Kneecap and Sea Girls get lively on their latest album releases

There is also a blast from the past from Wings.

PA Reporters
Wednesday 12 June 2024 09:30 BST
Kneecap (Niall Carson/PA)
Kneecap (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Archive)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Indie rockers Sea Girls take a plunge with their third album Midnight Butterflies, while Belfast-born hip-hip trio Kneecap explore their heritage in their latest record.

– Sea Girls – Midnight Butterflies

Following a string of single releases, indie rockers Sea Girls are back with their third album Midnight Butterflies, a sweet metaphor for a vicenarian couple.

The third release sees the band continue to utilise their secret weapon which sets them apart from the other indie rock bands in the saturated landscape: lead singer Henry Camamile’s vulnerable vocals, with the single that has received the most airplay I Want You To Know Me highlighting this.

Despite this, it is the title track that serves up the best talent. Horror Movies is enchantingly eerie, Scream And Shout is an emotional ballad sung over piano and After Hours is a particularly tearjerking closer. However, Superman is the standout. Camamile’s cries and screams along with the music creates a sense of urgency on what is the heaviest track.

Overall, Sea Girls offer up a mix of both commercially-friendly indie songs that aren’t particularly memorable and more creative tracks with further texture to them, but all are aided by Camamile’s uniquely delicate vocals.

Score: 7/10

(Review by Mason Oldridge)

– Kneecap – Fine Art

Kneecap’s new hip-hop album is a lively, outspoken record.

The mix opens with 3CAG, a funky, synthesised instrumental that is then contrasted by the album’s titular track which is intense through strong percussive beats, immediately uplifting the energy of the album.

The Belfast-based band use a combination of Gaeilge and English lyricism as a nod to their heritage.

The album is outspoken, unique, and impactful.

The expletive-fuelled interludes throughout the album like Never Gets A Round provide a light-hearted break from the intensity of the tracks.

I’m Flush is lively, with strong guitar accompaniment and screaming, angry vocals, reflecting the band’s rebellious attitude.

The groups’ music speaks to a complex reality, exploring growing up in Northern Ireland following the Troubles.

Arguably, the album adopts more of a drum n’ bass sound than hip-hop for some tracks like Ibh Fiacha Linne and Fine Art, but as it progresses they experiment back toward a traditional hip-hop sound vocally in songs like State Of Ya and Sick In The Head.

Tracks like Love Making stand out as the most catchy, and transferrable to the mainstream scene, as the trio cater to a wide audience across the album.

Fine Art is a good listen, keeping the listener engaged through complex themes and experimental sounds.

As Kneecap make waves in the music scene, this new release is one to listen to.

Score: 6/10

(Review by Carla Feric)

Paul McCartney + Wings – One Hand Clapping

One Hand Clapping is deemed one of the ‘most bootlegged live albums ever’ – but it never received a proper release, until now.

Recorded in 1974, when Wings set out to film a documentary and possibly a live studio album at Abbey Road, it’s a three-record collation of some of the band’s best hits – from Band On The Run and Nineteen Hundred And Eighty Five, to James Bond theme tune Live And Let Die.

One Hand Clapping showcases Paul McCartney’s genius as a songwriter and instrumentalist, from the brash drama of songs like Band On The Run, to softer tunes like the country-infused Bluebird, all given an injection of authenticity thanks to the live recordings.

It’s a brilliant reminder for original Wings fans just how extensive and impressive the band’s catalogue really is, and will hopefully introduce a new generation of listeners to the music – who might well know the Beatles, but weren’t aware of what McCartney did next.

Score: 9/10

(Review by Prudence Wade)

James Vincent McMorrow – Wide Open, Horses

Irish singer-songwriter James Vincent McMorrow is back with his seventh full-length album, the much-anticipated Wide Open, Horses.

Album opener Never Gone is his by his own admission the “anchor of the record”, while the album’s namesake Wide Open, Horses is a poignant track.

On Give Up he duets with his daughter Margot, as the pair chant Everybody’s Sad. He said of the song: “I never would put my daughter on a song, unless it was completely driven by her. She just started repeating the line. It was funny and impressive.”

The resulting song is catchy, don’t be surprised if you’re still mumbling Everybody’s Sad long after listening to it.

Given that he performed most of the album live on stage before recording it officially, it’s no wonder it’s got listening staying power. The 13-track album is a really enjoyable journey.

Score: 7/10

(Review by Kathy Iffly)

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