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Girl Band announce summer tour

Tour announcement: Girl Band
Dates: 23 May - 22 June 2014 
More information and updates: on official Facebook page

“Girl Band’s 2012 debut EP, France 98, could’ve passed for a product of Sub Pop circa 1988. The irascible (and all-dude) Irish foursome proved they were after something more than flannel hand-me-downs” - Pitchfork

“Rules in excelsis” - The Quietus

“Noise-pop genius” - Drowned In Sound

“This boyish quartet from Dublin deliver visceral, invigorating music with nods to Daft Punk and Nick Cave” – The Guardian

“Gnarly alternative to moon eyed psychadelia, chanelling the sick lurch of Nirvana and Mudhoney through Pissed Jeans’ cleverly gormless humour… Abrasive, unrestrained and exhilarating” – NME

“A simply thrilling, terrifically pulse-quickening noise. Feral yet accessible…an alert, succinct display of how to match urgently funky post-punk to no wave-style white noise” – Clash

“Girl Band blow minds when they take to the stage with their brand of amped-up post-punk. This is a special band.” – DIY

Still wet behind the ears and fresh from their uni exams, Girl Band will be spending their entire summer on the road this year. With dates across the breadth of the UK as well as a wealth of shows and festivals across Europe, including Primavera (on the Vice stage), the Irish foursome are quickly establishing themselves as live circuit stalwarts. And for good reason.  

On stage they are a wall of noise. Disparate and desperate in equal measure. Their music is all sinew and wires, burgeoning excitement - in their heads as much for the dance floors as it is for punk dives. Their last London headline show attracted nearly 250 people to The Old Blue Last with one-in one-out before 8pm, while both of their shows at The Great Escape festival 2014 had crowds cramming in shoulder to shoulder to witness the feral noise.

They’ve had worldwide acclaim for their latest singles including 7” “Lawman” and the 25 second long Record Store Day sell out “The Cha Cha Cha”, not to mention their earlier releases including their longest player to date, the six track EP, France 98. Perhaps the most groundbreaking of all was their cover of Yorkshire techno artist, Blawan, and his “Why They Hide Their Bodies Under My Garage”, streamed exclusively via The Quietus.

They will be playing the following shows over the summer:

  • 23.05 – Life Festival, Mullingar (ie)
  • 28.05 - Ubu, Perpignan (fr)
  • 29.05 – Primavera, Barcelona (es)
  • 02.06 – Dog & Parrot, Newcastle
  • 03.06 – The Bell Jar, Sheffield
  • 04.06 – Bloc, Glasgow
  • 05.06 – Electric Circus, Edinburgh
  • 06.06 – Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
  • 07.06 – The Prince Albert, Brighton
  • 09.06 – The Cookie Jar, Leicester
  • 10.06 – The Portland Arms, Cambridge
  • 11.06 – The Shacklewell Arms, London
  • 12.06 - L’Envers, Bordeaux (fr)
  • 13.06 - Charada, Madrid (es)
  • 14.06 - Whipporwill, Oviedo (es)
  • 15.06 - Ibu Hots, Vitoria-Gasteiz (es)
  • 17.06 - La Flèche d’or, Paris (fr)
  • 19.06 - OCCII, Amsterdam (nl)
  • 20.06 - Charlatan, Gent (be)
  • 21.06 - Best Kept Secret Festival, Hilvarenbeek (nl)
  • 22.06 - Ekko, Utrecht (nl)

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New single and tour dates from Girl Band

Single release: Cha Cha Cha
Release date: 15 April 2014
Label: Any Other City
Tour dates: 19 April - 20 September 2014

“Feral noise” - Clash
“These shores’ answer to HEALTH’s pained, psychotic frenzies and Liars’ daring invention. They’re that good.” - DIY
“Abrasive, unrestrained and exhilarating” - NME
“Rules in excelsis” - The Quietus
“Noise-pop genius” - Drowned In Sound

Girl Band release the follow up to their 6 minute+ release “Lawman” with the somewhat shorter 25 second single “The Cha Cha”, out on a 100 limited flexidisc’s (presented in wooden boxes) via their label Any Other City for Record Store Day. As well as independent stores in Ireland, the single will also be stocked at Rough Trade.

Girl Band will also play London’s Lock Tavern Festival to celebrate the release, this coming Saturday 19th April. With a capacity of 80, and free entry, get there (very) early.

The band follow this with more UK and Euro shows, including a performance at Primavera.

You can catch the band on these dates:

  • 19th April - The Lock Tavern Festival, London
  • 10th May - The Great Escape, Brighton
  • 23rd May - Life Festival, Mullingar (ie)
  • 28th May - L’Ubu, Perpignan
  • 29th May - Primavera Sound, Barcelona
  • 31st May - Le Chinois, Montreuil
  • 3rd June - The Bell Jar, Sheffield
  • 4th June - Bloc, Glasgow
  • 5th June - Electric Circus, Edinburgh
  • 6th June - Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds
  • 7th June - Prince Albert, Brighton
  • 9th June - The Cookie Jar, Leicester
  • 10th June - The Portland Arms, Cambridge
  • 11th June - The Shacklewell Arms, London
  • 12th June - L’Envers, Bordeaux (fr)
  • 13th June - Charada, Madrid (es)
  • 14th June - Whipporwill, Oviedo (es)
  • 15th June - Ibu Hots, Vitoria-Gasteiz (es)
  • 17th June - La Flèche d’or, Paris (fr)
  • 19th June - OCCII, Amsterdam (nl)
  • 20th June - Charlatan, Gent (be)
  • 21st June - Best Kept Secret Festival, Hilvarenbeek
  • (nl)
  • 22nd June - Ekko, Utrecht (nl)
  • 10th August - Beacons Festival, Skipton
  • 20th September - Clonakilty Guitar Festival, Clonakilty (ie)

Further information

Girl Band’s handful of UK dates in January were a revelation, with a 4 star live review that earned them comparisons to The Birthday Party in The Guardian and more kind words in the NME for their opener in Brighton.

The start of the year saw widespread blog appreciation, with the band being covered as The Guardian’s New Band Of The Day and “Lawman” receiving Pitchfork’s approval. 

A
fter healthy orders of the record on 7”, which has now sold out entirely, they put “Lawman” up for free download via their Bandcamp.

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Girl Band release 'Lawman' single on January 10th

Single release: 'Lawman' by Girl Band
Release date: 10 January 2014 
Label: Any Other City
Listen: on Bandcamp

Firstly, Girl Band does not contain any girls. They are a four piece in their late teens / early 20's from Dublin, wet behind the ears, and they play music that does not fit comfortably under one genre. Somewhere between Pissed Jeans, !!!, Modern Lovers, Shellac and Liars, they somehow sound like all and none of those at all. Ask them their influences and they'll tell you "Daft Punk".

Live they are a wall of noise. Disparate and desperate in equal measure. Their music is all sinew and wires, burgeoning excitement, in their heads as much for the dance floors as it is for punk dives.

"Lawman" will be released on limited 7", on cotton duck fabric, hand stitched and hand numbered up to 300.

You can pre-order direct from the band on Bandcamp.

Reaction

"Rules in excelsis" - The Quietus
"Noise-pop genius" - Drowned In Sound
"Gnarly alternative to moon eyed psychadelia, chanelling the sick lurch of Nirvana and Mudhoney through Pissed Jeans' cleverly gormless humour" - NME

Tour dates

  • 15th Jan - Brighton UK - The Green Door Store - Free in
  • 16th Jan - Groningen NL - Eurosonic Noorderslag - Huis De Beurs
  • 17th Jan - Tilburg NL - Incubated XL Festival - 013
  • 18th Jan - Groningen NL - Galerie Sign - Free in
  • 21st Jan - Rotterdam NL - Poortgebouw
  • 23rd Jan - London UK - The Old Blue Last - Free in
  • 30th Jan - Limerick IE- Bourkes Bar
  • 01st Feb - Cork IE - Crane Lane Theatre
  • 08th Feb - Dublin IE - Whelans
  • 13th Feb - Galway IE - Roisin

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New video from Ghost Maps

Video release: Vanilla by Ghost Maps
Label: Casino Gravity (www.casinogravity.com) 
Video release date: 4 November 2013
Album Release Date: 15th November 2013
Listen / watch: on Youtube or on official Ghost Maps site

Ghost Maps is a new project from Jeff Martin. The debut album 'The Ocean From The River' is released on November 15th 2013; and the video for lead track ‘Vanilla’ is out now - you can watch it on Youtube here.

Previous projects

Jeff Martin is a founding member of Irish band Halfset, who have released two albums to date, the acclaimed debut Dramanalog and Another Way of Being There – the latter being The Irish Independent's 'Irish Album of the Year' and a Choice Music Prize nominee (The Choice Music Prize is the Irish equivalent of The Mercuries).

Jeff Martin has also released three solo records under his own name, Still, Spoons and Spoons Remixes/Collaborations. The remix album saw musicians rework their chosen tracks, contributors include David Pajo (Slint, PapaM), Mice Parade, The High Llamas, John Parish (PJ Harvey) & Minotaur Shock. This release gained Jeff US distribution. To date Jeff Martin has opened up for Lambchop, Tortoise, The National, David Grubbs and The High Llamas to name a few.

Jeff Martin has also played live guitar for acclaimed Irish songwriter Adrian Crowley as part of his touring band.

Ghost Maps

The Ocean From The River is Jeff Martin's first release under the Ghost Maps name. The 13 track album was written and arranged by Jeff Martin over a 12 month period, and was recorded in Dublin and Chicago. The Ocean From The River features long-time collaborator John McEntire (Tortoise, The Sea and Cake) on drums and a guest piano appearance from Tony Crow (Lambchop).

The emphasis is on real instrumentation, with virtually no electronics, sequencing or programming. The result is rich and organic tones throughout the album. Intimate guitar and voice songs contrast with panoramic full-band tracks, occasional brass flourishes and textured string arrangements.

Drawn from various musical genres, The Ocean From The River is a diverse piece of work - complex, multifaceted, and one that reveals a new layer with each listen.

Video / free MP3 download

You can watch the video for the track 'Vanilla' on Youtube - where you’ll also find the embed code.

You can download a free MP3 of 'Vanilla' from the band's Facebook page.

Formats

The Ocean From The River is out on November 15th, 2013 and will be available on Digipak CD, vinyl & digital download. The heavy-weight vinyl version comes with a die-cut sleeve and includes a free original CD copy of the album. You can buy from all good shops nationwide, directly from the bands website (both physical & digital), iTunes and Bandcamp.

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Boomtoon Rats - Classic Album Selection to be released on 21 October

Album reissues: Boomtown Rats, Classic Album Selection
Label: Universal
Release Date: 21 October 2013

1977 in England and six intelligent gobshites over from Ireland, laying waste to punk’s sacred creeds as the lead singer announced “I want to get rich, get famous and get laid”. It wasn’t the first of the fellow’s pronouncements. He went on to save the world for a while, thus effectively wrecking his music career forever. But that’s another story, not fit for these polluted paragraphs.

Geldof was the singer’s name, Bob Geldof. People called him Geldorf and, in America, Bawb. He was always writing great songs, playing ‘em badly on a left-handed acoustic guitar for the band. And he was a gangling fashion mess of red trousers held up with string and an oversize chequered jacket that would’ve been better served for noughts and crosses rather than daywear. And Geldof’s gob – the girls liked his Jaggeresque lips and the girls, they understand – his rubber mouth flapped like someone versed in cunning lyrics, announcements, pronouncements, opinions, let’s do this, let’s do that. With him it was always “Why the fuck not?”, which seemed a reasonable response to anything. Of course he got up a lot of people’s noses, people who thought this Geldof geezer was a jumped-up self-opinionated self-promoting Paddy git. But like some things that get up people’s noses, Geldof and the group he fronted – the group he drove – became extremely popular. Thatcher’s repressive drab Britain was being assaulted by rebel music and the youth was revolting and these guys, ahead of the Pistols or the Clash or the Damned, they scored the first No 1 hit from the punk rock melee. They rocked like fuck and even did ballads, used saxophones and strings when they wanted or looped into reggae. They became Rock Stars. Wham bam thank you ma’am.

They were called the Boomtown Rats, after the new gang in town in the Woody Guthrie book Bound For Glory. In Dublin, for the briefest of moments, they’d called themselves The Nightlife Thugs but knocked that on the head. Geldof would jump onstage by ripping through a cheap screen that beamed a Rentokill promo film they’d blagged from somewhere – all about killing rats, real tasty stuff – and he and the Boomtown Rats would be all cranked up breaking the speed limit into Bobby Parker’s Barefootin’ or the Coasters’ ‘Riot In Cell Block #9’ and bits of raw liver would be flying about like airborne corpse-cold jellyfish, landing on people, splat! Charming. And people went nuts of course, just loved it.

And this mighty band: Garry Roberts, leather jacket and Dee Dee Ramone hair which morphed backwards into an evil flat quaff, pushing madly on guitar, dangerous. The shaded Gerry Cott who looked almost like a mod and seemed like the sort of sensible chap who’d end up in music publishing, Gerry twanged derangedly too.

Pete Briquette, the only rock star named after a compressed lump of turf, as solid a guy as the bass he was playing, a country boy from Cavan while his cohorts were wellish-bred city boys from near Dublin. Thrashing the drums, Simon Crowe, the straight blonde motorbike boy handsome like a World War II flying ace…

And on straight-to-the-point keyboards was Johnnie Fingers, a fine carefree chap who wore his stage gear all day long and thus ended up sporting pyjamas for years.

In England the band were signed by go-getters Nigel Grainge and Chris Hill for their brand new label Ensign. Doreen Loader in the Ensign office was almost like everybody’s mum.

These adventurers newly over from Ireland were a a self-contained combat team, suitably quartered near Chessington Zoo in a house built by Henry VIII for one of his mistresses.

Polygram Records released a sampler LP called New Wave ’77. Tucked in among Richard Hell & The Voidoids, The Ramones, Patti Smith doing Piss Factory, The New York Dolls, The Runaways, The Dead Boys with Stiv Bators and Sonic Reducer…there was the Boomtown Rats and Geldof’s clarion call ‘Lookin’ After Number One’, an explosion of drums and guitars and the singer screaming “World owes me a living!” right from the off. No messing, here I am, don’t fuck with me. “I’m going to be like me!” That was it.

Charles Shaar Murray in the NME went bonkers for the track. It became The Rats’ first single and the first Rats hit. The Rats got on British television on Marc Bolan’s afternoon extravaganza Marc and as that was being screened they were doing Top Of The Pops. Wham bam thank you man.

The Boomtown Rats were the first modern Irish rock’n’roll group. Rory Gallagher plumbed the blues, Phil Lynott hoovered up Irish mythology, Van Morrison breathed the Celtic mist. And the Rats….who gives a toss that they were 6 middle-class fellows from the sorta- affluent Dublin adjunct of Dun Laoghaire. We’ve all got our own pain and they loved rock’n’roll and hated the moribund cesspit of not only the Irish music scene but the whole damn country itself. These upstarts had their own agenda.

Bono talks about as a kid being electrically energized by the liberating sight of this scruffy Geldof on Ireland’s Late Late Show, this unafraid young Boomtown Rat verbal pugilist lashing out at the stultifying apathy of the Catholic Church, the overall crushing gray mundaneness of Ireland as the country’s leaders wallowed in some cod-50s “Ah sure it’ll be grand, it could be worse” complacency. Geldof’s song ‘Banana Republic’ was to become a kidney punch.

The Irish music business was sewn up. Second-rate shysters managing showbands, these lame human jukeboxes peddling tired Jim Reeves tear-jerkers bubbled up with a dose of Simon Says. The showband managers and the politicians seemed interchangeable: one becoming a senator and another a man who ran ballrooms became the head of the country while making dog food. It was all the same racket.

Suddenly half the population in Ireland was under 25 and suddenly with this Geldof guy they had a voice. The Boomtown Rats were banned, prohibited by law from playing live. They were denounced from the pulpit. It was Don’t Knock The Rock all over again; it was Would You Let Your Daughter Marry A Boomtown Rat. It was perfect.

Back in England in London at the Music Machine just before the Rats rocked into ‘Lookin’ After Number One’, some mentally-derailled geezer leapt up from the audience and before fleeing whacked Geldof a ferocious punch on the gob. Bloood everywhere and a stroke of good fortune. The outraged photos of the bloodied but unbowed Geldof adorned the next week’s music papers in grand style. Punk rock.

The first Boomtown Rats tour in Britain found them playing with two hot new groups from New York. 6 Paddies, 8 Yanks. Talking Heads would go on first, then the Rats, then the Ramones would finish the delirious audience off. Some of the shows were in the afternoon, in school, in the gym, for kids in mullets, flares and shock. Goodbye Mud. So long Showadafuckingwaddy. Hello New Age. That was perfect too.

That’s how the Boomtown Rats began. Fucking brilliant. No messing.

The rest is here.

BP Fallon

Classic Album Selection: six albums, 1977-84 

The Boomtown Rats (1977)
A Tonic For The Troops (1978) 
The Fine Art Of Surfacing (1979) 
Mondo Bongo (1980) 
V Deep (1982) 
The Fine Art Of Surfacing (1984)

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Dearly Beloved announce UK and Europe tour dates

UK & Europe Tour Announcement: Dearly Beloved 
Listen: on official website

Originally released May 22, 2012 via eOne Music Canada, Hawk vs. Pigeon is the latest buzz bomb from bass masher Rob Higgins and fellow co-vocalist Niva Chow who, together, form Dearly Beloved. With UK and European tour dates lined up throughout September 2013, even more in November for continental Europe, Dearly Beloved knew it was time for Hawk vs. Pigeon to find a home for an overseas release. Aporia Records will be releasing a special redux of the album in the UK later this year.

Just this past May, we took our European tour aspirations and a ‘why not?’ approach to playing Indie Week Ireland and that trip led directly to working with AMA Music Agency in Dublin,” recalls Higgins. “As well, a plum opening slot at an all ages gig at Glasgow' best venue, the Classic Grand, that offered up some more gigs…that train kept rolling. Synchronicity, kismet, call it what you like but we've experienced it more than a few times these last 3 or 4 years.”

Hawk vs. Pigeon (Redux) features completely new album artwork, an inspired and fresh re-sequencing of the album and a previously un-released bonus collaboration called Never Tell The Truth with Patrick Pentland of Sloan.

"Releasing this revamped version of Hawk vs. Pigeon is like breathing a second life into the album," says Chow. "I'm excited to rock this next phase of Dearly Beloved."

Hawk vs. Pigeon was recorded in Joshua Tree, California at Rancho De La Luna and the band's Phoebe Street Studios and features a veritable who’s who of outstanding guest musician appearances: Dave Catching of Eagles Of Death Metal /Earthlings?, Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene, Mars Volta/M83 alumni Dave Elitch, Jeff Heisholt of The Trews and Care Failure of Die Mannequin.

“I have always championed Dearly Beloved and I am huge fan of their live show,” says Pentland. “Their songs are the perfect blend of the excitement of punk rock, the sing-a-long-ability of pop with a dash of muso/prog rock noodleing, thanks in large part to Higgins’ amazing bass skills. High powered riffs and melody lines that make me jealous.”

Tour dates

  • Sept 7: Southampton, UK @ Joiner’s
  • Sept 8: Bristol, UK @ 02 Academy 2
  • Sept 9: London, UK @ Barfly
  • Sept10: Manchester, UK @ Alter Ego
  • Sept 11: Sheffield, UK @ The Corporation
  • Sept 12: Glasgow, SCO @ Garage 2
  • Sept 13: Edinburgh, SCO @ Liquid Rooms
  • Sept 16: Paris, FR @ Le Pop In
  • Sept 19: Dublin, IE @ Whelan’s
  • Sept 20: Mullingar, IE @ Number 1

More dates to be announced soon.

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Lisa Knapp to release 'Hidden Seam' album on Navigator Records

Album release: Hidden Seam by Lisa Knapp
Release date: 14 September 2013
Label: Navigator
Listen: on official website

'It's easy to see why this singer is the toast of the folk scene. Her vocals, like those of Anne Briggs, come across as strange and stirring as a spring day.' - The Observer

'A major discovery' - Mojo

Lisa Knapp first emerged in 2007 with a remarkable debut album, Wild And Undaunted and quickly established herself as a highly distinctive, creative artist, merging a radiant style of traditional folk and self-penned song with vocal, fiddle, hammer dulcimer, strings, banjo and contemporary production.

It's been a long wait but evidently worth it - the South Londoner's much-anticipated 2nd full-length album, Hidden Seam, is finally due for release by Navigator Records on 16th September 2013.

Far from being idle, Lisa has spent the years between albums exploring her increasing fascination with the elements and our fragile, volatile environment. Though greatly inspired by husband/musical partner Gerry Diver's own creative journey with his 2011 Speech Project album (music based on the speech patterns of Irish traditional singers), Lisa was equally motivated by a love of language - partly through a meeting with Seamus Heaney but also a healthy obsession with the old English text of Beowulf.

Shipping Song, the album's opening track, arises from Lisa's fascination with the Met Office's somnambulant, poetic late night shipping forecast; its strange and far-away sounding place names: Utsire, Viking, Fastnet and Lundy. A recording of American Marine sound testing from the 1950s was seamlessly sewn into the track, alongside the sounds of sea creatures and spinning motors.

Black Horse is a song by the great, late English singer/songwriter, Lal Waterson, which Lisa was originally invited to perform on tour with Scottish singer and guitarist James Yorkston. Not only does James guest on this recording but Lisa was also thrilled to be joined by Lal's daughter, Marry Waterson. Lisa plucked up courage to invite Martin Carthy, one of her musical heroes, to accompany her on Two Ravens, a touching song about Alzheimers disease. Seagiver is a visceral song of death and the elements. The penultimate track on Hidden Seam, Hunt the Hare Pt 1, features acclaimed Scottish folk musician, Alasdair Robert and was originally based on the well known Irish song Rocky Road to Dublin. It evolved into a song about the month of May. On Hushabye, a lullaby style song which she regularly sang to her daughter, Lisa is accompanied by celebrated singer/songwriter, Kathryn Williams.

Hidden Seam is a substantial sonic tapestry. It will swiftly re-establish Lisa Knapp as not only one of the most compelling voices of her generation in British folk music but one of the most innovative. Her roots may be embedded in the great folk revival of the 50s and 60s but with this new album, she is setting sail for unchartered horizons.

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Winter Mountain to release debut EP 'Find, Follow' on Charcoal Records

EP Release: Find, Follow by Winter Mountain
Release date: 20 May 2013
Label: Charcoal Road
Listen: on Youtube

They have an extraordinary backstory straight out of a movie screenplay for which their songs would make the perfect soundtrack. How Joseph Francis and Martin Smyth met and were discovered is remarkable and goes a little like this...

An Englishman and an Irishman step onto the same train at Chicago's Union station and meet for the first time. Both singers, both songwriters...both broke, but intent on making their way by rail to Memphis, TN, the birthplace of Rock n Roll.

That night, the two strangers began a conversation that lasted until the early hours. A conversation centered on their mutual love of the sounds of the 60s and 70s, of great albums and great artists, and great harmony singing: The Band, Simon & Garfunkel, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young were all discussed. By morning they had named themselves Winter Mountain and committed to travel together, swapping stories, exchanging lyrics and singing together in the bars and clubs of the deep south. From their first performance it was impossible to ignore the rare magic of their natural vocal blend as heads turned whenever they sang.

On their return the guys spent a fortnight songwriting in Ireland which led to a chance entry in a Battle of the Bands competition. Winter Mountain competed against the best unsigned talent in Northern Ireland, and won! It was enough to capture the heart of a local theatre owner who booked them to open for Irish singing luminary Cara Dillon. After hearing Joseph and Martin’s performance Cara and husband/producer Sam Lakeman immediately signed Winter Mountain to their independent label, Charcoal Records and set about assembling a team of experienced musicians who could help realise the vision that Joseph and Martin had for their music.

With contributions from Robbie McIntosh (guitarist with McCartney, The Pretenders, John Mayer), Audrey Riley (string arranger for Coldplay, Nick Cave) and Leo Abrahams (guitarist for Brian Eno, Florence And The Machine), the songs were recorded in a host of vintage studios which echo the authenticity of their sound and the resulting EP, Find, Follow, blends exquisite melodies, heartfelt lyrics and above all else, compelling harmonies.

The final, perhaps most striking touch to the EP was made when the highly acclaimed Mike Crossey (Ben Howard, Jake Bugg, The Arctic Monkeys), stepped up in the midst of his hectic schedule and mixed all three tracks.  

There have been the obvious comparisons to Simon & Garfunkel, The Fleet Foxes and The Everly Brothers and when you hear and see them perform you’ll understand why. Yet Winter Mountain bring something new to their vocal delivery, echoing  those legendary harmony acts, but adding a vital, contemporary edge that is uniquely their own. Their vocals blend as if they’ve been harmonising for a lifetime. And although Martin’s from Donegal, Ireland and Joseph hails from West Cornwall, you get the impression they were born to sing together.

Winter Mountain’s debut EP Find, Follow is now due for release on iTunes and other online outlets on 20th May 2013 on Charcoal Records.

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New single from acclaimed Irish folk singer, Heidi Talbot

Single release: Will I Ever Get To Sleep? by Heidi Talbot
Release date: 18 March 2013
Label: Navigator
Listen: on Myspace 

Will I Ever Get To Sleep?, the lead single from Irish folk singer Heidi Talbot’s latest album, Angels Without Wings, is a beautiful modern day folk song. Written with husband and producer John McCusker and performed with King Creosote, Will I Ever Get To Sleep? observes the normal day to day life that exists whilst a loved one is away and the inability to sleep without them by your side “But you’re not home for weeks, And I wonder if I’ll ever get to sleep”. Heidi’s enchanting vocals with King Creosotes rich harmonies supported by the traditional instrumentation see the track soar and brings the lyrics to life.  

**** - Q Magazine
“Enchanting, inspiring and musically refreshing from beginning to end” – Maverick
“There isn’t a weak track in sight” – Acoustic
“A nicely judged blend of the sweet, sad, stately and sassy” – The Scotsman

‘Angels Without Wings’ is an album of original compositions glowing with special guests from the worlds of folk, pop, rock and bluegrass. Featuring collaborations with Mark Knopfler, King Creosote, Jerry Douglas, Tim O’Brien, Karine Polwart, Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow), Julie Fowlis and more. 

Subtlety is Talbot’s magic ingredient – from her gossamer voice to the delicate re-working of traditional and contemporary material that earned her rave reviews for her 2008 breakthrough In Love And Light. The girl from Ireland’s Co. Kildare, who spent several years in New York as a member of the Irish-American supergroup Cherish The Ladies, slips effortlessly between musical worlds but retains a personal modesty rooted in traditional folk.

Talbot began writing songs on her 2010 album The Last Star. In just two years she’s become a master of the art, sometimes composing alone, sometimes with McCusker and Boo Hewerdine (who form her touring band). Kenny Anderson (King Creosote) became a new creative foil after the pair discovered a mutual admiration:

“He was asked to pick his fantasy band for The Independent and he picked me and Morten Harket from A-ha on joint lead vocals,” Heidi laughs. She conceived the melody for Button Up – a brooding, urgent acoustic love song – with Anderson in mind, and he sent back his own lyrics.

When Mark Knopfler and Jerry Douglas offered to play on Heidi Talbot’s new album, they thoughtfully recorded their parts in several different styles – some were instantly recognisable, others more low-key. Talbot’s husband, producer and bandmate John McCusker joked, “you’ve got the best guitar players in the world and we’re blending them in?” But both musicians knew that for Talbot, the song always comes before the name.

And while the timeless language of traditional folk will always be an inspiration, there are traces of Americana in ‘When The Roses Come Again' (feat. Mark Knopfler), a delicate country-tinged duet with bluegrass legend Tim O’Brien, and Parisian romance in the unforgettable title track by Boo Hewerdine, laced with vintage accordion.

Talbot and McCusker were keen to capture the spontaneity of performance: the album was recorded live in Glasgow’s new Gorbals Sound Studios with her regular team Ian Carr (guitars), Phil Cunningham (accordion), Michael McGoldrick (flutes/whistles), James Mackintosh (percussion), Boo Hewerdine (acoustic guitar) and Ewan Vernal (bass). “If people made mistakes we’d just keep going,” says Heidi. “On some of the tracks you can even hear the harmonium creaking. These guys are friends, they all give their opinion. They’ll say, “that’s it! That’s the take!’” 

Talbot’s close-knit creative environment has fostered her confidence as a songwriter while allowing her to welcome in surprising new collaborators. These ever-evolving musical relationships can be heard on this, her most sophisticated and vibrant recording to date. 

Upcoming UK Tour Dates 

  • Sat, 26 Jan 2013 Tolbooth, Stirling 01786 274000
  • Sun, 27 Jan 2013 Angels Without Wings Album launch @ Celtic Connections festival
  • Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow with special guests 0141 3538000
  • Fri, 15 Feb 2013 The Buccleuch Centre, Langholm 01387 381196
  • Sat, 16 Feb 2013 The Kirkgate Centre, Cockermouth 01900 826448
  • Sun, 17 Feb 2013 Pavilion Arts Centre, Buxton 0845 127 2190
  • Tue, 19 Feb 2013 Exeter Phoenix, Exeter 01392 667080
  • Wed, 20 Feb 2013 Muni Arts Centre, Pontypridd. 08000 147111
  • Thu, 21 Feb 2013 Cecil Sharp House, London 0844 8889991
  • Fri, 22 Feb 2013 Royal Native Oyster Stores, Whitstable 07895 683567
  • Sat, 23 Feb 2013 Forge at Anvil, Basingstoke 01256 844244
  • Sun, 24 Feb 2013 Subscription Rooms, Stroud 01453 760900
  • Mon, 25 Feb 2013 Artrix, Bromsgrove 01527 577330
  • Wed, 27 Feb 2013 Sheffield Cathedral, Sheffield 0114 263 6951
  • Thu, 28 Feb 2013 The Barn, Baston 01778 560497
  • Fri, 01 Mar 2013 The Met, Bury 01617 612216
  • Sat, 02 Mar 2013 Hepworth Village Hall, Hepworth 07845 921527
  • Sun, 03 Mar 2013 Darwin Suite, Derby 01332 255800
  • Mon, 04 Mar 2013 Rodewald Suite, Liverpool Philharmonic Hall 0151 7093789
  • Tue, 05 Mar 2013 Pocklington Arts Centre, Pocklington 01759 301547
  • Thu, 07 Mar 2013 Carnegie Hall, Dunfermline 01383 602302
  • Fri, 08 Mar 2013 Eden Court, Inverness 01463 234234
  • Sat, 09 Mar 2013 Eastgate Arts Centre, Peebles 01721 725777
  • Sun, 10 Mar 2013 The Woodend Barn, Banchory 01330 825431

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Low Sea release 'Remote Viewing': 'grey disco' from Waterford-based synth pop duo

Album release: Remote Viewing by Low Sea
Release date: 8 April 2013
Label: Dell'Orso
Listen: on Soundcloud

“Like a good horror movie director, Low Sea know the real scares are the ones you can only imagine.” - Pitchfork

"Strident, snare-rapping drum machine beats get matched to gliding synth strings, all of which gets distilled down into a three-minute pop gem." - The Quietus

The sound of Spacemen 3 and Mazzy Star being thrown into the most tranquil ocean leaving the listener pining for the inevitable beautiful songs to emerge from below. This is Low Sea and their album, Remote Viewing, that they appropriately describe as Grey Disco. It is synth pop of a very European nature, shot through with a bolt of blue.

Now based in Ireland, the duo - Bosnian-born Billie and Bobby D from Liverpool - first met while living in the United States. Billie had spent her early years in Bosnia until the war broke out, during which she fled to live in San Francisco (where she initially became unwillingly part of a cult). Bobby took a more insular route to the formation of the band, one involving an endless headphone cycle of A-ha, Cocteau Twins, 808 State and My Bloody Valentine.

Having released a mini album on US-based Lefse Records (How To Dress Well, Neon Indian) they conspired with Dell'Orso records with a view to releasing a narcotic pop album, having bonded over a love for AR Kane, New Order and Lali Puna.

Much of the album was recorded and self produced in their current residence, a cottage, overlooking the light house and harbour in an isolated fishing village on the Irish coast. However Low Sea had to pinch themselves when the legendary Stephen Hague (Pet Shop Boys, New Order, PIL) agreed to mix some of the tracks on the album, including the title track, Remote Viewing (which is also the lead single). You can understand why Stephen Hague was interested though. Like many of his records, Low Sea's music is insular euphoria, one born out of 4AM cigarettes, nostalgia for the future and a melancholic happiness. 

Low Sea's music has been described as like "Julee Cruise on sedatives" and this is certainly true of the album's centre point Acid Ocean, an extraordinary torch song as forlorn as Kim Novak dropping into the Bay. Elsewhere Sentimental Games sounds like Altered Images on board the Trans European Express whilst the seasick lo-nrg of Breathing In Too Fast is like the orphan child of Vivien Goldman and Joy Division.

This is the sound of Low Sea. Why does it hurt when my heart misses a beat? That is just pop music for you. Immerse yourself.

More information

For all press enquiries on Low Sea and their album Remote Viewing, please contact Chris Singleton at chris@prescriptionpr.co.uk

More information

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