TooFools are a Dublin duo with lots of backup.
By Colleen Taylor
I’ve been all folked up on the column recently, so I thought I’d mix it up this week by mentioning some unorthodox genres thriving in the Irish music scene.
First up is the band TooFools, a young Dublin-based duo making psychedelic sounds. After playing in various bands together, the “two fools,” Steven McCann and Lorcan O’Dwyer, decided to team up to make their own unique sound. And boy, is it a fun one. First and foremost, TooFools makes futuristic music, but their earthly roots are R&B and classic Rock. These guys sound like Woodstock in space.
Although the young band is still working on its first EP, they haven’t been inactive since coming together two years ago. For one thing, they’ve made a reputation for themselves in Ireland as great live performers. They’ve qualified for the prestigious lineup at Body & Soul and headlined some of Dublin’s biggest venues, including the Button Factory, Vicar Street, and Whelan’s. But best of all, they have a great music video for their single “Touch.” Dublin’s streets and suburbs mark the background for a whimsical strut with futuristic, neo-galactic rhythms matching the beat to the stars’ footsteps. It’s just plain fun to watch, and it jives the character of their music.
Three of the band’s singles are available to listen to for free—“Torn,” “Touch,” and “Insanity.” In particular, “Insanity” is a skilled compilation and represents a great preview for the band’s forthcoming EP. It’s a mix of 50’s rock, Queen, and StarTrek, but more importantly, it’s full of great rhythms and harmonies. TooFools don’t brave it alone when making full sounds—they’ve been joined onstage and in the recording studio by an array of backing artists too numerous to list. “Touch,” the group’s most recent and most popular release, it marks the true apotheosis of their collaboration so far. It might even hold its own with a single by a group as big as Daft Punk. Great things are coming from this fun and innovative group, and I’ll look forward to their EP.
Cork-based Talos, a band with a new album
and a sad, angsty electronic sound.
Jumping to the other end of the personality spectrum, Talos is an Irish band with a recently released debut album and a sad, angsty electronic sound. The Cork-based group of six is led by Eoin French, the creative mind behind the slow, melancholic electro sounds of the band. What Talos’s recent debut album reveals is how carefully each sound is chosen, how particular each string, each note seeks to evoke a deeply fraught emotional and musical experience. Talos’s most popular song of the album, “Your Love Is an Island” is the perfect example of this. You almost hear the tap of the finger upon the guitar’s fingerboard. My own particular favorite is “Contra.” It channels more of the dramatic electro vibes we’ve come to associate with the genre. The song floats: it’s airy, dreamlike, even mystical. As a whole, the album is deeply sad but inquisitive too—like a sci fi tragedy. Talos certainly has the talent chops to warrant their growing reputation in Ireland.
Nevertheless, Eoin French has ambitions for his act. Talos has started to branch out internationally. Having, like Too Fools, played Body & Soul in Ireland, the band is now reaching East and South. They are playing Berlin and London as part of their album tour, and have a number of gigs lined up across Ireland to promote the album as well. Like TooFools, Talos evinces the creativity of young Irish music minds and their penchant for the otherworldly in each song they compose.