Friday, 28 July 2017

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round Up #38

So summer. That's a thing that is currently happening. Hope you are all enjoying sunning yourselves, enjoying time off and taking in a much new music as you can? What's that, not really much of the latter? Well just as well The Metaphorical Boat's here for you then.

There's been some rather fine new music from this neck of the woods in the last wee while, so here's a round-up of a few new tunes that we think will float your Metaphorical Boat -


Darren Doherty - Kites (featuring Lauren Bird)

Strabane resident Darren Doherty has been featured on these pages before, as part of his work with the band A Northern Light, who were responsible to two of our favourite local songs of the past few years, "Kill It" and "Paranoia". He's now recording under his own name, and recently released an album, "What You Do", which was recorded over a period of several months, with each track released the moment it was ready.

Our favourite song from the collection is "Kites". Not just because it features Lauren Bird, but because it is a brilliant, powerful stripped-back folk song. A rare delight.


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Terry Conlon - Don't Lead Me On

Terry Conlon's got one of those voices that just couldn't come from anywhere else but here. The Cullyhanna native is releasing his debut album "Homegrown" in September, with "Don't Lead Me On" being the lead single. With a voice that is richer beyond his years and a tune that could cause increased lacrymosity, his music will strike a chord with fans of Ciaran Lavery or Foy Vance.


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CATALAN! - Oka

CATALAN! is the new music project from Ewan Friars, who is perhaps best known as a member of North Coast rockers Axis of. "Oka" is the first socially charged single, combining lyrics about indigenous people and social media with thumping beats and towering guitar riffs. If you were a fan of Axis of, and are also partial to a little bit of The Clash, you'll find something to love here.

There's a music video released to accompany the song, which contains quite a lot of symbolism that we are currently unable to interpret, in spite of our A Level Media Studies knowledge.


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Emer Maguire - Belfast

We'd heard quite a few people talking about Belfast based singer/songwriter Emer Maguire recently, so were glad to be able to catch her live at the Pavilion at the weekend, playing what we believe to be her first full-band performance. It was a quite enjoyable performance, with covers of Muse & Lorde thrown in among her original material, and there was definitely enough going to make sure we keep an eye out for her in the future.

Of her original songs, the one that caught our ear was "Belfast", a great love/hate letter to the city (and funnily enough, the 2nd song we've heard about the city in the past 2 weeks). There's a nice hat-tap towards the Lisburn Road (a street that anyone who's studied at Queen's knows all too well), plus it's nice to hear a synth-bass being used in an acoustic-led song.


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Hunkpapa - Rodeos

And concluding our round-up this month is Armagh band Hunkpapa. We have been reliably informed that the group are one of the most exciting new live bands to come out of Northern Ireland in recent times. We haven't seen them live yet, so we cannot vouch for the accuracy of that claim, but that is something that we hope to remedy at some point in the near future.

For now though, we'll just have to pleasure ourselves with the band's latest single, "Rodeos", which is a great alt-folk-rock single that comes off like a heavier Ben Howard.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Kelsey Kerrigan - Driving Around


Los Angeles resident and mentee of Ryan Adams, Kelsey Kerrigan,  has a real knack for tight indie-rock, if her single "Driving Around" is anything to go by. The song is a self-depreciating tale of meandering vehicular journeys, and calls to mind the songwriting of Courtney Barnett, and possibly a little bit of Camera Obscura thrown in there for good measure.

"Driving Around" is taken from an upcoming debut album from Kelsey Kerrigan.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Metaphorical Boat is six years old today.


Happy birthday to us! It hardly feels like six years since the blog started to catalogue our musings on songs we happen to come across, so glad to still be doing if after all these years. Our thanks go out to all of you for reading the blog, and more recently, to all of you for listening to our recently launched podcast (shameless plug: don't forget to subscribe on iTunes!), and of course, to all of you wonderful makers of fine music, for whom your absence would have stopped this blog making its way past day 1.

And on this anniversary, let's take a minute to recognise one of our favourite songs of 2017 so far that we haven't covered on the blog up until now. Isle of Wight duo CHAMPS first caught our attention at the tail end of 2013 with the track "Savannah." Their new single, "The Garden Is Overgrown", is a pulsating synth-pop number with a cracking chorus at its heart, and bodes well for their upcoming album.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Lo-Fi Fun Factory - Sunny Belfast


This is one of those songs that probably might not make sense to people who live outside of "our wee province", but it's such a great little ditty nonetheless.

Lo-Fi Fun Factory is an alternative folk trio based in Belfast made up of Dan Tindall, Alan Thompson & James Canning. They've been together since 2010, and have released a smattering of songs in that time. However, it is their latest single, "Sunny Belfast", that has caught our attention, through its self-depreciating, yet still warm, tribute to the city.

A lot of the references might go over the head of those who don't live here, but for those of us that do, we are absolutely tickled by references to the Big Fish, trying to park anywhere near St George's Market, an economy that's being propped up by Game Of Thrones, and of course the ridiculous 20 mph speed limit that's been imposed on Belfast city centre.

It's a great, Penguin Cafe Orchestra-esque experimental folk ditty, although I would be curious to know how it goes down from people who are less familiar with Belfast and its foibles.

"Sunny Belfast" is available to purchase now, and is the first song from a new song a month project that is currently in progress.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

ÖZ - Do You Love Me


For a first single, "Do You Love Me" is one strong debut indeed. ÖZ is a producer based in Montreal whose influences cited include Jamie xx & London Grammar. 

"Do You Love Me" was inspired by a bad breakup, with ÖZ trying to imagine it from the perspective of his ex-girlfriend. It's a strong pop song, with an electronic pop style that is very current sounding, the sort of song that one could imagine realistically being a top 40 hit if it had a massive record company or money behind it. That it is a 1st single bodes well for ÖZ's musical endeavors going forward.

"Do You Love Me" is out now.