In the news: Storm Ophelia receives more coverage than the truck bomb in Mogadishu which killed over 300. Britain is behaving like the party guest that wants to leave, but decides to wait until all of the joints are all gone before walking out the door. And Trump continues to be the president of the US.
In the music: Wavy gravy Galway sounds, in no particular order.
#1 I’m Your Go-To – The Curly Organ (July 2017)
The Curly Organ is the self-guided musical project of Donal McConon, which came onto the Galway music scene as a complete and compositionally mature debut. The Curly Organ released one EP for each week of July – a bold, but very apt decision from a musician that has been part and parcel of the local music scene for years. It’s on the project’s fourth EP, Raised in the Age of Awkward Dance, where you can find ‘I’m Your Go-To’. This track is up-beat and lyrically fast-paced, with layers of instruments and textures that jump around behind Donal’s voice. We’ll hopefully hear more from The Curly Organ in the future.
#2 Jenny (That’s not your name) – Dead Horse Jive (February 2017)
A rock band that continue to celebrate the unholy traditions of “dirty rotten rock n’ roll”, with their own insatiable energy and musical talent. This five piece bring to mind the head banging audacity of Deep Purple and the loose and ready musical spirit of AC/DC. ‘Jenny (That’s not your name)‘ comes from their second release, the EP Last Days of the Craic, produced by Galway based company Mark Connolly Media. The final track on Dead Horse Jive‘s ode to the craic is a little bit romantic, and hints at the haziness of a bender and a woman who probably isn’t called Jenny. Well seasoned on the festival circuit, and touring as we speak – go on, treat yourself.
#3 Just Kids – Tracy Bruen (June 2017)
Tracy Bruen is a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist whose musical range has no limits. On top of having a strong command of rhythm and melody, she has the ability to tell a story and speak to her audience with her music, which touches on indie, folk, pop and prog rock. ‘Just Kids‘ comes from her 2017 release Mirror, and sings about about youth, childhood, and the things that kids do in these carefree years. A member of the Galway based record label Citóg, Bruen’s presence on the local music scene has had a sizeable impact – in 2015 she was named Galway Solo Artist of the Year by the Galway Advertiser, and she currently co-hosts Sunday’s Open Mic night at the Roisín Dubh.
#4 Winter’s Bride – Katie O’Connor & Isobel O’Connor (August 2017)
‘Winter’s Bride‘ is a soothing blend of two contrasting voices, with just the plucks and strums of an acoustic guitar as the backdrop to their stories and melodies. The track is a collaboration between Katie and Isobel O’Connor, two sisters, each with a rich music talent. Katie began her musical career in Galway six years ago, and she established herself locally through her intimate indoor gigs and street performances. Her voice has a unique raspy sound, with an earthy quality that you can hear in this track. Her latest album, Fuel for Dreaming, was released in May this year, and she continues to perform locally as well as in cities around Europe and the US.
#5 Be My Husband – Steven Sharpe & The Broke Straight Boys (May 2017)
Steven Sharpe‘s music is as witty and fun as it is articulate and musically fierce. Over the past four years he has been releasing music and performing at venues and festivals with unwavering soul – and co-hosting the Roisín’s Open Mic night. In his career he has been known to challenge the norms of industry established hetero-male music with “his own brand of out’n’proud music”. Together with a band of musicians called The Broke Straight Boys, we have their debut album and Steven’s seventh release, Shut Up Dylan. ‘Be My Husband’ is a rock n roll blues jam about love and promises, and is also the only song on the album not written by Steven (Andy Stroud is the song writer here). Heavy on the volume and easy on nothing at all, check it out.