Music

Noise Annoys: Roe, Paper Tigers, Virgins, Fantasy Video, FRUITY and Rock For Choice NI

David Roy

 

Roe's debut album is released today


:: Roe – That's When The Panic Sets In (album, self-released)

HAVING teased and indeed pleased us over the past few months with a drip-feed style release of 66 per cent of her debut album, Derry singer/songwriter Roe (aka Roisin Donald) finally whips the cover off the remaining songs from That's When The Panic Sets In as the full record becomes available today.

Happily, the remaining four tracks of this hugely impressive 12 song set further enhance TWTPSI's impact as one of the most auspicious debut albums from an Irish artist in recent years.

Losing Sleep, In The End, Kidding Yourself and Alarms make up the bulk of what used to be known as side two of the album. Losing Sleep and Kidding Yourself are fine, emotionally raw piano ballads which slowly swell and build in stature, the latter developing an almost shoegazey atmosphere in its loudest parts, while In The End is a swoonsome love song trading off hushed verses with louder electric guitar and strings-powered choruses – the highlight being when all the instruments drop away to let Roe's powerful, emotive vocals (augmented by complementary backing vox, which we suspect also might be her) take centre stage.

Later, can't-get-out-of-bed album closer Alarms – which features the lyric which became the album title – leaves us on a playful yet bittersweet note, with its uber-catchy singalong chorus still ringing in our ears. "I can't help it if I disappoint you" croons Roe: there's no danger of that with That's When The Panic Sets In.

The album is front-loaded with some of Roe's strongest songs. Opener, New Behaviours, is a defiant post-break-up song which starts off as a slow chug before erupting with a joyous, trumpet-powered punch-the-air chorus, Roe emphatically declaring "I am done crying over you". I Dare You is another seize-the-moment song which expertly blends world-weary brass-tinged indie rock with an infectious, cathartic pop chorus: "I dare you to shout out loud, get up and just scream like mad, you can get angry if you want to, you can get angry if it makes you feel better."

She showcases her sensitive side in style on A Temporary Thing, an achingly fragile piano and vocals ballad about being someone's 'rock': "You were there when I needed someone to lean on, now let me be the one who guides us home," she croons.

I Can Change gives listeners a taste of catchy, self-reflective indie rock which should inspire lots of jumping up and down at her live shows: Scared Of Being Lonely should also get the crowd going with its melodic, emotionally candid indie rock bolstered by a hugely infectious pop chorus.

It's one of the most instantly memorable tunes on the album, along with One In A Million, a hushed ballad powered by soft synths, soothing brass and minimal beats which is equipped with another great, plaintive vocal from Roe who asks "show me who I am".

Cold Feet is another arrestingly confessional moment, a tale of imposter syndrome and crumbling self-confidence belied by brave faces. The dreamy chorus swells pleasingly to life out of the quieter, more reflective verses, a stop/go dynamic which gives the song a slow-building power that's hard to resist.

Roe's current single Cut My Teeth is the penultimate tune on the album and probably one of its most personal moments: a heart-on-the-sleeve piano-powered ballad that's an emotive note-to-self about moving past dark thoughts and turbulent times towards better days.

Hopefully, with the release of this superb debut album, those better days have now arrived for Roe. No need to panic – she's got this.

Listen/buy now via roemusicofficial.bandcamp.com, check out her in-store at Belfast's HMV tomorrow at 3.30pm and purchase a ticket for the hometown launch show at Bennigan's in Derry on October 8 via roe.eventbrite.com

:: FRUITY – FRUITERAMA EP launch

ON THE subject of launch shows, a quick reminder that Belfast hip-popster FRUITY is celebrating the release of his new EP at The Black Box tonight. To persuade folk to attend, Dan has been waging a promotional campaign which involves posting the same provocative/disturbing photo on his Instagram – you may never look at a Volvo 740 the same way again – until tickets sell out, so that will be the case by time you read this and Volvo's lawyers can stand down.

However, just in case there are a few stay tickets remaining, they can be had for £10 in advance via blackboxbelfast.ticketsolve.com.

 

Paper Tigers are sadly no more


:: Paper Tigers – Speechless (single, self-released) / Virgins – Singalling (single, Blowtorch Records)

ONWARDS to sadder news now: Belfast alt-rockers Paper Tigers are calling it a day – however, the band are going out in style with one final single: described as "a defiant affirmation", Speechless is the Tigers's first (and indeed last) new music since the release of their fine debut EP Graceless back in April.

It's a pity that this tune represents the end for the band: with singer Hayley belting out the infectious hook line of "you won't break me" as the band stalk and slash with gusto, Speechless might be the quartet's most perfectly balanced combination of catchy and crunchy to date.

What might have been, eh?

The swansong single is produced by Jonny Woods of Wynona Bleach and also features a Paper Tigers recording debut/farewell for drummer James Foy. Pay your respects now on Spotify and papertigersni.bandcamp.com.

Happily, James and Paper Tigers founder/guitarist Michael Smyth have another musical project on the go in the form of Virgins, a shoegazey alt-rock outfit who have been working away in the studio with Mr Woods, who's also been helping out on bass duties.

Released earlier this month, Signalling is the first single taken from the group's debut EP Transmit A Little Heaven, which will be coming out on pink vinyl on October 14 via Galway label Blowtorch Records.

This swirling, churning tune sounds like slo-mo collision between My Bloody Valentine and early Smashing Pumpkins with guest vocals from Curve's Toni Halliday – Virgins' singer Rebecca Dow, in reality – as the early-90s revival cherry on top.

Fans of Wynona Bleach will definitely dig it, and indeed their NI Music Prize Single of The Year nominated tune Vows, which came out last summer and offers similarly woozy/hazy/gazey thrills.

Hear both now via bandofvirgins.bandcamp.com and put their EP release show at Belfast's HMV on October 15 in your diary now.

 

Sister Ghost are back with another Rock for Choice NI event


:: Rock For Choice NI in Derry

FOLLOWING on from the success of the first ever Rock For Choice NI event in September 2019, another benefit show has been announced for Friday September 30 at Sandinos in Derry, with all proceeds being donated to the city's Alliance for Choice group which campaigns for reproductive rights.

Next week's line-up includes artists from across Derry and Donegal in the form of Soak (who will be DJing) Sister Ghost, Cherym, Tramp, Lunch Machine and Dose.

"Even though the abortion laws have changed here since 2019, there are still lots of very serious issues around access," explains event organiser and Sister Ghost frontwoman Shannon Delores O'Neil, who has taken inspiration from the Rock for Choice series of concerts founded by L7 in the 1990s.

"Who better to raise funds for but one of the organisations on our doorsteps doing all the important groundwork to make sure abortion is safe and accessible to anyone who needs it?

"Myself, my bandmates and the team of volunteers who are running Rock For Choice NI believe that choice and autonomy over your own body is a human right: that, unfortunately it is still something we have to fight for here.

"The history of Rock For Choice is very inspiring so it's great to bring it to NI again – we're all very excited for round two and the line-up is amazing."

Tickets are £10 in advance via wegottickets.com/event/550498. Doors are at 7pm.

:: Fantasy Video – Soft Touch (single, self-released)

NEXT under the Noise Annoys review knife is the new single from Carryduff/Stuttgart artist Fantasy Video, aka ex-Plan For Tonight man JP Reid.

Having started life as a lockdown home studio project, Fantasy Video has since escaped into professional recording studios for a series of quality single song releases featuring guest musicians including General Fiasco/Desert Hearts drummer Stephen Leacock – who also plays on the latest single.

Soft Touch finds Reid himself taking on vocal duties for the first time, and to fine effect: the song is an infectious, synths and brass-infused indie-pop gem which demands repeated plays. It's definitely Reid's most perfectly realised and catchy single to date – love those bah-bah-baas and the random maniacal laughter – proving that, once again, the future is already looking bright for Fantasy Video.

Rent or buy now at fantasyvideo.bandcamp.com.

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