Go north if you want to catch tomorrow's talent now
ON THE RECORD:AHEAD OF the third Belfast Music Week, it’s worth taking time to check the ongoing health of music in Northern Ireland.
Between the current success of Snow Patrol and Two Door Cinema Club worldwide and the numbers of new acts jostling for profile and position behind them, music from up there really does resonate far and wide. We may harp on about Ireland being a small country, but consider the size and population of the North – now that’s really punching above your weight.
What an event like Belfast Music Week does is to underline and emphasise what has been going on in the city over the past 20 years. Scenes do not simply appear out of the blue. It takes time, effort, sweat and heavy lifting behind the scenes to put the foundations in place. Sure, the bands have to write the hit tunes, hire the right management and sign the best possible deals, but you need a network with venues such as the Oh Yeah centre to be there in the first place.
If last year’s Music Week piggybacked on the MTV European Music Awards in order to make a splash, this year’s event is relying on a strong programme to attract attention. There are headline events such as the gig by Orbital, playing the city for the first time since they were favourites at David Holmes’s Sugarsweet 20 years ago, and the premiere of Gregg Houston’s Two Door Cinema Club flick, What We See.
But the real attraction of a festival like this is the opportunity it offers to catch the talent of tomorrow. Two new acts who come with an OTR recommendation are Soak – a 16-year-old Derry girl, Bridie Monds-Watson, who plays beautifully cast, folky pop – and Katharine Philippa – a Portadown musician and composer who spins minimal, soulful, graceful sounds.
* Belfast Music Week runs from November 4th to 11th. belfastmusic.org
From Manchester and formerly known as Slowdown, The 1975 specialise in dramatic, anthemic tunes which veer from plucking at the heartstrings to delivering atmospheric, thumping peaks. Fans of moody indie rock will happily clasp them to their bosoms.
The fact that Skrillex has signed and brought the Florida band on tour with him shows Sonny Moore is a man of exquisite taste. As this year’s debut album shows, Hundred Waters work soft-shoed electronics and folky whispers into a hugely alluring, engaging and winning combination.
Beguiling, bewitching and beautiful harmonies and melodies from Kyle J Reigle, the Buffalo, New York pro- ducer behind the excellent debut album, The Wilderness on Lefse. For fans of ambient noir-pop, Twin Peaks, haunted daydreams, Galaxie 500 and running through forests at dusk.
Benediction (Hot Creations)
The deep, soulful house anthem of the season.
Doo Wop (That Thing) (Noizy Cricket)
One of the best new MCs in the business has her way with Lauryn Hill’s classic. From her new Classick mixtape.
Children of Desire (Kartoga Works)
Tampa, Florida hardcore band take a giant step and make audacious, ambitious moves on their second album.
Aquatic (Hippos In Tanks)
One of the many highlights from Laurel Halo’s masterful live show at the Beatyard in Dublin last week. From her Hour Logic EP.
Got to Get Your Own (Instant)
Choice rare grooves from the soul, funk and jazz archives from Dawson Smith, Cymande, Mickey Murray, Reuben Wilson, Eddie Bo and many more.