Today Irish electro-folk duo Saint Sister release their debut album ‘Shape of Silence’. The album is inspired by the connections between people, and the conversations borne from figuring yourself out in relation to another person.
Of the album, Saint Sister say:-
“This record is the culmination of the past 4 years of making music together and navigating our 20s in Dublin. ‘Shape of Silence’ comes from an interest in the power and weight of silence - how heavy it can feel. It is a nod towards the use of space in our music; what can be said and felt in between the gaps.”
Saint Sister’s debut brilliantly presents their ability to create a unique blend of electronic, folk and pop. Exploration of the capabilities of the Irish harp - experimenting with effects and loops pedals and blending with subtle electronica - opened up the pathway to the sonic palette of this record. It opens with ‘The Beginning’; an elegant and ethereal track that celebrates the freedom and conspiratorial magic of a brand-new relationship (which we follow over the arc of the record). Next is ‘Twin Peaks’, a soundscape of luscious vocals and glistening Wurlizter, showcasing the bands skill in crafting relatable and honest lyrics. The start of the album feels more whimsical, optimistic and inquisitive but that atmosphere starts to change, and the songs begin to fracture becoming a little darker; more self-aware and lonelier while the relationship, which began with all the hope and promise of something new, becomes undone.
Tracks like ‘You Never Call’ and ‘Causing Trouble’ touch on themes of nostalgia and longing. The band embrace their Celtic roots with the stripped-back ‘Tir Eile’, meaning ‘Other Land’ in Irish, which powerfully displays their incredibly haunting vocals. ‘Steady’, one of their more electronically-influenced tracks sets extracts from author Kevin Breathnach’s ‘Tunnel Vision’ against a trip-hop infused breakbeat. The last track on the record, ‘The Mater’, offers a searing account of the pain and self-realisation that comes at the end of a relationship and the final act of self-isolation.
‘Shape of Silence’ was recorded with long term co-producer Alex Ryan of Hozier. Of the collaboration, the band says:
“We found a really good energy between the three of us, and over the course of the last three years have started trusting each other’s instincts a lot more and getting comfortable pushing the boundaries.”
‘Shape of Silence’ follows Saint Sister’s well-received debut EP ‘Madrid’, released in 2015. Title track ‘Madrid’ reached over 2 million streams and was playlisted through ‘Introducing’ on BBC Radio 1. The EP drew the attention of Lisa Hannigan who invited the band to open for her on the 20 date ‘At Swim’ European tour.
Saint Sister is Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre, hailing from the North of Ireland (Derry and Belfast respectively). The timing of their collaboration was key; having met in Dublin just after graduating from college, it became clear very early on that they were looking for the same thing. Bonding over their shared journey from north to south and a passion for music and words, teamed with the post-college confusion, they channelled all of their energy into the makings of a band.
To date, Saint Sister have amassed over 6 million streams combined.
Saint Sister are currently on tour around the US, Europe, Australia and UK. The band will be supporting Hozier on a number of his European tour dates included below:
Wednesday 21st November – Gasometer – Vienna, AT
Friday 23rd November – Verti Music Hall, Berlin, DE
Sunday 25th November – Sentrum Scene – Oslo, NO
Monday 26th November – Annexet – Stockholm, SE
Full tour dates can be found here
Hozier has released his new EP today, titled ‘Nina Cried Power’. Consisting of four brand new tracks written and performed by Hozier, the EP’s lead single and title track features legendary soul/gospel singer Mavis Staples, with iconic musician Booker T Jones on organ.
Single ‘Nina Cried Power’ channels the raw spirit and energy of protest and social activism. In the song, Hozier name-checks several iconic artists, activists and proponents of the civil rights movement whose messages, activism and artistry contributed to change through protest. Those mentioned in the track’s lyrics include (among others) Joni Mitchell, John Lennon, James Brown, the song’s namesake Nina Simone, and Mavis Staples - whose peerless vocals feature on the track too.
Of the single, Hozier says:-
“The song was written sometime last year, my aim was to credit the actuality of hope, solidarity and love found in the human spirit at a time when their opposites were being given a mainstream platform 24/7. The song started as a tongue-in-cheek inquiry into modern popular language regarding political awareness and grew from there.
In many ways the song is a thank you note to the legacy of artists from the 20th Century whose work still inspires us, and whose well we draw from in times of uncertainty. Mavis Staples is one such artist. Getting to work with her on this song was a joy, and nothing short of a dream come true.”
Mavis Staples says:-
“Oh, Nina is gonna wake the world up. Such a huge sound it could shake the Earth, filled with soul, passion, and fire, and it channels the struggles of some of my contemporaries. I’m telling you when you hear it, it’s going to drive you to rise up.”
The ‘Nina Cried Power’ EP continues with second track ‘NFWMB’, a softer song in contrast to the opener, which builds from just a tender acoustic guitar to a full and brooding sound, reminiscent of the song’s assertive lyric. ‘Moment’s Silence’ follows, an up-tempo, blues-inspired number whose lyrics serve as an ode to the peaceful clarity which love can yield, even when surrounded by the chaos and confusion of the wider world. The final track on the EP is ‘Shrike’, an example of Hozier’s astonishing vocal range and poetic lyricism as he urges: “Remember me love when I’m reborn…As the shrike to your sharp and glorious thorn.”
Listen to ‘Nina Cried Power’ here: https://Hozier.lnk.to/NCPPR
Mavis Staples is a multi-Grammy Award-winning artist and performer, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999 as part of The Staples Singers, the enormously influential gospel, soul and R&B group she was a founding member of. Fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Booker T. Jones also appears on Hozier’s ‘Nina Cried Power EP’ - his inimitable Hammond B3 Organ playing appears on tracks 1, 2 and 3.
Booker T. Jones says:
“Hozier is a rare artist who remains a wellspring of creativity. Like a baby who never becomes a child, he lingers selflessly at the source, rendering one fresh song after the other.”
Hozier will play a special show at prestigious London venue Koko next Tuesday 11th September. All proceeds from the intimate show - which sold out within minutes - will go to War Child, a charity close to Hozier’s heart. He will announce further UK, Ireland & European dates on 17th September.
Born Andrew Hozier-Byrne, Hozier is an award-winning musician, singer and songwriter from Ireland. His number one, debut studio album ‘Hozier’ was released in October 2014 and includes the multi-Platinum, Grammy-nominated anthem 'Take Me To Church', which later won ‘Best Song’ for Hozier at the 2015 Ivor Novello Awards. The record also featured the optimistic, up-tempo 'Someone New', the soulful 'Work Song', and early stand out 'From Eden'. In 2016, Hozier released the album’s closing track ‘Cherry Wine’ as a charity single to create awareness of the domestic abuse problems worldwide, with proceeds benefiting a series of international domestic abuse charities. The official video features 3-time Oscar-nominated actress Saoirse Ronan. Hozier followed up the success of his debut LP with the track 'Better Love', taken from the soundtrack of the Warner Bros’ adventure film The Legend Of Tarzan.
Hozier’s ‘Nina Cried Power’ EP is out now via Island Records. Listen to the EP and connect with Hozier here: https://hozier.lnk.to/FollowPR
USA's Hop Along share new single 'Prior Things'; taken from new album 'Bark Your Head Off, Dog', out April 6th on Saddle Creek
Philadelphia's Hop Along return today with 'Prior Things', (listen here - https://youtu.be/6IbBU4QXxD4) the epic closer of their forthcoming new album Bark Your Head Off, Dog, which arrives April 6th on Saddle Creek.
This comes after a triumphant SXSW, where the band debuted several new songs to enraptured fans and earned festival highlight accolades from Brooklyn Vegan, Mercury News, Stereogum - who called singer Frances Quinlan “a national treasure“ - and Rolling Stone who raved, “dexterous rhythms as their anchor gives Hop Along a kinetic kick that might not otherwise be heard in their delicate, nimble songs, and while that's enough to separate the band from their peers, the group is also fun to watch because there's a genuine warmth to their banter." Following lead single 'How Simple' and dynamic album cut 'Not Abel,' 'Prior Things' explores the bitter triumph of a relationship that never comes to be.
The formidable 9-song collection is the band’s strongest and most cohesive album to date. Crafted by Frances Quinlan (songwriter, lead vocalist, and rhythm guitarist), Tyler Long (bass), Joe Reinhart (guitar), and Mark Quinlan (drums), the album considers what it’s like to cast off long-held and misguided perceptions, yet without the assurance of knowing what new ones will replace them. Quinlan has been meditating a lot on power. In this particular moment in history, this thought begs a greater question: what do we do with power and the men who so freely brandish it?
Self-produced and recorded at The Headroom in Philadelphia by Reinhart and Kyle Pulley, Bark Your Head Off, Dog features the familiar sounds that have always made the band allergic to genre: grunge, folk, punk, and power pop all appear, with inspiration from ELO to Elvis Costello to ‘70s girl group vocal arrangements. This time around, they’ve added strings, more intricate rhythms, lush harmonies (featuring Thin Lips’ Chrissy Tashjian), along with a momentary visit with a vocoder. In more than one place, Mark Quinlan drums like he’s at a disco with Built to Spill. Bark Your Head Off, Dog is, without question, Hop Along’s most dynamic and textured record yet.
Pre-order Bark Your Head Off, Dog via your favourite retailer here: https://HopAlong.lnk.to/BYHOD
Starting 2018 with a bang, LCAW has revealed a brand new song ‘Hummingbird’ featuring pop superstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The song is out now via Columbia Germany / Ultra Music.
‘Hummingbird’ is the first single to be taken from LCAW’s debut EP ‘Meet in the Middle’, which will be released in March. The EP features all new music. Further details to be announced in due course.
LCAW is the alias of Munich native Leon Weber. The 23 year old began his journey in classical music, growing up in a family of musicians and training as a Cellist and Pianist before developing into a renowned electronic producer.
LCAW’s unique blend of pop and dance music has gained him support from the likes of Odesza, Martin Garrix, Robin Schulz, and Felix Jaehn. He has also turned in acclaimed remixes for the likes of London Grammar, Parov Stelar, Asaf Avidan, Fritz Kalkbrenner, Marlon Roudette, ZHU and many others.
After his remixes generated more than 60 million plays on Soundcloud and YouTube, LCAW released his debut single ‘Painted Sky’ in 2016 and achieved a top 50 placement in the German airplay charts. Follow up singles ‘Man in the Moon (ft. Dagny)’, ‘Staring at the Sun (ft. Sophie Hintze)’, ’Nobody Else But You’ and ‘Desires (ft. WhoMadeWho)’ have subsequently seen him attain more than 10 million total plays worldwide, with an army of followers and fans.
‘Hummingbird’ is the result of a London studio session with Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Originally, LCAW had intended a different song for Sophie to perform, but when hearing some of the demos he’d been working on for the EP, Sophie immediately connected with another instrumental work-in-progress.
“Hummingbird is a very personal track with a more downbeat vibe, I think this is one of the main reasons Sophie instantly felt connected to it. Her voice has such a unique character and she added a whole other dimension to what I had made before we met. We had the recording session in a small studio in Notting Hill which hosted writing sessions for the likes of Adele, James Blunt and Lana Del Rey and it felt like there was a very special atmosphere”
“‘Hummingbird’ will mark the start of a fresh style for my music in 2018, a modern approach to disco & funk infused dance music and I’m very happy that Sophie is part of it. Putting together my debut EP has been an incredibly exciting time for me and I can’t wait for you to hear the results!”
Sophie Ellis-Bextor said:
“It was great to work with Leon who I think is very talented. We had a brilliant session and I am so happy with the way Hummingbird has turned out. It’s always exciting making new dance music and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it”
Sophie Ellis-Bextor shot to fame as a vocalist on Spiller’s huge number one single ‘Groovejet' and then followed it up with ‘Take Me Home’ and her worldwide smash hit, ‘Murder on the Dancefloor'. Her solo debut album, ‘Read My Lips’ was released in 2001 and reached number two in the UK Albums Chart and certified double platinum by the BPI. The album sold more than 2 million copies worldwide. Her subsequent album releases include Shoot from the Hip (2003), Trip the Light Fantastic (2007), Make a Scene (2011). 2014’s singer/songwriter release ‘Wanderlust’ with Ed Harcourt at the helm as Co-writer and Producer was a critical and commercial, success certified Gold and spending 3 weeks in the UK top 10 album chart spawning the hit single ‘Young Blood’.
Sophie followed this release and collaboration with 2016’s ‘Familia’ which saw her return to the dance floor with the radio hit ‘Come With Us’.
‘Hummingbird’ is available here: https://LCAW.lnk.to/Hummingbird
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