Noise Annoys: New releases from Buí and Junk Drawer, info on Stendhal and Output Belfast line-ups

Buí launch their new EP at The Duncairn tonight. Picture by Thomas McQuitty
Buí launch their new EP at The Duncairn tonight. Picture by Thomas McQuitty

:: Buí – Talking To The Walls (EP, Analogue Catalogue)

BELFAST'S Buí are back with a brand new EP that's out today, plus a rake of gigs to celebrate that fact and probably just the return of live music events in general.

The Josh Healy-led ensemble previously teased their latest with a cover of the Daniel Johnston number The Sun Shines Down On Me, recorded for this year's Hi How Are You? Day and released via Bandcamp with proceeds going to suicide and self-harm prevention charities.

It's one of eight – count 'em – tunes featured on the limited edition physical releases of the new EP on cassette and CD, which hipsters and auld gits alike will doubtless be falling over themselves to covet and caress as you read these very words.

The 'title' tune, truncated to a set-list friendly 'Walls', opens proceedings with a dose of melodic melancholy on which Josh's introspective slo-mo vocals take a warm soothing bath in softly swelling synths, before A Conversation About Punk ups the tempo a little for some catchy lo-fi indie-rock based around a great soaring chorus that burrows into your brain and sets up camp.

The aforementioned Daniel Johnston cover is next up and still sounds as great as it did last month, if not even better now that the sun actually is shining down to complement its mellow charms, before the climactic tune (for those listening in zeroes and ones) I Have To Swim closes things out in style with its slow-building, delightfully slack eruption of fuzzy guitar and synths with guest vox from Buí members Adam and Amy that lands somewhere between Ultra Vivid Scene and early Mercury Rev (a nice place to visit indeed)

As mentioned, CD and cassette devotees are treated to four exclusive 'bonus' tracks on which Josh wields his acoustic guitar with intent: Hedgehog re-purposes John Hewitt's ode to everyone's favourite prickly hedge dwellers for a pretty finger-picked ditty, One Sole Purpose finds Josh deftly strumming his way from self-doubt towards self-acceptance and there's more pleasant finger-plucking to be heard on wistful existential angst-fuelled ballad Finish Line.

As for Buí's heartfelt, uber easy-on-the ear take on ye olde 'down on my luck standard' Stormy Weather, that's surely well worth buying a Walkman/Discman on eBay just so you can hear it.

Get sorted now via Bui43.bandcamp.com – there may also possibly be a few physical copies to be had direct from the band at tonight's EP launch show at The Duncairn in Belfast. Tickets for that are £10 in advance via theduncairn.com and Buí will also be hitting the road next week for shows at Limerick's Record Room (March 30), Whelan's in Dublin supporting Bedrooms (March 31) and Bennigans in Derry (April 2).

Junk Drawer's latest EP is out now. Picture by Billy Woods
Junk Drawer's latest EP is out now. Picture by Billy Woods

:: Junk Drawer EP launch

ON THE subject of EP launches, Junk Drawer will celebrate the release of their The Dust Has Come To Stay EP at the Ballyhackamore Social Club (AKA the 'Shush Club') next Saturday night with support from Pretty Happy and Funeral Rose.

Admission is £10 and tickets can be had in advance via Movingonmusic.com. As for the EP itself, it's available now at Junkdrawerbelfast.bandcamp.com: you've already read positive words about the first two tracks Tears in Costa and Railroad King in previous instalments of Noise Annoys – so be advised that the other two tunes on the EP, Suspended Anvil and Middle Places, are equally choice.

The former softly psychedelic number offer oodles of blissfully chiming guitars, breathy vocals and woozy organ grinding, while the climactic latter tune is a funky slab of wilfully atonal indie guitar swing/skronk that's surely ripe for a splendidly self-indulgent 10 minute-plus live noise/destruction 'jam'.

But will they go there? Find out in Ballyhackamore next week.

:: Stendhal Festival line-up update

MARCH is almost over and yet somehow I've thus far neglected to mention the line-up for this year's Stendhal Festival, so there's no better time to put that right than the present.

The 2022 event at Ballymully Cottage Farm outside Limavady will take place the weekend of June 30 to July 2 and will feature turns by ~deep breath~ Villagers, Sister Sledge, Cherym, Arborist, The Wood Burning Savages, Sasha Samara, Strange New Places, Hayseed Dixie, Simon and Oscar out of Ocean Colour Scene, Foreign Wolf, Grainne Duffy, Lisa McHugh, Peat & Diesel, Ciaran Lavery, Tebi Rex, Mack Fleetwood, Susan O'Neill, The Florentinas, Dark Tropics, James Bradley, Winnie Ama, Red Eye Pariah, Cooke, Róise, Parker, Rowan, Waking Android, Steve Loc, Entheo Generals, Jack Bashful, Fya Fox, Bog Bodies, The Inishowen Gospel Choir, George Houston and Groove Line and, er, Hugo Duncan, to name but several acts confirmed at time of press.

If that sounds like your idea of a good time then you may get yourself some tickets sorted now via Stendhalfestival.com.

Output Belfast will return next month
Output Belfast will return next month

:: Output Festival 2022

IN OTHER, more pressing 'local festival' news, Output Belfast will return on April 21 with another packed day-long schedule split between The MAC, the Oh Yeah centre and various city centre venues.

Events will include free live shows, keynote speeches from award-winning musicians and managers of top talent, panel discussions, workshops and networking events.

This year's opening keynote speakers and topics will be:

:: Catch 22: What the music industry needs to do, do better and stop doing in 2022, with Eamonn Forde, award-winning music journalist and author.

:: The Future of Independent Venues in the UK with Sybil Bell, founder of Independent Venue Week.

:: Your music, your rights: the role of PPL in Northern Ireland with Peter Leathem, chief executive officer at PPL.

Panel discussions will include:

:: Come Alive – How to land a booking agent as an emerging artist, with Joe Dougan (Belsonic), Matt Hanner (booking agent at Runway), Angie Rance (booking agent at Earth Agency, Matt Bartlett (MD of Midnight Mango).

:: Ivors Academy Presents: Shut up and (co) write the hits! How to co-write for yourself and others, with Lara Baker (Songtrust), Iain Archer (songwriter/musician), Lady V (songwriter), Ciaran Lavery (musician/songwriter), Nikki MacRae (Soft Gut Song Camp).

:: Screen Guild of Composers presents: How to move from artist and musician, to film and TV composer, with Sarah Glennane (Screen Composers Guild of Ireland), Ray Harman (composer), Die Hexen (composer/musician).

:: What music managers really want – Irish Music Managers Talk, with Charlene Hegarty (Zero Myth Management), Ceri Dixon (Red Light Management), Laura McCabe (Jawdropper Management), Aine Cronin-McCartney (Faction Records)

:: Women's Work Festival presents: This Woman's Work: Essays on Music, Q&A with author Sinéad Gleeson and Siobhán McAndrew (journalist)

:: Funding Panel with: Arts Council NI, Help Musicians NI, BPI and more, featuring Jo Wright (ACNI), Nikki MacRae (HMNI), Chris Tams (BPI) and others TBC.

:: Self-releasing on a budget – the DIY Label panel, with Francesca O'Connor (Safe in Sound/Make Waves Management), Jack Clothier (Alcopop Records), Phil Loutsis (AWAL), Gill Dooley (AIM Ireland).

:: Shake the room – The unstoppable rise of Irish hip-hop, with Dylan Murphy (District Magazine), Alicia Raye (musician), Bekah Molony (booker/manager), Joel Safo (JSM Management), Phil Udell (State Magazine/Word Up Collective/music manager).

:: Inside the BBC Radiophonic Workshop – Delia Darbyshire and the creation of the Doctor Who Theme, with Mark Ayres (BBC Radiophonic Workshop).

:: Pitch perfect – How to engage with Irish Festival Bookers, with Shane Dunne (Indiependence Festival/MCD), Ross Parkhill (Stendhal Festival), Gareth Stewart (Other Voices Festival) and others.

View the full programme and sign up for priority updates at outputbelfast.com