Now is a very exciting time to be involved, in any way, with Irish independent music. It’s not that the music being made now is necessarily better than in times past, or more important, but that the game itself has changed. It is easier and cheaper to access recording materials; it’s easier and cheaper to promote your music thanks to the internet and its numerous iniatives; we still have great venues; the DIY spirit is alive and kicking; and collectives and labels are springing up all over the place.
There is another side to all of these changes, and that’s the uncertainty that surrounds the music industry; the unstable record sales; the cautious big-name record labels; the fast ascent to fame of newborn bands who really needed another few years to ‘find’ themselves before being introduced to the world; the speed at which you can burn away after living fast on a high of blog posts and bandcamp sales. Music is more disposable, and listeners won’t always pay money for it.
And yet…. this isn’t a post about all the difficult parts to this new musical era that we are all still wrangling with, the download-or-don’t debates, the fear, the uncertainty. It’s about the fact that despite all of this, great music is still being made. It’s sometimes overwhelming how much new music floods into my inbox every week.
Some of it is quality, some isn’t. But that’s to be expected with any creative form. There are still a lot of people doing inspiring things, so it’s an honour, really, to get to be involved in spreading the word in some way about them.
Today marks the first monthly NewFound Sounds podcast/column in The Ticket. It’s pretty thrilling – and not a little nerve-wracking, if I’m honest – to get to combine three things I love (radio, writing and music, needless to say) in one package, and have it featured in The Irish Times. If I’m even more honest, part of me didn’t believe it was actually happening until I woke up this morning and checked the website straight away on my phone (let’s not get into print-versus-web journalism in this post, however…)
But here it is. You can check out the column here, and listen to the podcast here. Any feedback, suggestions or comments welcome. I’m sure it will evolve as it goes on, and I’m really looking forward to finding new bands and themes for it. This month’s podcast features tracks from A Driftwood Manor, I’m Your Vinyl, Horsemen Pass By, SlowPlaceLikeHome and Seamus O Muineachain, who are all making totally different but utterly gorgeous music.
This week’s theme is new music, and the next two, I can tentatively say, will feature Irish bands playing in upcoming festivals. I’m thinking it would be great to focus on Irish metal / hip hop / experimental music in the coming months too, with input from people within those scenes….
All of this wouldn’t be possible without a brilliant editor, so a huge thanks to Anthea McTeirnan for giving NewFound Sounds her stamp of approval and encouragement.
A big thanks also goes to Lauren Murphy, who does the gig guide for the podcast (and put up with me growling ‘gah! noise!!’ into the mic everytime something moved while we were recording it). You’ll hear more of Lauren on future podcasts.
As for the theme music, another huge thanks must go to Toby Kaar, who kindly provided a selection of unreleased tunes for me to pick a song from. Sound! Check his music out here.
PS: If you’re looking for more independent Irish music, here are a few links for you:
Community of Independents (DOI – I do interviews for them)
Body & Soul disposable camera pics & half-frame pic by me