Chatting New Music, Drag, and the Production Process with Belfast Pop Artist Gary Duffy.

Photo by Stephen Edgar.

Belfast based pop artist Gary Duffy has had a very busy year; since releasing his debut single ‘Did You Ever Really Love Me?’ back in early 2020 he has accomplished an album, two music videos, and a management deal with football legend Gerry Armstrong’s X Pro Management. Duffy’s new single ‘Afraid’ has just been released, he sat down to chat with Sam from The Jumble about his production process, late game changes, and potentially incorporating his drag persona Sasha Fierce into music in the future.

So Gary, since we last spoke you have released your new single ‘Afraid’, can you tell us a bit about the track?

So ‘Afraid’ is a dance tune all about the anticipation of meeting someone new after heartbreak, a sort of situation when you’ve moved on from the heartbreak but are a bit apprehensive to potentially get hurt again. The track was originally a ballad, but with only a few days left of production we made the late decision to change it to a dance track, but the lyrics are still illustrating that nervous, more emotional tone, even if it is perfect for being played when you’re in a beer garden with the girls, gin in hand!

You mentioned that you changed the vibe of the song later in the creative process, taking it from a ballad to something more upbeat, how did you feel about making such a drastic shift to the sonics of the song? How important is it to you to examine the song so late in the game?

It was a decision that I did not make lightly, but I knew that by release we would be easing into summer and hopefully out of lock down, so I thought to myself that maybe people need something a bit more up beat to suit that, The guys at Black Studios ; Jessica Hammond and Matty Graham text me telling me they had a broad instrumental, and we took it from there to fine tune the differences and put together the sound that it has now. I was surprised how easy it was to change from a ballad to something more upbeat, but that’s down to great production.  

You’ve also recently been signed by X Pro Management and have picked up a lot more radio coverage, well done! Does this growth in your audience and career impact your song writing process?

My songwriting process is pretty casual still! I could be anywhere, doing anything, and something will come to me so I’ll take it down on the notes app on my phone. Then I work on it more when I get home, I like to take my time and refine things to make them the best they can be, and that stays the same both before and after more radio coverage. It’s all from my heart, and everything I’m writing about is based on things I have actually been through.

All of your songs are open about telling stories about love, loss, and life from a gay perspective. What does that openness mean to you, and is it ever difficult to repurpose your own experience into music? 

Yeah totally, when I first started writing I was so afraid of being too vulnerable or giving too much away, worried that people may speculate which songs are about which person, for example. That swiftly changed when I realised that song writing was my therapy, and I can’t explain how much it’s helped me develop a better sense of self and self confidence. I really believe that I’ve changed since I started, the support I’ve received from people in my life and the media has been fantastic and has helped me realise that that openness is nothing to be nervous about. 

Your discorgapy so far is a blend of soulful ballads and energetic dance pop, what’s one other musical genre you’d love to try out some day?

This may come as a surprise… but I’d love to try rap! I have a drag persona; Sasha Fierce, and I’ve performed in drag for years now, that was actually one of the things that first got me into music, I started off lip syncing and eventually worked up the courage to try singing live. The initial audience reaction was so positive that it set me off with knowing I wanted to sing for real, and soon enough I had my own slot singing as Gary Duffy. Anyway, I would love to involve Sasha in my music, she’s not dead! Somewhere between drag, music, and working full time she’s had to take a bit of time off… but she may appear sometime soon on one of my tracks with a rap feature!

Lastly, what’s next in your music career?

There’s a few collaborations coming up soon that I’m super excited about! We’re going to be shooting the video for ‘Afraid’ in the next couple of weeks and I also have an upcoming gig in the Crumlin Road Gaol in the Summer (Depending on restrictions, but for the time being it is going ahead).

Listen to ‘Afraid’ on The Jumble Magazine Local Music Playlist, and be sure to follow Gary Duffy on InstagramFacebook, and Spotify.

Interview by Sam Dineen

Illustrating Mental Health through Music: A Catch Up with Lauren Bird.

Photo by Conor Kerr

Singer songwriter Lauren Bird is back to chat to Sam from The Jumble Magazine all about her new EP ‘The Farewell EP’, discussing how the EP works as a timeline through her recent journey struggling with her mental health- right trough to the light at the end of the tunnel. We chatted about production, reliving your teenage pop punk phase as an adult, and looking forward to a post-pandemic world.

Hi Lauren! Since we last spoke you have released The Farewell EP, featuring singles like ‘Millennials’ and ‘Keep Trying’, how would you describe the new EP to someone who isn’t familiar with your work? 

It’s an EP that tracks a certain period of my life. Before this, in 2017 I released an album called ‘The Inbetween’ which was framing a time period when I had just left University and was starting to figure out my path in life. This EP is sort of similar, but it’s about the time after that when I realised I was actually really mentally unwell, and I had to do something about it. The opening track ‘Here Again’ is about the day that I was prescribed antidepressants for the second time in my life- the rest of the EP acts as a little arc to the ‘Farewell’ – when I actually started to feel better after having done all the work and felt the medication doing its job. I didn’t realise I would be making an EP about how much better I felt and this journey to mental wellness right before a global pandemic started, but we can’t predict the future. I think a lot of people who may have never struggled with mental health issues before have been faced with them over the past year, so I think that’s why more people have (unfortunately) been able to relate to the songs. 

On that first track ‘Here Again’ you have a really distinctive sound, almost an acapella feel that starts to build up into an epic mix of vocals and reverb in its final minute. Did the subject matter of being prescribed antidepressants again influence you to go for such an unusual sound for this track? 

Normally when I write I don’t think too much about production, I find myself noodling on the ukulele or guitar and seeing what happens- but having made an album already and having enjoyed all the elements of arrangement, I had a feeling from the beginning that production was going to be very vital for this EP and especially this track. I knew right away it had to feature a cappella- I recorded myself on a voice memo doing the hums that make up the background at the beginning and built it up from there. It’s partially inspired by a track I really love called ‘Once Upon Another Time’ by Sara Barellies. In the beginning I thought it was just going to be an acapella song, I wasn’t totally sure how to end it. My friend Darren Doherty from the band ‘Northern Lights’ recorded it with me before the first lock down, which meant that once rules were enforced he was just sort of left with it, without me there in the room to work on it with him. He sat down one day and recorded heavier drums, bass, and guitars, and blended them into the track, which was really inspired by his own musical sound. He sent it to me and although I appreciated it, something was off. Suddenly he knew what to do to fix it- he sent back to me with the reverb done, siting ‘Garden Song’ by Phoebe Bridgers as one of his inspirations- the reverbed band sound blended really well into the a cappella and the heartbeat drum loop- and all of it came together to sort of amplify the intensity of the track, it suited the lyrics more to have it sound this way. It was definitely the track that spent the longest in production. 

Photo by Conor Kerr

It’s interesting how a song can come to be as a result of two very different musical tastes and backgrounds coming together. Do you find that someone coming in from a totally different angle to add their own flair to a track is something that happens often in your music making process?

On the first album I crowdfunded, so I was able to afford really good session musicians,I had been playing for a while but the recording process was new to me. Cormac O’Kane (who did the first album in Red Box in Belfast) gathered these amazing musicians together to do it. I’m a big Paul Simon fan, and I had it in my head that I wanted to make my own ‘Gracelands’ and he really helped me follow that vision exactly as I had imagined. Working with Darren is different, considering that we’re also friends, it’s definitely more casual and DIY, which means there’s a little more room for experimenting, we have a lot in common in what we listen to, but there’s also a lot of stuff he’s into that I don’t really listen to at all. He brought a more electric sound to it. I love the music I made before but it’s not always necessarily identical to my own music taste- I love ukulele musicians but as I’ve got older my tastes have changed, this EP feels really cool because it’s more sonically linked to my current musical taste. I think Darren adding his own influences is definitely partially responsible for that, and I hope to keep working with him in the future (when we can!) 

Let’s delve more into your musical taste, is there anything you would point to as something you have fallen in love with over the past year, particularly while we’ve all been in and out of lock down? 

I feel like I always talk about it, but I spent so much of the year listening to Phoebe Bridgers, but I’ve also been trying to get some more upbeat stuff into my ears. I’ve really enjoyed falling back into my love for pop punk- that’s something that seems to happen every year around the time of my birthday- as if I’m trying to time travel back to my 14 year old music taste, so I’ve been loving 

Simple Plan, Blink 182, Greenday, and No Doubt. I’d love to make an album (or a covers album) in that style one day. I don’t think emo has died, by the way, I think it’s just become folk. 

Lastly, as a performer, musician, artist, and just as a person- is there anything in particular that you’re most excited to get back into when the world safely opens up again? 

I can’t wait to hug Darren, I can’t wait to hug all of my friends! Today I got up early to get Julian Baker tickets, and that feeling of sitting waiting for the website to load, and the excitement of hoping I’ll get one before they sell out was something I really missed. I’d love to go to gigs, and I’d love to go to a restaurant and have a meal that I didn’t cook!

Listen to Lauren Bird’s music on Spotify, follow her on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook.

You can Check out ‘Here Again’ on The Jumble Magazine Local Music Playlist by clicking here.

Interview by Sam Dineen

Exploring Maximalist Art with Ruth Crothers.

Ruth Crothers is the artist behind @ruth_prints on Instagram. Ruth’s art style is bold, colourful, and maximalist. Recently she was involved in an artist takeover of The Vault Artist Studio Instagram account, she also teaches  Textile Print part time at Ulster University and creates licensed artworks remotely for a textiles studio based in New York.  Ruth spoke to The Jumble Magazine about her art style, breathing colour, and her constant need to create. 

I would describe my art as centering around colour that B R E A T H E S… 

Living a colourful life is one that has a full spectrum of colours, ups and  downs, bad and good, dark and light, for me colour is a living thing- hence -it  breathes. 

Contemporary illustration of historical Belfast created as part of the Entries Project, orchestrated by Daisy Chain Inc. for Belfast  City Council. It depicts the history of the Entries between Ann Street and High Street and was a textile street art paste up. The print on linen is wrapped  and pasted round a junction box on High Street just outside Snappy Snaps. This 
design has also been turned into a ltd. Edition of Teatowels which are currently  sold through the Vault shop. (Created by Polish)

I have found myself in a position where  I can’t not create. Creating is honestly vital. I have to do it  and I don’t think I could survive without it. Painting has become my personal form of meditation, when I can’t paint I feel really frustrated. This urge to feel happy and peaceful drives me to create. Luckily I  don’t seem to have a shortage of inspiration, it comes from anything and everything. I keep notes on my phone and use the camera to take quick snaps of things when I see them. I love reading about art and design and I’m desperate to get back to seeing exhibitions soon. Music is also super important, not a day goes by without me listening to something and I always listen whilst painting….  Oh to see a live performance again! 

I like trying things  out and experimenting with new techniques, it means I don’t ever get bored creating and I think this has helped my style evolve and become quite versatile. I believe my art could work in many different applications.  The thing that tends to unite it is always maximalist colour and pattern with a sense of humour. 

Comic strip of my daily routine for #thevaultialtimes.
Cancer Daily Horoscope: Mercury is retrograde… again. Technology breaks down,  expect delays in communication and an onslaught of chaos. You will not meet the  love of your life in the near or distant future. Not today, not tomorrow and  definitely not in this lifetime. Sorry little crab.’

My work feels very representative of who I am. I’m  generally very happy and open. I feel comfortable in myself so I don’t mind sharing. I’m not perfect but that’s ok! I guess to me it just feels honest, it reflects all of those characteristics. There’s pressure to post on social media for many artists but I feel confident that even if we didn’t have that, I’d still be creating. Truthfully, creativity is just a way of life for me. 

The past year of Lock downs has actually been ok for me. My work had a strong textile screen-print focus prior to the pandemic but back then I didn’t have access to my equipment, so I just began painting from my kitchen table instead. I  completely rediscovered this during the first lockdown and now I’m hooked. Generally I’ve been ok-  but I just miss going out and seeing people. 

The best thing about the local art scene is the accessibility of it, I think it  would be much harder in a larger city to even get your foot in the door but  here it’s definitely much easier to make connections. People are especially 

friendly, welcoming and supportive which is a blessing. Big shout out to  my art fam @vaultartistsni  

Ltd. Edition Tee release for @vaultartistsni . I share a studio in Vault and I’m full of so much love, respect and admiration for the artists that  occupy the building. There’s a diverse range of artforms found under one roof and the number of artists I think is now over 130. Don’t know where I’d be  without this place or these people. Eternally grateful! (Created by Polish)

Ruth is Currently working on a piece around the theme of loneliness for an online exhibition for the NI Mental Health Arts Festival which runs from the 11th to the 16th May coinciding with Mental Health Awareness Week which will be available on nimhaf.org.

You can check out more of her work over on Instagram, and learn more about Vault Artist Studio on their own Instagram Account

Something Different, Hand Painted Phone Grips by Rae McCay Designs.

Rachel McCay is a Technology and Design graduate, a Scout Leader and, recently, a small business owner. Rachel uses her artistic background and creativity to hand paint and design wholesale bought phone grips in an array of unique and individual patterns. Rachel spoke to The Jumble Magazine about her business – Rae McCay Designs.

I’ve been really into art from a young age. I remember sitting at my nanny’s kitchen table colouring in for hours after our Sunday dinner. My claim to fame is when I won the West Belfast art competition in P1 and got a photoshoot for the Andytown news. I always loved art and went on to do Art at GCSE and A-level where my love grew even stronger. It was in my final year of A-level Art that I fell in love with using acrylic paint on canvas to recreate landscapes with my own flare. For my placement year in university I went back to school and worked as an art assistant. I absolutely loved this and really enjoyed seeing all the students’ creativity and giving them a hand where I could. Going back gave me the opportunity to get back into my love for art and I’ve been painting as much as I can ever since.

I’ve been using ‘pop grips’ on my phone for around 8 years now. All of the You Tubers I loved had them so of course I had to get one. I fell in love with them and managed to get quite a few people I know obsessed with them too. I find that they almost give an extra layer of protection. Phones are getting bigger and bigger and the grip allows you to comfortably hold your phone and takes away the stress of possibly dropping it. Unfortunately, over the years I feel like these kinds of phone grips have gotten more expensive and sometimes the quality isn’t as consistent. I found myself constantly scrolling through websites trying to find something I liked or something to match a phone case but usually failed to do so. This was my inspiration to mix my love for phone grips and art together. 

The creative process can be quite a stressful process because it is a small item that you’re working with. I’m a bit of a perfectionist so I want each item to be the best it can be and will happily remake it a hundred times to make sure it’s perfect. Even with the stress I absolutely love making them and my favourite part is definitely the excitement of painting on the different designs and hoping that they’re as good as they are in my head.

My main goal at the minute is to do a few grips in the same style as my paintings, although I may need to invest in some more tiny brushes. I have really enjoyed doing the different animal print designs so far and can’t wait to do more of them. I have also done a few personalised grips to match phone cases which I’ve really enjoyed as it’s so aesthetically pleasing to see them together. I would also love to hear any suggestions from customers as I always love a new challenge.

You can check out more of Rachel’s products over on Instagram.

Rodeo Queen: Talkin’ Queer Country Music with Cyran.

Artwork by Isabella Anna K

Ciara Fitzsimmons (Problem Patterns) and Ryan King (Radio show host of ‘Fist City’ from The 343) have combined their shared love for sad country doo-wop with their love of queer storytelling to create Cryan. The duo have recently released their first single ‘Rodeo Queen’ along with a cover of Nancy Sinatra’s ‘Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)’ on bandcamp to a very positive reception. Ciara and Ryan had a (virtual) chat with Sam from The Jumble Magazine all about the new single, Roy Orbison, and the Queer representation within country music.

Hi guys! lets start it off at the beginning, can you two tell me about yourselves and how CRYAN came to be? 

R: Well our name is what you get when you smash our two names together (Ciara and Ryan) and we’ve been friends for about 3 years , until recently we were neighbors too. We had played together once just before lock down, for a benefit with some friends, and we were asked to do a track for the charity She Sells Sanctuary. We had a lot of fun doing a cover of a country song for that and we’ve been bonding over country since. I have a country radio show too, that’s how it started with CRYAN.

C: Yeah! Before this we played together in a tribute band for The Velvet Underground, that was just before we realised we had a love of country music in common. We delved into country after covering a Roy Orbison track, and realised it was actually really fun! We both love the lofi, stripped back simplicity of our style.

That bleeds in quite nicely into my next question, I was going to ask about your love for Roy Orbison! What is it about his music you love so much? 

C: Well Roy is pretty much the reason I exist…. My granny supposedly got with my granda because she thought he looked a bit like Roy, so I suppose I have to thank Roy’s strapping good looks for my birth! I have my granny to thank for getting me into his music. I remember watching him on TV with her at a really early age. I love the uniqueness and the power of his stuff, and it’s amazing that he can sing in three octaves. 

R: I wonder how many people can thank Roy Orbison for their actual existence… 

So ‘Rodeo Queen’ is a narrative song, telling a queer love story between two women. The under-representation of LGBTQ+ stories is a problem across all music, but some may feel that it is particularly under-represented in country, due to some of the impressions and more conservative associations that country music can have. How important is it to you two to tell queer stories through your country music?

R: Well I have a queer country radio show on The 343, and one of the reasons that I wanted to do that  was to show people that country music isn’t what they may think it is. It doesn’t have to be hetero-normative, there’s a long history of queer artists in country music- Wilma Burgess in the 60’s and Patrick Haggerty from Lavender Country in the 70’s. Whilst they were very much in the minority at the time there’s been a much stronger representation of queer artists in Country music since the 1990’s, telling queer stories in this way is one of the main priorities in our band.

And let’s face it, country music may be one of the queerest forms of music out there! The idea of a couple of lonesome cowboys out under the stars, the rhinestones and the exaggerated outfits and costumes, these people and stories have always been there…”

C: I think with ‘Rodeo Queen’ the idea was that classic idea of a woman walking into a bar and being totally blown away by another woman’s beauty, there’s plenty of songs that tell that kind of story from a man’s perspective, but we wanted to tell it from a queer point of view without making a big deal about it. It’s so simple and sweet. I wanted to let the women in this story just fall in love in a simple way, the way heterosexual people often get to do without even thinking about it. 

R: Country music can be very intimidating for queer people, especially if you grew up associating it with the Confederate flag imagery and super right wing conservative American guys, you may feel that its not for you…I think opening up to country and seeing how diverse it really is, both sonically and in terms of the diversity of the artists, can really show people that it doesn’t have to be that way.

Are there any other artists you’ve been loving at the minute? 

R: Something that impressed me about Orville Peck was how well considered the music was, how it was clearly all thought out before the music even came to be. 

C: I think we’re both really inspired by Mashed Potato Records as well, a whole pile of our inspiration comes from their two compilation albums. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly where our inspiration comes from. We both love classic country and the more modern stuff. We sort of pull from everywhere. 

R: I think with the radio show I find myself coming across such a wide variety of brand new country music too, if you’re into more bittersweet romantic stuff there’s some great music on Bobby Dove’s new album ‘Hopeless Romantic‘, which came out in February this year.

How have you found making music in the odd circumstances of the past year? Has the pandemic changed how you make music? 

C: To be honest I don’t really think we would exist without it. We didn’t have the time before this to take on another project, we’re both very busy people- so I’m grateful for it in that respect.  I love all of my projects equally and I put my heart and soul into them all, so being able to actually focus on this one has been beautiful. We have a mutual friend: Daniel O’ Raw AKA F.R.U.I.T.Y and he’s been our producer, he’s got an amazing mind for a delicate and stripped back method of production. We love working with him.

R: The way we have been operating has been very much one thing at a time. We have some ideas that we want to do in the future, and having that extra time means we can do it that way. Hopefully we can do live shows one day but even without them the connection we have formed with our audience has been amazing! The support people have for us online is awesome and we’re so thankful for it. 

You can listen to Cryan’s new music on bandcamp, and keep up to date with what they’re up to on Instragram and Twitter.

You can also check out past ‘Fist City’ Radio show recordings, as well as other radio shows hosted by The 343, by clicking here.

Interview by Sam Dineen

Pink Moon

By Dominique Argüelles 

I think we should head towards the dunes– 
Watch the super moon for a bit.
Bury our clothes somewhere
And wait.

Can you feel the lunar pull?
The tide sweeping me to you,
Crushing and easing our bodies against
Each other.

There’s an ebb and flow between our
mouths, A slow and desperate exchange.
Seaweed and black sand
Is spouted and swallowed.

You take too much sometimes;
All of my currents, my wildlife.
My body is left barren,
A dry heart cracking with each beat.

Sometimes I think
I want it to end.
I regret giving so much,
But I forget this when your skin loops into mine.

Can we stay a little longer?
You hold me like it’s inevitable.

I know I should turn on you
When you admit
That you don’t believe in the sea,
And that I should content myself with rivers and puddles.

I could take your face in my hands
And muster some words with my salt-stung
tongue. Ask you to see:
We’re already waist deep.

Or maybe I can unpick the gravel
I collect from kneeling in dirty puddles,
Pretending that waves don’t crash behind my
eyes– I’ll lie and say I have a headache.

I’ll happily let you go
If you tell the moon to just stop.
Ask it to crack open and dissolve for me,
So I can be untied from this spot.
I think you owe me that much.

Fresh Music: A Chat with Cat.

Photograph by Emilia Rigaud

Dublin based contemporary alt-pop artist Cat has been emerging onto the Irish music scene this year with her atmospheric and emotional debut single ‘Slipping’. Cat spoke to The Jumble Magazine about the new track, using music as an emotional release and being authentic as a queer female artist in Ireland.

Starting off, can you introduce yourself? What got you into making music? 

Hey! I’m Cat. I’m a new Irish pop artist, what’s up? 

I got into making music because singing and creating melodies has always been my outlet  and the way I have stayed authentic to myself. I wanted to create music that is inviting for  everyone and anyone to escape into and feel at home. 

Your debut single ‘Slipping’ has just been released, what springs to mind when you think back to creating this track? 

This track represents a very traumatic frame of mind that I remained in for a long time following a turbulent experience I went through. When I wrote “Slipping”, I was mid-way through saving myself from that situation, so the song saved my mental health in a big way and remains a statement of me standing up for myself. 

It’s a huge release of emotions for me to get this song out. 

Have you found that the weirdness of the past year has affected your ability to make music? How does it feel emerging as a musical artist into such a strange time?

The pandemic has had its ups and downs for me, personally. It prevented me from ending  up in a bad (musical) relationship while also knocking me off kilter slightly from where I  thought I was headed in my career. I found myself writing and creating the best music I ever  have whilst keeping me on my toes. It feels like a once in a lifetime experience to be  emerging as a new artist in these circumstances, there’s more space for me right now in the  industry than I have felt there ever was before. 

It’s clear that you care a lot about creating more authenticity in pop music, what’s the most important part of this for you? 

I love pop music so much. It has been a massive part of my life for so long. I want to remain  authentic in my pop music by never apologising for any of my lyrics, my image, how bold I  am or anything else for that matter. Womxn in this industry deserve to be heard for who  they really are in all shapes, colours and sizes. People need something real to hold on to in  music and it’s so important to me that people can relate to the ‘realness’ of my music. 

Who are your biggest influences musically? 

Lady GaGa is a massive influence for me. She represents everything I stand for. I’m also  hugely influenced by LP, Sam Smith, Grimes and Leonard Cohen. All for various reasons. 

What’s one thing you can’t wait to do once the world is a bit more normal?

I’m sure every Artist will say the same thing here but playing live is something I miss hugely.  I miss the personal connection I get with people by performing live on stage. It’s irreplaceable in the career of a performer like me.  

Lastly, what’s coming up for you this year? 

This year will be full of new music from me. I have so much up my sleeve for this year and I  can’t wait to show all of you.

Keep up to date with Cat on Instagram, Twitter, and Soundcloud.

Interview Questions by Sam Dineen

Fresh Music: Bikes & Bridges Lead to Broken Bones

Previously featured genre hopping guitarist and creator of the DIY project Centre/Left/Right Ciara Rooney has returned with her second album ‘Bikes & Bridges Lead to Broken Bones‘. Taking influence from the hard rock and metal she listened to as a teen, this album goes in a totally different direction to her last album “Sketch”. Ciara spoke to The Jumble Magazine about this musical shift, the song she loves most, and how a literal broken bone inspired the album’s title.

Since I last spoke to Jumble I released a synthwave single called “Thursday”, which is a remix/re-imagining of a track I did for a university project. I’ve also been working on a heavy metal EP. So far, every album I’ve released has had its own follow up bonus track(s), either an EP or a single, so I’m hoping to continue that.

Bikes & Bridges Lead to Broken Bones contains songs I wrote and recorded during my first couple of years of creating this project. During my teens I was influenced by hard rock/heavy metal bands such as My Chemical Romance, Iron Maiden, and Metallica, so a lot of my guitar playing mirrored that. By the time I entered my twenties and began creating this project, a lot of those influences carried over, so it’s very much a hard rock album. 

I came up with the name and album art around February/March 2020, after literally crashing my bike into a bridge which resulted in a broken finger and fractured toe. The two months of recovery was incredibly frustrating because I couldn’t play any instruments, however it deepened the sentimental meaning of the hand logo I used on my first album “Sketch”. Initially, I had used it to express how important I feel my hands are to my ability to create music, but now that I know what it’s like to have very limited use of them I’m glad I had the foresight to choose the image of a hand as somewhat of a symbol for my music. 

My favourite track is either Wrath, Velocity or Rush. Wrath is the 2nd ever song I composed for Centre/Left/Right, it’s quite thrashy. Velocity and Rush both have this heavy metal/punk thing going on but then some contrasting ‘clean’ parts which I really like, it reminds me of the music from “Sketch”.

Most listeners probably wonder “What’s with all the genre hopping?” This album is quite different to the last, just as the last is quite different to the one before that. It’s my goal for Centre/Left/Right to cover as many musical genres within my range as possible, so there’s something for everyone. If this album wasn’t to your taste, check out some of my previous releases or stick around to see what I come up with in the future!

I’d also like to give a huge thanks to Patrick Moore who helped write most of the drum parts for Among Aliens, Velocity and There’s Something in the Sky back in 2018.

Listen to ‘Bikes and Bridges Lead to Broken Bones’  SoundCloud and keep up to date with CENTRE/LEFT/RIGHT’s future music by following the project on Instagram.

Snapshots of the World- Local Photographer Nick Kane.

One of the basics in photography is framing, and when the landscape or scene naturally presents you with a perfect frame then half the work is done for you.

Nick Kane is a 24 year old QUB MA Graduate and photographer based in Belfast. Having recently made the leap to start showcaisng his photography on platforms like Instagram and Unslplash- Nick chatted to The Jumble Magazine about adapting creativley over the past year, finding inspiration in Irelands stunning scenery, and his hopes for the future.

I’ve always enjoyed taking photos, I’ve loved it since I was a kid, but I really got into photography around 2014-15. I was watching a few travel vloggers on YouTube who also happened to be amazing landscape and travel photographers. My dad was really into photography when he was my age – so he was all for offering advice and support.

Everyone needs some form of creative outlet, but I’m terrible at drawing, and tried twice to pick up the guitar but never really got into it. So photography came along and it’s something I’ve stuck at ever since. 

I’m 24 now, and I graduated from Queen’s at the end of 2019 with a MA in Violence, Terrorism, and Security. One of my favorite pastimes is going for walks or hikes, either around my local area or to one of our coastlines, forests, or mountains. I’d definitely like to expand my interest in photography beyond a hobby, and contribute more to actual productions or causes.

From a recent winter hike up the Mournes. Mountain ranges already offer a lot of depth and texture and the snow on the peak just adds to that.

When I first took up photography I focused almost solely on landscapes. I guess this type of photography appeals to any newcomer because it’s static – the view isn’t going anywhere. So, you have plenty of time to learn the ropes when it comes to exposure, shutter speed etc. Practice makes perfect, and landscape photography is forgiving enough to let you take your time.

It’s also the most accessible form of photography, especially in Ireland. We have a stunning coastline, rolling mountain ranges, and lush green fields all around. Street photography requires a lot of confidence, the idea of just walking around and candidly taking photographs of people going about their day-to-day business, and you need expensive zoom lenses and a lot of patience for wildlife photography. But landscape photography is something you can incorporate into your weekend hikes or trips to the North Coast. 

“The most inspiring part however, is that it makes you really appreciate your natural surroundings and the beauty that your home, but also the wider world, has to offer.”

However, my favorite places to photograph are always abroad. Not that there’s a lack of things to shoot in Ireland, but I find when you go abroad you appreciate scenes and finer details which you take for granted back home. An alleyway in Belfast can offer just as many interesting features and compositions as a cobbled street in Italy, but the extra visual awareness you have visiting somewhere you’ve never been before brings so many more creative opportunities to mind.

This is from a trip to Portugal a few years ago. There’s so much depth, texture and variety of colour in this shot. One of my favourite to date.

I’d say my favourite place overall to take photos is Croatia. I’ve visited twice, and on both occasions the country has offered up stunning natural landscapes, aesthetically pleasing cobbled streets dotted with market stalls, shops, signage, and historic architecture. The sunsets from the coast are some of the best in the world.

The restrictions over the past year have defiantly had an impact on my photography. Not only have I not left the island since November 2019, but travelling around within Ireland has obviously been curtailed due to the pandemic. Combined with work being a bit crazy the past while, I’ve not had anywhere near as much opportunities as before to go out and take photos. I managed to visit Connemara in Co. Galway at the end of last summer, so it was nice to visit somewhere different even if it only was about 200 miles away. I found it took me a while to get into a creative mindset because I hadn’t been out with the camera for so long, but I came home after a few days with some great shots.

I’ve also been wanting to get more into street photography which isn’t something that’s exactly helped by a global pandemic. The streets were completely empty for a while and are still pretty quiet, and you can’t chat with people or get near them to compose a shot when you’re meant to keep your distance.

On a more positive note, being forced to stay local means that I’m a lot more appreciative of my surroundings and they’re featuring a lot more prominently in my work that they would have before.

One of my favourite shots from my trip to Connemara last summer. The Irish countryside provides a much needed escape from the crazy world we’re living in right now. 

I’m a big fan of Shane Taylor, another Irish photographer, who lives in London. His street photography captures candid images of Londoners going about their daily lives, and as you’d expect the wide variety of faces in the city makes for an even greater variety of scenes. There’s so much you can do with the reflections of shop windows, or picking out moments of calm from a bustling crowd, so it’ll be nice once restrictions are lifted to even walk about Belfast city centre on a busy day taking photos. 

I’ve also just gotten into film. Up until now I’ve been shooting solely on my Nikon D3300 DSLR, but my dad recently gave me his Olympus OM20 film camera that’s just shy of 40 years old. There’s a look and feel that you get from analogue photography, which while it can be mimicked in editing your digital images using various tools in Lightroom, just doesn’t quite look as good as the real deal. It’s also a much more manual form of photography which pushes you to learn more and take your time, especially when your SD card capable of holding a few thousand shots has been replaced by a roll of 36 exposures.

Overall, I’d just like to broaden my audience and show my art to more people. I’ve had a profile on Unsplash for a few years now which lets people download and use my images for wallpapers, or for royalty-free (but credited!) use in their own creations. My photos have just over 14 million views on Unsplash and have been used in tourism adverts, and most recently a campaign for visa free travel throughout the 27 EU states for music touring professionals, bands, musicians, and artists – it’s so rewarding to see my art being used by others to promote their own!

From the march in support from marriage equality from May 2019. Protest marches are great to take photos of, especially when they’re as colourful as this one.

You can check out more of Nick Kane’s work on Unsplash and Instagram.

Fresh New Tune: ‘Autopilot Paradise’ by Lemonade Shoelace.

Photo by Carrie Davenport

Lemonade Shoelace is a one man psychedelic pop rock project created by Newcastle (Co. Down) native Ruairí Richman. The project has grown over the past year and a half and the debut single ‘Autopilot Paradise’ has just been released, and it sounds like a dreamy ode to summer days, perfect for fans of the likes of ‘Tame Impala’ or ‘Air’.   Ruairí spoke to The Jumble Magazine about the new track, his future plans, and what inspires him most. 

I started making music about 5/6 years ago, but I began to take it all more  seriously over the past year and a half when I started Lemonade Shoelace.  I have four talented band members who join me on stage when I perform live, but sadly there hasn’t been a whole lot of live performances as of late.  

I guess my music is like a hypnotic explosion of melodies, with a  sprinkle of psychedelic synths. ‘A Psychedelic Sundae; is a good way to  describe it.  

Normally, my main source of inspiration comes from whatever my mind is focused on  at any time… recently, that’s been self development, being happy, and a good deal of escapism. I want to make music  that people can use as an escape, and I’m obsessed with catchy  melodies. Space and time give me a lot of inspiration too, and the idea that  we are floating on a rock at a million miles an hour is something I always wander about.  

Photo by Carrie Davenport.

 I’ve found that the past year has had a varied influence on my music. Nearly all of  the tunes that I’m releasing were actually written and produced from the  start of lock down as I had a lot more time to focus on my sound and  lyrics. It definitely inspired what I was writing about and pushed more of that feeling of escapism I was talking about before. The local scene took much more of a hit than I did though. I was living and studying in Dublin whilst working in Whelan’s at the time, and going from being right in the centre of the Irish scene to being back home to a lonely Newcastle was quite a contrast. It’s still pretty crazy what happened, the start of lock down feels like an overslept dream to me. 

I think my favourite tune of mine at the moment is ‘Do Whatever Makes  You Happy’. I can’t wait to get it out into the world. I wrote it to help myself, and hopefully other people through tough and uncertain times, and it certainly worked on me. 

‘Autopilot Paradise’ has just been released.  My  band and I played a version of it and another tune live at The Oh Yeah Centre which you can watch here.  I have a cool collaborative DIY music video on my Youtube Channel too. It’s a cover of ‘After the Storm’ by  Kali Uchis ft. Tyler, The Creator & Bootsy Collins. The cover is featuring Leah Whearty & Finnbarr Richman, it’s a great piece to check out if you wanna have a boogie. 


Keep your eyes peeled for the upcoming Lemonade Shoelace EP, and stay up to date with the project on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can listen to ‘Autopilot Paradise’ on The Jumble Magazine Local Music Playlist and check out Lemonade Shoelace on Spotify.