Saturday, 13 January 2018

Freak's - Red Or Green

A song that we had been eagerly awaiting for over three years finally made an appearance just before Christmas, although due to being in the middle of December listicals we haven't got around to posting about it until now. Although it's very much worth the wait.

It was way back in 2014 that Strabane based band Freak's first popped on to our radar with their pop-culture influenced indie-pop stylings, with tracks like "Number One" & "A Minute More" tickling our fancy. We had high hopes of them doing well for themselves, however since then they've been quite quiet, very rarely playing live, bar Christmas hometown gigs, and with no new recorded music since.

This was a shame, as one of the songs they played live & on radio sessions "Red Or Green", was one that we really thought deserved a bigger audience, and is one that many of us in Ireland can relate to. Thankfully, just before Christmas, the band finally posted the finished studio version of the song online for us all to enjoy.

"Red Or Green" is a song about youthful memories and the passage of time. The main hook of the song is built around whether between which 5p Tayto Crisps was preferable, either the red bacon flavoured ones, or the green pickled onion ones.*

Unfortunately, Tayto haven't sold Fives for over ten years, as the rolling tides of inflation meaning that it wasn't financially viable to continue selling them. Perhaps if "Red or Green" becomes popular enough, it will act as the catalyst for Tayto bringing back the crisps? At the very least, we hope Tayto will throw those Freak's fellows a few boxes of crisps for the free publicity they've given them over the past few years.

"Red Or Green" is available now as a free download.

*There were also yellow ones, which were cheese flavoured, although these were much harder to come by. Despite what the band have said about these ones publicly, I actually quite liked the yellow ones. Sorry guys!

Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Metaphorical Boat's Top Songs of 2017 - The List (+Spotify Playlist)

For the benefit of those who like cold, hard data, here is The Metaphorical Boat's top songs of 2017 in easy to digest list form -

1. CHAMPS - The Garden Is Overgrown
2. Confidence Man - Bubblegum
3. Drones Club - Hurricane
4. Tom Williams - Everyone Needs a Home
5. Dan Auerbach - Shine on Me
6. Ten Fé - Twist Your Arm
7. Lauren Bird - That's The Truth
8. The War On Drugs - Holding On
9. Childish Gambino - Redbone
10. Confidence Man - Better Sit Down Boy
11. Sam Fender - Play God
12. Fjokra - Sick Kids
13. Dagny - Wearing Nothing
14. The Pains Of Being Pure At Heart - Anymore
15. Liam Gallagher - Wall Of Glass
16. Japandroids - No Known Drink Or Drug
17. Catholic Action - Propaganda
18. Childcare - Kiss?
19. Frànçois & The Atlas Mountains - Grand Dérèglement
20. Imagine Dragons - Believer
21. Richard Thorncroft - You Can't Handcuff the Wind
22. SAINTE - With or Without Me
23. Glass Wings - Jana From Barcelona
24. The Shimmer Band - Jacknife And The Death Call
25. Beck - Dear Life
26. The War On Drugs - Strangest Thing
27. Paths - Last One Standing
28. Ten Tonnes - Silver Heat
29. Howl - Lost
30. Public Service Broadcasting - You + Me
31. The Go! Team - Semicircle Song
32. Bicep - Glue
33. Apache Darling - Go
34. Remington Super 60 - Robo learns to whistle
35. Portugal. The Man - Feel It Still
36. British Sea Power - Keep On Trying (Sechs Freunde)
37. Cold War Kids - Love Is Mystical
38. Spoon - Hot Thoughts
39. Parekh & Singh - Panda
40. Anteros - Bonnie
41. Owen Denvir - You Don't Want to Love Me
42. Aidan Logan - Turbulence
43. The Vegan Leather - Shake It
44. Darren Doherty - Kites (feat. Lauren Bird)
45. Jennifer Hudson - Golden Slumbers / Carry That Weight
46. Malojian - Ambulance Song
47. Hannah Grace - Praise You
48. Girl K - Neighbors
49. Ibibio Sound Machine - Give Me a Reason
50. Ed Sheeran - Galway Girl

And for those of you who do that whole Spotify thing, here is a playlist of all 50 songs in order of awesomeness -

Monday, 25 December 2017

The Metaphorical Boat's Top Songs of 2017 - Number One

1. Champs - The Garden Is Overgrown

And so Isle of Wight duo Champs join The Vaccines, The Asteroids Galaxy Tour, Public Service Broadcasting, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Ten Fé & Bears Den in claiming the crown of The Metaphorical Boat's song of the year, with "The Garden Is Overgrown".

"The Garden Is Overgrown" is a song about the passage of time & the ebb and flow of priorities, which is delivered over a psych-synth-pop backing, with an irresistible chorus.

So congratulations to Champs, and click the 'play' button below to enjoy our favourite song of 2017 -

Sunday, 24 December 2017

The Metaphorical Boat's Top Songs on 2017 - 5-2

We're nearly at the end of countdown now, but before we see what our favourite song of 2017 is, let's see what came in at numbers 5 through 2 on our countdown -

5. Dan Auerbach - Shine on Me

A solo outing from 1/2 of The Black Keys, "Shine On Me" is a sunny, guitar-pop song that feels like a lost George Harrison single. An unexpected delight, and a fun music video too.

4. Tom Williams - Everyone Needs a Home

Having been familiar with him for many years without absolutely falling for his music, 2017 was the year that Tom Williams finally smashed into our consciousness with his fantastic single "Everyone Needs a Home". It's a song inspired by the refugee crisis, and harks back to 70s rock, and is topped off with lush, string-swept melodies.

3. Drones Club - Hurricane 

The London based musical collective-cum-cult Drones Club delivered a dark banger in the form of "Hurricane", a politically-charged electronic number with sinister undertones & an earworm-y central hook. If you see them live, it is a pretty arresting sight seeing a room full of people going crazy to this track.

2. Confidence Man - Bubblegum

And just falling short of the #1 position is the second entry in the top 10 for Australian band Confidence Man, this time with "Bubblegum", the song that made us fall in love with them in the first place.

"Bubblegum" is the kind of bonkers, hyperactive, cut & paste pop that we absolutely love to pieces. As well as calling to mind The Go! Team, and Deee-Lite (it's been called by some as a modern-day updating of "Groove Is In The Heart"), it also reminds us very much of The Asteroids Galaxy Tour in how its constituent parts slip and slide out as the song progresses. Ruddy great fun, and even more fun when you see the band performing it live. 

Friday, 22 December 2017

The Metaphorical Boat's Top Songs of 2017 - 10-6

We are now into the creme-de-la-creme of 2017's songs, with the songs that come in at numbers 10 through 6 in the countdown. Here they are, alongside the reasons why we think they're such fantastic songs -

10. Confidence Man - Better Sit Down Boy

Australian band Confidence Man make fun, uplifting pop music with a lack of cynicism, but a large dollop of attitude. "Better Sit Down Boy" is the kind of song you could imagine Girls Aloud taking straight into the chart 10 years ago if it were given a Xenomania lick of paint. It's a fun, un-guilty pleasure from start to finish.

9. Childish Gambino - Redbone

Ah "Redbone", or as it's also known, the song that spawned a million memes (this one was our personal favourite). With its instantly recognisable unique instrumentation and the soulful vocals of Donald Glover, "Redbone" sounds like it was an old R&B classic from the 70s that had only been re-discovered, yet was very much a product of the here and now. A fantastic song from a genre that we usually aren't too fussed on.

8. The War On Drugs - Holding On

Well, "A Deeper Understanding" was so full on bangers that it's no surprise to see another song from the album make our list of favourite songs of the year. "Holding On" sees The War on Drugs at their heaviest, with its driving, America rock somewhat tempered by its glockenspiel-inflected rhythm. 

7. Lauren Bird - That's The Truth

I've mentioned before the idea of a tune that is an 'Asda Car Park' song. What this means is that it is a song that when I listen to it in the car, I get so emotional, and my eyes get so bleary, that I need to turn the car into the nearest car park (which is usually an Asda one for some reason) to allow me to compose myself and recover my vision before continuing on my journey. We in Northern Ireland are used to road safety adverts on TV that warn of the dangers of drink-driving, and rightly so. However, there is yet to be one that warns of the dangers of listening to emotional music whilst driving, and I feel that this is a major oversight.

This brings us nicely on to "That's The Truth" by Lauren Bird, a song that for us at least, fits the very definition of an 'Asda Car Park' song. It's a beautiful, emotional, ukulele-lead song that contains one of the most beautiful, yet tragic, lyrics we've heard in a song all year - "I'd rather be nothing than be a burden to you".

6. Ten Fé - Twist Your Arm

Having seen Ten Fé play the song "Twist Your Arm" live at The Great Escape, we had a feeling that when they finally released a studio version of the song, it would become a real favourite, and gosh darn, those boyos went and made sure we kept that promise to ourselves.

Given their versatile sound and live presence, we'd imagine Ten Fé to be a modern day successor to Primal Scream, and "Twist Your Arm" is one of those songs that helps to cement that belief, as its dancey, droozy sound sounds like it owes a debt to songs from their "Screamadelica" album, "Come Together" in particular due to its use of a gospel choir. We're also got some David Bowie "Memories of a Free Festival" vibes, and for some reason that we couldn't put our finger quite on, a little bit of Simple Minds as well.