More growth this week at H2NHQ as we welcome Conan Cavanagh to the team! Based in Cardiff, we have finally got some Welsh presence at H2N and we’re really excited to have Conan on board. With Charlotte joining this month and Conan joining the team, we’ve now got more reach than we ever have across the UK. As with any introduction blog, here’s Conan’s top moments from the scene in 2022 so far!
Single of the year (so far) – I Love You – Fontaines DC
The prolific Dublin outfit Fontaines DC returned again this year for their third album since 2019; some output considering the quality of each release. This time round Fontaines have taken a more melodic and anthemic Brit pop esque approach. No track demonstrates this more than the 2nd single ‘I love you’ a slow broody track that bursts into rage. It’s already a staple of their live shows, it carries just that cool swagger of a 90s banger but is still undeniably Fontaines. It’s an exciting direction for the band that fans will hope they push further. ‘I love you’ is the track that’s been on repeat for most of the year.
Album of the year (so far): The Smile – A Light for Attracting Attention.
As a Radiohead fan the clamour for a new record since the release of the delectable Moon Shaped Pool has been relentless. Six years have passed by and there’s seemingly no album upon the horizon. When you finally come to terms and accept that it might just be the end for Radiohead,Thom Yorke and Jonny Greenwood announce a side project The Smile with a surprise set at the covid Glastonbury live stream. Within the first five seconds of that performance in 2021 you knew this was gold. Since that performance it’s just been a countdown for the album to drop. When it came out this year it was an immediate vinyl purchase. Whilst we may not get another Radiohead record what Thom and Jonny have produced here is an otherworldly effort. It’s Radiohead with the funk turned up. This is achieved through the addition of Sons of Kemet drummer Tom Skinner. Tracks such as ‘The Smoke’ and ‘Thin Thing’ are simply irresistible; it’s the most accessible work Thom Yorke has put his name to in a long while. The comparisons to Radiohead are always going to loom large but they’ve extrapolated elements of the Radiohead recipe retaining that mesmerising beauty prominent in tracks such as ‘Pana Vision’ and ‘Skirting on the surface’ lacing this with a new found exuberance. With The Smile you are in the presence of top tier artists creating top tier music and we are all here for it.
Gig of the year (So far) – Jungle (Bristol Sounds)
It’s very tempting give some high brow artsy opinion that this mega obscure artist you saw in a dimly lit cosy venue holding a capacity of 6 is the best gig you’ve seen. “Oh the lyrics were truly moving and thought provoking it’s really given me a new outlook on life itself”. The truth of the matter is gigs are all about having fun and no gig this year for me has been as fun as Jungle. They are masters of their craft, no one comes close to matching their blend of alt dance pop. Ok Jungle maybe played in every supermarket and retail store throughout the country but that doesn’t diminish their talents. A thoroughly enjoyable and professional set down to the last detail. From the stage lighting to the setlist Jungle create a warm and loving atmosphere that challenges you to not have a good time. The day also contained performances from feel good boppers Porij, an up and coming band already with steadfast fan base determined to put them on course for superstardom. The magnificent Kelly Lee Owens also performed harnessing every last drop of focus and energy from the crowd; sending the Bristol Amphitheater into a frenzy with her hypnotic electronica.
Are you a band from Wales, or have gigs coming up you need reviewing, Conan is your best bet now at H2N – drop us a line at email@example.com and we’ll send your stuff through!