Friday, 6 January 2017

Tiernán - Overthinkin'

We come across the music that we write about on The Metaphorical Boat from a wide range of sources. Since we began, we have written about music that we've discovered through our emails, seeing a band live, being played on the radio, on social media, being recommended by a friend, through "accidentally" overhearing the mother of a member of a band bragging to a security guard in work about the awesome band her son is in playing their first ever gig and about how great they are*, a recommendation from other music blogs, scouring Bandcamp/Soundcloud, and coming up on our Spotify Discover Weekly playlist.

And to that list, we can now add one more source - my mother. After hearing a song on Ralph McLean's show on BBC Radio Ulster, my mother (whose favourite musical acts, for context, are Daniel O'Donnell & The Bay City Rollers) insisted that I track down the song and listen to it, as she thought that the song was really good, and something that I would enjoy.

Well, having tracked down the artist and song, she might have been on to something. The artist in question is Antrim based 17-year-old singer/songwriter Tiernán Heffron, who records music under his first name. He's been recording YouTube covers since he was 12, and has recently branched out into original compositions.

"Overthinkin'" is the song that my mother loved from him, and is a jaunty little acoustic-pop song with jazzy overtones about spending too much time pondering, which seems to have been influenced by Ed Sheeran & Bruce Hornsby among others. It's a nice little song, and although we still think Tiernán's got a bit more work to do before he's fully formed, there's enough here to get us excited at what he does in the future. Thanks mum!

The "Overthinkin'" E.P is out now.

*This actually happened.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Ten Fé - Twist Your Arm

We are barely a week into the brand new year, and already out of the starting blocks we have a song that stands a really great chance of being our favourite song of 2017. Although that's probably not too surprising, as it a song that comes from the artist responsible for our favourite song of 2015 (and our current ringtone), Ten Fé.

The song in question is one that we've been looking forward to for some time. Having seen them play the song live at The Great Escape, we had a feeling that when they finally released a studio version of "Twist Your Arm", it would become a real favourite, and gosh darn, those boyos went and made sure we kept that promise to ourselves.

We've said before that given their versatile sound and live presence, we imagine Ten Fé to be a modern day successor to Primal Scream, and "Twist Your Arm" is one of those songs that helps to cement that belief, as its dancey, droozy sound sounds like it owes a debt to songs from their "Screamadelica" album, "Come Together" in particular due to its use of a gospel choir. We're also getting some David Bowie "Memories of a Free Festival" vibes, and for some reason that we can't put our finger quite on, a little bit of Simple Minds as well.

"Twist Your Arm" has everything we wanted from the studio version of the song, and it has really whetted our appetite for the album when it lands next month. With such a long list of great songs that we've loved from them over the last 2 years, Ten Fé are going to have a real classic on their hands.

The debut album from Ten Fé, "Hit The Light", is out on February 3rd.

Monday, 2 January 2017

Maggie Rogers - Alaska

Today's artist and song comes highly recommended from Robin of our favourite non-us music blog, Breaking More Waves, who put it at #1 in his favourite songs of 2016, although given the artist in question has been so highly tipped on many "Ones To Watch" lists, it may end up cropping up on quite a few 2017 lists as well in 12 months time.

Maggie Rogers is a Maryland singer/songwriter who started out as a folk musician, but eventually started to explore dance music following a sojourn to France, the capital of repetitive beats. She then eventually won over "Give It To Me" hit-maker Pharrell Williams, before spending the rest of the year winning over just about everyone else with her sophisticated pop sound. She's on the BBC Sound of 2017 longlist, and although at the time of writing the top 5 haven't been announced, her name is very likely to feature.

But let's get straight to the song in question, the song that shares its name with a state that many people erroneously believe that your humble captain spent a year living in, "Alaska".* It is a song in which you can hear how the synthesis of folksy origins melds with the more electronic elements with a certain level of grace. It calls to mind the music or Lorde, albeit with a more organic sound. She's made a video for the song as well, which is pretty engaging.

Although "Alaska" hasn't grabbed us at first as much the hype may have suggested, it's still a rather nice song, and there's no doubt we will be hearing quite a bit from Maggie Rogers in 2017.

*As touched upon fleetingly on this blog before, prior to starting this blog, I spent a year living in the state of Nebraska. However, whenever I tell anyone of this fact, the first question I always get asked is "isn't it cold up there"? At this point, I normally have to point out that Alaska and Nebraska are in fact two separate states about three thousand miles away from each. Although how much of this is down to ignorance to the existence of Nebraska and how much of it is due to my refined Belfast accents' mangling of American state names is not something I have yet tested to date.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

The Metaphorical Boat's Top Songs of 2016 - The List (+Spotify Playlist)

For the benefit of those who like cold, hard data, here is The Metaphorical Boat's top songs of 2016 in easy to digest list form -

1. Bear's Den - Auld Wives
2. The Strumbellas - Spirits
3. Teenage Fanclub - I'm In Love
4. Meilyr Jones - How to Recognise a Work of Art
5. Draper ft Prides - Break Over You
6. Ciaran Lavery - Return to Form
7. Turin Brakes - Keep Me Around
8. INHEAVEN- Baby's Alright
9. Anteros - Breakfast
10. Town of Saints - Short Circuit Breakdown
11. Suede - What I'm Trying To Tell You
12. M83 feat. Mai Lan - Go!
13. Ten Fé - Elodie
14. The Avalanches - Frankie Sinatra
15. Walking On Cars - Speeding Cars
16. The Divine Comedy - Catherine The Great
17. Starwalker - Holidays
18. The Wood Burning Savages - We Love You
19. SOULS - Bad Girl
20. Catholic Action - L.U.V
21. Lucius - Born Again Teen
22. Courtney Barnett - Three Packs a Day
23. A Northern Light - Paranoia
24. Rukhsana Merrise - Money
25. Flowers - Pull My Arm
26. Half Japanese Half Muscle - Loose Fitting Girls
27. Porter Robinson ft Madeon - Shelter
28. Helen Love - A Boy from Wales Called Gareth Bale
29. Bob Mould - Voices in My Head
30. Radiohead - Burn the Witch
31. James - Nothing But Love
32. Jagwar Ma - O B 1
33. Enigma ft Aquilo - Amen
34. RADWIMPS - Zenzenzense
35. Paul Simon - Wristband
36. Nada Surf - Cold To See Clear
37. Wild Beasts - Get My Bang
38. Stop the wheel - Shape Up
39. The Zolas - Swooner
40. Hello Bear - We Held Hands Once, But Then She Got Embarrassed
41. Ward Thomas - Guilty Flowers
43. Biffy Clyro - Re-arrange
44. Christine and the Queens - Tilted
45. Glass Animals - Life Itself
46. Darren Hayman - I've Been a Bad Bad Boy
47. Yakima - Burn
48. Brash Isaac - In The Dark
49. Nika Kocharov & Young Georgian Lolitaz - Midnight Gold
50. David Bowie - Lazarus

And for those of you who do that whole Spotify thing, here is a playlist of all 50 songs in order of awesomeness -

Friday, 23 December 2016

The Metaphorical Boat's Top Songs of 2016 - Number One

1. Bear's Den - Auld Wives

But I swam across the ocean to find your memory,
A trace of all you've left behind.
And the Auld Wives swore that you were born to die
Without a child for to call out your name

And so, The Metaphorical Boat's Top Song of 2016 is "Auld Wives", by London based duo Bear's Den. "Auld Wives" takes its name from a group of rocks found in Scotland (funnily enough, quite close to the town of Bearsden), and lyrically the song is about band member Andrew Davie's grandfather, who suffered from Alzheimer's. 

Musically, the song combines the modern folk style that marked the band's debut album with a surprising 80s style synth-pop sound, and despite the genres being quite disparate, it works incredible effectively on this track. 

So congratulations to Bear's Den, hit "play" on the video below, and enjoy 2016's best song -