We’re heading back to Cork in Ireland to spend some more time listening in on the local music scene. Our guide, Eddie Kiely, today brings us and interview and introduction to the Valley of the Sun EP from local death pop band The Vincent(s).
In a recent article I attempted to introduce readers to the vibrant Cork music scene. In this piece I take a closer look at one of the acts that are at the forefront of this musical revival, The Vincent(s).
The Vincent(s) first came to my attention in November of last year when after only a few months together and with a handful of gigs under their belt I saw them play a FIFA Records gig in The Pavilion, Cork.
What I saw that evening was a band that was raw, edgy, dark but distinctive and with a real swagger, but more than anything they seemed while combining several styles and crossing over several genres to be creating something original. Since then the band have continued to grow and develop and all the time honing their sound.
Although only in formed in August of 2012, The Vincent(s) have toured extensively throughout Ireland and built a reputation as a thrilling live band. They have been packing them into Irish venues and along with cohorts The Altered Hours, represent something of a sea change in music that has emerged from the Cork of 2013. They set their stall out earlier this year with their debut ‘Asked Her to the Dance’ which caught the ear of Irish & international alternative press and radio.
Some of the critique they’re received includes: “Their debut single ‘Asked Her to Dance’ is a total treat.” (BBC Across the Line); “The Vincent(s)’ sound is a wicked mix of indie, grunge, and noise-pop. The combination may seem a little bizarre at first, but have a listen and you’ll see how these nuances work together amazingly.” (A Music Blog, yea? – Toronto Canada); “Fiendishly addictive track” (Hot Press).
The Vincent(s) hooked up with Irish indie label FIFA Records to put out their debut, and followed this up on the 23rd of Aug with the release of the 4 track ‘Valley of the Sun’ EP which again gained national and international recognition and reaffirmed them in my opinion as one of the most exciting bands to come out of Ireland in a long time.
Again, the plaudits have rolled in: “It’s got these delicious little moments of silence, which punctuate what is a great Indie Rock song, full of engaging hooks and a chorus that ruffles your hair, and lets you jump aboard for the ride” (Backseat Mafia – Sheffield UK); “Song ForThe Sea does it for me – one of the best tunes this year from anyone, anywhere!” (Dan Hegarty RTE 2FM); “The “Valley of the Sun” EP does much more than entertain; the Vincent(s) have created magic for you to explore!” (Streetrockreview –Seattle US).
Raw recordings, noise and psych are the orders of the day. Their roots lie in surf sounds and early ’90’s US alt-guitar groove, which sit alongside an unmistakable Irish vocal; The Vincent(s) latest offering is a bonus free download track in the shape of ‘Milk with Tea’ This track is now available from The Vincent(s) soundcloud page.
Love for Milk with Tea includes: “‘Milk with Tea’ is a fantastic introduction to an interesting band with a great sound, and who by all accounts are a great to witness live also.” (Artrocker UK); ‘Milk With Tea’ is a stunningly atmospheric affirmation of the group’s visceral Death-Pop sound.” (The Journalist).
I recently caught up with Vocalist and Bass player Margus in an attempt to learn more about this intriguing group.
Louder Than War: What’s the first song you ever remember hearing?
Margus: Nirvana: Scentless Apprentice on the Dave Fanning show RTE 2fm.Changed my life!
What are you listening to lately?
Amen Dunes, Iceage and Slug Guts.
What’s your favourite album by another artist?
Amen Dunes: Through Donkey jaw
What inspires you lyrically?
Usually if I fuck my life up in some way or another I feel the need to write my way out of the bad situation, you know? If I’m happy and content with life then nothing comes out. If I find myself becoming too happy with my current life and social situation I will fuck everything and everyone around me just to get back to writing songs like! It’s sad but it works.
Are there any songs you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t?
Not really, I put so much time and effort into our songs that I appreciate the end results regardless of the fact that some of the songs might drive people out the doors of venues.
What do you think of the current Irish music scene?
I think there is a healthy enough scene in Ireland at the moment. There are still lots and lots of piss-poor bands are still “getting away with it”, but I feel a considerably less amount of, absolute pampered drivel, is being tolerated by the people. Which is a serious improvement to before! There are great bands scattered all over this country but I feel that there are not enough people, venues and labels to look after them all properly. It’s a real shame!
What do you think of the current Cork music scene?
The Cork scene is like a small incestuous family. Everyone is involved with each other in some way or another, and everyone is helping everyone out. Its fuckin’ great like! The music that’s being delivered is better than it has been in years. There is a strict “NO BULLSHIT!” method to every ones thinking and the level of writing and musicianship is blossoming due to this factor. It’s really exciting to be a part of it.
Had any of you recorded with other groups before forming The Vincent(s)?
Not really! We have done demo’s and things with other groups but have never released anything like this before. I have been recording my own material for years on 8-tracks and stuff, so I had a fair idea what to do when I went into record “Valley of the Sun”, but I never had the intention of releasing it on a label or anything. That just came about afterwards. I guess it was good or something?
Other than the people you’re with now, if you could get any musician, living or dead, who would be in your ‘dream band’?
Jim Reid, William Reid, Alan Vega, Martin Rev and Peter Murphy.
People have the image that it’s non-stop partying in Ireland. Is it?
It’s a wild place if you want like it wild. There are hard-core party heads everywhere but I prefer a nice cup of tea and some toast over a bucket of cocaine off a hookers back.
When do you go back into studio?
We are currently in studio just to throw down some ideas to mull over during the festive season. We are constantly writing and pushing ourselves musically but we have not been in the studio since before the summer so it’s going to be interesting to see what comes out of us next. I’m kind of excited, really.
What’s next for you? Death with a good headstone.
The Vincent(s) are currently in studio working on their next release with an expected late Jan or early Feb release. This will be supported by an Irish tour and the band’s first UK dates.
All words and interview by Eddie Kiely.
In the next article about Cork’s scene Eddie will introduce us to Elastic Sleep.