Showing posts from December, 2013

Best of 2013 Review - Part 2: Psych Pop/Krautrock/Ambient

Part 2 of my favourite music of the year, this one taking in various strands of psych and kraut sounds. As we know, there's plenty of psych in the water everywhere these days (a new Psych Fest in Liverpool, which had its second outing last September, is just one example close to home). In Cork in particular, a whole rash of bands are drawing on different parts of the broad psych church to great effect. I interviewed Cathal and Paddy from The Altered Hours in May (link here ) and asked them why they thought there was an upsurge of psych influences at the moment. Cathal thought it might be down to the recent success of Tame Impala and he could well be right. Incidentally, I also wrote about this in terms of the Cork context on WeAreNoise back in March. Cork-based bands such as O Emperor (see below), Elastic Sleep (to come in Part 3) and even Saint Yorda (to come in Part 4) could all be identified with psych in some way.

Best of 2013 Review – Part 1: Folk/Orchestral/Chamber Pop/Classical

Happy New Year everyone. As the end of the year draws near, I’ve taken stock of my favourite music of 2013. Once again, my labels or categories are a little bit arbitrary but I have tried to theme or curate the lists as much as possible. This is the first of those, anchored by quite a bit of folk music, which I’m always open to. There will be three more of these over the next week or 10 days. And the last show of the year from mid December is also on this link for an hour long compendium drawn from all four posts. Peter Delaney – Sleep, nausea A short piece on an album of extended meditations (which makes it even more compelling to me) from the Limerick folk musician with a commitment to early and vintage recordings. There’s a ukulele, a fragile, high register male voice and an atmosphere of middle-of-the-night fearfulness – “God tells me things I shouldn’t know.” Marvel at its spare brilliance. Witch Bottle by Peter Delaney Hidden Highways

Dott Live in Cork and Debut Album Swoon

One of my favourite albums of recent months was the debut by Galway's Dott , Swoon , a beautiful and stirring combination of garage pop and brilliantly delivered female vocal harmonies. I had the chance to see the band play live in Cork last month too which I usually find adds value to listening to any album. This was my review of the gig for WeAreNoise . Galway’s Dott were just setting up, a selection of multicoloured dot(t)s adorning the stage area suggestively and attractively. They came armed with debut album Swoon , although minus the official CD copies which had apparently suffered an unexpected rerouting to India. In compensation, singer Anna McCarthy announced that she had personally handmade 50 CD’s specially for the gig to go with the beautiful vinyl pacakges on the merch stall. I was soon doing some swooning of my own as one of the star vocal turns fro

Christmas Podcast 2013

I didn't do a Christmas-dedicated show this year (there are a few Christmas songs each in the last few shows of the year) but I did in the end decide to put a Christmas podcast together. It builds a little on a Christmas show I did two years ago which you can find on this link. So here's the audio and below a few lines on the tunes involved. The Underground of Happiness Xmas Podcast 2013 w/ Can,Gruff Rhys,Camera Obscura,Marvin Gaye,J Cash++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud The Sceptics I figured it might be a novel twist to start off with some Christmas doubting tunes, songs highlighting what's wrong with this time of year. I'm here to tell you that Bah Humbug can accommodate beautiful pop music. 1. Gruff Rhys – Post apocalypse Christmas A great, flabby rock n roll groove in a song which imagines life after consumerism and waste. A kind of cross between The R

Georges Vert – Pegasus Dub (Melodic)

A tremendous slice of kraut disco, with a lovely space dub undertone from the Normandy native whose head is filled with Raymond Scott and Giorgio Moroder. And what inspiring persons to be filling your head those are.

Connan Mockasin – Caramel (from the album Caramel, Phantasy)

If the out there New Zealander’s second album is a trip to the outer galaxies of Deep Funk, this is the luscious, succinct theme tune. Glassy guitars, a sensual vocal of Prince proportions and an insidious tune make this essential romantic music. Mention as well to the album’s lead single ‘I’m the man, that will find you’ which is strange and wonderful in equal measure. Its combination of falsetto with on-helium singing makes the title refrain seem like the kind of creepy promise you might feel compelled to (probably ill-advisedly) encourage.

Playlist 292 - Dec 10 2013 - 2013 Review

The last show of the year is a playlist of 15 of my favourite tracks from 2013. You'll find more info on the songs around the blog. I will also be posting some other podcasts rounding up the rest of my favourite music of the year over the next few weeks - there's quite a bit. The next show is on Jan 7th. Happy Holidays. Dec 10 2013 show - 2013 Review w/ Low,O Emperor,K-X-P,Circus Devils,V.O.,Bill Callahan,Cat Dowling++ by Theundergroundofhappiness on Mixcloud The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Playlist 292 – 2013 Review Tues Dec 10 2013 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 98.3FM listen live on the web at *listen back to this show here Playlist Nancy Elizabeth – The last battle Amor de Dias – Voice in the rose Liam Singer – Unhand me (You horrid thing) April March &a

Playlist 291 - Dec 3 2013

A mixture this week of a few Christmas tunes, a few more Best of 2013 picks plus a few new tunes. (Watch out for dedicated podcasts on the Best of 2013 review as well as a Christmas theme over the next few weeks.) Seasonal - Dean & Britta , lush dream pop channelling Lee Hazlewood; Cocteau Twins making flippant sound like a headrush; and Lost Idol bringing medieval choral sounds and dubstep brilliantly into contact with each other. Best of 2013 - Dott singing classic Brill Building style songs within garage pop; Shearwater w/ Sharon van Etten , ineffably gorgeous; Jeffrey Lewis making one of the best statements of the year in the form of a question - What Would Pussy Riot Do? And a couple of new songs. Howe Gelb with Bonnie Prince Billy , sounding like Leonard Cohen doing 1950's country. And Frankie Rose making pillow-soft synth pop from the New Order songbook. More on these pages. Dec 3 2013 show w/ Dott,September Girls,Jeffrey Lewis,Shearwater,Dean &