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Made From Sand

While nobody was looking, a silent revolution happened in the Irish music scene. Out of the singer-songwriter pact and shoegazing electro posse, a cross-breed sprang up..

Rating: 7 ½ / 10

Tanya Sweeney, 30 Mar 2004



While nobody was looking, a silent revolution happened in the Irish music scene. Out of the singer-songwriter pact and shoegazing electro posse, a cross-breed sprang up, and among these wonderful mongrels are Cane 141, Random, The Tycho Brahe and Autamata. At the centre of this accident of cross-fertilisation were Alphastates, a prototype of sorts.

Despite their healthy live presence, a rather and unjust fate had befallen Alphastates, whereby success has seemed to be always just around the corner, slightly out of reach. They have been on the edge of the action for quite some time, eliciting neither feverish acclaim nor big advances. All that looks set to change. Buckle up, kids, and get ready to embrace your new favourite band.

The first string to their well-crafted bow is the startlingly unique vocal style of Catherine Dowling. Delivered in a strangely emotional and engaging, yet nonchalent way, Dowling’s vocals are breathy, catching in her throat as she delivers knowing and worldly tales about kissing girls and the like. It’s as sexy as fuck.

Add to that a multi-layered, delicately creative and innovative musical backdrop, and we’re really talking about something special. ‘Addicted’ and ‘Sometimes’ are both prime slices of accessible, lovingly crafted indie pop, and ‘Good Stuff’, as all great songs are wont to do, sticks in the head long after you’ve switched off the stereo.

One small step for Catherine Dowling and her cohorts, then… one giant leap – in the right direction – into a new dawn for the Dublin music scene.
Rating: 7 ½ / 10

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