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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. 


Sounds from a Green World - Episode 1625


After a bit of a holiday the Dolan’s music blog is back with another 90 minutes of great Irish music courtesy of 8radio.com. This week’s episode of Sounds from a Green World features Imelda May who will be queen of King John’s Castle this weekend.

We also feature the latest single from local heroes Fox Jaw who launch their 'Black Light Vignette' EP in the Warehouse on Sept 17th a gig that also celebrates their 10th anniversary - seems like only yesterday since they first played Dolan’s.

There are more tracks from the 8radio.com Irish Album of the Month, the self titled album from recent visitors King Kong Company along with the first taste from Wallis Bird’s new album and she has just announced a date in Dolan’s in January, tickets are available for that much anticipated gig right now.

Each week 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.


Sounds from a Green World Limerick2020 Special

In the coming weeks Limerick will be reaching a crucial juncture in our bid to become the European Capital of Culture for 2020, the evaluation panel will be in town in early July and ahead of that we thought it timely to bring you a Sounds from a Green World Limerick Special.

The biggest challenge in pulling this programme together was who to include and who to leave out given the huge amount of fantastic musical talent in this town. So in 90 minutes we've done our best to give as best a representation as possible of the wide range of different music being produced currently with a nod or two to our musical heritage thrown in for good measure.

So crank up your speakers and get ready to enjoy the musical sound of a city on the rise.

Each week 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.






Emma Langford EP Launch

Emma Langford has been a stalwart of the Limerick music scene appearing in many places and in many guises but it has taken till now for her to release her debut EP (which we’ve reviewed here) and what better place to launch it than Upstairs in Dolan’s.

Support on the night is provided by the talented Niall St. James who is putting the finishing touches to his own debut EP. St. James proves to be the perfect support act with songs full of honesty, heartache and positivity delivered perfectly. He is accompanied on the night by the accomplished duo of Julia Cramer and Tyler Johnson who provide some beautiful harmonies and subtle but effective guitar work. A good start to the night’s proceedings and certainly leaves you interested as to what will come from their studio work particularly upcoming single “Fell For You”.

And so to the reason while we are all here as Emma Langford and her band for the night take to the stage in front of a hushed but expectant audience. Immediately we are treated to two tracks from the EP “I Am Not Yours” and “All You Want” that instantly captivates those in attendance. 

Langford’s voice is sublime and effortlessly mesmerising as she moves through her repertoire, and she is ably supported by a band only playing together for the first time. However she has chosen her wingmen well with Tadhg on fiddle, Alec on bass and Ray on drums sounding like they’ve been working with Langford for years.

And its not only the music that is enticing but also the repartee, as Langford proves to be an engaging raconteur - which is a good job as “Closed Book” from her EP is a riposte to bands that don't engage with their fans. These interludes are highly entertaining, giving us insight into her music without sounding too earnest and providing plenty of amusing asides too.

For a lady who is releasing her debut EP the setlist is longer than what you would expect and quite varied, with songs about a old crush she had when she was 14, one about dealing with a friend’s depression and a love song concerning a bell that was dumped in a lake. Highlights on a night where there are no bum notes are “Sandman” with some haunting vocal effects, the aforementioned “Closed Book” and “Goodbye Hawaii” with Langford’s mouth trumpeting amusing and amazing the entertained crowd.

“Tug O’ War” is the song that brings the night to a fitting close as the audience join Langford in perfect unison on the chorus of the song that inspired her to take the journey that has brought her to this night. We look forward to seeing what awaits on the next stage of her musical journey.

Emma Langford’s debut EP is now available via https://emmalangfordmusic.bandcamp.com 

Photo Credit : DOD Photography

Sounds from a Green World Programme No. 1624

This week's episode features a couple of ladies who are being hosted by Dolan's this week. Lisa Hannigan is due to play the Belltable on Thursday, June 23rd and we have the first taste from her new album, a beautiful track called "A Prayer for the Dying". We also have the great privilege to bring you the world premiere of Emma Langford's debut EP (you can catch a review of the EP launch on the Dolan's music blog later this week).

And if that wasn't enough for you we have the brand new single from August Wells who return to Dolan's when they play the Kasbah Social Club on July 28th along with new music from Sample Answer, Pleasure Beach and Hilary Woods.

Throw in two more tracks from our Album of the Month "Let the Dead Bury the Dead" by Rusangano Family and you already have a must listen to show (even if we do say so ourselves!).

Each week 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.

Emma Langford EP

Emma Langford’s debut EP is a delightful collection of songs that perfectly showcases her warm vocals and her ability to switch effortlessly between styles.

The record starts with some ominous strings but soon segues into jaunty folk song “You Are Not Mine” which is about romantic independence; its a bright and confident opening track.

Next up “The Seduction of Eve” is a more traditional tune about betrayal and learning some harsh lessons about loving a little too easily. It features some beautiful whistle work from Karl Nesbitt which compliments the piano of Clint Fitzgerald and guitar work of Langford herself.

“Closed Book” is one of the strongest tracks on the EP and the obvious single to these ears recalling Wallis Bird's catchier moments and happens to be about musicians not bothering to try and connect to their audience (a bug bear of mine) which I feel is a brave subject for a singer to raise.

We’re in introspective ballad territory on “All You Want’ which in the wrong hands could have been a nothing track but here the high standard of production and musicianship on the EP is maintained with the layering of vocals, powerful bass and some delicious piano and whistle lines ensuring that you are totally enveloped in the song and its story.

The penultimate track “Tug O’War” is the song that first made me sit up and pay attention to Emma Langford when she released a very raw version of it on YouTube. I was not alone and it was the response to that video that encouraged Langford to move forward with this EP and I’m glad to see that she has kept the wonderful simplicity of that song intact here with only the merest of studio polish evident.

The EP closes with the lightest of the six tracks “Goodbye Hawaii” featuring seaside sounds and some very accomplished mouth trumpeting. It’s a clever track that wears it’s tongue firmly in its cheek (think Beautiful South at their acerbic poppy best), again the bass from Peter Hanagan comes to the fore along with some playful percussion from Nesbitt. It’s a great uptempo way to bring proceedings to a close.

All in all  Emma Langford's debut EP is a very rewarding listen and marks her out as not just an excellent vocalist but a very clever lyricist too.

Emma Langford launches her self titled EP Upstairs in Dolans on Saturday, June 18th.


Sounds from a Green World May 21st

Another thrilling episode of Lofty's continuing adventures in the wonderful Irish music scene. This week there is brand new music from local lads Cruiser and windings, along with recent visitors to Dolans Little Green Cars, King Kong Company and Villagers.

We've more tracks from our Irish album of the month 'Learning to Growl' from Overhead, The Albatross, we celebrate the 30th anniversary of Self Aid in our Past Glories feature and the very talented Niamh Crowther shares her "Music They Like' choice with us too.

Each week 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.

windings, Cruiser & Anna’s Anchor Live at the Kasbah Social Club

It’s been four years since the last full windings album the Choice Music Prize nominated ‘I Am Not the Crow’ and later this year we’ll get it’s follow up - ‘Be Honest and Fear Not’ - so it was time for the lads to give the new tunes a live work out. With support acts Anna’s Anchor and Cruiser on board its truly an eclectic mix of music in the Kasbah Social Club this Saturday night.

First up it’s Anna Anchor who for tonight’s proceedings consists of Marty Ryan and his acoustic guitar. Ryan is an interesting performer for his choice of musical projects (including a series of tracks written and recorded on various islands) and his amiable raconteuring which endears him to the crowd. There is a promise of a rockier album in the autumn but tracks like ‘Conclusion’ and ‘You’re a Lighthouse’ don’t have us pining for the heavier material just yet.

Speaking of heavy next up is Cruiser relative newcomers to the Limerick scene whose new EP is literally hot of the presses as it was finished the morning of the gig. You know a band are loud when they they offer earplugs to anyone that wants to avail of them! The band seem to be still honing their sound with elements of Dinosaur Jr., Nirvana and Girls Band all in the mix but songs such as ‘Folding’, ‘Next Election’ and EP title track ‘Hot 4 U’ certainly make them an engaging live experience.

And so to the main attraction windings who take to the stage to the sound of their recent collaboration with Naive Ted, the deeply affecting but excellent ‘Helicopters’.  Without pause for breath they immediately launch into two new songs ‘Ambivalence Blues’ which does what windings do best, carry you away on wave of reverie, and ‘Voice of the People’ which has some delightful keyboard wizardry from Patrick O’Brien. 

Its clear that the band are very confident in their new material (perhaps owing to fact that they recorded the album in three intense days in Donegal) as they launch into another new tune ‘Boring’, which never is. Then it’s time for a real oldie the 12 year old ‘The Old Days’ for what is apparently only the 2nd time that’s its been played live.

‘Sun in my Eyes’ is as gorgeous as ever while ‘Spiral Stairs’ from windings’ 2012 split album with Land Lovers sees O’Brien underpinning the duelling guitars of Steve Ryan & Mike Gavin with another simple but beguiling keyboard line.

Ryan as ever is in fine form gently teasing those who’ve complained about the dank nature of their recent releases before the band launch into a fantastic dank and despondent triple play of ‘Stray Dogs’, ‘Bladerubber’ and my new song highlight of the night ‘You’re Dead’ which features a hypnotic bass line from Liam Marley.

windings finish the night with a superb ‘I Am Not the Crow’ hat-trick of ‘Something Numbered’, ‘This is a Conversation’ and bring the night to a glorious conclusion with that album’s title track resplendent with it’s powerful seemingly never-ending coda.

A blissful way to end the night’s proceedings which leaves us waiting impatiently for the release of ‘Be Honest and Fear Not’

‘Be Honest and Fear Not’ will be released on Out on a Limb Records later this year, in the meantime check out the latest releases from windings below -