The now monthly Bandcamp Day, where the music site waives their own fees to the benefit of artists has led to all sorts of interesting releases throughout the lockdown period, from charity compilations, off-kilter merch, home demos and new albums, you name it.
Today the pick of the new releases is a compilation of covers put together by Problem Patterns, creatively titled Bangers n Mash Ups. 18 of the best Northern Irish artists have all covered each other’s tracks in aid of She Sells Sanctuary, an NI based domestic violence charity. The concept provides some incredible match ups, from Problem Patterns punky retake of Beauty Sleep’s dream pop, to the latter’s swirling, mystical version of Junk Drawer’s wonderful ‘Year of the Sofa’. Elsewhere Mob Wife go hard on Problem Patterns’ ‘Mediocre Man’, Strange New Places go weird on Joel Harkin and Sasha Samara delivers a heartfelt and delicate playthrough of Strange New Places’ ‘This City’.
That still leaves covers by Alanah Frances, Joel Harkin, Fears, Happy Out, Gender Chores, Junk Drawer, Big Daisy, Ferals, Charles Hurts, This Ship Argo, Alumna Hand Models and Susie Blue. Phew.
There’s a whole lot else out there today of course. The hard working electronic maestro Arvo Party has put out more music than anyone else throughout lockdown, and today he’s released Devotions II, the follow-up to his first ambient album, Devotions (I, I guess?), itself only released in May. The man himself told us there’s even more on the way. Staying in the electronic field, there’s also a new single out from Belfast producer This Ship Argo, who also features on Bangers N Mash Ups. ‘Fear‘ is the latest in her often ethereal sonic experiments.
Charles Hurts, colloquially known as Philip Quinn (Girls Names, Gross Net, Grave Goods), has put out some new music for the first time in eight years with what he describes as a novelty EP on the reptition of everyday life during lockdown, and not necessarily representative of new music to come. Still though.
Juggernauts And So I Watch You From Afar have dropped a surprise three track EP titled Successors, taken from their Heirs album sessions. That was produced by Start Together’s Rocky O’Reilly (Oppenheimer, Malibu Shark Attack), who has today announced some new music of his own, a tasty prospect with fellow producer and dream pop enthusiast Ryan O’Groarty (Beauty Sleep, Wonder Villains). Titled Vivid Dreamer, and with promises of synthy goodness, the album is available to pre-order today, vinyl and digital.
That wonderful compilation of Irish indie A Litany of Failures returns for Volume III this September and is available to pre-order from today as well. Twenty two artists including Careerist, Junk Drawer, Silverbacks, The Bonk, Robocobra Quartet and plenty more besides, all on wonderful looking vinyl, or you know digital, if that’s your game. That latter artist Robocobra Quartet have taken a Twitter joke to new lengths by releasing a limited edition Rob Ó Cobra t-shirt today. I know.
Enduring indie band Sea Pinks, led by Neil Brogan, have announced an indefinite hiatus ten years on from their debut single. Marking the occasion is new EP Crocuses.
OK, who else? Well Malojian has been doing all sorts throughout the past few months and today releases the Greetings from Malojianland 00030 collection, taken from his audio-visual series. There’s also a new track ‘Skin’, released separately and written with Jon Thorne in aid of Rollercoaster Records.
There’s a wonderful looking CD and cassette EP from Limerick rapper Murli entitled Til The Wheels Fall Off. Our own H R Gibs spoke to him as part of our Black Musicians Matter piece last week. Rockers Bitch Falcon have put out a singles collection, that’s already sold out on vinyl. And finally we wanted to shine a light on a new track from Dublin’s Elaine Mai. Proceeds from ‘Somewhere Else’, and the rest of her music today, will go to Origins Elle, a grassroots community organisation in Ireland for QTIBPOC.