Having already charmed crowds at a number of Irish festivals including Carrickmacross Arts Festival and Gothic Species Festival, Louth-based artist Alice Robinson is now ready to share her spellbinding debut single.
Exploring the theme of inequality in modern society, ‘Rise’ oozes an overwhelming, stirring emotion.
Flowing with twinkling hooks and Robinson’s soaring, cinematic vocals, it’s driven by a subtle, haunting power and grandiose ethereal aura.
Bringing to mind the beguiling musicality of the likes of Tori Amos or PJ Harvey, ‘Rise’ is an epic, and truly immersive, debut from the Irish songwriter. (Get in Her Ears, 2018)
The Riptide Movement come through with the new hard-hitting video for their environmentally focused “Plastic Oceans”. Recorded in London with producer Chris Coady (Future Islands, Slowdive) there’s a firm backbone of the kind of slow-burning, melodic indie rock that has seen the act build a substantial following in their native Ireland.
This summer sees the band continue with a heavy touring schedule with a series of gigs and festival appearances in coastal areas, using the track to spread the serious environmental message that our beaches, coastlines, rivers, cities and towns need to be kept litter and plastic free if society is to help prevent our oceans from becoming even more polluted by plastic waste.
The concept for the new video is the brainchild of The Riptide Movement’s frontman Malachy Tuohy. Featuring beautifully powerful choreography from London-based dance company Edifice Dance Theatre, and dancers Carmine De Amicis and Harriet Waghorn, the new video for ‘Plastic Oceans’ is a visually compelling expression of the need for change in the way we produce, consume, and dispose of the inexplicable amounts of plastic globally on a daily basis.
Speaking on the track, lead singer Mal Tuohy states: “We’re honoured that our music will help raise awareness of one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time. Our reliance on single use plastics is destroying our oceans, so well highlighted by David Attenborough in Blue Planet 2. As the saying goes, ‘there are plenty more fish in the sea’ but if we can’t stem the tide of plastic, by 2050 there’ll be more plastic than fish in our oceans. The future is in our hands.”
Special thanks to:
Director and Videographer: Ciaran O’Donnell at NothinToFancy Productions
Dancers: Danceworld AnotherLevel
Locations: Ballina Arts Centre and Leisureland Casino, Enniscrone Beach
Music Producer: Martin Quinn at JAM Studios
The Art of Saving Lives
Josh Johnston (Shandon Records) May 2018
Some artists make a debut that blitzes and fades, their best work coming with the passion of inexperience. Others do this: work steadily in their craft, gain the respect of peers; release recordings that build up a musical vocabulary; broaden their experience by diverse collaboration with like-minded artists. Then, when they’re ready, they deliver a gem.
Having already made three albums, ( Three Friends , 2001, Asylum Harbour , 2008 and The Shape of Things , 2010), on his fourth time out, Josh Johnston takes the helm with the proverbial flying colours. Josh’s own musical composition is complemented by partnerships with several song and lyric co-writers. The result is a rich, contemporary sound with reflective, well-crafted content that satisfies the listener with its intelligence and musical sophistication.
It’s not surprising that Josh is classically trained with a degree in music and has worked in musical direction, creating scores for performance in musicals and for choral works. His broad interest in music is complemented his extensive experience performing jazz, folk and rock with a variety of artists. The musicians on board for “The Art Of Saving Lives” are one and all superb artists with whom Josh has performed down the years.
The Art of Saving Lives is an album that grows quickly on the listener until its songs are on regular replay in one’s head, whether the gorgeous chords of “Midsummer With Anja”, with its wistful lyrics and aching soprano sax solo, or the smart, modern-angst reflections of “Scattered” about a dude who’s “crazy, and not in a good way”.
The lyrical unwinding of “Winged Revolution” is smooth, with a well-strung narrative and little sadness. The album has mystery, as with the splendid “Moon Landing”; love-infused idylls, like “Completely” and hope, found in the lush closing track of “The Allnighter”, which expresses the anticipation of love. Whether recounting the challenges or joys of relationships, or providing a haunting instrumental – “A Light In The Dark Of The Night”, the album delivers. Each listen will reveal another layer, another lyric, another musical touch (ears open for the flugelhorn, dobro, cello, violin, bozouki and pipe organ) that makes it one to remember.
The Art of Saving Lives is on release as of early May, and will be launched on 29t h June next in the Unitarian Church, Dublin. This is followed by a number of national gigs, details of which will be announced. You’ll find it on all major online music outlets, such as Spotify, iTunes, Googleplay and Apple Music, but to make it a little bit special, it’s also available in a limited edition vinyl format.
Words & Music by Josh Johnston & Stephen Joseph McArdle
Produced by Josh Johnston
Engineered by Eoin O’Brien, Michael Manning & Anthony Gibney
Mixed by Michael Manning
Mastered by David Montuy
Josh Johnston – Vocal, Piano & Synth
Eoin O’Brien – Electric & Acoustic Guitar, Baking Vocal, Synth
Adam Fleming & Paddy Groenland – Electric Guitar
Martin Gruet – Bass
Cormac Dunne – Drums & Percussion
Carol Keogh – Backing vocal
Aisling Bridgeman – Violin
Rory Pierce – Cello
Marco Francescangeli – Tenor and Soprano Saxophone
Bill Blacvkmore – Trumpet & Flugelhorn
(c) 2018 Shandon Records
Blaithin CARNEY’s new single ‘No Means No’ is available to buy and stream from today. At time of writing the single has entered the iTunes singer songwriter chart at No 3.
This is the Kildare based singer/songwriter’s third single in just over 12 months, following ROME (May 2017 – iTunes No. 1) and Close My Eyes (November 2017 – iTunes No 2) To coincide with the single’s release Blaithin and her band have a headline show in Naas Midsummers Arts Festival on this coming Sunday. Gavin Glass, Blaithin’s good friend and one of Ireland’s foremost singer songwriters is special guest at the concert which takes place on Sunday evening (June 24th) in Naas Arts and Culture Centre in McAuley Place.
This is an early show with doors opening at 6.30pm and Gavin on stage at 7.15 followed by Blaithin and her band shortly after 8. If you don’t have your tickets already, you can get them in advance from www.moattheatre.com
The powerful and beautiful video for the new single ‘No Means No’ was directed by Stephen Mogerley, with lighting by Paul O’Connor, the team was completed by Makeup Artist Paddy McGurgan, Hair by Sarah Ethel and Styling by Jules Gavin.
‘No Means No’, written by Blaithin, could easily be also called Enough Is Enough! Written last winter, each listener is likely to have their own respective no. From the writer’s perspective she was frustrated at the global wrongs surrounding us at the time, indeed while writing the song and even more, new situations presented and frustrations grew. However, we believe the song has a positive theme also. In Blaithin’s own words,
“I don’t like over analysing each song I write, but if pushed to answer…”, at its base, at its most personal and localised “the song is about communication, or lack thereof more than anything else. People not listening to each other, but also having the courage to use your voice to stand up for yourself, or the cause you believe in. Whatever this might be.”
The emotive track was produced by Billy Farrell at Deadeye Productions, mixed and mastered by Dani Castelar and includes strings by David Doyle, Denise Doyle and Kenneth Rice.
NEW ALBUM ‘OPUS POCUS’
RELEASED JULY 13TH 2018
LIVE LAUNCH AT WHELAN’S JULY 13TH
Opus Pocus. What the hell does that mean? Let’s break it down. Opus is Latin for work. Pocus speaks of conjuring, and magic. We’re talking about a work of magic, which is what the new long player from Gavin Glass surely is. A deliberate step away from his folk-rock roots into more experimental, and interesting, territory, while retaining his old school song writing nous.
We’re a long way from Gavin’s last eﬀort, 2015’s universally acclaimed Sunday Songs. The new record is twain in two: Side A is entitled ‘Opus Pocus, Side B is ‘Algorhythm & Blues’. Gavin used the term Opus Pocus in the studio (his oﬃce for the last ten years as one of Ireland’s most in-demand record producers) to describe the relentless, oft-times impossible, artistic striving towards perfection, towards creating that magic work.
“It’s something I’ve come to realise only recently, we put too much emphasis on crafting the perfect record, the perfect piece of art, second guessing ourselves and wallowing in self-doubt. In reality, the beauty is always in the cracks, the perfection is in the imperfection, music is this great healer and Opus Pocus is about learning to embrace that idea.”
The album is mixed in a way that bleeds each song into the next, using widescreen interludes designed to tempt the listener oﬀ the beaten track and in to the long grass.
“I wanted these interludes, the music in between the music, to represent the idea of technology, and how, despite its power to connect, it can leave us feeling alone and alienated. Judged, ranked and graded by our own volition.”
The lyrical content, the equal of Glass’s compositional and production skills, ranges from the enforced maturity brought on by parenthood to the realities of city life for Dublin’s Generation Xers as middle age encroaches, and the devastation wrought by a parent disappearing in to Alzheimer’s. If you’re after some ‘moon in June’ action, seek it elsewhere, although there are a few love songs thrown in, just in case.
The two singles – ‘Break Your Daddy’s Heart’ and ‘Thirty Somethings’ – have already picked up a deservedly hefty amount of airplay from the national broadcaster, both topping the Irish radio airplay charts.
Opus Pocus. Magic Work. Allow yourself to fall under its spell.
The album is being launched in Whelan’s Friday 13th July
Following their triumphant anniversary show last year in Dublin’s NCH, PictureHouse have announced a once off show on November 23rd in The Academy to celebrate their “Karmarama” album from 1998.
“Karmarama” which achieved gold status, reached the Irish Top 10 and featured a string of hit singles including , “All the time in the world”, “Love in the streets” and the summer smash hit “Sunburst” which was the most played song on Irish radio for both 1998 and 1999 and appeared on TV ads as well as a film soundtrack.
Returning to the scene of the crime, PictureHouse recorded a live album in a venue called HQ – which was on the site of what is now The Academy. “This was a no brainer for us, after our Shine Box show in NCH last year, we found people wanted to hear these songs live again, we thought it would be great to go back do these songs on the site where we also recorded a live album back then! We’ll play the entire album and some other favourites. We can’t wait!”
Last year the band famously celebrated their 21st anniversary of their debut album Shine Box amid tributes from President Higgins, Dustin The Turkey and Bono.
Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster from €32