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 – 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! 

niallon – This Is What It Feels Like

No, you’re not seeing double. We did a cover of this over a year back but it was…rough. So here’s a somewhat better spin on it and to be honest, I get quite a kick looking at the polar opposite nature of the two videos. Alongside our covers of TitaniumShe Wolf and others, This Is What It Feels Like is yet another one of those EDM tracks that we could see had more to it than one might initially perceive it. There is a misconception that exists that if you’ve heard one dance track you’ve heard them all, this could not be further from the truth in my opinion. More importantly, lyrically a lot of these tracks stand well above the rest with some extremely talented singers and songwriters coming in for collaboration. From all that, we then work to find the best arrangement to convert these songs from pumping club tracks into emotive ballads, and we hope we’ve pulled that off in the video below. Also, given that the response to Mr Brightside has been so strong and positive we’ve decided to open the floor to requests. Sure worst case scenario it’ll be a bit of craic, so if there’s anything you want to hear, fire it our way here in the comments, over on YouTube or any of our social media platforms! As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

niallon – Hang Down Your Head

Hello, it’s us again. These unplanned sabbaticals really have to stop. The good news is, we got a fair chunk of videos shot this summer and until very recently they were thought to be lost but Lazarus rose from the dead and so we’ve a few vids on the way. I won’t sell out what exactly happened…just always check your desktop. Nice subtle dig there. So here’s our latest, this tune and a half from Tom Waits. Though I’m obsessed, I gave up on trying to get people into Waits’ music a long time ago. Most of the objections were always the same – the voice. I’ll never deny it’s just musical marmite, but for the most part when I’ve covered his material it has gone down well, with Martha still sat as one of our most viewed videos to this day. So we hope you enjoy, and as always – watch, like, share, subscribe.

niallon – Fire

This one is a bit of a coincidence, solidarity with Bruce and all that. No this was just another one of the remakes, the original upload of Fire being one of our more popular ones, and we decided to drag it kicking and screaming out of the black and white mullet days into a more presentable HD world. Then North Carolina and HB2 happened. I’m not going to pontificate, much, on this situation but suffice to say there has been an attempt made by a government organization to alienate and segregate members of the LGBT community and any opposition of that is a cause I can always get behind. My favourite musician gets behind it with a grand show of power? I’m there in a heartbeat. Bruce Springsteen has never been one to hold his tongue, whether he is letting his thoughts be known when a presidential candidate uses his music against his wishes, speaking out against immoral government practices or simply the state of his homeland he holds so dearly. To have him cancel his scheduled concert in North Carolina, and in turn find many other artists shining a spotlight on the HB2 passing, has been greeted by mixed reactions from the public. I, for one, will gladly say that if he had cancelled the two Dublin gigs next month, I’d be pissed. But I would understand and relate and ultimately, should these cancellations lead to the right result, I would be happy. It’s the 21st century, it’s time to realise there are no “normal” people and there is no one true model that humanity should conform to biologically. In Ireland in particular we made a massive leap last year, a leap I never thought I would see in my lifetime. Let’s let that not be the only one.

But enough of my soap boxing, here’s our latest for this week, Bruce Springsteen’s Fire.