Tuesday, 24 November 2015

In An Instant - Come The Night

For quite a while now, Bangor based trio In An Instant have been one of our favourite new artists to emerge from Northern Ireland in the past few years, first wowing us with their demo "All Binds Fall Undone", and then stepping things up a notch with their "Light You Know and Love" E.P back in 2014. For the past year and a half though they have kept something of a low profile, with very little in the way of live dates or activity seeming to come from them. Thankfully there's been a lot going on behind the scenes, and today we are glad to see the IIA boys have finally released a new single, "Come The Night".

Produced and engineered by local demi-god Rocky O'Reilly, "Come The Night" furthers the template that the band first used on "All Binds Fall Undone" and "Something Right And Something Real" - the song starts with an electronic intro, which is then followed by the main guitar hook which later recurs to become the melodic backbone of the chorus. The verses are then relatively quiet, until we get hit with the sonic onslaught of the choruses, which are usually followed by a post-chorus which introduces a new guitar hook which acts as a counterpoint to the main guitar line. It's a very effective template, which the band have used to great effect on "Come The Night", which is perhaps their most polished, radio-friendly tune released to date. Plus the verses remind us a little bit of "Acquiesce" by Oasis, which is never a bad thing at all.

"Come The Night" is a welcome return from one of our favourite local electro-rock groups. Given the backing that In An Instant have received for this release, we hope that this is going to be catalyst that springs them towards even bigger things.

"Come The Night" is out now.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

SKATERS - Mental Case

New York based band SKATERS made an impact a few years back with their album "Manhattan", which was choc-a-bloc with fast-paced indie-rock tunes like "Miss Teen Massachusetts" and the irristably infectious "I Wanna Dance (But I Don't Know How)", gaining major airplay on Radio 1 and touring up and down the country.

Fast forward two years, and the band have departed from Warner Bros. Records to release music on their own steam, and their first offering might come as a surprise to anyone who was expecting more of the same from the group. "Mental Case" sees the band slow the pace down quite a bit, with a more psychedelic vibes going on, which calls to mind a little bit of John Lennon, some Blur album tracks, and possibly a wee bit of Mercury Rev as well. It's an interesting development from the group, which might point at the direction the band may be headed in now that they're no longer part of the major label system.

"Mental Case" is available to download now.

Monday, 2 November 2015

exmagician - Kiss That Wealth Goodbye

The 2011 album "To The Death of Fun" by Cashier No.9 is a record that we were incredibly fond of, one which is simultaneously one of the best albums of the last five years, as well as being serious contenders for our favourite all-time album to come from Northern Ireland ("Eyes Open" and "Rocky" would be two of the other serious contenders). The album rode the wave of psychedelic-sounding rock years before it went semi-mainstream again, and choosing a favourite track it proved difficult, seeing as it changed every day (although two of the standouts were "Oh Pity", which gained quite a bit of traction on 6music, and "The Lighthouse Will Lead You Out", which I used as my ringtone for a good year, and even now ranks on our list of greatest outro to a song ever).

Unfortunately "To The Death Of Fun" would prove to be the band's only studio album, as the band eventually went their separate ways, officially disbanding earlier this year. However, for devastated fans of the Niners, there are three bits of good news that you can take solace from. The first piece of news is that two of the creative forces behind that band, Daniel Todd and James Smith, are now recording under the name exmagician.

The second piece of good news is that like Cashier No.9 before them, exmagician have been signed to the Bella Union record label. Bella Union is perhaps most famous for being the label of Fleet Foxes, although in recent years they have also notched up success with albums from Beach House, John Grant & Father John Misty, so having the support of such a well regarded label will no doubt give the duo the needed push to get their new project off the ground.

And the third, final, and best piece of news? The band have just unveiled their debut single, "Kiss That Wealth Goodbye". It's not a major departure from the sound of their former band, with the song following the same psychedelic blueprint that made us fall in love with them in the first place. It's a more electronic than what they've done before, and there's more plinky-plonk pianos sounds than you might expect, but it still remains a great spiritual successor to their forebearing band.

It will be interesting to see whether "Kiss That Wealth Goodbye" is going to be a gateway between the sound that fans of Cashier No.9 might expect and a new, unfamiliar territory that the duo will explore in future releases, or whether it will set the template for what to expect on the rest of the E.P. Either way, we are very excited to have exmagicians in our lives, and hope that the rest of their material can live up to our first taste of them.

"Kiss That Wealth Goodbye" is the lead track from exmagician's debut E.P, which will be released on November 20th.

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Chris Tall - Time of Your Life

Here at The Metaphorical Boat we have always had a wee soft spot for a slice of well constructed "sax-house", i.e dance songs which feature the prominent use of a saxophone in their production. We've very much enjoyed songs like "Changes", "Vandaag", "Jubel", and yes, even that Moldovan Eurovision Song Contest entry from 2010 which seems to have unconsciously spurred off the whole sub-genre in the first place.

Which brings us nicely to the latest single by Swedish producer Chris Tall. He had a minor UK dance hit this year with the catchy, albeit mildly irritating "Duckface". The follow-up is "Time Of Your Life", a well constructed piece of pure dance pop, topped lovingly with a highly infectious saxophone riff. It's been stuck in our heads for the last few days since we first heard it, so if you're looking for the closest thing to a real, live earworm in 2015, you'd be hard pressed to find something better than this.

"Time Of Your Life" is out now.

Kassassin Street - Talk In Riddles

We have very much enjoyed the output of Portsmouth band Kassassin Street over the last few months, so it's nice to see a new track from the band premiering. "Talk In Riddles" is perhaps one of the most electronic-sounding song the band have released to date, calling to mind some of the more electronic-styled songs of Bloc Party.

"Talk In Riddles" is taken from their "Radio Silence" E.P, which is out now.