Archive for the ‘music’ Category

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ON REPEAT: Fever Ray – Fever Ray

April 15, 2009

FEVER RAY - FEVER RAY

Karin Dreijer Andersson
(she being one half of the Swedish electronic pair, The Knife) released her debut solo album under the banner of Fever Ray last month to a fanfare of critical applause. This was seen as quite a strange move for someone who has gone to such lengths to stay out of the limelight and generally remain as anonymous as possible. Afterall, a solo sidestep from a band usually offers a more personal take on all things.

So, gone are the signature beats of her electronic roots, instead replaced by drones and synthetic ambient sounds. An undercurrent of menace pervades from start to finish that’s genuinely unsettling at times. The opening track, “If I Had A Heart” sets the scene beautifully as it hums and warbles along to lyrics disguised by deep, hollow voice-manipulations. Words slosh in and out of the mix of ambience, accent and vocal gymnastics. Pieces of images appearing out of the dense fog of the eerie, atmospheric soundscapes. There’s also something so very claustrophobic about this album. This claustrophobia never lets up throughout it’s 48 minute lifespan, wherein the pacing remains even and pretty steadfast: without the ‘fast’. What we have here is slow, opaque and strangely calming at times. Less dancey than The Knife and lot more synthy 80’s, like The Cure or Echo and The Bunnymen.

On a side note: The coverart (seen above) looks to be created by Charles Burns. If you havent read Black Hole, I suggest you do. David Fincher is adapting it into a moving picture.

Fever Ray – If I Had A Heart:

Fever Ray – When I Grow Up:

Fever Ray Linkety Links: Wikipedia / MySpace

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The Choice Music Prize 2009

March 4, 2009

RSAG Choice Music Prize 2009

There’s no question that 2008 was a great year for Irish music. We were bombarded with a whole host of debut albums from exciting new acts and incredible follow-ups from well established artists. Tonight at Vicar Street, the Choice Music Prize will be awarded to what is deemed to be the Best Irish Album of 2008. Chosen by a panel of twelve media professionals, the Choice Award is a chance to garner recognition for an Irish album that deserves to be heard by an even wider audience.

Over the past few years, the Choice Music Prize almost always hits the nail on the head with it’s shortlists, yet throws an unexpected curveball when it comes to actually awarding the prize. The award has never gone to the bookies favourite and it’s almost always the critical darling that has not yet found mass appeal that’s walked home with the prize. 2005’s “13 Songs” by Julie Feeney is possibly the best example of this.

This year I’m a little more interested in the Choice Music Prize than usual as Kilkenny man Jeremy Hickey (under the mantle of Rarely Seen Above Ground) has gotten a nod for his blisteringly good “Organic Sampler”. Rarely Seen Above Ground deliver percussion-filled psychedelia that is unlike anything else out there so if you haven’t already got your mitts on the album, I strongly suggest you do. It is simply an audible joy to behold. Best of luck to you Jeremy! I’ll be there tonight, more than likely making a lot of noise.

Rarely Seen Above Ground: MySpace

The shortlist in full:
R.S.A.G. “Organic Sampler”
Jape “Ritual”
Lisa Hannigan “Sea Sew”
Halfset “Another Way of Being There”
Fight Like Apes “Fight Like Apes and the Mystery of the Golden Medallion”
Mick Flannery “White Lies”
David Holmes “The Holy Pictures”
Messiah J & The Expert “From The Word Go”
Oppenheimer “Take The Whole Mid-Range And Boost It”
The Script “The Script”