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Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1702

The year is already flying along and the new tunes are certainly flying out of the blocks (or where ever they come from) so much so that there isn't room for our Past Glories album this time round.

But what we do have is a number of acts marking their debut on the show this week - Montauk Hotel, For Foresters, Emily Gahan and Sorcha Richardson. There is local interest in the shape of Emma Langford who we feature as part of a new tie up with Hear One where each week we will play you tracks from their wonderful artists on the rise sessions.

We also have two more tracks from our Album of the Month which is 'Full Fat' from Sligo's This Side Up. And if all that's not enough for you we have music from The Divine Comedy, James Vincent McMorrow, Katie Kim, a belter of a remix from Bantum and another track from one of my favourite EPs of 2017 '1/1/17' by Arvo Party.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the readers of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS and Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

And the great news is that for every weekend from now till the end of March you can catch 8radio.com on FM in Limerick, Cork, Galway & Dublin to get you radios dialled in !!

Bowie Tribute

There’s always a worry with a sequel, that will it live up to the first time out. But as T2 Trainspotting has recently proved (and if you haven’t seen it yet you really need to have a chat with yourself), when a follow up is done well it’s a wonderfully joyous experience.

Last year Limerick paid its own tribute to David Bowie with one of the best nights of music seen in the town in 2016. Such was the reaction to that night there was a fierce demand for a re-run and thankfully John Steele the man behind the original night answered the call, as did a raft of local bands. As with the original event all proceeds are going to charity with the recipients being the Lette March & Zondra Meaney medical funds.

In a reverse of last year’s iteration it’s The Alvin Purple Experience who kick off the festivities with a set dedicated to the glam rock era of Bowie with ‘Ziggy Stardust’ and a crowd rousing rendition of ‘All the Young Dudes’ ensuring that the bar is set at a very decent height from the off.

Next up it’s Theme Tune Boy, Limerick’s power pop punk outfit led by ex-Hitchers drummer Niall Quinn. It’s an instant sonic assault from them with ‘Little Wonder’ a joy to behold, vocal duties are shared between Quinn, drummer Kieran Hayes and finally lead guitarist Carolyn Bourke as they close their contribution to the night’s proceedings with a blistering version of ‘Andy Warhol’.

After those two stellar performances the pressure is on for Parliament Square but you wouldn’t think it as Brendan Markham and co. strut on to the Dolans Warehouse stage and immediately launch into a fantastically funked up ‘Let’s Dance’ followed by ‘China Girl’ another classic which sees Markham in full-on revelator mode. It’s a short set which leaves you hungry for more from a band that are totally “in the zone”.

But if that was good then what’s in store for the next 40 minutes is just sublime as John Steele and his band Fall Dogs deliver a performance that you just did not want to end. Their selection of songs is much changed from last year and displays the wide range that the Bowie archive offers beginning with a haunting ‘Life on Mars’ which sees Steele accompanied by some beautiful piano work by Ross Brennan. From that it’s highlight after highlight with the angry as fuck ‘I’m Afraid of Americans’, dedicated in opposition to “you know who”; while ‘Lazarus’ and ‘Where Are We Now?’ tracks from Bowie’s latter two albums are treated with due reverence and benefit from Steele’s gravely timbre.

There is also time for guest contributions from Ronan Mitchell and Eamon Hehir, the latter out-revelating Brendan Markham’s earlier efforts on a magically manic ‘Beauty and the Beast’. The set closes with joyous renditions of ‘Heroes’, ‘Under Pressure’ and one of my personal highlights of the night ‘Absolute Beginners’ with Yvonne McCarthy lending her powerful voice on co-vocal duties.

If the night had ended then all in attendance would have gone home very satisfied, as it happens there’s still two more acts to enjoy. Next it’s long haired prog rockers Shardborne who are normally an instrumental outfit but here as with last year they add some vocals, with a searing guitar driven version of ‘Fame’ kicking things off as they are clearly here to enjoy themselves. That sense of fun continues till the conclusion of their set with a perfectly judged ‘The Man Who Sold the World’ being their outstanding moment.

And so it’s down to the last band on the bill The Brad Pitt Light Orchestra, who are a perfect choice to close the night given that later this year they will be touring ‘Starman’ their latest Irish music collaboration with Liam O’Maonlai which will showcase the songs of David Bowie “as gaeilge”. But there’s no need for an Irish-English dictionary tonight as they stick to the original versions of ‘Quicksand’ and ‘I Can’t Give Everything Away’ but with the added unique BPLO twist and the beautiful harmonies of the Blake siblings. 

Their final song is ‘Space Oddity’ a perfect pitched end to another night that was as much a celebration of the Limerick music scene as it was a celebration and remembrance of one of history’s finest musical icons; it leaves all those in a packed Warehouse with broad smiles on their faces and Bowie’s songs in their hearts. Planet Earth maybe blue but the stars are shining a little brighter in Limerick tonight.

All money raised from The Bowie Tribute 2017 is in aid of the Lette March & Zondra Meaney - medical funds.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1701

Back from an extended festive break but have no fear Sounds from a Green World will be with you every week in 2017 bringing you the very best new Irish music and a few golden nuggets from the past too.

On this week's show we have music from recent visitors to Dolans the hugely energetic Otherkin who rocked the Kasbah Social Club and the sublime Wallis Bird who wowed the crowd in the Warehouse on a very busy Saturday night.

We have tracks from our Album of the Month - 'Full Fat' from Sligo's This Side Up and keeping things in the north-west our Past Glories album is the classic 'Magical Ring' from Clannad.

We've the new single from Marlene Enright who plays the Kasbah Social Club on April 7th, add in fresh new music from Melty Brains?, Jonny Rep, The Burma, Sorcha Richardson and much more and you have all the incentive you need to press play.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the readers of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS and Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.



Sounds from a Green World Top 20 Irish Albums 2016

2016 has been a bountiful year for Irish music particularly when it comes to album releases with over 200 albums released in this island this year. So trying to narrow down such quality output to the best 20 albums has been a tough task but we've managed to do our best with many of the bands and artists featured having visited Dolans over the past 12 months. 

Its also fair to say that 2016 has been a great year for Limerick music too and it's fantastic to have three albums from Limerick acts in the Top 20 - 'Be Honest and Fear Not' from windings, 'Let the Dead Bury the Dead' by Rusangano Family and our favourite Irish album of the year, the fantastic debut album from Bleeding Heart Pigeons 'Is'.

You can listen to tracks from the Top 20 below but this is our list of the best Irish albums of 2016 - 

  • In Heat Not Sorry - The Altered Hours
  • Madness is the Mercy - August Wells
  • The Tilt of the Earth - Barry McCormack
  • New Forest - Cathy Davey
  • The First Kiss of Love - Cronin
  • Scan the Blue - exmagician
  • Songs for the Walking Wounded - The Frank & Walters
  • We Move - James Vincent McMorrow
  • Salt - Katie Kim
  • King Kong Company - King Kong Company
  • At Swim - Lisa Hannigan
  • I Own You - Mick Flannery
  • Her Kind - Morning Veils
  • Learning to Growl - Overhead, the Albatross
  • Let the Dead Bury Dead - Rusangano Family
  • Soft Days - Sea Pinks
  • Age of Indignation - September Girls
  • Tidal Waves - Swords
  • Be Honest and Fear Not - windings
  • Is - Bleeding Heart Pigeons

Primal Scream - Live at the Big Top

The conversion of Limerick’s Milk Market to an outdoor venue fit for acts that draw bigger crowds than can be accommodated elsewhere in the city has been a massive success, and the latest visitors to this unique concert location are legends of the indie music scene Primal Scream.

Led by their enigmatic front man Bobby Gillespie there is no holding back as right from the off they immediately launch into ‘Movin’ on Up’ which is the perfect way to warm up those that have braved the chilly November evening.

The set is nice mix of hits, hardcore fan favourites and of course a number of tunes from their recent album release ‘Chaosmosis’ which is being promoted with this tour.

Throughout Gillespie is a compelling presence as the rest of the band do what they do well almost in the background (it’s a long time since Gillespie has had to share front of stage with the mugging Mani). The Scottish frontman has a well earned reputation as a temperamental figure (maybe less so in recent years) and here there is always an undercurrent suggesting that he is expecting more from the assembled throng.

Interestingly for me it was some of the newer material that seemed more exciting on the night with ‘(Feeling Like A) Demon Again’, ‘100% or Nothing’ and ‘Trippin’ on Your Love’ that sees the band in full on attack mode, which is carried on with the menacing monster that is ‘Swastika Eyes’ from their underrated ‘XTRMNTR’ album.

Of course for most of the crowd it’s the better known tunes that get them moving with ‘Country Girl’, ‘Rocks’ and ‘Loaded’ providing those familiar feel good moments. And whilst the canned backing singing for those songs does take one slightly out of the moment at times it doesn’t take away from those classic indie hits.

The highlight of the evening is the glorious moment of celebration that is ‘Come Together’ that sees the Big Top audience and headline act in choral unison which warms the hearts before we head off in search of something to warm our fingers and toes.

Photo Credit - Munster Business Media Services

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1633

We might be in the thick of winter but there's loads of great Irish music to warm the hearts and we bring you another 22 fine tracks in this week's episode of Sounds from a Green World. 

This week we feature three acts (windings, Owensie & Crayonsmith) who've all released albums on the fantastic local record label Out on a Limb Records who are bringing their OOAL Christmas Party to Dolans on December 10th, the line-up is a closely guarded secret but there will be 7 acts on the night and tons of great tunes.

Also featuring on this week's show are a number of recent visitors to Dolans - James Or, David Kitt and local favourite Emma Langford. We have another two tracks from our Album of the Month for November which is 'Tidal Waves' by Swords and loads more new music from Elaine Mai, This Side Up, The Notas and Saint Sister.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the readers of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1632

Coming to Limerick this Saturday night is one of Ireland's brightest rising talents Sample Answer and we kick off this week's show with another quality track from his brilliant 'Collision' EP. Make sure you catch him live now as he is another Hozier in the making.

Also featured in this episode we have brand new music from The 4 of Us who return to Dolans Upstairs on December 30th with their long promised album 'Sugar Island' finally released. We have more tracks from our Album of the Month which is the excellent 'Tidal Waves' by Swords and we have new tunes from August Wells, Hvmmingbird, We Cut Corners and Lisa O'Neill who returns for what's sure to be another stirring performance on December 2nd.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the readers of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1631

After a slight hiatus, the Sounds from a Green World podcast is back and is now available for your ears to bathe in. This time out we have brand new music from local heroes Parliament Square and whenyoung. And speaking of local heroes we've more tracks from windings whose brilliant album 'Be Honest & Fear Not' was our Album of the Month for October along with music from Dundalk troubadour who played a superb set in support of windings for their album launch in Dolans recently.

Of course we have plenty of great music from further afield with new releases from Katie Kim, Super Hyper Giant, Bantum and recent visitor to Dolans, Marc O'Reilly. So strap yourself in and enjoy 90 minutes of the very best in new Irish music.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the readers of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

Jack O'Rourke - Dreamcatcher

‘Dreamcatcher’ from Jack O’Rourke is a masterful and varied collection of songs that sees the Cork man making a notable mark with his debut.

The record kicks off with ‘Nostalgia’ a simple but affecting piano ballad which takes you on a evocative tour of several Cork locations and characters. The tempo is immediately raised with ‘Naivety’ which is one of the early highlights on the album with its rousing chorus of voices.

The album title track sees O’Rourke channelling his inner Arctic Monkey as once the track kicks in it certainly evokes their front man Alex Turner (in one of his smoother incarnations) however O’Rourke lifts the song to greater heights than even that Sheffield chanteuse could achieve as here as on the rest of the album it’s the strength & depth of his vocal delivery that shines through.

The lead single ‘I’ll Forget You in the Morning’ sits perfectly as the centrepiece of the album with it’s elegant blend of voice, strings and piano. Again O’Rourke stirs things up with ‘Iggy’ which is a real eclectic gem with its glam rock guitar tendencies juxtaposed with clever finger clicking and western saloon piano playing - who knew that combination could work so well?

This constant change in rhythm between tracks is continued for much of the remainder of the album which ensures that your attention never wavers, but how could it with the quality on offer, which is perfectly exemplified by current single 'On the Downlow'.

The double hander of ‘Small Stuff’ and ‘Settle for Me’ brings ‘Dreamcatcher’ to a highly satisfying close which is appropriate on an album that rewards throughout.

‘Dreamcatacher is available to buy via iTunes and directly via http://www.jackorourkemusic.com/artist/music/show/dreamcatcher and you can catch Jack O’Rourke live when he plays Upstairs in Dolans on Saturday, October 12th.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1630

Another 90 minutes of great Irish music and another truck load of brand new tracks as we bring you new releases from Fangclub, Exiles, Hozier & Mick Flannery who plays the Warehouse on Oct 13th.

We continue our exploration of windings' fantastic album 'Be Honest and Fear Not' and we have another clip from our chat with Steve & Patrick, don't miss their gig on October 22nd. We also have the stunning new single from Roisin O who at it happens also plays Dolans that night when she takes to the stage Upstairs.

'Tupelo Honey' from Van Morrison album is our Past Glories album and we have the lead track from his new album 'Keep Me Singing' too.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the readers of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

windings - Be Honest and Fear Not

With only their split album with Land Lovers to keep us sated over the past few years it’s with much anticipation that the latest long player from Limerick’s windings is finally released and thankfully it does not disappoint.

‘Be Honest and Fear Not’ sees windings displaying their entire range of musical talents with a variety of approaches taken on an album that may only be eight tracks long but doesn’t leave you feeling any bit short changed. There’s everything on show here from a two minute punk anthem to a speeding sonic instrumental (be careful when driving if listening to that one), there’s even a bitter sweet duet to perfectly close out proceedings.

The album kicks off in fine style with the epic ‘Ambivalence Blues’ spanning over seven sumptuous minutes before we get the Giveamanakick-esque bombshell that is ‘Boring’. These opening two tracks not only superbly showcase the range of styles that the band employs but also the cleverness of lyric that frontman Steve Ryan possesses. He has admitted that ‘Be Honest and Fear Not’ is an opportunity for him to address his frustrations and vexations with himself and the world and he is brilliantly acerbic, amusing and challenging over the course of an album where at one stage he declares that “every note is an apology, every word is a regret”.

One of the highlights of the album is 'You’re Dead', a track anchored by an absolutely delicious bass line that will be circling your brain for many days after hearing it, and believe me it’s an ear-worm you’ll enjoy hearing time and time again. 

And that could well sum up the entire album which rewards on every listen. Arranged and recorded and so that windings can seamlessly bring the album to life in the live arena, I look forward to catching them on tour and witnessing ‘Be Honest and Fear Not’ in all it’s glory.

‘Be Honest and Fear Not’ is out now via Out on a Limb Records and windings.bandcamp.com and you can catch windings live when they play the Warehouse on October 22nd.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1629

This week’s Sounds from a Green World kicks off with three artists who will be visiting Dolans in the coming months as we have brand new tracks from Cathy Davey, Jack O’Rourke and The Riptide Movement.

We have our final selection of tracks from Lisa Hannigan’s ‘At Swim’ which has been our 8radio.com Album of the Month for October - there are still a few tickets left for her show in the Lime Tree Theatre on December 15th but move fast or you’ll be disappointed.

We also feature the title track from Train Room’s gorgeous debut EP, the latest single from James Vincent McMorrow along with another track from Bell X1 who will be showcasing their new album ‘Arms’ Live at the Big Top on Oct 28th.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the reader's of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

In conversation with windings

Ahead of the release of their fourth full length album 'Be Honest and Fear Not' John Loftus caught up with Steve & Patrick from windings for a chat about the album, Glen Hansard and the next generation of Limerick musicians.

windings release 'Be Honest and Fear Not' on September 30th via Out on a Limb Records and play Dolans Warehouse on October 22nd, get your tickets now.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1628

Another week and another episode of Sounds from a Green World stuffed with new Irish music, and this week's show features new singles from Swords, Roisin Murphy and Limerick's Changing Trains.

And keeping things local our 'Past Glories' album is 'the Devil in Music' from Fox Jaw whose 10th anniversary gig in the Warehouse totally rocked, we also have the opening track from their superb new EP.

Someone who is playing the Warehouse shortly on Oct 15th in fact is Cathy Davey and we have her infectious new single 'Snitch' along with more tracks from the 8radio.com Album of the Month Lisa Hannigan's 'At Swim' and a reminder that tickets for Lisa's performance in the Lime Tree Theatre are on sale now and are bound to sell out.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the reader's of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

Cathy Davey - New Forest

After six long years Cathy Davey returns with ‘New Forest’ an album that unfolds like a Tim Burton film or a Neil Gaiman book, full of quirky stories, twisted relationships and bursting with atmosphere.

The tone is set right from the start as the title track is an off-kilter fairy tale that envelops you into a haze of sepia toned nostalgia. Lead track ‘The Pattern’ is a more upbeat number full of whoozy keyboards and triumphant mix of vocals which still packs a menacing undertone.

There is no set style here with everything from rockabilly, bossa nova, 60’s era girl group melodrama and even a whistle-a-long ditty thrown into a delightful mix that ensures the listener is never sure what’s coming next. The variety of musical surprises that Davey has up her sleeves are inspired, particularly given the unique twists that she applies to them and the underlying black humour.

Other highlights on the album in addition to the powerful opening one-two punch include ‘Snitch’ with it’s rhythmic clap along infectiousness and then there is the brilliant ‘Thylacine’ which could be the theme tune to some weird western which features some beautiful percussion and a heavenly chorus of voices.

But in truth ‘New Forest’ is an album that delights in it’s entirety and any misgivings that Cathy Davey’s lengthy musical hiatus may have engendered can be instantly dismissed. She has delivered her most accomplished album to date, an album which is a treat to the ears & the imagination.

‘New Forest’ is out now and is available via Hammer Toe Records on CD & digital download from iTunes.

Catch Cathy live as she takes to the road this autumn on a nationwide tour, dates include Dolan’s on October 15th, get your tickets right now.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1627

The latest episode of Sounds from a Green World features a review of Electric Picnic featuring some of the Irish highlights from a great weekend of music including stellar performances from Limerick acts Fox Jaw, Rusangano Family and Weenz.

But there's also plenty of brand new music from The Klares, Peter J. McCauley and windings who will be launching their brilliant new album 'Be Honest & Fear Not' with a live date in Dolan's Warehouse on Oct 22nd.

Along with all that we have more tracks from the 8radio.com Album of the Month which is the fantastic 'At Swim' by Lisa Hannigan, who will return to Limerick to play the Lime Tree Theatre on December 15th, tickets on sale now.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the reader's of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

Lisa Hanningan - At Swim

It’s been five years since Lisa Hannigan’s last album the Choice Music Prize nominated “Passenger” however with her gorgeous third solo long player “At Swim” she has returned with an album that is well worth the wait.

“At Swim” came to fruition after a number of years that saw Hanningan involved in a number of diverse projects whilst creatively fulfilling also distracted her from focusing on her next album. It was the prompting of Aaron Dressner (he of The National) that provided the push she needed to get back on track. Hannigan decided to spend even more time in London as she finally got to grips with what she wanted to do with her new record, with Dressner now onboard as producer.

Given that background and other events in her personal life its not surprising that themes such as being lost, being isolated and struggling with life are at the forefront but it’s also an album that is at it’s heart about love. That mix of themes is most strikingly illustrated on “Ora” which is a majestically understated love song delivered movingly by Hannigan. 

When reviewing any Lisa Hannigan collection of songs the words that consistently spring to mind are delicate, fragile and moving and true to form “At Swim” certainly evokes such thoughts however there is also a sense of determination throughout.

Sonically varied, there’s a lot going on as on tracks such as “Lo”, “Fall” & “Tender” where Hannigan is given a beautiful background palate to layer her unique vocals onto. Every listen rewards in varying ways with different tracks grabbing your attention each time, be it the relatively upbeat chorus of “Undertow” or the underlying menace of “We, The Drowned”.

If there is an outstanding track on such a thematically tight album such as “At Swim” for me it has to be “A Prayer for the Dying”. Released as the lead single it’s lost none of it’s power in the months since it’s unveiling despite countless plays. Here more than anywhere else on the album Hannigan’s mesmerising vocals hold centre stage as she both celebrates and mourns the passing of a loved one with a performance that is both deeply vulnerable & powerful and in the grand tradition of the many great torch-song singers of the past.

However it would be remiss of me to single out any individual track as ultimately “At Swim” succeeds due to completeness of vision Hannigan sets out and evokes with every note that she sings, ably accompanied by a repertoire of musicians that let her talent shine through out.

The album closes with “Barton” which has a much more electronic flavour than the organic sounds on the rest of the album. Its a song that sees Hannigan seemingly pleading to herself to perhaps accept the imperfections that love brings with it, “Broken as it is, this is a love”. 

It’s an interesting way to bring “At Swim” to a close and would be an intriguing path to see Hannigan explore on her next album, which we hope we won’t have to wait five years for. Then again if its as compelling and moving as “At Swim” would we really complain?

‘At Swim’ is out now via Play it Again Sam and we are delighted to announce that Dolans & Seoda Shows present Lisa Hannigan at The Lime Tree Theatre on December 15th, you can buy your tickets now by clicking this link.

Fox Jaw - Black Light Vignette EP

Limerick’s Fox Jaw maybe coming up to their 10th anniversary but their creative output shows no sign of flagging if the quality of material on show on their ‘Black Light Vignette’ EP is anything to go by.

The EP is a mix of all things that have made Fox Jaw such a compelling draw particularly since the release of their last album ‘Ghost’s Parade’. The two tracks released from the EP to date ‘Do You Want It All’ & ‘Hit It Off’ are near perfect infectious rockers with the underlying menace that you come to expect from the band, with their driving rhythm section and a myriad of delicious guitar licks.

But it’s with the two tracks that bookend the ‘Black Light Vignette’ EP that we see Fox Jaw reaching for ambitious cinematic heights and achieving new levels of virtuosity. The EP opener ‘Weakness’ is something that you might find on a David Lynch soundtrack (maybe he should be given a shout with a new Twin Peak series coming out next year?), it’s a brooding beast full of twangy guitar, rumbling bass and front man Ronan Mitchell pleading in desperation “my weakness is you”.

I was delighted to see ‘Hide & Creep’ included as the closing track as it’s a song that I have long championed as I truly believe it is one of the most impressive releases by a Limerick band. However its a song that has taken sometime for Fox Jaw to come to grips with. Originally written some years ago, the band never could quite make the track work and it wasn’t until Mitchell’s involvement in ‘The Pigtown Fling’ project in 2014 that saw it come to full fruition. It’s a track that is full of ominous threat from the onset as the Herrmann-esque strings kick in to full effect alongside the simple but hypnotic piano lines, add in the growling baritone vocal and you have a song that I have always felt should be soundtracking shows such as ‘Hannibal’, ‘Bates Motel’ or ‘Making a Murderer’. Presented here with some tasty additional contributions from the band, it’s the ultimate psycho’s lullaby.

Ten years in the making the ‘Black Light Vignette’ EP sees Fox Jaw striking new ground whilst staying true to the unique sound that has brought them this far. We look forward to the next ten years with heightened expectations.

The ‘Black Light Vignette’ EP is released on September 17th on CD & download. Catch Fox Jaw on tour this September including their 10th Anniversary gig in Dolan’s on September 17th. Buy your tickets now by clicking this link.

Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1626

The latest episode of Sounds from a Green World features plenty of brand new Irish music including the new single from Cathy Davey who returns to Dolans on Oct 15th with her fantastic new album "New Forest" which she recently launched at Electric Picnic.

Speaking of superb female talent we have tracks from our Album of the Month for September which is "At Swim" the stunning new album from Lisa Hannigan, who will be performing at The Lime Tree Theatre this December, with tickets on sale later this week.

Local Limerick music always gets an airing on Sounds from a Green World, and this week we have the exciting  weyoung on the show, and our "Music They Like" choice was made by Mark from local rockers Tigwara and features Fox Jaw who celebrate their 10th anniversary this Saturday with a gig in the Warehouse.

Sounds from a Green World is available for the reader's of the Dolans music blog and if you like great music then download the 8radio.com apps for iOS for Android devices or visit 8radio.com to find out all the ways to listen to the station that plays the "Music We Like" and we think you'll like too.

Lloyd Cole going solo - a retrospective of his early solo albums

Lloyd Cole visits Ireland this month for a tour subtitled “The Classic Lloyd Cole Songbook 1983-1996” and for many who will attend his gigs it will be his work with the Commotions that will be the draw for them, however for me the chance to hear some of the songs from his early solo work is what has me excited for his date in Dolan’s Warehouse on August 31st. 

It was in 1991 a couple of years following the break up of Lloyd Cole & the Commotions that Cole emerged from his new home in New York with his self titled debut album (often referred to as ‘X’). In subsequent interviews he’s often referred to the period of writing the album as his most creative with his aim being the production of a non-Commotions sounding album. Allied with a retinue of hugely talented musicians including Robert Quine, Fred Maher, Matthew Sweet and former Commotion Blair Cowan (who even shares a number of writing credits on the album) Cole certainly succeeds in his ultimate aim.

He delivers an inspired and varied album with tracks such as “What Do You Know About Love”, “Sweetheart” featuring some killer edgy guitar lines from Quine, whilst Cowan’s keyboard work is exquisite especially on “Downtown”.There is still plenty of whimsical Cole on show with the likes of “It’s a Long Way Down” “Ice Cream Girl” and the down to earth everyday joy of “Undressed”.With the epic soundscapes of “No Blue Skies” and “Mercy Killing” this album really sets itself apart from previous Lloyd Cole recordings and was an excellent foundation to launch what was to be his long lasting solo career.

Less than two years later Cole was back with “Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe” along with most of the same band of musicians. However with his second solo release Cole takes a much different approach particularly on the ambitious first side of the album. Taking the courageous step of recording with a full orchestra arranged and conducted by Paul Buckmaster, the sweeping strings are inspired and add a lushness that Cole had already hinted at on “No Blues Skies” on the previous record. 

Opening with the sublime slow build of “Butterfly” and featuring the epic and acerbic “Half of Everything” it’s an album with a huge sound and plenty of heart. “Margo Waltz” is the near perfect centrepiece and might be one of the finest tracks Lloyd Cole has ever recorded.  Bizarrely it’s a track that featured in the film “There’s Something About Mary” which is quite appropriate as the first side of “Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe” is like a soundtrack in search of a movie.

Given the ambition of side one I’ve often seen side two of “Don’t Get Weird on Me Babe” as a bit of a frustration as personally I think it would have been great to see the orchestral approach maintained throughout; however that’s me being a little mealy-mouthed given that it does feature quality Cole tracks like “To The Lions” and “Tell Your Sister” along with album closer and one of the best singles of his career, “She’s a Girl and I’m a Man”.

Third album into his post-Commotions career on “Bad Vibes” (released in 1993) Cole once again took a new direction which saw him collaborating with producer/remixer Adam Peters and using electronics, synths and sound effects like never before (something he has revisited on his most recent release). Released to some rather mixed reviews (from those probably expecting more familiar Cole fare) it’s an album with some crackin’ tunes especially “Morning Has Broken” and “So You’d Like to Save the World” one of the most upbeat tracks that Cole has ever produced with it’s rousing chorus of “you might call it ultraviolet radiation, but it’s only sunlight” a clever and positive anthem is there ever was one.

Is it consistent though out, possibly not, maybe reflecting some uncertainty in Cole at the time but it’s an album worth investing in if you haven’t heard “Bad Vibes” before and well worth a revisit if you haven't listened to it in a while. Its brought to a perfect close with the low beat 8 minute sprawling opus “Can’t Get Arrested”.

And so to the fourth Lloyd Cole solo album “Love Story” and one which could be seen as both a reaction to the mixed reception that “Bad Vibes” received and a reflection of man content with family life in rural Massachusetts. It sees the electronics & drum machines of that album largely dispensed with and sees a more Commotions-like back to basics approach being taken. 

It’s an album that sees Cole delivering sweet love songs as befits an album with such a title, “Sentimental Fool” and the classic “Like Lovers Do” being stand out tracks.  Whilst songs such as“I Didn’t Know You Cared” and “Let’s Get Lost” feature the trademark Cole witticism and lyrical dexterity in all it’s glory. 

“Love Story” might lack the experimentation of the previous three albums but it sees Cole truly comfortable in his skin and embracing his natural singer-songwriter persona.

Often overlooked for his Commotions output the early solo recordings of Lloyd Cole deserve a positive reappraisal and to be discovered by those only familiar with his earlier repertoire. The upcoming Lloyd Cole shows represents an opportunity to celebrate all aspects of his excellent pre-1996 catalogue.

Lloyd Cole (playing the classic Lloyd Cole Songbook 1983-1996) visits Dolan’s Warehouse on August 31st.