Dublin band Halves released their second album Boa Howl in July to critical acclaim. The years of work, including heading to Gothenburg to record, paid off, as it is a stunning, otherworldly release. Below, Brian Cash discusses how their year has been. They play the Roisin Dubh alongside Bantum and Ghost Maps tonight. You can see all the posts in our 2013 round-up here.
How has 2013 been for Halves? What have been the highlights of the year?
Busy… the first half (no pun intended) was gearing up to get Boa Howl ready and out in full. Once it came out we were able to get out and play which in itself was ahighlight for us. I guess playing all the festivals was probably the best part- we were very lucky to play as many as we did.
You seemed to almost become the Irish musician spokesman against Spotify in the interviews around the release of Boa Howl. How did that feel, and have you changed your mindset about Spotify at all?
Yeah, that ended up getting spread around way more than I would have thought given it stemmed from a drunken tweet. Happy now to see others on board – Thom Yorke knows the score. Has my mind changed about them? Nope, still don’t like them. I’m very much looking forward to iTunes Radio though as I get the impression they still promote the idea of selling albums (albeit in digital form).
Best gig you’ve played? And best festival you played/attended?
Best gig this year for me (can’t speak for the others) but our London show in the Water Rats was amazing. First London show in five years and it was genuinely rammed. Lots of fun. Best festival would be the Picnic, I guess… I recall that we played well and we got to see Bjork and her Tesla coil.
What are some of your favourite songs of the year?
Anything from the Yo La Tengo album Fade
Anything from the new Colleen album.
‘Palace Posy’ by Boards of Canada
‘Remurdered’ by Mogwai
‘I won’t be long’ by Beck
‘Flatine’ by MKS
Which new bands, Irish or abroad, have you been impressed by this year?
To tell you the truth I really don’t know many new bands from this year… spent most of this year working on the album and then listening to audiobooks. Not hip at all.
So what audiobooks have you been enjoying?
Just finished Zodiac by Robert Graysmith and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn . Then I’ll be finishing up Lolita and moving on to a repeat listen of Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.
What other things have you liked this year?
Currently reading a book called Pure by Andrew Miller. Read a fair bit of Henry Miller and Charles Bukowski this year too. TV: Breaking Bad, rewatching Sopranos and really enjoyed Peaky Blinders. Films: Did The Master come out this year? If so… The Master. Prisoners was pretty great, too.
It seems like you’re a little less enamoured with music, both with the lack of focus on physical and that final answer. Is that fair/true?
No not really… It’s more I find it tough to find new music sometimes. There is a constant supply of new albums streaming but sometimes it can be tough to wade through them. Also when you mix a record you have to hear it hundreds of times so you need a break from music sometimes. We are very proud to have our album out on vinyl, it’s just it can take a lot out of you (especially alongside a day job). A couple of months off and we’ll get restless and do something I’m sure!
What should we expect from Halves in 2014?
Not much for now, we may do a couple of shows if we find something new and exciting to do. We’re going to do some writing for another project but nothing may come from it, who knows?