Friday, 19 April 2013

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-Up #14

According to the 20th century poet T.S Eliot, "April is the cruelest month." I'm guessing that he didn't realise that nearly 100 years later, April 2013 would be choc-a-block with some brilliant new music. Poets just don't have any foresight.

So here's a few tracks from Northern Ireland that have come up on The Metaphorical Boat's radar this month:
VerseChorusVerse - Nothing Is Easy

Former And So I Watch You From Afar member Tony Wright has done his best to distance himself from his former band on the recordings released as VerseChorusVerse. In comparison to his ex-group's loud, noisy, mostly instrumental proceedings, "Nothing Is Easy" is  surprisingly tranquil. It's am acoustic track with straightforward lyrics that shows that nice and simple can be just as effective as aggressive and complicated. The music video for the track, which has been described as crazy and hilarious, is well worth checking out.

Gerard i2 - Mash em'

Although it is always fantastic to hear local artists receiving airplay on national radio, with some artists/songs, you wonder if people listening on the mainland will 'get' them. Over the past few days, "Mash em" by Strabane based rapper Gerard i2 has starting to pick up some airtime on a few shows on BBC Radio 1. I had my doubts that his music could transfer well out of the boundaries of 'our wee province' for two reasons:

1. Northern Ireland has never really been considered a hotbed of rap activity.
2. Gerard i2's accent is so strong, that even people who live here may have difficulty understanding what he's saying.

Thankfully, it seems that the people have responded well to the track, which takes an old school, DJ Shadow-esque production and adds rhymes about things as diverse as seizures, Lidl & 16 bit games console cartridges. Could Gerard i2 be Northern Ireland's first breakout rap star? Anything is possible, I suppose.

Desert Hearts - Silver Threads

Local stalwarts Desert Hearts are gearing up to release their third studio album "Enturbulation=No Challenge" on May 27th. To promote its release, they've brought out "Silver Threads", a track that's a little bit The Killers, a little bit The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, and one which encapsulates the grandiose rock that they are well known for.

The Shout - On and On

There's been a healthy stream of pop-punk coming from Northern Ireland recently. There's Sethway, Kept Under Glass, and now Belfast based group The Shout are the latest gang making the music so beloved by the angsty teens of the world. Their latest single, "On and On", is a decent piece of You Me At Six style rock.

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