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Sticks & Bones: a series of playlists, compiled from a number of folk doing good things around the country.

Watching on nervously from a cracked branch, Keith Mannion is better known as electronic forest-dweller Slow Place Like Home.

‘Sure ’nuff’ n yes i do’ – Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band

“Yes, Don Van Vliet wasn’t everybody’s kettle of fish. Plenty had a preference for the technically superior Zappa & The Mothers of Invention which cropped up like they were two units in competition with each other. Sufficed to say, they weren’t. Having coincided within the same generation of gifted players and equally legendary barbiturates, Beefheart and his ever changing team of players became almost a circus sideshow to the mainstream scene. One listen to this track when I was in my teens and I was hooked. Add the almost wayward video, recorded live at Cannes and POW! Sold. And this was his rather early, more conventional music style. Beefheart was one my heroes and systemic to why I experiment.” KM

 ‘Come Good’ – Freescha

“In an era where electronic music was increasingly becoming obsessed with that horribly invasive ‘EDM movement’ (particularly in the U.S.), there wasn’t a whole lot of room for quality independent acts to garner some text space. The internet wasn’t quite up to scratch in the early 00s and only with the aid of reliable DJs and pioneering music blogs (most of which have gone to the wall since) could one get a hint of what was floating about.
AttackNine records is just one of those labels. In particular, label owner Nick Huntington’s own double act Freescha just blew my mind. So beautifully textured, yet so coquettish and complex in it’s production. It made me recall just how fun music could be. A real toss-up between this and another of A9’s acts in ‘Casino vs. Japan’. But Freescha is where I go. Perhaps not their best track but sublime of it’s time.” KM

Stephen White is the editor of The Last Mixed Tape, an independent music blog based in Dublin.

‘The Void’ – Spines

“There’s something about raw, D.I.Y music that can highlight the very core of a band, and whether or not their sound is something real or artificial. With Spines very early into their career, the garage-pop group’s output has been attention grabbing to say the least. With ‘The Void’ (taken from their self-titled E.P.) Spines have really come into their own, showing an ability to grow and redefine their sound. Made from swaying, brooding verses and thrashing choruses the track simply exudes youthful frustration and nihilism. All of which captured prominently in the grounded lyrical pointedness. Fusing an array of grunge, noise and garage inflections into their music Spines are a band right on the edge of something very special. One can only hope that their ragged unrefined characteristics stay in place as they continue to develop.” SW

‘Drinking Alone’ – The North Sea

“The North Sea made a powerful impression last year with the single ‘In Love’, and with ‘Drinking Alone’ the Dublin band have proved they are more than capable of creating something even more captivating. Merging the indie-pop and post-punk into something a relevant, up-to-date sound the group use a strong tonal isolating backdrop to offset the jangling hooks that comprise their songwriting. Propelled by it’s on-the-mark production, dynamic peaks and troughs, and Eoin Kenny’s full-bodied vocal the single is the North Sea’s best work to date. Delivering on all the promise of their previous release. ‘Drinking Alone’ works as a strong indication of where the post-punk and indie-pop genres are today, and where they are going. All of which is wrapped up in the sound of band currently moving with a palpable, creative momentum.” SW

Lisa “Lemur” O’Grady is a Cork-based gig promoter and all-round super person. Someone should sew her a cape.

‘Wooden Bag’ – Richard Dawson

“I heard two devastatingly powerful songs in one week at the beginning of March which I’d like to share:
The first is Richard Dawson’s ‘Wooden Bag’. Its raw power just cut me in two. Listening to the emotional intensity of Richard’s voice, lyrics and guitar playing I felt my heart being wrenched out, pinned against the wall and exposed for all to see. This, I imagine, can only be the tip of the iceberg of what he must have been going through to write this emotional masterpiece. His use of dynamics in both his voice and guitar coupled with his intricately detailed description of this bag and its contents serve to take the listener on a journey through a relationship past. One that is still so very painful and felt in his ‘molecules’.” LOG

‘The Old Man Who Came Over The Sea’ – Lynched

“The second song is from Dublin band Lynched – ‘The Old Man Who Came Over the Sea’.  Radie Peat takes us back to a harsh time in history for young women with this old English ballad. The defiance in her delivery of this pretty disturbing song adds to the cruel nature of the fate that awaits. The haunting drone-like quality of the male harmonies joining Radie on the powerful lines “Aye, but I’ll not have him” and “His long grey beard, a shivering and shaking” enhance the distressing nature of the story.  The slow build through the many verses serves to haunt the listener for a long time to come.” LOG

Greg Synnott is the editor of award winning Irish music blog 7 Billion People All Alive at Once.

‘Thank you’ – All Tvvins

“I’ve been travelling since the start of the year and one of my connections to home is listening to music that I’ll be writing about when I return. Whenever anyone asks me to introduce them to good music from Ireland I always jump to All Tvvins straight away. Throwing out social convention and just diving right into creating good indie pop jams with their new outing, Lar and Conor have made something instantly likeable. Thank You is the perfect introduction for a band who have been playing an enticingly good live set for a year now. Waiting on that first album in anticipation.” GS

‘White Flag’ – Karla Chubb

“A newbie to the Irish music scene, apart from her stint on The Voice and a single live track promoting marriage equality, this one is sure to peak your interest. Karla has created the perfect example of a radio friendly hit. With its combination of slow build up and crowd pleasing moments I expect this to be a bit of a hit if she gets picked up by the festival circuit. This might only be the introduction to the Dublin singer but it’s a damn good first impression. Hoping it continues in this manner.” GS

Michael “Murph” Murphy is the bassist for Dublin folk-pop group Biggles Flys Again and a new project called Tomorrows. // @_tomorrows

‘Jump in the Fire’ – Harry Nilsson

“[Tomorrows members] Conor, Jed and I would finish work on the new material during the summer and head to the Dice bar as a reward. We heard this being played by the DJ and loved this untypical tune from Nilsson. We loved the psyche vocal and loose arrangement. Definitely a good indicator for the direction of some of the sounds on the Tomorrows album.” MM

’20/20′ – Gaz Coombes

“I was a little late in the game to this release but I have been trying to shove this into the rest of the band’s stereo for a while. We always loved Supergrass and we have covered ‘Mama & Papa” from their self titled third album. This album is a real grower and is perfect for road trips, I guess that is sometimes the best way to actually get time to soak in an album. I chose the live version here because you get more of feel for the scope of the record. ” MM

Listen to the playlist in full by clicking play on the player below.

About Gary Meyler

Gary Meyler is the editor of Other work: - Editor of (The G-Man) - Co-host of The Cork Music Show on CCCR 100.5FM - Gig promotion with The G-Man Presents... & low trees promotions - Contributor to Insert Title magazine - Sometime guest host of Red FM's 'Green on Red'