If ever you needed proof of the depth of variety and quality of the Northern Ireland music scene, take a gander at this selection of the submissions sent to me this past month alone. No further spiel required.
►Michael Mormecha – ‘Family’
Michael Mormecha should need no introduction to local music fans, having fronted Alt Rockers Mojo Fury and then, latterly, on the other side of the mixing desk, producing the likes of The Bonnevilles, Malojian and Runaway Go (to name but a few). While he clearly has talent as a producer, it is only natural that the musician in him would get back on the recording side of the microphone again. To that end, he has started a Pledge campaign to fund a debut album, ‘LOFi Life’, set for release on 9th May, 2016. ‘Family’ is the lead single from that album and I am reliably informed is a good pointer as to the direction the album will take. Citing Nine Inch Nails as an influence certainly explains the direction, perhaps without N.I.N.’s heavier drum loops. ‘Family’ certainly has a haunting, ethereal quality that will leave listener’s intrigued as to what ‘LOFi Life’ has in store.
► The Lavengros – ‘All I Need’
Derry’s, The Lavengros call themselves a pop band. I like that. No faux-intellectual, post-ironic sub-genre classification for these guys. They are a pop band and ‘All I Need’ is a 2 minute pop song straight from the Buddy Holly or Everly Brothers songbook with only a moderate update. And you know what? I like it. Boy meets girl, boy likes girl, boy tells girl. Is it ever going to get old? And clearly, if the video is anything to go by, The Lavengros don’t take themselves too seriously. Having checked out some of their other material, it is clear ‘All I Need’ may not be typical of their output, but it’s a nice introduction. Well done boys.
►RŌE – ‘Ghost’
RŌE is Roisin Donald – a ‘seventeen year old grump from Derry’ – and now you know as much about her as I do! Clearly, fellow Maiden City teen songstress, Soak will inspire many to follow her footsteps and, whether they like it or not, be compared to her. But RŌE’s songs seem to come more from a New York coffee shop style than Soak’s off-beat introspection – more Suzanne Vega, if you will. And that’s not a bad thing if you don’t want to hear Soak’s name in every review (so, stop doing it Al). So, RŌE, keep doing what you’re doing and you will make your own name for yourself (and maybe submit a bit more info on yourself the next time, eh?).
►Becky & The Holograms – ‘Goodbye Baby’
Interesting name and an interesting backstory for this group of Belfast ex-pats currently residing in Spain. Coming from a place, musically that is, not far removed from The Langroves I reviewed earlier, but with slightly more edge to it, Becky & The Holograms remind me of early The Coral – Merseybeat for the Teenies I guess you could call it. I like the sound, I like the video and I like that the band have the guts to up sticks and move somewhere to try to make a go of things. Definitely a band worth keeping an eye on.