Good news from the West – Vol IV

it’s been too long since I last posted about some international acts here. Not a bad complaint to make that I am distracted by quality Irish music. This volume of music contains artists from across the water to the west and to the east. All singer-songwriters, all of which are performing in Ireland in the next few months, two of which might just have produced albums of the year. Which two you decide for yourself! Phosphorescent
Phosphorescent aka Matt Houck has been making music for the past thirteen years. The recently released album “Muchacho” is his sixth under that moniker. Phosphorescent has always had a tinge of melancholia about it. This release though is full of rich, warm saturated melodies. They still manage to compliment Matt’s relaxed singing style. It will be a contender for album of the year. The band play the Kilkenny Roots festival on the May Bank Holiday weekend. See the band official website for more.
Kurt Vile
Another man with another new album out. Kurt Vile is a former member of the band War On Drugs. Since leaving that band in 2008, Kurt has released four solo albums with the upcoming “Wakin on a Pretty Daze”(due to be released next Monday) his first in two years. I never really got into War on Drugs but after listening to some of Kurt’s music, I will have to. The songs contain elements of psychedelic rock mixed with folk melodies and some great Neil Young-esque solos. It’s a great companion piece to Phosphorescent. Kurt also has exceptional taste in music. You can stream the whole album on the Guardian’s website here. Kurt is playing the Body & Soul Festival in June. Check the official site here for more.

John Smith
And now looking to the east. John Smith is an Englishman from Devon though you wouldn’t think it. He has the graceful voice of a southern blues man (that might be an oxymoron). Anyway John released his fourth album titled “Great Lakes” just last week. The single “Salty and Sweet” is a lovely, light folk song with one of those very hummable and thus easily stuck in your head melodies. The songs feel effortless which is always a sign of a great songwriter. John is about to begin a national tour of Ireland. You can check the dates on his official website. That’s it for now kids. More music soon.

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