Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-Up #32

It's always great doing the annual round-up of this blog's favourite releases of 2014, however one thing it means is that we focus all our attention towards it, and a result there might be some great songs that we may have written about but didn't get around to due to our laser-focused attentions being elsewhere. So to remedy this, here's a few tracks from Northern Ireland that we've been rather taken by in the past few weeks that we think will float your Metaphorical Boat
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Viola Dust - Trick

Having featured on this blog on several occasions throughout 2014, you'd think that Newry band Viola Dust don't need any introduction, but I never let that stop me.

Viola Dust have built up a stellar reputation, and a little bit of blog lovin', with their rather intelligent take on electronic-pop. As of today, "The Big Hop" has racked up over 25,000 streams on Soundcloud, which is pretty fantastic going for a band who've only being a going concern since May. Their latest single to made available is "Trick", a fantastic single with a monster of a chorus. It would not surprise me if Jay-Z nicked it as the main hook of his next hit single. It's available to download for free, which is a steal if I ever saw one.


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Lauren Bird - Goodbye, Good Luck

Last month, I went down to Dawsons in Belfast city centre to watch a friend of the blog who was taking part in a singer/songwriter competition that they were running. As part of the competition, they had to perform two songs, one original song and one cover. Although most of them were okay, I was completely blown away by one performer in particular. Armed with a ukulele, she broke into one of the most downbeat songs ever made, "No Surprises", and turned it into a thing of beauty. I joked on Twitter at the time that I refuse to listen to that song unless it's played by a girl from Strabane on the ukulele, but the more I think about it, the more I agree with myself.

I later learned that her name is Lauren Bird (having spent hours searching for her music in vain after mishearing it as Byrne), and discovered that she released a self-titled E.P of her own songs a few months ago, which is available on a pay-what-you-want basis. Taken from the E.P is "Goodbye, Good Luck", which was the song that she performed alongside "No Surprises" when I saw her last month. It's a heartfelt ode to a relationship gone awry, which calls to mind a more acoustic version of Kate Nash.


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Aspen Pales - Blue

And finishing off the round-up this month is Rostrevor band Aspen Pales. The track "Blue" premièred on Chordblossom earlier this month, taken from a recently released self-titled album. It's a deceptively simple song that ebbs and flows throughout, whilst burying itself deep under your skin without you realising it. It's one of those songs that seems to have existed in a time bubble, as if it has always been ever-present in the background, like cosmic radiation.

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