New artist of the week: Versatile
What: The comedic rap duo are already huge.
Why: The big winners of Electric Picnic earlier this month, (other than Dua Lipa) were two Dublin lads, Alex "Eskimo Supreme" Sheehan and Casey "Casper" Walsh, who have been building up a big reputation over the last four years with comedic rap songs about selling heroin, robbing dogs and beating up guards.
Those crude and catchy songs are accompanied with millions-viewed music videos on YouTube under the name Outburst Pal that have elevated those songs to a notoriety that has since seen them headline Life Festival, sell out the Olympia and draw thousands to their Electric Picnic set this year.
Ketamine, an exhilarating track and video released earlier this year, encapsulates Versatile's duality of brilliance and crassness. The song's production features early rave synths and well-placed percussion over seven minutes while Casey and Alex rinse quotable and questionable lines about being "paro off me head", and the refrain of "get a half ounce of the sneachta". In-between there are lines that signify a deeper substance ("I just want someone to love me / It's never gonna happen,") and Casey goes full into a Eminem-style revenge fantasy ("Your da wants a go, oh we have a new challenger / squeeze him by the neck til he looks like an avatar').
It’s that dichotomy (along with lame jokes involving wheelchairs and “sweeping junkies legs”) that make Versatile difficult to fully support if you’re a moral adult.
Yet, there’s no doubt that Alex “Eskimo Supreme” Sheehan and Casey “Casper” Walsh are clever and talented performers with a developing visual ambition that few non-comedic acts can match. Right now, they are close to transcending the cheap laughs.
You have to hear this... Join Me In The Pines – Bad Blood
Bell X1's Dave Geraghty's side project has found the musician exploring electronic pop vibes, a contrast to Join Me In The Pines' debut 2014 record which was more folk singer-songwriter focused. Bad Blood revels in its harmonic refrain and the sonic possibilities that expansion brings. A second album is promised before the year is out alongside some full-band nationwide dates in November.
You have to hear this... Thom Yorke – Suspirium
Thom Yorke has described working on the soundtrack of the upcoming remake of Italian horror film Suspiria as like "casting spells". Our first listen into the world he has created in response to the film is certainly enchanting and ominous. The elegiac piano waltz of Suspirium wisely sidesteps the original's iconic and dark prog rock soundtrack by Goblin.