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Entries in Foo Fighters (2)

Sunday
Oct232011

New EP from acclaimed Irish alt-rock band Susie Soho

EP Release: Susie Soho, Twelve Twenty Seven
Release date: 25 November 2011
Listen / free MP3 download: 
http://www.susiesoho.com/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=54 

November 25 sees the release Twelve Twenty Seven, the new EP from Meteor-nominated Irish band Susie Soho (the Meteors are Ireland's equivalent of the Brit Awards). The alternative-rock four piece – whose members have opened for and shared the stage with artists such as Damien Rice, The Frames, Mundy, and Damien Dempsey – are also doing a series of live performances around the country this Autumn to promote the release.

Featuring Jason Maher on bass, Niall Campion on guitar and Mia Fitzgerald on drums, Susie Soho was formed by singer and guitarist Tony Fitz in 2009. Describing themselves as “the kind of band you’d get if Dave Grohl and Gemma Hayes had some kind of musical lovechild”, their catchy, guitar-driven songs blend a distinctively Irish sound with US-tinged alternative rock.

The band made their live debut at Oxegen 2009; this was followed in 2010 with a Meteor Award nomination for Most Promising Artist and the release of their debut album, Where All The Ladders Start. This record was mixed by renowned Greek electro-acoustic composer and producer Anthony P. (aLfa.P, Stereo Nova, Supermarket) and mastered by Geoff Pesche at Abbey Road Studios (Gorillaz, Coldplay, Lily Allen).

Twelve Twenty Seven was recorded at Windmill Lane studios and features four songs. The EP’s themes range from the personal (Your Way Or Not At All; An Eye for an Eye) to the political (Stand Up, which was released as a single in the run up to the last Irish general election), with one track taking cynics to task along the way (Making Taste).

Susie Soho’s EP features melodies you can’t shake from your head, driving guitar riffs and a punchy, in-your-face alternative rock sound. With these excellent tracks in the can, and new material on the way, they are a band to definitely keep an eye on.

Random facts / talking points:

  • The band name comes from the the title of the 2000 jazz album “Good Morning Susie Soho” by the Esbjorn Svensson Trio.
  • Tony Fitz got physics lessons from Dominic of Bellx1, back when Bellx1 and Damien Rice were still Juniper. One thing led to another and Tony ended up opening shows and playing lead guitar for Damien Rice. 
  • Tony has also played with The Frames, and with the late Mic Christopher. It was a great honour for Tony to later be asked by Mic's family to perform at the launch of his album a year after his death, and a New Year’s Eve special performance on RTE in his memory.
  • The band have worked in classic studios such as Abbey Road, London and Windmill Lane, Dublin and are obsessed with studio gear and obscure recording equipment.
  • The EP’s Stand Up track (a recent single) was written as both a commentary on the causes of the anger and frustration that people all over Ireland were feeling in the final days of the last government, when things were looking more and more bleak, and as a call for people to get involved in the process of turning the country around. 
  • Niall has worked professionally in film and television graphics for many years. As well as working on high profile graphics jobs for RTE and the BBC, he has also edited a number of film projects, including Domhnall Gleeson’s hugely successful short "Noreen". In addition to directing videos for the band's own music, Niall has made videos for Damien Rice, Frank and Walters, Hybrasil, Bellx1 and Saso.

For more information about Susie Soho, or to request an interview, please email Chris Singleton on chris@prescriptionpr.co.uk or call +44 (0)7790 591707. For live dates, please see www.susiesoho.com.

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Friday
Apr222011

Austerlitz: devastating, intelligent rock and hypnotic hooks

Album: Austerlitz
Release date: June 27 2011

Austerlitz are a three-piece electro-indie-rock band from Paris. Think Foo Fighters versus Phoenix with the tiniest bit of At The Drive In thrown in for good measure and you’re part way there. Virtuosic keyboard lines, intricate bass work, a typically French vocal irreverence that moves from the practically crooned through strident and soaring to sporadic bayings of raw emotion all combine to create a devastating and freely intelligent alternative from our brothers across la Manche.

Austerlitz’s eleven tracks are propelled by a simple engine: powerhouse drums, deft bass lines and lead singer Gil Charvet’s distinctive vocal delivery. Opener Walking Into The Fire combines the above with the most hypnotic of 5/4 keyboard hooks, a fistful of key changes and the kind of pupil-dilating chorus even Dave Grohl would covet.

The band’s manifesto reads: “Man is asymmetrical, nature is asymmetrical, this century will be asymmetrical and so will its music...forget about the bar lines and escape, it’s more than a creed or a mission, it’s a duty.” And there’s definitely a commitment to pushing boundaries on Austerlitz that manages to err on the side of innovation for the sake of the work rather than innovation for innovation’s sake. From cerebral time signatures, myriad key changes and angular, almost faltering drums to the subject matter of songs like Rotten Ears: “I know it’s not your fault / You were probably born with it / And maybe your parents were just got the same / And you’re doing well by the way, Do what you can, It’s not your fault, If you have rotten ears”, Austerlitz’s self-awareness and commitment to development casts them as a French alternative to the almost military organisation of early Manics or The Clash.

Lyrically Charvet’s adoptive English manages to convey the same sense of pathos and urgency Phoenix’s Thomas Mars does so well. Behind a seeming simplicity there hides the kind of evocative abstractions and word choices that simply wouldn’t occur to a native English-speaker. It actually works quite brilliantly and Charvet’s vocals easily match the incredibly high level of musicianship on Austerlitz blow for blow; the almost synthetically smooth vocal production meanwhile glues the often asymmetrical, angular whole together.

Austerlitz charts a definite and nearly classical progression in its make up: first up is an opening exposition of Austerlitz’s sonic arsenal, making use of complex instrumentation, which then drops out through the record’s central portion, allowing the three-piece to rock in an angular and occasionally discordant way that’s always impressive. As the album develops, the sonic sphere spreads out again; keyboards and synths return alongside electronic drum samples, whilst a developing production takes hold of the Austerlitz blueprint and pushes it and pushes it into something quite new.

In Austerlitz’ own words: “A wave of rebellion must wreak havoc on the rock scene: it must become wild again so it can emerge from this era of glaciation and formulae”. On this evidence Austerlitz will be getting wild in a town near you soon.

Listen to: Walking Into The Fire, No Sir.

For more information about the band or to arrange an interview, please contact us. Listen at www.myspace.com/austerlitzrock

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