Monday, 13 November 2017

Runabay - Too Soon (Reverie)


Hailing from the Glens of Antrim and Belfast, sextet Runabay have been building up a name for themselves over the past few years with their folk-rock sound, and have developed a reputation as one of the best live bands on the local scene.

We were lucky enough to catch the band live in the Duncairn Arts Centre (one of the finest local venues in North Belfast) for their sold-out performance there, and were mightily impressed by how tight they are live, their great vocal harmonies, and most importantly the strength of the tunes that they have amassed in their set. It was interesting to note that some of their earlier songs, including ones that first brought them to our attention originally, were dropped from the set, and the quality of the songs on offer didn't suffer one bit.

The band have just released their latest single, which marks a further development of the band's sound. "Too Soon (Reverie)" follows on from their recent single "Lotus" in moving away from the more raucous sound of Runabay's earlier sound into a sound that's more holistic and pop-orientated. With its pop chorus and finely tuned harmonies, there are elements of The ShinsFleet Foxes, and even a smidgen of Coldplay in "Too Soon (Reverie)", but more importantly, there is an emerging sound that is very much one that belongs to Runabay alone, which bodes well for the band going forward. With a strong set of tunes, and an enviable live presence, Runaway are making a mighty mark on the local scene.

"Too Soon (Reverie)" is out now. John from Runabay was also a recent guest on our podcast




Sunday, 5 November 2017

Alana Henderson - Let This Remain


It has been a while since we last had music from Tyrone's favourite singer/songwriter/cellist, Alana Henderson. She first caught our attention back in 2013 following the release of her wonderful "Wax & Wane E.P", and was followed up by "Windfall", a collection of re-imagined versions of folk songs from the north of Ireland, which ended up nominated for the Northern Ireland Music Prize that year (losing to Robyn G Shiels).

Since then, most of her time has been taken up touring the world as a member of Hozier's live band, but now she's back releasing under her own steam, with "Let This Remain" being the first fruits to be borne. The song is a minimalist affair, with the song being carried along by an old synthesizer, a Roland drum machine, and of course the exquisite cello playing and vocals from Alana. It's a lot more electronic-driven and less classically-influenced that some of her previous output, and is both a welcome return and evolution for Alana Henderson.

"Let This Remain" is out now.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Run To Earth - Russian Roulette (ft. Francis Mitchell)


Although this is the first time that we have featured Run To Earth on The Metaphorical Boat, it is not the first time that we have featured the artist behind the project on this blog.

Run To Earth is the new project by Omar Ben Hassine, who has been a member of A Northern Light, a band responsible for two of our favourite local songs of the past few years, "Kill It" and "Paranoia". Whilst those two songs saw the band mixing electronic music with rock, the music of Run To Earth skews much more towards the former. The first track dropped over the summer, "Scaling Mount Olympus", which was a towering slice of euphoric instrumental electronica, and just this week, he's released his follow-up single under the new moniker.

"Russian Roulette" features guest vocals from Frances Mitchell, who is best known as a member of electronic-pop group Loris. Like "Paranoia", it is very drum and bass influenced, although unlike that track it is less rock-orientated, calling to mind the more electronic-orientated D&B masters like DJ Fresh or Sub Focus. It is a really strong single from Run To Earth, and one that should hopefully see this burgeoning project pick up quite a bit of attention.

"Russian Roulette" is out now.



Owen Denvir - Jackhammer


It's a great to have some music from singer/songwriter, viral video sensation, & former guest on The Metaphorical Boat's podcast, Owen Denvir. His last release was the experimental "Motion Picture Soundtrack" E.P, which contained the fabulous "You Don't Want To Love Me" amongst other gems, and his new single sees him moving back into more accessible, poppier territory.

"Jackhammer" is a remixed version of a single he self-released a few years ago, with the new version adding a new layer to the already pretty great track. There are echoes of "Lego House" by Ed Sheeran in the song, which is about a heartbreak Denvir experienced following moving abroad. It's his most radio-friendly song he's released to date, and should hopefully earn the Belfast songwriter a few new fans in the process.

"Jackhammer" is out now, and is backed with "Green Light" as a b-side.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Outsider - Míol Mór Mara


This is a song that many of you will have known for a few weeks now, but is only now coming to our attention, mainly due to our aversion to football.

Outsider is the musical project of Dublin-based Sean Corcoran, whom we've come across on this blog before when he was involved with post-punk act Moscow Metro. Having recently signed to Warner Music, he released his first single "Míol Mór Mara", which is honking great slice of anthemic, driving rock in the style of The War on Drugs, or more close to home, Pleasure Beach.

The song has already built an audience through its inclusion on the soundtrack for FIFA 18, becoming the first song song in Irish to make it on the soundtrack to one of those games (the title of the song roughly translates to "sea whale", which is somewhat in keeping with the Biblical nature of the lyrics). It went over our heads because we haven't played a FIFA game for over 10 years, and let's be honest, FIFA will never match the soundtrackual brilliance that was FIFA 2000. I mean, Reel Big Fish, Gay Dad, Apollo 440 AND Robbie Williams in the same place? You can't get better than that.

Still, at least you know that FIFA 18 is in good hands with Outsider on the tracklist, and with such a global platform for his debut release, it could be the start of something rather special for him.

"Míol Mór Mara" is out now, with a rather great music video to boot as well.



Tuesday, 31 October 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Spotify Playlist - September/October 2017


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 September & October 2017. 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 Franz Ferdinand, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile & The Go! Team, songs from newer acts such as Confidence Man, Anteros, Girl K, Seazoo, Outsider & The Cornshed Sisters, plus local acts like Runabay (the most recent guest of our podcast), Aidan LoganBicep, The Wood Burning Savages, Amy McAllister, Malojian & Lauren Bird. Lots of great music from lots of great people for your ear-based amusement.



In addition, as of 2017 The Metaphorical Boat has started a rotating playlist of songs, which we will update on a regular basis. You've seen it on the sidebar of our blog, now you get to see it in a blog post as well. Hurrah for duplication!

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 -

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Anteros - Bonnie


We've been loving the songs that London 4-piece Anteros have been putting out the last few years, with "Breakfast", "The Beat" & "Drunk" being among the irresistible pop gems the band have graced us with, and we've also been lucky enough to catch them live at The Great Escape two years running, and have been captivated by them each time.

The band have just released their latest single, which is one that we really enjoyed we heard it at The Great Escape earlier this year*. "Bonnie" continues the band's run of fine, ear-worm inducing indie-pop songs with a jagged edge and an irresistible chorus. We still think that the closest musical comparison for the band is Blondie, which is by all means the greatest compliment we believe we can bestow upon the band.

"Bonnie" is out now.



*Although in our review of The Great Escape, we erroneously referred to it as "Bunny". Homonyms are fun. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Lauren Bird - I Wonder


Whilst there is still a few months to go until the end of the year, it is increasingly seems that our favourite album of 2017 is going to be "The Inbetween" by Strabane singer/songwriter Lauren Bird. We'd been following the progress of Lauren for a few years, and were not disappointed when the album finally landed - a mixture of happy songs about sad things and sad songs about sad things, all underpinned by the ukulele. 

The whole album is a real treat, although if we were to pick out our just three tracks that demand your attention, they would firstly be "Things I'm Good At", a self-depreciating look at all the things Lauren considers herself good at. Second of all would be "That's The Truth", a truly majestic and heartbreaking song that gets me a little bit bleary eyed just thinking about it, and contains of the best, most heartbreaking lyrics in a song we've heard this year - "I'd rather be nothing that be a burden to you"

And the third song? That would be "I Wonder", another great tale of heartbreak, with a chord sequence that reminds us of "Over and Done With" by The Proclaimers (which we are informed was merely coincidental). The music video for the song has just been released, which depicts a couple at a critical stage of their relationship, which has been directed by Caris Rianne (who as everyone who listened to our podcast with Lauren Bird knows, has collaborated with her before).

It's also the first time that Lauren has appeared in one of her own music videos, albeit in a small, blink and you'll miss it cameo role. In fact, if you are trying to get your Lauren-sceptical friends to listen to her music, you could turn it into a game of "find the Lauren", with the first person to spot her in the video winning. That way, you can introduce a friend to Lauren Bird's fabulous music, as well as having the superiority of winning the game. It's a can't lose situation. 

"The Inbetween", the debut album from Lauren Bird, is out now.



Thursday, 12 October 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 06 - Runabay

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 bun or tray-bake 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 John McManus from Antrim/Belfast six-piece Runabay, who talks about the band's new single "Too Soon", how Runabay's live set has evolved, whether he prefers songs that come together quickly or slowly, and whether he'd like to see their music used in adverts.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:



Find out more about Runabay on -
Official Facebook Twitter Bandcamp





Monday, 18 September 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 05 - Darren Doherty

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 bun or tray-bake 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 Strabane singer/songwriter and member of A Northern Light, Darren Doherty, who talks about his musical journey, his first solo album "What You Do" and its spontaneous recording process, and his new band, The Heathen Choir.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:


Find out more about Darren Doherty on -
Facebook | Twitter | Bandcamp



Monday, 4 September 2017

MMODE - Waiting In The Desert


This is an act that we have been waiting for new music from for a long time, although under a different name.

The Belfast band Southern are a duo that we have been writing on The Metaphorical Boat since day 1 (literally). We watched Thomas & Lucy Gaffney* increasingly build up a name for themselves, releasing great songs such as "Where The Wild Are" & "Where I Want To Be", and by 2014 we had a feeling they were going to be massive when we were unable to get in to see them at The Great Escape because there was a queue snaking around the building waiting to see them too.

Unfortunately, after that year we didn't hear anything from the band for some time, which we have now learned is due to an illness that befell Thomas. However, we were delighted to learn last month that the duo are now back making music together again, and have relaunched themselves under the name MMODE.

Their first single under their new name is "Waiting In The Desert", and is a hazy, tune that has shades of 90s indie-rock and Jagwar Ma-esque psychedelia. It's great to have Thomas & Lucy back doing what they do best - making ruddy fantastic pop tunes.

"Waiting In The Desert" is out now.


*whilst recording as Southern, Thomas & Lucy used the surname "Southern" in all their promotional material, so we assume that this was a pseudonym and "Gaffney" is in fact their real surname. 

Balako - Hora De Balako


At the start of 2017, there was one thing in particular that The Metaphorical Boat was hoping to hear in the year ahead, and that was an honest to goodness, bona fide disco banger. We've always had a soft spot for the genre, but it has been a while since we've heard a modern one that's really excited.

In the 21st century, we've had the insatiably brilliant "Murder on The Dancefloor", and of course "Get Lucky" was, and continues to be, the feel-good song of the summer. But apart from those songs, and the occasion stroke of genius like "Blind" or "Beaches & Friends", there hasn't been many other disco songs that have moved us, which is why we were so keen on 2017 doing something to remedy that.

And it looks like 2017 may have just answered our call, in the form of Brazilian duo Balako. Their debut single, "Hora De Balako", has just about everything that we want in a total disco banger - funky basslines, swooping strings, and a feelgood chant you just cannot help shouting along to, even if you a) don't know what it means, and b) are walking around listening to the song on headphones, aware that people will give you funny looks for shouting such a phrase at occasional intervals.

"Hora De Balako" is out now.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Spotify Playlist - July/August 2017


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 July & August 2017. 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 Public Service Broadcasting, Kasabian, Beck, Bastille & Arcade Fire, songs from newer acts such as Confidence Man, Catholic Action, Kelsey Kerrigan, JR Green, Moon Taxi, The Breaks & Banfi, plus local acts like Beauty Sleep (the most recent guest of our podcast), Ciaran Lavery, MMODE, Hunkpapa, Terry Conlon, Emer Maguire, Catalan & Run To Earth . Lots of great music from lots of great people for your ear-based amusement.



In addition, as of 2017 The Metaphorical Boat has started a rotating playlist of songs, which we will update on a regular basis. You've seen it on the sidebar of our blog, now you get to see it in a blog post as well. Hurrah for duplication!

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 -

Monday, 28 August 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 04 - Beauty Sleep

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 bun or tray-bake 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 guests on this episode of The Metaphorical Boat Podcast is Belfast trio Beauty Sleep. Cheylene, Ryan & Aimee from the band dropped by to talk about their music, being inspired by art, playing festivals, whether they really are a dream-pop band, and "The Seagull Incident".

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:



Find out more about Beauty Sleep on -
Facebook Twitter Website 

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Girl K - Neighbors


There's nothing that warms our heart more than a sumptuous yet vulnerable slice of indie-pop, which is why we're so taken by "Neighbors", the debut single from Chicagoan Kathy Patino, who records under the name Girl K. The song, which is about overlooking personal needs when giving to others, is a slice of surfy indie-pop in the mold of Alvvays, with a euphoric chorus reminiscent of "Next of Kin". A rather lovely piece of noise.

"Neighbors" is taken from Girl K's debut album "Sunflower Court", which is due out in Autumn.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

The Breaks - Honey


This is a song that I first came across a couple of weeks ago when I reviewed it as part of Fresh on The Net's Fresh Faves. Given that it's one that I have consistently come back to since then, it was only proper to give it a mention here at The Metaphorical Boat.

The Breaks are a Burnley bred, Manchester based band, who for the time being are happy to remain anonymous*. They released their debut E.P a few weeks back, and the track that gained our love from the release was the wonderful "Honey", a shoegaze-y wall of blissful noise that encapsulates everything I love about the sub-genre, like My Bloody Valentine with a poppier heart. Plus, the drum intro reminds me of "Killing of a Flashboy" by Suede, which is never, ever a bad thing.

"Honey" is taken from the band's debut E.P, the cheerily titled "Misery", which is out now


*Although curiously, the music video for "Honey" does seem to feature people who may or may not be in the band, including one fellow playing the guitar.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Northern Ireland Tunes - Round Up #38

So summer. That's a thing that is currently happening. Hope you are all enjoying sunning yourselves, enjoying time off and taking in a much new music as you can? What's that, not really much of the latter? Well just as well The Metaphorical Boat's here for you then.

There's been some rather fine new music from this neck of the woods in the last wee while, so here's a round-up of a few new tunes that we think will float your Metaphorical Boat -


Darren Doherty - Kites (featuring Lauren Bird)

Strabane resident Darren Doherty has been featured on these pages before, as part of his work with the band A Northern Light, who were responsible to two of our favourite local songs of the past few years, "Kill It" and "Paranoia". He's now recording under his own name, and recently released an album, "What You Do", which was recorded over a period of several months, with each track released the moment it was ready.

Our favourite song from the collection is "Kites". Not just because it features Lauren Bird, but because it is a brilliant, powerful stripped-back folk song. A rare delight.


----------------------------------------------

Terry Conlon - Don't Lead Me On

Terry Conlon's got one of those voices that just couldn't come from anywhere else but here. The Cullyhanna native is releasing his debut album "Homegrown" in September, with "Don't Lead Me On" being the lead single. With a voice that is richer beyond his years and a tune that could cause increased lacrymosity, his music will strike a chord with fans of Ciaran Lavery or Foy Vance.


------------------------------------------------

CATALAN! - Oka

CATALAN! is the new music project from Ewan Friars, who is perhaps best known as a member of North Coast rockers Axis of. "Oka" is the first socially charged single, combining lyrics about indigenous people and social media with thumping beats and towering guitar riffs. If you were a fan of Axis of, and are also partial to a little bit of The Clash, you'll find something to love here.

There's a music video released to accompany the song, which contains quite a lot of symbolism that we are currently unable to interpret, in spite of our A Level Media Studies knowledge.


----------------------------------------------------

Emer Maguire - Belfast

We'd heard quite a few people talking about Belfast based singer/songwriter Emer Maguire recently, so were glad to be able to catch her live at the Pavilion at the weekend, playing what we believe to be her first full-band performance. It was a quite enjoyable performance, with covers of Muse & Lorde thrown in among her original material, and there was definitely enough going to make sure we keep an eye out for her in the future.

Of her original songs, the one that caught our ear was "Belfast", a great love/hate letter to the city (and funnily enough, the 2nd song we've heard about the city in the past 2 weeks). There's a nice hat-tap towards the Lisburn Road (a street that anyone who's studied at Queen's knows all too well), plus it's nice to hear a synth-bass being used in an acoustic-led song.


---------------------------------------------------

Hunkpapa - Rodeos

And concluding our round-up this month is Armagh band Hunkpapa. We have been reliably informed that the group are one of the most exciting new live bands to come out of Northern Ireland in recent times. We haven't seen them live yet, so we cannot vouch for the accuracy of that claim, but that is something that we hope to remedy at some point in the near future.

For now though, we'll just have to pleasure ourselves with the band's latest single, "Rodeos", which is a great alt-folk-rock single that comes off like a heavier Ben Howard.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Kelsey Kerrigan - Driving Around


Los Angeles resident and mentee of Ryan Adams, Kelsey Kerrigan,  has a real knack for tight indie-rock, if her single "Driving Around" is anything to go by. The song is a self-depreciating tale of meandering vehicular journeys, and calls to mind the songwriting of Courtney Barnett, and possibly a little bit of Camera Obscura thrown in there for good measure.

"Driving Around" is taken from an upcoming debut album from Kelsey Kerrigan.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The Metaphorical Boat is six years old today.


Happy birthday to us! It hardly feels like six years since the blog started to catalogue our musings on songs we happen to come across, so glad to still be doing if after all these years. Our thanks go out to all of you for reading the blog, and more recently, to all of you for listening to our recently launched podcast (shameless plug: don't forget to subscribe on iTunes!), and of course, to all of you wonderful makers of fine music, for whom your absence would have stopped this blog making its way past day 1.

And on this anniversary, let's take a minute to recognise one of our favourite songs of 2017 so far that we haven't covered on the blog up until now. Isle of Wight duo CHAMPS first caught our attention at the tail end of 2013 with the track "Savannah." Their new single, "The Garden Is Overgrown", is a pulsating synth-pop number with a cracking chorus at its heart, and bodes well for their upcoming album.


Monday, 17 July 2017

Lo-Fi Fun Factory - Sunny Belfast


This is one of those songs that probably might not make sense to people who live outside of "our wee province", but it's such a great little ditty nonetheless.

Lo-Fi Fun Factory is an alternative folk trio based in Belfast made up of Dan Tindall, Alan Thompson & James Canning. They've been together since 2010, and have released a smattering of songs in that time. However, it is their latest single, "Sunny Belfast", that has caught our attention, through its self-depreciating, yet still warm, tribute to the city.

A lot of the references might go over the head of those who don't live here, but for those of us that do, we are absolutely tickled by references to the Big Fish, trying to park anywhere near St George's Market, an economy that's being propped up by Game Of Thrones, and of course the ridiculous 20 mph speed limit that's been imposed on Belfast city centre.

It's a great, Penguin Cafe Orchestra-esque experimental folk ditty, although I would be curious to know how it goes down from people who are less familiar with Belfast and its foibles.

"Sunny Belfast" is available to purchase now, and is the first song from a new song a month project that is currently in progress.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

ÖZ - Do You Love Me


For a first single, "Do You Love Me" is one strong debut indeed. ÖZ is a producer based in Montreal whose influences cited include Jamie xx & London Grammar. 

"Do You Love Me" was inspired by a bad breakup, with ÖZ trying to imagine it from the perspective of his ex-girlfriend. It's a strong pop song, with an electronic pop style that is very current sounding, the sort of song that one could imagine realistically being a top 40 hit if it had a massive record company or money behind it. That it is a 1st single bodes well for ÖZ's musical endeavors going forward.

"Do You Love Me" is out now.

Monday, 10 July 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 03 - Gerry Norman & Son of The Hound

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 bun or tray-bake 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 guests on this episode of The Metaphorical Boat Podcast are two of our favourite local singer-songwriters. Gerry Norman, best known as the lead singer of A Plastic Rose, who is now recording under his own name, and Mick McCullough, who currently records as Son of The Hound

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:



Find out more about Gerry Norman on -
Facebook Twitter YouTube 


Find out more about Son of The Hound on -
Facebook Twitter Website 



Friday, 30 June 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Spotify Playlist - May/June 2017



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 May & June 2017 2017. 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 Liam Gallagher, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart, Radiohead, Alvvays & The War on Drugs, songs from newer acts such as Fjokra, Sam Fender, Apache Darling, The Rhythm Method & Tom Adams, plus local acts like Lauren Bird (the most recent guest of our podcast), Glass Wings, Emmet McGonagle, TOUTS & Isobel Anderson. Lots of great music from lots of great people for your ear-based amusement.



In addition, as of 2017 The Metaphorical Boat has started a rotating playlist of songs, which we will update on a regular basis. You've seen it on the sidebar of our blog, now you get to see it in a blog post as well. Hurrah for duplication!

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 -


Monday, 26 June 2017

Vokxen - Blood Vein


We haven't mentioned Co. Antrim based synth-pop quartet Vokxen on the blog for quite a while, last spilling digital ink on their behalf back in 2015 following the release of their debut single "Somebody". They've kept something of a low profile since then, although they were selected to be mentored as part of local music hub Oh Yeah! Centre's Scratch My Progress scheme.

They're starting to kick back into action now, and on the strength of their new single "Blood Vein", they are going to garner quite a bit of attention indeed. The song is a strong stormer of a synth-pop song, which called to mind the sound of late New Order, with strong, unconventional (for this genre of music anyway) vocals that may appeal to fans of London Grammar.

"Blood Vein" is available to download, in exchange for a modest fee, now.

Friday, 23 June 2017

BRØR - Backburner


It's quite a speedy return for us at TMB to BRØR, the fraternal duo from Armagh whom we last featured on the blog back in April with their driving rock debut single "Something New", which helped them to win Chordblossom's Kickstart competition. 

Which leads us on to the band's new single "Backburner", a song that has already won some love with the good people at Fresh On The Net and picked up some airplay on BBC 6music. "Backburner" sees a real change of pace for BRØR, being quite a sparse track underpinned by an arpeggiated guitar, and is a narrative driven song about being eaten alive by marital mistrust. It's a real bolt from the blue track from them, but one that is a rather fine one indeed.

The video's pretty great as well, and offers a bit of light relief from the somewhat dark lyrics, featuring a magician, puppetry and drag.



Tuesday, 20 June 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 02 - Lauren Bird

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 bun or tray-bake 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 Strabane singer/songwriter/ukulele wielder Lauren Bird, who sits down with Christopher to talk about her new album, "The Inbetween", scoring soundtracks, loving pop music, and what the music scene is like in Strabane.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:



Find out more about Lauren Bird on -
Facebook Twitter Website | Bandcamp

Saturday, 10 June 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 01 - Owen Denvir

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 bun or tray-bake 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 Belfast singer/songwriter/viola player Owen Denvir, who sits down with Christopher to talk about his classical upbringing, the differences between the music scene in Edinburgh and Northern Ireland, his "Motion Picture Soundtrack E.P", and about receiving support for his intricate cover videos from Coldplay.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud or on iTunes:



Find out more about Owen Denvir on -
Facebook Twitter Website | Bandcamp



Monday, 29 May 2017

The Metaphorical Boat Podcast Episode 00 - Aidan Logan

We've been floating on The Metaphorical Boat blog for nearly six years now, and have spent the best part of six years doing what we do best, namely finding the best new music, then writing about said music. Well, some would argue that there are other things that we do better, but for the sake of argument, go with us on this point.

So after six years of writing about music, we have decided to try something outside of the written word, and enter the world of the spoken word. Hence, The Metaphorical Boat is proud to launch its first ever podcast. About 10 years later than everyone else in the world, but hey, better late than never.

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

The first ever guest, on Episode 00* of The Metaphorical Boat Podcast, is Aidan Logan. Aidan is a Belfast based singer/songwriter who is gearing up to release his new E.P "Turbulence". On the podcast, we talk about his musical influences, what the music scene is like in Belfast, replacing Garth Brooks, playing in Nashville, and most importantly, what his favourite bun is.

Listen or download now on Soundcloud (iTunes etc will hopefully follow in the next few weeks):



Find out more about Aidan Logan on -
Facebook | Twitter | Website



*We are cleverly calling this episode 00 of the podcast, for if for some unforeseen reason the podcast doesn't progress beyond this episode, we can write it off as a one-off, or pilot episode. See, we're not just pretty faces. In fact, some would say that we're not even that.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Basement Revolver - Johnny Pt. 2


We all enjoyed "Johnny", the debut single from Hamilton, Canada based trio Basement Revolver, didn't we? The answer to that is yes. Yes indeed we did. For that single went on to accumulate over half a million streams on Spotify, and the eponymous E.P that it was taken from picked up a lot of love from all the cool blogs.

Well, it turns out that the band loved "Johnny" so much that they've written a sequel to it. Actually, 'loved' is probably not the best operative word, seeing as "Johnny Pt.2" was written directly in aftermath of the break-up with the titular fellow. In comparison to the more wistful "Johnny", the follow-up seems quite a lot more forceful & hopeful, underpinned by the punchy drums, and the central refrain of "my doors will always be open for you", a statement not of yearning for the past, but of hope for a fresh new future. Another solid slice of reverb-drenched indie-pop from Basement Revolver.

"Johnny Pt.2" is taken from the band's upcoming E.P "Agatha", which is released on July 21st.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

The Great Escape - Saturday May 20th 2017

The final day of The Great Escape has drawn to a close, as we leave the better than okay town of Brighton for another year, with all the music that came with it. We saw lots of great music, as well as lots of music that we didn't get around to - as is sometimes the way with TGE, large queues meant that we weren't able to get in to some of the artists we would have liked to see, like Ibibio Sound System, Childcare & Jane Weaver. 

But we did get to see lots of great music on Saturday, so here is what we saw, complete with our hastily taken pictures: 

Biuret

Location: Latest Music Bar

The day was kicked off with some rock music direct from Korea. Really fantastic and surprisingly diverse sounding set of songs, and a really charismatic lead singer who really got the crowd going. Plus they gave me a stuffed toy to mark the Winter Olympics in Korea in 2018, so extra marks for them. Evanescence would perhaps be the closest musical comparison by our reckoning.

Bokito

Location: Queen's Hotel

Their lead singer sure is a right old hairy fella. (Note to the band - you have our permission to use that quote in any press releases you send out).

Quite nice tropical infused indie. Quite a big crowd for them in one of the smaller venues.

The Rhythm Method

Location: Komedia

We didn't expect to like The Rhythm Method as much as we did, but we were absolutely blown away by their stagecraft. Fronted by quite possibly the campest hard lad we've ever seen, the duo (plus guest vocalist) put in a blinding set of contemporary sounding, socially deft tunes, like a cross between The Streets and a lower budget Pet Shop Boys. The crowd went bananas for them, and given the positive reception we've heard from others for their set, this could prove to be a breakthrough moment for the band. 

 Penelope Isles

Location: St Mary's Church

We stumbled across this local band playing in a church right next to the hotel we were staying at. We must say that it was the perfect venue to see the band, for their lo-fi indie-rock stylings sounded incredible with the acoustics offered by the venue - we don't think we've heard drums sound so good before.



Luxury Death

Location: Horatios

Probably the only band we saw during the weekend that actively bored us. Still, at least it gave us the opportunity to walk all the way to the end of Brighton Pier. You get a lovely view of the sea from there.

The Kolin

Location: Queen's Hotel

We caught the tail end of the Hungarian band's set. Their tunes were okay, but their lead singer had us all laughing, as he sarcastically joked about how much money and fame they were going to get as a result of playing at The Great Escape, and gently took the proverbial out of their guitarist.

The Monotones

Location: Queen's Hotel

Our second Korean band of the day. The band opened the set joking about their matching outfits ("we were going for The Beach Boys, but ended up like the Backstreet Boys"), and launched into a pretty decent set of rock songs, culminating in an unexpected cover of "Disco 2000".


Parekh & Singh 

Location: Patterns

An absolutely lovely set of dreamy pop songs from the dapper Indian band. "Newbury Street" and "Philosophize" were the highlights of a set that was 30 minutes of pure loveliness.

Drones Club

Location: Green Door Store

What a way to finish our time at the Great Escape 2017. Dressed like a cross between astronauts in training and paramilitaries, Drones Club put in a blinding set of electronic dance tunes that were part rave, part revolutionary call to arms. "Hurricane" is quickly becoming our favourite song of the year, and the ecstatic reaction of the crowd just showed us exactly why that is. It was definitely the highlight of our festival, and sets Drones Club out as a band that we feel are going to be incredibly important over the next 12 months, in one way or another.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Great Escape - Friday May 19th 2017

So Day 2 of The Great Escape has come to its conclusion. Despite it being a much brighter day than day 1, where it rained so much that several streets had to be re-designated as rivers, it was a less intensive day in terms of who we went to see. Still, it gave us the opportunity to explore several acts whom we were unfamiliar with before the festival began. And here they are, alongside our hastily taken photos of each act - 

One Word. Supervisor

Location:  Komedia Studio

Kicking off the day with some Swiss psychedelic-rock. Quite War on Drugs-y, if that's your type of thing.

Delaney Davidson

Location: One Church

This New Zealander was a bit of a surprise. Delaney Davidson appears to be the Antipodes' version of Tom Waits, with his blues-rock sound, grizzled, gin-soaked vocals and tales of lust and murder. It was interesting to see a loop pedal being used to create that sort of throwback blues-rock, which isn't something we've seen in the live arena before. Top marks for using an antique microphone to nonetheless recreate that antiquated sound.

La Jungle

Location: Sticky Mike's Frog Bar

Belgian electroclash. Some nice noises, but nothing that really grabbed us...

Goose

Location: The Black Lion

...for straight afterwards, we witnessed the true kings of Belgian dance-punk, Goose.

It was surprising to see the veteran band play at The Alternative Escape, and at such a small venue, but their set was nonetheless impeccable. Really great songs, and a quite subdued yet effective lighting arrangement too. Will have to dig into the band deeper as a result.

The Age of L.U.N.A

Location: Patterns

At a festival like The Great Escape, we do think it's a good idea to dip your toe into musicians in a genre that you may not exactly enjoy, for if there's one place you're likely to find some of the most exciting practitioners of each genre, it's at The Great Escape.

We're not the biggest fan of hip-hop, but we thought that we'd take a change of The Age of L.U.N.A on the recommendation of another music blogger. Although they weren't really our cup of tea, there were many things to like about them - the production on their songs is quite strong, we did enjoy their mash-up/shprt mixtape of hip-hop classics like "Ready or Not" and "Ghetto Superstar", plus we must give top marks for any rap group that plays live sax of stage.



Busty & The Bass

Location: One Church

We definitely didn't think that we'd be treated to Canadian brassy-funk in a church at The Great Escape, but treated we were. The packed out crowd really enjoyed the performance, with much dancing and arse-slapping (?) abound.



Draper

Location: The Mesmerist

We discovered last minute that the artist responsible for making one of our favourite songs of 2016, Draper, was playing. The set from the electronic artist saw him adding live synthetic percussion to his pre-recorded tracks, with lights synchronized to the performance. Great songs, wish it felt a little bit more live though.