Guest Writer - Niamh

So, I asked a few of my blogger friends to write a who have they been listening to this week paragraph and my Niamh decided to write an article, so, instead of wasting a perfect piece of writing I shall post the full article here, Enjoy!

Hi guys; to start this post, I’m going to say that I’m Niamh and Lauren has asked me to write about what I’m listening to lately. I’ve been trying to figure out who to write about and I couldn’t quite decide who to write about but then I remembered Lauren’s post about Eugene McGuinness’ new album, The Invitation to the Voyage.
I was a bit late in finding out about Eugene; by a bit late I mean 2010. After listening to Lion, Thunderbolt, Shotgun, and Harlequinade, I was eagerly awaiting the release of The Invitation to the Voyage. Needless to say, the money I spent on pre-ordering my copy was money well spent; I haven’t been able to turn it off!
I’ll give you a song by song breakdown as to why everyone should go out and buy this album if they haven’t already purchased a copy:

• Harlequinade ~ with a name like this, you know you’re in for a theatrical performance that’s going to be nothing short of amazing. The fun beat is as delicious for your ears as the title makes it sound and will get you wanting to dance around awkwardly in a somewhat drunk-on-music state in no time at all. I dare you to not sing along to the Morse code-like “Do-do-do do-do-do do-do-do” and I guarantee that you’ll want to hopscotch through Mr McGuinness’ playground.

• Sugarplum ~ this song is slightly more serious sounding than Harlequinade but for those of you who can’t stop grooving around when you hear a decent tune, you’ll be twisting and twirling around to this too. Eugene’s use of rhyming in this song is something that could easily be overlooked but it gives the song a bit of a groove that entices you to sing along.

• Lion ~ this song is as powerful as the animal it shares its name with. It was a great choice to be the first single off the album as you really know what you’re getting into and it gives you an insight into Eugene’s swagger. That’s all this song is; swag. I don’t like to say swag but if you’ve heard it then I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s full of swag and yet another song you can’t help but dance to. If any song was guaranteed to have Eugene succeed in his “disgraceful quest for immortality” then Lion is that song.

• Videogame ~ this song isn’t so much of one for dancing as the others on the album but it is a good one to bop along to and belt out while you’re drying your hair. The opening sounds very much like bits of videogames where the character you’re playing as runs around and there’s that music playing which fits so well with the title it’s crazy.

• Shotgun ~ this tune is very James Bond. The guitar is just crazily “spy movie” and just feels so classy. Eugene’s vocals on this song are phenomenal too; they’re nothing amazing like Aretha Franklin but something about his voice in this song is impossible to dislike. The way he sings, “I care not” just rids you of all your cares and it feels like you’re floating in a little bubble of perfect for a few seconds.

• Concrete Moon ~ I’m not going to lie, this song did take a while to grow on me so don’t write it off at first listen; it doesn’t sound much like the rest of the album but I feel it gives a nice break from songs that you want to dance to. This song is another example of Eugene’s brilliant vocals and lyricism. Concrete Moon is very majestic sounding and makes you just want to stand up and be powerful. Definitely something worth a lot more listens than it appears to get.

• Thunderbolt ~ Thunderbolt comes as a bit of a shock after Concrete Moon but is a rather welcome change. This song, much like the thunderbolt McGuinness sings about, will strike you with a billion volts; it makes me really appreciate the fact that dance music can come in all forms and as proven by my first day of school this year, this song is an amazing motivation to get out of bed! Even if it is just to dance.

• Invitation to the Voyage ~ for the title track of an album, at first this song might strike you as extremely underwhelming but the melody and gentle yet somewhat accusational guitar really does seem to take you on a voyage. Eugene’s voice combined with this seems to carry you along like a grand ship just as the title suggests you’d be boarding.

• Joshua ~ compared to the other songs on the album, Joshua seems slightly nursery rhyme-esque. You can feel Eugene’s smiles through the speakers through the speakers when you hear this song. This song has some slightly melancholic verses but is something that sounds like Eugene has reached a really exciting part of his life and all his feelings has come out of his lungs to punch you in the face. In short, this song sounds indecisive but is something you can’t stop listening to.

• Japanese Cars ~ I can’t speak highly enough about this song, it’s so catchy that after hearing it for the first time I was singing it for days. The lyrics really paint a picture and you can feel a car chase happening in the music as Eugene tries to escape a mysterious girl whom seems slightly vampirish. This song is by far the highlight of the album. It makes you want to dance but stay still so you can just absorb every single word. Eugene really outdid himself with every single aspect of the song with this tune; the narrative, the vocals, the instruments, the way it all tied together… it was all done so well and in a manic way that makes you want it to last forever.
The songs on this combine Eugene’s newfound mod swagger that can only be associated with his time playing for Miles Kane with the cheeky and playful side shown to us in previous albums. The Invitation to the Voyage is definitely one of, if not the, best album released in 2012 and if you haven’t already bought a copy, you are missing out.

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