Thursday, 25 October 2018

Chandler Juliet - tidal wave


It's great to hear a stripped back song that's rather engrossing. "tidal wave" (all lower case), is the latest song from Chandler Juliet, a singer/songwriter based in Los Angeles. Built around a simple guitar part and a subtle yet effective production style, the song is a ode to finding your place in the world once adolescence has passed by. It calls to mind a more organic version of "All I Need" by Air, which is no bad thing indeed.

"tidal wave" is taken from Chandler Juliet's upcoming E.P "elements", which is out in January 2019.

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Bring On The Night - Hurts At Hello


Bring on The Night are a Manchester based electro-rock duo, who for the time being have chosen to keep their identities secret, hence the Commedia dell'Arte masks in the above promo picture, although they have been involved in quite a few musical projects before this.

"Hurts At Hello" is their debut single, and offers a great introduction to their music. It's ostensibly a rock song, although it weaves in a more hip-hop, electronic production in such a way that it doesn't feel like too much of a distraction.

"Hurts At Hello" is out now.

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Conor Mason - We Watched The Sky Rotate


Derry based singer/songwriter Conor Mason has been involved with several music projects over the past few years, including being involved with blog favourites PORTS & Our Krypton Son. He's also released a number of solo albums over the years, with his first new album under his own name since 2012 due out next month.

As well as featuring a new version of a track that we first wrote about back in 2011 (which unfortunately is no longer available on the interwebs), the album also features the rather nice single "We Watched The Sky Rotate". If you're familiar with PORTS, it's musically in a similar musical area, an atmospheric piano-led folk track with a wistful & tender central melody.

"We Watched The Sky Rotate" is taken from Conor Mason's 4th solo album, "On The Surface", which is out on 2nd November.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Party Fears - Dog Star


Formed in Korea, based in Berlin, and with members from Northern Ireland & Australia (if you know a more continent-spanning band, then you've got more time on your hands than me), Party Fears are a group that I have known about for some time, even though it's only been recently that I've taken the time to listen to their music.

Their name has been etched into my psyche for the last year and a bit, largely because their stickers appear to have been strategically placed in Belfast city centre along the route that I take every Monday to Friday on my walk to that place that I go to every Monday to Friday. I also bumped into them earlier this year when they were at a Jealous of The Birds gig in the Oh Yeah Centre, where they spent quite a bit of time hiding behind a curtain in the venue.

But it is their music that they're most known for, and having released a warmly received album in 2017, they have just released a new single, "Dog Star", and if you're new to their music, it's a pretty great jumping-in point. It's an ace slice of disco-inspired art-pop which is quite infectious and poppy in spite of the sombre theme of the lyrics.

"Dog Star" is taken from their upcoming E.P "Just Friends", which is out on 12th November.

Monday, 15 October 2018

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 08 - The Northern Ireland Music Prize 2018


The nominations have been announced for the 6th annual Northern Ireland Music Prize, the annual award given for the best album from Northern Ireland over the past 12 months. This year’s ceremony, on November 15th, promises to be the biggest to date. It will be held in the Ulster Hall for the first time, and in addition to the best album category, it will also feature new awards for Best Single (which will be decided by a public vote), Best Live Act, and the Oh Yeah Contender award for the best up and coming act. And for the first time, there will be a cash prize for all the winners on the night. 

The nominees in each of the categories are:

Best Album

And So I Watch You From Afar - The Endless Shimmering
Ash - Islands
Bicep - Bicep
Brand New Friend - Seatbelts For Aeroplanes
Ciaran Lavery - Sweet Decay
Girls Names - Stains on Silence
Hannah Peel - Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia
Malojian - Let Your Weirdness Carry You Home
Robocobra Quartet - Plays Hard To Get
Ryan Vail - Distorted Shadows
Snow Patrol - Wildness
The Wood Burning Savages - Stability

Best Single

Arvo Party - Liberté
Ash - Buzzkill
Brand New Friend - Girl
Cherym - Take It Back
Hot Cops - Decay
Joshua Burnside - A Man of High Renown
Kitt Philippa - Human
Robocobra Quartet - You’ll Wade
ROE - Hey Thomas
Rosborough - Burn Blue
Snow Patrol - Life on Earth
The Wood Burning Savages - I Don’t Know Why I Do It To Myself


Oh Yeah Contender Award

Cherym
Hand Models
Hunkpapa
Rebekah Fitch
Roe

Best Live Act

And So I Watch You From Afar
Brand New Friend
Robocobra Quartet
Ryan Vail
The Wood Burning Savages

To discuss the 2018 Northern Ireland Music Prize, the captain of The Metaphorical Boat, Christopher McBride, is joined on the podcast by Robert Brown, the editor of Northern Irish music website Chordblossom, to talk through all the nominees, and who we think will win each of the prizes on the night. Plus, find out what happened to the captain when he found himself sat beside the lead singer of Snow Patrol at a prior Northern Ireland Music Prize ceremony.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud, Google Podcasts or on Apple Podcasts:

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Egoism - Sorry


Now this is a song that ticks all of our metaphorical boxes. Egoism are a dreampop duo from Sydney comprising Olive Rush & Scout Eastment, and make the sort of breezy shoegaze that gets us giddy with excitement. Their new single is "Sorry", which is an infectious song that calls to mind elements of Alvvays, School of Seven Bells & The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, and combines them into one lush package. It's a great song, and when the blasts of guitar come in after 50 seconds, it put the song very much in the realms of our favourite song of the year to date.

"Sorry" is out now.

Monday, 17 September 2018

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 07 - Ciara O'Neill

On each episode of The Metaphorical Boat Podcast, Christopher McBride, the Captain of The Metaphorical Boat, will sit down with one of his favourite musicians, and over a cup of a lovely caffeinated beverage and a snack of the artist's choosing (The Captain always goes for Battenberg. Always), chat through the artist's life, musical highlights, and most importantly, how many sugars they take.



Our guest on this episode of The Metaphorical Boat Podcast is Portadown singer/songwriter Ciara O'Neill, who talks about her 2nd studio album "Arrow", her early musical upbringings, and her experiences of writing and performing in Nashville.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:



Find out more about Ciara O'Neill on -
Official Facebook Twitter Spotify



Sunday, 9 September 2018

Hand Models - Banana


Belfast based 4-piece Hand Models have been building up a name for themselves locally over the past few years, gaining support from the Oh Yeah Centre's Scratch My Progress scheme, and gaining  radio play both locally and nationally with songs like "Skate Shoes". They've also been building up a name for themselves locally, the most recent of which being a well-regarded summer party in the Limelight to raise money for a mental health charity.

They've been a name that we've heard a lot about for some time, but it is their latest single that has really caught our ear. "Banana" is very much the epitome of slacker-rock in the Pavement mould, and that's not only due to the repeated refrain of "I did nothing" that recurs throughout the song. They've released a music video to go with it, which takes the title of the song as literal as you could possibly get, with the band dressing up in banana suits and getting up to various kinds of tomfoolery around places that anyone who's spent any time in Belfast will be immediately familiar with.

"Banana" is out now. 

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Ciara O'Neill - Dreamer


I've been a fan of Portadown singer-songwriter Ciara O'Neill for a few years now. I enjoyed her album "The Ebony Trail" when it came out in 2016, and had the pleasure of seeing her live around the release of that album.

In amongst the songs from that album that she played, there was newer song in particular that I absolutely loved when performed live, which was "Dreamer". Inspired by a short story by Sylvia Plath, it did something that rarely happens at a live concert, which is to move me to near-tears. Whether it was the subject matter (about not being able to enter a loved one's dreams) or the emotionally-triggering vocals of Ciara that led to this reaction, I have no idea, but if a song can provoke such feelings, then it must be a special one indeed.

Which is why it was wonderful to see that in anticipation of her follow-up album, she has chosen "Dreamer" as one of the lead tracks (alongside "Hurtin'"). As is always the case with a song you fall in love with live, there was the worry that the song wouldn't live up to the solo-acoustic version that I've become accustomed to. Thankfully there's nothing to worry about - as Ciara's vocals are a brilliant as always, and the production is very much in keeping with the song - I'm very much a fan of the sweeping strings, which act as a great counterbalance.

"Dreamer" is taken from Ciara O'Neill's 2nd album, "Arrow", which will be released on July 9th.

Monday, 30 April 2018

The Metaphorical Boat Spotify Playlist - March/April 2018


For those of you who like your musical recommendations in playlist-able Spotify form, on a bimonthly basis The Metaphorical Boat posts a selection of songs that we have been enjoying over the prior eight weeks or so, containing songs that we've written about, new songs that we haven't written about but are enjoying nonetheless, and a few older but fantastic tracks that are currently floating our Metaphorical Boat.

Below you can find our playlist of songs that we really enjoyed in March & April 2018. If you like what you hear, or just want another playlist to add to your growing list of playlists, then we really hope that you'll take the time to visit the playlist on Spotify and give it a follow. You never know, your new favourite song of all time could be somewhere on this playlist!

This month's playlist feature songs from established artists like Blossoms, The Wombats, George Ezra, Jack White & James, songs from newer acts such as Benin City, Fjokra, Déjá Vega & ALLIGATOR, plus local acts like Blue Americans, Lauren Bird, Ciaran Lavery & Brash Isaac. Lots of great music from lots of great people for your ear-based amusement.



And because you need more than one playlist in your life, The Metaphorical Boat also has a rotating playlist of songs, which we will update on a regular basis. Lists are fun!

As soon as we come across a new song that we like, it will automatically go to the top of this playlist, and we will remove a song from the playlist as soon as it has been on it for 2 months, so if you give it a follow, you will always have a fine conveyor belt of fantastic music courtesy of us at The Metaphorical Boat. You can find the playlist as it stands as of now below -

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

New Atlas - Dizzi


Oh, we do love a finely formed, unashamedly pop song. New Atlas is the brainchild of Owen McKenna, who is previously from Northern Ireland but is now based in Liverpool. Since the launch of this project in late 2016, he's picked up lots of love from Radio 1 and the music supervisors at Made in Chelsea, as well as seeing one of his recent singles, "Morphine", receiving north of 100k streams on Spotify.

It is his latest single, "Dizzi", where we now join the band, and as far as an introduction to their sound goes, you can't really can't do any better. The song is a dizzy, sugar rush of a song, combining tropical pop with a synth-rock edge, it is a tune that should go down well with fans of Grouplove & The 1975, and is a song that we very much expect to be soundtracking an advert for an iPhone or another hip fruit-based device by the end of 2018.

"Dizzi" is out now.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

The Metaphorical Boat Spotify Playlist - January/February 2018


For those of you who like your musical recommendations in playlist-able Spotify form, on a bimonthly basis The Metaphorical Boat posts a selection of songs that we have been enjoying over the prior eight weeks or so, containing songs that we've written about, new songs that we haven't written about but are enjoying nonetheless, and a few older but fantastic tracks that are currently floating our Metaphorical Boat.

Below you can find our playlist of songs that we really enjoyed in January & February 2018. If you like what you hear, or just want another playlist to add to your growing list of playlists, then we really hope that you'll take the time to visit the playlist on Spotify and give it a follow. You never know, your new favourite song of all time could be somewhere on this playlist!

This month's playlist feature songs from established artists like Eels, First Aid Kit, Jack White, Ride & Ash , songs from newer acts such as Confidence Man, Superorganism, Ten Tonnes, Gizmo Varillas & Patawawa, plus local acts like The Woof Burning Savages, King Cedar, Ciaran Lavery, Bui & Beauty Sleep. Lots of great music from lots of great people for your ear-based amusement.





And because you need more than one playlist in your life, The Metaphorical Boat also has a rotating playlist of songs, which we will update on a regular basis. Lists are fun!

As soon as we come across a new song that we like, it will automatically go to the top of this playlist, and we will remove a song from the playlist as soon as it has been on it for 2 months, so if you give it a follow, you will always have a fine conveyor belt of fantastic music courtesy of us at The Metaphorical Boat. You can find the playlist as it stands as of now below -

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Freak's - Red Or Green


A song that we had been eagerly awaiting for over three years finally made an appearance just before Christmas, although due to being in the middle of December listicals we haven't got around to posting about it until now. Although it's very much worth the wait.

It was way back in 2014 that Strabane based band Freak's first popped on to our radar with their pop-culture influenced indie-pop stylings, with tracks like "Number One" & "A Minute More" tickling our fancy. We had high hopes of them doing well for themselves, however since then they've been quite quiet, very rarely playing live, bar Christmas hometown gigs, and with no new recorded music since.

This was a shame, as one of the songs they played live & on radio sessions "Red Or Green", was one that we really thought deserved a bigger audience, and is one that many of us in Ireland can relate to. Thankfully, just before Christmas, the band finally posted the finished studio version of the song online for us all to enjoy.

"Red Or Green" is a song about youthful memories and the passage of time. The main hook of the song is built around whether between which 5p Tayto Crisps was preferable, either the red bacon flavoured ones, or the green pickled onion ones.*

Unfortunately, Tayto haven't sold Fives for over ten years, as the rolling tides of inflation meaning that it wasn't financially viable to continue selling them. Perhaps if "Red or Green" becomes popular enough, it will act as the catalyst for Tayto bringing back the crisps? At the very least, we hope Tayto will throw those Freak's fellows a few boxes of crisps for the free publicity they've given them over the past few years.

"Red Or Green" is available now as a free download.



*There were also yellow ones, which were cheese flavoured, although these were much harder to come by. Despite what the band have said about these ones publicly, I actually quite liked the yellow ones. Sorry guys!