Tag Archives: Folk Rock

Boy & Bear – “Mexican Mavis” [VIDEO]

Boy & Bear

 

Boy & Bear are an amazing indie folk rock band from Sydney Australia. The members were originally from four separate bands until they decided to leave their respective collectives and represent one ‘a-little-bit-better’ band. After performing as Dave Hosking during 2008 the band decided to re-name the project and embrace a new direction and sound of 70’s folk rock. The combination of three songwriters has resulted in songs that refuse to stay within the boundaries of one genre.

 

Boy and Bear Moonfire Tour

 

Their first EP With Emperor Antartica was very successful in Australia and features one of my favorite tracks Mexican Mavis.  Boy & Bear completed their first full length album last month and recently announced a US tour for the album – starting in Los Angeles on October 10th and ending in Boston on October 22nd.   MOONFIRE is available on iTunes and other digital outlets. The album is ethereal and an entrancing enigma of hypnotic indie that’s been transfixing listeners left and right. Everyone from tastemakers to fans has been singing their praises.

 

 

By: Elizabeth Stene | Beat-Play Ambassador South Africa | @LizMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Stephen Sebastian from Nashville, TN [NEW MUSIC]

There are quite a few Americana folk rock bands out there, but Stephen Sebastian has his music dialed in.  With influences like Ryan Adams, Tom Petty, and Elliott Smith, you can almost piece together what his music sounds like, but Stephen Sebastian has found a middle ground and his own true sense of musical style.  Somewhere between alt-country and classic rock, you will find a combination and swarm of blues, pop, and rock and roll in Stephen’s music.  Similarly, the passion and vulnerability of his lyrics seem to lead the way in a similar fashion to those of his influences.  With killer riffs and solos from Sebastian’s guitar and driving rock grooves from his rhythm section, his music gives one the option to let go and rock out.  It’s amazing how he seems to work between big, heavy, and intimate vocal styles in different songs.  “Check out this video of “No Time for the Weary:”

Stephen Sebastian has been in Nashville, TN for a number of years, but he is a recent graduate from Cleveland, Ohio.  He has played all over Nashville and has just finished recording a new record this summer.  His band also includes Chris Leonard on drums and Josiah Lightle on bass.  When I saw him perform in the Fall of 2010, I was immediately interested in his music.  I absolutely love the clean harmonica over the vintage crunch of his electric guitar in instrumental sections.  Stephen Sebastian has the ability to bring you into an intimate song or rock you of your seat.  The band really drives the folk grooves home, and his show is thoroughly entertaining overall.  At the same time, anyone can also sit back and listen to his intelligent lyrics.  Have a listen to this song called “Ohio:”

I hope that his newest project will bring some much-needed attention to The Stephen Sebastian Band.  He has great potential as an Americana folk rock artist, and I am excited to see where his music takes him.  He just played a great free show at The Basement on Tuesday August 9, so don’t miss his next local show in Nashville if you hear about it!

By: Steve Harpine | Nashville Ambassador | @Steve_MWL | Beat-Play & Music Without Labels, LLC

Stephen Young & The Union [MUSIC]

Songwriter Stephen Young first appeared on the music scene in late 2008 when the release of his debut EP: ‘A Boat Called Lottery’, garnered vast critical acclaim.
Described as ‘a visionary ricochet for the times we live in’ (The Daily Star), it is Young’s capacity to deliver a song with pounding heartfelt retrospect that will set him apart from his luminaries.

The singer joined forces with producers Gavin Glass, Tommy O’Sullivan and engineer Stephen O’Brien to complete his debut album.
The album’s title is ‘Wilderness Machine’ and Young explains: “the concept of the album is loosely based on a character, who left his hometown after the break-up of a relationship and the death of a close friend. He moves to a remote house in the mountains where he writes a series of letters that lead to a novel”.

A highly-praised performance on RTE’s The View, along with two tracks from the album being playlisted by stations across the country – including RTE, BBC Northern Ireland and Dublin’s Phantom FM – have boosted Young and the band. As have extensive features in The Irish Daily Star and Hotpress.
With the LP out March 25 – available from HMV and Tower Records nationwide – the band took the album on the road.

On a three-week tour, Young & The Union played in a number of the country’s top venues. Launching the album in Crawdaddy, they went on to play The Spirit Store, The Stables, McCarthy’s in Dingle, JJ Harlows in Roscommon and Cleere’s Theatre in Kilkenny. Young also performed at a selection of singer-songwriter nights across the country. Accompanied by their Cello and Violin string section, SY & The Union deliver a show that is simply not to be missed.

for more Stephen Young & The Union news check out

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By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Arrow in the Sky – Winter’s Requiem [MUSIC]

Arrow in the Sky consists of a deuce of multi-instrumentalists,

Conor McCauley and Brian Murphy. They hail from Ireland’s belly

button where they have been honing their craft for a number of

years in one ensemble or another. Driven together by a mixture

of circumstances, of which there is no need to go into here,

they have created two fine and upstanding mini-albums

Do what thou wilt Cover Art

Do What Thou Wilt (2009) and

Winter's Requiem Cover Art

 

 

 

Winter’s Requiem (2011)

They are currently hard at work on their debut full length

recording, which is sure to be epic!

The sound live can be likened to other harmony laden,

song driven artists such as CSN and Simon & Garfunkel or

more contemporary artists such as My Morning Jacket,

Fleet Foxes and Bowerbirds. With an arsenal of traditional

instruments doing very untraditional things, strange and

boundless vocals, Arrow in the Sky have created a world

and sonic imagery all of their own. Weaving an aural tapestry

of folk, blues, alt-rock into their own unique blend of

Irish-Americana.

“’Winter’s Requiem’ proves to me that they are one of Ireland’s best bands in the Folk-rock genre.” Peter Nagle – 2uibestow.blogspot.com

“With these gorgeous folk melodies on their second EP, Arrow in the Sky mark themselves out as a force to be reckoned with” Ronan Hunt-Murphy – swearimnotpaul.com

 

keep up to date with all things Arrow in the Sky

@Facebook 

 

@Twitter 

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Wye Oak – Civilian [NEW MUSIC]

Wye Oak are an indie folk rock duo from Baltimore, Maryland, USA, composed of Andy Stack (drums, keyboards, backup vocals) and Jenn Wasner (vocals, guitars). Their sound has been described as “earnest folk-influenced indie rock with touches of noise and dream pop”. Wasner sings lead vocals and plays electric or acoustic guitar, while Stack plays both drums and keyboards, playing the drums with his feet and right hand, and the bass line with his left hand.

“we found ourselves both in Baltimore and decided to start a band. It started out two of us playing together, actively searching for other bandmates. But eventually realized it wasn’t going to happen..but also we could do it our own way, just the two of us. With a little bit of work and effort. So, we’ve been playing as a 2-piece with drums, keyboard, bass, guitar. It seems to be going pretty well I guess. I dunno…what else as far as bio…We both live in Baltimore, Hampden now.” – Jenn W

The band was formed as Monarch in mid-2006, before changing their name to Wye Oak, a reference to the former state tree of their home state of Maryland. They released their first album If Childrenindependently in 2007 and subsequently signed to Merge Records in 2008. The label re-released If Children that year, and a second album, The Knot, followed in 2009.

“for us right now, we really prefer to keep it small. As far as our schedules, it’s already hard enough to find time to rehearse, practice, write and play when we’re living in Hampden and there’s just 2 people’s schedules to coordinate. I can’t imagine trying to incorporate a third person” – Jenn W

I’ve found that since we started playing with this setup I’ve kind of started writing songs with the setup in mind. The idea of how we’re gonna have to play it is always in the back of my mind. It changes the way the notes come out. If you try and do it one way, and you think that way works, then it’s not gonna work. As soon as you start thinking too hard about it, the whole thing just goes completely out the window. You’ve got to be on the line of being serious about it but also somewhat relaxed, otherwise you can scare away the creative process if you’re too uptight. – Jenn W

Their new album Civilian was released in March 2011 via Merge Records in the US and City Slang in Europe.

Check out their Dot Com for more info @ http://www.wyeoakmusic.com/

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland |@shaynewithMWL| Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Vetiver – The Errant Charm [NEW MUSIC]

New Vetiver: "Can't You Tell"

VETIVER return in late Spring with their fifth album, “The Errant Charm”, released 13th June on Bella Union records…

Photo by Alissa Anderson

“The Errant Charm” is a superb soundtrack for an afternoon idyll. Vetiver bandleader Andy Cabic spent hours wandering the streets around San Francisco’s Richmond District, listening to rough mixes, tinkering with lyrics and arrangements. The album opens with “It’s Beyond Me”, a slow boil of acoustic guitar and vintage keyboards over a roomy beat. Here you’ll encounter almost every sonic idea showcased on “The Errant Charm”, the album’s universe distilled into one vibrant song.

As the summery “Can’t You Tell” unfurls, you’ll begin to pinpoint some of the album’s unifying elements, the integration of drum machines and a washed-out, ambient guitar sound, peppered with jangly flourishes. Then there’s “Hard To Break”, the hazy, layered harmonies and sunlight-dappled guitar evoking fond memories of Fleetwood Mac circa 1982’s “Mirage”.

Cabic and producer Thom Monahan have already made four Vetiver records together and know each other’s aesthetics well. It was time to experiment more, which was why Cabic didn’t arrive at Monahan’s Los Angeles studio with many completed songs. Instead, they started with lots of loose ideas and fleshed out the best bits. In some instances, they augmented or edited parts by themselves, and at other junctures they waited until the remaining Vetiver players could convene in one place to contribute. Those full band performances figure prominently in the album’s driving midsection… “Right Away”, “Wonder Why”, “Ride, Ride, Ride”… each of these selections is more propulsive and rocking than the one before it. Certainly that was Cabic’s intention for The Errant Charm, to push the dynamic range of Vetiver to previously unheard extremes.

The Errant Charm… Errant as in wayward, elusive. Wandering but not lost. Within that wandering, all manner of treasures waiting to be uncovered, and new ones that surface with each listen.

Find out more @ http://vetiverse.com/
By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland |@shaynewithMWL| Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Alexander Ebert “Alexander” [MUSIC][ALBUM][VIDEO]

I had the pleasure of attending Lollapalooza in Chicago’s Grant Park last August.  It’s a massive music festival and they booked many bands I had heard or heard of with national headliners such as Lady Gaga, Green Day, The Strokes and Arcade Fire topping the bill over the course of three awesome days.  Now imagine a wooded hollow surrounded by trees with a relatively small stage (compared to the main stages) tucked away.  This is where I got my first taste of the psychedelic pop/ folk rock of Edward Sharpe and the Magenetic Zeros.  I had obviously heard about them (I don’t live under a rock). They were easily one of the biggest draws of the weekend for the indie folk lovers like myself.  Their song “Home” is being played all over the place and is usually people’s first introduction to the band.  Surprisingly though,  Edward Sharpe as I came to know him is actually Alexander Ebert and he recently released a solo offering called “Alexander”.

Alexander Ebert – Let’s Win

If you like Edward Sharpe’s debut release called “From Below” it’s easy to be drawn to this record.  There is however major differences in sound and feel on this record than when Alexander plays with his band.  “Alexander” for the most part is a quiet and light record.  Mostly acoustic with elements of clapping and even breathing gives this record a very organic feel which I’m sure Ebert was going for from the start.  It doesn’t sound like a big party or a massive group effort like “From Below”.  Instead this record is very private and intimate.  One of the best tunes, which I guess could be considered the single, is called “Truth”.

Truth – Alexander Ebert

The feel of this record is very mellow and sonically simple.  With that said Ebert is definitely a lyricist to listen closely too.  He is very positive in his lyrics and music.  Love and love lost, peace and more love are all evident themes in Ebert’s songs.  These themes set to old school folk rhythms and simple guitar licks produces familiar sounds to most but with Ebert’s voice soaring over the spoons, shakers and washboards (let alone the rest of the band) Alexander’s tenor takes a chance to make these songs his own and give us great sounding music.

In The Twilight – Alexander Ebert

I really like this record because of its simplicity.  This record has an awesome rootsy feel to it.  His voice, the melodies and harmonies alone are a great reason to check this record out.  If you want to hear positively driven good old fashion folk rock, tune your ears to “Alexander.  It’s available on iTunes HERE.  Ebert doesn’t have any solo dates up on his solo page, but Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros are about to head out on the road with Mumford and Sons this summer for limited dates as well as some European dates.  All that good stuff is HERE.

Here’s the last track from “Alexander.”  Enjoy.

Let’s Make a Deal To Not Make A Deal – Alexander Ebert

By: Steve Rippin | Beat-Play Ambassador Los Angeles | @stevewithMWL|Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Music of Mullingar [PLAYLIST]

Eleven track selection from Irish bands based in the midlands town of Mullingar, Westmeath

Featuring :

The Aftermath

The Aftermath are an Irish mod/pop rock band, currently based in Mullingar. They are composed of brothers Johnny (guitar, keys, vocals) and Michael Cronin (drums, percussion, samples, vocals), both of whom are originally from Longford but raised in Leeds, UK, as well as Mullingar guitarist, Justin McNabb and bassist Martin Gray. The Aftermath released their debut album, Friendlier Up Here on 25 April 2008

My Photos by

Innate

Innate emerged from Mullingar in 1999 and since then they have proved as impossible to pin down as mercury. Innate are centred around 4 members: FRANK BYRNE on vocals and guitar, ROSS KENNEDY on drums, NIALL MASTERSON on bass and JOHNNY OWENS on guitar, vocals and occasionally, violin. Innate sound exactly like a band should, with guitar sounds that slip between the maudlin and fury, a fluid and sublime rhythm section and vocals to raise the hairs on the back of your neck. Many have tried to pigeonhole Innate onto a previously heard template, but the reality is Innate are in a league of their own, one where comparisons count for nothing and the music counts for everything.


Peter Doran

Peter’s been honing his own craft since age 11, when, inspired by his cousin’s heavy metal albums, he first picked up the guitar. (Music is in the family lineage; his father also plays guitar and writes songs, and an uncle, Anthony Doran, is the bassist for platinum-selling band the Blizzards.) After a few years of high-velocity shredding, Peter “became less interested in the speed of the notes, but in their character instead.” In 2006 he released Wood, a rich collection of startlingly mature songs heralded by leading music publication Hot Press as “an admirable debut that should open doors and minds.”

In 2009 Peter was contacted by acclaimed Italian producer Filippo Gaetani, who had heard one of the singer-songwriter’s demo tracks online and was eager to collaborate.
“Peter has the capability of moving your soul with simple yet profound lyrics, and his vocal tone and melodies are uncommon,” raves Gaetani, who has worked with Andy Bell, Stefano Bollini, and Adrina Thorpe.  Sleepless Street is the glorious result, a gorgeous, multi-layered work by a gifted artist swiftly gaining ground on the paths of his idols.


Darragh J Glennon

Darragh J. Glennon has been crafting and performing his alternative music since the age of fifteen, sharing the stage with the likes of Fionn Regan, Declan O’ Rourke and Brendan Benson (The Raconteurs).

Since beginning his travels, performing with Mullingar band ‘Triega’, Darragh went on to release the singles ‘For My Love’, ‘Smile’ and ‘I’m on the Way’. His debut album ‘Detour’ was released in 2009.

The new album is nearing completion and is due for release in 2011


Crimson

Crimson are Fergal O’Rourke – Lead Vocals & Rhythm Guitar, Kevin Leech – Bass Guitar, Aidan O’Rourke – Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals, Kieran O’Rourke – Drums.
Crimson, a four piece rock band hailing from County Westmeath, Ireland. After paying tribute to their heroes as a covers group, Crimson left the covers circuit and began writing their own material. Supporting many bands, Crimson’s fan base is rapidly growing throughout the country. Crimson have recently launched their debut album “Untamed/Underground/Unwell” which is available in selected E2 and Eason stores and will is also available on iTunes.


Arrow in the Sky

Formed from the ashes of folktronica ensemble Till the Morning Comes, bassist turned singer Conor McCauley returns from his Japanese exile to work once again with longtime collaborator Brian Murphy. Six months later and they would shape the new/ancient sound that was haunting their heads into debut Ep Do What Thou Wilt.

Flash Forward a year and the duo are getting set to unleash their sophomore EP, Winter’s Requiem. The EP is a celebratory funeral mass, a farewell to the past and a heartfelt greeting to the future.

The sound live can be likened to other harmony laden song driven artists such as CSN and Simon Garfunkel or more contemporary artists such as My Morning Jacket Fleet Foxes and Bowerbirds.With an arsenal of traditional instruments doing very untraditional things strange and boundless vocals soaring then cascading AITS have created a world and sonic imagery all of their own. Weaving an aural tapestry of folk, blues, alt-rock into their own unique blend of Irish-Americana.


We Go Go

We Go Go are a four piece alternative rock band from the Irish midlands musical hotbed of Mullingar. Formed in March 2009 from the remains of other projects, the band’s profile has risen steadily in the intervening months, playing shows the length and breadth of Ireland and gaining a reputation as an incendiary live act. Combining powerful angular guitar lines, pounding drums and tight harmonies, the band’s debut single Nitpicker released in October ’09 reached no.4 in the downloadmusic.ie weekly chart, and led to the band being just one of 20 unsigned Irish bands chosen for the 2010 JD Set.
After just finishing their first Irish tour in October 2010, the band are planning to release their next single ‘Clean up’, in the spring of 2011. Currently in the middle of a joint Irish tour with The Vibes. We Go Go are definately a band to keep one eye on!!


Jung Turks

With just classical guitar and drums for comfort, Jung Turks sound like the offspring of the White Stripes and Rodrigo y Gabriela; lost musical children who were reared in a South American gypsy camp by former Faith No More guitarist Jim Martin and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo, before being sent to boot camp with Frank Zappa, who in turn sent them to the bog where they dug turf and fusion music.’
quote by – Ronan Casey, Westmeath Examiner


Hail To Farewell

‘Hail To Farewell’ are a 4 piece prog rock band that formed in 2010. Since their launch onto the Irish music scene they’ve supported many amazing Irish acts including ‘Republic of Loose’ and ‘Fight Like Apes‘ and have many exciting things lined up for the future.

This powerful collaboration came about when long standing rhythm section partners , Tanya O‘Callaghan and Eoin Fitzsimons teamed back up after years of successful session work and projects.

Bassist Tanya O’Callaghan has gigged up and down the country with various musicians including a highly acclaimed session job with Maynard James Keana, front man with world renowned American band Tool which lead to working in USA for many months.

Established musician, Eoin Fitzsimons has been banging out the groves since the age of 16 and sessioned with many great bands around the country. He has also been apart of original bands such as Waiting To Explode.

This meteor nominated rhythm section joined forces with powerhouse vocalist Carolyn Cahill who has enjoyed great success performing in many of Irelands greatest music venues and on the IMRO Tour 2010. Her vocal range has not yet failed to wow audiences every time she performs.

The final piece of the jigsaw was to be completed in the form of Davy Blythe – long established session player who has gigged all over Ireland. His distinctive guitar sound was to complete this exciting and unique new Irish sound.

My Photos by

The Acid Test

Mike Cole

Mike Cole is a folk artist from the midlands who is currently writing and recording his first solo album (The profits of which are to be donated to charity). He began writing songs as soon as he could put 3 chords together at quite an early age. Over the years he has worked hard at the art of songwriting and played a number of gigs around Mullingar incorporating many instruments into the live show such as guitar, piano, harmonica and ukulele. His love of listening to music is matched only by his love of creating it so catch a live show or listen to his music online to get a sense of what this emerging songwriter rele has to offer.


By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC


James Vincent McMorrow – Early in the morning [Music]

James Vincent Mc Morrow released his debut record, Early in the Morning, in Ireland to widespread critical acclaim in March 2010. Recorded over 5 months in an isolated house by the sea, the album is a completely self recorded and played affair.

“This record was borne out of my desire to create something singular, take the simplest of chords, wrap them in washes of melody, so lines come in, they drop out, everything ebbs and flows as the songs move towards their inevitable end. I don’t sit down with an agenda when I write, I usually have a first line, and a vague sense in my head of where I’m going, but no real solid structure. Music tends to reveal itself to me over the course of weeks and months. It’s probably quite like sculpting, you have a chisel, you know what’s waiting for you inside the stone, all that’s left is to chip away the pieces and reveal it.”

“I always knew when I wrote this song that it would open the album” acknowledges James, “the lyric is very much about transition, about change. That is definitely the underlying theme that ties it all together. The last 2 years that preceded this record being made involved some of the greatest change I’d ever experienced, physical, emotional, and spiritual. When I write lyrics they come together in a pretty uncoordinated way, lines get written, slowly link up until a story reveals itself. It was only when I was finished that I looked back and saw the words for what they were, realized what they meant.”

James draws life from their writings because “they all examine the darker less spoken about aspects of life, solitude, disillusionment. I’m not one for defining a lyric, or what it definitively means, but songs like ‘follow you down to the red oak tree’, ‘from the woods’, and ‘down the burning ropes’ are certainly me exorcising the underside of my personality. The characters I create in those songs, the ones existing in the shadows, they are all elements of me for sure”

“I do want the music to be played how it is on the record, I dream in vivid Technicolor when it comes to my songs, not just black and white. I hear it with drums and horns and accordions and banjos and anything else that can be hit or strummed! Playing on my own right now is beautiful because it allows me to connect on a very primitive level, but I’d like to be in a place soon where I can be surrounded with friends on stage to share this with me”

“Music to me is this fluid notion, I’ve captured one element of it with this album, but there are endless others out there to be sung and written about”

find out more about James here – http://www.jamesvmcmorrow.com/

By: Shayne Byrne | Beat-Play Ambassador Ireland | @shaynewithMWL | Music Without Labels & Beat-Play, LLC

Peter Doran – Sleepless Street [ALBUM]

Sleepless Street Cover Art

Location : Ireland

This his 2nd album was captured at a number of fine recording facilities throughout Ireland, Europe and America. making this a truly global album in every sense of the word. with great performances and lyrics, this album is an instant hit with listeners. with stand out tracks like The Composer, Sleepless Street & opening track Hunter’s Sketches.

Photography by Luke Danniells

Check out more from Peter @ http://www.peterdoran.com/ including Livestream gigs and video diary of album recording