With so much great music coming out of Northern Ireland at the moment, it's hard to keep up with some of the best new artists and releases. So here is a brief round-up of some artists and tunes from the area that are currently floating my Metaphorical Boat:
Best Boy Grip - Russian Roulette
Before I talk about this song, first of all I would like to make a clarification. When I first wrote about Best Boy Grip's fantastic song "Barbara" back in January, I described it as sounding as if "The Feeling have recorded an album inside a black hole." Some of the group's fans took exception to my description, feeling that I had insulted the artist in question. I can categorically say that it was not my intention in the slightest. The point I was trying to make is that Best Boy Grip's music encompasses both the darkness in the lyrics (the black hole) and the light in the production (The Feeling), which is what makes them so great in the first place. "Barbara" is a fantastic song, and having had the pleasure of seeing BBG supporting Rams' Pocket Radio, I can say that the group are far and away one of the most promising groups to break out of the north this year.
But anyway, Best Boy Grip have released their next single, "Russian Roulette", and this time I will avoid any ambiguity in my description of it. It is absolutely fantastic - beautiful, heartfelt and emotional. The group's front man, Eoin O'Callaghan, has directed the dark, yet fantastically produced video for the song, which you can view below:
Droids - Astromech and Protocol
Derry based 4-piece Droids have done a great job of making me sit up and take notice of a genre that I am not the biggest fan in the world of - metal. "Astromech and Protocol", the lead track from their upcoming E.P, is one that mixes a thundering guitar riff with effective gang vocals, plus something that I find is lacking in so many metal songs - a decent melody.
Goodnight Romeo - You Know What I've Done
My love affair with music from Derry continues. On their debut single, "You Know What I Done", Goodnight Romeo have done a great job of making intelligent, friendly, stop-starting pop-punk that doesn't try to take itself too seriously. With Paramore just announced as the closing act of this year's Belsonic Festival, they'd have a hard job finding a more suitable opening act than Goodnight Romeo.
Firebobbies - Pursuit
While the Foo Fighters-esque rock of "Pursuit" might not be everybody's cup of metaphorical tea, I think we can all agree that the best named band in the north at the minute has to be Belfast based Firebobbies. I dare to say that name out loud without giggling like a schoolgirl.