GALWAY'S CITÓG Records, and Dublin's Popical Island, two of Ireland's most exciting, diverse, and creative independent record labels, will go head to head in musical battle, at the Galway International Arts Festival.
Popical Island v Citóg Records takes place at the Róisín Dubh on Wednesday July 13 from 8pm, with Galway's Steven Sharpe, Grounds For Invasion, and Majestic Bears representing Citóg and No Monster Club, Me & My Dog, and Land Lovers flying the flag for Popical.
Steven Sharpe has become a phenomenon in the Galway music scene in recent years. His music, which mixes Led Zeppelin style hard rock, with folk, and left-field singer-songwriter, explores contemporary gay life in a witty, passionate, manner. Steven's debut album, with his band, The Broke Straight Boys, is out later this year.
Indie-electro trio Grounds For Invasion - Tracy Friel (vocals ), Will O’Connor (production/guitar ), Dave Shaugnessy (drums ) - have played venues and festivals around the country, and won glowing reviews from Hot Press, The Irish Times, The Thin Air, and An Áit Eile. Check out their debut album Dying Stars.
Majestic Bears - Ado Lyons (guitar, vocals ), Mike Burke (guitar, harmonica, vocals ), Wayne Foy (banjo, vocals ) - have just released their debut EP Julia. GoldenPlec praised their "well-crafted folk tracks, rooted in traditional, rustic sounds", while The Thin Air said they "have displayed a knack for charming motifs and deft sincerity to keep the summery folk fan in all of us whistling all the way to the shops".
No Monster Club is the cartoonish art-pop brainchild of Dubliner Bobby Aherne that has already produced a dozen albums containing “the kind of tunefulness that makes a joke of so much contemporary pop music” (The Irish Times ), and a slew of summery singles that evoke “a stripped-down, sugar high Pet Sounds” (NYLON magazine ). They have also released c20 outreagous music videos, and the critically-acclaimed I Feel Magic album.
Me and My Dog are a surf-pop-garage quartet from Westport. The band - Luke Healy, Josh Noone, Austen Smith, Tim O'Reilly - are influenced by The Feelies, Stephen Malkmus, The Clean, The Magnetic Fields, and Television. In 2013, they released the Three Songs About Me and My Dog EP and in 2014, issued their first physical release, Delphi, a five a side split album with Galway's Oh Boland, through Popical Island.
Land Lovers, founding members and key contributors to the Popical Island collective, have just released their third full-length album, The Rooks Have Returned. Originally a solo project for Padraig Cooney, he has since been joined by Ciaran Canavan, Shane Murphy and Maggie Fagan. They have played at Electric Picnic, Body & Soul and Forbidden Fruit, and supported Stephen Malkmus and The Wave Pictures.