Friday, 28 July 2017

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round Up #38

So summer. That's a thing that is currently happening. Hope you are all enjoying sunning yourselves, enjoying time off and taking in a much new music as you can? What's that, not really much of the latter? Well just as well The Metaphorical Boat's here for you then.

There's been some rather fine new music from this neck of the woods in the last wee while, so here's a round-up of a few new tunes that we think will float your Metaphorical Boat -


Darren Doherty - Kites (featuring Lauren Bird)

Strabane resident Darren Doherty has been featured on these pages before, as part of his work with the band A Northern Light, who were responsible to two of our favourite local songs of the past few years, "Kill It" and "Paranoia". He's now recording under his own name, and recently released an album, "What You Do", which was recorded over a period of several months, with each track released the moment it was ready.

Our favourite song from the collection is "Kites". Not just because it features Lauren Bird, but because it is a brilliant, powerful stripped-back folk song. A rare delight.


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Terry Conlon - Don't Lead Me On

Terry Conlon's got one of those voices that just couldn't come from anywhere else but here. The Cullyhanna native is releasing his debut album "Homegrown" in September, with "Don't Lead Me On" being the lead single. With a voice that is richer beyond his years and a tune that could cause increased lacrymosity, his music will strike a chord with fans of Ciaran Lavery or Foy Vance.


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CATALAN! - Oka

CATALAN! is the new music project from Ewan Friars, who is perhaps best known as a member of North Coast rockers Axis of. "Oka" is the first socially charged single, combining lyrics about indigenous people and social media with thumping beats and towering guitar riffs. If you were a fan of Axis of, and are also partial to a little bit of The Clash, you'll find something to love here.

There's a music video released to accompany the song, which contains quite a lot of symbolism that we are currently unable to interpret, in spite of our A Level Media Studies knowledge.


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Emer Maguire - Belfast

We'd heard quite a few people talking about Belfast based singer/songwriter Emer Maguire recently, so were glad to be able to catch her live at the Pavilion at the weekend, playing what we believe to be her first full-band performance. It was a quite enjoyable performance, with covers of Muse & Lorde thrown in among her original material, and there was definitely enough going to make sure we keep an eye out for her in the future.

Of her original songs, the one that caught our ear was "Belfast", a great love/hate letter to the city (and funnily enough, the 2nd song we've heard about the city in the past 2 weeks). There's a nice hat-tap towards the Lisburn Road (a street that anyone who's studied at Queen's knows all too well), plus it's nice to hear a synth-bass being used in an acoustic-led song.


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Hunkpapa - Rodeos

And concluding our round-up this month is Armagh band Hunkpapa. We have been reliably informed that the group are one of the most exciting new live bands to come out of Northern Ireland in recent times. We haven't seen them live yet, so we cannot vouch for the accuracy of that claim, but that is something that we hope to remedy at some point in the near future.

For now though, we'll just have to pleasure ourselves with the band's latest single, "Rodeos", which is a great alt-folk-rock single that comes off like a heavier Ben Howard.

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