When I first came to Ireland, I was very focused on the Dublin scene. There just seemed such an abundance of good acts for a relatively small city, and so much to absorb every night. As I became familiar with the heavier acts, though, I found many of them referenced counterparts north of the border as some of their greatest influences: the likes of And So I Watch You From Afar, Therapy?, Fighting with Wire, Not Squares and an artist I’m very proud to introduce to MAP this month, Axis Of.
The trio hail from Portstewart, on the northern coast of our island, and are signed to awesome Northern Irish record label Smalltown America. Brash single Port Na Spaniagh from debut album Finding St Kilda first drew me to them, but this track ‘Munro Bagger’ is every bit as ear-wormy. It’s taken from sophomore album ‘The Mid Brae Inn’, out next month, Download below, or snap up the whole lot in advance of its February 2015 release, here. Enjoy!
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
Axis Of – Munro Bagger
Having dropped their metal edge in favour of a rough-around-the-edges melodic punk-rock buzz, north-coast Northern Irish act Axis Of look set to explode in 2015. Famed for their vibrant live show, the three-piece were described by UK magazine Rock Sound as “the most exciting act to come out of Northern Ireland, possibly ever”. Second album The Mid Brae Inn, out this month, features this vicious, craggy melody and plenty more worth getting your teeth stuck into.
Mariana Päraway – Sirena
Somewhere between Mendoza and the Andes, Mariana Päraway becomes a mountain siren who sings about entangled fates in her latest album, Hilario. Mariana’s music navigates through pop, folk and electronic landscapes resulting in a deep, refined sound exploration.
AUSTRALIA: Who The Bloody Hell Are They?
AFXJIM – Distant
Sydneysider Travis Baird is a multi-instrumentalist who earns a living scoring video installations, playing as a session musician and performing on tour with the likes of Melodie Nelson and Sounds Like Sunset. AFXJIM is Baird’s solo project, which consists of home recordings pieced together from loops, drum machines and field recordings of everything from kindergarten classroom chatter to police radio transmissions. It’s a subtle fusion of experimental electronica and acoustic songwriting, falling somewhere between Tortoise-inspired post-rock and the folktronica of early Four Tet. Distant is the title track of AFXJIM’s second LP. Carried on a bed of slide guitar and rumbling percussion, the track’s centrepiece sample features singing “recorded to MiniDisc in a bus-top karaoke bar in the Costa Rican backwoods”.
BRAZIL: Meio Desligado
Duani – Aproveita
Aproveita is the first single from Duani’s debut solo album, which will be released this year. He became famous in Brazil in the 90s, playing forró (a very danceable rhythm strongly related to the Northeast culture of the country) with the band Forroçacana. In this single, he plays all instruments and sings. The lyrics are a manifest about comprehension in love and its different ways of desire, packaged with black music and soul.