Friday, 12 July 2013

New Music Friday! - Ciaran McCarthy

Welcome to the weekend! The weather forecasters are predicting that a heatwave is coming soon, so we thought that it was our duty to provide you with some appropriate music, well in advance, for when it arrives. This week's offering is courtesy of a very talented producer from Ireland - here's introducing Ciaran McCarthy. Read on...


Ciaran McCarthy aka Suburban Dream is Irish producer from Kildare who has been releasing material since 2008. In that time he has garnered support Mixmaster Morris, Kid Loco, Nick Warren and radio stations such as Kiss FM, Chill London, Soma and Chilltrax. H ee has also been lucky enough to remix for Kid Loco. Kid Loco's latest release "Trip Hop Classics Vol 2" will feature a previous release of Ciaran's called "Wandering Around."

Suburban Dream Recordings was founded by Ciaran in late 2007, aiming to focus on quality chilled electronic music, from downtempo and ambient to more electro-acoustic sounds. Bucking the trends, Ciaran proclaims that the label "ignores current fads, sticking to making music that is honest, heartfelt and motivated only by love." This latest release is from Ciaran himself under the name he shares with the label, Suburban Dream. The project has released a number of singles, receiving support from the likes of Mixmaster Morris, Ben Mynott (Big Chill), Kid Loco and broadcasters like Soma FM and Chilltrax. Suburban Dream releases works through Parklane Recordings, iLabel, Lushgroove, and Bonzai Elemental but also continues to work with his namesake imprint.

What we think.

Ciaran’s music is effortlessly listenable with the right blend of funky rhythms, a strong bass line and cool production capturing the listener’s interest. His current track, ‘Not Who You Said,’ demonstrates the freshness that Ciaran brings to the music scene through his fun manipulation of vocals layered on top of a chilled instrumental with an up-tempo house beat.

Starting of with a strong bass drum beat, Ciaran quickly and quirkily introduces other percussive sounds into the mix. This includes the little vocal ‘yip’ which, appearing with its delay, is a perfect example of Ciaran’s fun take on rhythm. The introduction of the long held synth notes, addictive bass riff and the succeeding repeated 3-note melody make up much of the melodic and harmonic content of the piece, though later the vocals come in creating another dimension which Ciaran produces smoothly and with stereo mixing to match.

‘Not Who You Said’ is headphone, car stereo and club PA music. It is designed to be heard anywhere and in any context. This is what makes it perfect for the summer season. This track and others from Suburban Dream have an effortless coolness to them. This could come from the urban influences that can be heard in the rhythms Ciaran uses, particularly in the drums and percussion where hints of hip hop are definitely present. His use of piano sounds often carry a jazz vibe but the emphasis is definitely on the improvisational nature and the freedom that it invokes in its more structured environment. His beats are overly catchy and it is difficult to avoid nodding along even in sections when it doesn’t seem obvious or natural to do so.

Ciaran’s success comes largely from his retention of a fundamental fact of popular music – music is meant to be enjoyed. Ciaran ensures that the listener fully enjoys his musical offering by creating something that is so catchy that it’s difficult not too find yourself submitting to the repeat button. Chill out music with a hip hop twist, Ciaran’s music is addictive and Suburban Dream is definitely an addition that everyone needs to add to their collection. Check out ‘Not Who You Said’ below...

‘Not Who You Said’ is out on 16th July. More music and info on Ciaran can be found on his website, Soundcloud, Bandcamp and don't forget to follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Are you feeling the summer music vibes? What device will you be listening to Ciaran on? Let us know by commenting below.


  1. Absolutely wonderful review of a fantastic producer. Thank you Musical Things


Thank you for commenting and sharing your opinion! We love hearing from you!