Nova Scotia's Nap Eyes is the greatest band you've never heard, and Whine of the Mystic is their first full-length album, a brilliant small-batch brew of crooked, literate guitar pop refracted through the gray Halifax rain. Recorded live to tape with no overdubs, it's equal parts shambling and sophisticated, with one eye on the dirt and one trained on the starry firmament, inhabiting a skewed world where odes to NASA and the Earth's magnetic field coexist easily with songs about insomnia and drinking too much. RIYL The Only Ones/England's Glory, The Modern Lovers, The Clean, The Verlaines, The Go-Betweens, Bedhead, and all things Lou Reed.
Night Fiction is Cian Nugent’s third album but his first taking on the role of singer-songwriter. Where his previous two albums: 2013’s Born With The Caul and 2011’s Doubles saw him exploring extended guitar based instrumentals with his band, The Cosmos, here he has reigned things in and focused his songwriting skills. Guitar fans, do not fear, there is still plenty of soloing and fingerpicking here. With 7 songs both solo and with his band, this album amalgamates everything Cian has done up to this point and reveals a more broad palate of influences, including The Velvet Underground, Richard Thompson, Television, Neil Young, John Lennon, Fred Neil, etc.
Recorded over a week beginning on Valentine’s Day 2015, Night Fiction was recorded in Bow Lane Studios in Dublin with Daniel Fox (Girl Band) and mixed by Brendan Jenkinson. The album’s seven songs include solo ventures as well as full-band recordings feat. David Lacey on drums, Conor Lumsden on bass, Brendan Jenkinson on organ and piano and Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh on viola. The vibe here is familiar yet refreshing and a logical progression for Cian.
“Matt Kivel's Double Exposure is a small masterpiece of humble virtues: warm, patient, calm. It is beautifully, pristinely recorded, finely wrought; its ten songs represent some of the least insistent music you will be spellbound by all year.
The muffled boom of the bass drum on "White Rice", the pearly piano notes, ringing down a long hallway in "Rainbow Trout", the humming—insect looping guitars that swarm through "All Will Be Well", the small bursts of static at the edges of "Days of Heaven"—each touch registers like an event within the hallowed space that Kivel creates. The album doesn't so much grow on you as accrete, like daytime shadow creeping across the room. It's been seven months since I first tried to puzzle out Double Exposure, and it keeps eluding me. I don't know when I'll want to stop trying, but not soon.” — Jayson Greene (Pitchfork)