ALICE SIGNAL FIRES, Declan McCrory and Conor McCrory, have been playing for almost 10 years, starting back when they were both living at home in Carryduff, Northern Ireland. Now at University, Conor is studying medicine in Newcastle and Declan Maths and Physics in Aberystwyth, where they are getting involved within the music scenes. Last year, Declan played on Aberystwyth Vale of Rheidol and later held a single release at The Cooper’s Arms, where I got a copy of their first album Ghost. The first time I listened I became completely hooked and felt especially drawn to ‘Consolation Prize’ and ‘March 18th’. Since which ‘Hot Air Balloons’ the first single shared, with them stating they are going to have a new album launch, I want to know more….
So Declan, what does playing music mean to you?
“Playing music means everything to me, I’ve been playing and writing music for as long as I can remember. I’m constantly finding new music, genres, instruments and so on to influence my writing or to record onto another track. Music is ingrained in me that I don’t really know what else I’d do, it’s very much a part of my daily life!”
Where was your first gig? Where would be a dream come true?
“I think the first gig we played was probably a talent show or something? The first big gig we ever played was our Aunt’s wedding. We played like 2 songs during the reception on stage, I think Conor and I were only 13 and 9 or something like that. A dream come true would probably be doing this professionally. Doing what I love for a living would probably be the top goal.”
What does the new album mean to you?
“This new album was sort of an experiment. I did all of the writing, playing, recording and producing then brought it to Start Together Studios to get it mastered by the great Rocky O’Reilly. It’s very honest and I kind of look at it as a snapshot of my teenage years. I think this album contains some of the best songs I’ve ever written and I am genuinely really proud of it.”
What are the songs called and about?
“Well the first single off of this album is called “Hot Air Balloons”. This song is about a lot of things but mainly it’s about a person feeling betrayed by the girl he cares about. The title of the song comes from the Wizard of Oz metaphors used throughout it. It’s also kind of a reference to the fact my girlfriend Hannah, (don’t worry the song isn’t about her) said one of her dreams was to ride in a hot air balloon, it’s kinda life imitating art.”
Will you have a launch event?
“Yeah, I have nothing set in stone yet, but I have a lot of ideas for the album launch!”
Any advice for other people doing music:
“I guess I’d just say to experiment and stick at it. I remember sitting in music rooms with people who were grade 8 pianists, but they couldn’t write a single piece of original music or even attempt to think like that. So I guess I rejected the idea of focusing all my energy into being really good at one instrument and instead focusing on having a better understanding of a lot of different music. It’s kind of like, using your own strengths to your advantage and not rating yourself on how good a guitarist or singer you are. A lot of my favourite bands and artists aren’t great musicians or singers, but they bring something else to the table such as beautiful songwriting, charm or they’ve created a totally new sound!”
I am so glad to hear ALICE SIGNAL FIRES are bringing out a new album. The way music is to Dec, starting out at young age, adds to the meaning for him and Conor I am sure. I can definitely relate to the attachment and allowing flexibility and variety is a great way to integrate more skills and express creativity, which is at its best when natural, not forced. Being personally orientated, yet open to options can produce the unexpected. So join the journey and check out their amazing originality via the links below and await their launch!
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JACK ELLIS recently shared his tunes for download, so I got them and after one listen am absolutely hooked! Such power via vocal and instrument variation and additions across each part of the songs, all with meaningful words.
“External” starts out with an amazing pattern and steady singing, leading to a strong chorus. Then towards the end its extra extension of the chorus brings even more power with added vocal elements creating depth.
“Storm” is steadily built up to an extremely powerful chorus with awesome vocal, guitar and drumming power. Then creative drum beats lead to verse 2 with background vocals and more strength. Then chorus followed by a break all leading to another expressive chorus, which all then ends all stripped back. So pretty similar to a storm!
“Disdained” integrates multiple vocal elements and various guitar patterns. Amazingly added drumming then leads to extreme use of all and a really powerful ending.
“Pocket of Lint” has great use of background vocals adding depth while building up by adding more drums and extremely unique guitar.Then all together with powerful words it makes an amazing progress before the calm stripped section creating a break, adding parts before an extremely amazing powerful guitar solo and full on ending that then fades out.
So go on… have a look, listen and like sesh!!
WEBSITE (with EP download): http://www.jack-ellis.com
‘Epic with great intimacy. Has depth and soul. Outstanding.’ Adam Walton BBC Radio Wales.
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On Saturday 13th May at Carmarthen, between 2 – 4 pm, there will be LIVE music from LOST LIKE ALICE, all the way from Anglesey, the great group PLATFORM 1 and support from EMILY FARR. Alongside which there will be food and drinks, various activities and a park for the kids to enjoy. So yeah, get on down!
On Wednesday 31st May we will be back on Aberystwyth’s steam train – Vale Of Rheidol for Music on the Train! This time with Three Legged Mare, Anchor & Sails, Keiran Ukey Badnall and more!!
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Thanks for having a read!
Em @ RM.