on MAP for me, and this year has been a particularly spectacular one. I never feature a track I don’t love, of course, but Bitch Falcon (last month) and this month’s pick, Overhead, The Albatross would rank as my top two rising acts in Ireland right now, and I’m incredibly proud to be able to host their songs.
I think even the band would happily accept they’ve kept us waiting (and titillated – the live shows are phenomenal), for the first single from their album for a long, long time. In fact, recording got underway in the Czech Republic way back before I had contemplated being a dad. My little lad now walks, talks and demands with the best of them.
There’s a nice cliche around here that fits this band, though: “good things come to those who wait”. It was worth it. Now any chance of an album I can send everyone I know for Christmas, lads? Dig in, below…
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
Overhead, The Albatross – Big River Man
Having forged a reputation as a truly stunning live band, Overhead, The Albatross have finally unveiled the first single from their long-awaited debut album, out shortly. Big River Man is about Slovenian distance swimmer Martin Strel and contains the band’s usual swirling guitars and complex, beguiling layering. It’s loud yet nuanced, jagged yet melodic, and entirely instrumental. You need to hear it.
Argonautas – Perfecto
With a career that spans more than 20 years, this independent prog-rock band from Ramos Mejia, a Buenos Aires suburb, performed a couple of shows last month after being inactive for quite some time. So we thought it was a great opportunity to share this fine track from Argonautas’ third album, also called Perfecto.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Jack Colwell – Don’t Cry Those Tears
On his latest EP, Only When Flooded Could I Let Go, classically trained musician Jack Colwell blends the popular and the arcane to stunning effect. He has a grand vision and the chops to pull it off, creating compositions that dabble in everything from chamber-pop to doo-wop. Don’t Cry Those Tears, a tribute to 60s pop, brings together strings, organ and a small choir with the seamlessness of a jigsaw puzzle. As a vocalist Colwell is often compared to Nick Cave and Patrick Wolf, and his performance on Don’t Cry Those Tears is an expert balance of melodrama and levity. He is undoubtedly an artist to keep your eye on.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Emicida – Mandume
Brazil’s most famous rapper, Emicida, has just released a new album in which he explores themes about urban life in his homeland, mixing it with African rhythms. In Mandume, he’s surrounded by a group of new Brazilian MCs: Drik Barbosa, Amiri, Rico Dalasam, Muzzike and Raphao Alaafin.
CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Mieke – Sleeping Alone
You may recognize Elissa Mielke (aka Mieke) as the model in The Weeknd and Drake’s video for The Zone, but she has her own thing going on. Her goosebump-inducing single Sleeping Alone reminds us all that there are worse things in the world than being alone.