Saturday, 22 February 2020

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-Up #39

It's been a while since we've did one of these round-ups of songs from Northern Ireland that have really taken our interest, but there's been a few songs that have grabbed us over the last few weeks that we felt were very much worth bringing to your attention - 

Mark Hegan - Love, Wait For Me

We've been fans of Mark Hegan on the blog for a number of years, both in his former band and now through his solo material - his song "Skyward" made the top 10 of The Metaphorical Boat's Top Songs of 2019.

His first release of the year is "Love, Wait For Me", which has all the characteristics of his solo material - the melding of the electric and rock elements, with a high level of pathos running through it. If you're looking for a less heavy Gang of Youths, then you'll enjoy this one.


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Conchúr White - Bikini Crops

Conchúr White is an artist that we first came across as frontman of Silences, whom we've had much love for over the years. He's now recording under his own name, and having released the great "Daisies" last year, and having come off an Irish tour with Villagers, he has released his first single of 2020.

"Bikini Crops" sees White taking on a more surreal quality to his lyrics - Father John Misty & Alex Turner have been cited as influences  - which shows a development in his songwriting since his band days. It's also got a blissfully powerful chorus, it's the most infectious one he's done since "The Sea", and if it's any justice, it will be the song that firmly establishes his solo credentials.


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Dark Tropics - Badlands

The one thing we love about music videos from Northern Irish artists is that their music videos tend to be shot in places we are very familiar with, which always gives us a little sense of satisfaction. Watching the video for "Badlands" by Dark Tropics, we were convinced from the get-go that it's filmed in the Botanic Gardens in Belfast, which we had a great affection for growing up. It's funny how it's the little things that give us a lift.

But anyway, "Badlands" is the debut single from duo Dark Tropics, made up of singer/songwriter Rio and producer Gerard Sands, who's been involved in a few artists we've enjoyed over the years. The song is a slice of dark pop-noir that pulls you in from the get-go. One of fans of Lana Del Rey.


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The Florentinas - Stay

Still in their teens, our interest in The Florentinas was piqued when we saw that Gary Lightbody had been quite complimentary about them. Off the strength of their single "Stay" (which was recorded live in Start Together Studios), we can see that they're a group with a lot of potential in them. It's an atmospheric, hypnotic track that will stay in the back of your head for a while after you've heard it.

They've got a few support gigs coming up in the next few weeks, opening for The Maine and Brand New Friend, so we must make a note to see them live when we can.

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

Scott MacKay - Half of Everything


It's Valentine's Day this week, so what better time to have on the blog a song about divorce? Our timing is always impeccable.

"Half of Everything" by Canadian singer-songwriter Scott MacKay is a country-inflected song that takes the idea of splitting everything 50/50 after a romantic split, and taking it to its most logical, ridiculous conclusion. The song's got a classic singer-songwriter county feel to it, sounding something a bit like Jake Bugg, if he had a sense of humour.

"Half of Everything" is out now.