niallon – She’s Always A Woman

I feel like I should be more familiar with Billy Joel. I know only a small number of his songs well enough to sing along, but the small number I know are some of my favourites. In that way then it’s a nice twist that we wound up getting one of his song requested, might light the fire to make me get more familiar with his material. If we do cover another of his songs though I reckon we’ll go for one that’s in 4/4! This was an interesting and enjoyable challenge to record though. Initially I had sat down with just the guitar to try and come up with a solo arrangement. Neither of us are overly prolific on piano so that was out of the question and no other instrument seemed to gel with it all that well. Then Peter sat down at the drums. We had never looked to utilise drums on a slower, quieter track before and I will admit I took a little convincing. After a few run throughs though – and a united decision that we’d be throwing a bass track over it too! – we’re quite happy with the results. Drums aren’t the only change and we’ve a fresh face behind the camera too. We’ve done our content extremely low scale until now and decided it was time to move on from filming on a variety of smartphones. So please welcome Vicki onboard who did an awesome job for us on our most recent videos and you can follow her on Instagram @ikcivanderson As always, watch, like, share, subscribe.

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niallon – Castaway

Taking a break from covers and requests for this week, we decided to dust off another of the originals. Castaway was one of the easiest songs to write out of any of my efforts…lyrically that is. The bulk of it all arrived in one go while I was sat idly by waiting to meet up with some friends, in those glorious days before we had so much to easily distract and whipping out a notepad was an acceptable way to pass the time. Originally, it was a very lively bouncy number and I was quite happy with it. As time went on though I felt it didn’t really fit the lyrical content, at least how I intended it. To me the song was about the desire to go and do the things in the song, rather than someone actually in the process of doing them. The endless debate about writer’s intention versus listener’s interpretation is one I frequently find myself in – do we seek the writer’s interpretation of the song or our own? Everyone is different, I usually can’t decide myself, but I wrote this with a specific intention while at the same time I love hearing different interpretations.

Whatever your interpretation might be I hope you enjoy it, and as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – Far Away

A little bit of me is somewhat shocked we’ve actually got this one done. Opening the floor for requests is something we were quite excited about and then we got a great response with loads of great songs. Then we decided to start with an elaborate arrangement on a multitrack recording. Basically we went right outside of the comfort zone we’ve established on our YouTube page! Suffice to say we’re quite happy with the outcome though and believe we’ve done a good job of suitably niallon-ing this song. Far Away  has a special place for many due to its inclusion on the Red Dead Redemption in-game soundtrack, playing over a somewhat epic moment in the 2010 smash hit. As with so many songs that gain their notoriety from soundtracks, sometimes it’s easy to ignore them being good in their own right. I’ll be honest, I’d actually forgotten it was from the Red Dead soundtrack when I first saw the request come in and the process of learning, arranging and recording the song has left me a bigger fan then when we first began. José González’s original arrangement is more than a little haunting and in our take on it we tried to retain that, whilst branching out in very different directions musically at times. We hope you enjoy and as always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – Use Somebody

When Kings Of Leon released they’re massively successful album “Only By The Night” a strange thing seemed to happen. All of a sudden they had a legion of new fans after years as indie darlings and I can proudly say I was one of those fans. At least I was a fan of the album anyway. Many say they “sold out” (whatever that term really means) and what resulted was incredibly accessible tracks like Sex On Fire, Revelry and of course Use Somebody.

The first time he heard it my father described Use Somebody as a ‘real rock song’ and I don’t think I’d even attempt to find a better description. It may be a bit generic, a bit straightforward, but it incredibly efficiently succeeds in conveying a central point while never sacrificing intellect at the same time. There was a more straightforward way to write this song, a way to make this a song more appropriate for a plain Jane pop act but it carries enough smarts to rise above that. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – Thinking Out Loud

I’ve gotta be honest, covering Ed Sheeran is a terrifying ordeal. The dude is just ridiculously talented and more terrifyingly – wildly adored. To say the the pressure is on when covering one of his tracks would be an understatement, but here we are, on what I’d say is roughly the fifth attempt at this particular track in 12 months, and we think we’ve finally got one we’re happy with! Peter remarked around the time we recorded this that Thinking Out Loud already has a feeling that it’ll become this decade’s Mr. Brightside. Sure, they’re two very different songs with very different applications, but the era defining nature of both and the timeless qualities shine through massively. Thinking Out Loud is an old school love song the likes of which we don’t see anymore, taking all the best element’s of The Beatles’ When I’m Sixty Four and Billy Joel’s Just The Way You Are and finding an ideal home somewhere in the middle. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!*

 

*Also we swear, the requests are coming! Expect movement on that in the next few weeks!

Hans Zimmer Brings A Bit Of Magic To Dublin

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Being entirely truthful, any words I use to describe the gig I experienced last Tuesday night are wasted, but I can’t exactly pull the whole blank review trick again, so I will endeavour to summarise it best I can. 

Continue reading Hans Zimmer Brings A Bit Of Magic To Dublin

niallon – Kids

Another cheat but, c’mon, the mullet era needs to be updated! Alongside Toca’s Miracle, this is a very significant cover in myself and Peter’s history of collaborations. These covers originated in us wanting to figure out new spins we could put on well known songs, keeping them familiar but at the same time making them our own. Since we first put our stamp on it we have performed this song on multiple occasions and, a little like Mr Brightside last week, it seems to be one of those songs that just insists on lasting. As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!