Thursday, 16 August 2012

Ireland Tunes - Round-up #5

Another month has passed us by, and once again, there is another batch of tunes from this great isle worth taking a gander at. Here are a few assorted tracks that have been floating The Metaphorical Boat this August:

Master & Dog - Canada

Up until recently, Master & Dog had been known professionally as John, Shelly & The Creatures. I'm presuming that the sextet decided a name change was necessary after one too many uninformed journalists opened an interview with the question "So, which one of you is John Shelly?" Released at the tail-end of June, their latest single, "Canada", is a soaring slice of rock anthemics, and one which went down well at last month's Glasgowbury Festival, and one which will feature on their self-titled sophomore album. A music video has been released for the song, which features some rather disturbing puppetry.


Tokyo Empire - Barcelona

It's taken my almost a year, but I've finally gotten around to writing about a group from the lovely county of Tyrone. And they're a pretty decent one too. Tokyo Empire are a five piece synth-rock group from Strabane. This instantly makes them the 2nd most famous musical act to come from Strabane (the most famous is, of course, Hugo Duncan). Their latest track, "Barcelona", calls to mind The Killers, albeit a version that doesn't rely as heavily of Bruce Springsteen for their influences.


Lost Avenue - Ethanol

I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again with a little bit more hyperbole - Derry NEEDS a major rock act to break through internationally by next year, to coincide with with its year as City of Culture. Although Fighting With Wire will probably do well for themselves now that they're signed to Frank Turner's label, and The Japanese Popstars have got to the stage where they are the official musicians for an F1 Racing team, it seems as if there hasn't been a band from Derry that has become a household name since The Undertones back in the 70s. Expect to see them headline a few City of Culture events next year.

Of the current breed of young Derry bands hoping to break through, none of them seems to share their punk spirit any more than Lost Avenue. Their latest single "Ethanol" owes a great debt to Feargal Sharkey & company, with its tales of being young, in love, and being incredibly inebriated. Could Lost Avenue be the next band from the area to break through? It's too early to say, but at least they'll have an incredibly fun ride whilst they're doing it.


Carried By Waves - Stranger Talk

Cork native Ronan McCann releases atmospheric, glitchy electronica under the name Carried By Waves. Last month, he made his debut album "Softly Held Together" available to download for free from his Bandcamp page. The highlight of the set for me is "Stranger Talk", a finely crafted piece of up-to-date electronic music, which is greater boosted by the guest appearance of Karen O'Doherty on violin.

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