Track Of The Day: Gif – ‘Lumière’

A gnarly take-down of the double standards and inappropriate behaviour women and girls often face in public, Dublin trio gif have shared their debut single ‘Lumière’. The track is inspired by the need to make their own shows a safe space for women and non-binary people, and the trio use their catchy, indie-punk tunes to get this important message across.

Formed in October 2018, the Irish teenagers – aged between 17 and 19 – have adopted a strong DIY ethic, self-funding everything they’ve achieved so far. This includes headline shows in Dublins biggest venues such as Workman’s and Whelan’s, and recently being added to Spotify’s “An Alternative Éire” playlist, which showcases new Irish alternative sounds.

Debut single ‘Lumière’ is accompanied by a humourous music video Directed by Eleanor Rogers which features shots of the band playing their instruments, as an intense situation unfolds between a young woman and her (unwanted) admirer on webcam. Check out the music video below and follow gif on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Montauk Hotel – ‘White Billboards’

A luscious shimmering soundscape with a poignant context; Montauk Hotel have shared their new single ‘White Billboards’. Released via Reckless Records, the Dublin-based band say their new track is a “reflection on the power of advertising in our society and how models and [industry] standards influence our choices, happiness, and feelings of adequacy”.

Montauk Hotel’s music is influenced by the glimmer of early 80s indie-pop, full of glistening guitar sounds and shining melodies. The band released their self titled EP in March 2017, and have shared stages with the likes of Goat Girl, PINS and Beauty Sleep. Across Ireland, they’ve played venues such as Whelans, The Workman’s Club and Roisin Dubh, and they’ve performed at Electric Picnic too.

Their new single ‘White Billboards’ is sure to take them back to these stages. Speaking more about the track, the band explain: “The song pictures an imaginary future where as an result of over-saturation, people have become indifferent to commercial models. Advertisers and brands have run out of slogans and have lost their impact on people and society. There is a question left open, which whether a society with empty billboards would indeed set us free to be happy or whether it would leave us lost and unable to regain a personal identity”.

Listen to ‘White Billboards’ below and follow Montauk Hotel on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

ALBUM: Dott – ‘Heart Swell’

Galway-based Dott‘s sophomore record Heart Swell lives up to its name: from start to finish it will make your garage-pop loving heart palpitate with glee. Described as “early-60s-meets-early-90s indie rock” by Brooklyn Vegan, the band’s new album (released via Grave Face Records) is a shimmering blur of optimism and adrenaline.

The gloriously upbeat single ‘Bleached Blonde’ opens the record, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for girls who love sunshine, surfing, and intensely singable choruses. If you’ve ever tried to surf on an ironing board (watch the video below, you’ll understand) or at an official surf camp, you’ll sympathise with guitarist & vocalist Anna’s struggle when it comes to catching waves.

Activism and garage-pop collide in anthemic style on second track ‘Like A Girl’. The band released the song ahead of Ireland’s vote to Repeal the 8th Amendment on May 25th, but it rings out with truer intensity now the “yes” result has been confirmed. The song features a guest appearance from Sadie Dupuis of Speedy Ortiz on guitar, and the accompanying video features members from Galway Pro Choice, Galway Parents for Choice, and Galway Roller Derby.

No apologies and no excuses sound carefree and constructive on ‘Not Sorry’, whilst the restless bass lines and guitar riffs on ‘Floating Arrows’ will keep your feet twitching and your heads bopping. ‘Swim’ paints an enviable picture of losing yourself by the seaside, and Anna’s clear vocals are as bright as the warm sun she sings of here.

The eponymous ‘Heart Swell’ is a wonderful ode to finding love; an aural head-rush that will fill your heart with satisfaction. It flows perfectly in to the gentle sounding ‘Self-Help’ which shimmers with sensitivity. “I try to live my life without forgetting anyone” sings Anna, and if she keeps writing songs like this, there’s no danger of that happening to Dott.

‘How Do I Feel?’ is another joyous offering of buoyant guitar and feel-good lyrics, before listeners are urged to reject the “double standards” that girls are often subject too on ‘You Don’t Have To’. The age of independence and ambition is reminisced about on ’18’, which fades effortlessly in to penultimate track ‘Do Ya?”. The beautiful ‘Wedding Song’ closes the record on a romantically reassuring note. Anna’s lyrics systematically strip away the traditions and expectations that come with wedding ceremonies, revealing the only thing that truly matters when you consider spending the rest of your life with someone: Love.

If you’re still searching for your soundtrack to Summer 2018, invest in Dott’s second album Heart Swell now. Download it here.

Follow Dott on Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Alison MW

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Dott – ‘Bleached Blonde’

Galway’s Dott have released new single ‘Bleached Blonde’, and it’s the perfect soundtrack for girls who love sunshine, surfing, and super-catchy garage pop anthems. The track is taken from their upcoming album Heart Swell, which is set to be released via Graveface Records on 8th June.

If you’ve ever tried to surf on an ironing board (watch the video, you’ll understand) or at an official surf camp, you’ll sympathise with guitarist & vocalist Anna’s struggle when it comes to catching waves. Speaking of the inspiration behind the track, Anna says:‘Bleached Blonde” is about trying, failing and surfing. I’ve been doing a lot of all three since I moved back to Ireland from Toronto last year and became obsessed with the sea. I went on a solo trip to Lahinch in County Clare last summer and rented a cottage where I could surf and write songs for this album. Naturally, themes of the sea started to appear in the songs, and Bleached Blonde was written in that cottage. The song is about how much I enjoy surfing despite not really being very good at it”.

Dott are making waves with their music, and have appeared at international festivals such as SXSW, CMJ and CMW, as well as Irish Festivals Electric Picnic, Indiependence, Camden Crawl and Westport Fest. They’ve toured with and opened for bands such as Shellac, La Luz, Hinds, Chastity Belt, Sad13 and Honeyblood, and we’re sure their new record Heart Swell will see them hitting the road again to play more of their own shows.

Watch the video for ‘Bleached Blonde’ below and pre-order your copy of Heart Swell here. Follow Dott on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Hvmmingbyrd – ‘Papillon’

Having charmed our ears with previous single ‘Gozo’, Irish duo Hvmmingbyrd are back with an exquisite new offering.

Exploring the ebb and flow from creative euphoria to self-doubt, ‘Papillon’ is a soaring slice of ethereal electro-pop. A poignant and reflective creation, it’s hard not to fall in love with ‘Papillon’s sweeping, luscious harmonies, captivating musicality and dreamy allure. Of the track, the band explain:

“Creating music can be incredibly joyous and life-giving, but when it consumes you, sometimes you can lose a little bit of yourself.”

Listen to ‘Papillon’ here:


‘Papillon’ is out now.


Mari Lane

Track Of The Day: Æ MAK – ‘Glow’

If you’re looking for “dance music with a bite”, then Irish art pop outfit Æ Mak are the band for you. They’ve released new single ‘Glow’, full of “tribal rhythms, soaring synths and lush vocal harmonies” – all of which burn with vibrant aural intensity.

2017 saw their distinctive style showcased to receptive audiences at their first headline shows, as well as supporting Warpaint in Dublin; and performing at a number of acclaimed festivals throughout the UK and Ireland including Liverpool Sound City, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, and Hard Working Class Heroes.

2018 looks like another promising year for the band. They’ve been confirmed for Latitude, and they’ve been chosen for both Festival Republic and PRS Foundation’s ReBalance programme, which was introduced last year. Listen to ‘Glow’ below and follow Æ Mak on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

WATCH: Pillow Queens – ‘Favourite’ (acoustic)

Ireland’s Pillow Queens (aka your new favourite band) have shared an acoustic rendition of their most recent single ‘Favourite’, and it’s just as catchy as the original version. The track is taken from the band’s upcoming EP State of The State, which will be released via Specialist Subject on 16th March.

The group have filmed a video to accompany their acoustic re-working of ‘Favourite’, proving their softer musical arrangements can still pack emotional punch. It’s this kind of charm and energy that permeates their upcoming EP, although there are moments of darkness on State of The State too. The band worked with Producer Peter Ashmore to finalise their musical explorations of “emotional highs and lows”, including the “frustration of trying to succeed in post-recession Ireland” – and the toll that can take on your mental health.

Pillow Queens will be touring Ireland and the UK in April, so make sure you learn all of the words to ‘Favourite’ before you head along to one of their shows (listed below).

April 5th – Galway, Roisin Dubh
April 7th – Cork, AMP
April 9th – Bristol, Hy Brasil
April 10th – London, Sebright Arms
April 11th – Guildford, The Boileroom
April 12th – Brighton, Prince Albert
April 13th – Leeds, Chunk
April 14th – Manchester, Night & Day
April 15th – Glasgow, GLAD Cafe
April 19th – Clonakilty, Debarras
April 20th – Limerick, Dolans
April 21st – Dublin, Workmans Club

Follow Pillow Queens on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington