Entries for February 2010

Articles

22
Valerie Francis
CLUAS fires some questions at Valerie Francis, creator of Choice Music Prize nominated album Slow Dynamo. Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? I wouldn't change a thing. I don't think it's good to think like that. We did exactly what we wanted to do at the time and we did it the best we could. I couldn't ask for anything more. I feel that making a record is capturing those songs right then and there. It's a moment and that is how they were meant to be in that moment. A musical Polaroid. I always wanted to make an album and it took a while to make it a reality. I had a few failed attempts at getting started. I think frustration turns into drive after a while. Jimmy [Eadie, the album's producer] is a good friend and I pretty much begged him to record my album. At that stage I just knew I needed to do it and I needed to get people involved who would see it through to the e... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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22
Sounds of System Breakdown
Sounds of System Breakdown, the electronic, pop, dance rock brain child of Rob Costello released their debut album in January. Cluas caught up with Rob Costello from the band for a few words just prior to the release to find out their plans. The Album was launched on the 27th Jan. Is it a culmination of songs built up over the last three years or new stuff? Is most of the work a product of the group or are there solo tunes from Rob that were worked on after you became a three-piece? The album is a mix of old and new, some of it dating back to 2005. The songs were mostly written by me but the arrangements on the album were very much influenced by our work on the live show as a three piece. Bands tend to get grouped and packaged nowadays it seems, every group has to have a trendy genre tag attached. Industry and media folks call you guys electro-punk, is that fair do you think? Do you see yourselves as electro? Or as a band who play and write lots of songs that don't consti... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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22
The 2010 Choice Music Prize nominees
Now in its fifth year, the Choice Music Prize is well established as a key milestone on the Irish music scene's calendar. The albums shortlisted for this year's prize represent a diverse and intriguing mix of Irish releases of the last year. The winner will be announced in Vicar Street on 3 March 2010 (8 of the 10 nominated acts are confirmed to play on the night). Always going that extra 1609 metres for its readers, CLUAS prepared a set of questions for each act nominated for the 2009 award. We've so far gotten replies from 6 of the 10 acts, check out the links below to see what each act had to say: Interview with Valerie Francis (nominated for her album 'Slow Dynamo') Interview with Dark Room Notes (nominated for their album 'We Love You Dark Matter') Interview with Adrian Crowley (nominated for his album 'The Season of the Sparks') Interview with Laura Izibor (nominated for... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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20
Dark Room Notes
CLUAS fires some questions at Darragh of Dark Room Notes, the creators of the Choice Music Prize nominated album We Love You Dark Matter. Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? Well the album was a important for us as it helped us say "OK this is where we're at, let's put out these songs that we've road tested at gigs, record them as best we can and start writing for a second album, let's keep moving forward".  So we recorded live, a track a day over 14 days and kept a momentum in the studio of "this is a nearly live album". The response has been amazing and the album is now getting a global release on BBE records, we've already started writing the second album, what we would change on We Love you Dark Matter? The original art work was banned, that was a shame.   Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received? ... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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20
Adrian Crowley
CLUAS fires some questions at Adrian Crowley, creator of the Choice Music Prize nominated Season of the Sparks. Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? I had already begun writing songs for Season Of The Sparks by the time Long Distance Swimmer was released. I recorded it over the course of fourteen days in Dublin. I'd head over to the studio on the 121 bus with a plan for the day ahead. It seemed to come together easily and I had a clear vision of how I wanted it to sound. I try and develop the songs as much as I can outside the studio so when it came to recording the songs they were down in pretty much one take. The response has been great with reviews and general good will coming from previously unexplored territories thanks to a new record deal with an amazing label. I'm still proud of the album and can't say there's anything about it I would alter. I'll soon be think... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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20
Laura Izibor
One of the nominees for the 2010 Choice Music Prize CLUAS fires some questions at Laura Izibor, creator of Choice Music Prize nominated album Let The Truth Be Told. Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? There was no real concept involved in making the album. I was just a 17 year old girl writing songs in her bedroom about real & honest things. I wouldnt changed a thing. Let The Truth Be Told captured a very pure and timeless part of my life. Award nominations aside, were you happy with the response the album received? I was extemely happy with the response to the album. So many people connnected to it and that is all you can ask for as an artist. How relevant do you think music awards really are to musicians and music fans? I think its always nice to receive any recognition for your hard work especially when it is from such a credible awards as Choice Music P... [Read on]
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15
Midlake (live in Dublin)
Midlake (live in Vicar Street, Dublin) Review Snapshot: Everything from the way the instruments sounded to the almost perfect set list, it was a night to remember.  Vicar Street was the perfect venue for this walking anachronism. Bigger than their previous Dublin venue (the Village) but not so big that it made us feel like strangers to them. Midlake: another act for concert lovers to add to the list of bands who are great live. The Cluas Verdict? 9 out of 10 Full Review: The opening act, Texan woman Sarah Jaffe, was the perfect warm-up for the main act. Her tones smooth and inviting, the drums a harsh and exciting contrast. The crowd of mainly students in grungy jumpers was only just beginning to form.  Shortly after her set Midlake ambled on. Unassuming, shy, even awkward, there was a real sense that the crowd’s welcome was unexpected. Their previous Dublin gig drew a much smaller crowd (which guitarist and vocalist Eric Pulidio joke... [Read on]
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15
A review of the album 'Two Suns' by Bat for Lashes Review Snapshot: ‘Two Suns’, released by Bat for Lashes in April 2009, was recently nominated for a Brit award. From the first song a haunting sound, almost hymnal at times, is created. It's not an initial jaw dropper of an album however it will grow on you. Soon enough you’ll find yourself wandering around humming the songs off this album unknowingly. Lyrically beautiful and musically underrated, it is deserving of much more praise than it has received. An album that rightly propels this songstress into the limelight.  The Cluas Verdict? 8 out of 10 Full Review: Bat for Lashes is a one woman show; Natasha Khan is the singer/ songwriter and multi instrumentalist behind the name and she recently received a much deserved nomination for Best British Female Solo Act at the 2010 Brit awards. ‘Two Suns’ - her second album - was released back in April 2009 and slowly, but surely, has been rising in popularity. I’ve grown to love i... [Read on]
Posted in: Album reviews
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13
Jenny Huston
2FM DJ and broadcaster Jenny Huston wrote a book profiling Irish bands and artists on the up. The book is filled with interviews on how they got there, got dropped, got signed again and split - before getting back together in some cases! It’s an enjoyable read and essential for both folks with an interest in Irish artists, as well as budding artists who will soon discover music as a career choice isn’t all glamour. Was the book a long time coming? Was it a long time work in progress or something that occurred to you as something you’d love to do? I was approached by Jo O'Donoghue (editor) from Currach Press in December 2008 asking me would I be interested it writing a book on emerging bands.  It was not something I had ever thought of doing. I gave it serious thought over Christmas and said yes in January.  Work started in February 2009, so it took the best part of nine months to complete.  I wanted to celebrate the various bands successes and... [Read on]
Posted in: Interviews
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13
The Duckworth Lewis Method
On their Choice Music Prize nominated album The Duckworth Lewis Method CLUAS fires some questions at The Duckworth Lewis Method, creators of Choice Music Prize nominated album The Duckworth Lewis Method. Answered by Thomas Walsh (a.k.a. Duckworth). Tell us about the album - its conception, creation, response... Is there anything you'd go back and change about it now? It is a 'cricket pop' album, was conceived for fun and laughter, created through sheer bloodymindedness, sweat, toil and a dollop of talent here and there and the response has been phenomenal. Especially in the U.K where it spent 6 weeks in the album charts reaching the number 40 position (the week Micko Jackson popped his ivory clogs too). The only thing I'd change is one 'Am' chord but I won't tell you where or on which song that would be. How relevant do you think music awards really are to musicians and music fans? The pertinence of music awards is double edged. On... [Read on]
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