Best. Thing. Ever.
Last night I finally got to see El Grey live! I have been waiting for an ideal opportunity to hear the voice of El Grey herself live for a long time and last nights performance at the Lockup Big Day Out gig in the Spirit Store, Dundalk, did not disappoint.
It was one of those gigs where you felt like the singer was singing only to you. One of those gigs where the hairs on your arms stand on end. One of those gigs that literally takes your breath away. And such gigs are rare.
I was in awe of El Greys voice- her vocal is powerful, expressive, delicate, haunting and strong- all at the same time. Her range is astounding and her style is unique. A voice you will never forget once you’ve heard it.
I watched her performance in absolute delight, superbly skilled in acoustic guitar- flawlessly, effortlessly fingerpicking- a natural player. During her performance she seems to enter another state of consciousness- a higher state of mind- her voice expressing her deepest emotions through soaring notes, beautiful on-sets and releases- a very dreamy sound world. A talented musician, she also plays the ukulele with a grace I’ve never seen before- no tacky jokey jingle-jangle here- her unique guitar fingerpicking style translates beautifully onto her charming little instrument.
Accompanied by Chris Topher on percussion and live electronic MIDI sequencing, her music takes on another dimension. Chris programs percussive loops using a MIDI interface and laptop. He also plays a large djembe while playing basslines with his toes! He trades El Greys acoustic guitar and ukulele throughout the set.
A duet clearly in control of their sound and production, El Grey uses the Boss vocal processor for hands-on control of her reverb and delay effects. Her long reverb tails and massive echoes are her trademark and her vocal processor is used to great effect. She clearly understands what she’s doing and doesn’t cloud her sound in a foggy, confusing mist of unnecessary decay. The overall sound is minimal and focussed- and believe me, anything but boring. The 45-minute set included all original songs except one Nirvana cover which was played in absolute El Grey style- she really made it her own.
It’s very clear there’s a super talent here. No wonder she has being going from strength to strength in the last year- winning an EP recorded with United Records and mastered in the world-famous Abbey Road Studios in London in 2013. Her 3-track self-titled debut EP was released 2014. The EP has been given airplay on a number of radio shows in Ireland and beyond, including Dan Hegarty’s The Alternative (2FM), Near FM Sessions (Near FM), and CSM – leading alternative show by Aleksandra Kaczkowska on Polish National Radio ‘3’ (Trojka Polskie Radio). Also El Grey’s recently become the Finalist of the Big Break All Ireland Music Competition organised by Hot Press Magazine (Top Five 2014).
It was very exciting for me personally to get to meet the duet after the gig, I couldn’t help but feel a tiny bit starstruck- when you follow an artists music online for some time that you really admire, you just can’t help but feel in awe, especially after such an amazing gig! I have to say, both Chris and El Grey are absolutely stunning people- they have such a genuinely beautiful energy and spirit, I couldn’t help but feel as if I had met them before! El Grey is very giggly and light-hearted, taking my camera and posing for hilarious selfies, I genuinely laughed this morning looking back on my photos!
Before I share some of my photos of the gig, get yourself a copy of the beautifully recorded EP on their Bandcamp here: El Grey.
Watch her official music videos and special behind the scenes footage of her EP here: el grey – YouTube.
Like the official band page on Facebook for regular updates and further information: el grey.
I hope you enjoy her music as much as I do.
Love and light.
The past few months my newsfeed was full of Metal Hammer proclaiming Babymetal this, Babymetal that, pictures of three cute Japanese girls with microphones and I ignored it until recently when I saw a picture of the three girls with Slayers Kerry King and I said “Stop the bus! If Kerry King is saying this is cool, this has to be worth a look!”
And what I found was pure gold.
I couldn’t help but love it instantly. This absolute mad mix of metal, pop, dance and (at times) hip-hop and reggae appeals greatly to the metalhead AND pop lover in me. The vocals are so unbelievably sweet, cute, catchy and the music is by contrast evil, dark and heavy- monster riffs and thundering drums- heavy metal music updated with additional synths and electronic elements.
The music itself is only half of it. Babymetal is very much a visual experience- three singing and dancing Japanese girls in co-ordinating outfits performing with a backing-up band.
The self-titled debut album was released in February this year under Toy’s Factory record label and it’s all I’ve been listening to.
You can’t HELP but smile listening to this music, you can’t help but enjoy the chaos, the madness- it seems wrong but it’s definitely right!!!!!
So who is Babymetal?
Sumetal (Suzuka Nakamoto) is the lead-vocalist and the tallest member of the band. She’s 16 years old and a tiny 5 foot 1. She already has enjoyed a career in pop music singing with Karen’s Girl (a female trio who sang theme songs for the anime Zettai Karen Children) until 2009, then founding Sakura Gakuin (an idol group) until 2013 when Nakamoto graduated from junior high school.
Moametal (Moa Kikuchi) is 15 years old and a member of the idol group Sakura Gakuin. She plays guitar.
Yuimetal (Yui Mizuno) is also 15 years old and is a current member of Sakura Gakuin.
I found this blog post which further delves into the creative team behind Babymetal and the music industry of Japan: The Faces Behind Babymetal | Don’t Cross The Streams. Well worth a read. I am an absolute newbie to this part of the music industry, I know very, very little about Japan and its culture (apart from what I experienced when my aunt was married to Japanese man!), I’m just in love with this new musical force!
You must listen to the songs, you must watch the videos- you can’t miss this!
EXCITED is not the word! Jumping around the house, bouncing from room to room, ready to burst from anticipation might be slightly more accurate!!!
Emigrate just posted an album teaser video minutes ago on their Facebook page and it sounds HOT!!! Silent So Long is due to be released in October.
Emigrate is the solo project of Richard Kruspe- the lead guitarist of German industrial metal giants Rammstein (my favourite band), unlike the songs of Rammstein, Kruspe sings in English. Kruspe is my HERO and his previous solo album simply titled Emigrate, (released in 2007) blew my mind.
It’s not entirely clear who’s producing Silent So Long, whether Jacob Hellner (Emigrate, Rammstein, Apocalyptica) is involved, though there is a photo of Kruspe with Ben Grosse (previously Sevendust, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson, Breaking Benjamin, Depeche Mode and more) and from what I gather from the Facebook photos, Sascha Moser is programming and editing again.
It’s all very exciting!!!!!!!! The album is available for pre-order on Amazon: Silent So Long: Amazon.de: Musik.
Attention metal heads! Dundalk-based metallers Words That Burn released their new single “Before The Fall” via BandCamp over the weekend. And it kicks serious ass.
For me personally, the song brings the likes of Primordial to mind. The excellent production showcases the band as a mature and highly-polished unit with plenty of edge and energy expertly performed. Catchy guitar hooks, tight as hell bass and drums, excellent lyrics and a savage vocal performance make this latest release the bands finest output to date. I love the fabulous contrasting middle eight for the well-considered, layered vocal harmonies- the lower register of Ronan’s vocal gets me every time.
Download the song at the link here: BEFORE THE FALL | Words That Burn. Name your price! It’s free if you want it to be!
The accompanying video was released this evening on YouTube- excellent work! Check it out below:
The band’s next major gig is at PhilFest 2014 in Fibbers, Parnell St, Dublin (Sunday the 29th of June)- a 2-day heavy metal event with a fantastic lineup for a mere €5 per day- you’d be bonkers to miss it!
Get liking Words That Burn on Facebook.
Get following @words_that_burn on Twitter.
Rock out!!! \m/
The Irish Maritime Festival was a huge success last weekend in Drogheda Port. Drogheda town centre was buzzing with the festival atmosphere Saturday and Sunday. What fab weather we got for it!
Here’s some photos we took, mostly of the Augustinian Gospel Choir! You can imagine my fright when I turned around to see a dancing Spongebob Squarepants on stage, right behind me! What fun we had! And of course a dancing Patrick, our newest choir member ;)
Thanks to the Purple Sessions crew for the great sound and thanks to the festival organisers for a wonderful experience!
Join us this Sunday (June 15th) in Drogheda at The Irish Maritime Festival 2014 – Gerry Simpson and the Augustinian Gospel Choir- we will be singing our hearts out and giving it all we’ve got at 1pm at the Ballast Sound Stage!
Come along, clap along, sing along- you will be uplifted and you will be feeling HAPPY! :D
I would like to share my major production project “Crystal Hearts”- a contemporary Celtic New Age song about the divine connection and eternal love of soulmates that I have been working on this semester. This is an alternative mix to what I’m being graded on and I hope you all enjoy listening to it as much as I did producing it! Love and light.
Composed by Stephanie Caffrey
Lyrics by Keith Caffrey and Stephanie Caffrey.
Produced, recorded and mixed by Stephanie Caffrey.
Vocals: Fiona McErlane
Drums: Jay Ruddy
Bass: Shane Piper
Harp: Shane Taaffe
Fiddles: Ellie McGinley and Stephanie Caffrey
Low Whistle: Corentin Morgble
Bodhran: Corentin Morgble
Synths and drum loops: Stephanie Caffrey
Piano: Stephanie Caffrey
Assisted by Shauna Kearney and Scott McLoughlin.
Tomorrow night is a big night for us Third Year Music and Audio Production students at DkIT. We are presenting our major production projects in the Spirit Store and we’re very excited about it!
We were the first ever intake of Music and Audio Production (2011) and our production projects combine everything we have studied over the last three years.
We have worked with teams of musicians from the BA Music Applied plus other courses in DkIT as well as musicians outside of the college on our individual projects.
There will be something for everyone at this event- our songs range from Folk to Rock, Pop to Dance and Celtic New Age to Metalcore!
We are looking forward to celebrating our hard work and hearing each others final mixes.
Entry is free and doors are at 7.30pm, do come along!
For course details please visit: BA (Hons) Production of Music and Audio | Dundalk Institute of Technology.
A little photo collage from the studio sessions of my most recent production project at DkIT – “Crystal Hearts” written by myself and Keith Caffrey. Just saying a massive THANK YOU to all the musicians who performed on the song! Everyone brought something special to my production. The song is Celtic New Age and tells the story of two people who meet and recognise each other as soulmates (remember my blog post last summer that I was demoing something special? This is it! Completed, produced and mixed!). An expression of everlasting love and divine connection “Crystal Hearts” is my most proud piece as a songwriter, musician and producer yet.