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.
Tandem Felix are slow burners on the Dublin gig circuit. The four-piece, indie group from Lucan and Chapelizod are a perfect example of a band who has honed their craft over time. Experimental by nature and never ones to rest on their laurels; they have incorporated string octets, sound-bites and trumpet players into their live shows and EP recordings. The band’s experience and risks have paid off and led to performances at Knockanstockan and Hard Working Class Heroes as well as the support slot for Kodaline’s sold out gig in the Olympia. These were exciting moments for the band in 2013 and we expect the next year to be even bigger.
If you haven’t listened to their second EP ‘Popcorn’ yet, we recommend you do so now (listen here). Expect hypnotic vocals from singer David Tapley, dramatic drum fill led swells that catch you by surprise and trippy, mesmerising layering effects, a la Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’ and Radiohead.
What are you looking forward to most in 2014?
We actually haven’t made many solid plans for this year yet. I have been spending a lot of down-time writing songs. I am very much taking each day as it comes. I will soon be finished my masters in Electronic Engineering so I will feel freedom like I have never known before. In non-Tandem Felix music world, two things; I am really excited for the new Beck album in February and I am going to see Bill Callahan in the Olympia. Two big inspirations of mine.
Are you planning to release an EP this year?
I am almost finished writing a new EP which I’ve been thinking of calling “Birthday Present”. I’ve been writing a lot of very different songs recently. They’re all a lot slower and more miserable than past stuff, so hopefully people will be able to bear that.
Will there be video or single releases as part of this?
Probably! No solid plans as of yet but I really love making music videos. We just started shooting for the Ryan Hoguet music video. Hopefully that will be out on Valentine’s Day. I am a romantic.
Is there a tour planned?
Again, there have been very few plans made as of yet but we would love to play in Cork a few times. We played our first Cork gig late last year with The Shaker Hymn and it was great! There is a very different attitude towards music down there; much less self-conscious than Dublin.
Who do you think will win Meteor Choice 2013 album of the year award?
Of all the albums nominated, ‘Vitreous’ by O Emperor is my favourite. I listened to it about three times a day after I first got it. I see some of the guys from O Emperor floating about town from time-to-time and have a minor heart-attack. It’s like seeing a Beatle!
Who do you predict will be big from the Irish music scene in 2014?
Other Creatures. If you haven’t heard of them yet, you will hear about them soon. A real favourite in Felix HQ.
Your list of gigs throughout 2013 has been pretty impressive, what gig stands out to you and why?
We played a gig in Vicar St. before the Trinity Orchestra. I’ve tried to explain it to a few people but the feeling of hearing the sound the crowd cheer after we finished our first song was like nothing I had heard before. It’s like when I was a young lad of 9 years old. I would play with my wrestler action figures and I’d make the noise of a crowd cheering. It was the first time I heard that noise for real as opposed to the usual sound of a few people clapping and whistling. It was also the first time I had ever played on a stage that Bob Dylan had also played on.
It’s been a busy few months for Tandem Felix. How have all these opportunities you’ve been given helped you as a band?
Playing in The Olympia was a big one. I have seen so many shows in The Olympia (most recent of all being the Jedward panto obviously) and it was surreal to be standing on the stage facing the crowd looking at the different spots where I had been. I was thinking to myself “that’s what I looked like to Mark Oliver Everett when he was up here” and “that’s what I looked like to Kevin Parker when he was up here”. I could get used to that.
You have previously experimented with instrumentation, can we expect more of this in 2014?
As far as the recording goes, absolutely! I had so much fun recording different instruments and working with different sorts of musicians when we recorded our EP, ‘Popcorn’. The live performance was great too although it was very difficult. I am not so good at playing the same thing the same way twice so playing alongside string players who are playing to sheet music was very hard for me. I need to work on restraint (amongst other things.)
Photos: Aaron Corr
Words: Anna Job & Ros Madigan