Tag Archives: party fears

Eilis Frawley: Never Too Emotional – EP review

Review by Tony Rounce

As the self-appointed President, Secretary and Treasurer of the Anything To Do With Party Fears Fan Club, I received the recent news that the duo’s powerful percussionist Eilis Frawley and singer/frontsperson Maggie Devlin were going their separate ways with extreme dismay.  However, one happy bi-product of Eilis’ amicable departure means that we will all have twice as much interesting music to look forward to in the future – and ‘interesting’ is a perfectly understated word with which to describe Eilis’ debut EP ‘Never Too Emotional’, from which the dubby, claustrophobic and ever-so-slightly sinister (in a good way, if there is one!) ‘leave the house’ is the newest ‘single’…

Actually it’s much more than merely interesting, to be honest. It’s normally good to be able to offer some comparisons to existing music for reader reference, but you won’t have heard a lot like this before, however much music you’ve heard so far and however long you’ve been listening. The best I can offer you is a collation of 60s beat poetry and Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music, but even that isn’t really or nearly accurate.

Photo by Daniel Purvis

The combination of raw synth topped, voluminously percussive soundscapes and laconic, semi-philosophical spoken word – not rapping, exactly, more meaningful discourse – is out of the ordinary, and it does takes a bit of getting used to at first. However, once you lock into what Eilis is doing here, it’s hard not to be impressed with the outcome.  What that is cannot easily conveyed in print, so please do click on the link and see if you don’t agree that I am right.

Eilis has been releasing songs from this project on her Bandcamp page over the past few months, each new issue helping to build a big picture of what she’s aiming to do with her solo project.  Her label’s press release says that the EP  “touches on topics of social structures, feminism, mental health, creative insecurities, personal tragedies, and the psychological impacts of living abroad” (in case you didn’t know, Eilis is Australian and I believe she is still based in Berlin) and indeed it does, both acutely and obtusely. Now it can be heard as a whole thing, its potency has never been more apparent.   If it doesn’t hit you round the ears with immediate effect, please do persevere – you WILL connect with it, and vice versa, in good time. Both refreshing and provocative by turn, it brings something new and interesting to the table, and I’m sure you will thank me later for insisting that you do so. 

As well as creating these invigorating musical episodes, Eilis has also been playing her own solo shows in the UK and elsewhere recently and is due for more of the same soon. I for one am intrigued as to how this will all translate to a live medium, so I can hardly wait….

 “Never Too Emotional” is out now on Reckless Yes records and can be found on most if not all of your favourite streaming services.

Follow Eilis on Facebook for further updates!

Main photo by Kate Seabrook 

Party Fears: Money – video of the day

Today’s video of the day is a newie from the solidly-awesome Party Fears – Money.

Their most punk release yet, the song is features hard-hitting lines, painfully recognisable as the advice young girls are given about sexual assault:

We’re told to shout fire. Every girl knows when not to take a shower

Party Fears’ Maggie Devlin explains

There are these moments of “compromise” when you’re a woman that feel so horribly wrong. Refusing a come-on by lying and saying you have a boyfriend, for example. But there are also capitulations we make every day; these little blips of moral grey. And cash is usually at the centre of it: in the things we buy or the wage we earn. So it’s a song about money and a song about power.

Party Fears: OK. No Problem – single of the week

Reviewed by Tony Rounce

It’s been far too long since we had any new music from Party Fears

Exactly one year has gone by since the Berlin-based duo of Maggie Devlin and Eilis Frawley  (and their regular studio collaborator, bassist Lisa Roller) brought us the estimable ‘Dog Star’, and almost two since their eponymous debut album arrived to serve notice that PF were (and are!) much more than the sum of their parts as a band. 

Finally as 2019 draws to a close Maggie and Eilis treat us to a new offering that upholds the exceptional quality of their previous work, and that shows exactly why they are such big favourites at Loud Women Towers.

Catchy and up-tempo, with a mighty chorus and positive, upbeat feel throughout, ‘OK. No Problem’ is a shining example of PF at their finest. Like all the best pop songs it clocks in at around two and a half minutes, the final minute of which is instrumental. Given the high quality of Maggie’s singing, you might wish there was a little more of it, although the driving, wordless second half of the track IS jolly exhilarating, to be sure. She has such a terrific voice that she could probably sing the instructions on how to microwave a ready meal and make it sound vibrantly thrilling…

Maggie’s buoyant delivery of the song’s lyric – darker than might seem apparent from a first listen – and her jangly, jagged guitar playing are perfectly complemented by Eilis’ busy percussive patterns, criss crossing from traditional thumping rock bets to swishy, splashy disco with the greatest of ease. Together they bring the same irresistible drive to this highly recommended track that they bring to their far-too-infrequent UK live shows…

…And how lovely would it be for us all if Party Fears could accompany the release of this fine new offering with another tour soon?

A long time coming it might have been but ‘OK. No Problem’ is more than worth the wait.  We’re a couple of weeks late in featuring it here – but it’s out now, and you can buy it as a digital download from Maggie and Eilis’ Bandcamp.

Please also keep up with Party Fears’ adventures past, present and future on Facebook!

Happy 3rd Birthday LOUD WOMEN!

44061678_1892760990815948_3942885840081911808_oMassive thanks to everyone who came and celebrated our 3rd birthday last night – what an absolutely lovely night, full of friendly faces, brilliant music, and heaps of fun – exactly the stuff of Loud Women! Awesome performances from Party Fears, GUTTFULL, Feral Five and Spare Rib – check em all out online. There was dancing, cake, a fun raffle, and plotting … our ‘woman in the USA’ was in the house and our plans for LOUD WOMEN NYC are coming along nicely – bring on 2019! 💥

Our next gig is 10 Nov – The GUTTFULL Tits and Nails album launch, with Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something and T-Bitch!
Register your attendance right here >> Guttfull: Tits and Nails – album launch

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Guttfull album launch poster artwork by Momoe Tasker

Party Fears: interview

Party Fears Loud Women Katie Frost
Berlin's finest DIY pop Queens Party Fears are touring the UK right now, hitting Brighton with our own I, Doris on Friday, and LOUD WOMEN's Birthday Party in London this Saturday at the Hope and Anchor. We had a chinwag with Maggie (vox) and Eilis (drums).

Party Fears! We loved you big time when you came and played LW Fest last year and we are so excited that you’re coming to play our birthday party! What have you been up to since we last saw you?

E: We’re so happy to be coming back to you. Loud Women Fest last year was a real treat. Dog Star titled Artwork Jenna Barton DappermouthSince then, we recorded a new EP, which has been our main focus. The new single comes out on October 15 and is called ‘Dog Star’ and please listen! We’ve played a lot of shows in Berlin, with highlights being a youth rock music camp in the summer (so nice) and a birthday party of our very favorite community, The Open Music School, which gives free music tuition to those who wouldn’t normally have access.

We went to Bielefeld last week which was our first time playing in Germany outside of Berlin, and the crowd were wonderful. Everyone should go and play in Bielefeld.

M: Seconding the excitement to come back and play a Loud Women event!

Talk us through the creative process in Party Fears.

M: I’ll usually jog through a song (which comes from the cosmos when I’m in the shower or in that wee nook between sleeping and waking up) then quickly sketch out a demo. I try not to take it too far because so much happens organically in the practice room. So with the bare bones, we’ll then build up the track together in the rehearsal studio.

You are a glamorous international band – I believe from Ireland originally and now living in Berlin? And you have a link with Korea … what are your top 3 Korean dishes?

E: 90% of the world thinks I’m Irish. The name doesn’t help plus my Pa is Irish, so they’re not all wrong, but I’m from Australia. Maggie is undoubtedly from Northern Ireland. We met playing in our previous band (BaekMa) in South Korea, where we were both living for a number of years. One day we made a crazy friendship plan to move to Europe and continue making music together, two years in, and we’re still friends and making music, so that’s great. Korean food: Kimchi soondubu, mulnaengmyun, kimchi jeon.

M: Mulnaengmyun is lethal: ice noodles, mustardy, vingery goodness with an egg on top. I also love gamjatang (pork spine soup) and a nice classic kimchi jjigae (spicy stew) on a cold day can’t be beat.

You’ve got a huge UK tour coming up – woohoo! Talk us through how you went about booking that – all DIY? What resources did you use to find gigs? How are you travelling?

E: The UK/Europe Punk DIY database was a pretty big help!

This is our second UK tour so we already had a few go-to venues/local DIY promoters, then we asked UK friends for recommendations. It came together pretty quickly, which was exciting to see. We’re travelling via car, I’m team driver so Julie and Maggie can rock paper scissors for the front seat. Excited for all the car jams.

What items are essential for each of you to bring with you in your luggage on tour?

E: I always pack at the last minute and forget the essentials. (insert carefree emoji)

M: I’ve been really haphazard until now; just flinging things into a tiny bag at the last minute. But I’m trying to be a bit more conscious of self care, so this time it’s the usual haphazardness with a wilful inclusion of those little lavender pouch thingies and essential oils. I’d love to go on tour once when it’s not a choice between using my last serviceable minute to scratch my arse or organise my suitcase. But such is DIY life sometimes!

Finally I must ask, are you named after the song Party Fears Two?

M: We are! It’s a perfect song. Fucking perfect. A buddy introduced me to The Associates and I instantly fell in love with Billy Mackenzie’s voice and whole vibe. I could write an entire essay on Mackenzie’s vocal in that song. The lyrics of Party Fears Two really spoke to me: loneliness in a crowded space, questionable coping mechanisms, shower thoughts, haha! It then scanned quite nicely across various meanings: social anxiety, the hangover blues, the fucking DUP!

Catch Party Fears on their UK tour, dates in image …

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