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This week on the new music roundup, we have noise-pop (emphasis on the noise) from Dublin’s Thumper, Saint Caoilian‘s debut EP of love songs, Liza Flume‘s EP charting a breakup, another taster of Come On Live Long‘s second album (with a brilliant video), vintage rock from Limerick band The Poke and for a good cause, another taster of Robbie Barron’s Britpop-leaning Milky Teeth, and the Great Balloon Race‘s long-awaited second album arrives.

Thumper – Pop Goes The Weasel
Dublin noise-pop quartet Thumper live up to the genre on their third EP Pop Goes The Weasel. You’ll think your speakers are broken as you strain to hear the pop lineage running through ‘The Loser’. ‘The Circles’ continues in a similar vein, but it’s two five-minute-plus tracks that stand out here. ‘The Part That I Always Leave Out’ is overflowing with ideas, while ‘Fear of Art’, a Strokes-type number, is bundles of fun. Oisin Leahy-Furlong told State: “Our approach is to juxtapose pure pop sensibility with the expansive and abrasive elements of noise and psych to make songs that are unique to Thumper. I think when we started out we had a much more basic garage rock vibe, and we still love that music, but increasingly we’re trying to outgrow that box.” Thumper launch Pop Goes The Weasel with a secret BYOB gig in Dublin next week.


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Saint Caoilian – The Faraway EP
Shaker Hymn frontman Caoilian Sherlock strikes out on his own under the moniker Saint Caoilian and his debut EP The Faraway, a woozy, dreamy, folk-tinged collection of four love songs. He told Don O’Mahony in the Evening Echo’s Downtown section: “I don’t think I have the musicality right now to do everything I want to but this is the beginning of me saying ‘I want to be able to do all of these things and I want to do them on the terms I know how to do them’.” The Faraway is a nice start to the solo career. The final song, ‘I Dreamt That You Stayed’ is the ‘bandiest’ – and most Shaker Hymn – song of the collection, but ‘I’d be a Fool For You’ sounds like an old friend. Sherlock told O’Mahony he had 30 or 40 demoes. It’ll be interesting to see where he goes next.


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Liza Flume – Spain EP
After a couple of acoustic EPs a few years ago, Liza Flume recently returned with an electric guitar and now releases a full five-song EP. She told Goldenplec about how she’s changed since 2015’s Morning Light and what the Spain EP represents: “I guess the EP is about getting to a point where you’re ready to be in a relationship after all these years of being a bit crazy and now finding yourself in a place where you’re very happy with who you are and being very stable, but also moving on. You’re beginning to question what you can offer other people.” She captures some vivid scenes in these songs, of bringing coffee, “the way you like it made”, to her lover in bed (‘Spain’), and that feeling of, well, being “high on you” and the pitfalls that that brings with it. The changing pace of ‘The Greatest Thing’ marks it out as the highlight of the collection, with its refrain relatable to anyone who’s falling in love.


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Come On Live Long – ‘In The Still’
Dublin band Come On Live Long release their second album In The Still on May 19, and have just unveiled the brilliant video for the title track, directed by Albert Hool. “You will lose at this game,” sings a beguiling Louise Gaffney, before Robert Ardiff’s vocals drift in. It’s a lovely sad song that gets a punch in the arm halfway through. It’s less tha.tes long, yet ‘In The Still’ takes you on a long journey They band say: “For us this album represents a lot more than just four years of hard graft. It is significant because it documents a time where we collectively learned how to accept life in all of its highs and lows, that when things become dormant there is always something waiting to happen, an imminent stir in the still, in whatever form that may be. We feel we have pressed a lot of ourselves into this one. Some of these songs coming straight from our most personal spaces, late at night, in our respective bedrooms, and some coming from energetic bursts of all day and all night writing sessions together. We know this one has taken its time but we have pored over every tiny facet of it to make sure it is exactly as we want you to hear it.” Come On Live Long play Whelan’s on June 17.

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The Poke – Eat Fuck Die EP

This one’s for a good cause and for people who want a peek into the past of Steve from Giveamanakick/Windings. Per Out on a Limb: “Way back in 2002, Steve and Liam from windings were in a punk band called The Poke. They covered vocals and drums respectively. Also in the band were Con (guitar/vox), Fiona (bass), and Mickey (guitar/vox). The Poke were a great band! Recently, we were shocked and saddened to to hear that Mickey has got cancer. He’s going through treatment at the moment, and is keeping very positive. However, as you can imagine, this is a very challenging and costly time for Mickey, Fiona, and their two little kids Seamus (2) and Aoibhinn (6 months). A ‘demo’ was recorded and released by The Poke in a very small quantity in 2002. It was called Eat, Fuck, Die, and it’s pretty damn good. It hasn’t been available anywhere since then, so we thought it’d be a nice idea to upload it to Bandcamp now, so folks can give a few bob and have a listen. All monies received will go straight to Mickey and Fiona’s paypal to help out a small bit with their current situation. Even if this isn’t your thing musically, we’d very much appreciate you sharing this post as far and wide as possible, we know that Mickey, Fiona and family will be so appreciative.”


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Milky Teeth – ‘Guess Again’
Caoilian Sherlock isn’t the only Shaker Hymn member who’s gone solo. Guitarist Robbie Barron released his first song as Milky Teeth back in February and returns with the Oasis vibes of ‘Guess Again’. “You’re seen the world I know, spare me from your thoughts and let me go,” he snarls before adding, “I’ve lost my mind, I hope you know”. It all plays out amid fun brass interventions.

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The Great Balloon Race – Gently, Gently
Continuing a great lineage of bands beloved in Cork but relatively unknown outside its borders, the Great Balloon Race return with their second album, Gently, Gently. Released on the Kantcope cassette label, it will be recognisable to anybody who has followed the five piece live over the years – most of the seven songs here, from the skitterish opener and bass-in-the-sun ‘Daryl and John’ to the delicate ‘WKNDGRL’, have been aired regularly in the past few years. There are fewer Grizzly Bear comparisons to be made than with their first album, Cardboard. Guitarists/vocalists Marcus Gordon and Jonathan McNicholas intertwine their oohs and ahhs nicely throughout (and literally on ‘Did It On My Own’).