Monday, 13 November 2017
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 Shins, Fleet 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
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
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.
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
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.