Sunday 8 March 2015

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-Up #33

It's been a while, but it's time for another round-up of some great tunes which have emanated from Northern Ireland over the past few weeks. There's been so many that it's not been possible to include them all here, but hopefully there's a little something for everyone in the six that really floated the Metaphorical Boat this week - 

Best Boy Grip - Sharks

Eoin O'Callghan, aka Best Boy Grip, has built his reputation over the past few years with his sincere yet subversive piano-pop tunes. This is why hearing his new single, "Sharks" for the first time took a lot of people aback, given that it ditches the ivories altogether and takes his sound in a rockier, slightly punkier direction. There's a Best Boy Grip album on its way in a few months time, and it will be interesting to see if there's a few more curve balls like this in store when it's released.


Lilla Vargen - This Is Love

For reasons we've talked about before, with a few minor exceptions, Northern Irish acts haven't usually tended to make that much of an impact on the wider blogosphere, so when an artist does pick up a lot of traction online especially with a debut single, it is always a positive sign. When Belfast based singer/songwriter Lilla Vargen released "This Is Love" a few weeks back, it immediately won favour with lots of bloggers, picking up lots of love on the Hype Machine. It's hard not to to be won over, mind you, with this sparse, piano ballad which puts pure emotion heart and centre.

Runabay - Moon Turns Blue

Of course I'm going to love a song that name checks the Cave Hill, Belfast's own Mount Everest. "Moon Turns Blue" is the new single from Antrim based sextet Runabay, which is a great modern folk tune filled with wonderful harmonies, and more fiddle than you can shake a stick at. There's a great lot of fantastic folk bands coming through in Northern Ireland at the moment (such as Emerald Armada and New Ancestors), and if looks as if Runabay are going to make a real impact over the next while as well.

Rebekah Wilson - Nothing (Me & You)

After charming us several months ago with one of her early demos, Belfast singer/singwriter/local music enthusiast Rebekah Wilson has just released her first official single, "Nothing (Me & You)". Produced by Michael Mormecha of Mojo Fury fame, not only delivers on the promise that her earlier songs shown, but smashes right through it. The song is a soaring rock anthem in waiting, the kind of song that you can easily imagine being used at the end of an episode of one of those American teen dramas where the main character is making an overwrought declaration of love. It's a fantastic (official) debut from Rebekah Wilson, and given that she's still only 17, there's bound to be even more great gems like this to come in the future.

Ciaran Lavery & Ryan Vail - The Colour Blue

Folk troubadour (and one of local music's most successful artists on Spotify - his track "Shame" alone has racked up nearly 5 million streams) Ciaran Lavery and electronic wizard Ryan Vail have come together to release "Sea Legs" a mini-album which will bring together both artists' very disparate styles over seven tracks. The first track to be released from the project is "The Colour Blue", which mixes the acoustic wistfulness of Lavery with ambient soundscapes courtesy of Vail. If you enjoyed the collaboration album between Jon Hopkins and King Creosote, one imagines you will find something to like in this, and if you want to get more involved, then they are currently crowd funding the release on Pledge Music.

Chase The River - Everything's Ok

And closing us out this week is Belfast duo Chase The River, who were recently finalists in Chordblossom's Kickstart competition (and congratulations to Lauren Bird, who was crowned the winner). "Everything's Ok" is a great introduction to the group, which is a jaunty folk-pop duet between Lauren Malloy and Stuart Lunn.

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