Saturday 16 April 2016

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round-Up #36

It's been quite a while since we've done a round-up of a few songs from Northern Ireland from Northern Ireland that we haven't featured on the blog before that have floated our Metaphorical Boat, so there's no time like the present to fix said predicament - 

Brand New Friend - I Was An Astronaut

We've mentioned Taylor Johnson, Northern Ireland's answer to the Duracell Bunny, on TMB on several occasions, both in relation to the music blog he runs, the fabulous Encore NI, as well as his music ventures (he was the lead singer of Paper Man, a band whom we briefly featured in a Round-Up in 2013).

Now firmly back in the musical saddle, at the tail end of last year he formed Brand New Friend with his sister Lauren. In the short few months that 2016 has been a thing, they've started to make a mark for themselves. They were the winners of Chordblossom's Kickstart competition (previous winner have included blog favourites such as In An Instant, Lauren Bird, and most notably, SOAK), and were featured on Tom Robinson's Mixtape on 6music.

"I Was An Astronaut" is their debut single, and although it's a little bit rough around the edges, you can really hear the potential of the group coming through. It's an enjoyable indie-rock song filled with youthful exuberance and pleasant interlocking vocals from the Johnsons.


Dandelion Tea  -The Crystal Dawn

The debut single from Belfast 4-piece Dandelion Tea, "The Crystal Dawn" seems to be a constituent of a sub-genre that we like to dub 'floaty cloud music', i.e music so relaxing and therapeutic that it's like a aural equivalent of floating across the sky on a massive cloud. It's a lovely mix of glacial synths, acoustic guitars and the right amount of heart. It's due to feature on their first E.P "A Picnic In Limbo", and if "The Crystal Dawn" is anything to go by, it'll by a luscious release indeed.

Bisous - Lie After Lie

There's not a lot of information floating around the interwebs about Belfast's Bisous. We're not even entirely sure as to whether it's just one guy or a group. Either way, the single "Lie After Lie" has got us enthralled with its sunny lo-fi synth pop aesthetic. I expect that there's a lot more to come from him/them as his/their sound develops, but it's an interesting beginning nonetheless


Strength - Northern Ireland Yes

And we finish off this month's round-up with perhaps the most bizarre band from Derry that we've had the pleasure/opportunity (delete as appropriate) to see in the past few years. We saw Strength a few months back after they were the support act for Beauty Sleep's debut gig. The band appeared to be more of a performance art project than just a band, with the group mixing esoteric spoken word, synths that appeared to be taken from the soundtrack from Age of Empires, and interpretive dance. Their bassist also has the most ludicrous haircut we have ever seen in our life.

Still, they definitely made an impact, at least to the point of wanting to check out more of their music after the gig. Check out their most recent single, the deliciously nutty "Northern Ireland Yes", as well as the video for said single, and keep in mind that live, they are at least ten times more stark-raving bonkers.

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