Dum Dum Girls - Are You Okay (video) & Dublin Date News!
Double Dum Dum Girls news today: first up is the new video / short film for the ‘Too True' album track 'Are You Okay?'. Even though the track itself is less than 3 minutes long, this Bret Easton Ellis written psychological thriller short manages to bookend the music part with some arty cinematic endeavors, starring Dee Dee and Shiloh Fernandez. I will let you make up your own mind!
And now for the second of news: the Dum Dum Girls have annouced a string of Europrean dates, including 3 gigs in Ireland as follows:
May 08 - Belfast, UK - The Black Box May 09 - Galway, UK - Roisin Dubh May 10 - Dublin, Ireland - The Button Factory
(I know Galway isn’t in the UK - I just pasted it from the mail out!)
Anyway I will be at The Button Factory show in my fishnet tights and black eyeliner. Tickets go on sale tomorrow (7th March).
La Sera - Losing The Dark (audio)
Just rushing out the door to go and see Chvrches but I have time for one quick post. After yesterday’s debuting of new tracks from Sharon Van Etten & Lykke Li who new there was room for more stunning premiers. But room there is the form of ‘Losing The Dark’ from the forthcoming third album ‘Hour of the Dawn’ by La Sera. Now we always knew Katy Goodman was the coolest red-headed chick in the gang whether as part of the late great Vivian Girls, Books of Love, All Saints Day or fronting La Sera, but this track takes things up a notch. Its a noisy and energetic ode to a drunk & druggy boyfriend and bodes well for the LP when it arrives on 12th May on Hardly Art.
Sharon Van Etten - Taking Chances (audio)
Last but not least for tonight we have the first track from Sharon Van Etten's forthcoming forth album 'Are We There' which will be released on Jagjaguwar on 26th May. Although the drum-machine backed represents a slight shift in style for Sharon her voice and way with a melody are still as reliable as ever. No Irish tour date announced yet but we live in hope with our memories of Whelans in May 2012.
Lykke Li - Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone (Video)
I am not one to get fixated on gender in most aspects of life and espically not music, but it can’t have escaped your attention that porbably the three best albums so far this year are female-drive: St. Vincent, Neneh Cherry & Warpaint; two of whom have delivered killer Dublin shows in the last week. And fuck me if two of my favourite female artists of recent years: Lykee LI & Sharon Von Etten both release premier tracks from their forthcming albums on the same day, I will will post Sharon’s track seperately but just take another look and listen to Lykke’ track ‘Love Me Like I’m Not Made Of Stone.’ It is a cathartic heartbroken lament with just her vocals and a simply (badly?) strummed acoustic guitar. A brave opening salvo but one that pays off more with each repeated listen. At this point I can hardly wait for the album ‘I Never Learn’ in May.
Eyedress - Teen Spirits (Video)
I liek to think I have a fairly globe-spanning record collection but really its Europe, North American, Down Under and the odd dash from elsewhere. I am pretty confident that until Eyedress I hadn’t ventured anywhere near the Philippines. But thankfully Mr. Idris Vicuña’s electropop-stylings and distinctive high-register voice have really piqued my interest. Even though the 23 year-old self produces, sings and makes videos all from his bedroom in the Filipino capital of Manila his is going to come to Ireland in May to play Whelans Upstairs on Thursday 1st. Tickets are only €13 and you will have the Bank Holiday to recover. Check out some more of his intriguing back-catalogue below.
Gallon Drunk - The Dumb Room (Video)
Gallon Drunk have been around in some form or other for the last 25 years. And despite consistently making interesting scuzzy rocks sounds I think my only previous investment in their back-catalogue was on vinyl version of their second album ‘From the Heart of Town.’ I see an expanded version of this is now up on Spotify, along with most of their output, so I won’t have to dig out the record player to listen to it.
Anyway as it is 2014 and not 1993 my time would be better served regaling you with the fact that James Johnston, Terry Edwards and the other two have a brand new album ‘The Soul of The Hour’ coming out on Clouds Hill Recordings next week. The album only has seven track but when one of them is the brooding nine minute piano-drive epic ‘Before The Fire’ that is probably enough. If this and the sleazy ‘The Dumb Room’ videos aren’t enough for you check out my sneaky album embed below or head to their official website.
Spain - Let Your Angel (Audio)
Only last month we wrote a short piece about The Haden Triplets excellent debut album. In the piece we mentioned that their brother Josh fronted the band Spain. Unbeknowst to me then Spain where readying the release of their 5th studio album ‘Sargent Place’ which arrived via Glitterhouse Records last week. It is Spain’s 2nd album since reforming, following on from 2012’s ‘The Soul of Spain.’ Although I was excited back then at their return, following sustained listening I found ‘The Soul Of…’ a little disappointing.
Having been living with ‘Sargent Place’ for a week or two now there are no such issues. Everything I loved about them back in 1995 is still there: Josh’s distinctive sonorous voice delivery aching melodies and lyrics of love and loss; the deliberate, restrained arrangements with just the odd embellishment, solo or backing vocals etc. Josh’s family get a look in too with sister Petra chipping in violins & vocals on ‘The Fighter’ and father Charlie lending vocals & bass on ‘You and I.’ If you like what you hear as much as I do be sure to check out ‘The Blue Moods..’, ‘She Haunts My Dreams’, ‘I Believe' for a myriad of wonderful variations on the theme,
"What’s She Like?" - Neneh Cherry w/ RocketNumberNine live in The Twisted Pepper, Dublin, 28th February 2014
So when I “rediscovered" Neneh Cherry in 2012 via her excellent ‘The Cherry Tree’ collaboration with The Thing, who knew it would be the gift that kept giving. Then late last year the track ‘Blank Project' arrived with the promise of an album of the same name to follow. Then it becomes news that the album was produced by the ever-amazing Four Tet and that Neneh’s backing band & collaborators would be London fraternal duo RocketNumberNine, who just happened to make one of the Lions Share’s favourite albums of 2013 ‘MeYouWeYou’. Need more? Well how about the fact that every subsequent track that made it’s way onto the internet was also fantastic and one of them ‘Out of the Black’ just happens to feature the queen of Scani-electropop Robyn. Want even more? Ok so the week of the album release Neneh & RN9 will play a gig in the very intimate Twisted Pepper. Home Run!
With all that in mind, to say my expectations were high last night is probably a bit of an understatement. Luckily then that I managed to squeeze my way almost to the front of the sold out Twisted Pepper before the trio hit the stage. When they did come out, amidst the choking smoke machine exhalations, they kicked off with low-key album opener ‘Across The Water’ which is barely more than Neneh’s vocals over a striiped back beat. For the second track ‘Blank Project’ the vibe couldn’t have been more different, with the songs frenetic energy and the busy strobes getting everyone from Neneh to the sound guy at the back dancing. If the gig had have ended there we would have gone home happy but thankfully there was a lot more to come.
They dropped the tempo down again with ‘Spit Tree Times’ with it lyrics about the black dog of depression and a suitably mellow anxiety groove. After a bit of crowd interaction Neneh brought us into ‘Cynical’ which had her marching along with the stop-start drums, and then perching on the edge of the stage delivery some ragga-like freestyle raps between mic problems. Even though, by her own admission, she is 50 next week and a granny, the years seemed to disappear from her with every passing song, nestled as she was in the bosom of her “little RN9 family” of Ben & Tom Page.
On ‘Weightless’ the synths sounded like rocks guitars and the false ending caught us all by surprise, so when the groove kicked back in we were all blown away. The restrained vibe returned with ‘444’s ode to the bullshit but the ever evolving groove of ‘Everything’ switched the mood back to euphoric again. Some sound problems led to a restart of ‘Naked’ which ended with an extra long outro, Unfortunately Neneh couldn’t produce Robyn from her pocket for the poppy ‘Out of the Black' but she did managed to unplug the synth with her dancing. Luckily Tom managed to keep the drums going before the climatic ending. Neneh finished the set using 2 mics for the disco-stomp love story of 'Dossier' on which she treated us to some more edge-of-the-stage free-styling.
Encore’s should always be about putting the icing on the already-tasty well-baked cake. And so it was when they returned via the crowd (backstage door problems) they hit into a unrecognisable groove which quickly morphed into a very different version of Neneh’s 1988 breakout hit ‘Buffalo Stance.’ With the crows going mental Ben & Tom kept the almost psychedelic, krautrockish-backing going while Neneh delivered her lyrical tribute to the Wild Bunch. The Cherry on top of the icing on one of the tastiest Twisted Pepper cakes ever.
Lorelle Meets The Obsolete - Chambers (album stream)
We have long been champions of the Mexican psych-fueled alt-rock duo Lorelle Meets The Obsolete here at The Lions Share and trailered their third album ‘Chambers’ with the amazing track ‘What’s Holding You?’ back last August. Now that 7 months have passed ‘Chambers’ will soon be upon on and to celebrate they have given an exclusive streaming preview to Crack Magazine. Cheekily I have embedded it here for you convenience and listening pleasure.
I am only on my first listen now as I type but even at half way through I am completely taken in and convinced it is a substantial progression from ‘Corruptible Faces.’ Maybe the production work of erstwhile Spaceman Sonic Boom had a hand in this? Anyway the album appears courtesy of via Sonic Cathedral (UK/EU) and Captcha (US) next week and the band return to Europe in March & April but sadly no Dublin date.
The Hold Steady - Spinners (Lyric Video)
Less than a month to go now until the new The Hold Steady album ‘Tetth Dream’ arrives. After teasing us with ‘I Hope This Whole Thing Didn’t Frighten You' Craig and the boys ratchet up the anticaption with another rockling preview track in the form of 'Spinners'. Check out the lyric video above while you count the days til 25th March.
Solar Bears - Interzone (audio)
Some much good stuff out there this week I’ve decided to lash up as many posts as I can this evening. First up then are Irish electronic duo Solar Bears who dropped the excellent album ‘Supermigration' last year. Have recently signed with Warp, and recording their new album, they have decided to share a new track 'Interzone' which is a tribute to the late Dennis Hopper. “Baby wants to fuck.”
Cousin Marnie - Cain (Audio)
I first came across Cousin Marnie last year when she released her ‘Is Sleeping' EP which featured four very modern takes on Carter Family folk songs. Marnie (well her real name is Julieann Hartigan & yes I think she is of Irish blood!) has now returned with what I assume is an oringal track entitled ‘Cain’. The lyrics get all Book of Genesis over, firstly, sparse reverbed piano chords before the electronic (sub) bass joins in and the beats drop. It is all strikingly moody and impressive stuff, and proves their is more to this young lady than impressive cover versions and more impressive cheek bones.
Habibi - Tomboy (Video from the album Habibi)
Those of you who speak arabic will know that ‘Habibi' (حَبيبي) is a term of endearment. What I didn't know until yesterday is that it is also the name of a a Brooklyn-based four-piece garage-rock girl group. The four ladies in questions are Rahill Jamalifard, Caroline Partamian, Erin Campbell and Karen Isabel who have been together since 2011 and have just released their self-titled debut album on Burger Records.
The music is stripped back with simple, but never quite shambolic, guitar bass & drums, backing up the 60’s style all-girl harmonies and vocals. Song titles like ‘Detroit Baby’ & ‘Persepolis’ hint at lead singer Rahil’s Motor City & Persian background but the album is pure New York cool and as (post)-modern as it is retro. After only a couple of listens I have fallen in love with all 29 minutes of it and suggest you do to.
"Your Favourite Word is Molecular" - St. Vincent live in The Olympia Theatre, Dublin - 23rd February 2014
Sleep Thieves - City of Hearts (audio)
I have been pretty remiss at posting over the last week. I must be all that exotic traveling I did to Cork & Liverpool. Anyway the release of a new single by Sleep Thieves is a good enough reason as any to break my silence, so check out ‘City of Hearts’ above and tell me what you think.
As we reported back in November Sleep Thieves have signed to US label Minty Fresh and will follow ‘City of Hearts’ with an album entitles ‘You Want The Night.’ If the dark epic throb of the single is anything to go by it should be one of the Irish releases of the year.