Great tunes for a cheap price, and all to support the arts- What’s the catch?
Hope this article finds you well in these strange and troubled times, from all here at Motley. It’s been a rough time for any of us in lockdown, not least the music sector. With the institution of lockdown a massive amount of artists have lost income and the ability to perform their art, and the Arts Council’s response has been woefully inadequate – quoth the Irish Times, “mind-boggling”. In times like this, it’s more important than ever to support the Irish musicians who’ve made an abundance of class sounds, injecting our towns and cities with life every night of the week – and while a stream is appreciated, if you played an independent artist’s music one hundred times they wouldn’t pocket fifty cents.
A month and change ago, Bandcamp waived their cut of sales on the platform for a day. The digital music marketplace, which offers high-quality MP3s or physical copies for many independent artists, usually takes about a 10-15% cut per sale. The move met with overwhelming support from across the internet, with four million euro going to artists nationwide.
Today they’re going for it again, and if you’ve got a few euro spare change there’s never been a better time to grab an album. If you’ve yet to dive into the weird, wide and deep pool of Irish music, we’ve got you covered with some (affordable!) recommendations across genre lines.
Check them all out on Bandcamp.com!
Indie, pop and folk:
- Fever Dreaming, Ghostking is Dead One of my favourite records this year, recommended if you like smoky synth-pop with a bit of trap, or deeply personal indie projects.
- Out Of Mind, Meghan Murray: Recommended if you like soulful pop/R&B and funky basslines.
- Knight Of The Realm, Laurie Shaw: Recommended if you like sardonic indie rock like the Arctic Monkeys and Ron Grillo.
- Land¸ Elaine Malone: Mesmerising folk exploring broken relationships. No Blood is a particularly haunting track, released in the wake of the Repeal The Eighth movement.
- Young Naïve Me, Eve Clague: Soulful folk music with a strong, smooth and emotional timbre, lovely stuff.
Rock and metal:
- Bokotono, Bokotono: High-energy math rock, one second heavy, the next funky.
- Live At The Paranoid Pit, Aponym: Recommended for fans of instrumental metal, perfect entry point for people who haven’t checked that genre out before.
- Ego, No Ego, Pretty Happy: Recommended if you like old-school punk rock with a wry sense of humour.
- Chaliceburner, Coroza: Sludge metal debut album with a truly epic sound and a die-hard cult following (which this writer is a part of – this album kicks ass).
- God Alone, God Alone: One of Cork’s most recent breakthrough acts, a kinetic record that plays with rock and metal sounds one seconds and screams like a wounded animal the next.
Electronic and experimental:
- In My Soul, Cailín: Slow, earthy techno with a strong sense of pace and space. Gives something new with every listen.
- They Are Just Bangers Bro, Please Don’t Think Too Hard About It, Bro You Gotta Stop Thinking, Please Bro Come On., Lighght*: Recommended if you like bangers bro, or fun electronic tunes perfect for studying motivation or the bedroom dancefloor.
- The entire discography of Dollar Pickle Records and Scauldwave Records is available for €1.30, which bags you a couple dozen albums of self-titled culchie surrealist North Kerry Noise, ranging from quarantine release I Listened Closely To The Ocean, And It Gently Whispered “Get Away Home To Fuck” to Messyng’s genuinely brilliant The Crespo Tape.
- MANTUA, MANTUA: Perfectly weird stuff for fans of experimental drone and trad music with an occult bent.
- No Man Can Tell, Fixity: Very much not your grandad’s jazz, chaotic improv that mixes spaghetti-western guitars with a haunting sax motif. Vinyl only; well worth it.
Hip-hop and rap:
- Deli Daydreams, Kojaque: One of the most critically acclaimed Irish rap albums, ground-level stories of being broke in modern-day Dublin.
- Post Millenium Tension, Post Punk Podge & The Technohippies: Limerick political rap with an electronic bent that carries you away with it, ‘Pause For The Apocalypse’ hits even harder in 2020.
- Don’t Ever Smoke Skunk, TPM: Hilarious single about the consequences of doing strong hash.
- Looks Like Rain, Gaptoof Kojaque collaborator and beatmaker supremo drops a mixtape with some great features, but the production’s the star of the show. Gaptoof’s one to watch.
- Who’s Asking?, God Knows: Limerick’s been popping with electronica and rap music for the last couple years, and this mixtape’s the Ocean’s Eleven of Limerick rap. The cream of the crop, this is my first buy.