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Music Alliance Pact: November 2014

music alliance pact

I feel particularly fortunate this month to have been given permission to put forward one of my favorite hometown acts, SPIES, as the Irish represenatative for MAP. I’m obviously not the only one waxing lyrical about these Manchunian-inspired Dubs, either, with our resident Italian blogger Robbie immediately picking up on ‘Moosehead’ and featuring it on his monthly MAPCast, here. If you’re particularly taken with SPIES, I have a feature on Trout Records, their in-house record company, in this month’s second print edition of The Thin Air, too. Because, well, avail your ears…

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 22-track compilation through Dropbox here.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
SPIESMoosehead
Hyped up by authorities as hefty as The Guardian and NME, Dublin’s SPIES are widely seen as the city’s next big thing. Moosehead is the latest of their slow to emerge singles, released on the band’s own Trout Records label. Leaning on the same glorious desolation that fronted Factory Records’ world-renowned soundscapes, it’s a jittery, dingy piece of indie-rock that brings atmospheric depression up to date. Think social awkwardness meets Interpol, and put a hefty bookmark on this space.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Tomás FerreroCuando Te Hablo
In March 2013, a mixed group of musicians gathered together in Cordoba and Buenos Aires to play some songs and sound pieces composed with lyrics taken from the work of a federal collective of artists called Esta Vida No Otra. Some of them recorded the results several months later, and those tracks were then released as a compilation titled 15 Artistas Cantan Esta Vida No Otra. The song we have selected from this album, also available for free at Bandcamp, is Cuando Te Hablo by Tomás Ferrero from the band Rayos Láser.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Open SwimmerSugar Bowl
Open Swimmer’s version of pop is jarring, even discordant at first, but it’s this blatantly simple approach that has us hooked. (Dirty Projectors fans, pay attention now.) Sugar Bowl is a brilliant introduction to the band; playful yodelling is cut and pasted along a steady 4/4 drum beat, while witty banter takes the fore. Songwriter Ben TD was based in Glasgow for seven years, touring extensively and landing multiple sessions on BBC Radio One and a stint at T in the Park before settling in Melbourne. The band comprises some of Melbourne’s most admired independent music alumni (The Harpoons, Seagull). Expect to hear a lot more from this group.

BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Alessandra LeãoMofo
Alessandra Leão shows off her experimental side with Mofo, taken from her new EP, Pedra De Sal. Avoiding the world music sound from other works, this song has dark music and some weird programming that fits the angst of the lyrics.

CANADA: Ride The Tempo
Beach SeasonMidnights
There’s not actually much out there on Beach Season besides the fact the project is from Calgary. The smooth vocals of Midnights complements the hip-hop influenced rhythms. This is a duo that won’t be much of a mystery for long.

Music Alliance Pact: September 2014

music alliance pact

This month’s Music Alliance Pact comes to you complete with 21 tracks, not least up and coming movie-inspired electro-poppers Florence Olivier from right here in Dublin. Come for the bounce, stay for the variety…

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 21-track compilation through Dropbox here.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Florence OlivierPortals
Ambitious conceptual Dublin electro-pop act Florence Olivier channel their namesake – the inventor of the modern synth – and add a twist in basing every track on a deconstructed movie plot. Second single Portals comes complete with a video crammed with the dumbest jokes the three-piece could come up with, but the infectious, summery bent of the slow-building track and its delicate vocals is worth taking seriously. Oh, and which movie is Portals? Well, that’s part of the fun…

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Los GongsSuicidas
Suicidas is a brand new track from Los Gongs’ sophomore album, Volumen 2. This young, promising band from Buenos Aires takes us back to the folk-rock, kraut and psychedelic sounds of the 60s and 70s. It was recorded at Ion, one of the few studios in Argentina that still offers a completely analog recording environment.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Foreign/NationalLife Tourist
Five-piece Foreign/National was formed by brothers Mark and Sean Gage in their hometown on the Mornington Peninsula, a short drive south of Melbourne. The band has released three singles since November last year, attracting their fair share of attention from the music blogosphere. On latest offering Life Tourist, the lyrics offer a harsh counterpoint (“What’s your motherfuckin’ problem?”) to the band’s signature blend of psych-pop and tropicalia. It’s a cheerful, off-kilter sound that falls somewhere on the spectrum between Django Django and Os Mutantes. Foreign/National’s debut EP will be out on Downtime later this month.

Music Alliance Pact: August 2014

music alliance pact

Here’s twenty two more ‘sure why wouldn’t you’ tracks from the wonderful MAP, featuring my own choice ‘Revin Goof’, a Galway mellow hip-hop up and comer the labels are already sniffing around. Load your iPods…

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 22-track compilation through Dropbox here.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
Revin GoffSalthill
This tripped-out, mellow take on hip-hop takes its stormy, percussion-heavy angles from the crashing of the Atlantic winter against the Salthill promenade in Ireland’s gorgeous western outpost of Galway. Penned by inventive 23-year-old newcomer Revin Goff, it’s a textured and nuanced release that dripfeeds fuzzy personal narratives, complex and jittery enough to require further listens and comfortably compelling enough to demand them.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Como Diamantes TelepáticosSoñar Soñar
The name of the band comes from an Allen Ginsberg quote about the writings of his friend Jack Kerouac (“Each book by Kerouac is unique, a telepathic diamond”). This song by Como Diamantes Telepáticos is the first single from Dorado, their second studio album, in which they explore a more experimental psychedelic pop sound and mysterious lyrics. The album is available in physical format and as a free download from Bandcamp.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
Blonde TonguesSeilu
Seilu, the new single from Brisbane’s Blonde Tongues, is a piece of dream-pop with serious emotional pull drawn from slow-build instrumentals and spacey flares of lead guitar. A track about contradictions, thought patterns and lines of friendship, Seilu is coy and seductive rather than brash. There’s no doubt Blonde Tongues still have plenty more depths to reveal in their sound.

Music Alliance Pact: May 2014.

music alliance pact

For the May 2014 edition of Music Alliance Pact, I’ve returned to one of the Irish acts I’ve raved about the most since arriving here six years ago – the ever exceptional We Cut Corners. This duo’s first album ‘Today I Realized I Could Go Home Backwards’ sounds like it has far more complexities than could possibly stem from a two-piece, yet they reproduce it flawlessly live. It’s crammed with details, it’s witty at times and it’s emotionally raw at others. In short, it’s very, very difficult not to love. The follow up  THINK NOTHING came out over the last month or so (buy it here), and they’ve kindly lent me the use of ‘Blue’ for the purposes of this wonderful monthly music collection. I haven’t had a chance to delve through other contributions just yet, but if past months are anything to go by, it’s definitely recommended! 

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 27-track compilation through Ge.tt here.

IRELAND: Hendicott Writing
We Cut CornersBlue
Dublin duo We Cut Corners have contrasting loud and quiet streaks. Set up like The White Stripes, only with the singer on drums, the pair’s garage rock with quirky pop melodies have won them a nomination for the Choice Music Prize (“Ireland’s Grammys”) and near universal admiration in a crowded scene. Blue is the fourth single from just-released gorgeous second album Think Nothing, crammed full of their usual brand of sharp lyrics and heart-on-sleeve brashness. A real hidden gem.

ARGENTINA: Zonaindie
Shaman y Los Pilares De La CreaciónTierna Oscuridad
Tierna Oscuridad is the opening track on Shaman y Los Pilares De La Creación’s second album, released by Concepto Cero, one of La Plata’s finest independent labels. You can hear the whole album via the band’s website. The song is also on the soundtrack for the film Arriba Quemando El Sol, so the sound prevails over the notes, creating a deep atmospheric musical environment.

AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
YeoKobe
A little over a year ago, Melbourne’s Yeo gave his acoustic guitar the flick and turned to a new friend, the keytar. He had some success in 2013 with the dark, whirring Girl and now he’s back with Kobe, the second single from his forthcoming EP. It’s a big step up for the producer: a shining, ambitious pop song with brash synth stabs, jittery percussion and confident R’n’B vocals. Yeo played Canadian Music Week and some US shows this month. If he doesn’t break the North American market first time round, we reckon he’s got a promising future penning tunes for Justin Timberlake.