This compilation does a very fine job giving the listener a glimpse into the eclectic mélange that makes up the NI music scene. To say glimpse suggests smallness; that is very much not the case in this wealth of talent. It just comes in a small, 7 track package.
Hillspeak – “Eden”
This track instantly transported me back to Belfast with its vibrant traditional Irish music meets hard rock; ass-kicking folk rock, if you will.
Plain Zebra – “Sorry About Being Blocked”
This playful blend of instruments and melancholy melody shows this band will always keep you guessing. Quintessential indie in that everything is fresh and pushes the current boundaries.
Joshua Burnside – “Black Dog Sin”
An evocative blend of Beck meets Violent Femmes; it gets under your skin and crawls around in your brain like a Bukowski poem or pages from Kerouac diaries. The edgiest singer/songwriter stuff to be heard in a while.
Ciaran Lavery – “Shame”
This whiskey whisper of a song delivered in a smoky rasp evokes a cross between Neil Young and Foy Vance. Heartstring guitar is buoyed up by the gentle background strings, and makes for a simply lovely tune.
Craig McConkey – “Rule the Land”
He plucks those guitar strings like he means it. Lyrically as well as vocally sounds a bit like Brett Dennen and Passenger. This heartfelt tune is told like a story being passed down on the back porch on a summer evening.
Hannah McPhillimy – “Take Care”
The sophisticated musicianship of The Coors with the addition of sexy Tori Amos-esque piano riffs, this tune quite literally hits all the right notes.
Ana Gog – “Before the Evening Comes”
His is a Broadway power voice with some John Legend in the mix. It’s sexy and it’s heart wrenching, and just gorgeous. In short, these vocals, this song knocked my socks off. Simple as.
Noelle Ellis, GiggingNI.com