Made up of Daniel McAuley, Brendan Jenkinson and Rory O’Connor, Cloud Castle Lake are a band that were marked out as being different from their contemporaries right from their early gigs. Based in Dublin, the trio quickly caught the attention of the likes of Glasser, Lis Hannigan and Nigel Godrich (supporting each of them on tour) with their singular voice and uniquely ethereal yet textured songs. Drawing early comparisons with the likes of Beirut and Wild Beasts, a process of recording, re-recording, stripping back and whittling down left the group with a sound completely their own – atmospheric, pastoral but exquisitely future-facing and at times dark and brooding.
Cloud Castle Lake – Sync on YouTube
Early recordings fast culminated in their debut EP, Dandelion. Put out through Happy Valley Records, the 4 tracks have drawn acclaim across the board. Best Fit called the release “a potent concoction of virility, terrifyingness and expansive grandeur”, while Clash Music noted that “[it seems] to shift and evolve within its own deeply idiosyncratic parameters”. Most accurate were arguably the NME – in their premiere of A Wolf Howling, they described Cloud Castle Lake as “Full of gloomy doomsday electronics, anguished falsetto vocals and other latter-day Radioheadisms, it doesn’t just grab your attention – it violently kidnaps it, keeping your emotions under lock and key till its wandering seven-minute run-time is out. Ones to watch? You can say that again.”
Tickets are £7 and are available through See Tickets.
First emerging from the ever-thriving Glasgow scene back in 2007 in a time when MySpace was still the primary way through which people discovered music, Russell Whyte – better known by the name Rustie – has long been one of the most innovative and exciting producers anywhere in the world. Releasing a steady selection of 12″ cuts that invariably sold out, Rustie has took his time to build towards his debut LP – with two years of steady work in the studio culminating in Glass Swords. Put out through Warp back in 2011, it was described as “a vivid, liberating experience” by NOW Magazine (who also awarded it a perfect score) and “just the right amount of restraint to prevent total disarray” by the BBC (8/10).
Rustie – Attak ft. Danny Brown on YouTube
A Pitchfork feature on Whyte illustrated Rustie’s sound as “like a metaphor for living in intense digital excess”, and that certainly seems to be something which attracts some of the biggest and best names around – Jamie Lidell, Kelis, The Big Pink and Nicki Minaj count among his past collaborators. In 2014, Rustie followed up his debut with Green Language, an album that builds upon his innovative style and notably eclectic influences (everything from 2000’s R&B through to bass music, grime and 80’s pop tinge his work). Pretty Much Amazing (“we witness risks… [it’s a] bet [that] pays out exponentially”, 8.3/10), The Guardian (“Rustie’s sitting in a space that’s all his own”, 8/10) and Spin (“Green Language fully delivers, serving as a fascinating turn for an artist who earned his reputation by essentially bashing fans into submission”, 8/10) were among the many critics who vaunted his latest efforts.
Tickets are available now for £10 through Skiddle.
Starting out by writing music as a way to pass the time between making music for various film and multimedia projects, Lydia Ainsworth started to secretly create tracks for herself around 3 years ago. Moving between bedrooms and basements in Toronto and Brooklyn, Ainsworth put together a uniquely arresting collection of tracks that found the attention of Arbutus Records (Grimes, BRAIDS, TOPS, Majical Cloudz). Blurring the lines between indie, pop, movie scores and experimental music, Ainsworth put her debut album out on the imprint in 2014.
Lydia Ainsworth – Malachite on YouTube
Right from Real was met with universal critical acclaim upon release, with Stereogum naming it as their album of the week and Consequence of Sound (8/10), All Music (8/10) and Exclaim (8/10) being among the many to laud its singular excellence. Pitchfork perhaps caught the essence of the LP best in their review (7.9/10) when they described it as “[existing] in a dusky, cobalt-hued twilight, after the real world has drawn its curtains closed and before the mystical realm starts to come alive. The music illustrates those enchanted hours in detail with soft-sweeping strings, modest electronic tinkering, pointed spates of percussion, and Ainsworth’s confident, versatile self-harmonizing.”
Tickets are £7.50 and are available from See Tickets.