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just like a drummer

i wake up with the thunder of your typewriter, every night

Tag Archives: popical island

Big Monster Love is one man on a mission to make “music that sounds more like his life”. I like this concept. I like the fact that, although I don’t really make water slides in my garden or invite strippers to my house – see, that’s what I’m missing out on? I mean, really, how cool would that be? – it sounds a bit like my life too. Colloquial would be one way to put it, but I prefer to call it familiar in the oddest way possible. And I guess that’s an ineloquent definition of this Anti-Folk rhapsodist, on a whole.

Hailing from ‘Shitsville’, Dublin – a fondness that is evident in his music – Big Monster Love, under various guises, seems to have been making local music for longer than I have been appreciating it. With an eloquence that can only be described as elegiac, what makes Big Monster Love quite wonderful is his ability to show as much love for the place that clearly shapes his music, as he does distaste. Listening to his songs, thus far scattered across EPs and demos, is like having a laugh at yourself, but sort of seeing how great you are, all the same. I like that a lot. It’s a beautiful quality to have.

So having said that, I’m delighted and effervescently excited to be writing about the first big album of 2011; to announce that Big Monster Love’s debut  ‘Game Over’ will be released on the prolific Popical Island label and Abomination Records this February  4th. And for those who cannot sate their appetite with this nugget of knowledge alone, we also have a wonderful preview with the first track to be released from this much-anticipated colouring book of music, “Free Gaff Forever”.

Big Monster Love – Free Gaff Forever

So, how happy does this song make me? Well, the answer to that is very happy. It feels like summer, which is great, because winter is starting to get on my rag.

Keep your eyes glued to the Popical Island tumblr for more info.


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 I like tongue in cheek. I like wondering if when I interpret something as ‘tongue in cheek’ I am at all understanding a person’s authorial intent or whether I’m merely missing the point and lumping an entire work of speculative fiction  into that giant umbrella of terminology, willy-nilly. Sometimes I still laugh at the word willy and I think that’s a bit tongue in cheek. A lot of the bands on Popical Island are quite tongue in cheek, to my ears. Fun, but well thought out music with the intention of making people happy – one of the foremost preoccupations of all good music, one argues – generally falls into this category, thus illuminating this black hole in my confident ability to talk about music with purpose, making its absence ironically visible to the world. Whether I am interpreting it correctly however, is little of the point.

Photograph by Nick Van Vliet

In what is possibly related, I can say that amidst relocations and life changing alterations in personalities, I have been mostly preoccupied, this summer, with waiting for Groom‘s new album, ‘Marriage‘. Although my appetite has not yet been satiated, it has been whetted with a lovely sneak preview track on the Sweet Oblivion Blog – see: good blog – and anticipation tastes like cherry pie. With a dollop of vanilla ice-cream, not vanilla flavoured ice-cream. The song is ‘All the Bored People’ and I narcissistically feel it to have been designed specifically for my needs, which in the wake of ‘finding myself’ and mild to middling homesickness, needed a little indulgence. It’s sweet, fun music. The lyrics are Stuart Murdoch, to my faux literary ear, with a little less gratuitous simper and a little more off-beat, ‘did that quite rhyme?’ charm. It’s not that I don’t like Belle and Sebastian, it just all seems to work too well, and I don’t find that an issue with Groom, who are fast becoming my favourite topping on the Popical Sundae.

With the remnants still disintegrating in my mouth, I can safely say that following the charmer that was last years ‘At The Natural History Museum’, Groom remain equally on form with the promise of rising to even greater heights. Bring on the ‘Marriage‘! Due August 21st, my breath is bated.

And meanwhile, at the bar, a fangirl muses.

 One word review says: Creamingmyself.

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I am a believer in certain fundamental truths, an idiosyncracy that is a little at odds with my personality on a whole. But I believe that when the day comes to a close there are things that remain unmoved, words that sustain their meaning despite the shifting of the polar plates, and feelings that though untangible, cannot be swayed, mutated or poisoned. These fundamental truths are the sum of my core values.

I believe Tom Selleck is a moustachio master.

I believe that milk should never be taken inward from a pint glass.

I believe a lot of things about milk. Mostly that it is ungodly.

I believe that Morrissey is a fallen angel, and I believe that indiepop is underrated.

There is a lot of really cool things about the Irish Music Scene at the moment, ironically capitalised, because in a weird way there is no consistent factor that makes it even feel like a ‘scene’, other than a relatively tangible geographical banding. There are bands like Adebisi Shank who, for me, just make it worth getting out of bed in the morning. There are artists like the previously blogged Villagers that are managing to break beyond the Irish Scene yet feel, at once, an authentic representation of it. For me though, the coolest thing might just be Popical Island.

Popical Island : I want to go to there

An indiepop collective that started somewhere I do not know, Popical Island is every awesome artist and musician in Dublin (and beyond) that I have been listening to on one succulent compilation, boinged and wrapped in the most delicious album art this side of everything Belle and Sebastian ever did, ever. Although there is a vast variety of eclectic acts on the compilation, perhaps the most impressive thing is the overall cohesion of the record, something that is made even more impressive when you think about the fact that the sounds on this album are far from the ones that spring to mind when you think about what’s going on in Dublin right now.

As I’ve said above though, I’m a huge fan of indiepop and twee music, from a childhood obsession with Sarah Records to the twenty two year old’s inability to accept when anything that isn’t The Wave Pictures is prefaced with the statement ‘holy crap, this is the best thing in the world’, so it wasn’t a stretch of my sensibilities to like this compilation. It’s quite difficult then to pick standout tracks, since I want to eat the entire thing with Ballymalloe relish, but because I expect it of myself, if not from others, I will bless you with three;

Land Lovers, ‘Is Nowhere Far Away Anymore’, because it’s immensely crafted, funny and poignant; Pantone247, ‘Maybe Tonight’ because it’s lovely and sad and the best indie songs are the ones that convince you you’re happy only to shred your insides in a grinder; And finally, ‘Mysteries of Life’ by Groom because its pure exhileration, and actually probably my favourite of the three.

For anyone who is reading this and salivating at the thought of handclaps, boys in knitted jumpers and a whole lot of heart, the compilation is streaming over at the Popical Islands Bandcamp for the next week or so, and on July 19th you can catch almost the entirety of the tracklisting manifesting themselves as real life people, on stage in an epic seven hour gigathon, upstairs in Whelans. Festivities commence at 3 and the running order is soon to be announced, so peel your eyes.

The one word review says Hella-Exciting!

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