niallon – Monster Mash Up

Way back in June 2007 I uploaded a cover of my favourite song to YouTube, Tom Waits’ heartbreaker ‘Martha’. It was a long-ass time ago but I’m pretty sure I primarily did it cause I could. Sure, I’m a singer, a guitarist and a songwriter – I’m never gonna refuse an opportunity to get my music and covers heard – but YouTube didn’t remotely resemble then what it has become now. The concept of becoming a “Youtuber” didn’t really exist back then, it was still that magic site where if you were looking for a video it was there, and you’d watch it on your desktop too might I add with smartphones only just breaking onto the scene back then.

I had been in a band from 2004 to 2006 and we gained the type of success that most teenagers would be happy out with. Then the band broke up. Since then myself and Peter, who was the drummer in said band, have made several attempts to recruit members and get a band up and running. All attempts failed to varying degrees but the one constant was the YouTube page, primarily because it allowed us to spread our limited resources better. What started out with an old Hi8 Sony camcorder and no proper audio recording, evolved into better recordings of live performances filmed in HD via smartphones, then bringing us up to now where we’ve bumped up again to proper video and even more advanced levels of production in the audio. We still live and breathe for live shows (and that’ll be coming down the line very soon!) but the new level of investment in the YouTube page we have stepped up to has led to a lot of fun and rewarding work.

This week’s video is unquestionably the culmination of the evolution the channel has undergone. It’s definitely the highest level of production we’ve ever done on both audio and video, coupled with the fact that we have a new member onboard too (everyone say “Hi Vicki!”). In hindsight, giving ourselves roughly 10 days to get the whole thing done from conception to publishing was probably not the greatest idea we ever had, but on the other hand I think we managed to produce a damn good video in such limited time. Scratch that, even without taking the timeframe into account I’m damn happy with it. I’ve said before that we don’t really know what the YouTube project is or what long term plans there may be for it, but for now it’s the best way we can make music and get it out there to an audience, and as long as we enjoy it then long may it continue. I hope you enjoy the vid and though we might need to go back to some more basic stuff for a few weeks, rest assured we’ll be going down a route similar to this again before the year is out!

Check out the rest of our videos on our YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/niallon/videos

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niallon – 30 Times Around The Sun

Nine years ago I was tasked with writing a song about the gruelling task that is turning 21. I joke, but we did actually think it was going to be all change back then. Turns out we were jumping the gun a little, as most 21 year olds do, but I still stand by the song and it’s relevance to how you feel at the time. Said friends about whom the song was written/inspired by recently turned 30 and we joked about writing 30 Times Around The Sun. I didn’t see it working to be honest and writing a sequel to a song isn’t something I’d ever successfully done (though there are plenty of “spiritual successor” songs in our repertoire).

Initially I had set out to write this in a slight tongue in cheek manner but once I got to work, and decided it would be a rewrite of the original, I started holding the two up against each other. That led to my realisation that we were seriously delusional at 21! The number has changed, but what happened with 30 Times… is that the sentiment was now actually true. What we all thought we were going to be getting started at 21, turns out was gonna take another 9 years. It was weird writing it, realising things clear as day only when putting them down in lyrics. Or it’s just another song about having the craic and getting hammered with your mates, whatever suits! As always, watch, like, share, subscribe!

Follow us on Twitter https://twitter.com/niallonofficial

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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 – 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.