Showing posts from June, 2016

Whitney – No woman (from the album Light upon the lake, Secretly Canadian)

You’ll have heard this song by now. The downbeat perfectly appointed antidote to all those windy male singing buffoons. Like a white soul Midlake. A little bit stoned and all seeing for that. Some kind of wisdom in these deceptively banal words - “I left drinking on the city train To spend some time on the road” Whether you go with “feral indie bros” (The Guardian) or “Neil Young guesting with The Band” (that was me) or some other line, you’ll find it hard not to fall in love with. The dappled electric piano intro. The high tone male semi falsetto. The unbeatable twisting guitar part. The stoic banks of trumpets. The swooning fiddle. The general country soul swing and amiability. A beguiling mix.

Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus – Al viento (Infiné Records)

Sublime and passionate instrumental music featuring the father and son duo taking Spanish guitar and cello on a vivid journey. It’s unusual enough to hear a father and son duet, even more to hear such romance at the core. Although instrumental, it plays a thousand words. Here’s an excellent line from the press release to go with the thrilling music. “The sighs, outbursts, dips, elisions and surges of discord with which Claus' cello hooks the paternal elements breathe life once again into this improbable and mineral truth: if these two, the father and the son, were not always playing quite the same music during the sessions for the album, then they were certainly painting the same landscape.” Al Viento xCD/LP by Pedro Soler & Gaspar Claus

Kevin Murphy – Don’t forget me

The second album from the ex-pat Corkman is another smouldering collection of wracked love songs. Defiant acoustic guitars which started out as folk underpin a sweet lovelorn croon layered in sublime harmonies while crisp r‘n’b (as opposed to RnB) backbeats provide matter of fact punctuation. The club comedown feel of ‘You can fall into my arms’ with its bass drum pulse a quickening heartbeat. The gathering gloom of ‘I am swimming’ more of a drowning song than a swimming song under the weight of vocal layers. The wonderful vocal of ‘My own cruel reception’ a fragile thing keeping itself afloat on its own breath. A heart wrenched recording of love and loss. It all adds up to the intriguing prospect of Irish folk music made to collide with post club soul melancholy. Don't forget me (Album) by Kevin Murphy

Playlist 408 - June 28 2016

More music from Whyte Horses from their debut album. Real feel of The Go! Team about it I thought (which is always a good thing) so how about some post Brexit politico-jangle pop from them (from 5 years ago) to go with. Yes. The new Jherek Bischoff album has gorgeous, and often unsettling, orchestrations. Debut solo album from Marielle V Jakobsons of Date Palms contains wonderful 1000 yard drones. A new album by Trashcan Sinatras is another reason to rejoice and give praise. It sounds like they've never been away. And The Fiction Aisle make another beautiful but unsettling brand of orchestral pop music. I'm not sure exactly what it is but I know I like it a lot. More on these pages. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Twitter: UndergroundOfHappy Playlist 408 Tues June 28 2016 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesdays 8.30pm) UCC 9

Britta Phillips – Luck or magic (Double Feature Records)

It feels a bit strange to be talking about debuts almost 30 years into a music career but this is the debut solo album of Britta Phillips , of Dean & Britta and Luna fame. The album contains five originals and five covers. A couple of the originals have appeared in some form elsewhere before, the driving thrumming New Order-ish ‘Million Dollar Doll’ on the soundtrack to the Noah Baumbach/Greta Gerwig film Frances Ha , and ‘Ingrid Superstar’ from the 13 Most Wanted/Andy Warhol Screen Test project soundtracked by Dean & Britta, with a lovely late night, mellow but slightly haunted, Velvet Underground feel. In general, the album is pleasingly out of fashion, if you know what I mean. There’s a cover of a little known Abba song, also the very well known ‘Drive’ by The Cars, the reasonably familiar Fleetwood Mac song ‘Landslide’ and the sumptuous Dennis Wilson cut ‘Fallin’ in love’. There are pillowy synths but also the signature and beautiful spidery guitar lines of

Brigid Mae Power – It’s clearing now (from the s/t album, Tompkins Square)

A thoroughly spellbinding piece of somnolent meandering folk music from the Galway singer recorded with Peter Broderick in Oregon. A simple guitar strum at walking pace, a chord and a half, a soaring reedy voice pure and bracing as a north wind (if the wind was a reedy thing). Later bending violins making eyes at Bollywood (well if it was contemplative rather than frisky). Rushes of swirling backing vocals. It’s a thousand yard drone that you realise was a waltz in another life before being replayed in slow motion with an ancient stoic voiceover. The voice up close – insistent, deep, nonchalant somehow. Touched by something. Gripping drama and texture. A wonderful creation.

Playlist 407 - June 21 2016

Check out Moon Bros (pic), Matt Schneider from Chicago with some help from that city's finest under(over)ground musical talent, sublime stately country music. Stay for William Tyler right after, clear eyed ruminations on the state of America today, in the form of gorgeous chiming guitar picked tunes. The nasty groovy Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds are in Ireland this week playing shows, inc Pine Lodge by the sea in Cork June 26. Morgan Delt is a new name on me but what a beautiful fuzzy psych pop noise he makes, from west coast US. And finally summer music (if we play enough of it summer might actually come), two songs written by Andy Partridge , for XTC & The Monkees . More on these pages. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Twitter: UndergroundOfHappy Playlist 407 Tues June 21 2016 11.00am-12.00pm (repeated on Tuesday

Playlist 406 - June 14 2016

More from the new Jherek Bischoff album, an ominous churning beast partly recorded deep underground in an old water tank. The album's called Cistern , naturally. Also new from Welsh artist Antonymes , more beautiful, vaguely ambient, orchestral instrumentals. Hauschka plays Ireland soon, part of the Clonmel Junction Festival , always good to hear his smart progressive piano dance music. New music from Cool Ghouls , another in a fine line of SF psych. And Cate Le Bon with a pastoral love song rendered strange and wonderful. More on these pages. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Twitter: UndergroundOfHappy Playlist 406 Tues June 14 2016 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 Nina Simone – Black is the

Robert Forster - Whelan's, Dublin, May 28th 2016

I went to see Robert Forster a couple of weeks ago. It was the fifth time I’d seen him in the flesh. There was the first time in The Mean Fiddler in Dublin in late 1996 around the time of the Warm nights album. I love that album and the gig was a great upbeat joyous occasion. The next time was in the same venue about 9 months later, in June 1997. It was the same rhythm section from the 1996 solo gig (Adele Pickvance and Glenn Thompson) with Grant McLennan added, The Go Betweens reunion tour. There was a kind of gospel service atmosphere in the packed room. A palpable air of expectation. When they came on stage the emotion was hard to take. By the time they finished the first song (I can’t remember what it was now), I was in tears. In fact, I felt like I could leave satisfied at that point. Something in me had been fulfilled, already, within the space of a few minutes. You see, I became a fan of The Go Betweens after they broke up so I’d never seen them play live before. B

Playlist 405 - June 7 2016

Say hello to Whitney who sound a bit like Neil Young fronting The Band, that is to say a beautiful thing. William Tyler has a new album out soon, more beautiful guitar (with band) instrumentals contemplating the state of America today. August Wells are touring over here soon, another great song of bruised soul music from them, album coming later in the year. And Rozi Plain , sublime kosmische folk, playing the Clonmel Junction Festival in July. More on these pages as always. The Underground of Happiness uplifting pop music of every creed Twitter: UndergroundOfHappy Playlist 405 Tues June 7 2016 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 Rozi Plain – Marshes ( playing Clonmel Junction Festival, July 10 ) Nadia Reid – Runway Stranded Horse