Strik­ing out on her own af­ter two al­bums and nearly 10 years with Al­phas­tates was a good move for Cat Dowling. The Kilkenny woman’s solo de­but is prob­a­bly the best thing she’s ever done; not be­cause her for­mer band were flawed, but be­cause she sounds more com­fort­able un­shack­led by the lim­i­ta­tions of elec­tronic pop. Th­ese songs are more or­ganic and con­se­quently warmer, Dowling’s evoca­tive, breathy vo­cals glid­ing across acous­tic pop and se­duc­tive pi­ano mo­tifs with a nat­u­ral grace. There are echoes of Cathy Davey ( Come On) and Imo­gen Heap ( Gospel Song) in parts, but Dowling’s in­flu­ences aren’t so easy to pin­point on Some­body Else’s mix of gal­lop­ing beats, ac­cor­dion break­down and chug­ging elec­tric gui­tar. Cat has found her voice with this im­pres­sive de­but; let’s see what she can do next. Face­­dowl­ing mu­sic1

Can Do Records

Bro­ken Rules, Some­body Else EMI Nor­way From Kris­tiansand, Nor­way, Honningbarna (trans­la­tion: “honey chil­dren”) know their punk rock from their pop and real-life dra­mas from fab­ri­cated soap op­eras. So their fol­low-up to lauded 2011 de­but La Alar­mane Ga ar­rives af­ter per­sonal (and per­son­nel) up­heaval and an even stronger sense of national iden­tity. Match­ing the take-no-pris­on­ers ef­forts of Rage Against the Ma­chine and the neck-puls­ing vein throbs of Gal­lows, there’s lit­tle sub­tlety on this un­com­pro­mis­ing, nonEnglish-lan­guage al­bum. Even the band’s one-time USP (a cello-play­ing lead singer) is played down in favour of sphinc­ter-tight­en­ing rif­fola that rarely broad­ens out be­yond the an­themic and slo­ga­neer­ing. One-di­men­sional? Per­haps, but there are few bands around th­ese days that chan­nel flar­e­as­sisted sonic ri­ot­ing as solidly as Honningbarna. hon­ning

G Records/ Down­load: Fritt Ord Fritt Fram, Sinna Dame It’s taken Liam Trappe five years to craft his de­but, but good things ap­par­ently come to those who wait. The Kil­dare man may have named his mu­si­cal ven­ture af­ter lit­tle-known Amer­i­can Olympic ath­lete Sun­der Nix, but with any luck this al­bum won’t fade into a sim­i­lar ob­scu­rity. Tak­ing in up­lift­ing or­ches­tral pop ( Brasserie), leisurely pi­ano com­po­si­tions that nod to Neil Han­non and Ben Folds ( When the Morn­ing Comes, Spi­ders) and sure-footed, full-band alt.rock com­po­si­tions ( Killing Time), Trappe en­lists a mul­ti­tude of friends to drum, har­monise and sharpen fo­cus on th­ese colour­ful, melodic songs. Zany in­stru­men­tal Siddhartha High­way is a stand­out, shift­ing the fo­cus from pi­ano and gui­tar to stu­dio ef­fects not un­like some­thing Ir­ish band 8 Ball may have once con­jured up. An al­bum that hits the sweet spot time and time again. Sun­dernix. com Down­load: Brasserie, Siddhartha High­way


Dou­ble Six What­ever about Cole Wil­liams’s at­tempts to keep his real name and iden­tity on the down­low, there was no such ret­i­cence about show­ing off his mu­si­cal per­sona. As The Child of Lov, the Am­s­ter­dam-based mu­si­cian be­lieves that there world would be a bet­ter place with the help of great swathes of off-kil­ter soul, retro funk flings and elec­tronic dab­blings of ev­ery per­sua­sion. With pro­duc­tion help from Da­mon Al­barn, a great con­tri­bu­tion from Doom (the wham-bam Owl) and some bril­liant flights of mu­si­cal fancy through­out, Wil­liams is not short of con­fi­dence to aim high, the skills to hit the tar­get or the grooves to keep lis­ten­ers hum­ming. Fly is the one to check out as an ex­am­ple of Wil­liams at his best, a gospel-pow­ered ear­worm with both funky grit and right­eous hell­fire grand­stand­ing push­ing it on­wards and up­wards. An al­bum to rel­ish. face­ thechild­oflov

Down­load: Fly, Owl New Zealan­ders The Phoenix Foun­da­tion’s smart, dreamy, folky pop has made them a band to be reck­oned with at home over the past decade. It took un­til their fourth al­bum, Buf­falo, for them to gather a cast of ad­mir­ers fur­ther afield. The am­bi­tious, ex­pan­sive and multi-lay­ered Fan­dango is sure to add to that fol­low­ing, with its in­fec­tious, ro­bust, at­mo­spheric tunes. The band’s fond­ness for psy­che­delic reels has greatly in­flu­enced Fan­dango, with nearly ev­ery song coated in panoramic, kalei­do­scopic hues. While they oc­ca­sion­ally get car­ried away with the freak power of it all – it’s no sur­prise that the 18 minute-long Friendly So­ci­ety lacks co­he­sion – the likes of The Cap­tain, Mod­ern Rock and Side­ways Glance are eu­phoric, pas­toral and lan­guid by turn. thep­hoenix­foun­da­tion. Down­load: Mod­ern Rock, Side­ways Glance

Sony Bring Me the Hori­zon’s huge fan base and pro­file in­spires love and loathing in equal mea­sure. What they’ve lacked up un­til now has been a de­cent suite of songs. Sem­piter­nal, their fourth al­bum, is a valiant at­tempt to right that mu­si­cal deficit. Met­allers have an abid­ing sus­pi­cion of key­boards/synths, but new mem­ber Jor­dan Fish has added some un­mis­tak­able mu­si­cal hooks to opener Can You Feel My Heart and has taken the edge off their dis­cor­dant sound. Shadow Moses, Sleep­walker and House of Wolves are well crafted, but stand-out track Anti-Vist is an in­cen­di­ary rant at the ap­a­thy of the iPad gen­er­a­tion: “If you re­ally be­lieve in the words that you preach/Get off your screens, and onto the streets/There will be no peace­ful rev­o­lu­tion!” It beats One Di­rec­tion at least. BMTH nei­ther de­serve the hype (the new Metallica, ac­cord­ing to their label) nor the ha­tred of too many me­tal fans. Sem­piter­nal shows they’ve fi­nally learned some­thing about songcraft.



The Be­liever

Ver­den er Enkel

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