Dotty View: Adam Geraghty – Revolve EP

At just 14 years of age, Irish musician Adam Geraghty has single-handedly written, recorded, performed and produced his début EP, Revolve, at his own home. It was released in December of 2012, and the first single, Oval Mirror, was released from the EP on 13th March of this year.

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Geraghty has been playing guitar since he was 9 years old, and it didn’t take long for him to discover what felt natural to him. Adam cites some of his favourite musicians as Rory Gallagher, Neil Young and The National. With a musical taste like that to influence his own music, plenty of inspiration from the small town he lives in, and the drive to successfully complete his own EP at such a young age, Geraghty has what it takes to go far if he continues pushing.

I’m listening to these songs and thinking back to when I was 14 – there’s no way I’d have had it in me to do anything of that level at that age, in whatever field. Adam’s got an innate talent, and the confidence to make him try things that most 14 year old lads wouldn’t even consider. That in itself is to be admired and respected.

On top of that, he has managed to capture within his songs a very individual style, a certain desperation and level of emotion is there which you can’t learn – it’s just natural.

Oval Mirror starts out with a scratchy, electronic, psychedelic sound, it quickly builds, not unlike something you’d have heard from Pink Floyd, then moves into a bluesy guitar with a much slower pace. In come Geraghty’s vocals, and then his harmonies – that is the only part of the song that doesn’t do it for me. I’m not really sure why the high notes are there, and for me they don’t really compliment the song, which is a shame as otherwise it’s ace.

Next up is Watch It Grow, a mix of folk and blues, and his voice suits that style. I like the almost echoey sound of the vocals, and the layers of harmonies. The psychedelic feel also continues through this song – it’s a unique mix.

Track 3 is called Sticks and Mud. This is a more traditional, almost country style – it reminds me of someone else, but I can’t quite put my finger on who it is! The lower voice in the background is quite a similar idea to what Pokey LaFarge does for Jack White on I Guess I Should Go To Sleep. It’s a gentle, lilting acoustic tune – for me, it could do with having a little more “oomph”, but what that would involve, I don’t quite know!

Last on the EP is Silence to the Flames. It’s been described as being “similar to Explosions in the Sky, whilst still remaining unique” by Musical Magnificence blog. This is by far the strongest track on the EP – I hope Adam does more songs along these lines, as this could well be the formula that works best for him. This is single release material, in my opinion.

Adam Geraghty

As I said, what Adam Geraghty has achieved here at such a young age is to be commended – he’s got potential, and skill, and the motivation to go far. I’m looking forward to hearing what else he’s got up his sleeve!

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Buy the EP on iTunes or bandcamp.

Adam also writes reviews – this is his Tumblr blog.

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Dotty View: Kismet Ryding

Grimsby based band Kismet Ryding have described their style as being “psychedelic garage sounds of the 60’s with a modern day kick up the arse.” I’d agree with this – they have all the energy any good rock band should have, and it comes out directly through their music, making the listener feel as if they should be in a shoulder to shoulder crowd, covered in beer (just beer, hopefully…!) and jumping up and down at the appropriate moments!

I’ve not seen these guys live, but I have watched videos of gigs by them. I reckon they own the stage, and the crowd, with Freeman’s natural charisma and strong vocal, and the strength in the music and presence provided by the rest of the band. Some people are just born to be on stage!

Their debut 3-track EP, released a couple of years ago, is indicative of Kismet Ryding’s style. Awesome guitar riffs, hefty drum beats with plenty of cymbal action going on, indie style vocals and lyrics, and bluesy bass punctuating it all. Serenity is a highlight for me – think Paul Weller, think Oasis, think Summer evenings sitting in the garden drinking beer with your mates… definitely my favourite out of the three songs.

Hangin'

Hangin’, from the first EP:

A very cool start, and a great precursor to what is to come next…

The new EP is now up for grabs to pre-order (mine’s on order already!). I’ve had the honour of a listen to the new material, and if, like me, you thought the older songs were good, then this will blow your mind. Also, it’s on VINYL! That is ace. Get it.

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Track one, Last Night’s Stains, is massive – I am straight away aware that the band have honed their skills, and sharpened up on absolutely everything. The bass is more audible, the production is infinitely improved, the vocals are stronger, the guitar is bluesier… this is AWESOME.

The next two songs, Coming Up and Good Good Way, are slightly more prog rock in style, with hints of rock n roll in there. There is plenty of energy going on here – I’m reminded of Kula Shaker, maybe crossed with Led Zep! A great combo, in my opinion.

Most Famous has me thinking of The Black Keys – the guitar sound is pure blues. I love how the song builds up and drops off so often, and I adore the layers going on. The lyric “We’ve come a long long way from home” sung in that tone of voice is perfect.

The penultimate tune, Look See Don’t TRIP is loud, energetic, fast, and if you’re not up and dancing (and possibly playing air guitar…) to this, I’ll be very surprised indeed!

I first listened to Hope and Glory on a live video on YouTube, and thought it would be worthy of being recorded – it’s my absolute favourite on this EP. It’s got it all – spangly guitar (and a solo), a rising drum beat, varied paces throughout… “Well I forgot to remember all we did in the past, and I saw right through you, I know I’m not gonna last.” This is a proper, full on, indie rock tune, and the perfect way to end this great EP.

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You know what? You need this band in your life. Here’s how to achieve that…

On Sunday 2nd June theonlinefestival.com presents The North Descends – A Camden Day Out, and Kismet Ryding will be on the lineup. Doors open at 2pm, the venue is The Horse Hospital, Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, Camden. Completely free entry! There is a coach arranged from Grimsby for the princely sum of £25 – get in there quick if you want to be on it!

Kismet Ryding are:

Mike Freeman – Frontman
Josh Humphreys – Guitar
Tom Humphreys – Bass
Jazz White – Drums

Website/EP pre-order

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Dotty View: Plum Nellie

Plum Nellie drum

Plum Nellie are Sam Dean and Joe Glossop, who write and record music they love, inspired by great musicians from rock n roll, blues, soul, country, prog, and 60s pop backgrounds.

The first song I listened to was Let My Love In:

This song has a distinct Elvis Presley vibe about it – there’s something wonderfully simple about their music. I don’t think it’s easy to pull off a country blues style in this day and age. Some people might consider this to verge on the easy listening side of things, so I hope they aren’t judged by this one song, as I’m sure they are capable of proving those individuals wrong!

Plum Nellie both

Infact, they definitely are… Plum Nellie now have an EP on Soundcloud – four songs long, it shows exactly what they’re about.

Track one, Tomorrow (You’re On Your Own), is a fairly slow number, with gorgeous bluesy guitar,  and a voice that has without a doubt been inspired by Joe Cocker. A great start.

You Can’t Tell Me wouldn’t be out of place at a jive! It’s really fun, and the mixture of funky Hammond sounding keys really make the song. I love the end when it speeds right up – this would really get a crowd up on their feet and dancing! The all important gravelly vocals are still there, too.

The next song, I Can’t Believe You’re Leaving Me, is another ballad, but also encompasses a few “la la la” moments along with the general melancholy feel to the song – a mix you probably wouldn’t expect, but the country crossed with pop definitely works here.

Lastly is Call It What You Will, the start of which is very Johnny Cash! This is a great song which will make you click your fingers and nod your head, at the very least! Incidentally, there is the addition of a female vocal from the beautiful Georgia Black, who provides wonderful harmonies. I love this song – it’s my favourite from the EP.

I reckon there are loads of people out there who would agree with me about this band – Plum Nellie tackle genres that not many artists attempt these days, and what’s more, you can tell it comes naturally to them. They get kudos for that from me! Also, the fact that they are men with long hair, and at least one of them wears flares is A Good Thing, but that’s totally off topic!

Sam Hare, Plum Nellie's guitarist

Sam Hare, Plum Nellie’s guitarist

 

These guys are only just starting out, so give them a chance – I’m hoping they’ll get some gig dates sorted soon!

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Dotty View: The Boy In The Attic

Formed in 2010 in Wexford, Ireland, rock band The Boy In The Attic have taken inspiration from hard rock and prog rock to form a sound that works for them. They’ve been busy over the last three years getting their name onto the market through gigs, and are gradually building up a fan base. They released their eponymous EP in 2011, and will be bringing their album out this year, along with a new video.

The Boy In The Attic

I’d put them in the same area musically as RATM and QOTSA – they’ve got that typical hard rock band shoutiness, hefty drum beats, plenty of bass and prominent, sometimes quirky, guitar riffs galore. Oddly enough, perhaps, I can also hear elements of Placebo’s style in there – maybe it’s the vocals when Murphy stops being quite so cross sounding! There’s definitely an eclectic mixture of genres going on, and it kinda works!

My favourite song of theirs from the EP has to be Step Into The Future – it’s more bluesy, and the heavy bass carries the song through really well. The drum beat is intense, and I love how they aren’t forgotten as they so often are.

For me, I am not too keen on Drop Your Disguise – I like to be able to understand lyrics when I’m listening, and because I can’t find them online, I don’t know what the verses are about. That’s purely personal preference, though. I appreciate the music, and the calmer vocals when they happen… Have a listen and judge for yourself!

My other favourite from the EP is Winding Stairs, which reminds me a little of Foo Fighters – it’s a slower rock song with everso slightly shoutier verses. This is good stuff, people!

If you’re into the heavier side of rock, then this is the band for you! I’m looking forward to hearing the new material and finding out how it compares.

The Boy In The Attic Are:

Danny Murphy – Vocals
Paul Hogan – Guitar
Sean Savage – Drums
Philip Campbell – Bass

Upcoming gigs:

The Voodoo Lounge – May 24th 2013

Ballinamore Fringe Festival – August 24th 2013

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You can grab the songs from their EP for free on reverbnation.

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Dotty View: Josh Weller – Mr Hypochondriac

Josh Weller

25 year old Josh Weller describes his music as pop, cites Chet Baker as an influence, along with Paul Simon, Randy Newman and De La Soul. An eclectic mix indeed!

He’s spent many years working hard on his solo music after being in various bands, touring tiny venues, aswell as going on tour with various artists such as Mumford & Sons, Noisettes, Maccabees, Florence & The Machine and The xx.

Weller was on one occasion given the accolade of “Band Of The Day” by The Guardian back in 2008, has received lots of interest from online music blogs. In 2009, he released a single with his then girlfriend, Paloma Faith, called It’s Christmas and I Hate You.

He has been fortunate to have very recently toured with The Stereophonics (a friend who went alerted me to his existence, and implored me to listen), and soon afterwards released his EP, Mr Hypochondriac.

EP COVER

The title track is a quick paced acoustic song with country elements, and is about Josh’s self-professed hypochondria. Its clever, witty lyrics are superb – for me, the guitar could have brought more to the song, or maybe there could have been a cowbell or two in there… I jest. It’s a great little tune.

Cruella is fab – it sounds like it could be a Rihanna song, except it’s good (sorry, Rihanna…). The harmonies are great, and I love the twiddly notes on the guitar with the clapping in the background.

Next up is English Summer – this is lovely, Josh’s voice is soft and sensitive, and the song is hopeful and has a joyous sound, building up with the guitar and cymbals joining as the song goes on. “I fell in love in the rain in the English Summer” – gorgeous! I love it!

Don’t Run For Me is a song about a lost love… “You’d be lying if you said that you didn’t run from me, you sprint away or ignore me when you see me now.” I can feel the despair behind Weller’s voice. The guitar has been perfectly placed in vocal gaps, and adds to the melancholy, making the entire song wholly heartbreaking.

I Get Along Without You Very Well was originally composed by Hoagy Carmichael with lyrics based on a poem by Jane Brown Thompson. It’s previously been covered by Frank Sinatra and Billie Holliday to name but two, and of course Josh, now! He’s in great company there! It’s a beautifully sad song, and Josh’s voice compliments it perfectly. So gentle, and a lovely end to the EP.

The EP makes me wonder how Josh can describe his music as “pop” – it will definitely appeal to a lot of people, that’s for sure, but for me it’s more on the acoustic/alternative side of things, with hints of blues and jazz throughout. Who am I to define its genre, though? I like it, and so do many others, that’s all that matters! Josh talks about it at the end of the EP (track 6), as well as giving his review of Die Hard 5, among other things. He’s an amusing, quirky man, very friendly and personable. It was a cool thing for him to do!

The new single, I Forgot To Tell You You’re Beautiful, will be released on 1st July. This is an upbeat, catchy number which will you find yourself singing it for hours after hearing it! It was exclusively premiered on XFM on 12th May, and is now available to buy on iTunes.

Weller is celebrating his single release with a gig on 12th July at Sebright Arms, Hackney, London – tickets available here – as a bonus, the first 50 people who walk through the doors will be presented with a super rare signed CD of ‘Mr Hypochondriac EP’ ! Very nice, too!

A quick mention for another track on Weller’s Soundcloud, Swan Dive. Actually, I won’t talk about it, just listen and form your own opinion of this one… it’s sublime. I adore it. (OK, I talked about it a bit…!)

Josh will be playing at Bushstock on June 1st – see their website for details. 

Website (download the EP for free here)

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Dotty View: Firesuite – Red World

Alternative rock band Firesuite, who hail from Sheffield, have already experienced critical acclaim following the release of their début album ‘You’re An Ocean Deep, My Brother’ in March 2011. During that year, they played three Tramlines shows, and also had the fortune of recording two sessions for BBC Live.

The album is completely different to anything I’ve heard before – I mean, there are the shoegaze elements, the noisy drums, the scratchy guitars, but along with them a quirkiness I can’t really describe – the vocals and effects set this apart from your average indie band. It took me a couple of listens to start enjoying it, if I’m honest, but now feel it’s one of those albums I could immerse myself in.

The highlight for me is Sammy Davis Jr Jr. A song that immediately kicks in with Jack White sounding guitar, and encompasses a ridiculously fast drum beat with a great melody, interspersed with experimental electronica and shouty vocals that I don’t understand, before coming to an abrupt end. That’s not a genre I’m used to, or that I usually like, but this is the exception!

Red World

Moving on a couple of years, in November 2012, after releasing a single a month for three consecutive months, the band released their 5 track EP, Red World. They are now working hard to get their name out to a wider audience – they toured the UK in February of this year, and will no doubt be present on the festival scene over the Summer.

The EP starts off with Rabbit, which is slightly off the wall musically, with intruiging vocals and harmonies that make the song a little bit different. The changes in pace are interesting, and there’s a guitar solo – something you don’t find very much in music these days. It’s got a bluesy touch to it in places, which I really like.

Track 2, Undo, is generally much slower, and I really appreciate a band who can show they are capable of more than one style. There are acoustic sections, punctuated by a head nodding beat and crescendos of guitar throughout. It feels like a modern take on the rock ballad!

Red World, the title track, is probably my favourite from the EP. Starting with a lovely, gentle guitar riff which wouldn’t be out of place in a more standard indie track, it soon changes pace and a strangely compelling drum beat kicks in. It then slows right down, making you think it’s coming to an end, before raising up again with a fantastic guitar melody and Thom Yorke style vocals – heart-rending and beautiful.

The next song, Concave, changes genre almost completely. At the start it makes me think of Charlie Chaplin! It’s a much jazzier tune, but still has the strong, fast drum beats going on. This song confuses me a little, it’s slightly too mixed up for me, like it doesn’t quite know where it’s meant to be. Maybe this one will take you a few listens, that’s all I’m saying.

Finally is Had Enough. Why put a song with that title last, I ask you! With Sarah’s gorgeous, soulful vocals being more predominant here, this track has a melancholic feel to it. I love the prog rock feel to the guitars, and the way it builds to something huge and head-nodding. I bet this is incredible live!

I can’t wait to hear more from Firesuite – five songs simply aren’t enough!

Firesuite are:

Chris Anderson (vocals, guitar)

Chris Minor (bass)

Sarah Griffiths (vocals, guitar)

& Richard Storer (drums)

Bandcamp – buy the EP here

iTunes – buy the début album here

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Dotty Mixtures: Free For All! 18 May 2013

free for all

Artist Song
Squarepusher Come On My Selector
Funkadelic Free Your Mind And Your Ass Will Follow
Kylie Minogue Your Disco Needs You
A-Ha Summer Moved On
Chesney Hawkes The One And Only
Cliff Richard Wired For Sound
Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird
Pink Floyd Astronomy Domine
Fleetwood Mac Everywhere
Dory Previn Lady With The Braid
Talk Talk I Believe In You
Jeffrey & Jack Lewis Time Machine
Bill Wells & Aiden Moffat The Greatest Story Ever Told
John Smith Salty & Sweet
Neil Young Heart Of Gold
Cole Porter Anything Goes
Tom Waits Hope I Don’t Fall In Love With You
Interpol The Undoing
Suede Saturday Night
Cat Power Nothin’ But Time
Caitlin Rose Piledriver Waltz
St Etienne When I Was Seventeen
Valerie June Workin’ Woman Blues
The White Stripes Fell In Love With A Girl
Nine Inch Nails Every Day Is Exactly The Same
Frank Black Los Angeles
Knifeworld Clairvoyant Fortnight
Tame Impala Elephant
Pixies Where Is My Mind?
Nick Cave Fire Down Below
Richard Hawley Coles Corner
Richard & Linda Thompson I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight
The Byrds Chimes Of Freedom
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly Find The Time
The Vines Highly Evolved
Raveonettes Forget That You’re Young
The Jesus And Mary Chain Never Understand
The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart Strange
Calexico Not Even Stevie Nicks
Rilo Kiley I Never