- 05 Feb 21
A reason to be cheerful in this extended lockdown 3.0: Bandcamp Fridays are here to stay until May. We love to be able to support local artists, so go visit Bandcamp and show them some love. Here is a roundup of some of the more unique Irish releases, in celebration of the streaming juggernaut waiving their revenue fees for 24 hours, to give artists 100% of the profits from their releases.
'WASTE MATERIAL' is the "aneurysm inducingly clever title of a monthly instrumental series" from Soft Boy Records' Wastefellow. "The first installment contains three big wonky beats, designed for the colossal soundsystem we're all currently dreaming about," says the Bandcamp page. It's excellent stuff.
Pared back, lo-fi sounds from one of Dublin's greatest wordsmiths, folk-rock fans won't be disappointed by Keenan's offerings from his kitchen. "It was a joy playing in headspace," the inimitable artist writes underneath this release that fuses raw poetry with Keenan's stunning vocal.
One of our favourite alt-folk artists, Belfast-based Joshua Burnside fuses traditional Irish music with his own unique brand of alternative rock. He's combined some previous releases (his own compositions and some stunning renditions of traditional folk songs) on a limited edition, signed CD made especially for this Bandcamp Friday. You can purchase for €10. It's a sublime collectors item for anyone who enjoys Burnside's brooding lyricism and stellar musicianship.
Limerick-based rapper and poet Denise Chaila released her debut mixtape last year to widespread critical acclaim. The album was given a near-perfect score by Hot Press, and the rapper has enjoyed huge, thoroughly deserved amounts of success since its release. For those old-school types who prefer analog to digital (and still have cassette players!), the pharaoh of Irish rap has her mixtape on an actual tape.
Fly High Society began as a club night in 2011, but have since evolved into a record label and radio station. Aratita Electronic Jazz Quintet have returned to the Fly High camp to deliver their unique strain of jazz prophecies, synthesized using future technologies thru the lens of Irish folk tradition. Following hot on the heels of 2 EPs (Deosil & Sinnen) and a feature on the FHS Vol 2 sampler, all in the last 5 months, the mysterious 5-piece are setting out their stall and proving themselves to be a juggernaut of the new jazz frontier.
'At Seventeen' was released in 1975 by American singer-songwriter Janis Ian. The song featured on her seventh studio album, Between the Lines, and was written about feelings of alienation when growing up – it centred on her experiences of adolescence between the ages of 12-14. "I was invited to record two tracks for Sunday With Miriam on RTÉ Radio 1," Limerick singer-songwriter Emma Langford explains, and 'At Seventeen' was one of those two. The initial radio mix was created by Ben Wanders and captured the atmosphere of a live in-studio performance; this single mix was produced by my long-term collaborators Chris O'Brien and Graham Murphy. I would like to thank Janis Ian for her permission and blessing in releasing this cover of her beautiful song."