Even though we have lost some greats this year and witnessed some disturbing developments worldwide, we have also gained some great music both at home and abroad. To finish off 2016, Aoife has listed some of her favourite songs, albums and music videos from the alternative rock scene this year – check it out!
In no particular order, here’s what Lissa has had on repeat this year.
With In Our Bones, Against The Current have achieved what they’ve always done and delivered the perfect blend of pop and rock. Their cover of My Chemical Romance’s ‘Teenagers’ on the Rock Sound Black Parade Tribute album is also worth checking out.
Better Weather is an incredibly catchy album, by the second listen you’re singing along and the slower songs show just how good this band are at songwriting. All of the songs are perfect sing-along tracks and I can’t wait to hear all these live, get on over here to Ireland lads.
Starters fiiinally released their last album A Picture Fading and it was completely worth the wait. The lyrics are so heartfelt, relateable, and way too real for me. I’m still in mourning about them tbh.
I first heard Anna’s Anchor at an acoustic gig in Fibbers (I can’t pinpoint which one, there have been too many), and I knew these songs would be amazing on a record. They’re lovely.
Moose Blood had a lot to live up to with their previous album I’ll Keep You In Mind From Time To Time being one of the best albums ever created, but they delivered. They dig more into the pop punk side of their music on this one but it’s still drenched in their now familiar emo-rock. Can’t wait to see these lads in January.
Wolves Of Youth are an indie-rock band that are gonna be huuuuge. ‘Say Something’ was produced by Philip Magee and it’s catchy with a huge chorus and solid instrumental control.
‘People Like Us’ is a song that tackles societies intolerance and hatred towards the LGBT community around the world and it does so through beautiful crooning vocals and enthrallingly catchy music.
Columbus kind of appeared out of nowhere and presented one of the best albums of the year. These guys are my new favourite band and when you give it a listen they’ll be yours too.
The Black EP basically summarises the jaded feeling surrounding young people, from money issues, body issues, and boredom issues. It’s raw, fast, and energetically infectious.
Electronic-folk duo Hvmmingbyrd released their new EP Know My Name on September 16th, 2016. It was was co-produced with Aishling Jarvis, and Hvmmingbyrd consists of Deborah Byrne (vocals, guitar, drum machine) and Suzette Das (vocals, synth, loop machine).
The first track ‘If Love Was Enough’ was released in July. It’s a sensual, dated, pop track and deals with a gloomy theme surrounded with an intense sound. Irish radio stations picked up on the single and their music video features Eoin Macken (NBC’s The Night Shift actor). On this single, the duo shows off their performance set up with their vocal harmonies, guitar, vocal loops, drum machine, and percussion.
Their effortless harmonies and talent are defined throughout the EP. Their vocals are rich and smooth, and they intertwine with the classic melodies making the record a restful listen. The stripped back vocals and instrumental styles come together as one wonderful piece of work. Das’ and Byrne’s natural adaptation in their songwriting partnership is greatly noticed, both musically and lyrically.
The five tracks weave in and out of the atmospheric synths and beats combining their enchanting vocals. The duo certainly had a plan when writing the EP and pulled it together with self-confidence. Throughout the EP, the listener can hear a few influences like elements from Madonna, Ace of Base and Massive Attack. They’re headed in a different direction completely as the band has changed tastes from their early folk days to now making the music they want.
‘Never’ gives off the sense of their new confident side with their vocal harmonies and production style. In this track, there is an electronic backdrop adding a new layer separating the duo from other groups like themselves in the genre.
Know My Name embarks the band’s new journey with their music. They have crafted something unique with this record. It’s a pleasurable and stunning listen, emphasising Hvmmingbyrd’s rare talent. They aren’t playing it safe sticking to their beginning routes, but instead changing direction.
Words by by Danielle Holian
Sad news folks – Red Hot Chilli Peppers have had to postpone their two 3Arena shows tomorrow and Wednesday due to illness.
According to a statement released by the band, lead singer Anthony Kiedis has come down with the flu;
“We are so sorry that we cannot come to Dublin as planned for the next few days. Anthony has been fighting off the flu all week and after the show last night it was clear that he has to stop touring and recover, hence the decision to push back the shows to next year.”
Both shows will be rescheduled for September 2017 with already purchased tickets valid for rescheduled shows. We wish Anthony all the best and hope he gets well soon!
Tickets for Tuesday 20th December will be valid for Wednesday 20th September
Tickets for Wednesday 21st December will be valid for Thursday 21st September
Hailing from Minnesota, Guytano are gearing up to release their debut record I Am Inside My Body tomorrow, December 9th. They are an alt-rock band along the lines of Snow Patrol, Coldplay, and The Killers but with something a little bit different too. Their lyrics are relatable and they dole out a polished catchy sound. We caught up with them ahead of their release tomorrow to chat about the record and what they’ll be up to in the future.
How are you feeling about finally releasing I am Inside my Body?
Very excited to say the least. We’ve been working relentlessly on this record for the past two years and are very thrilled to finally be able to share it with everyone. It’s got some really great tracks that offer something for everyone.
What can we expect from it?
I think it would be safe to say that you can expect to hear something totally it’s own. This album has a lot of energy and although we look up to other bands as examples, we think that this album will pioneer something new in the alternative genre.
Why did you decide to make a full length rather than go with an EP?
In all honesty we decided to make it a full length album because the music just seemed to keep flowing after we recorded our EP. With the nudge from our producer, 3 songs quickly turned to 10.
Yes we are thrilled to be able to play for all of the people who have supported us this far. And it will just be us. We didn’t find a great fit for an opening band so we just decided to make it a one act show.
What songs from the album are you most looking forward to playing live?
I think we are all pretty stoked to play ‘When It’s Over’. It’s a very explosive song and a total rush to play live. Also you can’t knock ‘Fall Back’. It always seems to be a show highlight.
What was it like working with Aaron Ankrum and Huntley Miller?
It was totally amazing. They helped us harness our creative energy to a whole new level. We all learned a lot from them. Aaron especially went the extra mile with us in the production stages. As young musicians he has sort of mentored us as we have continued to push our music career.
Can you tell us anything about your upcoming new video for ‘Fall Back in Your Arms’?
Well it’s still a work in progress. We have plans to be shooting in Colorado over the next couple of months. We think it will really harness the energy of the song along with some inspiring visuals to tell a powerful story.
What is the music scene like in Minnesota? Are there any local bands you recommend we check out?
The music scene is definitely on the rise, especially in Minneapolis. It’s been such a blessing to have so many up and coming artists working along side us. I’d say hippo campus is definitely one of the best right now. They have a lot of energy in their music that engages the listeners very well.
What do you have planned for 2017?
Many things to say the least. We are setting up a Midwest tour over the spring/early summer months and after that we have plans to go back to the studio and start working on album number 2. The creativity just never really stopped flowing after we wrote and recorded I Am Inside My Body. We have many new things we are excited to share with our listeners.
Nigel Barnes is the drummer of pop punk band Don Blake and has gone solo to release his album The Clearing, via Bandcamp, earlier this year. He wrote, performed, recorded, and mixed the entire album himself, apart from one cover of Regina Spektor‘s ‘All The Rowboats’.
The Clearing is a D.I.Y 10-track album recorded in four months. Barnes has said the record is “emo-tinged-indie-punk-with-elements-of-pop.” There is a variety of slower and upbeat tunes with themes like nostalgia, mental health issues, and addiction, regrets, personal experiences with a bit of hope, too.
Track 1 ‘My Future Self’ is summery and very pop punk. It paints an image of looking in another direction in life and having no worries about what’s next because things will always turn out better than expected. It begins acoustically, then slowy adding the electric guitars and drums lifting the mood of the tune. It’s a memorable tune of pop power.
The title track is a conversation between the present and future Barnes. It details the negative thinking of expecting the worst in life with him singing, “You’re always dwelling on the past that’s been and gone, and you keep on looking to the things that might go wrong”. The melody of the vocals is enchanting. The lyrics really carry the song until the end with its great choruses.
The following tracks ‘Sun, Come Back’ and ‘No Stars’ really make the album a whole. It showcases Barnes’s full potential as a songwriter. In ‘Sun, Come Back’ he reassures himself as he optimistically singing, “You know that you’re not alone and this feeling will go.” ‘No Stars’ begins slow before rushing into the bluesy rock with a great replay chorus with a wonderful guitar riff. It deals with a different element of his personality; addiction. It’s a more personal track compared to the rest of the record. There’s a little stubbornness throughout the tune as well as a lot of personal growth and realizing life’s worth it in the end. The vocals are stripped back and you feel a lot of emotion. There is a balance of sorrow and hope with the recognition of positivity and knowledge that the good days are ahead. The stories in every song are quite sad but beautiful.
The last track on the record feels almost like a goodbye song, with his raw talent, showcased again with the great lyricism and instrumentation. It’s an excellent album not only on his songwriting ability and performance but on his producing part. Barnes has poured his heart into The Clearing which as a whole brings the listener on a journey. There’s never a moment of boredom. It’s a refreshing record. Each song is beautifully written. It deserves a few listens.
Words by Danielle Holian
Chewing On Tinfoil released their 5 track EP Moving The Goalposts on August 5th of this year. It’s the follow up to 2013’s well-loved Marrowbone Lane. With this new record they’ve shed most of the reggae and pop-punk elements to their sound and the result is a more wound down ska-punk.
June divided are set to release their new EP Body Wars tomorrow, the 2nd of December 2016. The first single from the EP ‘I Didnt Mind’ marked their first release in 4 years, and was met with rave reviews, as well as giving us an insight on the new angle the band were taking with their music. We caught up with vocalist/guitarist Melissa Menago ahead of the big day tomorrow.
Check out our favourite new jams this week