Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Tune of the Week – “Turn the Magic On”

At the time of writing, 157 Irish albums have been released in 2008. It’s Choice Music Prize prep time round these parts at the moment. We’re doing it all again – rounding up judges, tallying the albums, booking the hall, …

Thu, Oct 9, 2008, 09:26


At the time of writing, 157 Irish albums have been released in 2008.

It’s Choice Music Prize prep time round these parts at the moment. We’re doing it all again – rounding up judges, tallying the albums, booking the hall, getting the dates sorted, all that jazz. My soundtrack for this week’s spadework has been a slew of homegrown albums which have built up while I was away on my holidays and the more I listen to these new arrivals, the more I realise that this has been quite a bumper year on the local front.

The latest ones to make me go wow? That R.S.A.G. album “Organic Sampler”. Ridiculously infectious. I mean, ridiculous. Drumming dude called Jeremy Hickey from Kilkenny making the most funky out-there pop album you’ll hear in an age. It’s like Elvin Jones hooking up with Talking Heads. Yeah, that good. And, thanks to numptie boy here managing to ignore one of the CDs because he thought it was just a CD-R with photos and artwork, I’ve the second half of this double-album to indulge myself in today.

Katie Kim, you got to hear her. Straight out of Waterford, burning up the blues and making tunes for snakecharmers to ply their wares. The album is called “Twelve” even though there are just 10 songs on it. Maybe it’s counting like that which did for the Waterford hurlers this year? Anyway, a glorious, glorious slew of bang on-the-money slightly not-there pop. Album was funded by the Waterford City Council too. The south-east, it’s the new Canada.

And then, there’s Armoured Bear. A little Panda Bear and a little Grizzly Bear from the wilds of west Cork, “Honeycomb Moons” is dreamy pop to send you tripping. Songs here which will get under your skin and stay there like a tattoo. Liking this loads too.

But the best tune I’ve heard in yonks is to be found on the latest album from Messiah J & The Expert. Album number three from the Dublin duo is called “From The Word Go” and it’s really the sweetest thing they’ve ever done. MJEX have got to this juncture in their time at their own steam. Album number one wasn’t great, album number two was a great leap forward and album number three is the sound of them realising that hey, they do run this game. It’s bursting at the seams with breezy, cocky gusto, two young guns (and assorted friends) just going for it. Bet they’ll get a good laugh out of that line.


See, told you so.

Anyway, slap bang in the middle of the album is “Turn the Magic On”. It’s sunnysideup pop with a banging Premier League hook thanks to vocalist Leda Egri (girl, you got to get your own freak on). It’s a tune which Ian Dempsey, Rick O’Shea, Alison Curtis, Tony Fenton, Ray Foley, Nikki Hayes, Jenny Greene, Dan Hegarty, hell, every DJ at every music station in the land should be playing off the air. It sounds like a tune which has had hundreds of thousands of dollars lavished on it in the studio, but probably cost less to produce than Jigga’s daily cigar allowance.

You can hear the track here. Yeah, it’s just a snippet (if anyone knows where the track is streaming in full, please let me know in the comments below) but if you like it, buy it. The album is out next week (October 17) and MJEX will be visiting a town near you this month or next month or even the month after that.

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