Thursday, 28 January 2016

Beauty Sleep - The Dark

Having written about them more or less since the blog began, and enthusing about them at every possible opportunity, I think by know you're all aware of the total love that this blog has for Wonder Villains and everything Wonder Villains related (fun fact - they're the only band that have their own specific label on this blog). They've been quiet as late, save for a Stiff Little Fingers cover for the soundtrack of Shooting For Socrates, but now half of their members have started a new, interesting project.

The Beauty Sleep trio are made up of Villains Ryan McGroarty & Cheylene Murphy (who's also spent the last year involved with Go Girl and Blog Sound of 2016 nominees Pleasure Beach), in addition to Aimee Williamson, and eschews more straightforward pop in favour of something a little bit more atmospheric, but just as enjoyable. "The Dark" is an irresistible mixture of dream-pop (quite apt, given their name), Balearic dance and synth-pop, all tied together by luscious interlocking boy/girl vocals. Top marks for the oceanic-sounding guitar solo in the outro too.

"The Dark" is a great introductory single for Beauty Sleep. Does the involvement of 50% of the Wonder Villains mean that that band have been dissolved? We hope not, but if Beauty Sleep can deliver more great songs like this, then we won't be too disappointed.

"The Dark" will be released on February 19th. A launch gig will be held in Bar Sub, Belfast on Friday 26th February.

Tuskany - Better Time

In the past week, a lot of people locally have been getting rather enthusiastic about "Better Time", the debut release from Belfast trio Tuskany. Although like many "new" bands from Northern Ireland that pick up a lot of steam from the get go, it should be noted there's some familiarity within the project - Owen McGarry has been recording well-received solo material for some time.

"Better Time" is a great fun slice of day-glo synth-pop which has 'Kitsuné compilation album candidate' written all over it, and whilst their description as sounding like "Earth, Wind & Fire meets M83" might not be entirely accurate, you can kind of see where they were coming from. They're an interesting sounding act, with a lot of promise from the get-go.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Hurdles - Dusk & Dawn

Hurdles really do like taking their time, don't they?

We first featured the band way back in 2012 following the released of their first single "Pictures". They then released one of our favourites tracks of 2013 with "Kaleidoscope", as well as a first E.P. to boot. They then took things relatively quietly in 2014 until the very last month, when they unleashed "France" upon us, and now more than a year after that, the quartet are releasing their second E.P, of which "Dusk & Dawn" is the title track.

If you've been familiar with Hurdles in the past, then you'll know exactly what you're getting with these guys, but if not, then you're in for a delicious little treat indeed. Finely crafted, tropical, sleek and polished indie-pop very much in the Phoenix mode. Welcome back guys. Now let's not leave the follow-up waiting too long this time, please?

"Dusk & Dawn E,P" is released on February 1st.