Every year the GoldenPlec community of writers and photographers get together for a big old natter about which artists we expect to explode on the music scene in the year ahead. The discussion always provokes a heated debate, general bickering and communal agreements. To complement our ‘Best of 2013′ feature, we have selected our ‘Plec Picks’ for 2014. The list encompasses a wide range of artists, highlighting some of the best bands and solo artists currently active in Ireland. We had the pleasure of conducting interviews and photo shoots with all acts on this list and we are proud to present the final result.
Slow Skies are an act that may, at first, strike you as foreign. Their online presence and visual identity are as slick, polished, well put-together and as complimenting to their music as you would have come to expect from a large international artist with major label-backing. Not perhaps, from an Irish act with only two short EP’s to their name. Fortunately for them and us, their talent and promise goes even further than their confident visual identity.
Slow Skies make music, proper music. It’s not all about the big noises, loud crashes, in-your-face lyrics and attention-grabbing output that befits a large splattering of unsigned bands. With Slow Skies, the beauty lies in the quiet moments, the thoughtful pauses, impeccable production, flawless vocal inflections, woven web of lyrics and Karen Sheridan’s immaculate vocal. Currently supporting James Vincent McMorrow on tour and set to release another EP this year; 2014 could well be the year that Slow Skies propel themselves even further into Irish/international music notoriety.
What are you looking forward to most in 2014?
The thing we are looking forward to most is touring Ireland with James Vincent McMorrow later this month. We are supporting him for all his Irish tour dates.
Are you planning to release an EP/Album this year?
We are planning to release another EP soon. Not sure when but before the summer I’d say. Then, we will start working on an album.
Will there be video/single releases as part of this?
Not yet! But there will be very soon. We are working on it.
Is there a tour planned?
No tour planned but once we release our next EP, we’ll organise something.
Who do you think will win Meteor Choice 2013 album of the year award?
I love Little Green Cars debut album ‘Absolute Zero’. It would be great if they won with that one. I also love ‘Awayland’ so much. I’d like if they both won to be honest. I haven’t listened to any of the other albums to be fair. Think I should probably listen to them. I’m gonna get on that tonight and listen to a choice music nominee a day.
Who are you predicting to be big from the Irish music scene in 2014?
God I don’t know. There are so many great musicians here, it’s hard to tell. In no particular order, I think all the following artists will be HUGE – I Have a Tribe, Liza Flume, Sorcha Richardson, Girl Band, Bleeding Heart Pigeons, Hozier (he is already huge actually), Meltybrains? and Reid.
Slow Skies are based in Dublin but have recorded all over Ireland. What is it about recording outside the city that you find appealing and do you think the location impacts the end result?
Well, we have had to record in different locations as Conal and I don’t live in the same county (he lives in Donegal and I live in Dublin). So in that sense we haven’t really had a chance to just record in the one spot. I think it has probably been a good thing though. I think changing environments only lends itself to creativity. And for me, it’s always nice to get out of Dublin and go up to Donegal to record. Everything is so easy going and simple up there and that probably informs alot of the production. We have always finished mixing the songs in my friends house in Wexford. I think we’ve done that because we needed to just go somewhere secluded and just focus entirely on the production of the songs without distraction.
What has been your favourite place to play live and why?
I think it would have to be the Unitarian church. I always love going to gigs there. It’s such a special place; I was so excited to play there. I think the setting really suits our music. Although, it was so weird playing in a church… It kind of feels a bit spooky or something. But definitely a hundred times better than playing a noisey pub for us!
Photos: Sean Conroy
Words: Anna Job & Ros Madigan