Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Party Fears - Dog Star

Formed in Korea, based in Berlin, and with members from Northern Ireland & Australia (if you know a more continent-spanning band, then you've got more time on your hands than me), Party Fears are a group that I have known about for some time, even though it's only been recently that I've taken the time to listen to their music.

Their name has been etched into my psyche for the last year and a bit, largely because their stickers appear to have been strategically placed in Belfast city centre along the route that I take every Monday to Friday on my walk to that place that I go to every Monday to Friday. I also bumped into them earlier this year when they were at a Jealous of The Birds gig in the Oh Yeah Centre, where they spent quite a bit of time hiding behind a curtain in the venue.

But it is their music that they're most known for, and having released a warmly received album in 2017, they have just released a new single, "Dog Star", and if you're new to their music, it's a pretty great jumping-in point. It's an ace slice of disco-inspired art-pop which is quite infectious and poppy in spite of the sombre theme of the lyrics.

"Dog Star" is taken from their upcoming E.P "Just Friends", which is out on 12th November.

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 08 - The Northern Ireland Music Prize 2018

The nominations have been announced for the 6th annual Northern Ireland Music Prize, the annual award given for the best album from Northern Ireland over the past 12 months. This year’s ceremony, on November 15th, promises to be the biggest to date. It will be held in the Ulster Hall for the first time, and in addition to the best album category, it will also feature new awards for Best Single (which will be decided by a public vote), Best Live Act, and the Oh Yeah Contender award for the best up and coming act. And for the first time, there will be a cash prize for all the winners on the night. 

The nominees in each of the categories are:

Best Album

And So I Watch You From Afar - The Endless Shimmering
Ash - Islands
Bicep - Bicep
Brand New Friend - Seatbelts For Aeroplanes
Ciaran Lavery - Sweet Decay
Girls Names - Stains on Silence
Hannah Peel - Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia
Malojian - Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home
Robocobra Quartet - Plays Hard To Get
Ryan Vail - Distorted Shadows
Snow Patrol - Wildness
The Wood Burning Savages - Stability

Best Single

Arvo Party - Liberté
Ash - Buzzkill
Brand New Friend - Girl
Cherym - Take It Back
Hot Cops - Decay
Joshua Burnside - A Man of High Renown
Kitt Philippa - Human
Robocobra Quartet - You’ll Wade
ROE - Hey Thomas
Rosborough - Burn Blue
Snow Patrol - Life on Earth
The Wood Burning Savages - I Don’t Know Why I Do It To Myself

Oh Yeah Contender Award

Hand Models
Rebekah Fitch

Best Live Act

And So I Watch You From Afar
Brand New Friend
Robocobra Quartet
Ryan Vail
The Wood Burning Savages

To discuss the 2018 Northern Ireland Music Prize, the captain of The Metaphorical Boat, Christopher McBride, is joined on the podcast by Robert Brown, the editor of Northern Irish music website Chordblossom, to talk through all the nominees, and who we think will win each of the prizes on the night. Plus, find out what happened to the captain when he found himself sat beside the lead singer of Snow Patrol at a prior Northern Ireland Music Prize ceremony.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud, Google Podcasts or on Apple Podcasts:

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Egoism - Sorry

Now this is a song that ticks all of our metaphorical boxes. Egoism are a dreampop duo from Sydney comprising Olive Rush & Scout Eastment, and make the sort of breezy shoegaze that gets us giddy with excitement. Their new single is "Sorry", which is an infectious song that calls to mind elements of Alvvays, School of Seven Bells & The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, and combines them into one lush package. It's a great song, and when the blasts of guitar come in after 50 seconds, it put the song very much in the realms of our favourite song of the year to date.

"Sorry" is out now.

Monday, 17 September 2018

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 07 - Ciara O'Neill

On each episode of The Metaphorical Boat Podcast, Christopher McBride, the Captain of The Metaphorical Boat, will sit down with one of his favourite musicians, and over a cup of a lovely caffeinated beverage and a snack of the artist's choosing (The Captain always goes for Battenberg. Always), chat through the artist's life, musical highlights, and most importantly, how many sugars they take.

Our guest on this episode of The Metaphorical Boat Podcast is Portadown singer/songwriter Ciara O'Neill, who talks about her 2nd studio album "Arrow", her early musical upbringings, and her experiences of writing and performing in Nashville.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:

Find out more about Ciara O'Neill on -
Official Facebook Twitter Spotify

Sunday, 9 September 2018

Hand Models - Banana

Belfast based 4-piece Hand Models have been building up a name for themselves locally over the past few years, gaining support from the Oh Yeah Centre's Scratch My Progress scheme, and gaining  radio play both locally and nationally with songs like "Skate Shoes". They've also been building up a name for themselves locally, the most recent of which being a well-regarded summer party in the Limelight to raise money for a mental health charity.

They've been a name that we've heard a lot about for some time, but it is their latest single that has really caught our ear. "Banana" is very much the epitome of slacker-rock in the Pavement mould, and that's not only due to the repeated refrain of "I did nothing" that recurs throughout the song. They've released a music video to go with it, which takes the title of the song as literal as you could possibly get, with the band dressing up in banana suits and getting up to various kinds of tomfoolery around places that anyone who's spent any time in Belfast will be immediately familiar with.

"Banana" is out now.