Its Easy Come Easy Go for Lucy Gaffney

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SOME of Ireland’s best-known talent has been dropping news and new music as the annual release cycle begins to heat up, and new labels are looking to celebrate the past and capture the future in the article from this week.

The most pressing case comes from the Fontaines DC camp, where news of a new album has come out. “Skinty Fia” was officially announced alongside a live performance on American talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and the debut of their new single “Jackie Down The Line”. The Dublin-born and now London-based quintet’s third album in three years, and time will tell if the cup of ideas has run out yet. With a US tour to support them, one can only assume we’ll get an answer sooner rather than later.

And with this announcement shaking up a month of music that’s usually dropped, there’s more Southern news of interest to music makers. Hedge School Doolin, a music conference born from the mind of local producer Simon O’Reilly, will take place at the end of the month at the Clare Hotel and is “an eclectic mix of music, writing, spoken word and films, including performances, workshops, interactive art installations, film screenings, interviews and more.

Aimed at creators and writers, this conference represents a chance to learn, collaborate and exhibit upcoming works.

Speaking to the press, O’Reilly said: “Our goal is to support and foster artistic renaissance. We aim to create the conditions in which innovation, experimentation and risk can thrive, where artists, their work and their ideas are respected, and where underrepresented artists are given a platform to thrive in ways that creative.

With workshops by acclaimed producers Dáithí and Batum, performances by Myles O’Reilly and Enda Gallery, and a host of screenings and exhibitions by local artists, this is an event not to be missed.

News of two new labels has spread over the past week. All City Records have announced a sub-label under the name Arís which will celebrate Ireland’s dance and rave culture of the 90s.

Expect physical re-releases of some of your favorite tracks in the near future (get it from Bandcamp). Then in Derry, ALL director Mark Holden announced a joint venture with Modfather Paul Weller. Big Man Records has yet to announce what release brand to expect, but like everything from Derry, we can expect the best.

And even with all that to contend with, the Fountains aren’t the only ones on the news this week. CMAT, the sad international pop-star/Irish country singer has released the next single from her upcoming debut album “If My Wife Knew I’d Be Dead”. Written during his lunch break at a former job in Manchester, the country-pop misery of his latest track celebrates the bonding and humanity that gets us out of bed in the morning. Meanwhile, Dublin punks SPRINTS surprise us with their new single ‘Little Fix’. The third single released since their debut EP ‘Manifesto’, the raucous distortion and tight vocal delivery jams with the best rock releases in the country right now.

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SPRINTS’ new single “Little Fix” sits alongside the best rock releases in the country right now

And with some great releases from NewDad and Silverbacks too, it was hard to decide where the spotlight finally fell this week. But the production of the Irish independent sector was too important. First up is North Dublin act Sundown track ‘Pirate’. An icy and burning psychedelic track led by its keyboards and percussion, it’s a welcome return from the quartet. Then we have Lucy Gaffney’s latest, the grunge-pop number “Easy Come, Easy Go.” Hypnotic vocals and spatial, loose acoustics give this record its rhythm. Co-written by Bill Ryder-Jones of The Coral, it starts Gaffney’s New Year off with a bang.

And finally, we have the latest from Heart Shaped. A dream-pop project by Kendall Bousquet from Belfast, here the devil is in the production. Its lo-fi nature lends a beautiful, miasmic sound to the acoustics, enhanced by the writer’s meandering vocal performance. Launched on Yeo Magazine, we can only hope the next track is coming soon.

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