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Indie Rockers Afterbliss on New Single “Remnants”

Melodies are everything for Afterbliss. The ever-consistent indie rockers are back with their third single, “Remnants”, a complex track which retains their trademark penchant for compelling melody, while forging a path into new territory. Disco, synth-pop, and even classical influences come together, and make for a truly thrilling ride.

“It’s definitely something you can dance to!” says Ally Pender, the band’s drummer.  “But at the same time, it’s quite melodic.” Shane Waldron, their bassist, adds, “It’s actually the first song that we all wrote together, with the five of us all in the band, back in 2019. This song has gone through a lot of versions; I feel what we’re releasing now a really good representation of us, and what we can do. It’s us, it’s who we’ve shown ourselves to be already, but it’s also showing more of what we’re capable of, the variety of what we can do.”

The band’s pride in the track is understandable. Lyrically, “Remnants” is about a relationship which doesn’t play out as hoped, and about those things left unsaid. Previously unexpressed, those words become unleashed, with firecracker-like synth and guitar, and a relentless, galloping beat which holds the track together. It’s an indie rock which does homage to iconic acts like Interpol and Muse, while bringing a contemporary and fresh flavour of its own.

“There’s no messing around with this song. It’s fast. It’s full on. I don’t think that we could have thrown anything else at this song. We’re putting ourselves out there.” Shane says. “We’re putting the aerosol can on the bonfire, to see what happens.”

Afterbliss met in the most unlikely of places. After a discussion on an online discussion forum, and comprised of members from across Ireland, Scotland and Romania, the indie rock band formed in June 2019. The group is made up of Evan Cassidy on lead vocals, Alex Burcea on lead guitar, synths and backing vocals, Ally Pender on drums, James O’Gorman on rhythm guitar, and Shane Waldron on bass. After 18 months of writing songs, November 2020 saw them release their debut single, “Until Sunrise”, which received acclaim on local and national Irish radio play.

The band followed this up in February with “Kiss and Tell”, which The Last Mixed Tape lauded for its demonstration of the group’s “tightly woven interplay”. Each of their songs are treated with beautifully realised music videos. Their music has already accumulated over 27,000 streams between Spotify and YouTube. “Remnants” was recorded in the legendary Windmill Lane Recording Studios, Dublin (Rolling Stones, U2). It was mixed by Alan Kelly (Kings of Leon, Herbie Hancock), and mastered by Fergal Davis (Muse, Sinead O’Connor). Their third single, it marks Afterbliss as a band stepping into the indie rock scene ready to make an unforgettable impact.

Afterbliss’ music straddles the genres of indie rock, indie pop, melodic rock, synth rock, and dance. They take influence from Muse, Editors, Interpol, Manic Street Preachers, and the Killers, and inspiration from artists such as Inhaler, Nothing But Thieves, Alt Tvvins, Ben Howard, and Kynsy.

Music

Irish Alt-Pop Artist, Rebekah Fitch Releases New Single ‘Goodbye’

Rebekah Fitch’s new single ‘Goodbye’ is a song that perfectly captures the struggle to express the true weight of a permanent goodbye between two cherished people – what our heart is longing to say, but our words can never fully express. Heart-wrenchingly fraught with bittersweet desperation, it marries the deep gratitude for everything they have given them with the profound grief that comes in a parting of ways.

A follow up to recent single, Loose Ends, it is a bold endeavour to form language where no words can suffice, and if you have ever sought to express such a goodbye, let this song take the reins and sing it for you.

Fitch says, “I have had several significant goodbyes in my life, but I never felt that I honoured them with enough recognition, as I was always looking ahead to the next stage in my life. I wanted to write a song that paid homage to those people that have had such profound influence and significance, and have given me so much. It’s so important to acknowledge this in a time of so many goodbyes, and so I wanted to write a song that others could relate to, and weave beautifully into their own personal stories. 

“It feels significant too to be releasing it at this time, as we leave behind a period of unhurried stillness, not to rush back into busyness but to reflect and grieve what we have lost well, taking forward all we have learnt.”

This release follows on from Rebekah’s recent singles, Dust, Game Over and Loose Ends, which were playlisted on BBC Radio, RTE1 and RTE 2FM, Q Radio and more.

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An Evening With Foy Vance set for The Empire Music Hall

Foy Vance has announced details of his forthcoming fourth studio album Signs Of Life and released new single “Time Stand Still.” Vance’s second studio album on Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records and the follow-up to 2016’s The Wild SwanSigns Of Life will be released on September 10 on CD, LP and digital formats and is available to pre-order. Additionally, Vance has announced details of an An Evening With Foy Vance, an intimate UK & US tour to celebrate the album’s release including The Empire Music Hall, Belfast on Sunday 12th September 2021. 

“Time Stand Still” is the third track taken from Signs Of Life following “Sapling” and title track “Signs Of Life”, which have racked up almost half a million Spotify plays in the last two weeks. The New York Times wrote that “Sapling” “harks back to Van Morrison’s better days, grainy and impassioned”, Clash magazine called it “an instant fan favourite… a song about renewal and survival,” while Americana UK described the song as “simply beautiful…all about (Vance’s) wonderfully characterful voice and the gorgeous melody it enfolds.”

Signs of Life

Signs Of Life is the sound of a beloved singer-songwriter at the peak of his powers. It’s also the sound of a man – a husband, a father, a sinner, a drinker – belatedly coming to terms with his demons. Driven by powerful percussion, “Time Stand Still” features a soaring, emotive vocal from Vance, who was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and painkillers at the time of writing.

“I had my first extended period off the road after twenty years of constant touring,” says Vance. “And I realised: wow, I drink two bottles of wine and at least a half bottle of vodka a day. I’d start the day with codeine to get myself sorted, and I’d smoke joints throughout the day. So I realised: I have so many incredibly bad habits here. I’m showing all the signs of death, getting ashen, grey, smoking more, drinking more, smoking more…I hit a wall.”

“It was my manager that made me get help,” Vance continues. “And in those moments, you do wish time would stand still. Can’t I just stop here and sit in this moment before I have to take up that mantle?”

Signs Of Life was recorded in three locations: Vance’s Pilgrim studio at home on the shores of Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire, another recording set-up in a nearby Dunvarlich House, and at Plan B’s Kings X studio in London. The album was written and played more or less entirely by Vance, with able assistance from young Northern Irish producer Gareth Dunlop. Serendipitously, Dunlop had been inspired on his career path by a chance encounter with Vance many years before.

“When I was around 14 years-old I wandered into a coffee shop in Belfast and saw Foy playing in the corner,” Dunlop explains. “I was completely spellbound by what I heard. It was a lightbulb moment that sent me on the road of wanting to discover my own voice and musicality. I would never have imagined that I would be co-producing a record with him 18 years later, and that I would be just as inspired and spellbound by what he does.”

Created out of the grimness of 2020, Signs of Life is an album of dawn after darkness, hope after despair, engagement after isolation, uplift after lockdown. It comes in bold sleeve artwork that reflects Vance’s desire to embrace all sides of everything, all humanity’s textures. Shot on a 160-year-old camera which does arresting things with colours and shading, the back image is of Vance as a bare-chested, bare-knuckle boxer. On the front, he’s in a dress, blonde wig and theatrical make-up.

“They’re just mad, striking images, and I loved the fact that it was male and female. You know, life’s extreme, life’s volatile, life explodes into reality sometimes, and stops just as quick. So to be struck by images on the cover made sense.”

At any time, Foy Vance’s new collection of songs would be a tonic. At this particular time, they can’t arrive a moment too soon. “That’s a huge part of it,” says Vance. “Signs of Life is about re-emergence – me in my own soft revolution, the world re-emerging in what we’re about to see as we hopefully go back to some semblance of normality. But just life in general – flowers growing through the cracks in Chernobyl. Life finds a way, doesn’t it?”

Bangor’s Own

Hailing from Bangor in Northern Ireland, Vance independently released his debut album Hope in 2007, quickly garnering acclaim from fans and fellow musicians alike. His second full-length album, Joy of Nothing, released in 2013 on Glassnote Records, won the inaugural Northern Ireland Music Prize and saw Vance tour the globe with Ed Sheeran, Bonnie Raitt, Marcus Foster, Snow Patrol and Sir Elton John, as well as his own solo headline tours.


In 2015 Vance was became the second signing to Gingerbread Man Records, Ed Sheeran’s label division within Atlantic Records. His debut recording for the label, The Wild Swan – Executive Produced by Sir Elton John – contained the BBC Radio 2 playlisted singles “Coco”, “Upbeat Feelgood”, and “Noam Chomsky Is A Soft Revolution”, and saw Vance perform on NBC’s Today and CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden. 

As a songwriter, Vance’s collaborations include co-writing four cuts including “Galway Girl” on Ed Sheeran’s 2017 album Divide. He has also worked with Alicia Keys, Rag N Bone Man, Keith Urban, Kacey Musgraves, Miranda Lambert, Plan B and Rudimental among many others, effortlessly switching between genres.

Last year, Vance launched the podcast series The Vinyl Supper in which he talks music, food and life stories with special guests and friends from the world of music, poetry and film. Recorded remotely during the global pandemic, series one featured Anderson East, Atticus, Benny Blanco, Blake Mills, Bruce Cockburn, Chrissy Metz, Courteney Cox, Devin Dawson, Josh Groban, Keith Urban and Passenger.

Foy Vance has headlined globally to sell-out crowds and splits his time between London and the Scottish Highlands with his family. 

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