Monday, 3 April 2017
Goodness gracious, has it really been three years since we last wrote about Minneapolis trio Step Rockets on the blog? Apparently so, although thee of "Kisser", "Phantom Flower", and many other groovy songs have been keeping busy these last few years, including compiling their best singles into a consolidated release, "Future Nature", last year.
They've a new single out, which given that it's been released right in the middle of the tax season, is rather aptly called "Money". It is a song that is very much in the style of Step Rockets, in taking the rock format and tweaking it slightly to make it more palatable for the current audience - once again, we think that Imagine Dragons would be the closest musical comparison. Unfortunately its rather liberal use of profanity does preclude it from being the alt-rock radio hit that it has the capability of being, but I'm sure there's a less cuss-y edit of it out there if needs must.
"Money" is out now.
Sunday, 2 April 2017
Last night, the winner of Chordblossom's Kickstart competition was announced, and after much deliberation among the judges (full disclosure - your humble captain was part of the panel), it was decided that the winner of the competition was BRØR. They will receive a raft of support to help them in their musical career, including recording time, CD duplication, and a number of supporting slots at gigs and festivals over the next couple. The runners up on the night included Glass Wings, Claire Louise and Sam Wickens, and although they didn't come out on top, we have a feeling we will be covering them on the blog in the future.
So who are BRØR? They are an Armagh based duo made up of brothers Ben & Johno (Hence the name BRØR, which is Swedish for brothers). They were previously members of HOW (a band that we covered on the blog three years ago), and are purveyors of driving rock of the alt and noise variety. "Something New" is their first single, and the song by that won many of us over to their sound. Both their band line-up and sound call to mind Japandroids, with its heavy, bass-absent sound, yearning lyrics and rocky harmonies. They've got a lot of other great songs waiting in the wings, so we are looking forward to what they're going to do now that they've got a bit of traction behind them.
"Something New" is out now.
Wednesday, 29 March 2017
The first album by Sullivan & Gold, "For Foes", was well received on its release, being nominated for the Northern Ireland Music Prize and spawning great songs like "Jigsaws". Since then, Sullivan & Gold has gone from being a duo to being the solo project of Ben Robinson, who has now left the North Coast to relocate to Durham. He's spent some time in between travelling to places a far flung as Uganda, and Guatemala, the latter of which has inspired his first single in quite a while.
"Guatemala" is a song that twists the personal and the political into one package, with its soaring strings and tender vocals underpinning a song filled with both pain and hope. It's a strong song with a soaring melody, and quite possibly the strongest single that Sullivan & Gold has given us to date. A wonderful return.
"Guatemala" is out now, with an album to follow later in the year.
Wednesday, 22 March 2017
Three months in to 2017, and we at The Metaphorical Boat have already enjoyed what will be our favourite gig of the year - Bear's Den at the Limelight in Belfast. A fantastic mix of their older folksy songs and their newer, more synth-pop inflected tunes, alongside some moments which you wouldn't get at any other gig, such as when the entire band came off stage to perform "Isaac" completely unplugged in the middle of the crowd. Plus, "Auld Wives", this blog's favourite song of 2016, nearly reduced us to tears, something that we don't usually allow to happen to ourselves in public places.
The support act were pretty decent as well, a London based trio who go by the name of Banfi. We enjoyed their set, with two songs in particular standing out. The first one was "June", a catchy as heck song that reminded us quite a bit of The Police in places. Alas, that song hasn't been released as a single, but the second song that caught our attention, the song they closed their set with, has.
That song is "Rosedale House", a driving piston of a song in the mold of Bruce Springsteen, or Ten Fé at their more rocky. The band are currently signed to Communion Records, the same as their tour buddies Bear's Den, so should expect to hear more from them over the next few months.
"Rosedale House" is out now.
Sunday, 19 March 2017
Cornwall based singer-songwriter Lucy Hill, aka Little Lapin has picked up quite a bit of love across several different releases, picking up airtime on 6music, Amazing Radio, and getting played on Radio 2 by Bob Harris. She has a new album coming out next month, and one of the tracks featured within has really tickled our fancy.
"Wake Up With The Sun" is the kind of folk-tinged music that we absolutely love, a Joni Mitchell-esque track that mixes the beauty in Lucy's voice with the bright and optimistic lyrics to great effect, like a folk version of "Walking On Sunshine" with an earworm activating melody.
"Wake Up With The Sun" is the title track to Little Lapin's 3rd studio album, which is released on 14th April.