Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Black Lips

Punk slacker savants the Black Lips have been churning out their rough and ready blend of garage rock since the foursome were getting kicked out of high school together. Almost 15 years later the Atlanta, Georgia band are perhaps the most acclaimed outsiders in modern rock.

No explanation necessary. 

Monday, 25 February 2013


Despite earning a Mercury Prize nomination and winning an Ivor Novello award, the aftermath of Villagers acclaimed debut Becoming A Jackal was a truly dark time for Conor O'Brien. Dealing with personal loss amidst a three year tour, the most promising Irish songwriter of a generation was left burnt out, detached and unsure of his future in music.

Ethan Johns

He's well established as one of the best producers in the business. Over the years Ethan Johns has lent his talents to albums by Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams and Rufus Wainwright. Now after 25 years in music, Johns is releasing his first solo album.

What an awesome fucking beard. 
Johns' golden touch saw him become one of the most sought after producers around. In addition to his abilities behind the mixing desk, he would very often play and co-write with the artists he worked with. So it seems strange that, at the age of 43, he's just releasing his debut album.


When music scenes run their course, bands that came from that era risk becoming irrelevant. Dublin three piece Hawklion avoided this pitfall by decamping to the studio and reinventing their sound.

In the middle of the last decade, with indie music in full swing Hawklion's former guise The Looks were one of many promising young Irish guitar bands. But the the end of the noughties saw a definite shift in tastes and the band were determined to move with the times.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Marina & The Diamonds

The music world is littered with female singers who've been groomed for pop stardom their whole lives. Their sound, looks and style are constantly dictated by record company suits. Marina & the Diamonds subverts these traditions at every turn.

It's a fine line she walks and of course there are compromises, but no one strides the line between artist and mainstream pop star quite like Marina. With hit songs like 'Primadonna' there's no denying her commercial draw, but she couldn't be further from the Britneys and Christinas of the world.

In Their Thousands

Having graced the cover of Hotpress and won a coveted spot performing at next year's Artur's Day celebrations, Donegal natives In Their Thousands have come a long way in 18 short months.

But it's little wonder. Made up of brothers Declan and Aidan McClafferty, cousin Ruairi Friel and longtime friend Liam Kelly the boys have been playing together in various projects for years. They're well known in their home county for playing in different cover bands, but they knew they would never reach their full potential playing other people's songs.

Spoiler Alert: They've moved on.

The Stunning

With killer songs like 'Romeo's On Fire', 'Everything That Rises' and 'Brewing Up A Storm', The Stunning were one of the most celebrated and popular rock bands to emerge from Ireland in the late 80's.

Although they never made the breakthrough internationally, they remain a fan favourite at home and still draw huge crowds whenever they perform. 25 years after their much lauded debut album Paradise In The Picturehouse stormed to the top of the Irish charts the band have returned. But founding member Steve Wall admits he's a little perplexed by the bands enduring popularity.